As we head into another legislative Session and Presidential election year, many are concerned about our elected officials proposing evermore socialist policies and programs. Our nation seems to be split - some want to stop this advance, and clearly others want it to progress.
The late, great economist Milton Friedman often reminded us that throughout history there have been oppressive governments that impose totalitarian socialism on the people – causing untold tyranny, servitude, and misery. As Americans, we reject such oppression.
Yet, many of the very same Americans who regard totalitarian socialism as something evil do not seem to see a problem with democratic socialism.
If it is agreed that socialism takes away our freedom, imposes heavy taxes, and creates heaps of inefficient government bureaucracy, why then is socialism any more palatable just because a legislator votes for it through the democratic process than if a dictator imposes it?
Is it really possible to take freedom away in a kinder gentler manner? As government programs become ever more elaborate and expensive just how much will it ultimately cost to buy the compliance of America?
Today, there seems to be societal confusion over just what constitutes a "right." A constituent asked me, “Do you believe healthcare is a right?” “No, I don’t” was my reply and I went on to explain that if a so called “right” takes something from another person to provide that right to you it is not a right.
My right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness costs others nothing and yet I delight in each of those rights everyday. My right to freedom of speech, religion and my property costs others nothing as well. The government doesn’t provide rights to me – they are mine, given to me by God. The government protects my rights for me.
Socialized healthcare is not a right but a government program. All socialism, democratic or totalitarian, is born of a “Plan” by politicians that think they know better how to spend your money and pretend to care more about your children than you do.
How is it accomplished? It is a gradual process to pass laws that destroy the free market and bring us to our knees begging for government intervention.
However, such programs are destined to be laced with coercion, power struggles, turf wars and pressure from special interests that are assured to grant you less power, choice and money. Ask yourself, do you really want to pathetically beg some politician for something that you should decide for yourself?
Our free enterprise system has produced the greatest nation the world has ever known. Experience shows us that government programs don’t perform market activities as well as the free market. It is time to remind ourselves of the distinction between a "right" and a "program"; "protection" and "provision."
Socialism fosters rationing, inferior quality, poor service, stunted innovation and undermines motivation. Some politicians may have very smooth words that tempt your better judgment and buy your compliance but beware, their rhetoric costs more than we can afford.