Ahhh socialism, it just calls to me. Why not? Everything is FREE! I love socialists. So full of vim and vigour. Pumped up. Take AOC; all initials, we don’t need her name anymore. She is the bright light of the Democratic Socialist Party. There she is telling everyone how to live, because that’s what socialists do. But more often than not a socialist really means: “Do as I say, not as I do.” I especially love socialist politicians who have great government benefits. They get to the trough first.
Here is a great example of socialism.
Panera Care billed itself as a “non-profit” restaurant designed to feed low-income people. “Panera tried to create a socialist system in which meals were offered at a suggested donation price. That means some people would pay more while others would pay less based on what they felt like or could afford. Panera completely removed any incentive for patrons to meet even the lowest standards of consumer/retailer exchange. The result: some people paid their fair share while others enjoyed a ‘free lunch'”
That free lunch is over because the restaurant folded. Couldn’t afford the upkeep. Shades of Venezuela.
And then there are those who like feeling good about sharing.
I was talking to a friend, well-educated, intelligent, hard- working and when I commented on the poor quality of health care in Ontario he said it was OK to wait for care in the emergency room. Just to know that at some point he will receive care. So first you wait a few hours. Then it is six hours. Then if you are lucky and get care, you are left on a gurney in the hall, especially if you are over 65, because there are no beds in the trauma room. Perhaps because three drunks are in the beds-waiting to dry out, watched over by extra security.
There was a time when one did receive care expeditiously in the ER, but not anymore. So we just lower our expectations in order to remain grateful for health care…whenever.
Twenty years ago I needed a psychiatrist. My family physician got me into care, quickly. Two years ago I needed a psychiatrist. I had to wait a year.
My GP is retiring in a few months. I have no doctor. My specialist retired without saying a word. I have no specialist.
My most recent trip to the hospital was fascinating. Well, I had three trips. One of them I was kept on a stretcher in the hallway, overnight. We do that a lot in Ontario-bed shortages and all. It is still better than waiting in pain in the waiting room. The doctor came to me at 7:30 AM and gave me my diagnosis and then said I could go home. Sure. They needed the stretcher. I knew I shouldn’t go home but I hate hospitals, so I did. And one week later called an ambulance to take me back. Did that one more time. I am getting to know the paramedics. Health care for all; at some point.
My friend would say that it isn’t so bad. Could be worse. Mmmm. I required a CAT scan on one of those visits. Sadly there was no technician overnight so it meant waiting 9 hours. What could possibly go wrong in 9 hours; but at least I was getting health care.
Venezuela did not end up in the abyss of misery overnight. It took time. It starts off so pretty. So virtuous in its intent to take care of everyone, equally. And it does. And over time as more people want something, more people get too little until there is nothing left, and the people are scrounging in the garbage for food and that free medical care for all, is no medical for anyone.
This is socialism. You learn to accept less and less while paying more and more in taxes. You gradually adapt. It’s like that proverbial lobster in the lukewarm pot of water. He acclimates to the water as it gets warmer and warmer and warmer and then poof. He’s cooked.
What frightens me is the sunny ways socialism is portrayed. In America, today, left wing ideologues promote socialism for all; except of course themselves. Along with AOC, the vibrant, photogenic poster girl for sharing (she reminds me of our PM Justin Trudeau-ooh sooo cute and promoting “sunny ways;” not so sunny, today), Bernie Sanders stands up for socialism! He’s not planning to share his. He asked in 2017: “How many yachts do billionaires need? How many cars do they need? Give us a break. You can’t have it all.” He owns three houses. In 2016, he bought a $575,000 four-bedroom lake-front home in his home state. This is in addition to a row house in Washington D.C., as well as a house in Burlington, Vermont. He also earned more than $1 million annually in recent years.
The French nobleman, Alexis de Tocqueville was traveling through America, studying the revolutionary new society that had evolved there. De Tocqueville discovered that, by keeping religion separate from the State, the Americans were enabling religion to be more influential than one would have thought. Religion was influential in America because of the separation of Church and State: because religion never got directly involved in politics and vice versa. De Tocqueville discovered that religious leaders in the 1830s were heavily involved in strengthening families, building communities, and starting charities. They inspired people to a sense of the common good, educating them in “habits of the heart,” and giving them what he called “their apprenticeship in liberty.” He wrote, “In the United States religion exercises but little influence on the laws and the details of public opinion but it directs the customs of the community and by regulating domestic life it regulates the state.
Maybe a return to religious teachings will end the need for socialism.
From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”