Socialism vs. Free Market Society
Part-one of my view of the two separate forms for the governing of a population, like the United States, dealt with the specific differences between Socialism and a Free Market Society. Each of the systems require a body of laws for both civil and criminal codes to enforce and interpret; a military to protect itself from attack from the outside; a concern for certain privileges and rights of its population for the purposes of health and welfare for the protection of the masses; and for the individual. Though not heavily discussed, the size of the government wanted by the citizens and to whom the power to run the system would be given as well as the term of the power given.
This discussion will attempt to demonstrate what could be considered as the ideal form of each. And further attempt to point out the strengths and the weaknesses of both.
We start with socialism. The discussion in part-one concerned itself more with the differences of the two systems. But the ideal of both systems might lend itself to describing the similarities or those things where both systems might in some manner have something to share.
Socialism, and more particularly a social-democracy, deals with those things that every citizen can claim a right to having, as does a free market system. For instance, all citizens should have a right to protection under the law as long as they are conducting themselves in a manner that will not effect the welfare of their fellow citizens, this would be their right to enjoy the benefit of a police force to protect them against abuses by criminals, and to be able to bring suit (a court system) to regain losses sustained at the hand of criminals, or to correct civil problems between citizens. All citizens should enjoy the right to have an education which is at least the equivalent of the education being enjoyed by every other citizen of the social-democracy, additionally, every citizen should expect to have the same access to health benefits as every other citizen. There would also be the right to work at a decent job and for a reasonable wage and the right to worship or not. Other things as well might be considered as rights such as public transportation, free time, crossing the borders of the states or provinces within the country. I’m sure there are many other things one might consider as rights.
Next is the manner in which the system intends to conduct its commerce– in the end, it is the manner in which the system conducts its business and trade, both within the country and abroad, that determines how much revenue will be needed to run the country in the manner that enables the government to sustain itself.
On the other end of the scale would be those things the citizens agree to do to enable their system of government to sustain itself. This would necessarily concern itself with how and who would be given the power to run the government, make laws enforce laws, interpret them, lead the government and the military, terms of military duty, political service, and the extent to which these powers are given, etc. Next but equally as important is the cost of all these things and how they are to be paid for; such as rates of pay for government employees, political servants and military ranks and pay-grades. To put it in relation to its commerce: How will the citizens and businesses owners be assessed for their fair share of the cost of the system to enable it to run smoothly (right, taxes and assessments) One of the most important aspects of assessments needed for running the system is the maintenance and expansion of the infrastructure of the country. Under the residences and businesses of the land is the sewer systems, waterways, flood protection aqueducts, as well as electrical power both over- and under- ground.
There must be an order of ascension as far as the leaders of both the political servants and the military servants in addition to police and fire fighters. And everything would necessarily need to be structured so that any person living in the society would be able to discern how the government and all of its various parts and departments was designed to function. And there would need to be, even in a social-democracy, a system of checks and balances so that, to the best of the system’s ability it would offer identical fairness to every member of its citizens. This would require considering the rights of those being accused of crimes and the type and length of time they must be forced to endure for their crimes if found guilty.
And the final requirement on our list is the manner in which the system chooses to renew itself to be sure that every township and burrow, each county and state, and every city remains viable as to representation within the government. This is the lifeline to ensure the system remains free of the stench of greedy and criminal elements taking advantage of the system. This is the collective power of the people to vote new people and new ideas into the system.
There are probably many things each of us might discover lacking in what is discussed here, but for the purpose of brevity I will leave that to your own investigation to consider. What I have built upon to reach the social-democracy and its necessities I now will discuss with the idea of where its weaknesses lie.
But, before I do, I want to draw your attention to something you might or might not see. The majority of those things that are required of a social-democracy are, as a matter of fact, required of a free society using a free-market system of reward for its business structure. In truth, the vast majority of governments of any type have many similar attributes. It is generally in the financial administration of risk and rewards where the two systems differ. We refer to this as conducting the commerce of the system.
