About 15 years ago, I hired a woman — I’ll call her “Jill” — whose primary job was to assist me with marketing my law firm. One of her duties was to talk on the phone with new potential clients, discuss their situation with them, and if appropriate, schedule an appointment for me to meet with them. Jill was blessed with several gifts. She was outgoing, energetic, enthusiastic, a great conversationalist, and was good at building relationships. She had previously worked as a sales representative and was also a Mary Kay Cosmetics representative who was accustomed to selling to other women.
For the first few months that she worked for me, Jill was a positive influence around the office. She developed relationships with several of my employees and kept them entertained. Unfortunately, over time, her true colors came out, and she began to cause problems for me. She developed the habit of walking over to where my other employees were working so she could visit with them about topics that were unrelated to work. Her visits became so frequent that I called her into my office one day to discuss the matter with her.
I started my conversation by telling her the following:
I’ve noticed that you spend a lot of time each day walking around the office and visiting with the other people who work here. I don’t mind if you have relationships with them, but I need for you to stop interrupting their work for the purpose of visiting with them. If you want to coordinate the two breaks that you get each day with their breaks, so that you can visit, that’s fine with me. But I don’t want you to interrupt their work anymore.
The actual cost of an employee for me is about one and a half times what I pay the employee. The extra cost includes payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, and other employment-related costs that I have to pay for each employee. My average total cost of an employee is more than $20 per hour. When you visit with one of them for 30 minutes each day, that’s 30 minutes of their time and 30 minutes of your time, which adds up to a total of 60 minutes per day. That’s at least $20 per day that you’re costing me to pay for you to visit with them.
If I had a stack of $20 bills sitting on my desk and you walked into my office every day and took one of the $20 bills, do you think that it would be acceptable behavior on your part? I’m sure you would agree with me that taking $20 from me each day would be stealing. When you walk around every day and visit with my other employees, what you’re doing is the equivalent of stealing $20 from me because I’m paying for your time and their time while you’re visiting with them.
After hearing what I had to say, Jill became defensive and said that she was not stealing from me. I pointed out that she was actually spending more than 30 minutes each day visiting with my employees. She said that I was being unreasonable because it was natural for employees to talk to each other throughout the day and that it was beneficial for my employees to have positive relationships with each other.
I responded to Jill by telling her that none of my other employees did what she did — they focused on their work, which was something that I wanted her to do. I also told her that regardless of how she felt about my employment policies, as long as she worked for me, she needed to follow my rules. I told her that if she ever started her own company, she could allow her employees to do whatever they wanted to do, but as long as she worked for me, she needed to stop interrupting my employees and do the work that I was paying her to do.
She reluctantly agreed to do what I asked her to do, but that didn’t last very long. Over the next couple of months, she became adept at hiding her inappropriate activities. She began sending emails to my other employees, which opened up discussions about things that were unrelated to work. She also began undermining my authority by telling my employees that I didn’t appreciate what they did for me.
Her behavior got so bad that I called her into my office one Friday afternoon and told her that I was terminating her employment. She was stunned that I was letting her go. She thought that I was being unfair and behaved as though she had done nothing wrong. I told her that I wasn’t willing to discuss the matter with her any further and I wished her luck in her future endeavors.
After Jill was gone, I found out that she had been having marital problems. It didn’t surprise me because she had, on several occasions, told my employees that her husband didn’t appreciate anything that she did, which was what she had been telling them about me.
I thought about Jill recently when I saw what some of the candidates who are running for president were saying about the so-called great benefits of socialism. Recent polls have shown that over 40% of our young people in America agree that our government needs to be moving more towards socialism. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and the other candidates for president have made it clear that if any of them are elected, they will raise taxes so the government can provide more free goods and services to the “less fortunate people” of our country.
In response to a question from a man who was earning about $40,000 per year, Sanders told the man that he would raise the man’s taxes by $5,000, but that the man would then get back $10,000 in medical services because the medical care would be provided for free by the government. Sanders never got around to explaining who was going to pay the other $5,000 for the medical services that the government was going to be giving away for free.
The dictionary defines “socialism” as “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” The “community as a whole” is a non-threatening way of saying that the government will interfere with and control the production of goods and services and will forcibly engage in the “redistribution” of money.
Socialists can talk all they want about the means of production, distribution, and exchange, but the bottom line is that socialism is nothing more than legalized theft. It is a diabolical social philosophy and practice that gives the government the “right” to steal money from one person (or company) so that it can hand the money over to another person.
The current candidates for president of the United States are promising free healthcare, free college tuition, free housing, a guaranteed income, payments for the descendants of slaves — if you vote for them, you can name whatever you want and they’ll steal it for you.
What does “free healthcare” mean? It means that the government will force a doctor who spent more than 20 years in school and in a residency program, with upwards of $500,000 in school loan debt, to use their knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide free or greatly discounted services to people who are not required to pay for the services.
From a moral standpoint, in addition to socialism being legalized theft, it also violates the first, seventh, and tenth commandments.
Socialism violates the first commandment because the government makes itself a God by imposing its will on its citizens. The citizens no longer have a free will. They are forced to submit to a god-like government that will throw them in jail if they don’t turn over their money and talent to be used for the benefit of others. Socialism violates the seventh commandment because the government is given the power to steal from its citizens. And socialism violates the tenth commandment because the government encourages and teaches its citizens that it is perfectly moral and legal to covet their neighbor’s goods.
Socialism is immoral, evil, and wrong. It leads people to believe that just because they were born in America, they deserve and are entitled to demand that they be given money, products, and services that they did not earn or work for.
What’s the opposite of socialism? The answer is capitalism, which is what our country was built upon and which created a level of freedom and abundance that had never been seen or experienced by individuals who were not members of the government or a royal family.
I’ll discuss the topic of capitalism next week.