I don’t know anyone who went harder for Bernie Sanders than I did back in 2016. I was in love with the concept of taxing the rich to help the poor. Finally, we had a politician that was woke and cared about the Black community. Then I got out of the funk that I was in and realized that I aspired to be wealthy one day, and I would be the one paying a 70% tax rate and “helping” the poor through mandate rather than a free will as the bible says I should. The funk I was in was a place of failure, resentment, and hopelessness. The business wasn’t doing well, and we were struggling. I spent a lot of time watching the news, and that only made it worse. I couldn’t figure out how to make it while the rich seemed to be getting more prosperous, and the debt collectors were on our tail. Not to mention that student loans being paid off would’ve helped tremendously. This presented the perfect opportunity for socialist ideology to grab hold of me.
But as God began to open my eyes, I stopped watching mainstream news, and my political perspective shifted. As a further matter, I began to see how dangerous socialism is and how devastating it was to the Black community. Again, having my student loans paid would’ve been a great help but at what cost? I had been an entrepreneur/ capitalist my entire adult life. Though I was experiencing a rough season, I was able to work my way out of lack with a $300 investment, vision, and faith. Through hard work, I had obtained economic freedom. I couldn’t sustain it because of my own irresponsible decisions and lack of knowledge when it came to maintaining a business and budgeting. Had I had the knowledge to accompany my talent and hustle, things might have been different.
I look at my journey and those that I know personally and follow online. I see many in my community transformed their lives and elevated their families through capitalism. None of us came from wealth and had no rich uncles or handouts. Some came from a life of crime. Some used to be on welfare. Some walked away from 9-5 jobs to start businesses and became millionaires in less than five years. One of the most transformative and effective tools for addressing economic hardship in the Black community was information. Through the internet, especially social media, we could exchange knowledge and informally educate each other in skills and concepts that were essential but hadn’t been taught in schools. Earn Your Leisure Podcast, and Dave Ramsey’s daily radio show taught me more in a year than I had learned in 10 years. It’s amazing to see how many in the Black community have leaped into new tax brackets from free game they learned from their peers and others online.
Not only have I been educated by others and my peers, but I have also been inspired. After learning and observing these things, the question is if it has been knowledge of financial literacy, real estate, the stock market, business management, marketing, and low investment revenue streams that have transformed the lives of many, why is socialism or wealth redistribution being propagated to solve the disparities many in the Black community are still facing? Blacks would never be conditioned to believe that socialism was a good solution had we not first been consistently inundated with messages promoting victimhood, hopelessness, fear, and resentment towards the privileged.
To those that believe redistribution will solve the issues of poverty and income inequality, do you want to help low-income families create a path to wealth and financial independence? Or do you want to sustain them in their current economic state? While socialism may meet families and individuals’ basic needs, it does not provide a path to wealth. Taxing the rich to help the poor is a simple solution to a complex, layered problem that money alone cannot fix. If money could fix it, and if the goal were to make those in need or the Black community financially secure, why is it that those who push socialism as the answer dodge the topic of reparations like Neo in the Matrix? Money can fix it, right? Well, cut the check! Because the goal is not to help those in need eventually become economically independent. Wealth will never be redistributed enough to bring every low-income family or individual to the point of self-sustainability. I’ve heard many argue that taxing the rich to help poor people is essential because they have no other means to receive provision. The issue I have with this sentiment, especially when it comes to the Black community, is what this implies. The implications are, that low-income means useless and that these individuals have no hope of becoming upwardly mobile unless the government saves them. They have no gifting. They are incapable. Aside from the mentally impaired and some handicaps, I truly believe that God has endowed everyone with a certain ability to provide an income. His intention was never for the state to be a provider for the people. The role of government is to provide the conditions for people to provide for themselves and for the citizens to bear the role of providing for the less fortunate by their own free will.
Here are a few facts about socialism and its impact:
- Socialism crushes jobs, as the wealthy have the freedom to move and relocate their corporations to states with lower taxes (as we saw this past year in New York and California with the threat of increased taxes) and find creative means to hide their money from being taxed.
- In some cities, property taxes are increased to “help” the poor, especially in gentrified areas. This creates a trap for those reliant upon public assistance because increased property taxes lead to an increase in the cost of living (rents, commercial goods, etc.), making it difficult for these individuals and families to afford the cost of living without public assistance. It perpetuates segregation because low-income families living in major cities tend to be people of color and cannot afford to live in areas with higher property taxes. New York City is a prime example.
- The wealthy pay nearly half of the tax revenue in some states, many of which provide the most public assistance. Yet, these states are constantly over budget and have to find ways to make up the deficit like tickets and summons, which usually puts the burden back on those living paycheck to paycheck or on public assistance.
As stated previously in my post, I am not advocating for the complete removal of social programs on empowering women. However, I am making it clear, if it isn’t already, that socialism is not the solution to solving the issue of poverty, especially as it relates to the Black community. Public assistance should be a temporary help, effective at getting people to a place of independence. It does, and what it is intended to do, is put people dependent on the state, which is bondage. It is racist and insulting to pose bondage to those who were once enslaved to the state while diminishing their humanity and innate abilities. Anyone who truly is an ally to the Black community and truly wants to help would do so in a way that leads to economic freedom with no strings attached. He or she does it in a way that wouldn’t promote resentment towards the wealthy instead of gleaning knowledge from them, and point them in the direction of our true provider and help, Jehovah Jireh (which means provider), our Heavenly Father.
One of the first messages Jesus preached when He began His ministry was this:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He (Our Heavenly Father) has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
God makes a way, and His way of providing for the poor does not come with bondage.