Business News for the Mississippi Delta

The Siren Call

By Jamie Smith

Much like the Sirens who lured ships onto the rocks in Homer’s Odyssey, the political philosophy of socialism is almost irresistible. As the ships were wrecked, so too are countries that go down the road to socialism. The history of the world is replete with the failed attempts to implement such an economic system, but as has been said, those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. That’s why Bernie Sanders’ popularity among the young is very high.

Give Senator Sanders this—he’s honest about his socialism. His view is that of a utopian society in which everyone has an equal outcome—a well-paying job, free health care, free education, free housing, and so on. The evil greedy rich people or the evil greedy corporations will be forced to pay for it all. Boiled down, socialism is really about the transfer of wealth from those who have it to those who don’t so that everyone is equal. The children’s book The Rainbow Fish is a perfect example of this (and of early age socialist indoctrination). This is why you see (up north) children’s activities with no scoring and everyone getting trophies.

The unfortunate reality is that having a planned economy never really works—the middle class evaporates, and a very small elite become very well off by controlling the rest. Having a centrally-planned economy ends up relying on force to make the population comply. By the time the people realize that they’ve fallen prey to the siren call, it’s too late. Orwell’s Animal Farm is a good primer on this—how under socialism everyone is equal, just a few people are ‘more equal’ than others.

Let’s use LeBron James as a case study. He’s a very wealthy basketball player, and obviously a winner at life’s lottery, which is unfair to those of us that can’t jump. Let’s say he’s going to throw a party, and blow $100,000 on it. Once again, unfair (since we won’t be invited) and a waste of money that could be put to better uses according to us, the intelligentsia. So we will get the voters to go along with taxing Mr. James by appealing to their jealousy, and distribute that out (paying for the votes), and 100,000 people get $1.00 each. That’s fair because we say it is. Did it help anyone really? No. Did it hurt Mr. James? Only in that he didn’t get to have his party. But the caterers, entertainers, cleaners and party planners all didn’t get the work, so they indeed were harmed. Who benefits? Why, we, political elite, who got the votes and thus the power. And there it is! Socialism’s dirty little secret: it’s really about control and power, gained through the false siren calls of ‘fairness’ and ‘economic justice.’

Capitalism is based on competition and achievement. LeBron James is not envied, rather he is celebrated and emulated. He earned his money by countless hours practicing and honing his natural talent. He is the best to decide how his money should be used, whether on a party or investments or charities—it’s his money, he earned it, and when he spends it, that creates jobs for a boatload of people. The children’s book The Little Red Hen epitomizes the idea that if you work for it, you earn it and it’s yours. If you win the race, you get a blue ribbon, not some participation trophy. If you don’t, tough. Clap for the winner and go practice harder.

The American education system is dominated by leftist thought and is indoctrinating our young with the socialist mindset. If we don’t push back by talking to the younger generations about the differences in the political philosophies, then President Obama and the rest will succeed in the fundamental transformation of America. We are pretty far down the road to socialism, and the crony capitalism we are seeing is giving capitalism a bad name. It’s time to push back. Sometimes a little humor will help with a discussion, so in closing, here’s the old “two cow” explanation of the different systems:

Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.

Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then gives you some milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then sells you some milk.

Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.