I had an epiphany on Halloween while headed to work. A spooky epiphany.
Full disclosure: I’m generally the Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween. You’ll understand why soon.
The neighborhood we live in is excellent for trick or treating. It’s safe, well lit with streetlights, easy to navigate, and the houses are primarily filled with middle-aged or retired folks who like to give candy to kids dressed as ghosts, ghouls, sumo wrestlers, or baby Yodas.
As I was walking from my house to my truck, I noticed swarms of children and their adults all over the place; they were in driveways, in yards, on walkways, meandering in the road, walking through the middle of one yard to get to an adjacent house, despite it not actually being a shorter route. These juvenile interlopers were all over the place.
Pulling out of the driveway was also an interesting endeavor. There was a minivan slowly moving along in the middle of the road with the sliding door open letting kids out. The kids would run up to a house, get candy, run back to the van, deposit their treasures, then run up to a house on the other side of the road, and run back to the van again. Then they would drive about 20 yards, still in the middle of the road with the sliding door open, and repeat.
As this madness was unfolding in front of me, it hit me: Halloween leads to socialism.
Follow my recipe below for this half-cooked thought experiment:
1) Trick or treaters first ignore property rights by going onto land that they don’t have permission to be on. This is particularly true with houses that don’t have an ignited porch light, which signals that they’re participating in the festivities.
2) Then they solicit things from the property owners that do not belong to them, i.e., candy.
3) If the property owner declines to comply with their requests, the trespassers threaten them with tricks—punitive action—of various sorts.
With socialism, the government doesn’t believe in property rights to begin with, then they solicit things that do not belong to them (money, land, business assets) in the name of the greater good, equity, equality, fairness, or whatever euphemism fits the narrative of the time, and if the citizens have the gall to not comply then they’re faced with punitive action, which usually results with looking up the barrel of a governmental gun.
I thought this comparison was particularly fitting since someone was running around in a Bernie Sanders mask. It was a little too on the nose if you ask me, but still amusing.