Socialism is not a viable economic system

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., (U-Wire) — Over the past two semesters, I have encountered individuals who denounce the Western capitalist system on the grounds that it mercilessly takes from people and offers very little reward. While that may be true to an extent, I do not believe full-scale socialism is the solution.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe strongly in certain socialistic ideals such as free education and affordable health care, but I don’t believe a government can legislate or impose economic equality. By attempting to do so, a government is actually extorting from all productive individuals in order to equalize wealth within a society, even if some of the recipients did not participate in the collective effort to create an equal society.
In the former Soviet Union, the state controlled the factories and the farmlands; yet people were often starving, particularly in the countryside. Most of the benefits went directly to members of the Communist Party, particularly those in the government. History chapters are rife with tales of starvation and famine and forced collectivization during Stalin’s reign.
At the onset of the German invasion in 1941, the Soviet military was far behind in technology. Many troops engaged the Germans on horses and with sabers. This was a result of inefficient production because there was no real incentive to produce superior goods.
If everyone is “equal,” there is no drive for improvement individually or as a whole, knowing there is no advancement for improving one’s effort or a unit’s production.
I also believe if you work for something, it should be yours. If a person has an idea, recruits the necessary talent to implement the idea and puts up the money to bankroll it, then that person should be the benefactor of his ingenuity. However, this does not mean successful people should hoard the spoils for themselves; they should split the riches with those who worked to make the plan successful.
The chief problem with modern capitalism is it does not allow for a strong, independent entrepreneur. Today’s market economics are controlled by massive corporations who steal needlessly from the actual producers of goods, the workers, by relocation and by searching for cheap labor in poor nations. This must stop.
However, rather than nationalize the entire economy, I advise everyone to study a chapter of history. At the turn of the century, the immigrants of Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe came to the United States. As second-class citizens, they were regarded as only good for cheap labor and menial, often unsanitary jobs.
Yet, some of the immigrants and their children learned to use the democratic capitalist framework in and against itself. Many, particularly the Irish, became strong in politics and in law enforcement. Others learned that Americans have vices and established gambling dens and brothels. Many more immigrants became wealthy through bootlegging during Prohibition.
From these questionable roots, their children sprung into legitimate interests.
I am not saying all who are disenfranchised with capitalism become criminals. I am using a point of history to encourage individual entrepreneurship of the modern era. With today’s amazing technology, many have become fairly well-off by mastering the art of the Internet. Mass media is a rapidly growing field with many opportunities. Only by using capitalism in and against itself can we create a modest sense of economic equality.

Brandon D. Curtis’s column originally appeared in Thursday’s University of New Mexico paper, the Daily Lobo.