Many polls have shown recently that a very significant number of Americans find socialism something to be desired. It seems shocking. American capitalism is a very long way from being the perfect means of operating an economy, or from being real capitalism for that matter. But, when the government is less involved, in every case, capitalism has successfully brought more out of poverty than socialism. But, people seeking out socialism are not idiots. They aren’t just being stupid. I believe they are simply acting out of what seems to them to be a system that acts against them.
According to a survey published on December 16, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. 49% of Americans have no savings whatsoever. It’s no wonder that so many see a world of potential financial disaster and have so much trouble getting ahead of their costs.
The vast majority of people work very hard and the majority of families have two working parents. If you are working hard, making an honest living, and doing what you are supposed to be doing but still can’t seem to gain financial traction, then resentment is bound to grow. Many people see that they work just as hard as people who don’t seem to financially struggle. Complicating the picture is the appearance that everyone is doing just fine. Many people are living above their means, and that just fuels the appearance that everyone is really doing just fine. If you’re among the 69% of very little in savings, you might not realize that the next 10% to 15% aren’t really doing tremendously better at saving their money. People in the US have a lot of things without having a whole lot of money set aside.
Is the failure to save a result of poor financial management or is it an inability to save due to the costs of living? 33% of the respondents to the same survey said that the reason they aren’t saving enough is that they are living paycheck to paycheck. Remember that we are talking about the psychology of the desire for socialism and not the reality of the difficulties in savings. So, for one-third of Americans, the perception is more likely to be that they may never get ahead without a real systemic change. And, the psychology of that may also be true even for those who are able to save only a little. It’s easy to see from where the desire for radical change comes, and it’s understandable that some people may see those who are able to save and spend in the same environment as having an unfair advantage somehow (and it is true that some do have advantages others don’t have).
All of this sentiment is fueled by politicians as well, who capitalize on the psychology of the lack of savings and the potential financial disaster in order to provide solutions that keep them powerful. If you have a job that depends upon people keeping you in office, then you are going to do the things that keep you there. And, if the power you have to helps you toward that end, you will do whatever you can to preserve and increase that power to ensure your continued success at keeping your job. This means that offering up solutions that both provide the perception of financially helping people as well as taking more power is going to be a favorite of politicians. The same solutions also help support the jobs of teachers, professors, and people in the business of selling bad news. They help support government bureaucrats, people who work as the heavies doing the collection work of taxes, and everyone dependent upon the government’s power.
But, the real and true answer to having more money and less financial struggle is to have people quit taking money away from the populace. Just imagine how much more a person could save if they got back the portion of their income that was forcibly taken from them by the same people that told them they were going to help? How much better could you save and take care fo yourself if you had more than a third or more of your income back in your pocket? Most people think of only income taxes, but the reality of it is that people pay a lot more than just income taxes. Maybe you are a part of the 49% or so of people who don’t have to pay federal income tax, but you still have State and local taxes, licenses, fees, sales taxes, property taxes (even if you rent you pay these through your rent), capital gains taxes when you sell your home, and a host of other taxes.
This does not include the costs the government takes away from you through inflation and the games they play with the valuation of your dollars. It doesn’t include the unseen costs of regulations and the taxation of businesses. It does not include the increased costs from tariffs and from corporate welfare programs and the protection of larger businesses over smaller ones. It doesn’t include the costs of the meddling of government into the laws of supply and demand.
It is easy to understand the desire for socialism, but I believe it’s even easier to understand the better route is not socialism, but rather it is to shed off the burden of those government bureaucrats and politicians that are feeding on a siphoning of dollars away from the very individuals who need the most. Don’t cede more power to politicians to steal more of your money. Keep more of that money and take it away from politicians. After all, are you better at knowing what you need or do you think politicians will actually spend your money honestly and without their own interests in mind?
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