Be Grateful for Capitalism This Thanksgiving

If government controlled the production of turkeys and toilet paper, this would be a very unhappy holiday.


I'm thankful.

Yes, we've got the pandemic, lockdowns, a worsening deficit, etc.

But we still live in a relatively free country at the most prosperous time in human history.

The pandemic showed that when people are faced with crises, we adjust. Restaurants switched to takeout and outdoor dining. Grocery stores began curbside pickup. Companies mass-produced masks, hand sanitizer, ventilators, and, now, vaccines. I hide from COVID-19 by staying home; yet, thanks to new services such as Zoom, I can research this column and make my weekly videos from my couch.

That's brought benefits. I no longer have to deal with traffic congestion.

Traffic jams are a good example of what ecologist Garrett Hardin called the "Tragedy of the Commons."

Because roads are free, more people drive, and roads are often congested. If roads were subject to "peak-load pricing, charging higher prices during times of peak demand and lower prices at other times," Hardin wrote, then we'd have fewer traffic jams.

I bring this up now, before Thanksgiving, because a similar Tragedy of the Commons nearly killed the Pilgrims. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they started a society based on sharing.

Sharing sounds great.

But sharing, basically, is collective or communal farming, which is socialism. Food and supplies were distributed based on need. Pilgrims were forbidden to selfishly produce food for themselves.

That collective farming was a disaster. When the first harvest came, there wasn't much food to go around. The Pilgrims nearly starved.

Since no individual owned crops from the farm, no one had an incentive to work harder to produce extra that they might sell to others. Since even slackers got food from the communal supply, there was no penalty for not working.

William Bradford wrote in his "History of Plymouth Plantation" that the colony was ridden with "corruption" and "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

People eager to provide for their families were less eager to provide for others. Bradford wrote, "young men, that were most able and fit for labour, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense."

Ultimately, said Bradford, shared farming "was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort."

The Pilgrims "begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtaine a beter crope (so) they might not still thus languish in miserie."

Languishing in misery is what people in Venezuela do now.

The Pilgrims' solution: private property.

In 1623, the collective farm was split up, and every family was given a plot of land. People could grow their own food and keep it or trade it. "It made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." wrote Bradford. "Women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability."

The Pilgrims flourished because they turned to private property.

So, this Thanksgiving, be grateful for private property, a foundation of capitalism.

Your grocery may not have the small turkey you wanted this year, but they have much more of what you want than people in the Soviet Union ever got.

When you're shopping for dinner or stocking up for Lockdown 2.0, be glad that you have so many options available.

If government controlled the production of turkeys and toilet paper, this would be a very, very unhappy Thanksgiving.


NEXT: How to Beat Legalized Larceny

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  1. Preach it — every year. Socialism (aka stealing) leads to starvation. Respecting the private property of others leads to prosperity.

    When the Soviets collectivized farming, they starved. When they allowed less than 4% of the farms to be privately run, that 4% produced 33% of the nation’s food.

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    2. Well, there’s a balance

      Many things need to be run by the state in order to exist and function effectively

      Delegate what you can, privately.

      Run other things centrally

      That’s really the only way a society can function without anarchy

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      2. I’m struggling to think what the government does that can be said to function effectively.

        1. Govt is good at war, taxing and avoiding responsibility.

          1. Government is NOT good at war. Ask anyone who served in the US military or worked for a defense contractor. (I have done both.) There are massive inefficiencies in the military, and worse ones in contracting. And this is in the only organization that’s won wars in the last 3 decades.

            But the alternative of an army of mercenaries who don’t intend to die for their paycheck is worse. And if their employer does not have a loyal army drawn from their own citizens, it gets worse – why fight another skilled army when you can just rob your essentially unarmed employer? So we endure the inflated costs of a horribly inefficient organization, and hope it’s less incompetent than our enemies, and that drawing from the world’s most powerful economy will allow us to buy weapons at a grossly inflated price and still have more and better weapons than any other country.

  2. Or as some colonial slaveholder whose name we must not speak once said, “Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread”

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  3. Every year I forget about this piece, and every year it brings a smile to my face.

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    2. And every year its wrong in exactly the same way.

