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Clichés of Socialism: A List of Replies to Arguments Against the Market and Freedom

Having a hard time refuting charges committed by people against the market and freedom? Well, over at FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education, they have, from past participants, compiled a list of arguments against the market economy with a page refutation of each. They call it Clichés of Socialism, and I compiled them here with links to them individually. The arguments against the market and freedom seem to never change! Side note: these were written a while ago, yet the message is timeless.

Clichés of Socialism:

“If we had no Social Security, many people would go hungry.”

“The government should do for the people what the people are unable to do for themselves “

“The right to strike is conceded, but…”

“Too much government, just what would you cut out?”

“The size of the national debt doesn’t matter because we owe it to ourselves.”

“Why, you’d take us back to the horse and buggy.”

“Man is born for cooperation, not competition” or “The idols of the marketplace must yield to those of humanity.”

“Americans squander their incomes on themselves while public needs are neglected.”

“Labor are too powerful today, but useful in the past.”

“We have learned to counteract and thus avoid any serious depression.”

“Human rights are more important than property rights.”

“Employees often lack reserves and are subject to ‘exploitation’ by capitalist employers”

“Competition is fine, but not at the expense of human beings.”

“We’re paying for it, so we might as well get our share. “

“I’m a middle-of-the-roader.”

“Customers ought to be protected by price controls.”

“The Welfare State is the Best Security Against Communism”

“Don’t you want to do anything?”

“Big Business and Big Labor Require Big Government”

“We believe in presenting both sides.”

“If Free Enterprise really works, why the Great Depression?”

“Federal aid is all right if it doesn’t bring federal control.”

“The United States Constitution was designed for an agrarian society.”

“I prefer security to freedom”

“Individual Workers are too weak to bargain with corporations”

“Tell me, just what liberties have you lost?”

“Private businessmen should welcome government competition.”

“The Government can do it cheaper because it doesn’t have to make a profit.”

“If government doesn’t relieve distress, who will?”

“We never had it so good.”

“We can have both guaranteed jobs and freedom of choice.”

“Labor is not a commodity”

“The problem of production has been solved.”

“Business is entitled to a fair profit.”

“Purchasing power creates jobs.”

“We’d rather have surpluses than shortages.”

“One man’s gain is another’s loss.”

“Without legislation, we’d still have child labor and sweatshop conditions.”

“Businessmen should work for the good of others.”

“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

“No one must profit from the misfortune of others.”

“A worker should be paid according to his productivity.”

“The shylock! He charges all the traffic will bear!”

“You do believe in majority rule, don’t you?”

“Socialism is the wave of the future.”

“There ought to be a law.”

“The government ought to do it.”

“Nobody is worth a million dollars.”

“Tax the rich to help the poor.”

“Wars bring jobs and prosperity.”

“We must break up economic power.”

“Society is to blame, not I.”

“I’m for free enterprise-but!”

“Rent control protect tenants.”

“Fact-finding is a proper function of government.”

“Government should control prices, not people.”

“REA is a fine example of private enterprise.”

“The way to peace is through the UN.”

“General Motors is too big.”

“But everyone else is doing it.”

“Industrialization causes unemployment in capitalist countries.”

“Industrialization assures progress in undeveloped countries.”

“Socialism works in Sweden.”

“Government should guarantee freedom from want.”

“Government spending assures prosperity.”

“Capital can move; labor can’t.”

“Speculation should be outlawed.”

“Moonlighting increase unemployment.”

“Government is all of us.”

“Everyone is entitled to a fair wage.”

“Under public ownership, we, the people, own it!”

“What this country needs is creative federalism.”

Any problems with the links let me know. Enjoy!

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Would be nice to have at your fingertips

All in favor of this being converted into an Adroid/iPhone app say aye! :)


Is there a direct link to the root of this compendium rather than a bunch of separate links? Much easier to send out to others as one direct link rather than a ton of separate ones.

Off topic, but I need to contact you about a photo you posted

Can you please email me at rmandel@nyc.rr.com about a rally image you posted. A publisher is considering it for reproduction on a book cover of a book about Ron Paul.


Slight disagreement

1. “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” This is 100% Marxist hogwash and I do a agree that it has no place in a free society (it is the basis of Income Tax).

2. “A worker should be paid according to his productivity.” I am a firm believer in this statement. Greater result should wind up with greater reward.

Payment schemes exist like this - take the example of jobs which are commission-only. Is such a scheme bad? Really it depends on your frame of reference. Having such a system may bring in tons of business for a company while decreasing its liability - the workers in essence become responsible for the productivity of the company. They KNOW that if the company doesn't get good revenues, they won't either.

Now it IS bad to have thumbscrew-style government wage controls - where a business MUST pay a worker in a certain way and no other. This squashes the ability of the business to decide for itself what to pay people.

But, I really do think people who do more should be rewarded more. Is this really a bad thing? It seems to be the opposite of welfarism - where the people who "need more" are given more.

slight misunderstanding

There is a terminology issue here. The article talks about productivity in the sense of how much stuff a worker can output. A man with a tractor can get a lot more done, but if he does not own the tractor, then he should not necessarily get all the reward for the extra productivity.

However, if by productivity you mean that a man should be paid more if he contributes more, then we are all in agreement. This is what tends to happen on the free market. A worker is paid the equivalent of his contribution.

For example, say that your work results in $10 of revenue per hour, but your employer only pays you $5 per hour. The employer gets $5 per hour profit.

Now there is an opportunity for someone else to hire you. They can offer you $6 dollars per hour and make a profit of $4 per hour. Which they would certainly do, since $4 is better than $0. This continues in a free market, and employers will tend to bid up wages to match how much that worker contributes.

See Murray Rothbard's "Man, Economy and State" for more detail.

the majority of those are

the majority of those are associated with state-socialism, not socialism, which is associated with peer to peer ownership of the means of production by the laborers.

Ever Read "Animal Farm"?

Such a system, when composed of humans with flaws, will inevitably devolve further into totalitarian Communism.

i have read animal farm. i'm

i have read animal farm. i'm a huge fan of orwell, but he would most definitely disagree with your statement. this logic is the same that leads socialists to the belief that capitalism will turn into....totalitarianism. there are worker owned cooperatives all over the world, and none of them have devolved into big C-state communism. manorialism didn't devolve from cooperative work, and neither did the current system, so i'm afraid you're needing a brush up on historicity.

Awesome resource. Thank you.

Awesome resource.
Thank you.

Let it not be said that we did nothing.-Ron Paul
Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.-Sophia Magdalena Scholl

Wow, I'm gonna add a link to

Wow, I'm gonna add a link to this post, in my megapost. It'll be like a dome within a dome. And a shortlink http://is.gd/freemarket

Oops, add it now, I found a

Oops, add it now, I found a mistake.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke

lol it's just a link from my

lol it's just a link from my page to this page, it updates when you update.


This is an awesome resource.

Try going over to alternet.org and defend free markets. It's like slitting your wrist. This is going to be very handy.

Thank you thank you

"It does not take a majority to prevail but rather an irate, tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

--Samuel Adams