Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Socialism’s Bloody History

Socialism and communism both involve ceding to the state control over the distribution of goods and services for the masses. This involves giving up individual rights, and giving the state a good measure of control over our personal lives. This road always leads to tyranny, no matter what you pave it with, and no matter what you name it. 
Socialism requires a power clique—or, as Lenin put it, an elite “vanguard”—in order to pretend to function. This means going heavy on executive power and rubber-stamp light on the legislative. Socialism demands that we place blind trust in whoever takes the reins of power to distribute society’s goods and services. This tiny elite, by the way, typically enjoys enormous privileges and a much higher standard of living than the hoi polloi, simply by being a part of the elite “nomenklatura.” (Read more.)
Here are the steps from socialism to societal breakdown:
Step 1. Massive Government Spending. Socialist states have government at the center of their economies and feature enormous spending programs. In early 1990s Sweden often cited as a socialist state, government spending exceeded 70 percent of its economy.  Under President Jefferson, government spending was approximately 2 to 3 percent of the economy. Today, we are at 36 percent. Sweden, now walking away from socialism, has reduced its spending share to just over 50 percent. Government education, retirement, and medical care -- nearly cradle to grave spending -- are three cornerstones of future socialist states. Obama once said you can create a governing majority of those dependent on government. Elizabeth Warren is now promoting “universal child care,” which would extend that dependence.

Step 2. Massive Tax Systems that Reduce Incentives. Increased tax burdens go hand-in-hand with spending.  Throughout history, tax systems start out simple and wind up complex and burdensome.
By the end of Rome’s socialism under Diocletian, according to the historian Will Durant, taxation “rose to such heights that men lost the incentive to work or earn, and an erosive context began between lawyers finding devices to evade taxes and lawyers formulating laws to prevent evasion,” which led Romans to flee, seeking “refuge among the barbarians.” We have a tax code so complicated and long that few can do their own taxes. Not satisfied, politicians threaten massive income tax hikes, wealth tax confiscation and penalties for those who want to leave the country.

 Step 3.  Reduced Growth Leading to Economic Stagnation. Over the last 20 years, the European Union, which featured socialist and semi-socialist states, had almost zero economic growth.  Over the last 60 years, while our governments grew to 36 percent of the economy and imposed trillions in regulation, our growth slipped from an average of 4 percent to 2 percent.

Step 4. Deficits. In semi-socialist Greece, once on the brink of being a failed state, government debt, as a percentage of the economy, is nearly 180 percent. That would be like you having credit card debt nearly double your income.  In the U.S., that debt ratio has exploded in the last decade, rising to nearly 106 percent.

Step 5. Governments Print Money. Undeterred by deficits or debt, governments print money to pay for programs. Inflation is the result of governments increasing the money supply beyond the needs of economic growth. In socialist Venezuela, inflation is expected to be at least one million percent in 2019. In other words, its money isn’t worth the paper on which it’s printed.

Step 6. Government Fixes Prices and Declares When Goods Can be Sold. Diocletian set wage and price controls for socialist Rome.  In Venezuela, people can only shop on certain days and shopping malls can only be open two days a week. Free of that today, in the 1970s, we had gas rationing and double-digit inflation. (Read more.)

From The American Spectator:
You will never find grace with the left. You will never find forgiveness with the left. Only endless guilt, recriminations, acts of penance, indulgences, and repressed self-loathing. There’s one place left in the world where you can find mercy. It’s called the Christian church. (Make sure you inquire at a traditional or biblical church — not the mainline kind where they’ve traded their freedom for slavery to cultural fashion.) All your life you’ve been told that traditional Christians are scolds and hypocrites, dispensing scarlet letters left and right and pointing bony fingers at sinners. In fact, we’re the last refuge of mercy in today’s world. We don’t care what you used to be — the worse you used to be, the more we’ll celebrate your changed life. Redemption is what we’re all about. That accounts, by the way, for the fact, which leftists find incomprehensible, that we can appreciate the good things the current president does without obsessing on his past sins. Leftists don’t see how we can forgive, being incapable of forgiveness themselves. (Read more.)

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