      The origins of this ‘collective farming’ myth have nothing to do with socialism or capitalism. They have everything to do with absentee landlords and indentured servitude. The land was owned by the Plimouth Company. The Pilgrims and the others in that settlement were indentured servants who would receive 100 acres at the end of seven years if they survived. They were having trouble surviving and the Plimouth Company really didn’t give a shit about that anyway. They wanted everyone to trade furs and salt fish and cut lumber and naval supplies since that was the only thing that could be sold back in England.

      At the end of three years – and especially after the second settlement (Wessagusett/Weymouth) failed disastrously (because of failure to grow their own food and instead steal it from the Indians) and resulted in a near-war with every neighboring Indian tribe, the Pilgrims decided to defy company orders and property ownership and allocated one acre each anyway.

  4. Capitalism has saved more lives than communism has taken. Discuss.

    1. Capitalism lifted billions out of poverty. Socialism murdered 100-200 million.

      There is nothing else to discuss.

      1. But you were critical of Trump and insufficiently critical of Biden! You’re not allowed to praise capitalism you commie!

        /the conservative peanut gallery

        1. There, there, the bad orange man will be gone soon, and your madness will need a new target.

          In the meantime, enjoy you senile crook President.

          1. Aw, cute! Another mean girl!

            1. Nah, that’s Harris.

              Enjoy her, too. It will be her turn soon.

              1. Where are you mean girl friends? Shouldn’t they be here hurling insults and attacking me for things I never said?

                1. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all your pitiful crying, as well as the rent free accommodations in your head.

                  1. Hi mean girl! You’re so mean! Boo hoo!

                    1. I’m curious under what context in the Roundup you’ll make this same post.

                    2. I wonder if you’ll troll every one of my comments with a personal insult, mean girl.

                    3. sarcasmic
                      November.25.2020 at 8:19 am
                      But you were critical of Trump and insufficiently critical of Biden! You’re not allowed to praise capitalism you commie!

                      /the conservative peanut gallery

                      Keep crying bitch.

                    4. Oh no, the mean girl called me a bitch! I’m gonna cry now! Waaaaah! Mean girls don’t like me! Waaaaah!

        2. No, he said something correct. Good for him. That you’re one dimensional and idiotic isn’t our fault.

      2. Notice how Conservatives inflate the number of dead that Stalin sacrificed to turn a nation of peasants into a super power (in a lame attempt to whitewash the murders committed by alt-Right hero Hitler) – Yet want to emulate Stalin’s actions by sacrificing “the weak and old” to the coronavirus in order to keep the Conservative Donor/Parasite class in comfort.

        Stalin took a nation off peasants and turned it into a super power, 38+ years of trickle-down/supply-side Satanomics, aka Conmanitalism is taking a super power and turning it into a nation of peasants.

        1. Oop’s typos, it should be:

          Stalin took a nation of peasants and turned them into a super power, 38+ years of trickle-down/supply-side Satanomics, aka Conmanitalism is taking a super power and turning it into a nation of peasants.

          1. Gotta be a parody.

            1. Nope. Just a moronic progtard.

          2. Oops typos. You’re entire comment.

          3. Yes, clearly we have become a nation of starving peasants, with our faces pressed against the window of the glorious Russian hypermarket, wishing we had access to their plush lifestyles.

            1. Well, during the Obama administration a certain niche of superrich immigrant certainly did. But then fracking killed the oil market and now all the Russians stay in the NHL.

            2. Well, there are long lines at food banks, millions with no healthcare and on very low wages

              This is not the Nation of Plenty

          4. With major assists from over $11 billion (1940s USD) worth of American manufactured and delivered Lend-Lease war materiel during the war, and the betrayal of several treasonous American government employees (especially J Robert Oppenheimer) afterwards.

        2. “alt-Right hero Hitler”

          Literally no one on what is called the “alt-right” claims Hitler as a hero. But there were plenty of lefties in the 20s and 30s enamored with the fascists.

          “Stalin took a nation off peasants and turned it into a super power”

          And we can agree that killing 10 million people is an unacceptable price to become a super power, right? No false equivalencies or “but america!” We can agree that any system that must starve and murder millions of its own citizens to become a super power shouldn’t exist. Right?

          Oh I adore this line of reasoning from the socialists. Next will be the part where you explain that all those people killed by Stalin weren’t really killed BY him. His hands were forced, see, by invaders and wreckers and kulacks.

