Why Socialism Is Bad: The Parable Of The Ant & The Grasshopper

During difficult economic times, Socialism becomes a popular ideology due to the increased amount of economic suffering. But there are some reasons why socialism is bad highlighted below.

When times are good, it's OK if others make a lot of money and do well, so long as you are also doing well. As soon as things turn bad, it then becomes curiously not OK if someone else continues to do well if you are struggling. Why can't we be happy for someone else? Why do we have to bring others down?

There are things about Socialism I like, such as making sure nobody has to go bankrupt and live in poverty due to inadequate healthcare coverage. And then there are some things about Socialism I don't like, such as the numerous examples of corrupt Socialist leaders who pilfer their people.

One of my comrades in the post, “Socialism As A Means To A Brighter Future” commented an old parable. It demonstrates why Socialism might not be a way for a better tomorrow. 

Example: Why Socialism Is Bad

Have a read and let me know your thoughts.

That's a stupid example you use of the punk in the subway who would magically turn into a nice person if you gave him more. That is where you are wrong Comrade, the more you give people the lazier they get, ie people on welfare are dirty people in general (yikes!) versus blue collar hard working people. The more you give the less motivated the creators are in a society.

My parable: The ant worked hard all summer collecting food and preparing his home for winter. The grasshopper played all summer not doing any work.

When winter came the grasshopper had no food. No worries, the grasshopper elected a socialist leader that took away 40 percent of the ants food and gave it to the grasshopper.

The next year the ant decided that the new government would take care of him the same way so he played all summer too, as did all the other hard working producing ants.

When winter came, there was no food and they all starved to death.

Related: The Easiest Way To Get What You Want And Achieve What You Deserve

Accept As Much Help As You Put In

Except for a few fairy lands, economic times are tough. I wouldn't mind the government siphoning off millions of dollars from billionaires to give to the rest of us poor folks. But, I'm not about to lobby or vote for anybody who would do that because I have too much pride.

I believe I can take care of myself and not depend on the charity of others for extended periods of time.  If I'm down and out, yes, I would like a helping hand from the government who receives plenty of my tax dollars. 

But, I can only accept as much help as I put in. Otherwise, I'm taking away from someone else's hard work and that's not right.

Further Reading


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50 thoughts on “Why Socialism Is Bad: The Parable Of The Ant & The Grasshopper”

  1. Hallo! I love your point of view, I literally came here to restore my faith in Americans by finding people who oppose socialism! I’m only 17 and yet it terrifies me to think of larger government, less freedom, and basically legal robbery. Our countrys purpose will be defeated and we could end up similar to north Korea, who knows! Bernie Sanders is a straight up socialist, and isn’t kidding around. If he’s put in office irreversible damage will most certainly be done. I see so much ignorance, after 8 horrific years Obama STILL has supporters. I truly pity my fellow Americans…we ourselves are killing our once free and beautiful country. In conclusion, its just sad. Inform yourselves! Stop being so damn blind, only the future will show the result of your mistakes! By then, it’ll be too late, and you’ll only have yourselves to blame.

  2. Quote from Margaret Thatcher; “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

  3. I really wish people would stop talking about socialism until they realize what it actually means. Your original GPA parable about socialism is incorrect and false, just at this new one is a false representation of what socialism, or a social democracy, represents.

    It’s not about the hard working working hard, and the lazy reaping the benefits. It’s about making sure that everyone is taken care of, and has their basic human needs met. The grasshoppers of the world don’t play and have fun all day, but live in tiny, dirty apartments, eating insufficient, processed food and not having any fun, because they have no money for extras. Social democracy isn’t about giving them extras, it’s about giving them a leg up (in the way of food, modest shelter, healthcare) when they need it. Would you really want to be the grasshopper? Most people don’t.

    On a more economic level, it’s about being proactive, rather than reactive with your money. In that it’s much smarter to take a little bit of your income in the form of taxes and use it for social programs and health care that help the grasshoppers stay on their feet, stay healthy, keep jobs, etc. and contribute to society, than taking a LARGER chunk and spending it on those grasshoppers’ total living expenses in the form of welfare.

