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America’s Past Shows Why Socialism Won’t Work

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2019
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by Outside Contributor
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socialism fear democrats democraticSocialism is trending in America. Politicians once ran from the term; now more embrace it. And polls show younger people are favoring it.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., won a seat in Congress by promising free health care for all, free college tuition, and something called climate justice. According to her Green New Deal, climate justice includes a government-guaranteed “basic income” for everyone, including all those “unwilling to work.”

Unfortunately, something-for-nothing socialist rhetoric has a strong appeal. A recent Gallup survey found more than half of America’s young people have a positive view of socialism.

So why is socialism gaining popularity?

Part of the reason lies in our schools. Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried—from the former Soviet Union and to Mao’s China—and killed tens of millions through violence and starvation in the process.

Yet students get little of that history today. Instead, they are often taught the evils of capitalism—that it creates inequality, rewards the privileged few at the expense of the many, and is an engine of oppression and exploitation of the masses. This perverse indoctrination is echoed and amplified in the media.

In truth, capitalism has done more to lift the world out of poverty than any other economic system ever devised. Over the last 25 years, the spread of policies that promote economic freedom has cut the global poverty rate by two thirds.

And capitalism does more than “just” improve general prosperity. Academic studies show that economic freedom is also strongly correlated with greater individual freedom, better health, more educational options, and a cleaner environment. In other words, all the things that socialism promises but can’t deliver.

But the younger generation isn’t being taught these truths. Instead, they are instructed that free markets are tools of exploitation, run by greed-driven conservatives who place profits above all else. Socialism, they are told, is simply a system for making sure that everyone’s needs are taken care of.

The younger generation sees people suffering and wants to help—and they are told the government is the means to accomplish that.

But we don’t need to go so far afield as Venezuela or Cuba for modern proof that more government is not an effective remedy. There is plenty of evidence here at home.

Consider the Great Society programs ushered in under President Lyndon Johnson. Now, more than 50 years later, they have been expanded into more than 90 means-tested aid programs that cost taxpayers more than $1.1 trillion annually. Yet the poverty rate is essentially unchanged from what it was in the 1960s.

Rather than lift millions from poverty, our welfare system has trapped millions in poverty or near poverty, creating generations of dependence on government.

As a black woman who grew up poor in the projects of Richmond, Virginia, I know exactly what an all-giving, all-powerful government can do to families and entire communities. It’s why I became a conservative and why I’ve dedicated my adult life to seeking solutions that actually help people—solutions that raise all boats.

Temporary safety nets are fine. But letting people keep more of their own money by cutting individual taxes, letting businesses grow by cutting onerous regulations and taxes, and getting government out of health care and the free market back in have paved the way for a growing economy, new jobs, increased wages, and more affordable health care for families.

Will the rising generation come to realize this, too? There is reason to hope so.

The same polling that shows people warming up to socialism also shows them cooling when they start to understand what it entails. While they initially love the notion of free college, free health care, and a $15 an hour minimum wage, many turn against these ideas when given even a few details—what it would cost them in taxes, how their freedom and their options would be restricted, and how bureaucrats in far-off places would be making decisions for them.

This tells us that, while conservatives have the right answers, we need to do a better job of communicating them. If we fail to break through the constant deluge of socialist claptrap, our future and theirs is in peril.

We who cherish freedom must take on the false prophets of socialism and spread the truth that limited government, free markets, and a nation based on the rule of law are the surest ways to ensure freedom, prosperity, and opportunity for all.

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PaulE
PaulE
5 years ago

Obviously socialism doesn’t and can’t work, but that means nothing to those pushing it on a growing percentage of the American public that are both largely economically ignorant and also extremely gullible. Yes, those on our side have to do a much better job communicating the fiscal realities of the both socialism and why capitalism is far superior. The issue isn’t that that the subject is difficult to convey, but rather that many on our side seem completely content to merely repeat the well-worn talking points from past campaign slogans. Which of course won’t work, because you cannot adequately convey all the shortcomings of socialism in a bumper sticker size message.

