Taxpayers are on the hook as President Obama spreads falsehood in South America, equating capitalism and socialism.To have the President of the United States impose new levels of corruption and tyranny in our own country, doesn’t seem as bad as official trips to provide an overseas platform where Obama spreads falsehoods about the economy, the value of freedom, and pragmatism. It is one thing for Obama to further degrade our own economy. But it is more infuriating to see him being treated as an expert abroad so that the worst superstitions cherished by Ivy League utopians are exported to other countries.
This speech was given recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here is some of the transcription from Real Clear Politics:
I guess to make a broader point, so often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist. And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property. And I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.
And I said this to President Castro in Cuba. I said, look, you’ve made great progress in educating young people. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education — that’s a huge improvement from where it was. Medical care — the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States, despite it being a very poor country, because they have access to health care. That’s a huge achievement. They should be congratulated. But you drive around Havana and you say this economy is not working. It looks like it did in the 1950s. And so you have to be practical in asking yourself how can you achieve the goals of equality and inclusion, but also recognize that the market system produces a lot of wealth and goods and services. And it also gives individuals freedom because they have initiative.
And so you don’t have to be rigid in saying it’s either this or that, you can say — depending on the problem you’re trying to solve, depending on the social issues that you’re trying to address what works. And I think that what you’ll find is that the most successful societies, the most successful economies are ones that are rooted in a market-based system, but also recognize that a market does not work by itself. It has to have a social and moral and ethical and community basis, and there has to be inclusion. Otherwise it’s not stable.
First of all, it is only an “achievement” for Cuba to have medical care “despite it being a very poor country” if in fact they wouldn’t have acquired that or better health care as a prosperous capitalist country. Is that credible? The government has impoverished the Cuban people, then given them some level of healthcare, and acted as if the regime is a great benefactor. The healthcare was driven by developments of capitalist economies. It didn’t originate in Cuba or any other communist country.
And education? A prosperous, free Cuba would have provided better education without propagandizing the children with Castro worship.
But the real lie is that there is not both an ethical and scientific divide between capitalism and socialism. Ethically, one system leaves people free to run their own lives and the other mandates slavery where people have to follow government orders. Scientifically, communism is based on the superstition that there are experts who know how resources should be allocated in society. Capitalism admits that no one is that smart and lets free people cooperate to allocate resources through private ownership and trade.
I’ve always believed that America was meant to be a beacon of liberty. It is painful to see its prestige used to spread collectivist dogma.