The cost of socialism: Your freedom to choose

By Angela Lingg

Thousands of college students across the country are “feeling the Bern.”

Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist, is offering a lot of promises that seem too good to be true.

Interestingly enough, in the Democratic Party, Sanders is winning most of the votes from voters under the age of 30, while Hillary Clinton is taking more of the votes from older generations.

These generations remember Communism, the Berlin Wall, the Cold War, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) — and socialism is a word synonymous with all of them.

Even though Clinton and Sanders have very similar ideas, the word Socialist is enough to scare the older voters away.

So what is Socialism? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines socialism as, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

Sounds confusing. Let me put it this way: You work and make money, and the government heavily taxes your income.

In return you get free education, free healthcare, and you support those who simply refuse to work.

Some Socialists countries do not even allow citizens to own land or businesses. They remove the freedom to choose.

It doesn’t sound too bad in theory, but in reality it’s a different story.

Sanders said, “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.” So let’s take a look at Denmark.

In Denmark the top tax bracket includes anyone making 1.2 times the national average and they are taxed 60% of their income.

For Denmark, that is about $60,000. In the United States, anyone making that amount will not be taxed more than 19% of their income.

The highest income tax bracket in the United States is $400,000 and over, and they are taxed about 40 percent of their income.

In Sweden the average income tax is around 55% of an individual’s income.

Sweden also recently set their interest rates at -0.5%. That is below zero. Now people are being charged for putting money into the national banks rather than receiving interest.

Sweden did this because their economy is struggling.

Socialism takes away your choice. You no longer choose how you spend your money, or if you get to spend your money. If you make $50,000 and the government takes half, you are left with $25,000 to buy food, clothes, vehicles, and your house.

Denmark has the highest personal debt to disposable income which is around 300%.

By comparison, the U.S. is much less at around 100%. Because the government taxes the people of Denmark so heavily, they have no money left to spend, and therefore have extremely high personal debt.

They are followed by Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden. All are somewhat socialist.

The bottom line is: Socialism will never work in America, because Americans value their freedom to spend their money, invest their money, and work hard to make it.

Socialism comes at a high price — the freedom to choose what you do with your hard-earned cash.

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