Monday, June 20, 2016

Socialism, Again

The 2nd link below is to an AP story about Cuba which was brought to my attention by this Powerline post

The AP article's headline referring to Cuba's Curse is, of course, unintentionally hilarious. As John Hinderaker points out the article never does mention the real source of the curse. He is not so reluctant.

"Left unexplained is why a planned socialist economy couldn’t get along without foreign subsidies...Funny, too, how Cuba’s socialist benefactors bite the dust one after another."

Before anyone launches the US economic embargo argument as the source of the curse please keep in mind that the embargo prevented Cuba from trading with one country on earth. That left about 191 others it could trade with (the UN currently has 193 members).

Socialism fails every single time it is tried. This has been pointed out by far more authoritative sources than me.

I will mention again that the Scandinavian countries are not socialist. They are free market economies with very generous welfare regimes.

"The Nordic model (also called Nordic capitalism[1] or Nordic social democracy)[2][3] refers to the economic and social policies common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Sweden). This includes a combination of free market capitalism with a comprehensive welfare state and collective bargaining at the national level.[4][5]
Although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits. These include support for a "universalist" welfare state aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; a corporatist system involving a tripartite arrangement where representatives of labor and employers negotiate wages and labor market policy mediated by the government;[6] and a commitment to widespread private ownership, free markets and free trade.[7]Emphasis added)
Each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours.[8] According to sociologist Lane Kenworthy, in the context of the Nordic model, "social democracy" refers to a set of policies for promoting economic security and opportunity within the framework of capitalism rather than a system to replace capitalism.[9] (Emphasis added)"

Someone should bring this to Bernie's attention.

I think it worth noting that Israel tried socialism too. The Kibbutz regime of co-operative farms failed completely. I had the opportunity to visit the remnants of one two years ago. They failed for the same reason socialism always fails. It is inconsistent with human nature. Human traits are, in my experience, quite evenly divided among any group of humans. 

Socialism quite naturally appeals to those with a surfeit of the laziness trait, a considerable number of the total of any human group. After all, what could be better than being licensed to do as little as possible to provide for one's self and be fully provided for by the effort of others.

The others, the productive people seduced by the nobility of the socialist ideology, play along for a while, suppressing another common human trait, self-interest. Until they get fed up watching the lazy live off their effort.

In uniformly socialist countries, once the productive get fed up with watching the lazy live off their effort, a police state develops to coerce the productive into cooperating with the authorities. USSR, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela. It never ends well. 

Happily, at least in this respect, Israel was a hybrid. Now it is not.

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