Nuggets of Wisdom

Sunday, December 20, 2015

"Socialism" Vs Socialism

When Hugo Chavez first took office, he promised the Venezuelan people that his socialism would lift them out of poverty. Nearly two decades later, and Venezuela has only fallen deeper into poverty with one of the world's worst economy. The country faces shortages of basic necessities such as food and toilet paper on epidemic levels. Its citizens are forced to wait on long lines and use ID cards just to go grocery shopping. Some have become desperate enough to turn to looting and the black market to meet their needs. Politicians who once promised them that they would never go hungry again now tell them to eat fried rocks. Downtrodden, hungry, and tired from their oppression and desperation, the people recently voted out their ruling socialist party. Now only time will tell whether the country will recover from being a “socialist paradise.”

While one country overthrows its shackles of socialism, our very own country has a self-described socialist, Bernie Sanders, running for president and promising to bring socialism here. He ignores the failed socialist experiment that is Venezuela and instead points his finger across the pond to Scandinavian countries like Denmark. Like many socialist idealists, he claims those countries are “socialist utopias”—even though they really aren’t. Even their own leaders admit that their countries aren’t really that socialist.

While Scandinavia’s famous “Nordic Model” promotes a strong socialist welfare state, it also promotes free-market capitalism—and in recent years, those countries have rolled back their socialist policies in favor of market liberalization and privatization. Part of this liberalization has included a much lower corporate tax rate—which ironically contrasts with Bernie’s calls for higher corporate taxes, despite America having the world’s highest corporate tax rate! By embracing free markets, Scandinavian countries such as Denmark have become some of the best countries for business.

One socialist country fully-embraced socialism, only to later overthrow it, while another “socialist” country only partly-embraced it, only to roll it back for the better. Guess which one socialists such as Sanders and his wide-eyed millennial supporters embrace as a “socialist utopia.”