Friday, September 21, 2012
Read His Lips, Barry: "Redistribution" Is a One Shot Deal
Thomas Sowell, writing in simple words that even the loftiest intellectual such as Barack H. Obama can understand, explains why "redistribution" can work (sort of, not really) once, and only once. However, history has shown again and again that what follows hard on the heals of that initial redistribution is not "fairness, is not a level playing field, is not the flowering of more wealth that can be subject to another round of taking from some and giving to "worthy" others. No, what follows--and you can make book on it--is poverty, hunger and a wrecked economic system. (Somewhat similarly, democratic elections held in countries that have no tradition of democracy, and no political, social and judicial sectors to uphold them, can also work but once. After that, when the Islamists are democratically elected, the sharia kicks in, and freedom, at least in the Western sense, gets kicked to the curb in the Islamist cul de sac.
Posted by scaramouche at 11:58 AM
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Unfortunately for those of us who oppose collectivism, redistribution only has to work once to be successful (from the standpoint of would-be totalitarian power grabbers).
In my own wretched native land, Cuba, Fidel Castro was able to consolidate his hold on total political power during 1959-1960, despite reneging on all of the promises he had made to the Cuban people while still up in the mountains (restoring democracy under the 1940 constitution, holding free elections no later than eight months after the overthrow of Batista, guaranteeing property rights, and many other downright Jeffersonian pledges). He did so by "intervening"--yes, the verb became transitive during that period--private businesses and forcing the sale of inventories at below-market prices and ordering factories to produce large runs of consumer goods heedless of the accelerated physical depreciation of capital; even the expensive breeding stock of cattle ranches was slaughtered to put cheap meat in the butcher shops. The masses were, needless to say delighted, even though the economically literate could see the disaster in the offing. (These latter were denounced as "enemies of the people" who wished simply to preserve their privileged position in society by denying the masses "justice" . . . where have we heard this sort of thing lately?) By the time the mass of the people realized that it was "one man, one cheap cutlet, once," a police state was in place that was able beat down all opposition by raw repression. (And, indeed, a much bigger and bloodier--but unsuccessful--guerrilla war was fought against the Castro government from 1960-1966 than the 1956-1959 one against Batista.)
The Cuban economy has not, to this day, recovered from the damage that was done by the "interventions" of the earliest years of the Revolution. But Castro and his cronies have been in (total) power since January 1959: from their standpoint, the redistribution worked most satisfactorily.
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