Why Politicians Win (And Workers Lose) Under Socialism

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Mises Institute

Socialism leads to the politicization of society. Hardly anything can be worse for the production of wealth.

Socialism, at least its Marxist version, says its goal is complete equality. The Marxists observe that once you allow private property in the means of production, you allow differences. If I own resource A, then you do not own it and our relationship toward resource A becomes different and unequal. By abolishing private property in the means of production with one stroke, say the Marxists, everyone becomes co-owner of everything. This reflects everyone's equal standing as a human being.

The reality is much different. Declaring everyone a co-owner of everything only nominally solves differences in ownership. It does not solve the real underlying problem:  there remain differences in the power to control what is done with resources.

In capitalism, the person who owns a resource can also control what is done with it. In a socialized economy, this isn't true because there is no longer any owner. Nonetheless the problem of control remains. Who is going to decide what is to be done with what? Under socialism, there is only one way: people settle their disagreements over the control of property by superimposing one will upon another. As long as there are differences, people will settle them through political means.

If people want to improve their income under socialism they have to move toward a more highly valued position in the hierarchy of caretakers. That takes political talent.

Under such a system, people will have to spend less time and effort developing their productive skills and more time and effort improving their political talents.

As people shift out of their roles as producers and users of resources, we find that their personalities change. They no longer cultivate the ability to anticipate situations of scarcity to take up productive opportunities, to be aware of technological possibilities, to anticipate changes in consumer demand, and to develop strategies of marketing. They no longer have to be able to initiate, to work, and to respond to the needs of others.

Instead, people develop the ability to assemble public support for their own position and opinion through means of persuasion, demagoguery, and intrigue, through promises, bribes, and threats. Different people rise to the top under socialism than under capitalism. The higher on the socialist hierarchy you look, the more you will find people who are too incompetent to do the job they are supposed to do. It is no hindrance in a caretaker politician's career to be dumb, indolent, inefficient, and uncaring. He only needs superior political skills. This too contributes to the impoverishment of society.

Read full article

You May Also Like:

On Social Media, What's Genius For Obama Is Scandal When It Comes To Trump [Watch] Ben Shapiro, The Hill

The Problem Is Facebook, Not Cambridge Analytica Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

The Sad Hysteria Of The Southern Poverty Law Center Shikha Dalmia, The Week

‘Armed School Resource Officer’ Took Down Maryland High School Shooter Christian Datoc, Daily Caller

What Went Wrong At The FBI Thomas J. Baker, The Wall Street Journal

Nafta Is A Critical Part Of The U.S.’s Economic Future Dan K. Eberhart, Investor’s Business Daily

Hillary Should Just Admit She Hates Half Of America Katherine Timpf, National Review

Democrats’ Obstructionism Is Unprecedented John Hinderaker, PowerLine Blog

Collapse Of Credibility In Mainstream Press Puts Burden On Readers Ira Stoll, New York Sun

At $21 TRILLION, The National Debt Is Growing 36% Faster Than The US Economy Simon Black, Sovereign Man

Two Million Get Off Food Stamps During Trump's First Year Tom Knighton, PJ Media

RNC Raises $12.8 Million In February, Breaks Another Fundraising Record Jack Heretik, Washington Free Beacon

What Could Go Wrong With Obama-era Appointees Putting All Our National Security Eggs In Amazon's Basket? Jared Whitley, Weekly Standard

Alert: Dems Just Got 5 Congressional Seats Courtesy Of The SCOTUS Kevin Daley, Conservative Tribune

The Truth About Medicaid Work Requirements Angela Rachidi, American Enterprise Institute

Millennials Aren’t Saving Because They Think Capitalism Will Be Finished By The Time They Reach 65 Matt Vespa, Townhall

Homeschooling: The Best Hope For America's Future Lloyd Marcus, American Thinker

For More go to the Home Page >>>

Join Our Email List



FreeMarket Central

Some titles recent, all recommended -

Special Video Feature

FreeMarket Central

Voices From The 2017 International Students For Liberty Conference


In Search Of History

The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).


-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

Shadow Stats Snapshot

FreeMarket Central

ShadowStats alternate economic indicators are based on the methodology of noted economist John Williams, specialist in government economic reporting.

  • Unemployment:
    FreeMarket Central BLS: 4.14%
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 21.8%
  • Inflation:
    FreeMarket Central February Year-to-Year: 1.8% (CPI-U*)
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 9.9%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]