Maduro, Sanders and Clinton: Compare and Contrast

Featured image Socialism always fails, and it’s always someone else’s fault. In the last stages of socialist collapse, when there is not enough to eat and society teeters on the brink, “wreckers” and “saboteurs” are the traditional villains. That’s the point Venezuela has reached. President Nicolas Maduro is now blaming Lorenzo Mendoza, the head of Empresas Polar SA, Venezuela’s largest food company, for the country’s food shortage. (I’m not sure who is »

For Venezuela, the End Is Near. Someone Tell Bernie!

Featured image Venezuela’s disastrous experiment with socialism is nearing its inevitable end. The Financial Times has the numbers: The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press. In the free market, the »

Socialism in one grasp

Featured image Bernie Sanders has proposed “Medicare for all Americans.” It sounds sweet, but how much would it cost? Avik Roy, a health care analyst and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, finds an answer in work performed for the Sanders campaign by economist Gerald Friedman. The price tag: $41 trillion over ten years. Actually, the correct number may well be higher. Friedman claims that Sanders’ plan would reduce national health-care spending »

She can’t explain

Featured image What is the difference between the tenets of the Democratic Party and the socialism of Bernie Sanders? Having previously stumped Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz with that brain teaser, Chris Matthews ran it by Madam Hillary very, very gently (video below…warning: plot spoiler) with comparable results, of course. She can’t explain. Via Progressives Today. »

The Enduring Popularity of Fraud

Featured image Steve’s post earlier today is a great reminder of how over the last 200 years, free enterprise has led to an unprecedented explosion of wealth, individual liberty and creativity. Nothing in human history–putting aside for the moment the claims of religion–has enriched the human race to anything like the same degree. If human history has conclusively established any fact, it is that free enterprise is fantastically successful, while socialism is »

Hasta La Vista, Socialism! (2)

Featured image Ted Bezat writes to comment on John’s post “Hasta La Vista, Socialism!” celebrating the election results in Venezuela earlier this week: I just finished reading your post and thought you might be interested in the documentation from 10 years ago when they really started to cripple their own oil industry. The primary reason that Venezuela’s “economy” has disintegrated is the drop-off in petroleum revenues. I’ve been tracking this ever since »

Hasta la Vista, Socialism!

Featured image We have chronicled the catastrophic collapse of socialism in Venezuela here and in many other posts. Government control over the economy, beginning with liberal hero Hugo Chavez and continuing under his successor, Nicolás Maduro, resulted in poverty for pretty much everyone outside the ruling elite. (Socialism produces the most rigid class distinctions of any economic system.) Venezuelans were engaging in knife fights in grocery stores, trying to grab the last »

France Swings Sharply to the Right

Featured image In the aftermath of the Paris attack last month, I predicted that right-leaning parties like Marine Le Pen’s National Front would gain significantly in French opinion polls, and that Le Pen might well become the favorite to be France’s next president. I’m not a fan of Le Pen or her National Front party, but when the rest of France’s political establishment, including the so-called conservatives, is so consistently weak-minded, it »

Sanders’ socialism may be light on “democratic”

Featured image Bernie Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist.” But when it came time to pick a honeymoon destination, Sanders didn’t select Denmark. He honeymooned in the Soviet Union. In my mind, this raises the possibility for Sanders, socialism is the imperative, and “democratic” is just a preference — “superstructure,” as a Marxist might say. Nor do we have to rely on Sanders’ honeymoon to entertain this suspicion. Stanley Kurtz believes that »

Bernie explains it all

Featured image Bill Maher says he wants to help Senator Sanders win the Democratic nomination for president. Is he not ready for Hillary? At least we have that much in common. Maher wants Sanders to expound the inner truth and greatness of national socialism. “We have to teach America what this is,” Maher says. “I don’t know if we’re doing that yet,” he concedes. It sounds like the premise of what could »

Can the Democrats Mainstream Socialism?

Featured image 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. Even here in the United States, where many Democrats think it is time to come out of the closet and, like Bernie Sanders, declare themselves to be socialists. The mainstreaming of socialism goes back at least »

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the Danish model

Featured image The Democratic presidential debate featured a clash between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton over Denmark. Clinton reminded Sanders that “the United States isn’t Denmark. The Vermont socialist responded with a stirring defense of the Danish model. Both, for once, weren’t entirely wrong. Unlike the U.S., Denmark is moving in the opposite direction of socialism, and this represents a healthy model. Kevin Williamson of NRO provides the details: Denmark, like Sweden »

Follow Up: Peeling the Onion of Socialism

Featured image One of the first pre-requisites for being a socialist is having no sense of humor. I’d really love to see a reporter ask Bernie Sanders to name his favorite standup comic, and watch him default to “Who has time to laugh when the middle class is being decimated by Wall Street! Socialist lives matter!” That’s why lefties won’t get this old bit from The Onion: Marxists’ Apartment A Microcosm Of »

What Is This Pope About?

Featured image With Pope Francis now in Washington promoting, willy-nilly, the agenda of the Democratic Party, time to revisit my Forbes column on “How Is ‘Liberation Theology’ Still a Thing?”  from back in May: Pope Francis has an odd sense of timing. Last week he led the Vatican in embracing climate change orthodoxy just as it is becoming weaker than ever. But the real eyebrow raiser is the upcoming Vatican appearance of »

The Socialist Dream Will Never Die (2)

Featured image A reader of my post last week on “The Socialist Dream Will Never Die” writes in reminding me of the late Leszek Kolakowski, the great Polish philosopher who broke with Communism in the 1970s, and produced the magisterial three-volume treatise, Main Currents of Marxism, originally published in 1978, when Communism and the Soviet Union were still on the march. Main Currents walked through the evolution of Marxism from before Hegel »

The Socialist Dream, Venezuela Version

Featured image We have chronicled the long, painful decline of Venezuela’s socialist economy. It was kept afloat for a while by Venezuela’s extraordinary oil reserves, but nothing, not even vast natural resources, can keep a socialist economy going for long. Toilet paper is a thing of the past, and many Venezuelans are now confronting the possibility of starvation, due to government-imposed price controls. The Wall Street Journal reports: Hours after they looted »

The Socialist Dream Will Never Die

Featured image Not long ago I was listening to one of Russ Roberts’s archived “EconTalk” podcasts with the great Thomas Sowell (and if you don’t listen to EconTalk you’re missing one of the top podcast artists of our time—subscribe for free here), and was completely stunned by something Sowell said. When he was assigned Friedrich Hayek’s seminal essay “The Use of Knowledge in Society” as a graduate student, he didn’t get it. »