Socialism in School
A high school in New Jersey is making news today for banning limos and luxury cars from prom night. The school cited two reasons for doing this:
1) Safety - I'm not sure what threat limos or luxury cars pose.
2) Equality for all - My guess is that this is primary.
I know this is quite a few miles outside of District 2, but I would not be shocked to learn we've followed suit here in Montana. Even if we have more of a capitalist crowd here, we also have overprotective parents who don't want their children to feel bad about, well, anything really.
I'm a fan of capitalism because it's the closest thing we have to "you get what you deserve." We trade value for value. If a rancher wants to make more money, they raise more cattle--value for value. I believe that people of sound mind and body in this country have the opportunity to be wealthy if they're willing to devote their lives to that. Most of us (myself included) are not.
My high school was allegedly (according to a speech our principal gave) the poorest school district in the country based on per capita household income. From my experience there, I believe that could be accurate. About seven out of 10 people were "on a draw" as they say back in Kentucky; meaning they were receiving government benefits of some kind. There weren't a lot of rich kids at my school, but there were definitely some kids who were better off than others, and plenty who were better off than me. I had plenty to deal with in high school--probably the same kind of problems you remember--but I don't remember "envying the rich kids" being one of them. It seemed to me to be in balance with the way the world was; not a perfect reflection since we had some strange proportions, but the three main classes were represented.
People like Bernie Sanders and A.O.C. have messages that I'm sure sound appealing to young minds. Free healthcare, free college, free money for those who aren't willing to work. Had I heard that stuff in my developmental years, I might have bought into it as well. Of course, history has taught us that it doesn't work, but the damage has been done. We've vilified the rich to the point where it is necessary to ban prom limos at some high schools.
If you're thinking "just because you can rent a limo doesn't mean you're rich," I had that thought too. I thought of how it would feel to some kid who saved up to try to impress his girlfriend, but I think that isn't the point. I think the point is that they don't like what the limos and luxury cars symbolize. To the socialist, they symbolize the people who are keeping others poor...not true.
As my daughter is hit with these constant paeans for socialism from Cortez and company, I will be there to set her straight. If our society was built around the philosophy that "you're only as fast as your fastest runner," we would have not come nearly as far in any field that has advanced due to the free market (all of them).