          Maybe the next time you are cutting and pasting catch phrases from your Socialist Worker’s website, you can spend a few minutes to google the relative standard of living of people all around the world at the time. (This will be difficult, as the first thing you’ll discover is that the Soviets didn’t like sharing economic performance data for some reason.) It’s strange that countries like, say, South Korea managed to transition from peasantry to economic powers without killing off huge swaths of their population…or maybe…just maybe, one of the first rules of prosperity is “Don’t kill huge swaths of your population.”

          1. Stalin ruled a 3rd world nation with a borderline 1st world military.

            1. This describes Russia going back to Peter the Great, if not earlier. Stalin didn’t do anything out of the ordinary in this regard.

        3. And where is that country now?

      3. Sure there is. There are different forms of socialism. The most successful countries in the world today are the Scandinavian countries, which are not oppressive and simultaneously not afraid of socialism. Capitalism, as currently practiced in the USA, is placing millions into poverty, and certainly contributing to the growing political divide by pitting poor against poor as the rich claim more and more of the benefits made available by this phony crony capitalist system.

    2. Lives saved is always a tricky thing to determine. But it is certainly fair to say that capitalism is the only thing in human history that has ever allowed large numbers of people to get out of a state of hand to mouth poverty. And communism always goes in the other direction.

      1. If Capitalism and Communism found that there were too many people for their thanksgiving pies, Capitalism’s answer is to let people eat first-come, first-serve while baking more pies.

        Communism’s answer is to try and divy up the pie for everyone, screw up the count, and shoot the number of guests exceeding their count. They call this compassion.

        1. Not quite. Capitalists would raise the price of the first round of pies, earning money to invest in better pie-making equipment. More pies would then push the price down until more people could afford pies. Eventually, everybody willing to trade would have access to pies. Competition would continue to keep prices down while boosting pie quality.

          Communists would come up with a 5 year plan for pies, including quotas and preset prices. Workers would not have any incentives and therefore not make more pies. Consumers would get a pie ration book and stand in line for hours. Only a tenth of the people would get pies that even a dog would not eat.

          1. Capitalists would raise the prices of the pies which would create an incentive for people from elsewhere to come to the place where the shortage is and make a profit. Then Uncle Sam would step in, call it “price gouging,” set a price ceiling on pies, stop private parties from bringing more pies, mobilize FEMA, and otherwise fuck everything up.

    3. But capitalism appeals to people’s baser nature, their greed and avarice and self-interest, and is therefore icky and nasty. Communism appeals to Man’s better nature, sharing and caring and helping others, and is therefore pure and noble. It’s better to deal with people as the angels they should be rather than as the animals they are. It’s the principle of the thing, and what is the point of succeeding if you can’t succeed with your principles intact?

      Seriously, you should ask the LP and the GOP how important it is to have principles. They’ll tell you how much better it is to fail with your principles intact than to succeed by abandoning your principles. It’s so icky and nasty to deal with people as they are rather than how they should be.

      1. As a wise man once said, “Yet the way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is for what should be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation; for a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good.”

        Which is not too different from the sentiment expressed by that saying of another wise man, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.”

      2. Communism and socialism do kinda work in small groups. Take the average family for example. There is definitely some “from each according to ability to each according to need” going on. And it works because everyone is accountable to each other. Even works on a tribal scale to a certain extent.

        The thought then becomes “Well if it works for a family, then it should work for a community!”

        The problem with that is that once the group becomes big enough for shirkers to not be held accountable, the entire system breaks down.

        That’s why it will always be popular, and always fail.

        1. That, by the way, is one of the premises that led to the discovery of Dunbar’s Number.

          Briefly, “socialism” works at the family and very small community level because the humans involved have personal knowledge of the other humans in the community and know their relationships with each other. They know and can socially punish the shirkers. However, the cognitive complexity of keeping track of those relationships increases as the square of the number of members of the community.

          Dunbar found that community size in primates is directly correlated to cranial size. Dunbar’s Number suggests that humans can keep track of (on average) only 150 stable relationships. While there is lots of dispute over that exact number, there is no disagreement that such a number exists and that, in humans, it’s no higher than the low hundreds.

          Therefore, socialism can theoretically survive in groups below that population but will inevitably fail in groups above it.

        2. Indeed – we are naturally socialist in small groups (it’s called teamwork)

          But it’s too hard to administer nationally

          That said – some things HAVE to be socialised to function: the military, for example. Paid for by all, run centrally.

