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Bansi Sharma @bansisharma
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1. Socialism: Democrats' Fatal Attraction
A recent Gallup Poll showed that more Democrats have a positive view of socialism — 57% — than of capitalism — 47%. This is a first in Gallup's history. The Democratic Party is a de facto socialist party today.
2. Democratic Party seems to be having a fling with socialism right now. Guided by far-left leading lights such as socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and DNC Chairman Tom Perez, the party's moving to the hard left.
3. The latest example of this is Warren's proposed "Accountable Capitalism Act," a plan for what can be politely called a federal takeover of the U.S. economy. This is no joke.
4. Amid all the promises made by the American neo-socialists who are now ascendant in the Democratic Party, one stark reality stands out as a warning: Socialism, wherever it's been tried, has been a failure. You need look no further than today's headlines for proof.
5. Both Venezuela and South Africa are in socialism's inevitable death throes. Both are committing ritual economic suicide by adopting policies that will bring misery, hunger, social despair, economic chaos, hyperinflation, collapsing standards of living and, finally mass death.
6. This is no exaggeration. This week, Venezuela's socialist dictator-president, Nicolas Maduro, decreed a 96% devaluation of the currency to vanquish hyperinflation, a 3,000% hike in the minimum wage, higher corporate taxes and an increase in highly subsidized gasoline prices.
7. "I want the country to recover and I have the formula," Venezuela's clueless autocrat said on state-run TV. "Trust me."
8. Ah yes, "Trust me." Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves — a potential bonanza for jobs, investment and wealth. Despite this, under Venezuela's corrosive "Bolivarian" socialism, thousands have died from hunger and inadequate health care.
9. Faced with actual starvation and further impoverishment, once-middle class Venezuelans have been forced to forage in garbage cans and kill pets for food, or resort to stealing and prostitution.
10. Now, Venezuelans losing hope are fleeing by the thousands. A recent U.N. report estimated that 1.3 million people have already left, but even that may underestimate the true size of the exodus.
11. The country already suffers from hyperinflation, defined by economists as a sustained monthly inflation over 50%. How's Venezuela doing? The IMF estimates that this year Venezuela's hyperinflation will reach stratospheric levels of 1,000,000% or more.
12. Now we turn our attention toward the sadder case of South Africa. Sadder because it's not as far along on the road to disaster as Venezuela. But rest assured, it will get there.
13. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress on Tuesday announced that he will change the Constitution to permit the country to expropriate 200 white farmers' land without compensation. The expropriations began this week.
14. South Africa is already a troubled nation. Since the death of nationalist hero Nelson Mandela in 2013, the country's leadership has veered sharply to the left. South Africa's economy, once the mightiest and most industrialized in Africa, is already in a tailspin.
15. Unemployment in South Africa is above 25%, and national elections loom next year. Inevitably, socialist promises will be used to buy votes. South Africa seems to be following neighboring Zimbabwe's well-trodden path to economic disaster.
16. Under Marxist leader Robert Mugabe, the government in Zimbabwe, which was once a wealthy nation, likewise expropriated white farmers' property. Today, the economy is a disaster, though at least Mugabe has finally stepped down after decades of corrupt socialist insanity.
17. Zimbabwe became a catchword for inflation when its 100-billion-dollar bills began showing up for sale on the internet as novelty items.
18. But it's no laughing matter when hyperinflation takes hold, and your country goes from being a prolific exporter of food to one that must import food to survive and no longer makes anything that the world wants.
19. Mugabe's "land" reforms in 2000 and 2001 really just amounted to stealing white-owned farms. Often, that led to murdering the farm owners. That was followed by socialist reforms that turned Zimbabwe into a Marxist state.
20. Over the next nine years, Zimbabwe's output collapsed by half, and by 2008, inflation had hit a rate of 98% — per day. Let that sink in: Prices doubled every 25 hours.
21. With no food to eat, no outside investment (sane investors don't give money to socialists), growing debt and involvement in a war in the Congo, Mugabe just turned on the money-printing presses to solve his problems. That's how Zimbabwe's hyperinflation came to be.
22. That's just on the economic front. The human suffering is immeasurable. In Venezuela, South Africa and Zimbabwe, socialism has killed hundreds of thousand of people. And it's left hundreds of thousands more destitute.
23. This is so sad, since it doesn't have to be. It's well known that countries that follow responsible free-market policies thrive and grow. More economic freedom equals more economic growth.
24. In the latest report to show this, a comprehensive survey by the Libek think tank in Serbia of 92 economic research studies around the world, 86 of those studies found a positive relationship between economic freedom and economic growth.
25. That is not surprising, considering that economic freedom—the ability to direct one’s own life and make economic decisions for oneself—encourages and empowers people to make a better life for themselves and for their families.
26. In fact, Heritage’s Index shows that on average, countries with the greatest increase in economic-freedom scores over 5-, 10-, and 20-year periods also have the greatest average annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.
27. Advancing economic freedom is key to generating economic prosperity for the greatest number of people.

Our youngsters being lured by false promises about rewards of socialism being dangled by our devilishly self-serving Democratic leaders is a very sad sight.

The End
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