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The Flaws of Socialism

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The Flaws of Socialism

Michelle Lee, Staff Writer

Imagine what it is like to live in a society with free college education, free healthcare, and free resources. It sounds like a universal utopia, a utopia that a prominent organization strives to establish in America: the Democratic Socialists of America. The association has gained a recent surge of attention, especially among young adults and millennials, and has capitalized on the opportunity to push its ideals: universal healthcare, strong labor unions, and public equity. In theory, socialism sounds like the perfect solution to free society from the constraints of capitalism and a step toward economic equality. However, we have seen in the past the failure of socialism and how its ideas are almost impossible to adopt in America. The fact still remains: socialism has never worked and never will work.

First and foremost, adopting a socialist economic system creates stagnation. Innovation is a core of the American economy, and the nature of capitalism and competition incentivize private companies to innovate and create better products for the public. Under a socialist system, all companies and production would be under a state monopoly. There is no competition in the market, thus there is no incentive to create new and higher quality products for both domestic distribution and exports. The devastating effects of a socialist economic system can be seen in Cuba, where excessive bureaucracy and lack of regulatory transparency limit trade, investment, and innovation. America currently has the largest consumer market in the world, and regressing to socialism would mean an economic collapse.

Second, socialism operates under a false assumption of human psychology, and its very principles take away the incentive of hard work. If everyone benefited the same amount no matter how much work they initially put in, then why put in effort at all? For example, one student receives a 70% on a test, and another student received a 40%, but the student who received the lower score can do corrections and bring their grade up to 70% while the student who received the higher score cannot. In the end, both students receive 70%. If that were the case, why should students study and prepare for the test at all if they can just do corrections for a higher grade? To put it simply, there has to be a proportional relationship between work and payoff. Once that proportional relationship disappears, the incentive to work disappears along with it.

Of course, systems such as universal healthcare can operate in other countries such as Norway and Canada, but the end result is an inefficient system with long wait-times and lower-quality healthcare. In theory, socialism sounds like the right step toward equality, but there are simply too many implementation problems for it to work effectively, especially given the capitalist nature of America. Socialism has not elevated America to the economic superpower it is today, and adopting the system now would just be severely detrimental.

1 Comment

One Response to “The Flaws of Socialism”

  1. Ailin Atasoy on January 27th, 2019 2:09 PM

    I was pleasantly surprised to see this article, a breath of fresh air in Arcadian politics. I agree that socialism seems to have become a trigger word and can be ineffective in areas concerning the economy, but I’m curious as to why you say that a system like universal healthcare would not work in America? Maybe it is because America is so singular in its melting pot culture; for instance, constant cleaning of Japanese subways is not needed because their society frowns upon dirtying a public place so much. But seeing that the government is spending money on healthcare inefficiently currently, it is theoretically possible to create an effective system.

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The Flaws of Socialism