After Tuesday’s primary votes in six states, it doesn’t look like Sen. Bernie Sanders’ brand of socialism remains a threat during this presidential cycle. However, since the Democrat Party’s embrace of the critical tenets of socialism... repackaged to hide the true nature of their support for the socialist model of governance... it is wise to continue to discuss the dangers of this approach to America’s unique wealth creation economy and her basic freedoms.

Socialism is Utopia, according to progressives. It is the central marketing strategy masking the voracious appetite of the left for larger and larger central government.

Socialism is the Nirvana, the mythical land of perfection sought by all... but socialist programs have proven historically to fail at producing the wealth and bliss its supporters promise leaving the citizens poorer and less healthy.

Wherever it has been tried, with minor exceptions in Northern Europe, it has failed dramatically; failed in any measurable way to improve the standard of living for its citizens… that is except for the cultural elites who live off the labor of the people. Russia, China, Cuba Venezuela are four recent examples of the misery produced by socialism.

Wherever socialism has been tried (including in our early colonies) the results have been disastrous for the vast majority of the population.

The reason is bound up in a single word, “INCENTIVES.” Socialism does not provide the needed incentives for workers to produce the needed goods and services for the population. Nor does socialism provide adequate incentives to produce the needed innovations to grow the wealth and improve living standards of the population.

Throughout history, socialist efforts have had to resort to authoritarian means (think dictatorship) in an attempt to drive its citizens to needed production levels. In its extreme forms, socialism has discouraged the private ownership of property in favor of a communal model.

The genius of capitalism is the concept of private ownership of property and production.

The modest attempts by supporters of socialist economies to defend the model point to northern Europe states as examples of socialist success. The problem, none of those examples even begin to rise to the complexity of a country as large geographically or economically...or as heavily populated as the United States.

A quick examination of the big central government programs supported by America’s progressive politicians:

The Green New Deal; free college for all; forgiveness of all college debt; end of fossil fuels; reparations; Medicare for all; open borders; and the end of the Second Amendment. Those are just to name a few big  government programs suggested by the current presidential primary field

This begs the question, ”If the government provides my every need, why should I go to work?”

Socialism without authoritarianism has always failed at inception... (think USSR, China or Cuba). Some may take longer to fail, but all inflict great pain on their societies.

Venezuela, falling under the Utopian dream of socialism, went from one of the richest capitalist countries on earth to one of the poorest socialist countries almost overnight.

On the issue of innovations consider this:

In the 5,000 year recorded history of mankind, the most important innovations of the human race were:

1) The wheel

2) Harnessing fire, wind, moving water and animals

However, in the 500 years since the colonists arrived on these shores and discovered/embraced the principles of capitalism, including free markets and private ownership of property, the advances in energy production, transportation, medicine, agriculture, communications, data management and so much more have exceeded our wildest imaginations.

And, as demonstrated the past three years, capitalism freed from the burden of an overbearing central government can still create amazing wealth for all its citizens and do it better than any other system devised by man.

Capt. Jim Kinney USN (ret) is a highly decorated 26 year veteran of Naval aviation with extensive experience in DC. He served on Gov. Huckabee’s presidential campaign staff. A noted international speaker, Capt. Kinney is available to speak to civic groups for special events, luncheons, dinners and retreats. Contact him at

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