Matt Perman summarizes Patrick Lencioni’s criticisms of Socialism. Lencioni writes a great critique, and we’d do well to burn these simple, yet profound points into our heads the next four years.
First, it just doesn’t work. At least not for very long. That’s because people are flawed and, outside of a family, a religious order, or a small group of friends, they will not continually work hard for the ‘greater good’ if they do not receive the fruits of that work themselves. As an economics major in college, I learned that this theory had a name: ‘the free-loader effect’. It is the natural tendency of people to do less and less work when they realize that they won’t see a proportionate increase in what they can get for it.
Over time—and this is an inevitable consequence of the free-loader effect—socialist societies experience decreasing productivity, risk-taking, and innovation, along with increasing tax rates, promises of government programs, and expectations from citizens about what they can get from those programs. When the economy inevitably falters under its own weight, those expectations cannot be met.
I’m no economics expert, but I’ve observed that the size and control of our government is growing at an alarming rate. When POTUS can fire the head of GM, that’s telling. What is growing right along with that is our expectation that the government provide for us. Neither are good for the our nation’s wellbeing.
Some reply that what Lencioni describes is not Socialism, but Communism. What do you think about that?