By Thornton Crowe
As I pulled up to the school the other day, I was met with a few cars that had Bernie: Feel the Bern stickers. I thought to myself, why would anyone want to promote socialism? Don’t they know what that term really means? These are collegiate types, so obviously they MUST know the ramifications of why Socialism is failing in many countries throughout Europe.
Sure we all hear about the Swedish Educational system and how college (et.al.) is free free free FREE! It sounds heavenly doesn’t it? Everyone wants to live in the land of milk and honey – right?!
But kids, I have to be the bearer of bad news…
Nothing in life is free.
Picture if you will, you’re waking up in London’s east side. You of college age are looking for a job, living on the dole. You have a thyroid problem but the doctor says it will nine months before you qualify (yes, qualify) for an operation. So you trug along, sick as a dog-barely able to keep your eyes open and are 40 stones over your weight allotment as prescribed by the government.
You didn’t go to college (but wait, in England-isn’t college free?) because when you were sixteen years old, you failed your exam to go on to university. You learned a trade that was picked out for you based on your aptitude by the government. You went to trade school but guess what? After you finished – while there was no cap and gown – you got a certificate and a job marker to take to the local unemployment office to register for subsidized housing and food ration benefits. The government also made the decision FOR YOU as to where you live and what you eat. So you go to the job center and look for a job all day then go back to your homogenized unit in a honeycomb of units that all look the same. Much like the Ticky Tacky Little Boxes that all look just the same…
Same kid two blocks over did pass the collegiate test and is in college chosen for him by the government. Oh, in case you’re wondering, Oxford is NOT free. You only go there if your family is very, very wealthy or you are visiting from America. You go to accounting classes – not because you like accounting but because the government test told them to assign you to an accounting career. You wanted to be a solicitor (lawyer UK style) but tough cookies. The government doesn’t need another solicitor this week.
Both lives have what in common that Americans in a democracy with capitalism don’t have… the government makes a thousand decisions for you every day. Meaning you become a slave to your country with a ruling class smaller than perhaps 1%.
Who pays for all this free? Well, because everything is rationed and choices made based on your scores on a test – taxpayers. Yes, as a working class you are still expected to pay them. And sometimes those taxes can escalate to about 40-60% of your salary.
Let’s boil that down. Say you make £38,000 GBP a year, that means you have £15,200 GBP you pay in taxes (at 40%). Leaving you a mere £22,800 GBP to live on (£1,900 GBP per month). Did you know the average rental on a flats os around £608,561 GBP a month? Guess what? No problem. You can live in a tenement. UK slang for SLUM here.
Now. Add the VAT tax which is 20% added to every purchase including food. (also known as value added tax) You’re looking at most of your £1,900 GBP being eaten up in VAT taxes. Example: a carton of 6 eggs is £1.45 GBP. Now add 20% comes to £1.74 GBP (that’s $2.74 US for 1/2 a dozen eggs). Did I mention that most Socialistic societies have very high prices for food?
Now that your head is swimming (or drowning) in math, tell me; how does free sound to you now, comrades? I can feel the Bern – Can’t you?