The Tragedy of Democratic Socialism

Featured image We have chronicled the catastrophic decline of Venezuela’s economy under socialists Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. The situation has gotten so bad that even the New York Times has taken note: “Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals.” By morning, three newborns were already dead. The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, »

Venezuela Going the Way of All Socialism

Featured image Socialism depends on consolidating and centralizing all power, so when things start to go wrong (as they inevitably do), this also is as inevitable as food shortages, black markets, and hyperinflation: Leader opposition party in Venezuela assassinated Venezuelan politician German Mavare, leader of the opposition UNT party, died Friday after being shot in the head, an assassination that occurred in the western state of Lara, his organization said. “The board »

Venezuela Hits . . . er, Bottom?

Featured image As everyone over the age of six knows (that excludes Sanders voters obviously), one of the first things you run out of in a socialist economy that attempts price controls is toilet paper. But with Venezuela’s hyperinflation, you could always swap out the worthless paper currency for the Charmin. Except: Venezuela Doesn’t Have Enough Money to Pay for Its Money Venezuela’s epic shortages are nothing new at this point. No »

The Cold War Never Ended

Featured image A lot of conservatives have expressed shock and disorientation at the revival of enthusiasm for socialism, not to mention the shattering of the consensus for free trade, low taxes, open markets, freedom of expression, and so forth. It is clear—and I wrote a long memo about this at AEI about five years ago that I cannot now find—that we all made a major mistake in the early 1990s when the »

Venezuela’s Pathetic Decline Continues

Featured image Venezuela, one of the world’s most oil-rich countries, can’t keep the lights on. The country’s socialist government has announced that Venezuelans will now be entirely without power for four hours a day. But that’s not the worst of it: they will have to sit in the dark without beer: As Venezuelans digest news that they’ll have no power for hours a day, they also may have to do without beer »

Librules R *So Smart*

Featured image Everyone knows the old saying, “If you’re so smart, how come you’re not rich?” Everyone except liberals, that is. One of the things I love about liberals is how much smarter they are than everyone in the business world. Amory Lovins has been telling us for nearly 40 years now about how his “soft energy” paths are so much superior—and cheaper!—than hydrocarbon or nuclear energy. Every day I expect to »

Against BS, GE edition

Featured image In his bizarre sit-down with the editors of the New York Daily News — Jamie Kirchick provides an entertaining retrospective in “Is Bernie Sanders your stoner college roommate?” (with full audio) — GE was about the only company Bernie Sanders was able to identify as committing the malefactions that drive him onward. The editors had asked Sanders to name a company exemplifying “corporate greed at its worst.” According to Sanders, »

The big dog barks, but the caravan moves on [UPDATED]

Featured image If you’re a Democratic politician, you uncomplainingly take crap from militant African-Americans; it’s what you do. Unless you’re Bill Clinton. He’s a former U.S. president. He doesn’t take crap from anyone. Thus, as Steve Hayward notes, the Big Dog barked back today at Black Lives Matter protesters who interrupted his speech. Clinton shouted over the protesters for more than ten minutes, rejecting their claim that Hillary’s use of the term »

Against BS, in 100 words

Featured image The site of Entrepreneur magazine invited brief lambastings of the candidates by Nick Gillespie (Bernie Sanders), Ann Coulter (Ted Cruz), S.E. Cupp (Donald Trump) and Marc Lamont Hill (Hillary Clinton). Taken all together, the symposium is fair and balanced! (I’d like to make the case against Marc Lamont Hill, but I’ll save it for another day.) The symposium is posted here; Gillespie has posted his own contribution here. Here is »

Behind that “Bern” feeling

Featured image Stanley Kurtz, writing for the Washington Post, takes on three tenets of the conventional wisdom about the flirtation of millennials with socialism. The tenets are: (1) the socialism being advocated is democratic, (2) the millennials don’t have much of an idea what socialism is, and (3) the phenomenon is a passing response to an economic downturn. The first tenet — that this socialism is democratic — should come as a »

A word from Garry Kasparov

Featured image Former citizen of the Soviet Union and world chess champion Garry Kasparov tries to remind the voting public of the reality of the “socialism” that Bernie Sanders seeks to make all the rage in “Hey, Bernie, Don’t Lecture Me About Socialism. I Lived Through It.” Acknowledging that Sanders “believes deeply in what he is saying, which is more than what can be said about nearly every other 2016 candidate, or »

Harry Jaffa Explains Sanders, Trump, and Campus Craziness

Featured image One of the more head-scratching phenomena of this election is the independent voters in open primary states who tell journalists and pollsters that they are undecided between Trump and Sanders. To the conventional political mind this makes no sense. It suggests that a Trump-Sanders election this fall might be highly volatile and unpredictable. The common attraction of these disparate men is chalked up to their “Jacksonian” appeal, that is, the »

Col. Sanders’ Cambridge Fried Economy

Featured image John has already alerted us to the example of Venezuela’s collapsing socialist economy as a model of what life under President Bernie Sanders could be like—a prospect I’m calling “Colonel Sanders Cambridge Fried Economy,” since it would be a Cambridge (MA) professor’s dream to be in charge of fixing all of the things wrong with America. But today’s news out of Venezuela is just too much fun. First, this from »

Socialism, it could happen here and probably will

Featured image Yoav Frommer, a leftist who teaches American history in Israel, argues in the Washington Post that Bernie Sanders’ democratic socialism might well become the mainstream view of the Democratic Party before long. I think he’s right. And if he is, it’s likely that the natural course of politics will produce a Bernie Sanders style president and congressional majority in the not too distant future. And why not? It has happened »

The Lights Go Out In Bernie Sanders’ Utopia, Venezuela

Featured image Venezuela’s slide into poverty and chaos continues. The country’s socialist government is now rationing electricity to shopping centers. They will have to close for portions of the day unless they can generate their own power. But they can’t generate their own power, due to the government’s strict currency controls that prevent them from obtaining foreign currency that would allow them to buy the necessary equipment. That’s life under socialism, every »

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 »