The mindset of today’s young socialism Many young people today are buying into the idea of socialism. They do not like a system that has other people profiting off their work without actually doing the work themselves. Much of this idealistic mindset towards using the force of government to steal from others (8th commandment, Do not steal) what they themselves covet (do not covet your neighbor's goods/stuff) comes from an improper look at the value of capitalism has brought to the world. I do plan on extensively and particularly addressing the misconceptions as a whole, but I want to address today the connection with work and wages or the currency that is paid out for work done for a given company.
The value of work
In Tim Keller’s book, “Every Good Endeavor” (Get Amazon associates link) (I take issue with Keller on many things, but it does not mean he is always wrong or always unhelpful), he quotes a man Lester Dekoster in his book, “Work: the meaning of your life.” ( I have no idea who this guy is, nor have I read any of his books, but this quote is profound nonetheless).
“Work is the form in which we make ourselves useful to others . . in which others make themselves useful to us. We plant (without work); God gives the increase to unify the human race. . . (look at) the chair you are lounging in. . . could you have made it for yourself? How would you get, say the wood? Go and fell (chop down) a tree? But only after first making the tools for that and putting together some kind of vehicle to haul the wood and constructing a mill to do the lumber and roads to drive on from place to place? In short, a lifetime or two to make one chair? . . . If we worked not forty but one hundred hours per week, we couldn’t make ourselves a fraction of all the goods and services that we call our own. (Our) paycheck turns out to buy us the use of far more than we could possibly make for ourselves in the time it takes us to earn the check. Work yields far more in return upon our efforts than our particular jobs put in. Imagine that everyone quits working right now! What happens? Civilized life quickly melts away. Food vanishes from the shelves, gas dries up at the pumps, streets are no longer patrolled, and fires burn themselves out. Communication and transportation services end, utilities go dead. Those who survive are soon huddled around campfires, sleeping in caves, clothed in raw animal hides. The difference between ( a wilderness) and culture is simply, work.” Keller ends the quote and says, “there may be no better way to love a neighbor, whether you are writing parking tickets, software, or books than to simply do your work. But only skillful, competent work will do.” Pg 67 (Every Good Endeavor)
There is a ton said there, but it is really one idea taken to its logical end, which was to prove the point that the world we live in is extremely codependent on others and unimaginably complex. This is one of the major disconnects for socialism advocates. They fundamentally do not understand the way the world works. In one of his interviews, the very famous economist Thomas Sowell made an intriguing comment. When discussing socialism, he essentially makes the same point as this quote but in a pronounced historical, statistically winsome way that he is known for. He essentially says that the lower class of today not only have certain amenities/conveniences that the upper class barely had in the 1970s, but they assume its presence in their life, aka they feel entitled to it. Examples of this would be cars with radios, televisions, air conditioning, dishwashers, washer/dryers, running water/sewage systems, and many more things that could be mentioned. Not to mention the fact that most people have smartphones, smart/flat TVs, high-speed internet and essentially unlimited cinematic entertainment options that did not even exist until the beginning of this century and really did not become what we know them as (quality and accessibility) until after 2010. The average lower class person can afford the new phones that come out even if they have to finance them and buy them only once every few years (A couple of decades ago, being able to constantly get the newest thing that is fresh on the market would be reserved for the rich upper class). A market bottlenecked by no excess cash (that is what socialism would be like) could never have had the means to reinvest into their product so that they could drive down the price while still maintaining the quality so that the average worker had access to it.
The problem is, people are stupid
Ultimately, it is not a problem with the capitalistic system but themselves. They want to blame others' success and covet what they have. They do not want to admit that they are only worth what they are paid, maybe $10-15 an hour (do not get me wrong, I only make like $16, but I understand that is my value to them at this time for the company I work for) because they only make a company let's say $20 an hour in gross income. They do not want to admit that no amount of credit card (advanced free money) or stimulus checks (free money that was legally stolen from someone else on their behalf) will make them wealthy because they don't want to admit they are bad with money and are not creative or intelligent enough to know how to take the money and make that money multiply multiple times over (This is what I am working on with my podcasts, books, YouTube channel, and this article). They know how to make their little bit of money they are paid and spend it without any financial progress and blow it on entertainment and toys. The credit companies and government have conditioned them to be like kids at the arcade. They go and get a little bit of money and blow it on dumb, short-term empty stuff. They come back, hoping there will be endless handouts from someone to feed their habit.
I think the statistical fact that the #1 occupation that is considered a millionaire (everyday millionaire by net worth, according to a study of over 7k everyday millionaires by Dave Ramsey solutions) is teaching. For all the trash talk we do about the teaching profession’s lack of pay, which is 30k-60k on average, they are still the most common people to build their worth to over $1,000,000. How are they able to do this with such a low income? They are good at making their money grow, they live below their means (spend less than they make), and save aggressively.
The insanity of foolish people
So, going back to the quote about work. Everything that is in our home and all our neighbors’ homes was bought with money we were given for a service we did for that company. 99% of those things would take such complex knowledge, skills, materials, and logistical coordination that it would take us multiple years, if not multiple decades, just to build the infrastructure to make one crappy one, let alone the quality we have in our home. This is why many pro free market people say that when these unknowing brats (those who believe it is a good idea to steal from the competent) finally get their socialist utopia for 5 minutes and quickly lose many of the things they liked or depended on disappear, much of the technological advancement would rewind like an old VHS tape, and overnight, they would be scratching their heads, trying to figure out who turned off the lights. They will be crying out and asking capitalism what happened, not realizing it was their government intervening that caused it (It will be a sweet day if I told you so for us). We will tell them, like a wise parent does to a foolish rebellious child, that they did not understand the consequences of what they wanted ideologically in the world would be.
Appreciate the means
If more people could appreciate the complexity (how the complex interactions of millions of people worked together to bring about what we are able to buy without wages) of what we have via serving one another with the motive of our own gain (what Adam Smith, father of modern economics calls, the invisible hand), they would retract in a heartbeat, but the book of proverbs in the Bible makes fun of how insane (doing something over and over again, expecting a different result) a fool can be. Let's end with the commentary that Keller had at the end after the Dekoster quote,
“There may be no better way to love your neighbor, whether you are writing parking tickets, software, or books, than to simply do your work.” Every Good Endeavor(amazon associates link here) by Tim Keller
This is the way capitalism is to serve one another and be compensated for that service according to the objective value it brings to the world. It is virtuous to work hard, become more valuable, and serve others well and use that compensation to bless others for their service instead of coveting your neighbor’s stuff and then using the government to legitimize the coveting by stealing their resources against their will by force in a way that is legal but immoral.
Tim is a Christian author. His worldview that informs his writing is Calvinist, Baptist, and Libertarian. His main series is his Christian picture book series, "About God for Kids", where he discusses the attributes of God in a way kids can digest. He also wrote a Christian Romance novel, libertarian book for beginners, and Christian coloring books. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He has written a book on freedom called “Are You Free” (If you are into listening to books I have it in audio also, Are You Free Audiobook )and he has written multiple children’s books about God. Be Sure to check out the podcast version of the blog, Labor for Truth Podcast. And check out “The Truth About” YouTube Channel. You can find his works at his amazon author page, https://amazon.com/author/timbankes. He even has a free digital eBook on how God is the creator. Get your free copy today at, Greater Creator .Also If you are into Christian Fiction, he has made his first book in his Futuristic Christian Fiction series free, Her Dying Wish