The Democrats are in control of Congress and the White House now, and some folks are worried as hell that our country is becoming socialist. Meanwhile there are others who are happy as hell. They see capitalism as the root of all evil, and are looking forward to a big dose of socialism.
But I think this is all just another way that politicians pit people against each other, and in fact, pit us against our own nature. I think each and every one of us is part capitalist and part socialist, by nature.
We all respond to individual incentives, like good ol’ capitalists. Everyone has their price, and even the laziest amongst us will get up off our asses and do some work, if enough money is passed under our noses.
But we all depend upon each other also, like good ol’ socialists. I wonder how an avowed capitalist would feel if his house caught on fire, and he had to write a check to the fire department in order to get them to dowse the flames. But he doesn’t have to. Socialism saves the day, whenever taxpayer-funded firefighters keep a house from burning to the ground.
I was in the military, and that was about as socialist, or even communist as things could get. The government provided me with free meals, clothing, housing, and medical care. And I could not be laid off my job.
Nor could I quit. And that’s because, just like in a communist country, you lose a lot of individual rights when you’re in the military. You lose freedom of speech, and especially the freedom to demonstrate against your employer. You have to shut your mouth, take orders, and be part of the team, or else you can find yourself in a heap of trouble. Just like in a communist country.
And yet, look how much conservatives support our military. They claim to be against socialism, while at the same time they strongly support a communistic system.
But liberals who think we’d be better off getting rid of capitalism, have a lot to learn about human nature. People tend to become very lazy when they have no individual incentive to be productive. But rub some dollar bills together, and suddenly they’re at your command, like Aladdin spewing out of his magical lamp.
I will admit that socialism can simplify our tax forms, and make it very easy to file. If some of the more extreme Democrats in Washington have their way, here’s what our new tax form might look like:
Line 1. Enter your gross earnings for the year: $__________.
Line 2. Enter amount from line 1. This is your tax: $_________.
Line 3. Don’t worry, the government will take care of you.
Under pure socialism, I think productivity in our country would plummet. We must have capitalism, to keep us off our asses, and hard at work, with our noses to the grindstone. And yet, we must have some amount of taxation and government programs. Government programs help to keep capitalism strong. And capitalism, with the tax revenues it generates, helps to keep socialism strong. There’s a symbiotic relationship between the two.
Here’s a list of a few socialist programs we must have, in order to keep our capitalist economic system from falling apart:
Road construction and maintenance
National Weather Service
Social Security & Medicare
Wait a minute. Lawmaker salaries? I think so. The very lawmakers who denounce socialism draw large salaries and generous benefits funded by you and me, the taxpayer. So even though they may claim to be capitalists, I believe they’re also socialists.
And that means even Ronald Reagan, who railed against the evils of socialism, was himself a socialist. Or at least, part socialist.
I think we’re all a mix of capitalist and socialist, whether we want to admit it or not. I think it’s impossible to be otherwise. So I don’t listen much to politicians who try to turn us against either one. They’re being unrealistic. They’re just trying to scare the hell out of us, to get votes.
As an avowed capitalist, I support socialism. And as an avowed socialist, I support capitalism. So wake up, you mossback conservatives and bleeding-heart liberals.
See the value in both.