Writing well over 2000 years ago, Aristotle answered Plato, whose Republic advocated a form of socialism, thusly:
What is common to the greatest number gets the least amount of care. People pay most attention to what is their own: they care less for what is common; or, at any rate, they care for it only to the extent to which each is individually concerned. Even when there is no other cause for inattention, people are more prone to neglect their duty when they think that another attending to it . . .
The Republic advocated that women and children also be common property. What Aristotle wrote about sons applies to other things, as well:
On Mere Comments, Anthony Esolen is relentlessly championing Joe the Plumber in the battle against Barack the Redistributor. He's trying to make clear that Obama should be ashamed to look stand face-to-face with a hard-working entrepreneur like Joe the Plumber and inform him that those in the Ivory Tower and the government have conferred on themselves the authority to do what they will with Joe's hard-earned profits. Esolen, a professor, argues that academics like himself and Obama (who he thinks has never done an honest day's work in his life) don't have the background or credibility to answer Joe's simple query, "by what authority?" He adds that John McCain, a veteran, is better equipped to understand Joe.