The people that think socialism is the solution have been conditioned to think that way over years and years of daily indoctrination via the MSM and the public school system in this country. To get through to them requires that we devote a substantial amount of effort to spoon fed these people lots of relevant facts and real-world examples as to why what they believe is demonstrably false. It comes down to the level of commitment we ALL are willing to put into it. If we’re not willing to do so, then the percentage of people cheerfully embracing the call of socialism will only grow. We’re only one election cycle away from potentially losing this country. If you don’t like the direction House Democrats are proposing legislation, then you’ll really hate it if they every re-take the WH and have a Democrat President ready and able to sign it all into law. The choice is yours. Either get out there and try to inform young minds full of mush about the reality of socialism or watch the country slip away.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
5 years ago

Have Dems & leftists live the Socialisim dream then, OK Go to Venezula then, WE dont want socialisim & anyway after socialisim is Communisim: see Russia & China

Veteran
Veteran
5 years ago

The problem with socialist/communists is that they play gullible low I.Q. voters’ feelings like a fiddle. They’ve combined the studies of semantics, rhetoric, and psychology with the strategies of advertising, marketing, and propaganda. When our country let Jimmy the Nut create the Department of “Education” they handed them a platform and full reign to indoctrinate our children against their parents wishes. It was even easier because God had been banned from the classroom since 1962 via SCOTUS.
First they create the feelings of guilt and fear, i.e. racism, white privilege, revisionist history, global warming/climate change, victimhood wholesale from “poor” persecuted, minorities, to “poor” restricted public display of diverse bedroom calisthenics with a variety of partners (human and other), to “poor” law breaking border invaders, then they make them “feel better” by giving them the option of voting for their “progressive” (meaning backwards to tyranny and slavery) agenda. Everybody gets to “feel better” until they feel a whole lot worse without quality education, without options to progress in life, without well paying jobs, without “health” care that helps, without food, and without electricity, without freedom, without property, without any say in what is happening, and especially not what is happening to them; i.e. Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Khmer Rouge Cambodia, … Socialism/communism is the worst mental disorder of humanity it is brutal unmitigated greed that denies all others the right to decide about their own life, defend themselves, and most of all their life, it is pathologic to the extreme seeking universal power, hence AOC’s (AOC=All On Credit) claim “I am the boss!”

Steve Greenwell
Steve Greenwell
5 years ago

Man is no more designed for socialism than for buggery. Which might explain why left-wing gays are trying to market the latter as a virtue.

Chris
Chris
5 years ago

When we spread the truth about limited gov’t and free markets we need to include in that the uncomfortable stuff as well. True freedom means people are free to make what others would consider to be bad decisions — and to face the consequences of those decisions. The left either wants to outright stop people from being able to make those bad decisions or in the case of free sex, drugs, not working, etc., not to have to face the consequences. They see doing so as compassionate. Me, I see allowing people to fail, face the consequences and *learn* from their (and others’) mistakes as compassionate. As I’ve phrased it before, why would I want to deny people their chance to learn and better themselves? In the end they’ll be better, happier people and we as a society will be better and happier. (That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in helping people, but that the help has to be tailored such that they can still learn their lesson while ameliorating the consequences so that they are able to work their way out of it. Charities do a much better job at that than the gov’t as it varies from person to person. Its a judgement call and very often the equal protection clause prevents the gov’t from making such calls).

True freedom does include an element of human suffering, its one of the primary ways we as humans learn. If we’re to counter the appeal of socialism we have to be honest that our solution does not eliminate all suffering — and then explain why that’s a good thing.

Yankee_R
Yankee_R
5 years ago

Should be required reading in every high school in the U.S.A. and every immigrant over 12 entering this country.

Barbara
Barbara
5 years ago

Amen!!!

Thomas H
Thomas H
5 years ago

” If we fail to break through the constant deluge of socialist claptrap, our future and theirs is in peril.” And conservatives STILL believe that we can win the marketplace of ideas by leaving the media firmly in the hands of the liberals! Smh!

Mary
Mary
5 years ago

If only we could get the schools to teach about capitalism and if only we could stop the professors to stop teaching the magnificence of socialism which is a lie brainwashing our uninformed younger generation.

Mytake
Mytake
5 years ago

Just who do these socialist nuts think will pay for all this “free” everything. Think people think. Someone has to pay for it. Will it be those who keep blabbing socialism? I don’t think so. We must keep trying to get thru the brainwashing sickos. They are accumulating money for themselves and plan to escape all negative consequences of what they are advocating for everyone else. Don’t be fooled by these idiots.

E Harrison
E Harrison
5 years ago

Our schools have failed our children and grandchildren. The importance of teaching American and World History is so crucial today because if you don’t know the history you will continue to repeat it. (The mistakes). Geography is also a subject not being taught with current events.
Do our young people even know what is happening in the world and how many dictators there are. Most of the so called socialist countries are run by dictators, which means the riches go to the dictator, not the people.

Cookeiepress
Cookeiepress
5 years ago

Many years ago my husband and I were listening to Neal Boortz and he said that only those who pay taxes should have the right to vote. I thought it was pretty crappy then but over the last several years my opinion has changed.

