Monday, March 30, 2020

Socialism: "Failng at a Country of 1"

This is an excerpt from the book "How Not to Become a Millennial."  It delves into various metrics of how to measure socialism/communism's success rates, but of particular note, it focuses on the smallest unit in society - the individual.  I leave the intrigue and intellectual suspense for those who actually go and read the full excerpt, but it's a very valid point and one that behooves a response from socialists/communists.

"Before a pharmaceutical company can sell a drug to the public it has to go through an inordinate amount of research, clinical trials, testing, and approval processes.  Pharmaceutical companies spend billions in research and investment just to get a drug to market.  And though some people may say it’s a bit overkill, it is necessary to thoroughly test a drug before unleashing it upon society because if inadequately tested it can kill people. 

But what if you had a drug that had somewhere between a 1-10% success rate?  That after nearly 150 years of trial and error, human experiments, 50 lab trials, and about 100 million deaths, you had some pharmacists claim they tweaked this drug and “This time it’ll work?”  Chances are you would not take that drug.  But while no such drug exists, an economic ideology does with that exact same abysmal track record.  And that ideological drug is socialism.

While we won’t delve into detailed historical economics and numbers, the short version is this.  Socialism has worked roughly 1-10% of the time depending on how you want to measure success.  “World owes me a living” acolytes cannot rush fast enough to point to the Scandinavian models of socialism as proof that socialism can work.  And in those countries, yes.  Under very unique sociological, demographic, historical, and temporary conditions, a variant of socialism seems to work.  But for every Norway, for every Sweden, and for every Denmark there are 10 counter examples of socialism failing.  Cuba, North Korea, the USSR, Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Greece, Zimbabwe, China, East Germany, Somalia, and more recently Venezuela.  So when you compare these five countries (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark) to all other socialist economies (both past and present), they are the exception.  Not the rule.  Socialism fails in 9 out of every 10 countries it’s tried in.

If you want to use a different metric, instead of comparing countries, compare populations living under these two respective socialist systems.  Yes, the Nordic countries all provide very high standards of living for their citizens…all 25 million of them.  But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the roughly 2 billion people who lived/suffered under the “not-so-nice” socialist systems.  Furthermore, for every lucky Swede or Icelander who’s enjoyed this rare strain of successful socialism, four non-Scandinavian socialists were outright killed or starved under the “not-so-nice” socialist systems.  So when you consider the 2 billion people who lived in utter squalor and filth (not to mention the 100 million who died), this drug of socialism has only worked on 1% of the human test subjects it was tested on.

But let us forget countries and history, famines and genocides.  Let’s go to something much more microcosmic.  Restaurants.  Specifically, “socialist restaurants.”  Though the concept sounds contradictory it’s not because there has been a handful of restaurants and co-ops that have tried to operate under a socialist business model.  And some of the principles they operated under included things like living wages, no profits, no pricing, and employees deciding everything by committee.  And while everything seemed all nice and wonderful on paper, in every instance they failed.  Apparently, simply letting your customers “pay what they could afford” or having employees run the restaurant by committee weren’t sustainable business practices.  Regardless, this behooves a very interesting question.  If socialists can’t even run a restaurant, how in hell’s name do they think they can run an entire country?  The track record of socialism is already an abysmal 1-10% success rate, but the more industrious socialists among us can’t even get a restaurant off the ground.  Chances your rank and file “world owes me a living-‘ers” are going to do even worse.

Finally, let us go to an even more microcosmic level than restaurants.  Let’s go to the most granular, atomic level we can in humanity – the individual.

As a single bachelor it is actually quite easy to take care of myself.  I make very little money compared to most people, but my expenses are so low and technology has made everything so cheap, as long as I don’t buy a new car or get a Master’s degree in Poetry at Middlebury, I’ll likely never starve or suffer true poverty until I’m dead.  But even with the unemployment rate below 4%, there are millions of people who cannot even do the most basic of economic obligations to society which is to support themselves.  Millions of people want free healthcare.  Millions of people want bailouts.  Millions of people want the minimum wage arbitrarily jacked up to $15.  How have you so poorly mismanaged your life that in this world, with this technology, and this economy you need other people to help you out?  And though there are certainly exceptions to be made for things like crippling student loan debt, unforeseen medical problems, recessions, accidents, etc., how can an otherwise physically-able, single individual not support him/herself and dare demand other people work to support them?

The answer is moot because the larger point isn’t why they are unable to support themselves.  It’s the fact they can’t take care of themselves.  They need other people’s money to live.  And if they cannot take care of themselves, a mere “Country of One,” then they are absolutely not capable of taking care of an entire country.  And just as these individuals’ lives are a mess, the socialist economic system they’d impose on society would likely be a mess also.

This is debatably the largest argument against the world owing people a living.  Most socialists can’t get a restaurant off the ground, let alone support themselves.  They cannot even get a working model of socialism to work in their own, individual lives.  And this in the face of an already uphill battle where socialist economies have at best a 10% success rate.  You throw in the abysmal track record of socialism, with 2 billion people in poverty and 100 million dead, and you are risking the world’s population on a horrific economic system that’s killed more people in peacetime than the fascists and nazis did during war.  All so you can play video games or work some bogus, government-created job as a “diversity journalist” at NPR.  You are certainly a fool for thinking socialism is going to work.  But you lack any morality trying to foist it upon the world."

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JamesD said...

Good article, but socialism is a 100% failed system. The Nordic countries don't have socialism. Businesses are privately owned. You could perhaps call them fascist: they are high tax social safety net countries. Also Norway and Denmark have North Sea oil wealth.

Red Pill Wisdom said...

I learned a long time ago that 'Socialism' can ONLY exist when it is kept small in size, and it is supported by another financial system (i.e., capitalism) which it is able to leech from.
"Atlas Shrugged" is an excellent literary example of what happens when Socialism grows beyond its limits and is the only financial system to exist. The real world is filled with excellent examples when that happens, Venezuela is just the latest example*.

*Isn't it interesting how there aren't any news stories of what's happening in the 'worker's paradise' of Venezuela? When Obama was in office, the media and the Hollywood pinheads couldn't stop falling over themselves promoting how wonderful Socialism was working in Venezuela back then.
I think that it's more than 'interesting' that the people who have had to live under Socialism (and weren't the big-shots and apparatchiks) are also those who are dead-set against it.

Nicolas cordova said...

I'm tired of people calling Sweden and Norway and Finland socialists. They are not. If you go and ask them they will tell you it's not true at all either. They are capitalistic but have high taxes that redistribute that wealth to everybody. That can work as long as people want to be productive which they do. They are also super low corrupt do government workers and party members can't steal that money. It works but even then it's not as successful as people think. Many people there have to wait a long time to get health care bc even the beautiful and intelligent swedes cannot figure out hoe to give people unlimited health care any time they want it. It's impossible. Simply economics tells you this.