American Elephants

Bernie Sanders Misguided and Really Dumb Ideas by The Elephant's Child

How did we get here? A candidate for the presidency who is calling himself a Socialist is capturing a significant amount of support for the Democratic nomination. And they claim that Republicans are standing on the wrong side of history!  David Harsanyi said it well:

But what if there were a party whose economic case rested on undermining the most successful, poverty-reducing, prosperity creating idea ever known to mankind? What would history say about that?

We wrote in November of 2014 that “It’s the greatest achievement in actual history, and one you probably never heard about.” Extreme poverty in the world fell to 15% in 2011, from 36% in 1990. The credit goes to the spread of capitalism. The past 25 years have witnessed the greatest reduction in global poverty in the history of the world. An 80% reduction in world poverty in only 36 years.

Bernie thinks we should imitate Denmark.  But Denmark has been rigorously working to eliminate socialism for some time. They’re now ranked a notch higher in economic freedom than we are — reflecting Denmark’s strong property rights, relative freedom from corruption, low public debt, freedom of trade and investment and a corporate tax rate that is way lower than ours.

Bernie wants free college education for everyone, universal government-run healthcare, expanded Social Security, paid family and medical leave, which adds up to some $18 trillion over ten years.

It’s a standard pattern for Democrats. You win elections by promising to give voters good stuff. That makes the Democrats feel good, because that’s what Democrats do, is give good things to the people. Because the rich don’t have enough money to pay for all the things Democrats want to give away to stroke their own egos, the gifts don’t actually lift anyone out of poverty, or give anyone a better life, or improve the economy. Innumeracy and Keynesian economics? Inattention to what is actually going on in the world?

You might instead look at Venezuela, or Cuba. Venezuela is having a hard time keeping the lights on in spite of an abundant supply of oil. Grocery store shelves are mostly bare and there are frequent riots over food distribution. Oddly enough, Hugo Chavez’s daughter has reportedly stashed away a cool $4.2 billion, but then the leaders of socialist nations usually get very rich while their people suffer. Occasionally the people string them up. Cuba is a new tourist destination for the Left. They find the charm of all those old 1950s cars irresistible and the crumbling buildings charming. But that’s all the Cubans have. John Hinderaker remarked:

Socialism is the worst idea, and the greatest tragedy, in human history. It is responsible for more than 100 million deaths and almost unimaginable suffering and poverty. And yet…somehow, it keeps making a comeback.


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