Sorry Bernie, Socialism Doesn’t Work

America’s Democrat Fascination with Socialism

by Kelly R. Smith

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Hungry Venezuelans queue up for food scraps after socialist government collapse.
Hungry Venezuelans queue up for food scraps after socialist government collapse.

This article was updated on 10/09/20.

Bernie Sanders was a strong contender for the Democrat party nomination during the last presidential election. In fact, there is much (well-deserved) speculation that he only got edged out by Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s dirty tricks.

Bernie’s issue with middle America was that he is a Democratic Socialist. Most folks in flyover country don’t want free stuff; they want jobs. Of course the youth want free college and forgiveness of student loans but for those of us that actually have to foot the bills, that is not such a promising prospect. In what world does it make sense to fund someone else’s children’s higher education? K-12 is one thing; that is good for society at large, but college? No.

Bernie Sanders is not alone in his desire to control every aspect of our lives and sweep the Constitution away like so much rubbish. Upstart first-term congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) is busy making waves. Her antics and lack of knowledge about all things economic and otherwise are beginning to rankle even her fellow Democrats. The first term is supposed to be about learning from established colleagues but she will have none of it.

Her outlandish ideas are exemplified by her proposed “Green New Deal” which aims to allow the government to regulate bovine flatulence (cow farts), eliminating air travel (although she doesn’t mind using it herself), and a government-enforced retrofit to her green standards of all buildings across the country. That’s right; the property owner doesn’t get a say. This, people, is what Democratic Socialism has in store for you.

What is Socialism?

Socialism is defined as a range of economic and social systems that are characterized by social ownership and worker’s self-management of the various means of production as well as the political theories and the movements that are associated with them.

Social ownership is a broad term. It may refer to forms of public, collective, or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity There are a number of varieties of Socialism and there exists no single definition encapsulating all of them, however, social ownership is the common thread woven throughout its various forms. The problem is human nature. Why should I work hard if most of the resulting gains are to be distributed to those less disposed to do so? The incentive is removed; society stagnates. Entrepreneurs and visionaries fade away. All that’s left is a glut of worker-bots and government central planners.

Socialism vs Capitalism

Welcome to Venezuela

A recent Foxnews report tells us that, “a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food.”

This in a country that should be enjoying riches from its oil reserves. But looking deeper there are two issues. First, and most problematic, is that Venezuela has a fondness for socialism rather than a free market.

Yes, free stuff works fine when the oil is flowing but basing your economy on just one commodity is dangerous, nay, it is suicidal. The problem with their oil, as abundant as it is, is that it is extremely sour crude. This simply means that the sulfur content is so high that hardly any refineries will process it. It just costs too much to refine and the extracted sulfur itself is dangerous and difficult to dispose of.

It’s Simple Economics

It is no secret that the market today is flush with sweeter crude due to shale sands, fracking, and other technologies. So why import and refine Venezuelan crude at higher prices? The issue will only get worse since President Trump approved the Keystone Pipeline. There is no prospect for any improvement for the common Venezuelan citizen. People will starve and medical care will stay on its downward spiral.

So there you have it. Socialism, a reclusive and closed country, a reluctance to develop agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism; it is simply a recipe for disaster. The common people suffer. We see it not only in Venezuela but also in countries such as North Korea. Socialism has only worked in one place as far as I know. That would be the Panama Canal Zone before President Carter gave it away. Ironically, it was a federal agency run by that bastion of free enterprise, the USA. So yes Bernie, you were wrong from the get-go.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” — Winston Churchill

But the problem is that Bernie is a Utopian. He sincerely believes socialism is the way to “govern” society. Here’s his take in his own words:

Bernie wants to mold America after the (former) Soviet Union and the impoverished Cuba. Both are failed states, which is a fact that he will not acknowledge. Democratic Socialism in America would be no different.

How Socialism Destroys Societies

By its very nature socialism destroys society; no intent is needed. This has been proven over and over. Unfortunately, zealots such as Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and AOC always say they can make it work. The fact is that it is all a mad thirst for power and riches. The previous attempts just didn’t do it the way Karl Marx envisioned it. But, history has proven that…

  • It destroys economic growth. It penalizes success and rewards failure. When the government confiscates money from successful people and redistributes it to the less successful, the successful have no incentive to build businesses and create jobs. Why should they? Just look at Greece today. Once socialism bottomed them out, rather than rethink their economic system, they simply turned to the European Union to keep them afloat. An entire country asking for redistribution from the EU. That might be called macro-socialism.
  • Free speech goes out the door. Just look at the extreme speech codes in Canada. Speak out against the government in China and you are going to jail. Socialist governments can’t abide honest, informed debate about its merits between citizens (or, comrades if you will) who are free to choose or reject it. So they stifle it with regulation.

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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

4 Replies to “Sorry Bernie, Socialism Doesn’t Work”

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