Socialism doesn’t motivate success in the traditional sense – it never has, and it never will. Socialism punishes traditional (economic) success by taking away the fruits of successful labor and redistributing it to those whose behavior (often the result of relative laziness) led to failure. This incentivizes and rewards laziness, apathy, and failure – and it chases away success. For example, how many doctors leave poor socialist nations (where their hard work and studying are rewarded with socialist poverty) and immigrate to the United States (or Canada or Europe or Australia) where they are financially rewarded at a much higher level?
Early Americans, long ago, learned this lesson the hard way – the way all meaningful lessons are learned. For the first two years at the Plymouth Colony, they tried communism. Farm produce was shared equally. It sounds fair in a way. But what happened is those who were strong young men got tired of getting up early to work hard in the fields while the elderly and the lazy started to do less and less work, knowing their work efforts would not increase their portion of the harvests.
Everyone was soon complaining about how little work other people were doing, and they did less themselves. About a third of the colonists starved to death over the first winter due to a poor harvest, and again the second year. For the third year, the governor insisted on a change – everyone would have their own parcel of land to farm, and would keep the fruits of their own labor – no more communal redistribution.
Big surprise – everyone worked harder, motivated by their own economic reward – and the desire to not starve – and the third autumn had a bountiful harvest that led to America’s Thanksgiving holiday. It turns out that people do like eating as opposed to starving. What they don’t like is work – especially hard work in the fields with unequal and unfair compensation. People would rather starve than work hard and have the compensation for their hard work stolen from them. This basic truth explains why socialism always fails.
You can even see the outcome of unequal pay in primates like monkeys – because this anger and frustration in response to unfair compensation (and taxation in modern human society) is universal. In the video below, we learn that monkeys will eat cucumber but they love grapes. Cucumber is bland, grapes are sweet. Think of cucumber as a little money, and grapes as a lot of money.
A monkey will do a small task for a piece of cucumber, and at first cucumber is acceptable – until another monkey is given grapes for the same task. The first monkey, only given cucumber, is outraged at the disparity – the unfairness – over the second monkey receiving grapes for the same work while the experimenters only offer cucumber (now unacceptable) to the first monkey. Soon monkey #1 is unmotivated to perform its expected task (“work”) under the condition of perceived unfairness. It refuses its “pay” in cucumber and desires to bring down the system – rattling its cage in its first feeble attempt to break out and correct this wrongdoing.
Monkey #2 = the beneficiaries of socialist redistribution (welfare.) Monkey #2 (poor socialists) have no problems with this system that rewards them with extra compensation for their efforts. But monkey #1 represents people who work and feel robbed by socialist taxation and redistribution – monkey #1 represents capitalists who want more for their efforts. And like monkey #1, capitalists will not tolerate the socialist experiment for very long. They will “Go John Galt” – they will stop producing.
John Galt was a main character in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. This successful capitalist was robbed of success with the gains of his business success given to socialist failure. His motivation destroyed, he stopped producing, even though society needed him. Other good producers followed, opting out of a system that robs them. “Going Galt” – “It means having righteous indignation at the injustice of a political system that bails out individuals and institutions for irresponsible behavior and at the expense of those like you who prosper through hard work and personal responsibility.”
In the past this brought hard-working immigrants to America. If young socialists manage to elect more socialist leadership soon, it may encourage an exodus of hard-working, successful Americans out of America, and into whatever land is smart enough to better reward their efforts more fairly. (Historically this always happens.) While you ponder what it would take to make that happen, I suggest you consider the effects of the perceived unfairness of socialism.
The welfare recipients anticipating free stuff love the idea of socialism. The hard workers paying for the “free” stuff will not participate for very long in a system that robs them and is therefore doomed to failure, for it punishes success and rewards laziness only as long as the accumulated capital (that’s right, the gains of the capitalism that came before the socialism) exist to be wasted this way. When the socialists have used up the accumulated capital of the past capitalist success – hello Venezuela-style socialist failure.