    Don’t forget that the taxes in the U.S. are not much lower than in “socialist” countries like Canada, the UK and the EU, (and in some states, even higher), and yet we still have all the healthcare and social programs that you lack. It’s not because we’re taxed to death; it’s because our tax dollars are spent more efficiently.

      1. I explained in more detail in the comments on that post, but here’s the gist of it.

        Socialism and Social Democracy are NOT about making sure that everything is equal for everyone, regardless of how much work they do or how much money they earn. (Pretty sure that’s the fundamentals of communism.) It’s about making sure that everyone has a basic standard of living, because a functional society cannot exist if a huge chunk of its citizens are dying in the streets from starvation. So it’s about making sure that everyone has equal access to healthcare, so that they can stay healthy and contribute to society, instead of being bankrupt by bills. It’s about offering childcare subsidies to lower-income parents so that women can go out into the workforce and contribute, and take care of themselves, rather than go on welfare because it costs more to put a child in daycare than they would make at McDonald’s. It’s about recognizing that if that McDonald’s job isn’t going to pay enough to live off of, but we still want our McDonald’s, then it should be understood that the people working there (full-time, not students) should get a bit of a leg-up because even if they move on to a better paying job, someone is still going to have to flip burgers.

        It’s not about everything being equal by any sense, but it’s about identifying a level by which every citizen should have the right to be at (clear access to water, safe housing, health care, etc.) and making sure everyone is there at an absolute minimum. And then if your personal circumstances allow you to rise above that and have a nicer standard of living, then all the power to you.

        Does that make sense? I mean, if you disagree with socialism and social democracy on a fundamental level, that’s your own business, but it just irks me that it seems like 90% of people who talk about how evil socialism is don’t seem to actually understand what it means. I’d be happy to discuss further off the comments, if you want. melissaxwilson@gmail.com

        1. Thanks for the further explanation.

          I do believe in Socialism and that nobody should go bankrupt because of a lack of healthcare. We are in agreement.

          When I am retired, I know I will believe in the Socialist cause even more. I like the Canadian system.

  4. Financial Independence

    Hi there,

    How you recently lookes at Europe (Western up to Germany)? More and more countries do have 50% income tax and 20% VAT.

    So yes, you are right socialism it getting very popular. There is even a profecy:

    “Owners of capital will stimulate working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more
    expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable.

    The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks which will have to be nationalized and State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.”

    Karl Marx, 1867

  5. Love the way your stir the pot Sam!

    I have to agree with YFS’s last comment about the lobbyists. It is amazing how much of a big business they are now. You can hire an entire team of them to work your cause for you. These days it seems it’s not who you know but having enough money to buy someone who knows someone… It’s rediculous and I think they should be dissallowed!

    1. SophieW,

      I don’t mind lobbyist what I mind is the secrecy. Politicians should have to publicly disclose who they receive funds from. The people voted them in based on a promise and principles and shouldn’t be stabbed in the back because they don’t have the money to buy you after the election.

      Should be a website called lobbyistpaidme.org or something like that.

    2. That’s exactly right. Who you know and how much you got, which is hopefully what this Occupy Wall St. movement is trying to highlight. But, it’s a lost cause. People cannot control their urge for money and power.

  6. I don’t believe historically taxes were erroneously too high. Actually, The current administration has actually cut taxes more than our previous administration. By extending the Bush tax cuts then cutting taxes on top of that via the stimulus and payroll tax cuts. Popular perception is that the current administration has raised taxes for some reason when it truly hasn’t.

    The 2001 Bush tax cuts were spurred by a surplus and a thought that “we’ve made it” As things turned out, the surplus that gave life to the initial Bush tax cuts had all but disappeared by the end of 2001 as the economy slowed unexpectedly. The tax cuts should have never went into effect but it would have been political suicide for Bush to taking back the tax gift. Then 9-11 hit. You need money to fund wars! Especially this prolonged and costly wars we are in. Taxes were high back in the day because of our wars so why wouldn’t the trend continue?

