December 15th, 2017

Socialismis a trap


By Letter to the Editor on October 12, 2017.

Edward Sawdon’s letter in the Oct. 1 Herald reveals a sad naivete about socialism. That is what he proposed – socialist-based money to supplement people’s income up to a “preferred” standard.

As Margaret Thatcher said, socialism only works until the government runs out of “other people’s money” (OPM).

Government has no money of its own. All it can do is collect money through fees and taxation. It may be successfully debated that fees are rightfully the government’s property because they are collected for services rendered when people choose to use a service. However, taxes are definitely the property of the taxpayer because the government has simply legislated itself a portion of what the taxpayer has earned for him or herself at a place of employment. Since the government has not done anything to earn it, it is basically coerced from the taxpayer, but it is a practice we have accepted for millennia, on the expectation that the government will use it to provide services.

Mr. Sawdon, I presume, is aware that the money for all the programs he advocates will come from taxes. Those taxes will have to be levied upon income earners, and they will be substantial, or the government will be writing IOUs so large, it will cause interest charges to eventually become the entire national budget, leaving nothing to pay into these programs.

At the same time, the tax base – those who earn enough to pay in more than they receive – will shrink as people drop out of the labour force. A smaller tax base means less in taxes. After all, if the government has promised you all your needs will be met, why bother working when you can just sit at home playing video games, tabbing your cellphone, or go down to the bar, and still receive enough money and services to live on?

Ultimately, with the loss of tax income, the growth of debt and the interest charges payable on it, the level and variety of services will decrease until everyone is living in poverty and public services – maintenance, police, fire, health – are curtailed.

Socialism doesn’t work. It’s an OPM (pronounced opium) trap – addiction suffered by government, taxpayers and benefits recipients alike.

Geoffrey Capp

Lethbridge

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11 Responses to “Socialismis a trap”

  1. Fescue says:

    Tillerson’s utterance regarding the-small-handed-one comes to mind.

  2. grinandbearit says:

    I feel sorry for Mr Capp, to avoid getting trapped, i imagine him avoiding using the highways, hospitals, schools etc and avoiding taking safe medications and drinking clean water and breathing fresh air and visiting parks funded by OPM or socialist dollars (ie taxation to create general public benefit), all those horrible traps created by the socialist mind-set. For the rest of us that do not believe in Mr Capp’s delusional, demon-haunted world, we look forward to sharing in the benefits of our productive economy.

    • Fescue says:

      Well said, grinandbearit.

      At Thanksgiving I was talking to one of my nephew’s kids who is at the College, and he was saying that one of his professors said that “Being against taxes is like being against electricity: If you want to reduce demand, you have to turn off some appliances.” I liked that.

      I wonder what ‘social appliances’ Geoffrey would like to shut off that would result in a substantive reduction in our taxes?

  3. biff says:

    socialism does work – and we can look at nations where there is mixed economy to see the benefits. some examples are norway, sweden, finland, iceland, canada, as each seek to balance the excesses of capitalism – self service and greed, for example – with the likes of universal health care and education, and varying though somewhat reasonable bottom end standards of living.
    where the social approach fails mightily is by giving away the foundations of the nation’s wealth to private corporations: allowing the mining away of the nation’s natural resources, and through privately owned energy/utilities. these areas should be held in highest trust by the peoples’ representatives – gov’ts. ownership of forests, minerals, fisheries, oil/gas, and electricity in however that is generated, each should be a significant piece of the public wealth pie. the income generated through these operations could be used to offset the substantial costs that are presently covered by taxes, and taxes on top of taxes (income tax… then property tax, then consumer tax….).
    moreover, a nation needs to take back ownership and control of its money, such that we again borrow from ourselves and accept a devalued dollar based on the printing of more money, rather than being beholden to the ups and downs of manipulative currency “speculation” and interest payments on debt. why should a nation lose so much of its wealth through interest to lazy bum lenders, that really do not even have all the money that they purport to be lending?
    by keeping significant wealth in public hands, we are better able to look after one another. less taxes means more money available to be spent by consumers, which in turn feeds private enterprises, such as retail and restaurants/bars. less taxation burdens would also suggest less household debt.
    the joke that are royalties and corporate taxes enables the theft of public wealth, which in turn creates public debt, which in turn burdens and impoverishes the social element of the mixed economy. meanwhile, while the middle class gets poorer, and public institutions suffer, corporate greed is flourishing.

  4. John P Nightingale says:

    Welcome to the world of Mr G. Capp.
    A world of no abortion.
    A world of no birth control.
    A world where a person terminally ill, cannot request his or her own death.
    A world where LGBTQ2 communities are still outsiders.
    A world around 6,000 years old.
    And oh yes, a world with no social safety net.
    Excellent???

  5. johnny57 says:

    Over-all good points Geoffrey, but i would have to agree that some taxes are absolutely necessary, especially when essential services are required. I had to use our health system last weekend for a emergency and i can only think what it might have cost me-out of pocket for an American style care.

    So i can’t assume all taxes are bad.

  6. Fedup Conservative says:

    johnny57 certainly has it right. I have been in hospital twice this fall for a week each time and having a lot of American relatives I know what it would have cost me if I would have had to pay for it. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t allow these Reform Party Boys try to force us in to accepting it, like their hero Ralph Klein tried to do with his Third – Way. As we know Klein was forced into early retirement because of it. Some of his own MLAs told me they were certain it wouldn’t work in Alberta, and the doctors told us the same story, yet these Reformers and trying to carry on where Klein failed.

    Read : Andrew Scheer’s Win Shows Conservatives Wanted A Little More Stephen Harper: Insiders. More privatized health care is what he wants. Just like Brian Jean and Jason Kenney.

    As a retired doctor friend says :” If you want to see every man, woman, and child paying $300- $400. per month for basic health care service in Alberta then these are the guys for you, but you had better start thinking about what happens to you when you need a $300,000. operation, under this system you will be paying for it, just like the American are forced to do.”

  7. phlushie says:

    A question comes to mind. “If you cannot afford life saving surgery under the user pay health care, could we call it Government Assisted Suicide?”

  8. phlushie says:

    You want to see a real socialism trap read about the Cavindish land deal with the city.

  9. biff says:

    phlush, the cavendish land deal is not an example of socialism – as i see it, it is an example of capitalism at its worst.

    • phlushie says:

      The process of money laundering is the same except the money travels in the opposite direction. It is a trap anyway you do it. Moving other peoples money to someone that doesn’t deserve it. (ie Corporate Welfare Bums)


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