Opinion, Politics, U.S.

How To Explain Why Socialism Will Not Work To People Who Want Socialism

Every now and then, you might come across a person in your day-to-day life who is absolutely certain that socialism is the future for America. These individuals might be co-workers, they might be neighbors, or they may even just be a member of your family.

If you’ve ever found yourself fortunate enough to encounter one of these individuals, you might be familiar with the futility of explaining to them why socialism is a sure-fire way of destroying a nation’s economy and sending millions of citizens on an express lane to poverty or even starvation.

So, how do you explain to these people that socialism is not the answer?

You might have tried pointing to examples where socialism was implemented and the people suffered. Russia, Cuba, Greece, and Venezuela mean nothing to them because, according to them, “They didn’t do it right. When WE implement socialism in America, we’ll be sure to do it properly.”

You might have tried using phrases like,

“Socialism is robbing Peter to pay Paul.” 

“Eventually, socialism always fails because you run out of other people’s money.” 

“Socialism is entirely about equality… making everyone equally miserable.” 

But these phrases and the explanations fall on deaf ears.

You could even point out that the Free Market, in conjunction with the individual liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, have made more millionaires and billionaires than in the entire history of mankind. In fact, capitalism does so well that we are a nation that complains about the population being over-fed. We hear complaints that people are addicted to their top-of-the-line handheld gadgets and high-speed Internet.  We hear complaints about “predatory lending,” in that money is too accessible by the people. Life is so good in America that our society complains about it being too comfortable.

But this argument is ignored because your pro-socialist acquaintance will likely see capitalism as the root of all evil and greed.

How then do you convince them that socialism will not work? What’s the solution?

It’s simple. If you are comfortable that they are capable of having a calm and rational conversation, run them through the following thought process:

Begin by asking them how they think socialism will work. Step by step, ask them to explain what the perfect system of socialism would look like. Ask them these questions:

  1. What percentage should the federal government tax its citizens and its corporations? They will likely never have thought about this question, but whatever their answer is, don’t address the percentage they come up with, continue with this line of questioning. 
  2. Who decides how that money is spent? They will likely say something along the lines of “Congress,” “the Federal Government,” or “politicians.” 
  3. Ask them if there is a single politician that you would completely trust to do the right thing with your money if you granted them full access to your pay checks or bank account. You will likely get one of two answers. They will tell you that they wouldn’t trust any politician with access to your money, or, if they support socialism, they might say that they would trust Alexandria Ocasio Cortez or Bernie Sanders. If they actually say they would support the latter, it’s likely they are also suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Ask them if they would trust someone like Donald Trump with complete access to their accounts or paychecks. A look of horror should cross their faces. 
  4. Explain to them that, in socialism, you are granting more power and trust in the State. That means the politicians that they do not support. They may be big fans of AOC, Bernie Sanders, or even Hillary Clinton, but they have to keep in mind that the reigns of power changes hands quite often in America. You might like having certain people in charge of your life, but remember that those people are only in their positions temporarily. 

This might just be the most useful tool in arguing with a supporter of socialism. Instead of explaining to them why it can never work, try the tactic of having them imagine what it will look like. It’s not just free health care, free education, free housing, free food, and a minimum income. There is much more to it and the primary focus should be whether or not they would trust anybody who gets elected with that much power.


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