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How to prevent loved ones from falling for the trap of liking socialism

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How to prevent loved ones from falling for the trap of liking socialism

If you’d asked me three years ago whether most Americans would be duped into buying into the tenets of socialism, I would have said it was unlikely. If you’d said they would start embracing socialist principles even without the subterfuge of calling it something else, I would have thought it nearly impossible in our lifetimes.

I was very wrong. It isn’t just a handful of socialist ideas that are gaining in popularity. The entire notion of “leveling the playing field” by dramatically increasing taxes against rich people and large corporation has started spreading like a logic-free intellectual plague that abandons mathematics, history, and common sense. This can all be attributed to one thing: the numbers associated with government programs are too high for people to grasp, and therefore the “unlimited” wealth of the rich which is equally unfathomable to most  has to be an appropriate solution. Otherwise, people like Senator Bernie Sanders or Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wouldn’t be promoting it.

But as I wrote recently, this isn’t without recourse. It’s possible to wake people up to the realities of the ideas they’re starting to support. Asking two questions often does the trick.

  1. Do you trust the government to efficiently run programs and handle money wisely? (the answer is almost always, “no”)
  2. If not, why do you embrace an ideology that calls for more government programs and giving the government much more money to squander?

Keep in mind, this is just a conversation starter. It’s usually not enough to break people from the spell that socialism is casting upon the hearts and minds of otherwise thoughtful Americans. The delusion that clouds their judgment is based on poor math. Therefore, we need to explain the math to them in ways they understand.

For example:

We need to be ready with facts. Most people have a hard time distinguishing between million and billion, then billion and trillion. Perhaps this would help:

If you made a dollar per second, you’d have a million dollars in 11 and a half days. To get to a billion dollars would take nearly 32 years. To make a trillion dollars, you’d need a dollar per second for 31,710 years.

Arguably the best evidence that capitalism is superior to socialism is history. We can argue all we want about which way is right or wrong, but what cannot be denied is that capitalism has proven to be successful while socialism has failed every time. If you take away the incentive for large corporations to exist or for rich people to invest in America, you take away the foundations upon which people can have jobs and make enough money to live their lives fully. Socialism only exists successfully in an ideological vacuum that requires those who can get rich to continue their activities without the hope that they’ll be able to keep the money they make.

With socialism, it becomes more profitable to do less than more. This may seem like an appealing idea, but once the benefactors driving socialistic principles dry up or move on, we’re left with a bunch of people doing nothing but suffering equally.

 


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Economy

PragerU: Is Denmark socialist?

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Is Denmark socialist

Not too long ago, many socialist, including presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, thought the model of the future for America was Venezuela. They saw the prosperity that the oil-rich nation was enjoying in its early days of socialism and said, “That’s us. That’s where America needs to be.”

Fast forward to today and suddenly every socialist is disavowing Venezuela altogether, claiming that the model of America was never really the model they thought it was and it’s not even real socialism. Why? Because it failed. Therefore, by the socialists’ reckoning, that must mean they didn’t do it right.

Now, Denmark is suddenly the model for America’s future. But there’s a problem. Denmark is a free-market nation that has been peeling away at its socialist foundation for decades. While they enjoy some of the most robust social programs in the world, they’re doing so at such a high price that the people are left with very little other than the essentials. Yes, they have free healthcare, but more citizens are turning to private insurance to bypass the poor treatment and long wait times associated with single-payer healthcare. Yes, they have free schooling, but grade-level students are being shifted to private schools at nearly a 20% pace while the “free” college system is being taken advantage of by those who are clever enough to realize they’re better off staying in college indefinitely than graduating and being thrown into the world of working to pay for the system.

This video by PragerU’s Otto Brons-Petersen breaks down the reality of the socialist utopia leftists often point to as their beacon of hope for a failed economic and political philosophy.

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Economy

Note to Nashville: Privatization is good, except when it’s idiotic

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Note to Nashville Privatization is good except when its idiotic

This will be the first and hopefully the last time I speak out against a government plan to privatize anything. But as much as I like a blanket approach to taking control away from government in the vast majority of situations, the plan to privatize public parking in Nashville is so loaded with problems, it shouldn’t move forward.

I first heard the details of the plan when I read about the rare occurrence of a Democratic mayor wanting to privatize an element of city government. Generally, Democrats push for more control over their territories, not less, which is why I was hoping to find an instance where the realities of limited-government federalism and capitalistic privatization was seeping into the psyche of a Democratic leader. What I found was appalling: a desperate mayor, David Briley, throwing anything he could against the fiscal walls in hopes of making it stick. His city faces a woeful budget shortfall, something that should not be happening in a city as vibrant and growing as Nashville.

