There seems to be a growing sense that this year’s presidential election is a pivotal one, as in the difference between regaining our strength as a country or sliding perilously closer to the strength-sapping trap of socialism. Two questions mark the juncture like signposts: Are we headed towards socialism? and Is socialism a bad thing, even if you don’t call it that?
Let’s start with the second question. Socialism defined by Merriam-Webster is, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” I suppose those who have advocated and implemented it thought it was a good idea, in theory, but I think it’s safe to say that in practice it has proven a dismal failure as a system of government for people who value freedom.
But apart from its track record, are there moral issues involved? Is it morally good to deny someone the right to own something they have fairly purchased, earned, or received? To forcibly redistribute it so that everyone has an equal amount? This clearly goes against our innate sense of justice, as this little experiment with children’s Halloween candy by Fox News contributor Steven Crowder demonstrates.
But what about taxation in general then? Is it morally good to expect, even demand, citizens to hand over some of their hard-earned cash to support their government? Seems to me the answer lies in whether or not and to what extent they have an obligation to the government for privileges and services the government provides. And we do have that obligation. But when the government starts demanding that some of us go far beyond obligation to forced benefaction, that’s something different altogether.
Socialist philosophy has equity as its goal, an evenly distributed enjoyment of goods and services. But it uses inequity to achieve it. If equity is “justice according to natural law or right; specifically: freedom from bias or favoritism,” then “asking (like they can refuse) the wealthy to pay a little more” than their fair share is inequitable because it is unjust and biased towards one group of people.
Are we on a slippery slope to socialism? American billionaire from socialist Hungary Thomas Peterffy thinks so. If you haven’t seen his self-funded campaign ad yet, you should view it here.
A few of the indicators to the affirmative that I see are: ever-increasing government involvement in regulating commerce, Obamacare, and the push to forcibly redistribute wealth. We may not be North Korea, but any step in their direction is going the wrong way. After all, it’s a slope, not a cliff. The change will happen gradually, but the further down you get, the faster you go.
I’ll bet most of those trick-or-treaters, at least the ones who had been raised in stable households and taught that God loves them, when presented with an unforced opportunity to share their candy with some who had very little, would have done so willingly. And I also bet that if we spent more time, money, and effort on supporting and bolstering the family along with encouraging the proclamation of the Gospel, instead of authorizing and depending on the government to take care of the needy, there would be a lot more sharing going on between adults as well.