The most significant person who has written about socialism and influenced more than 100 years of socialist thought was Edward Bellamy his book was Looking Backward 2000-1887.
Bellamy did what all subsequent socialists have done. He looked at the total wealth of our society and asked why it could not be distributed equally to all people in this country.
Just to understand what this would mean, one simply needs to divide our current $16 trillion GDP by our number of households, 116 million. That would give every family roughly $140,000.
Why can't we do this? We can, but it has two consequences.
Number one, we would have only $140,000 in the first year. From that year on, the income number would rapidly decline and quickly be below our current family income of $50,000. ( The current family income is down from $55,000 when anti-commerce ideolog Obama took office.)
Based on data from lottery winners 80% of the working people in the United States with the new $140,000 income would no longer work. Add that to be 60% of the population that is not currently in the workforce. That would leave under 10% of the population working. Add to that all the people with current incomes over $140,000 who would find a way to leave the country. The great socialist countries of the 20th century, Soviet Union, China, Cuba and North Korea all had iron curtains to keep their citizens from leaving. There would be virtually no one left to work in the equality-of-income socialist America. The income would rapidly dwindle as it did in every socialist-communist country.
The second reason is that we would all be living in 1887, the year that Bellamy’s equality would have been put in place.
We would be living without our extended lifespans, without the brilliant health innovations that have made life much more livable, there would be no telecommunications after the telegraph and transportation would still be focused on horses and the smell of horse manure would dominate our lives.
Innovation would cease in the world of equal in income.
The reason is not so obvious. Innovation does not occur merely because of a few innovators. It was not the invention by Bell or the inventions by Edison that changed the world 15 years after Bellamy wrote his book.
Men like Theodore Vail and 1000 other business builders had to create the corporations that made the telephone and electrical systems possible. Entire networks of distribution and distributors were necessary for the innovations to become part of everyday life.
Telephones did not saturate European society for 40 years after Bell but they were ubiquitous within 15 years in the United States. The same is true for all of the Edison inventions. American society offers complex distribution networks and they are necessary for innovation to occur.
Distributors would not go to work and take risks in an equal income society.
Think of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. They learned their skills from outlaws who were building telephone hacking devices (Homebrew Computer Club and John Draper). They sold their initial core computers to the same innovators and then sold them through other distributors in stores catering to technical geeks who all had jobs in technology. They got funding from a giant game company that provided nothing to the society but it's games ( a type of business absent in socialist countries). The game distribution network became the simple-core-computer distribution network. Complex networks did not exist in 1887 and would have been incapable of distributing any form of innovation other than food.
The socialist dream of income equality means rapid descent into poverty and a life stuck in the year in which socialism becomes real. A world without innovation unless there are external sources of innovation.
Socialist Europe and the previous communist countries did not invented one single important thing. Socialism has used the dynamic innovation of the few truly commercial societies such as Japan, US and Israel. Socialist countries also depend on global corporations from these three pioneering societies to bring innovation to their zombie populations.That is why socialism doesn't work.