Letters: Socialism and progressivism spread poverty

Frank Dunphy, Pittsboro
Posted 8/7/20

To the Editor:

Socialism (authoritarian government and communal ownership) providing “for all” is embraced by progressives (i.e., Medicare for all, free healthcare and higher education for …

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Letters: Socialism and progressivism spread poverty

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To the Editor:

Socialism (authoritarian government and communal ownership) providing “for all” is embraced by progressives (i.e., Medicare for all, free healthcare and higher education for all, student debt relief). These proposals would massively increase federal debt and require increased taxation. Escalated debt increases inflation, a hidden tax on the poor.

Circa 1980, the Soviet Union’s socialistic economy stagnated. Consumer shortages, wage caps and worthless money resulted in spiraling inflation. Attempting economic stimulation, the government lifted price controls and adopted free market ideas. Two disasters shattered government integrity: Afghanistan occupation and the Chernobyl catastrophe. Relaxed free speech allowed citizenry liberty, resulting in overwhelming government criticism. Oil revenue fell enabling the 1991 economic collapse; Eduard Shevardnadze said to President Gorbachev, “Everything is rotten. It has to be changed.” Venezuela was rich with huge oil reserves. In 1998, President Chavez created massive government debt to bankroll socialism. Indebting actions included: to gain international influence, sold oil at below-market rates; neglected oil infrastructure fettering production; initiated wealth redistribution to improve nutrition, healthcare, and education for everyone.

Government supermarkets subsidized groceries below market prices, eliminating profit supermarkets. Resultant food shortages forced mass exodus. Bartered healthcare (free oil to Cuba, free doctors/clinics reciprocated to Venezuela; free travel to Havana for free treatment). Oil revenue fell in 2014; healthcare faltered with consequential doctor exodus and hospital shortages. University access improved, but infrastructure/professors were insufficient for the inrush. Since 2012, President Maduro dismantled participatory governance; skyrocketing debt fueled hyperinflation. Consequently, worthless Venezuelan currency devastated the poor.

Aforementioned Socialistic failures mimic progressivism (free healthcare, free education, student debt relief). Contrarian capitalistic ideals of individual self-improvement include job creation, prosperity, saving, and purchasing one’s own healthcare. Rather than acquiring huge student debt, a thrifty education can be garnered at community colleges. Why are taxpayers asked to forgive student debt? Did taxpayers coerce students’ loan signatures? Socialism encourages entitlement for free stuff, but Soviet and Venezuelan models failed because there is no innovation, no productivity, and old ideas stagnate spreading the poverty to everyone.

The capitalistic model encourages one to “not fear failure,” to take a risk to build a new product or better service, because there is financial reward if one succeeds. Economic vitality, prosperity, and jobs “for all” follow Ruchir Sharmas’ principle: new businesses created by hard-working people are the saplings replacing the dead trees of decaying businesses.


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