Friday, 8 July 2016

Why I could never be a Socialist - Some Observations


“Mom,” my daughter asked me, one day, some fifteen ago, “are you a Capitalist or a Socialist?”

“Anyone who works hard for their money has got to be a Capitalist,” I answered without any hesitation.

We were living in New Zealand at the time. In fact, living there for as long as I did, is one experience that has been very instrumental in helping shape my views on the subject. Anyone who has ever visited New Zealand will surely agree with me that it is a Garden of Eden. Two small islands in the middle of the Pacific, still far from any threats as we know them in the Western world, no air force and few worries. The country is as close to the socialist dream as one could ever be. There are no homeless people in New Zealand (at least not when I resided there). The government takes good care of its citizens. Single parents are well cared for as are low income people. All are noble and high moral principles. The epitome of Socialism.

Make no mistake, I am all in favor of government social programs focused on supporting and helping those who are less fortunate in any society. Only cold hearted people would oppose such magnanimous values. I salute such governments.

I do, however, have a serious issue with socialism when it goes unchecked and turns into an abusive tool by those who­­ benefit from it. Eventually, I believe, it becomes a boomerang.  And that is what I, unfortunately, witnessed during much of the ten years that I lived there.

One example that comes to mind is the benefits awarded to single mothers. Watching many high school dropouts electing to get pregnant for the sole purpose of being a single mother so that they do not have to work, have an easier life while receiving government benefits and monies, sometimes more than any job could offer, perplexed me then. In the interest of continuing this life of convenience, they repeat the same when their child has reached that age when the mothers are no longer qualified for single motherhood benefits. They simply get pregnant again, sometimes, or rather most of the time, by a man who may never be part of the child’s future life. That cycle will then repeat itself until that mother reaches the age of retirement when she is eligible for government superannuation. And there are more examples of abusive practices directed at swindling and conning a system originally set with the best intentions for all.

Yes, I am aware that generalizations are always dangerous but I have witnessed many cases, enough to have formed the views that I hold.

Why, or what has prompted me to discuss the subject and particularly as it pertains to New Zealand, now? Very simple. I see a similar trend in Norway, another beautiful country that prides itself of great social values, a country which I have been visiting frequently lately.

Here, too, I see many single mothers, some choosing to live out of wedlock with their partners, the fathers of their children, again, for the purpose of squeezing as much as possible out of the government so that they do not have to work. I speak to people who claim to be unfit for physical work, yet engage in jobs that are much more demanding while being paid monies that are never declared.

Simple logic dictates that in order to be able to maintain socialism, one would need money, a lot of money or what we all know as capital. If so many live off a state and live well, we should stop and ask, who pays for it? How long can a country no matter how endowed it is, sustain and survive such practices or rather such antics by many of its citizens?

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