Why Republicans and Conservatives Oppose Socialism
Republicans and Conservatives have a deep-rooted belief in “personal responsibility” which means every person has the capability and morale right to make the most of their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The opposite of this philosophy would be the concept that the public has a shared responsibility for the general welfare of every member of society. This latter concept is usually shared by Democrats and Liberals of today.
Socialism and Capitalism are the two ends of a scale: Socialism on the left and capitalism on the right. The age-old argument is: where should our society be on that scale? When someone can elect not to work and enjoy a quality life, that society is doomed. That’s because most will eventually stop working to enjoy that quality life for no cost. Conversely, when there is not enough socialism you have a lack of a safety net. Those that cannot (or have elected not to) provide for themselves and their family are at risk of suffering needless death or despair.
If you listen to a conservative speak about today’s society, they are frustrated that those working hard to make a good life seem to barely make the bills. They are frustrated because in comparison there are people who use government assistance to have as good a life (if not better) than the working family that receives no government assistance. Some strict conservatives suggest the “safety net” ought to provide basic food, clothing, shelter: nothing more. (For able bodied persons.) Those strict conservatives are appalled when socialism gives an able-bodied person assistance when they can afford a car, cell phone, a television and subscriptions to television programming, and other luxuries that are not basic food, clothing, and shelter.
If you listen to a liberal speak about today’s society, they see the poverty and despair and seek ways to provide charity to those that are not thriving. Their frustration is exacerbated when in contrast there are millionaires and successful people that have much excess and happiness. They readily adopt the principle of “progressiveness” that says as you have more, you pay more in the name of “fairness”. This is best represented in the income tax system. If you are really poor, the government takes none of your paycheck. As you earn more money, the government takes a larger share. Ultimately, “the rich” only keep 60 cents on the dollar of their paycheck. Even still, a true liberal is not content with that and will seek other ways to improve the lives of the lowest in society and look toward those that CAN pay more of that to do so.
So in today’s world, ask the question, “Where should our society be on the scale of Socialism and Capitalism?” The fair assessment should be that we should want as much socialism as we can afford. Given how much debt we have, the argument can be made that we have too much socialism. That would say our society needs to be more productive to pay back the debt it has incurred. The politically incorrect way to say that: there are too many takers and not enough makers.
We as a country keep maxing out our credit card and the government keeps bumping up the limit. Eventually that is not going to work and that would be a very bad thing to be in that circumstance. And we can’t take more from the “makers” as a strategy – if you take 100% of the income from everyone earning over $1,000,000/year, it wouldn’t even be enough to cover half of one year’s debt.(1) The two ways to solve this are: produce more wealth and provide less socialism.
Providing MORE socialism makes it more comfortable not to work. Extended unemployment, government-subsidized healthcare, lower disability requirements: all contribute to increasing costs and fewer productive people to pay for those costs. That’s a double hit to the economy. As a society, we now have the need to slide toward the capitalism side of the scale. Those that champion that side of the scale: Republicans and Conservatives.
We need to seek ways to improve the efficiencies of social programs and even to reduce the need for them calling out social spending that society can really do without. If you’re a Democrat or Liberal, the next time you meet a Republican or Conservative, give them a little due respect. They have just as much concern for the country – and right now their contributions are needed to start turning our financial problems around.
I have written this from a conservative Republican perspective. Anyone want to chime in with a liberal Democrat perspective?