Should We Offer a Choice Between Capitalism and Socialism?
Choose once for the rest of your life...
By Ric Wasley
January 21, 2019
As we lead up to the election over the next two years, we are going to see the Democrats push to sell socialism to the low-information voters.
Sadly, they have an advantage with total control of the education system and near total control of the mass media/entertainment industry as well. That's why so often we feel that we are fighting a losing battle between truth vs. propaganda.
In the face of Leftist propaganda, how can we help young people make an informed choice?
Instead of fighting a rear-guard action against repression, why not put freedom of choice into action and give people, especially the young who are being brainwashed and intimidated by the left, a real-life opportunity to choose what kind of a life they would like to live? With that in mind, how about offering the following proposal to get young people to think seriously about the difference between socialism and capitalism and what it would mean to live under each system?
We all know that when you are in school or first starting out, socialism sounds just great. You pay a fairly high tax under socialism, but since you are not earning much you get back much more than you put in by having those older, better-paid workers pay for your benefits. Seriously…who wouldn’t like that for the rest of their lives? Get more back than you put in. Fantastic!
The catch comes, however, 20 years later when you are now the one who is earning more and paying in more than you are getting back. Hmmm… not so fantastic.
Now there are some very idealistic, altruistic folks who would say, “Well that’s only fair - you need to 'give back' to keep the system going and that simply ensures that everyone basically has the same income and no one is ever rich or poor. Very noble.
However, human nature being what it is, there are always those who are not happy with everyone being the same. Some people are smarter, more ambitious. and naturally competitive. That’s why they push themselves to get better grades, win at sports, and make more money. What do we do about them?
In the past, the answer has always come from the top down where oligarchs force everyone to accept one system. So under the old way, someone will always be unhappy…the not very ambitious by being poor or the ambitious by having to live under a system that does not reward them for excelling.
My system would fix all of that. It’s very simple and best of all, leaves the choice up to the individual - not the oligarchs.
At the time of your first permanent job (not part-time, student, or internship) when you fill out your W2 withholding form, you would make a choice to sign up for the socialist system or the capitalist system of taxation. So for instance, if you signed up for the socialist system you would be taxed at say, 60-70% but receive free medical, free college, subsidized government housing, and a guaranteed minimum income for life.
Under the capitalist system, you would simply be taxed under our current tax laws and receive the current existing benefits. In other words the same system we have right now.
“But,” you say, “why wouldn't every young person sign up for socialism until they started earning more and then switch to capitalism to keep more of what they made. And that would destroy socialism by removing the older workers who have to subsidize the younger ones?”
That’s why the catch - you are told before you make your choice that it will be for your entire working career. No matter what your job is, what your position, or what your income is…what you sign up for when you begin your career will be locked in for the next 40 to 50 years.
So yes, that does mean you will be taking a gamble and you have to give serious thought about yourself - your future, how ambitious you are, how hard you want to work, what kind of job you want to have, and what kind of life from both a success and quality standpoint.
Certainly not an easy decision by any means - and yet… many choices we give too little thought to (such as choosing a major and/or career) affect the course of our entire life.
However one of the many benefits of this plan…in addition to putting your destiny back into your own hands rather than a self-serving politician or faceless bureaucrat, would be making young people pay real close attention to the realities of the two systems.
Right now they want socialism for the same reason they want the kid sitting next to them to hand over half of his candy bar. “Hey you've got a whole one and I have nothing. Gimme half.” That’s a pretty easy choice unless you’re the kid with the candy bar, or in this case, the adult finally earning a good living who’d now like to reap the rewards.
However, if both systems were outlined fairly in school and students knew that in order to be taken care of when they were earning less, they were going to have to give it back when they were earning more, how many would have so little faith in their own abilities that they would opt for locking themselves into a life where ambition and achievement were penalized?
I don’t think that number would be anywhere near as high as those who now say socialism sounds great (nearly 50%). Especially when they realized that they would be the ones paying for the less ambitious for the rest of their lives.
There would, of course, be a proportion of the young workers who because of the nature of work they chose (say, an artist, musician, writer, actor, food service, unskilled labor, etc.), would opt for socialism as the odds of making a lot of money in those professions are statistically low. However, as we know, a few do hit it big and make huge amounts…which, of course, would then go to support their less fortunate fellow artists, etc. - so you see how well it would even itself out?
The beauty of this system is that it would eliminate the rancor, hatred, division, and best of all the lying self-serving politicians promising one group everything at the expense of the other side. Here each chooses for themselves and everyone must give a lot of thought into planning their own future rather than chanting mindless slogans and being brainwashed by propaganda.
What do you think? Wouldn’t that be more fair than having a system shoved down your throat by one side or the other and ultimately...more empowering for everyone?
Ric Wasley is a writer and lecturer, as well as the author of the popular McCarthy Mystery Series. Ric has had a 40 year professional career history in advertising, publishing and marketing in Boston, New York and San Francisco. He has degrees in history and psychology and has been trained in debating, public speaking and stage acting. A large part of his 40 year career was spent in numerous professional and business settings as a presenter and featured speaker at seminars and professional meetings. Ric has been a visiting professor at Worcester Polytech Institute. He also teaches a popular course on marketing for authors at prominent venues such as the venerable “Cape Cod Writers Conference.”
Wasley has been involved in both print and broadcast media as well as writing for business and commercial markets for over 30 years and continues to consult for a major media company. In addition to his novels and short stories, he has been published in several literary magazines. Wasley currently divides his time between Boston and his home on Cape Cod where he continues to write, lecture and create worlds where the unexpected thrives.