Fred Loe
Fred Loe
5 years ago

I like the terms ignorance(AOC for example) and gullible are clear definition’s of our youth, but especially the college educated(indoctrination in socialism schools).And the short old term quoted by John Wayne”There ain’t nothing you can do about stupid!”
But I would be remiss if we got here by benign neglect in giving grades, trophy’s ,advancement to those that did not “earn” what they got.Almost 70 million people receive some form of government assistance(that’s approx 1/3rd of our citizen’s).People believe what they they hear on social media as well as everything they see on the internet.I grew up in the rocket scientist era(50’s-60’s) I was not in that field but the longer I live I am beginning to feel like A rocket scientist!

LauraC
LauraC
5 years ago

I think we have to face the fact that socialism puts more power in the hands of fewer and fewer people. Of course the government elites are touting socialism, they have been since FDR, because it puts our fate in their hands and they love the power rush. I think the reason the colleges and universities have been so successful in this push is they have taught at least two successive generations WHAT to think instead of HOW to think and now those students can’t and don’t want to think for themselves…the government loves that because now they can just order them to let the government do their thinking for them and shut up and go along with it. In the universities the students have to shut up and go along with it or risk not graduating or being kicked out for “hate speech”. We’ve got to get the universities back on track as learning institutions rather than propaganda machines.

Wayne D Peterkin
Wayne D Peterkin
5 years ago

America’s present demonstrates why socialism won’t work also. Some students that favored socialism were asked if they would mind a reduced GPA if that reduction went to raise the GPA of students who hadn’t done as well. Every single one said “no”, that was unfair and they would not share their GPA with someone who hadn’t earned it. These indoctrinated twits don’t get that socialism sounds wonderful in theory until you have to sacrifice what you have earned so someone who hasn’t earned it can benefit. All of society benefits when people must earn what they receive. All of us lose when people are given something for nothing because that encourages poor performance meaning low to no productivity.

Morty Tupperman
Morty Tupperman
5 years ago

It is absolutely no wonder at all why younger Americans are embracing socialism – or at least the kind touted by Senator Sanders and Representative Ocasio-Cortez. How many of them can afford a house in near where they work? The price of a new automobile is in the stratosphere. Capitalism is far better than socialism but both appeal to the darker side of human nature, too. What has the CEO of Bank of America done that makes him deserve $22M in compensation? Why should all people have a “right” to healthcare? Capitalism creates one problem and socialism another. Both sides scream at each other about “greed” and “entitlement”. The Right says the Left took God out of the schools. The Right let it happen. The Left shouts about “economic justice” but abets an ever-expanding welfare state that the Right let them create. America’s youth isn’t as dumb as you think they are. They have reckoned that if socialism is the only way they’ll get some economic “breathing room” against rising prices and the compensation filthy rich CEO’s “earn” off the backs of the shrinking middle class. Shill all you want about the glories of capitalism and the evils of socialism. The kids are willing to take the risk because the American Dream bus left the station and they weren’t on it.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago

If everything is free in socialism, how do professors get paid? Do they have mortgages to pay, food to buy and clothing? Who pays for it if the college is free? If you don’t pay your mortgage, you lose your house. Oh, is that the way it works? I think I’ll take greedy Capitalism…FREEDOM AND LIBERTY.

Walter Rose
Walter Rose
5 years ago

???? If they taught CIVICS and HISTORY in schools today maybe some of these folks would understand the folly of Socialism. Also understand how the Constitution really works…

DMM
DMM
5 years ago

The Black Book of Communism, Crimes, Terror & Repression by Harvard Press should be required reading for every high school senior in this country. Stupid should hurt.

Paul W
Paul W
5 years ago

The naivety of the younger Americans (yes…plenty of older ones as well) is staggering and dangerous. Anyone so easily misled as to believe that human beings are responsible for changing the overall temperature on a planetary scale (One of the biggest scams ever played on the world) can be fooled into thinking that something as catastrophic as socialism can work. Never has, never will. It’s very premise is self-defeating. It’s actually impossible for it to work.
People can so easily be misled and this is just another example of the left’s influence to encourage feelings over thought, while they increase their stranglehold on the populace. Critical thinkers understand the fallacy that is the sustainability of socialism. Pitiful and potentially disastrous if an entire segment of the population doesn’t wake up to reality.

afran
afran
5 years ago

Wanna-be dictator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is obsessed with equal distribution of wealth that takes away freedom and opportunity
for all but a select few like herself. Typical scenario for her gigantic ego.

