By Sal Bommarito
In Iowa, Bernie Sanders was ordained a legitimate presidential candidate yesterday. His mandate doesn’t represent a statistically significant sample of Americans. Iowa has less than 1% of the nation’s population and less than 10% of its citizens actually caucus. Yet, it’s time to consider what a Sanders’ presidency would mean to America in the long-term.
Sanders is a socialist. Many books have been written comparing socialism to capitalism. I wouldn’t dream of trying to summarize the perspectives of great leaders and economists about the implications of abandoning capitalism for socialism. Nevertheless, a summary of what a socialistic president might set into motions is worthy to consider.
A determined and calculating socialist always uses inequality as his or her principle talking point. After all, in America, there is great inequality between the most affluent (1% of the population) and everybody else (the remaining 99%). This disparity creates great angst for some of the have-nots, especially when politicians drive the concept home at every opportunity. Often, this dubious political ploy encourages class warfare and calls for revolution.
The masses feel that the affluent are a protected class of people, who have what they have because they were lucky to be born into a wealthy family. Informed people know that this assessment is untrue, as the great majority of current personal fortunes have been self-made. These people work hard and enjoy the fruits of their labor much to the chagrin of others.
Socialists demand equality. Personal property, if you have little of it, is considered something that only the affluent enjoys. The ownership of the finer things in life, along with a fat bank and investment account, distinguish the 1% from the 99%. These resources supposedly enable the affluent to exercise undue influence over the government, which effectively protects their elevated status.
Socialists fail to mention that most socialist experiments have been abject failures. For one thing, totalitarian leadership usually accompanies socialism. Government forcibly ensures that no member of society has too much. There are democratic, socialistic countries, but they are few and far between.
The greatest socialistic failures include: the Soviet Union, China, Greece, Cuba, Haiti, several Eastern European countries, numerous African countries, etc. Of particular importance, China has slowly gravitated towards capitalism.
Being the same as everyone else is not a comforting thought unless most others have a better life than you. But, people around the world who work hard and are ambitious usually become disenchanted with the early and over-exaggerated benefits of socialism, especially when they observe American society, which has for nearly 250 years prospered as a capitalistic country.
So, what would America be like if it was more socialistic? For one thing, the assets of the affluent and the upper middle class would be absconded through some form of taxation and swallowed up by the government. The latter would then use the money to benefit everyone, supposedly.
After an extended period of time, Americans would live in houses that were all similar. We would go to public schools; private schools and tuition universities would no longer exist. Point zero, zero one percent of the population would manage others for no additional compensation. Everyone would start at the same salary, which would increase with inflation every year. There would be no such concept as performance compensation.
The government would suck in all the money not used to pay wages just above a minimum standard. The funds would be allocated to education, health care, food and security. No longer would any federal activities benefit by privatization, economy or ingenuity.
The stock market would no longer exist, nor would schools of higher learning, nor restaurants. Americans would eat modestly at home every day.
You get the point.
This process would take generations to implement, so we will be able to enjoy our assets for a period of time until the government over-taxes our hard earned money.
Do you really want to set this in motion by electing Sanders?
Consider the following quote: “Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.”