Friday, January 25, 2008

Socialism/Communism Lite in the American society

It seems like communism is a bad word in the United States of America, and well it ought to be. Karl Marx wrote a book called The Communist Manifesto, and the idea seems really great. He got his ideas from watching how Monks in a monastery work. The idea is great. The problem is that it works differently when the people involved are working for God, whom they feel is omnipotent instead of a government. I love the idea of giving to help someone else out. I donate to my favorite charity, but I don't like the governmental ways of distributing my money. There are churches with great programs to help the poor and needy. If people would like to donate to those programs, people should be able to do so of their own free will. Those programs have local people targeting people in need, and they worked for a LONG time before this country instituted the federal welfare programs. The biggest problem with the government welfare programs is that they entice people not to work. A person can get a job, but they make more money with a lower paying job and welfare than working harder to provide for their families. Federal Welfare programs undermine the need to work for what we receive. To illustrate, a man with a family of four can make 24,000 a year and still receive food stamps and cash assistance in the state of GA. So, a beginning welder goes to work every day, brings home his check, and then applies for welfare. The state grants him about 700 dollars a month worth of food stamps and cash assistance. That's great for the first year. The next year, the employer offers the family a raise, but the raise is only 200/month. The family can't take the raise, or they'll lose the 700/month from the government. What should the family do? If the family takes the raise from working for what they get, then they lose money that comes for free.

After several years, it would really have been better for the family to take the raise for teaching because the welder gets more chances for raises and a good retirement after the initial cause. However, people who only live in the now are the type of people who will quit their jobs because they're better off tomorrow with what the government gives them.

This is where having local charities to work with is much better than the idea of federal aide. The local charities can help people through the extra hard times, and also, people believe in themselves and learn how to be self-sufficient.

Because of government run welfare, our tax dollars are taken away from us, and we can't put that money to the more effective local charities. I could go on with this rant about how the minimum wage contributes to both inflation and the ongoing welfare problems and how things will just continue to spiral unless we do a major overhaul and make welfare a short term program instead of a long term program, and I could really rant on what nation wide health care will do to our country, but instead, I'll stop now.

All that said, I do think that there are people out there who need help, but they need help becoming self-sufficient instead of help becoming dependent on the government (which has no money of its own, it has to take every cent from the people). Three cheers for local charities instead of taxation and wealth redistribution.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Great post. Research has shown that when the government started welfare, charity work dropped dramatically (my recollection is that it dropped by more than welfare made up). On another blog, I also wrote recently that social security as it was designed has been a failed program. It took money out of people's hands, never invested it (basically stored it in a box somewhere) thereby robbing them of something they could have saved and invested or at least drawn interest on. The best solution for the younger generation to avoid this problem is to allow us to opt out of social security and instead invest the money ourselves.

Any time the government has created a program to "improve" on what a free market system can do, the tendency has been to create a monster - a program that takes more than it generates, and a program that does less than what it replaced.

Another example of a failing government program that is actually contributing to our problem is the subsidy being paid to produce ethanol. One gallon of ethanol takes about one gallon of gasoline in the production and distribution of it, yet in the meantime the cost of the food being used to create that ethanol rises dramatically. If the government didn't subsidize, the ethanol wouldn't be created and the food would stay cheaper. Instead we have inflation that is rising across the whole market because of the cost of buying gasoline and food. I say the cost of buying gasoline because again, it is the government making that more expensive since their fuel taxes are a large part of the cost of gas at the pump. Since many gas taxes are based on a percentage, the government gets more dollars when the price of fuel rises, so there is little incentive for the government to reduce the cost of gas. I could go on, but I won't.

I totally agree, we need to beat back socialism in this country.