Why Republicans and Conservatives Oppose Socialism

By Scott Lilly | Mar 29, 2014

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?



(1)    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danbigman/2012/04/03/john-stossel-tax-the-rich-the-rich-dont-have-enough-really/


Comments (8)
Posted by: Grass Roots WNC | Mar 29, 2014 19:41

Capitalism allows more 'freedom' ... but some people worry because they are allowed 'to fail' which makes them feel uncomfortable.

Another name for capitalism is Free Markets. There are people that thrive under free markets - they grow their business and hire more people.

One of the problems with socialism in America TODAY - is that it is "trapping" people. In the past, people rose out of poverty... after 10 years 85%  of Americans left poverty behind.

Government is the problem. Now, the way the government has it structured 'Traps' people. If folks make more than $29,000 they fall off the cliff and the safety net completely disappears. That prevents people from doing better since they will actually lose all help.  Did you know that they would need to make over $60,000 to make up the difference between earning $28K plus all the welfare subsidies! That is one reason why people are not leaving the poverty level any more.

Some socialist blame free markets when they need to point the finger at poorly designed and implemented "Government" social Programs. Government programs are failing folks.

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 30, 2014 07:52

Wow.  So if your statistics are correct, "Socialism" is trying to make everyone have a $60,000/year lifestyle no matter how much they work or don't work.  And there's not much motivation to get out of "poverty" if you can earn less than $29,000/year and keep a $60,000/year lifestyle.  This is the first time I've seen this quantified.


Flip this around.  For that person earning $29,000/year but getting an extra $31,000/year in government benefits, it would take ALL of the taxes paid by at least 3 people earning $60,000/year to pay for that one person's benefits.  Three makers for every taker.  That is not sustainable.  That is the problem.  That "taker" needs to be motivated to become a maker and not a taker.  Who is in charge of motivating that person to get off of any government assistance?

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 30, 2014 09:48

          More anti-liberty anti-Founding Principles nonsense!

          Get your facts straight! Any person losing their $29,000.00 a year job that then chooses to enroll in unemployment benefits, has not just lost their job providing them $29,000.00/yr. but is now getting a much lower benefit that they themselves have contributed to as unemployment insurance. When that runs out, there is no income. None!

          As established by OUR law, Social programs that provide a safety net against unemployment, are TEMPORARY. They exist until the affected person's employment circumstances improve or until agreed to time-limit has been reached. To claim this is a permanent situation is a lie.

           Adhearance to the Founding Principles is not "Socialism".

           The cornerstone of OUR declared rights is George Mason's Declaration of as adopted by Virginia on June 12, 1776:

           Article 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

            14th. Amendment. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


                 "Equal protection" requires a constant leveling of the playing field to prevent Tyranny of too much wealth/power accumulating in too few hands.

                 When any "person" does not pay support for the cause of liberty in direct proportion to what they earned, "All persons" have been cheated and the seeds of Tyranny have been planted.

                   We the people thru OUR elected representatives have agreed to provide certain and particular Social programs. As a republic, anyone may  challenge the Constitutionality of any Govt. program/law. But to attack programs provided by We the people with unfounded accusations and outright lies, is inexcusable.

             Nowhere is "free enterprise" stated as a constitutionally protected principle. The myriad number of laws regulated commerce as OUR Congress has a constitutionally mandated right to do, shows beyond any reasonable doubt that We can regulate business in OUR best interests.



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 30, 2014 10:11

       We the people have had this discussion before.

        From Madison's  Federalist No. 10:


"The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government."

              Enlightoned minds of far greater consequence than mine Founded this republic on certain and distinct principles that the people supporting the Revolution were quite well aware of and agreed with. Those that disagreed fought, by and large for King George. I am merely a promoter/protector of the Principles that We the people was Founded on.


Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 30, 2014 14:39

"Equal protection" requires a constant leveling of the playing field to prevent Tyranny of too much wealth/power accumulating in too few hands.


-That is your opinion.  One I do not share.  There is a difference between equal protection and equal opportunity.  Everyone has the same opportunity to work.  There are those that are motivated to take advantage of that opportunity and provide for themselves and their family.  And there are those that don't.  The fact that our government has ever-increasing debt suggests there are too many taking from public funds in some way and not enough paying their fair share.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 31, 2014 09:15

                   And exactly how do We prevent the Tyranny of too much wealth/power accumulating in too few hands? How do We prevent "inherent bondsmen" that inherit wealth/power without actually having worked to create it? Or would you prefer the Fascist approach whereby the govt. is controlled by the rich and big business?

                         It has been quite well documented as to why bushishito caused OUR debt to go up. As well as the causes of unemployment. Knowledge of the reality of the situation will cause a person to not blame the victim but place the blame where it belongs.



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 31, 2014 09:34

"And exactly how do We prevent the Tyranny of too much wealth/power accumulating in too few hands?" -- You ensure equal opportunity for all to market their talent and ideas in a free market with as little taxing of that activity as possible.  Yes, large monopolies should be discouraged.  (Way more than today's economy.)  And the citizens need to be vigilant against government corruption and undue influence by "the rich".  If someone (like the Mayor of Charlotte) is caught being bribed, publicly chastise them!  (He resigned within a day -- good riddance, and good job FBI!)


When the majority of the public stops thinking "a job" is something they are owed and start thinking about what value your talent, skill, and ideas have, a paradigm shift will occur and citizens will be productive much more than they are today.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 31, 2014 10:48

                  I know of no one who thinks someone owes them a job.

                  When all are paying taxes in proportion to what they earn, Society will gain immensely. When people are allowed/encouraged to "harvest"(mitt) OUR industry, sell its assets, raid employ pension funds, off-shore business, etc at OUR expense!, govt. sponsored tyranny exists.

                  OUR inner cities have been decimated because venture capitolists like mitt, have chosen to outsource instead of investing in US.

                   I saw first-hand what happened when big-three moved plants to Mexico from Detroit. But yet mitt, etc would blame the workers for their own demise.



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