If you are flummoxed as to how an aging, hard-core, avowed socialist like Bernie Sanders is leading in New Hampshire and nipping at Hillary Clinton in the national polls for the Democratic nomination for president, don’t be. It’s really quite simple: We all like free stuff.

Think about it. Why does every product advertised on television these days offer a second product for free? You instinctively know that those advertisers simply double the cost of the product you buy so that they can “give” you that second one you didn’t want or need. However, consumers seem unable to resist this temptation so they buy, paying twice as much as they should have. Of course, this charade didn’t begin with television. It’s as old as time.

Little wonder that so many are gaga for Sanders. All he needs is a white beard and we could call him Santa Claus.

Sanders is particularly popular among college students. After all, he has promised to make college a “right” and, therefore, free. Sanders is equally popular among young adults who managed to eke out a degree but piled up huge student loans in the process and now find themselves underemployed, if employed at all. Sanders not only promised to reduce their student loans, but give them good-paying government jobs to boot. Also, you can forget those health-care premiums and co-pays. Santa Sanders will make health care free.

I encountered one seemingly bright college student recently. I’ll call him Sam. Sam was waiting tables at a local restaurant. When I mentioned that I was anxious to get home in order to watch a presidential debate, he gave me a blank stare. Sam had never seen a presidential debate, but bemoaned the fact that he was going to have to buy health insurance before the end of the month or pay a fine.

One of the selling points for Obamacare was that it allows young people to remain on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. What went wrong here? Mom’s premiums went so high she could no longer afford to support her young dependents.

Sam was convinced that Sanders will solve all his problems. “Socialism looks good on paper,” he said matter-of-factly. He was completely unaware that, throughout history, socialism or Marxism always resulted in a lower standard of living for all but the ruling class. Sam’s only concern was meeting his immediate needs.

Why go to college? To get a better job and secure your future.

Under socialism, what happens when you get a better job? In “progressive” quasi-democratic socialist states, those higher wages you earn are simply taxed away in the name of “fairness” in order to pay for all this free stuff.

Yes, Bernie Sanders has promised to raise taxes, not just on the rich but the middle class, which is anyone who has a job and is not on welfare. This will make it harder for this college student to keep a small portion of what he earns to invest in his future. If he manages to beat the odds in this new socialist utopia, any investment he makes will face even more taxes, making it harder for this young man to climb up the economic ladder.

What if he decides to strike out on his own and begin a business? That business will be more likely to fail because of all the new regulations Sanders wants to impose. A young entrepreneur will find it difficult to take on and train new employees because of the Sanders-proposed $15 an hour minimum wage.

If he should beat the odds again and grow into a corporation, he will face even more obstacles. Under the socialist ideology, corporations are evil and must be heavily taxed and controlled until they are taken over by the state.

Yes, democratic-socialism is not an end in itself, but a stop on the road to a totalitarian government:

  • “We are activists committed to democracy as not simply one of our political values but our means of restructuring society.” (About Democrat Socialists of America)
  • “We are socialists because we reject an economic order based on private profit.” (DSA Constitution: Purpose)

As our young college student ages, he will face more health problems. Only then will he realize that our health-care system – once the envy of the world – has changed.

No, the free-market system isn’t perfect, but it has provided our citizens with the highest standard of living in the world. Are all those Generation Xers and Millennials really willing to give that up for free stuff?

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