Originally appeared in Cortland Standard March 6th, 2020
When the levers of government benefit society as a whole, that’s socialism. Those levers facilitate capitalism as an overall benefit to society. Government builds and maintains bridges and roads to assist capitalism: people working, delivering, buying, selling, vacationing… Government supports fire and police departments that drive on those roads and bridges to protect us and our property. That’s socialism facilitating capitalism to the benefit of all.
Levers of government work to bail out big banks, subsidize multinational corporations and redistribute the wealth of our nation upward with a supposed return of innovation and job creation. When the wealthy trickle down on us we all enjoy the warmth, they say, but the trickle has diminished these past few decades. That happens with age I hear. Other levers can help a semi-literate lecher claim bankruptcy multiple times, call himself a business genius, and win the White House to add “President of the United States” to his list of accomplishments.
The problem with these levers is that misuse and abuse by those who need and deserve them least erodes democracy. So don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by those who already benefitted from socialism the most and now use their soapbox of privilege to scare you. The have-nots aren’t coming for your stuff. Those who already have it want even more.
Taxing the 100,000 wealthiest Americans in a way that makes no material difference in their lives could transform the lives of everyone in America for the better. The rich will continue to get richer just on the capital they’ve already accumulated. They’ll just be leaving us further behind at a slower pace.
That’s not so scary, is it?