What’s Wrong with Socialism in One Word

With the upcoming election, there’s a ton of chatter about Bernie Sanders and his ideas of Democratic Socialism. I’m no economics expert (although I could say I know more than the average American), but I have spent 27 years getting to know people.

And I genuinely believe the best in people. People can be very, very good. But people (and the majority of people) are also very, very selfish. Never do you meet someone in life with enough moral and personal strength to always put someone else first.

If you magnify selfishness across the entire population of a state or country, you have a lot of people battling for their own wants and needs. The miraculous free market system (when left unadulterated) has the power to pit this selfishness against one another. If I do something of value for you, you reward me with money. And vice versa.

Multiply this times billions of transactions, and you have a free market system. You see, the key to free markets is incentives. Incentives cause people to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. Incentives are why you study for a test. It’s why you go to work. And it’s why you pay your taxes. And in a democratic socialist system, you lose incentives. Or at least they become significantly distorted.

The mob can be just as selfish as the bourgeoisie. And the bourgeoisie can be as selfish as the oligarchy. Most of the problems we have now are the result of a distortion of the free market system through crony capitalism and corruption. Removing even more incentives won’t fix the problem. The only hand in the markets should be the invisible hand.