Galloping to Socialism

Anyone who has attended or viewed a Tea Party rally over the past year witnessed numerous signs equating current government policy objectives with a move toward “socialism.” There has always been an assumption that only a fringe percentage of Americans would embrace socialism voluntarily, but a Gallup Poll released on February 4 offers a surprising result when this question was posed to American citizens: “Just off the top of your head, would you say that you have a positive or negative view of socialism.” Gallup offers a condensed statement of results: “More than one-third of Americans (36%) have a positive image of “socialism,” while 58% have a negative image. Views differ by party and ideology, with a majority of Democrats and liberals saying they have a positive view of socialism, compared to a minority of Republicans and conservatives.”

Those results are disheartening and one could hope those being asked this question simply had no idea how socialism has destroyed lives and freedom over the course of history. It is also possible the 36 percent figure parallels the 40 plus percent of Americans who receive the benefits of our country yet pay no net income tax. Citizens who are not contributing to the revenue of America will always accept a paternalistic government providing ever greater benefits from the public trough. The survey also noted that 33 percent of Americans looked unfavorably on capitalism. So, far the results make sense; better than a third of people like socialism, don’t care for capitalism and probably have no real income tax burden, but reading deeper into the results we discover that these same people, in fact 95 percent of all respondents have a positive view of small business. Entrepreneurs fared almost as well with an  84 percent positive polling. There must be a disconnect in basic economic education for America’s youth, as socialism’s growth is in direct conflict with providing an incentive to starting and growing a small business.

The insurmountable debt that we now face can be laid at the feet of politicians who have pandered to the citizen’s desires. This transfer from the private (productive) to the public sector adds new unionized government jobs while decreasing private sector employment. Public employees and the non-taxed form a powerful voting block . All of this damage is done at the expense of America’s long-term survival. Fiscal responsibility and limited government are rendered impossible as more people except the flawed premise and promise of socialism.