Socialists Lie, People Die
Posted: May 11, 2017 12:01 AM
The socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro is, of course, in denial. Maduro defiantly refused international medical aid last year, saying, "I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one." One physician interviewed by the Journal said, "Here, for the government, there are no malnourished children. The reality is this is an epidemic."
Hugo Chavez, Maduro's predecessor, originally bought Venezuelans' loyalty with spending on social programs paid for by the country's oil revenues. But he also lured them into his socialist "Bolivarian Revolution" with a stereotypical siren song, demonizing business and accusing private industry of greed. Chavez' proposed solution was nationalization. He started with the oil industry, followed by agriculture, finance, manufacturing, finance, steel, telecommunications, transportation and tourism.
The country is now reaping the results. A pig farmer, Alberto Troiani, explained that price controls imposed by the government made it impossible for him to pay his bills. He is not alone; 82 percent of Venezuela's pig farms have shut down in just five years. "The government thinks its survival is in communism," Troiani said, "Not in us, not with production. And that's where they're wrong."
Au contraire. Collectivism is perhaps the one area where progressives have achieved perfect equality and diversity; it has been murderous and economically disastrous in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.
How many times must this be tried? How many people have to suffer, starve and die under systems which are touted by ideologues and ivory tower academics? Scholars estimate that anywhere from 90 million to 150 million people died under collectivist regimes in the 20th century alone. This does not take into account the human suffering from impoverishment, illness, hunger and other privations.
Progressives in the United States often insist that what we have seen happen elsewhere could not happen in the United States. Most don't want communism, they say (though some do, and their numbers are growing); they just want the government to take over certain segments of the American economy, starting with health care, which they argue is a "right," not merely a "good."
The United States is one of the freest and most prosperous countries on the planet. For all our problems, we are proof of the successes possible with free market capitalism. By contrast, Venezuela -- and a long list of other countries -- should stand as an important lesson: Collectivism doesn't work. It destroys lives. Claims to the contrary are lies. And when people believe those lies, millions die.