          There is a blend of both sides that will work well for societies

          Go to too much of either extreme and things fall apart

      3. Kinda like when I ask my progressive neighbors who they would choose in a tough situation (e.g. the classic deserted island scenario): a kind but incompetent person, or a mean but competent person?

        And I do think that many people fall into one of those two categories, if by “mean” some people don’t fall all over themselves trying to be nice to others.

  5. Despite losing the Battle of Lepanto, Turkeyism has won its adherents enough Thanksgiving pardons to set Donald Trump’s mind at ease:

    As surely as he pardoned Iowan Avian Assylum Seekers Corn and Cob, America should pardon 45’s resemblence to his pardonees, and grant him and his entourage safe passage in the general direction of the penal colony of their choice, as long as it is downwind of the Electoral College

  6. Be Grateful for Capitalism This Thanks givingIf government controlled the production of turkeys and toilet paper, this would be a very unhappy holiday.

  7. Wait so they divided up the means of production equitably and then just kept the fruits of the labor? Sounds like a hybrid system.

    1. Individual property and keep/barter is a hybrid of collective property and forced sharing?


      1. He’s kinda dumb.

        1. I think he’s trying to be clever by using “means of production” in the sentence.

      2. LoS must think Karl Marx invented stuffing.

  8. Roads are. . . free?!?

    1. Sure. All that gas tax money that you thought went to build and maintain roads goes to public transit, so you ride for free. But remember, anything free is worth what you pay for it.

  9. “Because roads are free, more people drive, and roads are often congested. If roads were subject to “peak-load pricing, charging higher prices during times of peak demand and lower prices at other times,” Hardin wrote, then we’d have fewer traffic jams.”

    Of course, when peak-load pricing is $20 each way between 6 and 9 AM and 4 and 7 PM, and your boss requires you to be at work at 7 AM and work to 4:30 PM (with a half hour lunch), you’re paying $200 a week to get to work. That’s 1/3 of your gross income if you’re making a $15.00 minimum wage and you’re working 40 hours a week.

    Now this pricing is generally only on roads like I-95 between D.C. and Virginia, which is a public/private partnership, so an actual privately owned system might be cheaper, but trying to build a competing private road through suburbs full of $500,000+ homes would be difficult.

    1. That would explain why my boss who works in D.C. goes to work from 5-2.

      1. That is just Washington traffic. In and out early avoids the worst traffic. Back when the express lanes were HOV, there was the race against the state police to get down to Dumfries before the restrictions kicked in at 1530. Now it is HOV or pay all day.

    2. I see the usual uninformed and incorrect objections to private infrastructure.

  10. It is also noteworthy that the Wampanoag generally worked land in family plots. They did have a social safety net- essentially the head chief was expected to provide for widows or orphans. But by and large there was recognition that you farmed for yourself and could decide whether to share or not.

  11. According to you Conservatives, out of the other side of your mouth, the government does control “the production of turkeys and toilet paper.” Whenever there is a common-sense regulation that you Conservatives don’t like, that is.

    That’s why we don’t get salmonella from our factory farmed turkeys.

    1. Regulatory control is more akin to fascism than socialism because it allows for private ownership of the means of production but producers must do as directed by the government.

    2. Yeah, just think how rich and dominant a corporation could get if it sold salmonella laced turkey! Good thing government’s there to protect us from that before it ever happens.

    3. Actually there is a big salmonella risk from Turkey and chicken which is why we cook it and are careful about handling it raw.

    4. That’s why we don’t get salmonella from our factory farmed turkeys.

      Because killing your customers is such a great business model.

      1. Works for hospitals and nursing homes.

        1. So that’s why doctors prescribe cyanide for high blood pressure! It all makes sense now!

        2. Don’t be so fucking stupid.

    5. Food inspection would be better handled by private mechanisms.

  12. Just think.

    If the pilgrims hadn’t defeated the British at Waterloo we would all be Canadians now.

  13. Being “relatively free” compared to the rest of the world is increasingly like being relatively good in this year’s NFC East. The bar has gotten so fucking low that insects can jump over it.

    Yes, things can always be worse, but it’s hard for me to be super grateful when our increasingly insane and out of control democratic party is now devoting all of their time and energy in trying to turn us into an old world ChiCom style dictatorship.

