“You should just decide what works” from each system
President Obama continued his “Spring Break” from America by undermining the foundations of the country’s successful economic system.
After dancing the night away, Obama was addressed the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Town Hall at Usina Del Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
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.
In case Obama has forgotten, capitalism is the economic system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. The chief flaw of that system is that crony capitalism undermines the healthy competition that needs to occur for citizens to get the maximum benefit of prices, job opportunities, and the ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
Socialism, broadly speaking, advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole; socialist nations place that community control in the (corrupt) hands of government. The continuing failure of Obamacare on its 6th anniversary is just one case from myriad examples that show the more the government tightens its grip, the more economic health slips through its fingers.
Communism, again broadly, is the system in which property is publicly owned, and each person works and is paid by the government according to their abilities and needs. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the usurpation of capitalist elements by China, and the real Cuba unknown to tourists are examples of the utter failure when an economic system doesn’t allow for individual choice or freedom.
Application of these theories has real-world consequences.
In fact, the new president of Argentina is going to spend his first 100 days in office attempting to undo the damage caused by long-term government controls in the country’s economy.
December election of center-right President Mauricio Macri, which ended 70 years of Peronist governments, has breathed new life into a frosty relationship. And Macri has hit the ground running. In his first 100 days in office, Macri set a clear departure from his predecessor’s approach, making a series of major economic and political measures to bring his country back into the good graces of international markets, putting an end to 12 years of isolation.
It has long been known by those who have actually listened to Obama that he wants to make the world “fairer”, and the redistribution of wealth is a perfectly valid option in his version of a free market quasi-capitalist America.
Conservative pundit Dan Mitchell contrasts the relative success of these economic systems even further.
It’s hard to object to the notion that people should choose “what works,” so perhaps there’s not a specific quote that I can add to my collection. However, the President’s implication that there’s some kind of equivalence between capitalism and communism, which both systems having desirable features, is morally offensive.
Yes, Obama’s statement is morally offensive to liberty-loving people everywhere.