Article by, Brian Mercado
On Friday September 7, Jim Carrey gave a show of lamentation on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Mahar” when he proclaimed that we must “say yes to socialism” and that socialism-friendly Democrats need to “stop apologizing.”
His main line of argumentation stems from his personal experience dealing with socialized medicine in Canada. “It is not a failure in Canada,” he says. “I have never waited for anything in my life. I chose my own doctor's, my mother never paid for a prescription. It was fantastic.”
We understand those who call for socialist policies mean well. They want equality of outcome and to ensure everyone has a shot at the American Dream. However, while their noble intentions do their best to conceal the ugly truth of reality, one terrible secret that many of them are loathed to acknowledge will eventually be revealed: authoritarian regimes will inevitably rob the people of their inalienable rights endowed to them by their “Creator.” Apart from having a millionaire talk about how great socialism is with completely anecdotal evidence, let us discuss the history of this system and why large scale socialist policies would be absolutely detrimental to the U.S. economy.
First, we need to define our terms. Socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods,” according to Merriam-Webster. According to Democratic Socialists of America, they believe both the economy and society should be run democratically — to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few.” While this sounds achievable on the surface, it is not; historically, everywhere socialism has been implemented it has led to catastrophic results.
Jim Carrey talks about the healthcare system in Canada (quoted above). While that is great for him (a millionaire), it is important to note our neighbors to the north have "...the worst ER/referral wait times in 11 developed countries." According to the study, 29% of Canadians have to wait 4+ hours before being seen by a doctor in the emergency room and 56% of Canadians wait 4+ weeks to see specialists compared to 24% in the United States. Also, in Chaoulli v. Quebec, a case where a patient was forced to wait several months for hip replacement surgery, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled Quebec’s ban on private insurance for public insurance was a human rights violation.
Next, let us look to a different country with a vastly different culture. Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe was in power for 30 years before the military had to seize it from him. During his reign from 1987 to 2017, the country had the highest rate of inflation in the world, highest unemployment, public services collapsed, support grew for gangs which seized white-owned farms, and the economy shrank by 18% in 2008. That caused the country to abandon its currency the following year. His primary goal? Create a one-party socialist state.
Moving to another country, a famous example would be Hugo Chavez, the leader of the United Socialist Party, and his successor Nicolas Maduro, the current President of Venezuela. Both men were and are self-proclaimed socialists and have, in fact, implemented socialist policies. Chavez took control of the oil industry, which heavily contributed to the country’s past prosperity, and fired the executives which directly contributed to the country’s economic decline. While President Maduro eats and lives luxuriously, his people are now eating zoo animals after being on what is popularly known as the “Maduro Diet” since the government fixed prices which led to the whole productive and distributive capacity of the country to fail. Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects Venezuela’s inflation rate to hit 1,000,000% this year.
The judgement of history is unambiguous. The idea that large-scale socialism is or would be a bigger success compared to the altruism of large-scale capitalism is untrue. The United States became the world superpower because we did not succumb to vices which have stripped people of their fundamental rights and claimed countless lives. Our ideological roots come from the Enlightenment: free markets, individuality, and personal responsibility. Our livelihood will be in jeopardy if we let this lack of knowledge of history take over. If we understand this, then we will truly keep America great.
Cover Photo courtesy of The Washington Times