The Moral Case for Socialism

Capitalism Is Unfair and Unethical from a Material Perspective

I’ve had a fairly substantial shift in perspective and political philosophy in the recent weeks thanks to the influence of left-wing friends, the writings of Karl Marx, and mostly my own independent stream of thought.

I came to the realization that profit and the perpetual return on capital is inherently unjust. If we change our lens from that of money, property, and mutually agreed upon contracts to material production and consumption, we find that there are gross and unjust inequities in the distribution of consumption and wealth. A quarter of produce is rewarded on the basis of capital ownership as opposed to labor.

Over 160 million Americans work a combined 300 billion hours each year for the maintenance of their material subsistence. More than half work overtime, and millions do not have the opportunity to work at all.

In the first quarter of 2019, the net operating surplus of all business in the United States (or profit) reached nearly $5.1 trillion. The Bureau of Economic Analysis defines net operating surplus as the following:

A profits-like measure that shows business income after subtracting the costs of compensation of employees (received), taxes on production and imports less subsidies, and consumption of fixed capital (CFC) from value added, but before subtracting financing costs and business transfer payments. Consists of the net operating surplus of private enterprises and the current surplus of government enterprises.

Since gross domestic income reached nearly $21 trillion in the first quarter, this means that nearly one-fourth of all value created in the United States belongs to shareholders, landlords, partners, and proprietors in the form of profit. Nearly all of this profit while be taxed at lower rates from regular wage and salaried income earned by the overwhelming majority of Americans, who must make a living by selling their labor.

This net operating surplus is larger than the economies of Canada and Mexico put together, accounting for roughly an entire $30,000 for every member of the American labor force. Net operating surplus as a percentage of gross domestic income only fell below 20% once in the past 60 years, in the second quarter of 1980, when it fell to 19.5%. This stream of profit, in proportion to all income, has not been declining over the long-run.

A typical home for a middle-income American family.

In effect, there are people who by no virtue of their own, may consume in plenty and excess, the fruits of the labor of people who do not have the good fortune of possessing capital. It is true that most capital is owned by the upper middle class, and that most capital is accumulated via saving and then investing; however, the average investor can compound the value of their wealth beyond what they would ever be able to save.

Let’s say for example that an investor who earns $90,000 a year saves and invests $12,000 after taxes. If they do that each year and average a 7% return after inflation, they will have just over $1.1 million in 30 years. Over these years, they will average nearly $40,000 in unearned income annually. A capitalist with $1 million can reliably make $60,000-90,000 a year with little or no labor, depending on how they are investing.

Capital carries through the generations in families like mine, allowing them to accumulate unreasonable wealth which perpetually grows, providing for the few a lifestyle incommensurate with their merit or material productivity, all whilst millions live without material security, tertiary education opportunities, or full health insurance.

The Declaration of Independence reads the following, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is clear to me that the American revolution is not over, and that it must continue until all the men and women of the nation are equal and have realized the their all of their rights.

A mansion in Hollywood, with space exceeding that of multiple family homes.

No longer should the people of of our society be made to labor unhappily and without meaning for the benefit and excess consumption of those who do not earn in proportion to their living. Do not mistake my words; I do not call for the abolition of productive labor, but for the just end to the alienation of workers to their work, as well as their exploitation by the capital class.

We must be tolerant of all people, rich or poor, profiting or waging, renting or land-lording. It is the duty of a just and democratic society to forgive and renew, and to avoid devolving towards the reactionary and misguided pursuit of retribution and revanchism. We must not alienate anyone, and should seek to establish equality among all people.

Thank you for reading if you got this far, and I hope you come back to this site another time for new content. I write and post every once in a while, and I hope to be writing more often, and with a diverse set of subjects.

Much appreciation. -Cade

5 thoughts on “The Moral Case for Socialism

  1. Here’s why socialism doesn’t strike me as “considerable.” I believe in America under our capitalist society, you can prosper “no matter who you are!” The 1 in 4 Americans that now supposedly support some form of socialism now, I don’t think truly understand what socialism is. For some reason millennials are stuck in the mindset that everyone should be given “equally” the same amount of “everything” as the last guy. That mansion you have a picture of in Hollywood, is the purest form of what the “American dream” looks like. You say that his land could house many more structures, and I ask myself “how hard did that man/woman work” to gain that estate? No offense, but I think the vast majority that are in favor of some sort of socialism, are lazy, young, nonsensical, idled poor people. That would rather complain about the economy and party, than look themselves in the mirror at the end of the day and ask “how did I improve myself today?” After all life is what you put into it, and the problem with socialism, is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.

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    1. Say I inherited $2 million and made 5% a year in dividends/capital gains and lived off of that; o would live better than 75% of Americans without working at all; I agree that lots of people are lazy, idled, nonsensical, and so on, but I’m not. I’m actually fairly rich and I have reasoned through a lot of this

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      1. If you agree that a ton of people are lazy, idled, and nonsensical, why do you then support giving them free stuff and advocating the means of production to the government so that people like George Soros can rule the planet under totalitarianism forever? Your fighting for an argument that if signed into law would put you into poverty almost immediately. Regardless of what your leftist friends think, you personally should revaluate your mindset before simply siding with socialism because you certainly haven’t convinced me that giving up the profits of my investment firm to the government so that they can then distribute my profits equally to those less privileged would be a good idea.

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