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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Columns

Quasi-socialism pollutes thinking of millennials


Coming into the world, receive free stuff and have the government to pass them out — this is a notion that has poisoned the minds of Generation-Y students (millennials).

There are two ways for the government to give away “free” stuff — taxes and deficit spending. Neither are actually free.

“When the government is involved in doling out the gifts, all it means is that it was bought with money taken from others,” said Jonathan Newman, a fellow of the nonprofit Mises Institute, in his article.

The second option would be government deficit spending. This is easy in the short term because they have a line of credit, but unsustainable in the long run. When the long run does come around, the American people, as always, will carry that debt.

Failed system

Bernie Sanders’ socialism has added to the lethal cocktail of manipulation that the government feeds society. His definition of socialism is free college, free and nationalized health care, higher minimum wage, elimination of profit from big corporations as well as political corruption.

The first major issue is that, by definition, socialism involves mass government control and regulation. It advocates big government and for more areas of corruption. Sanders’ dream of socialism is a playing card disguised as a building brick.

Free education wouldn’t be free because someone would incur the costs of the professor’s salaries, building upkeep, books and other services. One could argue that Norway’s 75 percent tax rate, as Mises Institute’s CEO Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. pointed out, would be effective in shouldering costs.

There’s also arguments that the government could print more money or ask the Federal Reserve to inject more credit into the economy, but that comes with drastic long-run consequences.

It’s obvious that college has gotten more expensive. The solution isn’t to demand free education but to apply for scholarships, work, go to school in-state, start in community college or apply for grants.

Student loans are not ideal, but they are also not drastic. Sanders’ own website admits that most loans add up to around $36,000 by the end of college. If the student stops worrying about the debt and more on grades and the job afterward, the debt will take care of itself.

The biggest argument for state-controlled success is Scandinavian countries that have seemingly done well under a quasi-socialist regime.  The failure of this argument is acknowledging that it took a number of successful decades as a free-market economy to convert properly. Furthermore, the conversions are too new to see problems that can incur in the long-run.

It is not my responsibility to pay for someone else to go to college for free when I’ve worked hard to get where I am today.

Socialism doesn’t work in the long run because it offers a profitable incentive to entrepreneurs. Sanders’ desire to eliminate profit from big corporations violates these innovative incentives.

Earned, not given

It is on the shoulders of U.S. entrepreneurs and big corporations with monetary resources to push innovation.

The argument for private ownership goes beyond profits to businesses.

Private ownership allows businesses to gear production toward customer demand and preferences. In a state-controlled market, however, preferences don’t matter because production is mandated.  Human action, not government, is what checks businesses.

While socialism is often celebrated, its dark side is never truly examined. In her article, VICE News’ Alicia Hernandez discusses the problems with state-controlled and subsidized goods.

Consumer demand is not being met since the government controls production and distribution of goods.  The harsh reality of life is that the government cannot produce as efficiently as a specialized business. 

If they were to take over, there would be mass inefficiency.

The idea of socialism needs to be removed from millenials’ minds because it is an inefficient system that allows more corruption and less transparency in government. It allows shortages, malinvestment and a deterioration of the standard of living.

If you want something, work for it, don’t steal someone else’s income that they worked hard for. No one is entitled to “free” anything since that concept doesn’t exist.

Opinion columnist John Brucato is a economic senior and can be reached at [email protected]

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