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Ignorance of History Equals Socialism

19 Feb 2020
Photo Credit Uncommon Sense

By Frederick James 

February 19, 2020

“For decades now, progressives have been situationally leveraging terms and concepts like "diversity," "fairness," and "equality" to iconoclastically chip away at the stained glass windows of American Exceptionalism out of varying degrees of envy and spite, but without a full-throated idea of where things were going beyond that. That's the chaos theory come to life, that is post-modernism. Bernie Sanders knew. He knew all too well. Because sooner or later a generation would be born into that fraud whose entire sense of justice would be born not of whatever remained of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but of moral anarchy and wealth redistribution.” Steve Deace from the Blaze.

Enemies of American Historical Traditions

The Election of 2020 is upon us and the forces of Socialism have come onto the political scenery of American politics once again. Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Pramila Jayapal, Al Green, and Mazie Hirono along with many others in Congress and across the country have embraced a political philosophy that for decades in the twentieth century caused murder, social upheaval, world war, regional war and economic hardships for millions across the globe. From Eugene Debs in the 1920’s, leaders in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s to Bernie Sanders today, Socialism forces stand as nothing new in the US.

Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute writes, “The choice of economic and political institutions is crucial in an imperfect universe with imperfect beings and limited resources. In a world of scarcity, it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between imperfect capitalism and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth-producing economic system available.

Historical examples of the failures of Socialism have manifested in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, the old Soviet Union, and Vietnam. Today young college students in the US embrace the ideas of a socialist society because of curriculums which brainwash, through their progressive liberal professors, who in reality want to see the downfall of our economic system of capitalism. The system of capitalism practiced in the US has not been a pure capitalism. Elements of Socialism have been created in the US through Social Security, public schools, and Medicaid, but the achievements and innovations of US capitalism have outweighed Socialist states. Elements of technology, mass production, higher education, farming, retail stores, entertainment industries, transportation systems, military equipment, and engineering have all excelled through the premise of private ownership of capital. 

Photo Credit Crony Capitalism

Socialism v. Capitalism

Socialism ignores the economic idea of incentives. Under capitalism, owners and workers have strong incentives to work hard, increase effectiveness, and produce quality products. By rewarding ingenuity and innovation, the market optimizes economic growth and individual prosperity while providing a variety of goods for consumers.

Perry says, “The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.”

Prices under capitalism are a distinctive guide to consumers and producers. When prices go up consumers adapt to the pricing by changing their economic behaviors. For example when gas prices rise consumers may drive less or purchase a more fuel efficient car. Producers are able to research for ways of offering more fuel efficient vehicles to the consumer. 

Profit and loss systems under capitalism enable strong businesses to succeed  through the sheer reality of profit. Profit says that a business model is succeeding through satisfying the wants and needs of the consumer with efficiency and quality goods and services.  

The concept of private property is another factor which drives incentives under capitalism. When property is privately owned there is economic motivation to take care of it, especially, when the property is used for business purposes. With public property there is a tendency towards carelessness. There is what is called a “tragedy of the commons” where there is no incentives to take care of the means of production. This is an inherit element of socialism.

According to Perry of the AEI, “Without the incentives of market prices, profit-and-loss accounting, and well-defined property rights, socialist economies stagnate and wither. The economic atrophy that occurs under socialism is a direct consequence of its neglect of economic incentives.”

Conflict Over Production

Read and study of the economic disasters of the USSR 1917 to 1991 and the Eastern European satellite countries after World War II. Lack of consumer choice, lack of economic competition, low quality work, and lack of any incentives caused misery for millions of people. On top of those factors there was collectivism and central commands by the government in conflicts over production whether it be guns or butter.

The lack of interest of young people in the study of History which compares the systems of economics along with the causes and effects of these systems coupled with the pure efforts of Math and Science education over History education has left a great gap in the soul of US citizens. The core economic and political philosophies of the US have been relegated to an inferior position among future leaders in this republic. The “easy life” promoted by Hollywood culture and the pursuit of pleasure over the drive for ingenuity as led to Sanders’ support. 

Middle class wake-up and protest.

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Frederick A. James