Nonprofits vs Socialism is Maxie Carpenter’s take on the cultural and political revolutions we face as a nation in uncertain times.
Definition: Socialism is a political, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers’ self-management of enterprise as well as the political theories and movements associated with such systems. Social ownership can be public, collective, or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.
The chief reason the socialist system fails is that there are no incentives to work hard to better one’s self. The government-run economy might seem reasonable to some, but what it’s really doing is averaging everything, among those salaries, benefits, products, and most important, people. In the socialist system, everything’s pushed into a mediocre middle. That’s what kills incentive, whether you do well, or are lousy at your job, the outcome is the same, so why bother. The lack of incentive eventually leads to a poorly performing economy. Therein lies the crux of the issue for Nonprofits, especially those with a specific focus on helping those that are at risk for hunger, mental health, homelessness, divorce, rape, single mothers, and the needs list goes on and on. It’s my view that most Nonprofit organizations doing this work think they’re just doing good work for their fellowman. However, I’ve seen some amazing things happen when the underlying reason for the work is clarified, which is to help those at risk achieve personal independence and sustainability. In short, lead them to a place where they can not only stand on their own but are motivated to continue doing so. Another continuing challenge for Nonprofits is a lack of focus and understanding with how capacity and resources are allocated based upon one simple premise: there are limits to both. In short, most of them are writing checks with their passion and hearts that their limited capacity and resources can’t cover. Now, if you take what I’ve shared so far and combine that with the influence of Socialism, here’s what will happen in short order:
1. Massive Government Spending: If you think we’ve seen the largest national debt in history (which we have), in those infamous words, You ain’t seen nothing yet! If you think the Nonprofits job of raising money now is difficult, especially with the already burdened grant system regardless of who’s administering the grant, strap in! You ain’t seen nothing yet!
2. Massive Tax Systems that Reduce Incentives. We have a tax code so complicated and long that few can do their own taxes. Not satisfied, politicians threaten massive income tax hikes, wealth tax confiscation and penalties for those who want to leave the country. There goes any money Nonprofits can expect from wealthy donors or Corporate resources they’ve had in the past.
3. Reduced GDP and Economic Stagnation: If there’s no growth in the marketplace, there’s no growth in money. If there’s no growth in money, there’s no ‘extra’ for anyone doing anything. Nonprofits will most certainly be at the bottom of the pecking order if the question comes down to simple survival.
4. Deficits: The US debt ratio right now is 106%. That’s like having credit card debt that’s literally 3 times your income. What do you think it will be when spending explodes, as it most certainly will with the influence of Socialism? How much debt is being carried right now by Nonprofits?
5. Government will keep on doing what it is now; printing more money: What do you think will happen with inflation (when the supply of money exceeds the economic need) then? All that money won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. No one on the planet will honor it. Then it won’t matter how much or how little money Nonprofits have at all.
6. Government will fix prices and declare when goods will be sold: Anyone remember the gas shortage and rationing in the 70’s? We had long lines at all the gas stations and only on fixed days of the week. You think that was bad, You ain’t seen nothing yet! Nonprofits that have innovated by creating profit centers within the construct of the Nonprofit, will see those revenues shrink to nothing.
7. Underground Economies will proliferate: When money becomes worthless, a bartering system takes its place. This underground will be one large flea market for even the most critical of needs like medical supplies, food, water, etc. If you think the number of at risk served by Nonprofits is unacceptable now, You ain’t seen nothing yet!
8. Class warfare will do what it’s doing right now; tearing at the fabric of our society: If you think it’s worse than you’ve ever seen now, strap in because You ain’t seen nothing yet! If you think about it, Nonprofits have always supported those suffering from class warfare, meaning those simply left behind for lack of capacity or resources.
9. Total society discord: Today, Venezuela is in near total societal breakdown as tens of thousands seek to flee the country amidst a socialist dictatorship, a growing police state, empty store shelves, little medicine, and even less order. We’re seeing traces of that now in parts of our country, where the police have been overwhelmed with the unrest.
Nonprofits all over the US are responding to the need, as they always do when a crisis arises. First with the Pandemic and now with the riots and protests across the nation that are leaving families in need in their wake. They’re responding, even with limited capacity and resources.
What do you think will happen with the advent of Socialism?
Well, I can tell you one thing. You ain’t seen nothing yet!