Democrats’ socialist agenda would kill the American dream

By:  U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA)

Wednesday night, the country’s most liberal Democrats will descend on my home state of Georgia and flood the airwaves with their radical, socialist ideas.

The presidential candidates on stage will attempt to paint a rosy picture of a socialist worldview that has failed repeatedly around the globe.

Do not be fooled by catchy names like the “Green New Deal,” “Medicare For All,” and the “Freedom Dividend.” These are disguises for socialist policies that would fundamentally change the country as we know it.

Socialist policies have destroyed other countries. The Soviet Union crumbled. Greece’s economy collapsed. Cuba and Venezuela today are failed states, and people are suffering. Why would America want to emulate any of these failed socialist regimes?

America was built on simple principles: economic opportunity for everyone, fiscal responsibility, limited government, and individual liberty. In the post-World War II era, our free-market, free-enterprise system has generated the greatest period of economic growth in human history.

The American dream exists because of the free-market system. The socialist agenda would kill the American dream.

Why? Because state control shuts down creative thought and individual choice.

The free-market system in America relies on innovation, capital formation, and the rule of law. Socialism thwarts innovation and hijacks the flow of capital.

Free markets breed entrepreneurship and foster risk-taking. Socialist regimes crush job creators and eliminate economic growth.

Capitalism creates individual opportunity. Socialism undercuts individual liberties and allows the state to dictate what is best for the individual. This type of government control is precisely what our Founding Mothers and Founding Fathers fled.

Individual freedom, by definition, must be sacrificed to implement the Democrats’ socialist agenda.

The free-market system creates opportunity in America. Take a man named JL Turner, for example. Turner’s father died when he was 11 years old, and he had to feed his family. He was functionally illiterate but started a general store in Scottsville, Kentucky, in 1939.

The business grew, and his stores eventually became known as Dollar General. Years later, I was humbled to serve as the company’s first non-family CEO.

Today, Dollar General is a Fortune 500 company with more than 135,000 employees and $25 billion in revenues, and it underwrites one of the country’s largest literacy foundations.

Dollar General’s success story could not exist in a socialist society where the state controls the economy and makes decisions for individuals.

Although I have seen the power of the free-market system firsthand, I have also lived and worked under socialist regimes during my business career. The difference is astounding, and workers are the ones who suffer the most.

I have seen the insidious way socialized medicine bifurcates healthcare delivery by giving better service to those who can afford private care. I have run multinational businesses and experienced how a government-run economy closes doors for consumers and innovators. On top of that, the burden of socialist wealth redistribution through heavy taxation encourages political patronage, corruption, tax evasion, and ultimately hurts the workers the “state” claims it is trying to help.

As Winston Churchill said in 1947, “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” Churchill was right.

Today, we are in an ideological war for the future of our republic. If Democrats win the White House, take the Senate majority, and keep the House, they will create a socialist regime to change the very fabric of America.

The choice in 2020 is not about personality. It is about what kind of nation we will leave for our children and our children’s children.

It is about America’s national interest versus political self-interest. It is about self-determination versus total state control. It is about preserving America’s founding principles.

Always remember: The price of socialism is freedom.

Republican Sen. David Perdue is the junior senator from Georgia and former CEO of Reebok athletic brand and Dollar General stores.