Leftists like Mark Zuckerberg, who rise to the top because of capitalism, later turn on the very system without which they could not have risen to the top.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to mandate what he and others call “universal income”.

Progressive leftist socialist Democrats virtue signal one another with cooing applause. These poor saps think it’s something new. But we’ve heard—and tried—all this before. It’s nothing more than guaranteed income. Karl Marx wrote about it. Soviet Russia, Cuba and North Korea all tried to implement it. Even Richard Nixon talked about it, at one point. Venezuela tried it, too. Ask anyone there with relatives, and they will tell you how this resource-rich country went from tolerable to starving in a matter of months.

Zuckerberg does not even take the step of proposing how to implement universal income. At least the socialists and Communists of the 1800s and 1930s had the gumption to do that. He merely states it as an intention. He yammers on, “Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract”. And unthinking, mewling idiots applaud it, having no idea what any of it means, while hoping their friends – also applauding, also thinking the same – see them approving of what the cool, young, great billionaire leftist is preaching.

It’s easy to debunk such an idea politically. It has been done in practice many times, up through and including today’s Venezuela. Socialism does not work, not if survival and justice are the standards. But American leftists do not seem to care. So long as you are not Donald Trump, they will drink any poison. And they were in love with socialism long before Donald Trump came along, anyway. Funny how the people least exposed to socialism are always where you’ll find its most fervent supporters.

Zuckerberg speaks as if giving people something for free—as an entitlement, presumably through some government handout bureau—will automatically motivate them to succeed. Zuckerberg claimed that because he knew he had a safety net to fall back on — his relatively wealthy parents — he was more open to taking chances in life that resulted in him creating Facebook. Does this mean his parents’ wealth, and that wealth alone, made him innovate and create Facebook? What about the people who come from nothing and achieve great things? If wealth is the defining condition, how do they create so much?

Does money automatically create motivation? Or is it determination, character, persistence, ability and intelligence? Can money buy those things? Of course not. It’s naïve and ignorant to assume that because YOU might have those qualities, somebody else will automatically and always suddenly develop those qualities merely because you give them money. Especially when that money is taken forcibly from people who own it and run it through the demoralizing and hapless red tape of the government.

You can’t give someone money as an entitlement, and then expect them to perform just because of that fact. Sure, people help loved ones, family members and even strangers out all the time. But the only time such help leads to anything is when you’re rewarding great qualities of potential that you see. Scholarships and grants are not supposed to be given as entitlements; they’re supposed to be given to reward virtue. When these people later achieve, they’re right to say, “I could not have done it without you”. Just as often, the thing you could not have done without was moral support, as much or more than financial support. But there’s no question that financial support can make the difference. However, the financial support means nothing if the person does not possess or develop ambition, hard work and other virtues in the process. If you lack virtues, then all the money in the world will not make you into anything. I’ll bet that Zuckerberg, or at least many who applaud him, are smart enough to know this. But they don’t care. Their primary objective is to be recognized for favoring wealth redistribution.

I find it endlessly ironic. Leftists like Mark Zuckerberg, who rise to the top because of capitalism, later turn on the very system without which they could not have risen to the top. Even if his success comes solely from his parents’ wealth, as he implies, where would their wealth have been without some degree of capitalism? In the socialist world he now wants to create, his parents would have had no wealth, and little Mark would never have succeeded, according to his own narrative. The people who moralistically condemn money and wealth-creation the loudest, which is why they become socialist Democrats in the first place, are the very ones who act and think as if money alone—always other people’s money—will be enough to bring unimaginable levels of achievement and happiness.

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Dr Michael Hurd

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.