It seems, where democratic capitalism exists successfully, there will always be an appeal by fringe elements for so-called Democratic Socialism. Some call it a cry for an “even playing field”.
What does an “even playing field” really mean? Does it suppose all, or nearly all, humanity might have bestowed upon them a life in a bucolic setting devoid of discrimination, inequality, injustice, violence and aggression? One where all would be engaged in some government preordained endeavor that provides adequate housing, food, healthcare, public transport, furnishings, clothing, as well as other essential, and even sundry needs or wants such as occasional entertainment opportunities? Essentially, all life’s basic requirements plus?
All of these blessings bestowed for no other reason than you exist. All provided equally to eliminate jealousy or envy. Quite possibly all extraneous wealth would be confiscated. All second amendment rights suspended, once a full and final constitutional amendment is approved, and all firearms confiscated as well.
Might all of this suggested reality be conceived, organized and provisioned by some form of government entity? All provided with no regard for one’s education or other forms of qualifications, mental or physical capacity, heredity/race, age, sex, on and on? Is this an all-in assumption that everyone has the same needs for mental stimulation, achievement, recognition of accomplishment and would be forever happy with every player on the “team” receiving a “participation trophy”; all while declaring “winning” a false God?
Wait! Stop! Of course, of course all of these are silly notions that would never, ever have even a prayer of success given the truth of human nature.
So what do these “even playing field” types really want? Quite possibly they want Democratic Socialism. A system, where attempted, that has failed to eliminate poverty and injustice while dooming its citizens to a life short of its potential. A system that would eventually whittle away any sort of achievement of wealth (either created or inherited) with withering taxes, and the stifling of innovation that would ultimately lead to the destruction of our capitalistic democracy and all the amazing benefits such a system provides for so many.
Are some who underachieve marginalized by our system, well, yes. Our system, however imperfect, has been the beacon of hope to the entire world for over two hundred years. The beacon that tells of an opportunity to toil mightily and take risk in order to achieve something close to one’s potential while reaping the rewards that no other system can offer. We should scrap this entirely to achieve this so called “even playing field”?
Can more be done to even the playing field? One would assume so. But would it ever be enough to satisfy the critics of our system and the decriers of a system that produces both wealth and poverty (no different than any other system conceived or attempted)? A system that relies primarily on earnest effort and achievement. Yet one that includes a substantial safety net for those who truly need it and that totals in excess of a trillion dollars in wealth transfer programs each year.
A great deal has been done in the past 100 years, with a significant uptick in new entitlement and anti-discrimination programs since the 1960s. These entitlements amounted to trillions and trillions of new wealth transfer programs enacted. Funding made possible by a system that generates trillions in wealth creation through the magic of capitalism, without which, aid programs, both public and privately charitable, would not be nearly as well financed.
All poverty and injustice cannot be completely eradicated by any governmental/political system. But more can be and is done by our system; more than could ever be achieved in a system of socialism. Socialistic countries like France are proof of that undeniable fact. Regardless of how “socialistic” their system of government is, there is constant social unrest, strikes, protests and rioting. Unrest because whatever is done is never enough.