Do you notice that whenever "socialism" comes up, the discussion degrades into definitions of what it is within seconds. That's a trap. All you need to know about socialism is that state owns you ass -- whether through direct of indirect means. It's the absolute end of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Socialism is the Big Lie of the twenty-first century

While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

Under socialism, incentives are connected and limited to climbing the state hierarchy. Whether it's direct control as a government agency or indirect control via tax, tariff, regulation, fine, etc., everything is operating under one big-assed system. Without the freedom to "try," to innovate and express that thing that makes individuals "special," there is no incentive tocreate and evolve. The individual just goes along with the program.

By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Killing incentive is killing the human spirit

Socialism kills and destroys the human spirit

By their failure to foster, promote, and nurture the potential of their people through incentive-enhancing institutions, centrally planned economies deprive the human spirit of full development. Socialism fails because it kills and destroys the human spirit–just ask the people leaving Cuba in homemade rafts and boats [and those waiting in long lines today in Venezuela struggling, and often failing, to buy food].

Freedom vs security

The temptress of socialism is constantly luring us with the offer: “give up a little of your freedom and I will give you a little more security -- and free stuff.” As the experience of this century has demonstrated, the bargain is tempting but never pays off. We end up losing both our freedom and our security -- and there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Capitalism works.

~ Excerpted from "Why Socialism Failed"