I thought everyone understood the concept that stealing was wrong. But I assume too much because there are many who believe that socialism is the way to go. To me, socialism is as wrong as stealing because it is a form of stealing.
Socialism, described by socialists, sounds as if it is a compassionate and reasonable response to helping the poor. But in reality, socialism encourages ignorance, laziness and self-centredness. When people start getting free stuff, they want more free stuff. This is not to say that some people don’t need care. I also believe that charity is good. But socialism doesn’t encourage people to dream big or become better than they are. Socialism doesn’t encourage entrepreneurship, risk-taking, hard work or creativity. Capitalism does all of that and as a job-making machine, has lifted millions of people out of poverty. Wide-spread socialism gives people just enough to continue living in their rut.
Socialism gives government the power to make decisions that we should be making. Socialists want big government because, they believe, socialism will pay for all of the solutions to their problems. But socialism can’t pay for anything. Socialism doesn’t have any money. But because it needs money, socialists are as interested in money as capitalists. While capitalism generates wealth, socialism shrinks it by discouraging trade when it forces money from people who earned it and gives that money to those who didn’t earn it. Socialism is legal theft by big government.
We know from experience that big government is awkward, clumsy and inefficient — but that some government is necessary to keep the law and make the rules so that everyone plays fair. Very few people want more government, yet many want more socialism. Young voters are especially enamoured with socialism. North American surveys show that more than 50 per cent of young adults, before they have children and have to pay for stuff, prefer a socialist-political system.
They also think that capitalists are greedy. Some are. But the problem with capitalism is not capitalism, but the rise of self-centredness. And that affects socialism too. At least the rule of law and the competition for workers increases wages — and even greedy capitalists can’t escape that. Market forces, however, don’t stop self-serving, socialist-leaning governments.
The problem is not greedy capitalists but greedy government that becomes more socialist as it becomes more greedy. The more socialism we get, the more we lose. Look at it this way. Your property includes all of your hard-earned money. It’s yours. You earned it. If the average Canadian family put all of the money it earned in one year on its kitchen table and I walked in and scooped up $100, that family wouldn’t hesitate to call me a thief. But every year the average Canadian family watches as three levels of government charge in and make off with more than $34,000. The biggest expense in your life is government. Government-imposed taxes are more expensive than the combined cost of a university education, family house and vehicle.
Yes, some tax money is used for necessary things like policing, medical care and road maintenance. But left-wing, socialist-leaning governments continue to expand what they spend your money on. Did you ever consider all of the things that you pay for with your tax money that you or society never benefit from? A small group of parents and I would have volunteered to build an ice rink at Parliament Hill this winter. But since the government did it, the rink cost $8 million. Come election time, a socialist-leaning government will tell you how much more it is going to give to some people, without saying who is going to pay for it.
The Ontario Liberal government is dancing down the socialist path to perdition. It recently announced more spending to give people more free stuff. It’s a big gamble because while some people are happy with more free stuff, other people realize they will eventually have to pay for all this stuff and get more and more annoyed. Premier Kathleen Wynne compares her Liberal plan for the province to Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford’s plan to create efficiencies as a choice between “caring versus cuts.” A nice sound bite but is it accurate? Would a caring person give you “free” stuff without telling you what it’s going to cost you later? Would a caring person encourage dependency? Would a caring person overlook that you are only paying the interest monthly on your maxed-out credit card, while encouraging you to buy more stuff on credit?
Eventually too many people get ripped and ticked off. Are we there yet?
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.