Q&A of the Day – Socialism vs. Social Programs
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
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Today’s entry: This topic wasn’t actually introduced as a question for the Q&A. It comes from a recent caller who is seemingly confused between social programs and socialism as a form of governance.
Bottom Line: The caller presented an insightful perspective which helped me understand some of the misinformation being shared across this country in favor of socialism a la what Bernie Sanders represents. There is a vast difference between social programs and socialism. The argument in favor of socialism in the United States is the existing social assistance programs. She referenced Medicare and Social Security as positive examples among others. Here’s the first thing to know about social programs. It is true that public assistance programs are rooted in elements of socialism – IE shared community burden to pay for and provide the assistance offered by these programs.That’s where the similarities stop.
First, no social assistance programs existed at the federal level until the New Deal under FDR in the 1930’s. The United States of America became the world’s leading superpower, going from a rag tag group of colonies who’d fought a revolution, to the world leading economy in under 150 years, precisely due to free market capitalism and the absence of government handouts. Prior to the New Deal everyone had to pull their own weight and it worked. With necessarily high labor participation and the ability for Americans to retain what they produced (we didn’t even have a permanent federal income tax until 1913 and it was only 1% when first introduced), Americans were able to consistently improve their way of life through work and opportunity. It’s why we were able to run circles around established and developed countries with centuries of history our country didn’t have. It’s what made America great in the first place.
The progressive FDR saw an opportunity during the Great Depression to begin to transform this country into more of the less successful European model. He did this by the introduction of numerous social programs. We can argue about the validity and pros and cons of any of them but that’d distract from the point. Here’s what’s inarguable. The United States became the world’s leading super power without a federal income tax or single social program due to capitalism. Everything this country provides in way of opportunity and social assistance today is only possible due to that immovable fact.Now about what socialism is...
- a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Under socialism the state, government, controls the means of production. Under socialism you aren’t allowed to own and operate your own business freely. The government controls it. You aren’t allowed to see the benefit of hard work or entrepreneurship because the state caps what you’re allowed to keep. The only difference between socialism as a form of governance and communism – is that under socialism you’re allowed to keep personal property. Under communism the state owns/controls all property too.
The United States of America quite literally could have never happened under socialism. Every social program everyone who supports Bernie Sanders likes would quite literally not exist today if this country had attempted socialism. The beauty of ignorance is that it can be fixed with information. That’s what this story is about. If,however, you’re informed and it’s still your intent. Your ideas are a threat to freedom and your ideology must be defeated every time it’s confronted at the ballot box. Socialism is evil. It represses, controls and kills. Capitalism is so successful it’s provided the luxury for so many to be so ignorant.