  14. It had nothing to do with socialism which did not exist. The colonists were basically a group partnership and the church was the primary authority.

    1. It had nothing to do with socialism which did not exist.

      Something doesn’t have to be in the dictionary to exist. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

      1. In a group partnership generally you divide up the work on what is expected to be an equal basis and split the profits. That is not socialism at all.

        Part of the problem is these terms get thrown around to the point where they are meaningless. Then when the real thing comes around nobody knows what they are talking about.

        1. In a group partnership generally you divide up the work on what is expected to be an equal basis and split the profits. That is not socialism at all.

          Except that that’s not what happened. People didn’t work because the fruits of their labor were going to people they didn’t care about. As a result there weren’t enough profits (food) to share.

          When the property was spit up between families, people worked because they wanted to share with people they care about, and every lived happily ever after.

          1. It didn’t work well so they eventually went to individual farming. They also learned techniques from the natives.

            Remember that a lot of them died in the first winter. They had to work together in many ways as a community to survive.

            My point is it still does not make it socialism. Plymouth was under contract from investors at first. They did not own the land. In order to do that they had to prosper and turn a profit which they eventually did. They were capitalists as were the investors actually.

            I agree that socialism does not work. I just don’t think that this story has anything to do with it. What is a business if not a collective effort?

            1. Call it a business if you want. It still followed the “from each according to ability, to each according to need” model which is at the core of socialism. Doesn’t matter if it was a bad business model or imposed by the state. It was still socialism. Maybe not the perfect dictionary definition, but close enough for hand grenades and nuclear warfare.

    2. The article doesn’t make a point of this but there is a difference between voluntary sharing and forced redistribution. If I want to share my stuff with someone that’s up to me, not you.

      1. As I said above, socialism actually works for families because it’s voluntary. So then some people think that communities can do the same thing. But it doesn’t scale well because at some point the group becomes too big for shirkers to be held accountable. At that point it becomes a race to poverty.

        That’s why socialism will always be both appealing and impossible.

      2. It was voluntary. They had a contract and investors to establish a colony and return a profit. They were a business in addition to the religious aspect.

        I agree with the point.

        A real socialist example was the Israeli kibbutz. Those were not entirely a failure. That was also voluntary and most of them just run as a group partnership type business now because the members were happier that way.

        1. Are you moving the goalposts or playing no true Scotsman?

          1. Doesn’t matter sarcasmic.

            It is one of those terms that have become so overly broad that it means whatever you want I suppose. No point in me being pedantic about it.

    3. The colonists were not a group partnership and the church was not the primary authority. Plymouth was essentially a corporate charter – with investors in London. Pilgrims and secular settlers (the Mayflower itself was about half and half – all subsequent supply ships were entirely secular/economic) were more akin to indentured employees subject to absentee bosses. And this particular story is more akin to employees taking over the company because the boss is a moron and not there either.

      The PURITANS – in Boston – quickly became more like a theocracy. But that started more than a decade later – during what became a flood of religious migration from England to the Boston area in the 1630’s and then a vacuum of all authority from England during their Civil War.

  15. Traffic jams are a good example of what ecologist Garrett Hardin called the “Tragedy of the Commons.”

    And the pandemic hysteria is what we call a tragedy of the common idiot.

    1. Our politicians are quite exceptional idiots, thank you very much.

  16. So enjoy our capitalist turkey while being subjected to a fascist lockdown?

    1. Yep. Just make damn sure to enjoy it with 25 people or fewer, because in much of “relatively free” America, if you bring more people than they into your private residence you now run the risk of potentially being fined and/or arrested!

  17. there’s nothing wrong with capitalism. (sorry for the adverts)

  18. Be Grateful for Capitalism This Thanksgiving . . .

    Why? Capitalism is what has gotten this old world in the condition that it is in now. It is the main cause of global warming that we are experiencing. It is the cause of wars. It is the cause of oppression around the world. So why grateful for capitalism?

    1. It is the cause of most people in the world not living in abject poverty and not having to worry about starving to death.

      1. So there are a lot more people, they are richer, and thus “global warming”

    2. It is the cause of oppression around the world.

      Oh yeah! Those terrible capitalists providing jobs, goods and services to voluntary workers and buyers! So oppressive!

