The understanding that capitalism is the superior economic system only lasted for about 25 years after the Cold War ended.
Bernie Sanders’ popularity in the 2016 election shows that the left tolerates, and often celebrates, socialism over capitalism.
This trend is especially evident with millennials. In April 2016, 55% of millennials held a favorable view of Bernie Sanders.
Additionally, according to a Pew Research poll, 18-29-year-olds have a more negative view of capitalism than a positive one, 47% to 46%. With regards to socialism, 49% think it is positive, and only 43% view it negatively.
While Sanders claims that socialism is the key to a perfect society, it’s essential to explain the truth, that socialism isn’t fair.
What is socialism?
The data about the growing support for socialism pairs nicely with the following video released by Campus Reform.
The college students all think socialism is a great idea for America. They can’t necessarily define socialism, they just know it’s fairer than capitalism.
Let’s define it for them. Socialism is “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”
The “means of production, distribution, and exchange” means all businesses. This includes everything from farms, factories, and grocery stores, to banks and fortune 500 companies.
“Owned or regulated by the community as a whole” means a democratic government controls these businesses.
Why Socialism Isn’t Fair
In order for the government to control all means of production, they must take it from the people who currently control it.
This means all current business owners have to turn over their businesses to government control. Not just large corporations that Bernie cries are evil, but small businesses and family farms as well.
People who have spent their own time, and risked their own savings to create a business that benefits society would have everything taken from them in the name of “fairness.”
Last time I checked, forcibly taking someone’s things without permission was considered stealing. If it’s illegal for people to steal each other’s things, why is it okay for the government to do it?
This is in comparison with capitalism, a system in which all transactions are voluntary. Business owners are only successful because they provide a good or service others willingly pay for. Nobody is forced to buy or sell anything. Both parties have to agree to any deal. What could be fairer than that?
What About Inequality?
Proponents of socialism typically use income inequality as the benchmark for fairness. This is faulty because it focuses on the percentage of “the economic pie” someone has and ignores the size of “the pie.” When we grow the pie itself, the size of the slices grows, even when the percentage doesn’t.
Nothing makes this more obvious than looking at socialist Venezuela. According to Bernie Sanders, “the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela, and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today.”
Venezuela in 2016 had 720% inflation (expected to grow in 2017), and -10% GDP growth. The government fixes prices of goods below the cost of production, causing people to stop producing them. Things like toilet paper are nearly nonexistent in the country. The citizens have an equal piece of the pie, except the pie is nearly nonexistent.
Venezuelans may not be able to afford luxuries like toilet paper or medicine, but hey, at least they’re equal!
Socialism requires the government taking businesses from the people who own them. Additionally, it incorrectly promotes income equality, even if that doesn’t account for the overall well-being of the citizens. A system that promotes government stealing from its citizens cannot claim any moral superiority.
Voluntary exchanges of goods and services are fair. Keeping more of what you earn from your own work is fair. Sorry, millennials, but regardless of what Bernie says, socialism isn’t fair.