    With all that said the 2001 Bush tax cuts were not meant to be permanent. President Bush squeaked those tax cuts by wit ha 51-50 vote in Senate with Cheney as the tie breaker. The sunset provision is there for a reason and it should have ended those tax cuts in 2010. There is a time and a place for tax cuts and this day and age is neither the time or the place unless you plan on reducing our military efforts.

    1. Is easier to blame someone else. But we should blame ourselves! The banks took a risk lending money to unqualify people, but at the end those people were the ones who accepted the loans. But you know if you think about it the one to blame is the goverment. The banks should have paid for their mistakes, the people should have paid for their mistakes. I think an economical depression would have tought generation Y to use their brains and live according to their means. Instead the socialist goverment decided to intervine and saved everyone, the banks that should have paid for their incompetency and the people who should suffer for taking mortages beyond their reality. (Banks’ bails and the new mortgage bails sponsored by the Goverment)

      No one is to blame, because we are all to blame!!

    2. There have been tens of thousands of innocent people who work on Wall St. who have been laid off. Don’t lump everybody in the same boat. Compensation has been slashed by 20-70% on average in the past 5 years as well.

  7. Historically taxes have been much higher in the past so I don’t think a few percentage increase will make the USA socialist. The increased protests should have occurred years again. When the privileged and connected minority can direct policy and ultimately hurt the majority something is seriously wrong. Many people talk about how big government is getting. But what really scary is how government is controlled by lobbyist. So people are protesting because the game isn’t fair. Everyone doesn’t get a fair shake!

      1. Really? Because historically, the Bush tax cuts worked out so well that all that extra cash businesses saved went to hiring workers right? No wait, that’s what unemployment started skyrocketing…

        1. And yet the Bush tax cuts were still in effect then. Not only that, but they’ve been slashed further with the additional payroll tax cuts, new credits, extended business deductions, etc.

          1. Are you not doing fine? The economy, at least in SF seems quite robust. Read my latest articles of 55 people looking to rent my apartment and their balance sheets I profile.

  8. It all boils down to personal responsibility; apparently there is a huge lack of it. I think we are heading in this direction, and I don’t like it one bit. I’m not rich and I’m not poor (some where in the middle, I guess) and I don’t blame anyone for where I’m at today. I made my own decisions, like choosing a teaching profession over a stockbroker one, but honestly it’s not always about the money. As long as I can spend less than I earn, I’ll be fine.

    The government isn’t going to solve our problems for us; we have to do that. We have to be the ones to take a good, hard look at ourselves and our choices and suck it up and find ways to make it better for ourselves. The more we hope the government will “fix” things, the more we delay our own progress.

    1. I completely agree 100%!! I know the old JFK “As not…” speech is seen as cliche, but we have truly changed our mindset from “What can I do to succeed,” to, “How can I get my handout.”

      BTW, I actually did laugh out loud when reading this “parable.”

  9. I think we place a lot of limitations on ourselves by blaming one thing or another. The tax code did not stop me from success. I used it to help grow my income preoperty business. I was not a corporation and I certainly wasn’t very big. Yet I was able to succeed. I admit there is a lot wrong, but it should not prevent you from success. Complaining never solves anything!

    I taught in a low performing Title 1 school for ten years. Yes, there were many students who dropped out for various reasons, but there were many who went on to some of the best colleges in California and the country. The problem of the poor is not handouts, but no role models. Who are you going to look up to? A drug dealer? He is a success in the community. The lack of role models has a huge effect on young people. A soluton may be some training with the handout, so they won’t remain poor.

    One person, such as a president will not be able to change all that is wrong with government. There has to be enough people in congress to actually want to solve the problem. Healthcare reform originally was a good idea, but look what it became. It solved nothing other than insuring more people and guaranteeing costs to increrase. I am scared to death with what congress would do with tax reform. It could end up worse.

    1. I have to admit, growing up the first 10 years out of school, I didn’t think about the tax code limiting me. However, now that times are tougher, and the rate of income increase has decelerated, I’ve become much more attune to the progressive tax system.

  10. People always point fingers and complain when things aren’t going in their favour. The market is in the crapper and is going to stay there if there aren’t some big changes in 2012.

