Literally millions of people have rallied around the Bernie Sanders’ promise to bring socialism to America, which has already started down that road under the Obama presidency. Sanders and his supporters would like to see socialism instituted completely. Millennials tell pollsters they prefer socialism over capitalism. Sanders’ groupies and Millennials are showing how woefully ignorant they are of not only the history of socialism but the present reality of it wherever it exists today. The truth they should learn right now is that Bernie Sanders’ socialism will not help anyone except a ruling elite.
It is a common misconception that socialism is about helping poor people. Actually, what socialism does is create poor people, and keep them poor. And that’s not by accident.
Under capitalism, rich people become powerful. But under socialism, powerful people become rich. When you look at a socialist country like Venezuela, you find that the rulers are fabulously wealthy even as the ordinary citizenry deals with empty supermarket shelves and electricity rationing.
The daughter of Venezuela’s socialist ruler, Hugo Chavez, is the richest individual in Venezuela, worth billions of dollars, according to the Miami-based Diario Las América. In Cuba, Fidel Castro reportedly has lived — pretty much literally — like a king, even as his subjects dwelt in poverty. In the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as Hedrick Smith reported in his The Russians, the Communist Party big shots had lavish country houses and apartments in town stocked with hand-polished fresh fruit, even as the common people stood in line for hours at state-run stores in the hopes of getting staples.
Venezuela sits on a mountain of oil and has fertile soil in which anything will grow. In spite of these rich advantages that ought to make life comfortable for all of its citizens, socialism has turned Venzuela into a humanitarian disaster. Juan Carlos Hidalgo of the Cato Institute has this to say about Venezuela’s socialism:
Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that the problem with socialists is that “they always run out of other people’s money” faced a unique challenge in Venezuela: during the course of a decade and a half, the government received nearly $1 trillion in oil revenues— the equivalent in today’s money of more than seven Marshall Plans. This was enough to mask the effect of hundreds of expropriations, stifling economic controls, and otherwise running the private economy into the ground.
Part of the windfall was spent on social programmes, which temporarily improved some social indicators and made the regime popular among poor Venezuelans. But a couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans.
In America the Democrat party often acts in ways similar to the ruling elite in Venezuela. It should be common knowledge that the Democrats, much like the regime in Venezuela, want and need a permanent underclass that will reliably vote for Democrats who promise to keep the welfare checks coming (so will the Republicans, truth be known). Like the Venezuelan dictators, they want grateful dependent voters, not prosperous ones.
Glenn Reynolds ends his column this way:
As the Rainmakers sang, back in the 1980s, “They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.” That’s socialism in a nutshell. The “equality” talk? That’s just for the suckers. Don’t be a sucker.