Socialism 101: Why Socialism Cannot Create a Thriving Economy
“The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher
In 1972 I was an eyewitness to the utopian ideals of redistribution of wealth and state run production of a South American economy.
Though the country enjoyed the deception of a Congress and Constitution, I witnessed first-hand how the Russian allied strong-man dictator, Juan Velasco, ruined an emerging economy with central planning, turning Peru into a trash heap of despair and squalor.
Living in Peru for two years during the volatile swings from free market to socialism, I observed a microcosmic template for failure; a fiasco which any country might expect to suffer at the hands of a controlled market and non-creative mentality in a less than incentivized bureaucratic system.
Granted, the strongest economy in the free world is just now diminishing in strength and falling from its lofty perch of might and respect. Compared to emerging economies, which fall into the socialist lie, the US begins at the top of the cliff, not near the bottom. And, for the US to thoroughly fall to third-world status is not what I expect. But socialism bears fruit after a seed of its kind.
Peru was an emerging economy in the 1950’s and 1960’s with tremendous natural resources, foreign trade receipts, and development driven by incentivized “evil” capitalists. That is, it was emerging until the socialists got a hold of it in the 1970’s.
Which leaves me with little doubt as to the absurdity that any US President espousing a European-Marxist ideal of “fundamental transformation of America as we know it,” and surrounded by an inner circle advisory team of unapologetic sympathizers to communist, socialist, and law-breaking 1960’s radicals, can succeed at increasing wealth, power, or vitality for an economy which has already been the beacon of hope to the world for 200 years.
Life in General Velasco’s Peru 1972-1974 was an eye-opener for this, then young, American eager to do his spiritual/humanitarian best for the people. I learned several things about freedom and prosperity as a result.
Mom never read anything in my letters home but that, “the natives are friendly and the food is okay.” I’ve only prayed for death three times—all in Peru, and all due to illness that simply hasn’t happened in 36 years since. The truth of my experience goes something like this:
I learned Americans weren’t poor under our worst conditions.
People really do die from preventable sickness and disease.
People really do starve, and struggle on $1.00 a day under hyperinflation created by government intervention.
Capitalists offer a “hand up” not merely a “hand out” under socialist regimes, but lose their hands trying.
Socialists take the capitalist’s businesses and re-distribute the property to people who don’t understand how to run it. The business then fails.
Nationalized companies suffer due to lack of knowledge, bureaucratic stupidity and lack of incentive. The government props them up with taxpayer funding.
Educated businessmen leave the country they love because of economic bias. They then create jobs overseas.
People they once employed go jobless, then desperate. The newly employed people overseas grow grateful.
As joblessness soars, life becomes one big “black market” in order to survive.
The socialist thugs and assigned elites rob from the coffers of the companies they nationalized.
The best jobs are found in the security of big government employment and among the connected elites.
Cops carry machine guns. Easier to hit rioters that way.
People who get arrested often disappear.
Bribing becomes a national art form.
National meat rationing every 15 days sucks. So does eating beef that tastes unlike any beef you’ve ever eaten.
Hot showers are a modern marvel enjoyed far away in a place reserved for the elites and a land called America.
Shaving cream @ $12.00 a can (1974) stinks. So does shaving with cold water.
Running for your life from muggers, thieves, and desperate people stinks.
When the government can’t tax more to fix the problems they simply blame evil capitalists who preceded them and tax more anyway.
People live in fear of their benevolent overlords and wish the socialists and privileged money skimmers would go back where they came from.
Right wing dictators eventually kill or jail the left wing dictators.
Some semblance of prosperity resumes as disgraced socialism is tossed into the trash heap of that country’s history, but the people still live in fear.
The sweetest words one first hears after a stint among the socialized poor is from a US Customs agent who says, “Welcome home to the United States, Mr. Pratt.”
James Michael Pratt is a New York Times bestselling novelist and non-fiction author, CEO of PowerThink Publishing, public speaker, Op Ed writer for The Daily Caller, and Founder of Reagan Revolution 2.