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Anti-PC League

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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

To All You Young, Aspiring Socialist Revolutionaries: Your Ideology Doesn't Work

This morning I wrote a response to the socialist I remarked on in an earlier post. I invested some time in it and I thought it worthy enough to share with you all.

(Of course names have been changed to protect the innocent)

I think what we have here is a misunderstanding of what capitalism is and of what socialism involves. This is directly due to the lack of quality education on the subject of economics as taught in our government schools.

Modern socialists and their friends aren't the first bunch to think of a profitless society. Even Marx wasn't the first. The thing is that historically, our world was pretty stagnant as far as the standard of living for the average man for a long, long time. You had the nobility, and you had the subjects. everything the subjects produced was the property of the nobility.

When human beings discovered profit thru trade and business, then you saw the quality of living gradually raise, you saw the assertion of subjects to own what they produced. The American Revolution wasn't simply about a form of government that was chosen by the people, it was more about a system of government that would allow people to own property and let them determine how best to manage it. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" is almost a direct quote from John Locke, who said that all men have right to, "life, liberty, and estate (or property)".

People will work hard and persue excellence only if there is an incentive to do so. Profit is that incentive. This has been proven by other groups who sought to "follow, extend, and refine [Marx's] ideas on socialism", as well as by our own government when it tried to curb profit in order to avert whatever "crisis" the politicians decided would come about without their wisdom.

Case in point:

In 1979 the government placed price controls on the sale of gasoline. Now mind you, most if us have seen or heard of the long lines and such. Yet do we know that 1978 was a record-breaking year for gasoline sales, and that in 1979 there was only a 3.5% drop in gasoline sales? The amount of gasoline consumption in 1979 was still higher than any previous year other than 1978.

So why the legendary long-lines? Because with government price controls, retailers had no means of adjusting price to meet increasing costs of meeting increased demand, such as hiring additional workers, providing increased upkeep for machinery (since it was recieving increased use) and moving gasoline from one station where it wasn't selling to another where it was selling out. So what was the retailer to do to keep his business from breaking down and from running dry (a dry station gets no business, therefore no means to pay the rent, electricity, or other regular costs)? Easy: either raise the price lower the cost. The government stopped the former, so retailers had to do the latter.

In New York City during September 1978, gas stations were open an average of 110 hours a week, but cut back to only 27 hours a week in June the following year. Why? The retailer no longer had an incentive to please the consumer under government price controls. The consumer became a source of increased cost rather than a source of increased profit.

The same mentality was seen in the profitless society of Soviet Russia, as I quote from the book I offered to one socialist on a message board:
"In the vast common fields, fleets of tractors fanned out to begin the plowing. Plan fulfillment was calculated on the basis of hectares worked, and so it was to the driver's advantage to cover as much territory as quickly as possible. the drivers started by cutting deep furrows around the edge of the field. as they moved deeper into the fields, however, they began to lift the blade of the plow and race the tractor, and the furrows became progressively shallowed. The first furrow was nine to ten inches deep. A little farther from the road, they were five to six inches deep, and in the center of the field, where the tractor drivers were certain that no one would check on them, the furrows were as little as two inches deep. Usually, no one discovered that the furrows were so shallow in the middle of the field until it became obvious that something was wrong from the stunted nature of the crop."
No one works just to work. No one works for the sole benefit of another without any sort of profit for themselves, monetarily, material, or otherwise. Like someone else has remarked, we are human beings, not a colony of bees. If those Soviet fields were owned by the tractor drivers and they recieved the profits, you'd be hard-pressed to find a shallow field.

Socialism as taught on general political or ideological terms sounds good, but when you get to the nitty-gritty of specifics it's not very well thought-out.