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A Student's Guide to Socialism

How It Will Trash Your Lives

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What will the next forty years of your life be like if the U.S. adopts socialism?

Whenever socialism has been tried, it has led to failure, and often, great human misery. Nonetheless, many young people prefer socialism to capitalism. There are dozens of books and articles explaining the failures of socialism, but these do not seem to have an impact on students. One reason for this may be that the books are written in abstract terms, and do not relate to the lives of the readers. This book takes a different approach. It asks the question, “What will my life be like if I live under socialism?”

Professor Paul Rubin—a leading expert on socialism and capitalism—shows that under socialism:
•  People will be poorer
•  There will be less freedom
•  Goods will be of lower quality but more expensive
•  There will be less innovation
•  The environment will be in worse shape

He also shows that the U.S. is the most productive and richest country that has ever existed, and that the current level of wealth in the U.S. is due to capitalism. Lastly, he demonstrates that many critiques of capitalism (such as, it leads to excessive inequality) are mistaken or ill-founded.

Professor Rubin points out an important paradox. The young people who are the sharpest critics of capitalism are themselves highly dependent in their daily lives on the products of capitalism. These include computers themselves, mobile phones, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Skype, Spotify, computer games, and almost any other modern product. Additionally, the creators of these products are among the “millionaires and billionaires” despised by socialists.

“This is an important book. Today. And twenty-five years ago and twenty-five years from now. It exposes the lie of socialism: socialism is simply an alternative to liberty. Unlike liberty’s other competitors—monarchy, theocracy, aristocrats, mob rule, or ethnic division—socialism has found allies in all centuries. Even our own. This Hydra-headed lie must be beaten back each and every generation. A King. An aristocracy. A central committee or a bureaucracy all serve themselves at the expense of the people. A Student’s Guide to Socialism should be read by every student today and by their children and their children’s children.”

– Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

A Student’s Guide to Socialism is a readable and powerful foray into what young people can expect for their future if the U.S. were to embrace socialism. Rubin is a master at explaining basic economic insights while avoiding technical jargon and math. Here, he uses accessible prose and relatable examples to show college-aged readers that socialism would reduce their lifetime income, their opportunities, and their freedoms.”

– Susan E. Dudley, Director, The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, Distinguished Professor of Practice, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

“Most books on socialism show that it has always been a disaster. Paul Rubin takes a different tack: His wonderful book shows that socialism would be a disaster in the future for today's students. If the U.S. were to adopt socialism as advocated by Bernie Sanders, young people could expect their lives to be worse. They would be poorer, less free, and unhealthier. Besides, the gadgets they depend on (computers, smartphones, game machines, electronic readers) and the apps based on these machines have all been invented by capitalists, and future technology (artificial intelligence, 5G, biotech) would not be developed as robustly, if at all, in a socialist world. Every parent and grandparent of a student should buy a copy of this book.”

– Rand Paul, U. S. Senator and author of The Case Against Socialism

More books from this author: Paul H. Rubin