    I work hard and when I see my lazy colleague sitting on his butt collecting a similar salary as me just for surfing the internet it kills my motivation. But luckily I like my job and I’m not afraid to throw him under the bus if his incompetance starts to interfere with my work lol. There are inefficiencies and bad employees all over the government and until they are isolated and removed not much is going to change. Our country sure feels socialist!

    1. That does really suck to see a neighbor surf the net all day and get paid the same. Yeah, ignore him, unless he starts hurting your performance, then by all means throw him under the bus! lol

      I think Obama will win in 2012 and it will be more of the same. That’s why we gotta work hard for ourselves.

      1. I totally agree with you. The chances are that Obama is going to be re-elected. Even the big Corporations know it, that is why they are hoarding cash. To survive the extra 4 years of darkness that will come after the election. I wonder if Obama will go all the way and try to be re-elected for a 3th Term…”For the sake of the people and thei strugless”. Will we allow that to happen? Will the maximum number of terms be increase because of his rethoric?

        1. Never thought about it that way regarding why the corporations are hoarding cash bc they know, as we know Obama will get re-elected, which is bad for business. Thanks for highlighting! I think you are absolutely right! Hunker down says the CEO!

        2. I doesn’t matter who wins the election they are all just figureheads.
          Whoever wins is just another puppet president while the bankers and corporate powers
          pull the strings. The congress is the best that money can buy. We can work hard and hope for the best, but even the ants of this country are in danger of having their savings gutted.

  11. Deep JT, deep. I do agree that so much of everything is indeed controlled by the tax code. Which is why I keep questions WTF is up with all these income limits i.e. the $110,000 income limit for couples to get the $1,000 tax credit. Why?

    China makes itself as communism, yet they are more capitalist that America. Perhaps they are all the same. So the question again is, why do the protests grow louder during bad times against the wealthy, even though the wealthy have ALWAYS been there?

    You should write a thesis paper on this subject. Seriously, I think you will get an “A”!

    1. I love the China comparison. Interesting to think that a society that has prided itself on discipline and communist-ish theory for millenia has a more capitalist system than the country that is synonymous with the free-market.

    2. I love mulligans though! Especially when I have a $100 bet on the line for that hole and shank it into the woods!

      People will believe in Obama next year, even though their pocket books won’t.

  12. I’m glad cashflowman had the opportunity to work 3 jobs at a time to put food on the table. Put yourself in the shoes of a minority or other person who doesn’t have that chance, and then what? Put yourself in the shoes of a kid who had to go through crappy schools in the poor neighborhood and didn’t have the upbringing you did. Then what? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has a disability or was injured on their 2nd job and no longer can work 3 jobs because they are physically unable. Then what? I’m happy you were able to do that, but there is a LOT more than work ethic at play here… it doesn’t all boil down to poor people are lazy.

    1. Carrie, I hear what you are saying. What percentage of the bottom 50% do you think make up your examples? Do you think they have the power to work longer and harder, and self educated with the Internet or no?

      How big would you like the government to be?

  13. Jon | Free Money Wisdom

    I’m in the camp that believes we are already in Socialism. I joke with friends that we all live in the USSA now. Extreme taxes, government mandates, TSA, loss of gun rights, the list goes on and on. Unless we get someone to come in in 2012 and change the system up (IE Ron Paul), our country is doomed, and I don’t say that lightly. We need to get back to a “hard working” attitude and forego handouts from our government. The system is broken and we the people need to stand up to it.

      1. Jon | Free Money Wisdom

        Yup, unfortunately, every news media outlet is in bed with big banks and the globalist agenda. What we need is a strong GOP candidate who wants to get rid of the FED. once the FED is abolished and we’re back to a gold standard, any of our country’s woes will disappear. Obama has proven himself to be nothing more than a corporate puppet and lacks cajones.

        1. I’m sorry I disagree with the corporate puppet statement he can only do what congress will allow him to do if he cant get through congress there is no help

    1. The government has allowed companies to outsource their labor to countries with labor costs we can never compete with. Labor unions are a joke because labor has no power anymore. How can they when the company can just bring in undocumented aliens to fill their needs or just outsource even more jobs? I applaud everyone who works hard to provide for their own needs and those of their families. Handouts are not the answer. Jobs are the answer. And the government has made it easy for corporations to eliminate American jobs over and over again.