  19. “Because roads are free, more people drive, and roads are often congested.” Gee, John, I wish to G-d that roads were free. They take up a huge part of our state’s budget for mediocre maintenance and rare new construction.

  20. In my mind capitalism and libertarianism are two sides of the same coin: Self-ownership, free exchange, non-aggression. Unfortunately, both sides of the coin seem to be losing in the marketplace of ideas. Capitalism is blamed for misery, while the real culprit is aggression. Libertarians are blamed for… being kooks, while the real culprit is false advertising by a couple unprincipled Republicans.

    We’re losing in the marketplace. Too many people believe a successful economy is a Dow Jones rally or gold toilets while people are losing their jobs and businesses. Too many think freedom means being able to sneeze your Covid on your Granny.

    Reason and Amnesty International have a big job ahead of them, if they don’t want bee-hive-ism to win.

  21. Thank the Heavens that turkeys are vaccinated and will pass this on to those who consume these delicious birds. Bye, bye fake pandemic. Capitalism and free markets work better than any socialist or Marxist nonsense…until capitalism becomes so corrupted by insane, greedy individuals (like Gates and Soros) who can never satisfy their need for money despite have multiple $$$billions. Free markets usually work to destroy corruption until that corruption takes away that freedom due to nefarious rules, law and regulations. The government is now filled to the brim with do-goobers, control freaks and outright megalomaniacs. All champions of humanity as we have seen throughout history.

  22. We’re dropping in the marketplace. Too many humans believe a a success economic system is a Dow Jones rally or gold toilets at the same time as humans are dropping their jobs and businesses. Too many think freedom approach being able to sneeze your Covid to your Granny.

  23. Thank the Heavens that turkeys are vaccinated and will pass this on to individuals who eat these delicious birds. Bye, bye fake pandemic. Capitalism and loose markets work higher than any socialist or Marxist nonsense…till capitalism will become so corrupted via insane, greedy individuals

  24. There, there, the terrible orange man could be gone soon, and your madness will want a new target.

  25. In my mind capitalism and libertarianism are two aspects of the identical coin: Self-ownership, loose exchange, non-aggression. Unfortunately, both sides of the coin appear to be losing in the market of ideas. Capitalism is blamed for misery, whilst the actual offender is aggression. Libertarians are blamed for… being kooks, even as the real culprit is false advertising through a pair unprincipled Republicans.

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  27. The hilarious point “intellectual giant” Stossel clearly misses is that, sorry, socialism isn’t a problem at all in the United States. Right now, the US boasts between 15 and 30 million private businesses, nearly all of which exercise market capitalism. I sincerely doubt that’s going to change any time soon.

    However, as libertarian fruitcakes and pseudo-conservatives who’d rather go to bat for capitalism than defend democracy when it counts continue to bark that we should never be “like Venezuela”, it’s interesting to look into how Venezuela came to choose a socialist government in 1998.

    The quick answer? Corruption. Tax scofflaws among the very wealthy. And as they were living in luxury, the vast majority of Venezuelans were living hand-to-mouth. Hence, the constitutional democracy voted-in a socialist government to see if things could change.

    If America is on the way toward becoming another Venezuela, it’s because America, under the thrall of libertarian fruitcakes and pseudo-conservatism, is becoming more corrupt by the year. Sooner or later, the American people not “in on the deals” are going to tire of the corruption and move to solve it.

    With laws. Scary, eh? Laws. Libertarian fruitcakes call law “government overreach” because they’ve so instrumentalized the concept of freedom they now believe it means, “I can do whatever I damned well please no matter who gets hurt.”

    Lousy way to be free.

  28. It really is interesting to study the very ancient origins of trading and barter as the beginnings of economies. These are the very natural exchange of things people made or found for the things other had made or found where neither had what the other had and agreement was made for an exchange. That was an exchange of private property where value received was exchanged for value given. That is capitalism in its basic form. Capitalism being in the basic nature of humans was the very natural foundation of trading economies from the beginning. Economies developed out of ideologies founded in governance failed, and will continue to fail.

  29. If America is at the way in the direction of becoming another Venezuela, it’s because America, beneath the thrall of libertarian fruitcakes and pseudo-conservatism, is becoming extra corrupt via the year. Sooner or later, the American people not “in at the deals” are going to tire of the corruption and pass to resolve it.

  30. Stossel ought to give workshops for Reason writers.

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