HAL HOFFMAN
HAL HOFFMAN
5 years ago

We forget that Socialism was tried and failed in Plymouth Colony! The land belonged to everyone! But Only the producers worked, and the lazy sat on their duffs! So then the producers said: why should I bother, and stopped producing and they almost starved! It was not until the land was parceled out to individuals who could enjoy the fruits of their own labor, and sell or trade any excess production that the Colony thrived! (Capitalism) And the lazy soon realized that if they wanted to eat, they had to work! GEE, THAT SMARTS!!!!

Press ONE for English
Press ONE for English
5 years ago

The key points missed by most commenters and the article itself is that 1. The socialist philosophy inherently makes no sense and 2. “Progressives” have an answer to everything. And if you say “Yes but their answers make no sense” please refer to item 1 above. We can point to the fall of the Soviet Union, Venezuela, Cuba, etc etc etc to no avail, because they will all say “Yes those socialist experiments were/are failures, but not because of any inherent flaw in the concept itself but because the capitalists meddled and destroyed them.” How ya gonna argue with such nonsense? Think of it this way. If I bake a normal person a cake, a beautiful four layer chocolate cake at that, they will be thankful for our kindness, our generosity, and our cake baking skills. If you bake a progressive a cake, he/she will first off say, “If you’d worked harder, you could have baked me TWO cakes!” Then they will tear the cake apart verbally, complaining that the flour, sugar and fat in the cake are in violation of the obama food guidelines, then how farming harms the environment, how workers were exploited in the flour mills, etc. then end by accusing us of trying to poison them and destroy the planet. Remember, the most stupid among us are truly invincible in a progressive society, or at least they are until the takeover is complete, at which time they will be the first to be dumped into work camps.

And a minor gripe: the otherwise great article mentions “means-tested” programs. Means-tested sounds benign but let’s call it what it is: DISCRIMINATORY.

Deb Day
Deb Day
5 years ago

Wasn’t Jamestown, our original colony, at first a commune of socialist order? If my history lesson serves my memory, at first they decided to pool all their resources to get through the winters. Didn’t work then either. Many used excuses to not work, those who toiled the hardest watched what they produced be taken by the layabouts. Only when they embraced self-reliance did they prosper. Huh. I guess they don’t teach that in school anymore either. But then, I was lucky, I got the bulk of my public education before the feds took over.

Carol Bradley
Carol Bradley
5 years ago

This is bull crap. No wonder this appeals to young people because they don’t want to work. This is a very scary situation. Hopefully, this will go no further. This is communism in the simplest form. We are raising a nation that do not want to work. Very sad.

merri
merri
5 years ago

I would like to see a wide publication of the taxes paid percentage-wise in a country like Finland and other countries that provide health care and a free education vs our country where democracy rules (for now).

chaly
chaly
5 years ago

This problem of socialism begins in school. Kids either don’t study past war times enough to really understand them and what caused them. We also have to many socialist teachers and I worry about my great-grandchildren’s education. The stuff some teachers get away with today is disheartening but we can’t expect children to get everything in school because there are so many ways of getting your ‘education’. We hear a lot about children being bullied in school but the schools I am familiar with don’t seem to take it serious enough. My precious little grandson, who is small for his age, had a teacher last year who was an x-marine (if there is such a thing) and now in the reserves and he gave my boy a lot of respect for his country and his concern for others. I was short for my age too and I told him the way I learned to deal with that was to get big friends. It seems to be working for him also!

John
John
5 years ago

We need to get down to the elementary schools and start educating our youth instead of continuing to let left lie and brain wash them. That’s how we got into this mess in the first place. In our higher halls of education we need to balance the scales to give our youth both sides of the argument. As it stands nothing will change until we change it. I was hoping Ms Devos would start right away but so far I’ve heard nothing.

Rick
Rick
5 years ago

Much of the problem is due to not teaching history. If you don’t know where you have been, it’s hard to figure out
where your going.

Dean Eickman
Dean Eickman
5 years ago

Socialism is for the land of the lazy and really a lot of the people in AMERICA are not lazy,BUT,there are still slugs that know how to work AMERICAS welfare system,there is a big gap between need and want.

john s nunan
john s nunan
5 years ago

the truth is young people have no idea how socialism vs capitalism works. history is the best way to learn about both. ask the people of china, russia, cuba, venezuala, about what choices the y have in everyday life, school choice, doctor choice, jobs, bettering there life free elections ETC ETC………..

john s nunan
john s nunan
5 years ago

the only reason dems are promoting free stuff is to get reelected period. free stuff is great as long as someone else is paying.what do we do when we run out of people working and paying taxes ????

