I am 51 years old. I recall quite clearly my days in public school with teachers telling me how awful things were in socialist, and communist, countries. I remember stories of Russia and how almost all their clothing was a drab greyish color because that was the only color offered. I remember stories of how people in Russia who wanted a car had to get their names on a list and then wait several years until they were told they could get one – and when they did it was a piece of junk. I remember seeing pictures of typical households, which were one story apartments with lousy heating, not enough hot water, and electric wires strung from the ceiling. I remember seeing pictures of food lines and poor people. I remember feeling badly for these people because their government would create an environment like that and fully expect people to accept it. It was a lifestyle and economic system that quite frankly scared me. I was afraid of socialism because it would destroy the comforts I was familiar with – a warm house, seemingly ample food, colored clothing, a family car, etc..
It wasn’t just me that learned those things. I wasn’t alone in those classes in the Waltham public school system. And Waltham wasn’t the only school teaching this stuff. Socialism was bad and we were taught that capitalism was better for everyone.
Fast forward to today in the USA. We have politicians openly telling us that to redistribute wealth is a good thing. ‘Take wealth from one group of people and give it to another group of people’ we are told is the fair thing to do…We are told that ‘Everything must be equal and all people, regardless of if or how much they work should have the same things and amount of things’. We are told that wealth is bad. Just recently a young man who killed 4 others in a drunk driving accident was given probation because he came from a ‘wealthy family’ and therefore was excused because his wealth was a disease of some sort. When did wealth and affluence become such a bad thing?
Obama has been making the upper class seem like a bunch of criminals since he took office. Actually, he likely did that long before taking office, which is why liberals elected him. But I can’t blame Obama for this because the idea of wealth being bad was already there for him to tap into. Obama though has made the concept concrete with his suggestions that ‘everyone should pay their fair share’ as though there should never be a reason one person has more than another.
But again this is not about Obama. This is about the idea that somewhere along the way from the time I was in a public school system until now the idea that socialism was bad disappeared. Somewhere the concepts of taking from one people by force and giving to another people became fashionable. This ‘Robin Hood’ effect is okay if we are thinking hypothetically and the variance between classes is great, but the liberals want to make anyone earning more than $100k in 2013 part of the ‘problem’ or reason to justify redistribution of wealth.
And look at what this evolution in thought has wrought. Our economy is in serious trouble with 49% of Americans paying no federal taxes. We have more people out of the workforce than ever before. We have more people than ever before who want to work full time, but can only find part time work. We have families on welfare for multiple generations with no plans to ever change their status. We have illegal immigrants who wish to get into the country because they know that all they have to do is have a baby and they can stay forever and live without working for the rest of their lives. Our country owes more money to lenders than it could ever pay back. The damage is irreversible and deadly. It won’t be our generation that fixes these problems – it will fall onto the shoulders of our children and our children’s children and their children again.
So when did the idea of socialism become okay? When did a meager lifestyle in the name of fairness become acceptable? When did wealthy and successful become bad? Where did we go wrong? When did we get the idea that it was better to be more like Russia than USA? When did this idea that state-committee managed programs in health and education and work become okay?