      1. Jon | Free Money Wisdom

        Yes, totally agree on handouts are not the answer. However I have to disagree with you about the cause of the current job loss. If you take a look at the numbers and corporate surveys, companies have left the United States due to tax reasons, not wage reasons. Lower taxes and more companies will stay around. As for illegals, we need to close down our borders, kick them out of schools, force employers to pay penalties for hiring undocumented workers, and refuse healthcare for them. They leave Mexico because the US is a better life. That’s great that hey want to come over, but do it the legal way like my family did!

        Answer to all of our problems? Deregulate and watch the flood gates open with rivers of cash!

        1. Here’s my question – we know U.S. based corporations are sitting on a bunch of cash from 2010 – but are still to freaked out to start spending it on anything like purchasing equipment, raising wages or hiring new employees.

          If you believe in capitalism or are on the conservative side – you’d rather see businesses boost the economy than have government do it.

          So how do you encourage big businesses to start spending those profits?

          In theory – if they did – it would put more money in the pockets of the American consumer, which would jumpstart consumer spending and finally help the economy.

          But how do we get there? I feel like deregulation alone wouldn’t cut the mustard.

          1. Big business are afraid of spending because Obama will be in office for four more years and they don’t know what other regulations they will face. Hence, they will preserve capital. I honestly believe this is a key component of non hiring.

        2. Jon, you can get rid of all the illegals, and companies continue to outsource to countries like India where they can pay pennies on the dollar. I admit this is very personal to me because I am in an field (IT) where this is rampant! However, I firmly believe all of us (except those with truly hands-on jobs like plumbing or construction) should be afraid.

          In this age of computers, there are very few jobs which can’t be outsourced. I remember a few years back hearing about McDona’d’s oursourcing their drive-thru window!

          I used to get a mammogram and wait for the doctor to review it to make sure it was OK, and that they didn’t additional views. Now, I have to wait several days because the doctor is not onsite. I did research and find that hospitals are indeed outsourcing some radiology to India!

          I recently saw an amazing demonstration of robotic surgery lately, where the surgeon is on a computer and the robot actually making the cuts. It’s a great thing because the robot can actually make smoother motions than the human hand can. The doctor is actually present, but it got me thinking… I wonder if there will come a time when they will be outsourcing surgery also. (They may be already, but I don’t know.)

          So, the companies save money, and the stock goes up, blah blah blah.. But think about it. When it’s ALL the companies doing this to virtually ALL the jobs, where does this leave us??? First of all, with no jobs, and no one to spend money on what the companies are selling. But second, when they outsource whole categories of jobs, our country will no longer have these skills when the time comes when they are needed again. In this age of terrorism and identity theft, etc,, the fact that companies are willingly transferring all this control and data to foreign countries is baffling to me.

  14. In 1980, the last time my grandfather spoke to me before his death, he told me never to take any handouts from the government. He told me to work hard and be self-sufficient. I don’t fully understand his motivation for saying this, but I took it to heart. I have never taken any help from any governmental agency or anyone else for that matter. I always have paid back what I borrow. Even when I would have qualified for food stamps, I didn’t take it. I have never missed a meal. I have worked 3 jobs at times, but have never taken any help. There are few with that attitude sorry to say. I hope I don’t sound like I am bragging, but it simply boils down to work ethic.

    1. That’s pretty honorable. I would have a hard time not accepting food stamps if I qualified, largely because I have paid so much in tax over the past two decades, it’s frightening!

      There are ao many job out there. I just don’t understand if things are as bad as the media claims it to be, why do they stay unfilled for so long.

      1. They stay unfilled for a lot of reasons:

        – The right kind of workers aren’t available and people need to be retrained for different kinds of work.
        – People with the right experience are in the wrong part of the country, but can’t move because the housing market stinks.
        – Companies aren’t in a hurry to fill open positions because they’re still nervous about the economy.

        Some people probably do sit back and collect unemployment insurance for as long as they can. Others are unwilling to accept jobs that are pay less – while many businesses are offering less because they know so many people are desperate for full-time work.

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