In “Will America Elect a Socialist Part Two”, I left off with the claim,
“Yes, that’s right, the problems we are facing right now are caused by the level of socialism ALREADY in our system, so Bernie’s solution of MORE socialism is the exact opposite of what is needed.”
“Wait…..WHAT??? That’s ludicrous,” you say. “How can you make that claim? We don’t have a socialist system!”
Think about these economic systems on a continuum, with total authoritarian communism on one end and pure free-market capitalism on the other:
Each country’s economic system will fall somewhere on the continuum, some more toward the pure capitalism and some more toward the pure communism.
During the rise of the United States into the world’s economic leader, we fell more toward the pure capitalism end of the spectrum. Never completely, as we always had some aspects that were more socialistic (postal service, infrastructure, public education, etc.), but for the most part we enjoyed a very free-market, capitalist system, and our economy exploded with innovation, productivity, and prosperity.
Did a few at the top enjoy massive amounts of wealth? Yes, of course they did. But those at the bottom also rose, much more so than those around the rest of the world. Yes, while some do get filthy, filthy rich, capitalism has pulled more people out of poverty than any other factor in history.
So then, what happened?
The Progressive movement happened, that’s what.
After the turn of the century in the early 1900’s, the Progressive ideology started to take hold with Woodrow Wilson and then ultimately with Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. What these guys were arguing for was more centralized control over much more aspects of our economy and our lives.
They didn’t care at all for the constraints that our Constitution put on the power of the federal government and particularly for the executive branch (the President). They didn’t like the separation of powers between the legislative and the executive, believing that it limited progress and efficiency. And they didn’t like the limits of power that the Constitution restricted them to, so they manipulated the wording and clauses in the Constitution so that they can pretty much do anything they want now.
Beginning with the New Deal, and progressing ever since, is what is now essentially a 4th branch of government…the bureaucratic, administrative branch. This extra-Constitutional (not supported by the Constitution) branch was created in order to be able to handle all of the increased workload that comes from taking control of more and more aspects of our country, power that is supposed to be left with the States, but has transferred to the federal government.
And what is it that these administrative agencies do exactly?
Well, after congress passes a law that states a somewhat general goal, such as a law to maintain clean air and water or a law to increase access to healthcare insurance, they pass it off to these administrative agencies (supposedly experts in their respective fields) to work out all of the details. Against the principles and structure of the Constitution, these agencies then proceed to create regulations (law) that are deemed necessary to fulfill the general goals that the legislature set forth. The agencies then have the power to enforce these regulations and if they are challenged, they then proceed to adjudicate them within their own agency.
That means that these agencies, which were created outside the structure of our Constitution, have legislative, executive and judicial powers…the very things that our founders were so very careful in ensuring were separated, because in the words of James Madison,
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
With these new administrative agencies, we have consolidated power into centralized planning entities which create massive amounts of regulations that control an ever increasing amount of our means of production.
In other words…in the guise of “progressivism”, we now have institutionalized socialism. Is there any wonder why, when asked what the difference is between the Democrats/Progressives and Socialists, neither Hillary Clinton nor Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, former leader of the DNC, could provide an answer?
But, the government doesn’t actually own all of the factories and trucks, and equipment, so it isn’t really socialism, is it?
Correct, the traditional definition of socialism is that the public (government) will own and control the means of production. But, what is the most important aspect of that equation? If the government has control of the means of production, is it really important for it to have ownership? Wouldn’t the results be the same either way as to the major effects on the economy? Perhaps the collapse would not be as fast, but the movement on our economic continuum still moves further away from the capitalism end.
Beginning roughly around the New Deal and progressing ever since with ever increasing size and scope and power, through the Great Society programs of the 1960’s, and continuing through the Obama era with programs such as Obamacare, there are now so many federal administrative agencies that I really don’t think anyone can tell you how many there actually are. They essentially have control over nearly every aspect of our lives, creating new regulations at an ever increasing rate.
Thousands of new regulations are created each year, many of which are directly controlling “the means of production”.
With each new such regulation, we move the bar in the continuum to the left, further and further from capitalism and toward socialism.
All of this “centralized planning” and resulting regulations serve to stifle innovation, investment, and expansion of the economy and we are feeling that more and more, so that now we’re to a point where we’re told that we should expect a GDP growth rate of 2% to be the “new norm”.
With this kind of weak growth, the bottom and the middle will continue to struggle while the upper levels have the power and influence to protect what they have and manipulate the system to get more. The middle class is usually what takes the biggest hit and is usually one of the first things to disappear as a socialist system starts to do its damage.
A socialist regime is left with only a few rich, elite at the top and the rest of the masses at the bottom (but equally at the bottom, I guess, so there is that).
Bernie and the left are always complaining about the problems with special interest and big money influence in elections and in government (and they are right about that), but the ironic thing is that this is a problem precisely because of the administrative state that their progressive movement (aka socialism) created. They consolidated and centralized power and control over just about everything, and where you have consolidated power and control, you will have abuse, corruption, and special interests encircling it like vultures. Why do you suppose that the richest counties in America are the ones that surround Washington, D.C.?
Bernie’s remedy is to double-down on this insanity and give even MORE power to the government.
His plans will take even MORE money from us and give it to these central planners to decide how to redistribute it and control even MORE of our lives. This, of course, will create even MORE incentive for the special interests to increase their activities and corrupt the system even MORE. The result will be even MORE misery for the little guy.
Bernie’s remedies are the exact opposite of what we need for our ailments.
So, I will end this with my plea to anyone that would consider voting for a socialist:
I beg of you, on behalf of my children and grandchildren and for the sake of your children and grandchildren, do not jump on the Bernie Bandwagon of socialism without very serious consideration.
I implore you to not take the decision to support socialism lightly. It really is too important.
Way too many lives have been destroyed and lost by the false hope of socialism. Joining the movement to embrace socialism just because everyone else is doing it, and without really knowing what the dire consequences are from setting us on that path, is irresponsible.
I know that Bernie’s version of socialism sounds great and is presented as being the moral and fair thing to do. I can see how one could be swayed by that argument. But history tells us otherwise.
History is full of socialism failures.
History is full of socialism failures causing misery, suffering, and death.
Do not take your Facebook friend’s word that, “Yeah, but this time it will be different! This is Democratic Socialism!”
Do not get your information about socialism, democratic or otherwise, from social media memes.
Before you decide to really Feel the Bern, please at least do some real research. Choosing to go the path of socialism is so detrimental and can affect so many people’s lives in very real and terrible ways, so please take this responsibility very seriously and read a book or two on the subject.
Here are a few that you might consider:
“The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism” by Kevin D. Williamson
“Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis” by Ludwig von Mises
“The New Road to Serfdom” by Daniel Hannan
“Free to Choose” by Rose Friedman & Milton Friedman
“The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich A. Hayek
“The End of Socialism” by James Otteson
Before you vote for a socialist, you owe it to America, and even more important, you owe it to yourself, your children, grandchildren and future generations to really understand what you are voting for.
Feature Image By DonkeyHotey