OCTOBER 17, 2019, BY AMBER GOLDBERG
Many of the people currently enamored with the idea of socialism, complain about the corruption and abuse perpetuated by big business. They lament the fact that overpaid CEO’s and owners exploit the employees that do the hard work of making a company successful. We need a fair system is the standard refrain. Socialism will give us more equal rewards, more fairness and make sure everyone shares in the rewards equitably.
The lesson to learn from the Hunter Biden Ukraine and China story is that if it’s equity and fairness you really seek, the government is the last place to find it. When a person is elected to the House or the Senate and goes to Washington, they enter a parallel universe filled with connections, power, and influence. Politicians enrich themselves and their families in hundreds of ways that most citizens barely comprehend. Professional politicians have access to information that is valuable to themselves and others. People are willing to pay for the influence they have with perks, positions, and opportunities. That same influence can also fix crimes and make mistakes disappear.
Sweetheart deals abound. A husband is brought into a business deal that offers huge returns. A child is placed on a corporate board at a handsome salary. A wife’s company gets contracts and grants worth millions. Contracts are awarded to companies that make generous contributions to election campaigns. Regulations are shaped to benefit or hurt specific industries that reward politicians for doing their bidding. Congress is a revolving door into a lucrative lobbying career and the list goes on. The opportunities to exploit government service for personal gain are almost unlimited. And when the government service finally ends, the generous pension for life is just an added bonus.
If you take an already powerful government and give it the additional power of life or death via the health care system, it will be untouchable. If someone has the ability to control the care you need to live, they control your life. An additional bureaucracy that will dwarf every existing bureaucracy in size, power, and resources, offers opportunity for scams, abuse, waste, fraud, and greed on a previously unimagined scale. Friendly contracts, positions, and regulations to boggle the mind.
Compare that to a corporation that is engaging in bad behavior. Corporations are accountable to customers, boards, stockholders, public opinion, liability, and legal recourse. Corporations that refuse to adapt, diminish and die. Corporations that treat employees poorly, lose the best employees to competitors. New products advance the market, solve problems, and improve lives. Competition drives prices lower and makes products available to wider audiences.
A bad company will eventually be held accountable. Bad politicians may sometimes be held accountable by voters but the armies of career bureaucrats aren’t subject to a vote. They perpetuate themselves and their organizational structure while remaining unaccountable.
“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, it’s the opposite.” There will always be people in a position to exploit others. If it’s a business doing the exploiting, we stand a chance at righting the situation. When it’s the government doing it, we stand no chance.