So while you young wannabe welfare recipients salivate at the thought of free stuff and consider voting for idiots like AOC who put emotions and “fairness” and what they think is morally right above math or economics or facts they say don’t matter… enjoy this video of monkeys which clearly demonstrates the effect of unfairness on those asked to work.
I am not saying that capitalism is perfect. Capitalism leads to a concentration of power in the hands of the most successful elite, and this should not be used to restrict competition or upward social mobility. But socialism leads to starvation and death. (See Russia, China, North Korea – always, or Venezuela – in recent years – as examples.)
From various Wikipedia articles: Russia embraced socialism in 1918 and by 1921 – “The Russian famine of 1921–22, also known as the Povolzhye famine, was a severe famine in Russia which began early in the spring of 1921 and lasted through 1922. This famine killed an estimated 5 million people, primarily affecting the Volga and Ural River regions, and peasants resorted to cannibalism.” China embraced socialism in 1949, and what was their progress a decade later? “The Great Chinese Famine (Chinese: 三年大饑荒, “three years of famine”) [from] 1959 and 1961 characterized by widespread famine. The policies of ruler Mao Zedong contributed to the famine [and] estimates of deaths due to starvation range in the tens of millions.” North Korea was created as a socialist nation and was never economically viable. When Soviet aid disappeared with the collapse of the USSR in 1991, North Korea’s government responded with “austerity measures, dubbed the ‘eat two meals a day’ campaign.” “The North Korean famine (Korean: 조선기근), refers to the period of food shortage in the 1990s, together with the accompanying general economic crisis, as the Arduous March or The March of Suffering.” North Korea had 22 million people, but foreign estimates (the government will not admit the famine happened) suggest up to “3,500,000 dead from starvation or hunger-related illnesses.”
In Venezuela, the problems are only starting. “The Maduro administration has denied the extent of the crisis; and has refused to accept humanitarian aid from Amnesty International, the United Nations, and other groups…. The New York Times [says] the Maduro administration was “responsible for grossly mismanaging the economy and plunging the country into a deep humanitarian crisis in which many people lack food and medical care.” ….Venezuelans have resorted to eating wild fruit and garbage….” On 9 February 2018 the United Nations “issued a joint statement on Venezuela that partly read, ‘Vast numbers of Venezuelans are starving, deprived of essential medicines, and trying to survive in a situation that is spiraling downwards with no end in sight.'”
But you are still free to vote for Socialists.
This argument has been used by oligarchs and plutocrats since forever. And all it does is keep their gravy train of government welfare for the rich going.
There is a solution in the middle. As usual. Christian socialism as Christ practiced it comes close. When God created the earth, he meant everything to be free. Then of course came the fall, and the rise of merchants and middlemen. Such as these are not going to enjoy the Millennium, nor Heaven much. Some people are not happy if everyone can have everything and no one can have anything more than anyone else. Which is what capitalism is all about; having more than everyone else and the “dog eat dog” struggle. Which is why Christ Himself said the rich man and the camel going through an eye of a needle parable.
They are both wrong, socialism and capitalism, as long as capitalists are allowed to pay a pittance to their workers and make profit from speculation without producing anything.
More realistic would be a society based on fairness, where only those genuinely in need get aid and where small and medium sized businesses are supported, while everything that gets too big should be made into a cooperation. Because for workers to be participating in decision making and profit is a very good incentive for productivity, initiative and creativity. Such models have proven to work well so far. Maybe it could be called social capitalism? Or voluntary cooperativism?
Reward is definitely important and nobody should be made to feel like a slave or to be a useless burden on society.
It may well be that speculating is hard work too, but it is NOT productive or beneficial for anybody but the speculator. It is a selfish action that shouldn’t be allowed in a healthy society.
Who would judge “need”? Who would decide when something gets “too big”? Unskilled work should not be paid a lot, nor should it be a career for anyone. Society should make much stronger efforts to make teenagers care about learning – skills and education – and about responsibilities and ramifications – so less people end up with little skills, income, or hope.