Socialism means that the government has control over you and what you do. You can only build what is permitted and approved, be that putting up a building, starting a new service company, or cleaning up your property. You need permission to sell cupcakes, sell lemonade, play music, or to watch your neighbor’s children. You need permission not only to start and operate an activity, but also to stop one. You need permits and fees to close a building or stop a service.
We don’t have to guess how socialism will turn out if we tried it here in the United States. We don’t need to look at the horrible examples of socialist failure overseas… because we’re trying socialism here today in several states. Our experiment in democracy is actually working as planned…sort of. We get to see Socialism fail in practice and maybe we’ll learn from that experiment. As usual, failing states here in the US blame everyone but themselves, though some government officials want to hide the results.
Corruption costs both time and money and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It takes years of permits to open a business in California. You often have to pay off politically favored organizations in order to obtain that government approval. When you think about it for a minute, that explains why both the cost of living and unemployment are so high in California. The same is true in other blue states as well. I’m thinking of Illinois, and particularly of Chicago, though New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are there too.
These regulations impact everyone all the time, not just the large corporations putting in a new headquarters. You have regulations that require you to cut the grass…and you need a permit if you want to cut grass. Your church couldn’t offer haircuts for the homeless unless it gets a barber’s license. The state is involved with everything. You’re probably breaking several laws every day, but that is the real face of socialism. People don’t like it and are leaving these socialist states.
What should the state do? We usually say that government should provide roads and courts of law, but libertarians have good arguments against even that. Where does it say that the government has to regulate kids who open a lemonade stand, who cut the grass or who shovel snow? In fact, the hundreds of overlapping government agencies become a protection racket. They extort donations to political parties. That is only a small step from the “policing for profit” we see in many cities today. It differs in degree, but not in kind. These government agencies also protect the established businesses that support them. New businesses and new workers are excluded…unless they are beholden to the government.
The facts of socialism are far different than the theory. We see failed government schools where kids go by day. We also see that the police fail to keep our children safe in their government schools. Crime is widespread so the children are not safe at night when they are at home.
What do government officials say in these highly taxed and regulated states? How do politicians and regulators respond to the evidence of failure? They blame others.
They blame the taxpayers for failing schools…even though the schools get lots of tax money. They blame government failure on the people who left the state…even though the state still takes in lots of money in taxes and fees. Politicians blame other states for the violence in their state…even though the other states have a lower rate of violence. Any excuse will do…because we elect the same politicians time after time.
These problems won’t go away. Today we have an ad-hoc economy, a cafeteria business climate. Think of businesses like AirBnB, Uber, Lyft and Waiter. Think of home-schooling and the online Kahn Academy. These days, we take what we want and leave the rest.
You can’t adapt to change when you require government approval for every new business let alone for every change in the way you manage your existing business. Unfortunately, the existing political power base won’t allow things to change for the better.
Don’t worry. There is a solution. We’re taking the decision out of the politician’s hands.
To name a few, states like California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are bleeding people. These states can’t and won’t compete with other states. That is when these socialist states say they need the rest of the US to become more like them…and fail too.
I say, “Vive la différence” . We’ve seen socialism up close and personal. We don’t like it.
photo credit: Excerpted from: Jake Bucci – Bernie Sanders, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46941765