Image Credits: AP Photo/John Locher

If you’ve been paying attention at all to the political climate in our country the past several years, you’ll notice that socialism is somewhat of a shiny new trend. In fact, a handful of Americans have decided they want to try it out. With the popularity of socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, the idea that more things should come to us at no charge has spread like wildfire. What does socialism really mean for a country? Let me tell you, it sure doesn’t belong in America.

For starters, Socialism is defined as “a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.” “Owned and controlled by the state” doesn’t sound much like what the founding fathers must have had in mind when they created this nation on freedom and liberty. Capitalism, defined as “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market” sounds a heck of a lot more like the America I know. It embodies what the founding fathers envisioned our government to be: given to the people.

Socialism must seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread from what Bernie makes it out to be. Free college, free healthcare, free everything! Who doesn’t like free stuff? What Bernie won’t tell us is basic economics – nothing is ever really free. Who do you think is paying for all of it? The government. Who pays the government? Taxpayers. How high would our taxes be if our country turned to socialism? We would be completely dependent on the government. That is way too much government involvement. It is simply not the basic and fundamental liberty that this country was built on.

Americans are encouraged to live our lives in a different way. We’re given the freedoms to spend our money how we like. We can get the education that we want. We can choose to work in a job of our choosing. The free market is a beautiful, prosperous thing. With the opportunities and rewards of a free market, we get things like world-changing technology. We get advancements in healthcare, better talent, and lower prices. If the government taxed all or a high percentage of our income, put it into a pool, and divided it up evenly amongst everyone, what would motivate a specialized employee to work hard, while knowing that they will receive the same compensation as a minimum wage worker? A free market promotes the competition needed for a growing and successful economy and society. Free market competition also drives prices down like we’ve recently seen Target and Walmart do to compete with companies such as Amazon and Whole Foods. Without the free market, you wouldn’t have the smartphone you’re reading this article on. You wouldn’t have Twitter, or even your precious Starbucks.

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Like President Trump stated at this year’s United Nations General Assembly, “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.” If you’ve been watching how Venezuela has gone from a prosperous country with great potential to a socialist country where even groceries are not easily attainable, you’ll understand that socialism has no place in the land of the free. Being free to decide what we get to do with our lives, in big decisions and small ones, is fundamentally American. The government forcing you to give them your hard-earned money and letting them decide where and how it is spent isn’t freedom at all. In fact, it’s fundamentally un-American.

Emilie N
Emilie is an FFL Cabinet Member from the upper Midwest. She loves her mama, loves Jesus, and America, too. When she's not cheering on the Minnesota Vikings or obsessing over the Olympics, you can find her watching Friends or petting a dog.

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