I heard a caller on a radio show ask this question yesterday, "So what's so wrong with socialism anyway." He made a few mindless points about taking care of people and the usual bash against successful people. As the host answered the caller, I thought of about 20 things that are "so wrong" with socialism. One thought I had related to the achievement of success.
In a free market or free enterprise system (especially one that has minimal governmental interference) those that best take care of their fellow man rise to the top. A free market system requires people to look out for the needs of others. It is a merit based system - meaning, if you are good at what you do, then you succeed. Another aspect of success though, is that your success must be recognized by others as measured by their desire to buy whatever service or product that you offer in your business.
In a free market system we all sell something. I'm a pilot, I sell my skill as a pilot to the company that employs me. My wife is a receptionist, she sells her time and diligence to her employer. My product is my knowledge, experience, skill, character, attitude, and time. On each of these attributes my employer measures my worth and decides whether or not he is receiving value from my position within his company. If the value is below what he requires and he determines that a different employee with different skills, attitude, etc would provide a higher return, then he'll replace me with that person.
Free market systems are voluntary. Every exchange is based on choice. I choose from whom I will buy. And other's choose whether or not they will buy from me. As a result, my manners and approach to those I serve must meet with their approval. I must work hard for them, be kind to them, make it easy for them - or they will go somewhere else.
All of us are required to take care of others if we want to succeed. If I don't take care of my employer he lets me go, if a business doesn't take care of its customers they shop somewhere else. In the amazing free market system a person may only consume in direct proportion to what they produce. A productive person pleases many people, makes a lot of money, and may therefore buy more for himself from others. He has met the needs of many and may therefore purchase the time, talent, and property of others in greater proportion than a person who has not met the needs of many. It is an immensely fair and balanced system.
The socialistic system is not this way - in fact, it is exactly opposite.
A socialistic system requires "pull". To achieve success in a socialistic system you have to know people who can help you get what you want. Governmental systems by their very nature are coercive. That means, anything that a government decides to do it will accomplish by force - people do not have the freedom to go elsewhere for the services required from government. If you want a license plate, you go to the DMV, there is no other way. If you want to drive on a highway, you go the speed they tell you, break the speed limit and you'll face a fine or go to jail. Want to fly a plane somewhere, you'll be dealing with governmentally run Air Traffic Control - you don't have the choice to use another "service provider."
Since socialistic systems are not voluntary and people have no choice about dealing with them, merit is not the means of obtaining success.
Our governmental system has become socialistic. Rather than preserving liberty which is the moral and proper function of government, our government has gotten into the entitlement business. They give gifts - why? Because that is how you succeed in government. The politician achieves success by offering goods and services to his constituents. Unfortunately, the goods and services that he "gives" away are coercively taken away from others. I say coercively because if you refuse to pay taxes, you'll go to jail at the point of a gun - that's coercion.
Socialism takes from one person and gives to another. The person who succeeds in a socialistic system has learned how to take the most from some people and give the most to others. The person who receives from government has learned how to get his name on the Pay To line of a government check, and it most cases it wasn't by providing a better service to his fellow man.
The more socialism advances, the more manipulation and exploitation of people is required to hold the system together. To be the successful socialist requires great skill in the manipulation and exploitation of people.
Free enterprise and socialism are fundamentally different. The difference lies in the fact that free enterprise systems are voluntary and socialistic systems are coercive. The end result is that free enterprise systems turn the hearts of men outward, towards others in a search for needs that other's have that they can fill. Success in a free market system requires personal development in ways that meets the needs of others. In socialistic systems, the heart of man turns inward, to look for ways to deceive their fellow man and exploit him. The socialistic system depends on who you know rather than who you serve.
Achievement in one system makes us take care of our fellow man, achievement in the other causes us to exploit him.
So to answer the caller, that is one major things "wrong" with socialism.