I was reading the Duluth News Tribune the other day when I found this article here by Prof. Bemie Hughes. In it, he speaks so glowingly of socialism. He lambasts what he sees as the evils of capitalism an opines that our economic system (mixed as it is) doesn’t contain more socialistic components like the ever so enlightened European models.
Not wanting these false narratives to go unchallenged, the Editor-in-Chief (me) wrote this response to Prof. Hughes:
I will not deny my bewilderment on reading Prof. Bernie Hughes’ recent article, “Our Capitalist Conundrum Keeps us From Being Exceptional.” Here was a person, entrusted with the young minds of our nation, speaking glowingly about socialism. He decries corporations for their unfair wages and unregulated greed. Then he blames them, more or less, for our nation’s economic ups and downs in the past century.
It is amazing just how backwards he has it.
For starters, the mega corporations that Hughes’ decries are, often, one of the best real-world examples of socialism in action. The government and their bureaucratic cronies (the supposed representatives of “we” in socialism) regulate corporations under the auspices of being more fair. What almost invariably happens is that only the mega corporations and institutions can afford the expenses of compliance and the regulations intended to level the playing field actually clear it further of smaller corporations and small, family owned businesses. Why would Wal-mart support Obamacare? It knew it would weed out competition. Big Business is a byproduct of Big Government.
Now before I get labeled as a “corporate conservative” I should probably say that I am twenty-five years old, I have a wife and one year old son and I work as a part-time caregiver at a special-needs facility. And I have to say that it saddens me that an American could act as though there were a permanent economic caste system in this country. That the wealthy elites are up there on high, keeping the lower wrung low to feed their insatiable appetites for cash. This is a great narrative for socialist ideology. It just simply isn’t true. It was not true for the poor in the nineteen seventies, who are by and large comfortably in the middle class these days. It certainly was not true for my parents, who started out poor, and, God willing, it won’t be true for my family. But it very well may be true, and because of the very regulatory policies that Prof. Hughes’ favors.
Why, for instance, are wages so low? Perhaps the better question is, why is the cost of living so high? Again, government, the very agent of justice in a socialist system, can take the ultimate blame. The economy, whether socialists like it or not, is not static, it is fluid. This is because the economy is, in the end, just a ton of people trying to make life better for themselves and those they hold dear. Because the economy is fluid, people will wind their way around obstacles to continue to improve their lot in life. Thus, if a person sees his product prices artificially raised by taxes and regulation, and his wallet being hit, doesn’t make sense that this person would raise prices so that his product could keep the same profit margin? This has the final effect of diminishing the worth of a person’s wages because he needs more money to buy the same amount of stuff. Government control, control by the elite political class, which is what socialism really boils down to, is the reason the working man having a tough time of it these days. And if countries like Germany and Holland have found out anything, its that you pay for a false socialist narrative with permanent, double digit unemployment. That’s hardly exceptional…unless you add “-ly”…and “bad”.