Tom Riggins: The results of socialism
October 31, 2018
The election season in the U.S. has taken some surprising turns. To start with, those with definite socialist beliefs are winning some elections. At least 46 Democratic Socialist candidates nationwide have won their primaries. Four are running for for the U.S. House of Representatives. Most notable of these are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has publically displayed her ineptness, and Julia Salazar. Both are from New York. The others are running fro sate level offices.
I find it disturbing that a candidate with unabashed socialist views could not only find their way onto a ballot, but acutally prevail. It seems to be a part of today's culture that people believe themselves to be helpless without government assistance. I blame public education and university professors for much of this. Add to this a generation that has known nothing but government programs and these elections become more plausible.
Most of those with socialist views want the U.S. to be like other countries. Most notable are the European countries. You know, those who are going broke, like France, Spain, and Portugal. That being the case, let's look at some foreign countries.
The people of Venezuela voted for socialism in 2012 when they elcted Hugo Chavez as their President. This started the move to their socialism of today.
It didn't take long for the grand socialist scheme to unravel. By 2016 most private business had been taken over by the government. Although a drought and lower oil prices have had an effect, the root cause of Venezuela's woes is socialism.
Today there are rolling blackouts from a barely functioning power grid, non-existent medical care, and chronic shortages of basic staples like toilet paper and basic foods. That is, if you can carry enough money to pay for it. Oh, and if you are not one of the elites. Venezuela's current inflation rate is heading toward one million percent. Imagine carrying one million one dollar bills to pay for a candy bar. That is the end result of socialism.
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One of the most violent democratic elections in recent history is Brazil with the election of Jair Bolsonaro. A candidate who has been a lightning rod for controvery due to his inflammatory rhetoric, he won the election, despite missing several weeks of campaigning after he suffered a life-threatening stab wound while on the campaign trail.
Brazil has been plagued recently by a prolonged economic recession, worsening crime, and widespread governmental corruption that has rocked the country's faith in its institutions. The political situation in Brazil was so dire this year that for a considerable portion of the race, the leading candidate in the polls, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was in jail serving a sentence for political corruption charges.
This election shows that the people of Brazil have had their fill of socialist leaders. Brazil has suffered for many years under autocratic leaders and government-owned businesses. They hope that the election of Bolsonaro marks a return to capitalism.
If the socialists of the U.S. want to turn our country into a socialist dream, I suggest they try living in Venezuela or Brazil for a while first. They need to see first hand the result of "economic equality" and basic necessities run by and provided by the government. Ask Venezuelans how effective health care and electricity are when run by the government.
I only hope that the people of the United States are smart enough to see the trend toward socialism here and become proactive in heading off this trend. Keep this in mind when you vote if you haven't voted already. There are some definite problems with two candidates in Nevada. Jacky Rosen is nothing but a stooge for Harry Reid. She has the backing of his political machine and has proven with her voting record that she has no problem buying into the mantra of the liberal arm of the Democrat party, which is only a small step removed from socialism.
The other one is Sisolack for governor. He is on record as favoring an expanded state government. Of course, that means more money to pay for it. How does that happen? Through increased taxes, of course. He wants to turn Nevada into another California, with government controlling all aspects of life, a program for everythig, and ever-escalating expenses paid for by ever-escalating taxes. Don't be surprised if a state income tax is proposed.
I only ask that you do your own research. Hopefully you will see the same trend I do.
Tom Riggins' column appears every other Wednesday. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.