Socialism is trendy in the United States, particularly among young people, because it offers everything for free. Therefore, in the face of the presidential elections next year, two big companies that began as small businesses warn us of the danger of the promises of presidential pre-candidate Bernie Sanders. These proposals always lead to the same destination: Cuba and Venezuela.
Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone, the co-founders of the leading home goods chain Home Depot, took ‘Do it Yourself’ from a slogan to a way of building homes.
They bring their slogan to the political and economic sector to refute the socialist narrative that takes responsibility away from the individual and hands it over to society. The two entrepreneurs warn us that the success they have achieved would not be possible under a socialist system such as the one Bernie Sanders is proposing.
“Home Depot is the illustration of capitalism,” Marcus said. The ideals of prospering and becoming a success story are the backbones of free market capitalism.
Marcus and Langone founded their first hardware store with this motto in 1978. They insist that if Sanders had been the president at that time, the home improvement retailer would have probably never existed or prospered.
Sander’s policies would have not only limited their opportunities to grow their business but also their ability to start one. A socialist society is hyper-regulated. Besides taxes and controls, there are licenses and permits.
Despite the economic recession in the late 1970s, the entrepreneurs never thought of giving up their business. Marcus explains, “people needed a product. People still had to build houses and fix pipes.”
The company, which started as a local store, now has a market capitalization value of over 226 billion USD. It has branched out all across the U.S. as well as in Mexico and Canada. The business employs 400,000 people in its various subsidiaries and is listed as one of the best employers in the USA.
The debts of young university students motivate them to vote for socialists
Today the economic landscape is different for an entrepreneur. The debt incurred to finance their education comprises a large part of the finances of young people.
And, Sanders has the answer, the same one that has dominated socialist rhetoric since its inception: the rich should pay.
These solutions don’t take into consideration the fact that this intervention itself has caused university education to be expensive and has resulted in greater indebtedness among students.
According to the above chart by the Cato Institute, using official figures from theIntegrated Data on Postsecondary Education, inflation has increased the cost of the university in three decades. The study by the think tank reminds us that this phenomenon is a product of intervention in the economy.
It is no small fact that the devaluation of money increased in the same decade (the 1970s) that the U.S. disassociated itself from the gold standard and gave the Federal Reserve the power to issue money and thus aggravate inflation.
Figures indicate that the university has become exponentially expensive in the last three decades. The most notorious example of how inflation has increased the price of higher education is Pennsylvania State University, where annual tuition increased from 4,272 USD in 1980 to 17,344 USD in 2010.
Sanders “is the enemy of every entrepreneur who will be born in the country and who was born in the past.”
When asked about Sanders’ plan for Wall Street to pay 1.6 trillion USD to alleviate student loan debt, Home Depot co-founder and successful entrepreneur, Marcus, responded emphatically, “(Bernie Sanders) is the enemy of every entrepreneur who will be born in the country and who was born in the past.”
His partner Langone agreed, saying, “If people in the United States today want to know what the future holds for them if they follow Bernie Sanders, go to Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Eastern Europe. Guess what? It doesn’t work.”
Being a revolutionary is a prerequisite for studying in Cuba
“Free” comes at a very high cost. In Venezuela, for example, at the University of Carabobo alone, on average, 30 teachers resign each month. There were several strikes in 2018 due to the lack of funding, and some universities closed down.
In Cuba, on the other hand, the cost of “free” college is one’s conscience. The official newspaper Granma announced university enrollment where one of the requirements is a document by the Military Committee verifying one’s position in the defense services. This implies that one has to have completed or be enrolled in mandatory military service to study at a university.
The requirements apply to all careers, including medicine that has nothing to do with an armed struggle. However, today, doctors who travel on medical missions generate five times more income for the regime than tourism does. In other words, it is the most significant source of income for Cuba, second only to the remittances sent by those in exile.
The regime expropriates between 75% and 90% of the salary earned by doctors in other countries. The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, renounced this situation as slavery.
Are you free if you can't afford to see a doctor? Are you free if you must work 80 hours a week to buy food? Are you free if you can't pay for insulin you need to survive?
There is no freedom without economic freedom. pic.twitter.com/OvHmvNahbD
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 14, 2019
Bernie Sanders’ campaign states that true freedom is not having to worry about your own expenses, but having someone else pay for them. That’s why it offers free essential services.
Sanders and his followers ignore the words of Leon Trotsky, the leader of the Red Army in the Soviet Union. When Stalin’s purges assassinated Trotsky, he said, “In capitalism, he who does not work will not eat; in socialism, he who does not obey will not eat.”
Thus, today, the two famous entrepreneurs are stressing to the young people that the candidates who offer everything free don’t know the real cost of socialism: liberty.