Glenn Reynolds writes:
It is a common misconception that socialism is about helping poor people. Actually, what socialism does is create poor people, and keep them poor. And that’s not by accident.
Under capitalism, rich people become powerful. But under socialism, powerful people become rich.
Also very true.
The daughter of Venezuela’s socialist ruler, Hugo Chavez, is the richest individual in Venezuela, worth billions and billions of dollars. In Cuba, Fidel Castro reportedly has lived — pretty much literally — like a king, even as his subjects dwelt in poverty. In the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as Hedrick Smith reported in his The Russians, the Communist Party bigshots had lavish country houses and apartments in town stocked with hand-polished fresh fruit, even as the common people stood in line for hours at state-run stores in the hopes of getting staples.
Socialism means everyone but the socialist rulers are poor!
George Orwell explained the phenomenon in his Animal Farm, many decades ago. But people keep falling for it: Like Ponzi schemes, socialism is an evergreen form of fraud, egged on by suckers eager to believe the lies hucksters tell them.
Which brings me to Bernie Sanders. The Washington Post recently ran a pieceoriginally entitled “Bernie Sanders’s plans have surprisingly small benefits for America’s poorest people.” Among other things it noted that “In general, though, Sanders’s health-care plan would benefit affluent households more than it would poorer ones.”
Likewise, a paper from the left-leaning Brookings Institution notes that the biggest beneficiaries of Bernie’s free-college proposal would be rich kids: “Under the Sanders free college proposal, families from the top half of the income distribution would receive 24% more in dollar value from eliminating tuition than students from the lower half of the income distribution.”
Labour in NZ is pushing for the same – a massive wealth transfer from taxpayers to the wealthiest people in NZ – college graduates.