The social-democracy will, in larger measure than a free-market system, insert itself into what will be substantial investment in the major corporations operating within its borders, such as banks, retirement funding corporations, asset management firms, agricultural, dairy, poultry, and beef co-ops, and automobile and trucking manufacture, and anything the system determines as being essential to the economic welfare of the system. Road and building construction might well be considered in this formula as well as utilities companies dealing with the supply and repair of the infrastructure.
The reasoning behind this government insertion into the majority of the social democracy commerce is considered, by its progressive advocates, to be the most effective means to regulate the primary industry of the system so as to control the profit and maximize benefits to the country and its citizens. It is in fact, the fundamental reason that socialism of any kind fails.
Commerce becomes regulated so heavily by the socialistic bureaucracy needed to provide what the system deems necessary, a point is reached where the distinction between actual necessity and what exists to justify itself begins to erode real efficiency. At this point, there is an internal war which opens up the system to the forces of those who would use the strife to advance their nefarious intentions. The system becomes weighted from the top, and the citizens needs are, out of necessity, cut drastically. What happens from there is determined by the type of leadership and its intent for the population. Needless to say the resulting government is far from the original intent.(remember we talked about a choice of fascists, Stalin or Hitler.)
The argument then becomes one of what makes the socialistic system any worse than the free market system. The answer generally escapes consideration by socialistic experimenters.
The same elements exist for the free-marketers as the socialists. After all the needs are basically the same. However, the free market system differs in the extent to which it needs to regulate commerce, and therefore opens up all business to the risk of failure, which socialism cannot abide because it does not understand the risk/reward concept of the entrepreneurial spirit, nor does it understand the benefits of competition in the workplace.
It is this entrepreneurial spirit that confounds socialists so that they will go to any length to destroy it. Here in the United States socialism has crept into virtually every aspect of what has been, and will be again, the best sovereign government ever conceived by God and man.
Yes there are those who would subvert the system for their own gain; yes there will still be crime (Though not nearly as severe as with socialism and the black-market it brings with it.– think Russian Mafia); and yes there will always be sleazy politicians– though with a stronger more educated citizenry they will be far easier to spot and remove.
When competition thrives and nations cure themselves, people are far happier in their work and understand the need for everyone to do his or her part. A free-market system will cure itself because the competition brings the cream to the top and everyone benefits. All those sayings about giving people a hand up instead of a hand out are truisms. But, the likelihood of making a cure within a Social-Democracy has far less of a possibility than in a free-market society.
The reason the failure rate is so much stronger in a socialistic form of government is because the system assumes truths without the benefit of fact. Socialism says it will provide everything one needs to succeed when in fact, without competition in a free market ‘everything’ is not possible. Competition implies an end result of success because of incentives to gain success. The higher the competitor aims, the greater the success. Every rung on the ladder to success implies a production level equivalent to the effort expended. Poor performance yields only the effort expended. The higher the effort expended the greater the yield.
Socialism assumes its end result is success simply because it tries to give everything to its citizens that is required and that those citizens will then produce at the level they are told is satisfactory. High performance might insure a job but if there is no other incentive, overall production will fall.
It’s true , there are certainly employers in a free market system who don’t provide the incentives that could make them more successful. But stronger competition will eventually force them out of business, or make them stronger by providing the incentive for their employees to thrive.
The same argument applies for crime rates and black market systems. Prices at reasonable rates will keep citizens gainfully employed and thus producing more legitimate opportunities for citizens. There will always be those who attempt to manipulate the system for their own benefit but manipulation will occur, and does, far more in a socialistic society.
There are today, many problems with the political system in the U S, but changing the system to socialism is not the answer. Correcting the problems through the ballot box is the real answer. Put the right people in office first and make the kind of changes that insure politicians work on behalf of their constituents. Minimizing the bureaucracy by limiting entitlements, especially at the federal level and give the states the responsibility to determine those programs that will better serve their people. It should be fairly obvious that a huge federal bureaucracy is simply not effective in handling the problems of every citizen in every state.
Why, in the name of all that this country has promised and delivered, would we consider changing to a system that has never worked before?
D. Kenneth Ross
May 10, 2010