Socialism Doesn’t Work

Posted on Posted in Reflections

There seems to be a wave of socialism sweeping the country. Bernie Sanders had a strong showing in the last presidential election. As a result, the Democratic party risks being hi-jacked by the ultra-liberal left.

Richard W. Rahn recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed socialist, won the Democratic primary for a congressional seat in New York. Why would a sane person advocate a political movement that was responsible for well over a hundred million deaths in the last century, as well as untold misery?

I find it difficult to understand who would want to embrace socialism. Just look at Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. Who in their right mind would want to trade America’s capitalist success story for the failures of socialism?

Can you think of one socialist experiment that worked in the last several hundred years?

I define socialism in two simple sentences: Socialists always like to spend other peoples’ money. This “works” until you run out of other peoples’ money.
Some believe the lack of clear thinking about socialism can be traced to our education system. The benefits of capitalism are not taught in our colleges nearly as much as the supposed benefits of socialism. Our students hear that capitalism is not “fair.” Why? Because some people are more successful than others. They earn more money. They have a better life.

America is the greatest country in the world; providing abundant opportunities for success. In spite of government interference, people start companies in their garages, growing them into successful enterprises employing thousands of people.

This doesn’t happen under socialism. In fact, just the opposite occurs. Socialist governments confiscate companies. Venezuela is a prime example. There the government took over the oil industry. The bureaucrats can’t run it and today the entire industry is in shambles. Thousands of jobs and billions in economic benefit are lost. In spite of the gigantic wealth of natural resources, Venezuela’s people are starving and fleeing the country. The country’s elections are a joke and the ruling Socialists refuse to acknowledge their failure.

Some in the news media imply that America’s young people are embracing socialism. I acknowledge some are, however they are in the minority based on my observations.

I live in the heartland of America, and I interact with college students all the time. I share my thoughts on Leadership, Empathy and the Power of Persuasion with business schools in our region. I have found these students eager to learn and to be firm believers in capitalism.
These smart young people are anxious to start their careers, learn a trade, create new companies and make a successful life for themselves. In other words, they are embracing the American dream.


Socialism is an economic disaster! It has been a failure whenever it has been tried.
Most Americans do not embrace it, despite what the media or ultra-liberals might imply.
America’s great success proves that capitalism works!