Today, a multitude of young people have very strong stances on political issues. They support particular candidates and follow those candidates’ adventures on social media. The problem arises when they don’t do any research on those candidates, their platforms, or their policies. Young people hear things like “free college” and instantly decide they like what they hear. This is completely ignorant and entirely dangerous.
Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez often throw around the term “democratic socialism.” They claim that there is a vast difference between social democracy and true socialist states. The truth is, there is a difference, but the difference does not affect the practicality or morality of democratic socialism. There are many different types of Democratic Socialism, but each one of them includes the worst thing about any social policy, redistribution. Although, some people may view it as the producers were using resources that did not belong to them in the first place, so they owe their wages and time to society. While this train of thought is not technically redistribution, the premise is essentially the same as redistribution.
The moral argument against redistribution is simple. It is theft. You can not take money from someone who works for a living and give it to someone who doesn’t. That is theft. The practical argument is also relatively simple. If I work for a living, and the government takes my money and gives it to you, someone who does not work for a living, I would have no reason to work. I can quit my job and sit at home all day, and I will still receive the same amount of money. Now put that into perspective. Assume everyone does that. Production will cease, which means there is nothing to redistribute. Everyone is of equal economic status, but that status is “dirt poor.”
When challenged about the failures of socialism, you might hear someone say, “Well, that wasn’t real socialism.” The fact remains that no matter how socialism is implemented, it includes some form of redistribution. That means it is immoral, no matter how you spin it.
Another problem with socialist policies is that it reduces potential wealth for everybody, including the poor. Even if the incentive problem is granted, there still remains the impossibility of producing more.
Overall, it is capital that allows for more efficient production and better living standards. You can not produce as much wheat without a tractor. Having a tractor is beneficial for everyone because it expands production and lowers the price of wheat by cutting down on man hours and production costs. But how does that tractor come into existence? It was not just randomly created. It was created using resources that already existed. You need money to buy those resources. You need to accumulate money and resources to be able to improve production. That is called capital accumulation. So if you tax away money and resources from people who can use them to produce new capital goods, you are reducing potential production growth. You are reducing future prosperity. Especially for workers. Capital is very significant in determining the wages of workers. A worker’s labor is not worth much when it can only produce ten bales of wheat per year. But if the entrepreneur gives him a tractor to work with, he’ll produce a lot more so his time is worth a lot more and his wage is therefore higher. Even if it is not higher monetarily, it is higher in practical terms because there is more goods at lower prices because of more efficient production. So his standard of living rises from capital accumulation. But taxation and regulation both reduce accumulating profits and therefore reduces accumulation of capital and the ability to increase production.