Clichés of Socialism
by various authors, published in 1970 by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

Suggested answers to some of the more prevalent.


When a devotee of private property, free market, limited government principles states his position, he is inevitably confronted with a barrage of socialistic clichés. Failure to answer these has effectively silenced many a spokesman for freedom.

Here are suggested answers to some of the most persistent of the "Clichés of Socialism." These are not the only answers or even the best possible answers; but they may help someone else develop better explanations of the ideas on liberty that are the only effective displacement for the empty promises of socialism.

1. "The more complex the society, the more government control we need." (Read)

2. "If we had no social security, many people would go hungry." (Read)

3. "The government should do for the people what the people are unable to do for themselves." (Read)

4. "The right to strike is conceded, but..." (Read)

5. "Too much government? Just what would you cut out?" (Read)

6. "The size of the national debt doesn't matter because we owe it to ourselves." (Read)

7. "Why, you'd take us back to the horse and buggy." (Read)

8. "The free market ignores the poor." (Read)

9. "Man is born for cooperation, not for competition." or "The idols of the market place must yield to those of humanity." (Read)

10. "Americans squander their incomes on themselves while public needs are neglected." (Read)

11. "Labor unions are too powerful today, but were useful in the past." (Read)

12. "We have learned to counteract and thus avoid any serious depression." (Read)

13. "Human rights are more important than property rights." (Read)

14. "Employees often lack reserves and are subject to 'exploitation' by capitalist employers." (Read)

15. "Competition is fine, but not at the expense of human beings." (Read)

16. "We're paying for it, so we might as well get our share." (Read)

17. "I'm a middle-of-the-roader." (Read)

18. "Customers ought to be protected by price controls." (Read)

19. "The welfare state is the best security against communism." (Read)

20. "Don't you want to do anything?" (Read)

21. "Big business and big labor require big government." (Read)

22. "We believe in presenting both sides." (Read)

23. "If free enterprise really works, why the Great Depression?" (Read)

24. "Federal Aid is all right if it doesn't bring Federal control." (Read)

25. "The United States Constitution was designed for an agrarian society." (Read)

26. "I prefer security to freedom." (Read)

27. "Individual workers are too weak to bargain with corporations." (Read)

28. "Tell me, just what liberties have you lost?" (Read)

29. "Private businessmen should welcome government competition." (Read)

30. "The government can do it cheaper because it doesn't have to make a profit." (Read)

31. "If government doesn't relieve distress, who will?" (Read)

32. "We never had it so good." (Read)

33. "We can have both guaranteed jobs and freedom of choice." (Read)

34. "Labor is not a commodity." (Read)

35. "The problem of production has been solved." (Read)

36. "Business is entitled to a fair profit." (Read)

37. "Purchasing power creates jobs." (Read)

38. "We'd rather have surpluses than shortages." (Read)

39. "One man's gain is another's loss." (Read)

40. "Without legislation, we'd still have child labor and sweatshop conditions." (Read)

41. "Businessmen should work for the good of others." (Read)

42. "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." (Read)

43. "No one must profit from the misfortune of others." (Read)

44. "A worker should be paid according to his productivity." (Read)

45. "The Shylock! He charges all the traffic will bear!" (Read)

46. "You do believe in majority rule, don't you?" (Read)

47. "Socialism is the wave of the future." (Read)

48. "There ought to be a law." (Read)

49. "The government ought to do it." (Read)

50. "Nobody is worth a million dollars." (Read)

51. "Tax the rich to help the poor." (Read)

52. "Wars bring jobs and prosperity." (Read)

53. "We must break up economic power." (Read)

54. "Society is to blame, not I." (Read)

55. "I'm for free enterprise — BUT!" (Read)

56. "Rent control protects tenants." (Read)

57. "Fact-finding is a proper function of government." (Read)

58. "Government should control prices, but not people." (Read)

59. "REA is a fine example of private enterprise." (Read)

60. "The way to peace is through the U.N." (Read)

61. "General Motors is too big." (Read)

62. "Public housing helps to reduce crime." (Read)

63. "But everyone else is doing it." (Read)

64. "Industrialization causes unemployment in capitalist countries." (Read)

65. "Industrialization assures progress in undeveloped countries." (Read)

66. "Socialism works in Sweden." (Read)

67. "Government should guarantee freedom from want." (Read)

68. "Equality should be enforced by law." (Read)

69. "Government spending assures prosperity." (Read)

70. "Capital can move; labor can't." (Read)

71. "Speculation should be outlawed." (Read)

72. "Moonlighting increases unemployment." (Read)

73. "The Government is All of Us." (Read)

74. "Every employee is entitled to a fair wage." (Read)

75. "Under public ownership, we, the people, own it." (Read)

76. "What this country needs is Creative Federalism." (Read)