If you use Social Security are you a socialist? All Americans use it. Is America socialist?
But being forced to use a socialist program doesn’t make one a socialist. A socialist, after all, is one who thinks the government should own (most of) the means of production in an economy.
We can easily see how wrong, because there is a lot of socialism in “free market” America.
Is that how the whole country should run? The more government regulates or controls a business, the less creative and efficient the business becomes and the more customer complaints swell. Government control threatens your property and your life in order to restrict your ability to act on your own judgment. In a free market, it’s your own money that determines which businesses succeed by best serving you; under socialism, it’s the government using your money, shielding businesses from your choices.
As Ed Hudgins has pointed out, Social Security is a Ponzi scheme lumbering toward bankruptcy. That’s what socialist economies are like, generally.
Socialists think government can change the “rules of the game” to make them more consumer-friendly. But no one’s life is a game. We are all producers as well as consumers, if we live virtuously. We all deserve the chance to live our own lives and make our own choices.
America is already too socialist. Let’s make it a real land of liberty in the 21st century. A thriving culture and economy—or stagnation and misery—that’s what’s at stake.
William R Thomas writes about and teaches Objectivist ideas. He is the editor of The Literary Art of Ayn Rand and of Ethics at Work, both published by The Atlas Society. He is also an economist, teaching occasionally at a variety of universities.