Sunday, November 06, 2011

Socialism vs. Capitalism: Final Smackdown

David Deming wrote a series of books that inlcuded a history of socialism.  His current column at American Thinker is the source for much of the following material.  While I don't agree with everything he says in that article, this is quite useful.  When any of your liberal Obamaville friends question capitalism, tell them this:
The test of any theory is experiment, but it is virtually impossible to conduct large-scale controlled experiments in economics. It is difficult to even make meaningful and unambiguous comparisons between countries. Nations differ -- not only in economic systems, but in cultures, languages, traditions, geographies, and natural resources.

To test socialism versus capitalism, we would have to take one or more countries with similar social and physical characteristics and divide them in half. After assigning a different economic system to each country, we would then sit back for fifty years and observe what happens.

But this experiment has already been performed through an accident of history. We know the answer. At the close of World War II, Germany and Korea were divided into socialist and market economies. Socialism failed dramatically. East Germany had to build the Berlin Wall just to keep people from fleeing. North Korea is still in the stone age. A satellite photo taken at night shows South Korea ablaze with the light of civilization. But North Korea is dark, both literally and metaphorically.
Socialism is a slippery slope:
In the U.S., we exist in a curious state of denial. We acknowledge the inferiority of socialism but continue to become more and more socialistic. Every attempt to shrink the size of government or repeal a regulation brings about a shriek, like a bottle being pulled out of the mouth of an infant. I cannot recall a Republican president or Congress who reduced the size of the federal government. No one wants to surrender a special privilege or entitlement. We know what the best system is, but we lack the discipline to return to it.
Another example of why central planning is inept: 
Ronald Reagan used to say that liberals know only how to tax and spend. If there was ever a man who embodies that aphorism, it is Barack Obama. He has no clue as to how a free-market economy works or why it produces economic prosperity. Obama continues to insist that government should determine what energy technologies we're going to have. Thus the debacle of Solyndra. Five hundred million dollars went down the drain needlessly. Government can't pick winners because it doesn't know how to do so. If a centrally planned socialist system worked, it would have produced prosperity in China, the Soviet Union, and North Korea. It didn't. Only a free-market system knows how to efficiently distribute resources.
Subsidizing poverty will only lead to... instantiated poverty:
Since the inception of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society," we have had at least forty years of welfare programs designed to reduce poverty. These programs have not worked. The current U.S. poverty rate is the same as it was in the late 1960s. So what do we do about it? Instead of reversing course, we continue on the same path. If the "Occupy Wall St." protestors have no jobs, it is because they are reaping the rewards of their own success. Socialism has killed the prosperity produced by our formerly great system. The U.S. is now ninth on the index of economic freedom and heading downward.  
Its no wonder the lists of 'formerly socialist countries' dwarfs the list of 'currently socialist countries.'  Just ask the residents of Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Alsace, Angola, Armenia, Asturia, Azerbaijan, Bavaria, Benin, Bessarabia, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Byelorussia, Cape Verde, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Estnoia, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Kampuchea, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mahabad, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Mughan, Naissaar, Nicaragua, Panama, Persia, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saxony, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovakia, Somali, Spain, Sudan, Transcaucasia, Turkestan, Ukrainia, the USSR, Vietnam, Yemen or Yugoslavia.

Ok, so is this the final smackdown?

I hope so -- but well meaning liberals and power-hungry poseurs will simply say 'It hasn't been tried right yet.  All the attempts have failed because they were flawed attempts.  Lenin didn't mean for his dream to end up in Stalin's death camps.  We should try again!' 

When they do, show them Obama's Legacy blowing out the budget with a massive spending orgy. 

Central planning is a miserable failure. 

Remind them about what Reagan said, on the subject of capitalism as well:
All systems are capitalist. It's just a matter of who owns and controls the capital -- ancient king, dictator, or private individual. We should properly be looking at the contrast between a free market system where individuals have the right to live like kings if they have the ability to earn that right and government control of the market system such as we find today in socialist nations.
The Occupy Your Street march on capitalism is nothing less than a naked power grab, a direct assault on individual freedom and your liberty.


OBloodyHell said...

Not to deny the facts of the article, but that picture of North Korea has been exposed as having been altered. It's still pretty bad but not quite as bad as shown. There are about a half-dozen to a dozen more points of light which can be seen from satellite inside the NoKo boundaries.

In the interests of academic honesty, that should be mentioned whenever showing that picture:

"It's not quite that bad. Almost, but not quite."


Bob in LA said...

OBH proof please.

Carl said...

I've seen arguments back and forth about whether it's photoshopped, but for comparison, the NASA original is here (.tif file, takes a minute to load). And on quick inspection, it looks similar to the close-up Bob linked.

OBloodyHell said...

Hmmm. All attempts to find an article with the other link have disappeared AFAICS.

This one is also good, and shows pretty much the same view.

The other one I'd seen, also from a purportedly reputable source like NASA, though I can't find it ATM (not being at home where all my links and stuff are) was largely similar, it just had about a half-dozen to a dozen more "stars" in the NoKo area. The point still was valid, but it did suggest some doctoring had been done.

I tried a couple searches but couldn't find anything that had the before-and-after links. I'll grant that Carl's NASA site is sufficiently reputable that it's unlikely that it got doctored there.

Lame-R said...

Even filthy hippies were capitalists: "gas, grass, or ass--nobody rides for free", right?