Why Socialism Will Never End Poverty

Forget for a moment, that we have documented attempts throughout history how a Socialist society doesn’t work.  I’m sure there are scholars that can give lofty explanations.  But I’d like to put it in layman’s terms so the current welfare recipients can understand.  Socialism will never end poverty.  It will never “level the playing field”, and it will kill personal incentive.

First, before I am accused as being uncompassionate, I want to mention that 14 years ago, I was on food-stamps and welfare.  This was due to a life changing accident…   Anyway, I have personal, first hand knowledge of what it’s like to be a welfare recipient.  I also have knowledge of dealing with the bureaucracy of those federal and state agencies, as well as the attitudes of my fellow recipients.  I will tell you upfront, it sucked, and I couldn’t wait to get the hell off these services and to get some dignity back.  But I was an exception.  Many have no intention of every getting off these entitlements. The redistribution of wealth through entitled programs can never equate to a prosperous society.  Incentives are great motivators, free stuff is not.  Thomas Edison said: “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.”

I believe I used the system as it was intended: to give TEMPORARY assistance to those who need help getting on their feet.  That being said, I have never been back on it.  I went back to college, own a business and became a landlord.

Here is why Socialism won’t work:

Rule #1 — What is “fair” is never defined.

It may start off as well intentioned and compassionate, but demanding that the less fortunate get what the “rich” have by wealth distribution through social entitlement programs is a pipeline that keeps widening.  It may start by allowing “less fortunate” to have a housing subsidy, and food stamp card or a welfare check, but the recipients don’t use the help to better themselves to get off of these programs.  “Free Stuff” births complacency.  I’ve personally heard (without shame) a statement such as “I can’t get a job, I’ll lose my benefits”.  The entire point of what these benefits were intended for is lost in seeking personal consumption.  Because “fair” is never defined it cannot be measured.  If it cannot be measured, it cannot be determined if one individual has already received enough total compensation to have raised them to a standard of living that would be “fair”.  Hence the pipeline of free stuff continues.

Rule #2 —  Who is “Less Fortunate” is never defined.

The “Less Fortunate” is generally described as poor, or having less than others.
It may be measured in terms of income per year, but the condition of being poor is never questioned.  One would be labeled racist, or other condemning slurs if one inquired about the circumstances that led to this destitute situation.  Was this a temporary situation caused by an incoming-halting injury?  Was this because the recipients are uneducated and without trade skills?   Could vocational training help the situation?  Why can’t we ask these things?  We just seem to shell out the money with no stipulation to improve oneself to be self-sufficient.   Should the “less fortunate” have a 52″ flat screen?  Will that make the quality of life “fair”?   We will never know because we cannot ask. And the worst part is if we do ask, or set conditions for receiving benefits, like a timeframe, we are uncompassionate haters.

Rule #3 — Free Stuff Disincentivizes

There is no incentive to go to school, learn a trade, become an educated member of the workforce, when you can exist just fine and not have to get off your couch.  People would rather make less than what they could command in a paycheck, just not to have to do anything.  It’s a selfish cycle, but if you could exist and watch Operation Repo all day, why not?

Rule #4 –  People Who Have No Money, Don’t Know How to Manage It Once They Get It.

We’ve heard tragic stories about lottery winners who had sudden wealth ruin their lives.  It is the same for “free stuff” recipients.  There is no appreciation for the benefit when it contains no input or effort on their part.  Suddenly, those steaks that you can buy with the food-stamp card are no longer a gift from God.  You are entitled to it, because everyone else can have it.  Instead of setting some money aside to handle unexpected expenses, the money is spent as soon as the benefit is funded, because there will always be next month’s check, right?

I worked in the non-standard insurance industry.  (That’s insurance for high risk drivers, one’s with poor credit and accidents).  Many times I heard that they couldn’t pay their bill except just after the 3rd of the month, when the welfare/disability check came it.  There was no such thing as setting aside money.  One may argue that they are poor, so they have no money to set aside.  But we can always find them in the convenience stores purchasing lottery tickets, cigarettes and beer (discretionary spending that could be saved).

Unless the recipients of “free stuff” are taught how to manage money, they will always have their hand out, because they will always be poor.

Rule #5 — Sub-Prime Credit and Advertising Has an Impact on Consumption

Troy Aikman and Hulk Hogan are millionaires, but they advertise for Rent-A-Center, a “no credit needed” store financing household items.  Celebrity endorsements are enticing, yet using a “no credit needed” option is not going to get anyone the wealth of Troy Aikman.  Only people that have such lousy credit they can’t get a credit card, “buy” items from these establishments.

The term length on many items is 30 months, but the payments are bi-weekly.  So if you pay $29 every 2 weeks for 30 months for a 52 inch flat screen, you will have paid a total $1,740 for a TV that costs roughly $900 if you bought it outright.

So the message of: “You can have stuff with no credit”, is an expensive falsehood.  We should ask why people have no credit in the first place.  Is it just a bad circumstance (medical bill, job lay off), or is the advertising captivating those “less fortunates” into over indulgence. It used to be that if you didn’t have the money or the credit, you couldn’t buy the item, period.  I’m not sure when that became uncompassionate.  It’s called a consequence.  The inability to pay back debt and the lack of understanding of compound interest is a thick trap for the uninformed.

So the cycle is:

a)- To be compassionate the less fortunate should have free stuff.

b)- It’s racists to ask the less fortunate the root cause of their less fortunate status.

c)- Once receiving free stuff, why work or improve one’s ability to get a good job?

d)-They are still living “check-to-check” and don’t have a concept of money management.

e)-They have no discipline to say “no” to over indulgence, and advertising , including “no credit” options, are promoting consumption.

This is why we will all be rats on the wheel paying for other people’s stuff, and Socialism will never end poverty.