Socialism in America

Upon reading Steve Corbin’s opinion piece in the March 31, 2019 edition of the Times-Republican entitled Socialism in America I am again motivated to respond. His definition of socialism is not the standard definition, which is “the collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” Mr. Corbin basically defines socialism as any institution or program that has utilized government money. He lists several of what he considers positive governmental institutions and programs he believes are socialistic. And he believes socialism and capitalism can happily co-exist, an economic order some call welfare capitalism. I cannot disagree more.

Mr. Corbin once again espouses his belief that all things government are good. He advocates government money being used to “benefit society as a whole.” His social liberalism emphasizes the need for government to solve problems, requiring bigger government and bigger tax bills. His list included many entitlement programs, what many today consider rights, like health care. Dr. Ben O’Neill warns, “the notion of ‘rights’ is a mere term of entitlement, indicative of a claim for any possible desirable good, no matter how important or trivial, abstract or tangible, recent or ancient. It is merely an assertion of desire, and a declaration of intention to use the language of rights to acquire said desire. In fact, since the program of social justice inevitably involves claims of government provision of goods, paid through the efforts of others, the term actually refers to the use of force to acquire one’s desires … forcibly taking goods from those who can supply them.”

Socialistic policies require taking resources from someone who’s earned them and giving them to someone else who hasn’t. Socialism is corrupt in nature. When laws passed by Congress start taking money from someone to give to someone else the entire idea of private property is compromised. The welfare state depends on the immorality of intimidation, threat and coercion backed up with the threat of violence by government. Socialism penalizes innovation and productivity. Individuals dependent upon government lack personal initiative, personal responsibility and eventually give up their freedom. Socialism is based upon faulty principles that are not consistent with human behavior, policies that cannot nurture the human spirit.

Amusingly Mr. Corbin does voice his concern for the $22 trillion defect, the result of all those government programs he listed.