Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Endpoint Of Socialism

Kevin Williamson offers yet another warning to those misguided idealists* currently enamored with the radical leftist du jour, Bernie Sanders.

*An attempt at civility. A stronger term could be used to describe people who look at what collectivist government has done in countries like Venezuela, Greece, Puerto Rico, North Korea and Zimbabwe (among others) and say, "I wanna get me some of that!"

Using the example of Venezuela under the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, Williamson points out a few of socialism's salient features --

Economic Calamity --

In fact, the Maduro regime is so terrified of public discourse that it has stopped publishing basic economic data, such as official figures for inflation (estimated to be well in excess of 100 percent), unemployment (high), and economic growth (currently about negative 7 percent, it is thought). Not that Venezuelans necessarily need the statistics to tell their heads what their bellies have already learned: The United Socialist party’s disastrous economic policies have led to acute shortages of everything: rice, beans, flour, oil, eggs, soap, even toilet paper. Venezuela is full of state-run stores that are there to provide the poor with life’s necessities at subsidized prices, but the shelves are empty. 

"Free" Inaccessible Health Care --

The price of free stuff ends up being terribly high. While Venezuela has endured food riots for years, the capital recently has been the scene of protests related to medical care. Venezuela has free universal health care — and a constitutional guarantee of access to it. That means exactly nothing in a country without enough doctors, medicine, or facilities. Chemotherapy is available in only three cities, with patients often traveling hours from the hinterlands to receive treatment. But the treatment has stopped. Juvenile cancer patients taken by their parents to the children’s hospital in the capital are being turned away because the treatments they need are no longer available. The scene is heartbreaking, but that’s the political mode of thinking: Declare a scarce good a “right” and the problem must be solved, regardless of whether that scarce good is any more plentiful than it was before.

Tyranny --

The New York Times tells the tale of Enzo Scarano, formerly the mayor of San Diego, a fast-growing city west of Caracas. There were protests against the Maduro regime in San Diego, and so the mayor was stripped of his office and thrown in jail for nearly a year. Now, he wants to run for national office, but has been disqualified by the Maduro government. 
...Maduro wants to lock up opposition leaders; the American Left wants to lock up homeschoolers and people who hold dissenting views on climate change.

Also, 8/26 - KW with some thoughts on ignorance and its exploitation by the political class.

...we feel inadequate when we are confronted with a question that is beyond our range, and the anxiety is so intense that we frequently ignore Abraham Lincoln’s advice that it’s “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

...Harry Reid lied about Mitt Romney and his taxes with impunity because the typical American voter — and certainly the typical knucklehead Harry Reid voter — couldn’t tell you what a private-equity firm does, but many of them resent the fact that private-equity managers make so much money doing whatever it is they do. You see variations on this with the issue of CEO pay: “The CEO of NastiCorp. makes 700 times the average employee’s income at his firm, heavens to Betsy!” as though the receptionists and parking-garage attendants and mail-room guys would be paid more simply because the chief executive were being paid less.

8/27 - And one more from KW as he psychoanalyzes Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP field. Typically witty and insightful.

8/28 - And yet one more - KW on HRC equating anti-abortion activists with terrorists. Keep 'em coming Kev.

No comments:

Post a Comment