The thing with socialists is that they tend not to be very social, at least not in the ways that they preach.
The whole concept behind socialism, neatly distilled for easy consumption, is that if you have stuff, that stuff should be redistributed to people who don’t have that kind of stuff.
The en vogue version of socialism is that if you only skim 1 to 2 percent of the stuff that people who have a whole, whole lot of stuff each year, you’ll be able to give stuff to everybody.
This, its adherents probably know, is a lovely fiction which will end with their politicians throwing up their hands and admitting those rapscallions with all of that stuff found some way not to give their stuff to the people who needed it, so people with considerably less stuff than the people with all that accumulated stuff will, yes, have to give up some of their stuff after all.
This all sounds great in the abstract.
In the real world, however, socialists aren’t particularly willing to follow their own code.
That’s what Matt Miller of The Daily Caller News Foundation discovered when he did some socialist vox pop interviews for his “Man on the Street” segment.
Like many Bernie Sanders supporters, Miller had made some bad decisions in life.
Fortunately for him, they only extended to that day, where he chose to wear a white polo shirt with exceptionally short sleeves on a chilly day in Washington, D.C. At least he hadn’t majored in anthropology or anything like that.
Miller described his condition as not having “access to a jacket.” Outside of the White House, he asked Bernie Sanders-style socialism supporters — none of whom looked as if they were exactly “living in poverty,” as Bernie might say during a stump speech — if he could borrow their jacket.
The answer was predictable, but the setup was still amusing enough.
So first, he asks the people on the street for their opinion about democratic socialism and its most famous cheerleader.
There’s nothing particularly amusing about this except for the one guy who’s determined to sound intelligent while saying mostly nothing: “There’s a big, um, area for socialism to work within the, um, current political um, framework that we have established in the United States.”
All right, so they’re fine with it being practiced in the macro sense.
How about the micro sense — namely, giving up their jacket?
The best response is from our socialism framework guy: “That’s really unfortunate, but there’s a couple of stores nearby where you can purchase one.”
When Miller said that he didn’t have the money: “Well, uh, that’s really unfortunate, but there are several opportunities in America, um, to provide yourself an income, and therefore, um, having one will give you access to a jacket.”
“That sounds like capitalism, though,” Miller responded.
“Some people could argue, yes, that does sound like capitalism,” he replied.
I guess this didn’t fit within his framework. All of this goes to show you can never trust the political opinions of someone wearing anything close to emo glasses.
Arguably the most illustrative response is when the guy in sunglasses who feels perfectly fine with socialism notes that if Miller borrowed his jacket, “I would be cold then, so I don’t know why you’d want to borrow my jacket.”
Well, yes. That’s the point.
Redistribution is about those who are forced to give and those who’ll happily take.
The number who are forced to give, we’re told, will always be small.
It never is.
The windfall those who take are supposed to get is always supposed to be fantastically large.
It never is.
No, it may not be your coat on a cold winter’s day.
It’s not a bad metaphor, though, if just for one problem: The jacket is never quite as warm when it eventually gets to those who “need” it.
That’s because socialism is never a peer-to-peer transaction.
There’s always a middleman in government facilitating it — one who has great ideas and needs to take a little of the fabric for overhead.
Plus, that jacket might not be environmentally sustainable. You’ll probably end up with a jacket that doesn’t fit and is made from a completely different fiber that doesn’t actually make you warm — but it cut waste from the jacket-making process by 32 percent!
And in the end, what will happen is those with the jackets will protect their right to keep their jackets.
They probably won’t have earned it. Welcome to the system of real greed and envy, comrade.
This is a vast simplification of the matter, but it’s still not far off from what Bernie Sanders and his ilk are promising.
Well, I for one welcome our new jacket-redistributing overlords — assuming, of course, I’m going to be getting a jacket.
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