Venezuela Already “Berned”

Socialism spends the money Capitalism makes

Bernie Sanders supporters liked an upfront guy who actually believed what he said. But it is obvious that most of his voters had no idea what a radical he was and how devastating Socialism has been all over the world. Sanders spent his honeymoon in Moscow by choice and he shows how interconnected Socialism and Communism are. There is no such thing as “Democratic Socialism” for the nature of both is FORCE, coercion by the state.

Socialism, Marxist-Socialism, and Communism are all apples from the same barrel. Whether we are talking about Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, or Greece we are talking about dismal failures. Some past Socialist or Marxist countries have shifted away from this economic system because in the long run, it doesn’t work, it breaks down. China has shifted from Communism to a totalitarian Capitalist society more on the Fascist model. Russia has shelved Communism in favor of a totalitarian Oligarchy resembling the Mafia. India is moving away from Socialism towards Capitalism. Estonia has junked Socialism in favor of Capitalism.

Other countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, France have adopted more the giant Nanny State model while leaving business to operate freely.

Whatever the case may be Venezuela used to be the richest and most prosperous country in South America. Now its people are starving and rioting in the streets.

Bernie Sanders supporters need to take a good hard look at what his Moscow lover would like to do to America.

Mark J. Perry writing for FEE reminds us:

 

Socialism is the Big Lie of the Twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

Socialism Ignores Incentives

A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that incentives don’t matter!

The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.

The only alternative to a market price is a controlled or fixed price which always transmits misleading information about relative scarcity. Inappropriate behavior results from a controlled price because false information has been transmitted by an artificial, non-market price.

Socialism also collapsed because of its failure to operate under a competitive, profit-and-loss system of accounting. A profit system is an effective monitoring mechanism which continually evaluates the economic performance of every business enterprise. The firms that are the most efficient and most successful at serving the public interest are rewarded with profits. Firms that operate inefficiently and fail to serve the public interest are penalized with losses.

By rewarding success and penalizing failure, the profit system provides a strong disciplinary mechanism which continually redirects resources away from weak, failing, and inefficient firms toward those firms which are the most efficient and successful at serving the public. A competitive profit system ensures a constant re-optimization of resources and moves the economy toward greater levels of efficiency. Unsuccessful firms cannot escape the strong discipline of the marketplace under a profit/loss system. Competition forces companies to serve the public interest or suffer the consequences.

Under central planning, there is no profit-and-loss system of accounting to accurately measure the success or failure of various programs. Without profits, there is no way to discipline firms that fail to serve the public interest and no way to reward firms that do. There is no efficient way to determine which programs should be expanded and which ones should be contracted or terminated.

Without competition, centrally planned economies do not have an effective incentive structure to coordinate economic activity. Without incentives, the results are a spiraling cycle of poverty and misery. Instead of continually reallocating resources towards greater efficiency, socialism falls into a vortex of inefficiency and failure.

Private Property Rights

A third fatal defect of socialism is its blatant disregard for the role of private property rights in creating incentives that foster economic growth and development. The failure of socialism around the world is a “tragedy of commons” on a global scale.

When assets are publicly owned, there are no incentives in place to encourage wise stewardship. While private property creates incentives for conservation and the responsible use of property, public property encourages irresponsibility and waste. If everyone owns an asset, people act as if no one owns it. And when no one owns it, no one really takes care of it. Public ownership encourages neglect and mismanagement.

Since socialism, by definition, is a system marked by the “common ownership of the means of production,” the failure of socialism is a “tragedy of the commons” on a national scale. Much of the economic stagnation of socialism can be traced to the failure to establish and promote private property rights.

By their failure to foster, promote, and nurture the potential of their people through incentive-enhancing institutions, centrally planned economies deprive the human spirit of full development. Socialism fails because it kills and destroys the human spirit — just ask the people leaving Cuba in homemade rafts and boats.

The temptress of socialism is constantly luring us with the offer: “give up a little of your freedom and I will give you a little more security.” As the experience of this century has demonstrated, the bargain is tempting but never pays off. We end up losing both our freedom and our security.

Programs like socialized medicine, welfare, Social Security, and minimum wage laws will continue to entice us because on the surface they appear to be expedient and beneficial. Those programs, like all socialist programs, will fail in the long run regardless of initial appearances. These programs are part of the Big Lie of socialism because they ignore the important role of incentives.

 

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