From the former:
Now that the Soviet Union is gone, MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi says, “there is no true socialist country that exists.”
No? What about Cuba, China, North Korea, Vietnam and Venezuela?
Velshi didn’t respond when we asked him.
Venezuela was once Latin America’s richest country. Now it’s the poorest. Many in the media claim that its fall has “nothing to do with socialism,” just “poor governance.”
John Oliver says, “Chavez’s programs could have been sustainable if he pursued a sound economic policy.”
“Yeah,” laughs (economist Ben Powell, author of “Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World.”) “Sustainable if he had a sound economic policy called capitalism.”
From the latter:
As the Democratic Socialists of America put it, “Society should be run democratically — to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few.”
Sounds nice. If socialists are elected, then we’ll have a more just society.
But Venezuela’s socialists were elected.
“They can start off democratically elected,” says economist Ben Powell, director of the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech, but “once they centralize control over the economy, it becomes impossible to ‘un-elect’ them.”
Hugo Chavez was elected but became an authoritarian who chose his successor, Nicolas Maduro. Maduro now gets “elected,” by having opponents arrested and “ordering state employees to vote for him or they lose their job,” says Powell.
“Socialism always becomes authoritarian?” I ask.
“Everywhere you try socialism, that’s what you get,” he replies. “It’s hard to exercise political freedom if you don’t have economic freedoms. If you’re dependent upon the state for your livelihood, you lose your ability to use your voice to oppose (the state) because you can be punished.
Read both, because both deconstruct the idea that socialism is anything but a recipe for failure – with examples a’plenty.
- By force. That is theft.
- By deceit. That is fraud.
- By free trade. That is what is generally known as “capitalism,” although there is no “-ism,” no underlying ideology, in free trade; just free people engaging in free enterprise, managing and trading their own assets, skills, talents and resources to others, voluntarily, wherein both sides realize a gain.
Note that last bit: wherein both sides realize a gain.
That only happens in free trade. Theft and fraud, whether carried out by crooks or government agents (but I repeat myself) always – always – result in a loss for the citizen.
That’s why socialism always fails.