More and more Americans are asking this question during this election cycle. Most politicians refuse to really answer, and instead pivot to the talking points with which they are most comfortable. Those who attempt to answer usually mention that Socialists believe government should own the means of production.
These explanations miss the much larger delusion that lies at the foundation of Socialism. The idea that is gaining popular appeal in America now has the entire world in its grip. It has become so pervasive that it has crept into the policy proposals of almost all American politicians of all political parties since the beginning of the 20th century. The promise that putting the right people in power will bring paradise to earth has led us down a very dangerous path. Do you know how to spot the delusion? Do you know the better way?
Meet the Authors
The Late Clarence B. Carson
(1925–2003) was a native of Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and held a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt. Dr. Carson served in the U.S. Army, taught in high school and college at both the graduate and undergraduate level, and in later years devoted himself to independent research, writing and lecturing. In addition to fifteen books, he authored more than 500 articles and reviews which have appeared in such publications as Modern Age, The Freeman, Chronicles of Culture, The Review of the News, Texas Quarterly, and Colorado Quarterly.
Paul A. Cleveland
is a Professor of Economics and Finance at Birmingham–Southern College. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Texas A&M University. His principal academic research is focused on the study of free enterprise and political economy. In particular, he is interested in examining the proper role of government in society and the problems created when it enacts policies beyond its appropriate boundaries. He is the author of two books: Understanding the Modern Culture Wars and Unmasking the Sacred Lies and the co-author of the third edition of Basic Economics with Clarence B. Carson. In addition, his articles have been published in numerous places including the Journal of Private Enterprise, the Independent Review, The Journal of Markets & Morality, Religion and Liberty, Areopagus Journal, Mises Daily Articles, and The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. Beyond his writing, he has lectured on free enterprise in numerous places including universities in Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Peru, China, and Taiwan. Finally, he serves as an adjunct scholar for the Alabama Policy Institute, as a part time scholar for the Apologetics Resource Center, and as a Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.
L. Dwayne Barney
is professor emeritus of finance at Boise State University. His undergraduate degree was from Weber State College and his Ph.D. in economics was earned at Texas A&M University. During his 28–year career at Boise State University he taught courses in the areas of economics and finance and was the recipient of a variety of teaching awards and recognitions. Administrative positions he held at the university included a stint as Chairman of the Department of Marketing and Finance and a four–year term as the university’s NCAA faculty athletic representative. He is the co-author with Brian McGrath of one book, Capital as Money. As a researcher he has published numerous articles in professional journals such as The Journal of Risk and Insurance, the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, and the Journal of Financial Research.
Articles of Interest
The recent popularity for governments at various levels to increase the minimum wage is overwhelming evidence of the immense economic ignorance that plagues our country. Not only that, such policies actually oppress the poor among us and ought, on that basis alone, to...read more
If you ask people today if they value freedom they will invariably tell you that they do. Regrettably, based upon their preferred government policy proposals, that assertion cannot be true. I am often surprised at how little people think about the nature of government...read more
We all face numerous obstacles in life. Many of these are natural. There are always limits to our time and understanding. We must overcome the problem of distance and our useful means are always limited. In fact, the very first principle of economics states that there...read more
Our government is out of control. Could you explain why? Could you explain what the legitimate purpose for government is? This article by Dr. Paul Cleveland, originally written in 1997, explains the exact problem that we face, and lays out the case for returning to government’s legitimate limited purpose.read more
Consider three individuals who are living on an island. Imaginatively, let’s call them Gus, Carl, and Hillary. Now, through a lot of risky hard work climbing trees and picking fruit, Gus has accumulated quite a stash of coconuts. However, since Gus has been busy...read more
Christianity has always asserted that people are sinners. This does not mean that people are as bad or evil as they could possibly be, but that every aspect of their being is tainted by sin. As such, human action is always flawed in this world. Unrighteousness and...read more