Dee
Dee
5 years ago

We know Socialism won’t do what they claim it will. More people will suffer and suffer badly. these people who push this don’t really care about those who need the help, they want POWER and MONEY. We want Freedom that so many have fought for. Other countries have had uprisings to try for our Freedoms in their countries. What we need to do in protect the American citizens, the homeless, the children, the Seniors, the Veterans. We have Democrats who want all the illegals to come in and then vote for them even w/o citizenship. Venezuela elections promised a flourishing nation if they went Socialist. What happened? Power and Greed and even though a new person was elected, the old socialist won’t leave. He has an army protecting him. the people who had jobs and homes and some income now have nothing. it was all taken away. They are not free to voice their concerns. dictatorship/ Communism/Socialism’/Fascism. all the same thing. We live in a global world but each nation has their own rules, own government, own jobs and resources and we all have are own languages and customs. America fought many wars for the Freedoms our Constitution gives us. These laws aren’t being respected any more. Where is patriotism.?? Where is honor and respect today??

Gail Coury
Gail Coury
5 years ago

When I was in my late teens early twenty’s I too was liberal and then reality set in ? however, our schools at that time were all about the greatness of America. Hopefully young people today will see the light as they mature!

Helen Oakley
Helen Oakley
5 years ago

One can only hope: when these people are gainfully employed and taxed, they will begin to see the light…if we can hold on past the Bernie folks!

Todd Wingard Taylor
Todd Wingard Taylor
5 years ago

I can honestly say we need to do a better job teaching student genuine, none politically charged, without bias, history and its implications; history has been highjacked by the liberals. History should be used to guide our future responses, responsibilities and personal decisions. The FACTS of history should determine a better course of action for our Nation and its people. Federal and State scores on history exams do not measure personal application; isn’t that the objective of education is personal application? Isn’t that the true test you learned something because you value and use it? We have, in my opinion, devalued the facts; we have taken history, such as for example the history of Socialism, and placed a spin on it that is so “attractive” to today’s youth. This manipulation of the facts is being used by the liberal left to set a clear agenda. The liberals are using the ignorance of today’s youth to fuel their objectives. This agenda, if you look at the facts, leads to the destruction of a country and its people except for the wealthy liberal left; look at what is happening to Venezuela or Socialism in China, Russian and Cuba. We, the people, must have our hands on the pulse of the reality of history. But our youths’ faces are buried in their cellphones playing games and taking selfies. Education is devalued in Socialism; simply because education poses a threat to those in power, to those who think counter to such a movement. Education gives the power to the people; isn’t that how our nation derives its power; “We the People”? Socialist are touting “Free this, free that,” lets redistribute the wealth; everyone can have a piece of the pie; this is a lie! Who would not want something for what they did not work for? What happened to the old American work ethic? Where is that being taught? Wanting something for nothing is human nature; we call this attitude lazy and entitled. When we become an entitled nation we simply fall apart because no one wants to pull their weight. Americans can value personal pleasure, comfort over responsibility. Let’s remember Rome in its decadent decline; our nation is ripe for a takeover; our Constitution will fall if we the people do not stand. Money is not the great equalizer, it does not guarantee “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” rather unencumbered, unmanipulated, taught without an agenda education. We must go back and revamp, challenge the way history is being taught in K-through college. We must challenge those in academia to set aside their personal bias, agendas and let students weigh the facts; to think for themselves. We must present ALL the facts and let each individual weigh them as they see fit. We must teach ALL of history (including the Judeo-Christian influence on this nation) and allow our youth to learn, to take historical facts and think for themselves. We must reteach civil discourse; learning to listen, speak and weigh the facts like an adult. They must find their own position in history.

Roy
Roy
5 years ago

NAZI Germany killed 40 million people, mostly Germans.
Stalins Russia killed about 50 million people, modtly Russians.
Mao’s China killed about 60 milligrams n people, mostly Chinese.
For religeous, ethnic or political reasons, by their own government
And all were SOCIALISTS.

Roy
Roy
5 years ago

Socialism has never been sucessful
Anywhere in the world
In all of human history.

Ken White
Ken White
5 years ago

This is the “no winner’s no loser’s, everyone gets a trophy generation ” coming of age. The left has taken over education and indoctrinated the youth for the last 20 or more years.

Patricia
Patricia
5 years ago

A.O.C is absolutely nuts and needs and should seek a shrink…and soon.

Patricia
Patricia
5 years ago

The dems and/or liberals should go to a socialistic country where they can live REAL socialism. Once there they can feel firsthand the grasp of what they’re doing to Conservatives.

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