But, they need money immediately to make up the shortfall before the end of the fiscal year and this seems to be their last resort following an atrocious set of attempts to sell off public land to make up the cash difference. The attempt was so botched, the city council passed a resolution preventing such an attempt from being used in the future to cover operating expenses. But now, they’re ready to push the parking privatization scheme through with a rubber stamp and hopes nobody will look closely at the details.

The latter is unlikely, as many are already speaking out. Mayoral candidate Carol M. Swain urged the city to halt the plans, clearly pointing out it’s a very bad deal:

Nashville must oppose Mayor David Briley’s public parking privatization plan

We the People of Davidson County and surrounding areas will be adversely impacted if Mayor Briley, who is up for re-election, can push through this deal that would entail a 30-year commitment.

No agreement of this magnitude should be for more than any one term of the mayor’s office.

Once they have the contract, there is nothing to prevent the bid-winning private company from also raising rates until they match rates common to larger cities such as Chicago and New York City.

As Swain noted, this is a 30-year deal that essentially turns a public revenue source into a for-profit scheme that will sacrifice the people’s control for decades in exchange for saving a single year’s budget. The loss of future revenues and control aren’t the only things at stake, though. The deal will include increases across the board for citizens of Nashville, including:

  • A rise in the number of parking spots designated as paid that will essentially double them over four years
  • Increased cost per hour by 25 cents
  • More than doubling fines from $11 to $25
  • Decreasing free parking times by four hours per weekday
  • Removing free parking on weekends
  • Removing free parking for green vehicles

The mayor is pushing the deal as a way to innovate and catch up with the rest of the nation, citing technological improvements. But any such improvements could be made by the city, as could the changes to the times, costs, and fines, so his points are moot. The reality is this: They need cash now and they don’t have any other schemes that can work this quickly.

There’s a solution to all this: cut budgets. Fiscal responsibility should not be obfuscated by get-cash-quick schemes that will harm Nashville’s citizens. Make cuts. Increase revenues long term. Make Nashville as business-friendly as possible. These are the ways that work in America. Corrupt land deals and desperate privatization schemes always hurt in the long run. This time, they’re hurting Nashville in the short term as well.

Nashville’s parking plan is the equivalent of taking an important part of many citizens’ daily lives and pawning it off to pay the city’s bills. They’re giving up 30 years of control to save a single year’s budget.

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Economy

The 1751 machine that made everything

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The 1751 machine that made everything

A short video on how technological innovation born of economic liberty has changed the world.

History is more than dates, places and battles. In many instances it’s technological advances that change the world for the betterment of all mankind. In this case it’s the story of French inventor Jacques de Vaucanson and his creation in France of the first all metal slide rest lathe, the forerunner to all modern machine tools in 1751.

Lathes had been around for centuries, but lacked the precision with hand held cutting tools. The slide rest of the Vaucanson metal lathe that provided the control to produce metal part of exacting dimensions. The lathe is said to be able to produce every other machine and machine tool. This advancement changed everything.

The producer of the video references a profound chart of World Population GCP and per Capita GCP 1 –2008 AD from data of the late Angus Maddison, similar to this produced by the  Visual Capitalist, we credit them for the chart and commentary:
Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

 

For thousands of years, economic progress was largely linear and linked to population growth. Without machines or technological innovations, one person could only produce so much with their time and resources.

More recently, innovations in technology and energy allowed the “hockey stick” effect to come into play.

The video was produced by Machine Thinking last year.

While some may quibble about which particular machine produced this miracle The larger point is that the machines of the industrial age profoundly changed what people could produce.

As the video noted the average person in 1600 was no better off economically than someone thousands of years earlier. This is what is called the Malthusian trap and for seven thousand years, it was inescapable no matter what we did.

Machine tools such as this changed all of that, one person could produce what had taken many. This surplus could outpace births, allowing the economy to grow at an incredible pace as seen in the chart. All from the genius of the mind undergirded by the Economic liberty of the free-enterprise system. This is why this is vastly superior to the societal slavery of socialism.

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Get this story in front of tens of thousands of patriots who need to see it. For every $30 you donate here, this story will be broadcast to an addition 7000 Americans or more. If you’d prefer to use PayPal, please email me at jdrucker@reagan.com and let me know which post you want boosted after you donate through PayPal.

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