Socialism: Around the world, nations that have been foolish enough to adopt socialist policies either collapsed or are well on their way to doing so. Why, then, are so many in the U.S. enthralled with the idea?
A quick look at the world’s countries in direst economic shape reveals that many, if not most, have one thing in common: They rely on top-down socialist control, rather than free markets, to run their economies. The former, history amply shows, are doomed to fail. There are no long-term socialist success stories. None.
France, for instance, elected a socialist, Francois Hollande, as president in 2012. Today, France suffers a 10.3% jobless rate and 25% youth unemployment. Growth is less than 1%. To France’s credit, it’s recently recognized that the job market must be reformed to give businesses more incentives to hire and train new workers.
Brazil, meanwhile, impeached Socialist President Dilma Rousseff for corruption, but her damage to the economy will last. As recently as 2010, Brazil was considered a bright star. It was awarded both an Olympics and a World Cup because of it. Last year, as Rousseff’s massive borrowing and spending choked the economy, GDP shrank 3.8% and joblessness soared. Interim President Michel Temer has vowed to roll back Rousseff’s socialism.
Then there’s Venezuela’s nightmare. After the death of socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, his successor kept socialist policies in place. Today, as even the liberal Atlantic Monthly admits, “Venezuela is falling apart.” Shortages of food, energy and such basic commodities as toilet paper are rampant. The government has imposed a two-day workweek to save money. Riots, thefts and blackouts are common. Once oil-rich, Venezuelans now forage dirty streets for food — including stray dogs and cats.
Farther south, Argentina’s economy was run into the ground by leftist populist President Cristina Kirchner. Newly elected centrist President Mauricio Macri has stabilized the economy, fixed the nation’s finances, and has returned to global debt markets for the first time since the nation defaulted 15 years ago. The economy is again growing.
Get the picture? Socialism is a failure, a brutal one. In its name, during the 21st century, millions of people were impoverished and disenfranchised, while over 100 million were murdered.
And yet, as Europe and South America move away from socialism, some in the U.S. embrace it. Polls show socialism is popular among millennials, and many young Americans support socialist Bernie Sanders for president. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. As Jonah Goldberg observed, “Schools have been force-feeding left-wing propaganda to kids like it was feed for geese at a foie gras factory.”
Sadly, blogger Bruce McQuain adds, “The left will never face the reality of their utopian central control’s failure everywhere and in whatever flavor it is tried.”