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I just stumbled on this clip of Phil Donahue and economist Milton Freidman debating socialism. The beat-down was so severe, if this had been in prison, I think Donahue would have had to put on a dress and be Freidman’s wife from then on.

Do you see that map off to the right? It’s a nighttime image of North and South Korea from the book Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space by J. Vernon Henderson, Adam Storeygard, and David N. Weil. Can you guess which country is capitalist and which is socialist? Can you also guess which one lost over a million of its citizens to starvation in the last 20 years? Hint, it wasn’t the capitalist one.

Socialism fails because when people realize they’re not going to be rewarded for hard work, they stop working hard. People do as little as they can to get by because initiative is pointless. The system promises equality and prosperity but in virtually every case devolves into misery and tyranny.

Any system that runs contrary to human nature will fail. That’s why communist and socialist states have to become police states. Once people realize the initial successes of the system are a sham, they want to revolt, and the ruling elite need an ever-increasing state structure to repress them. The only people who really benefit are the ones whose greed is rewarded, the high-ranking members of the ruling party.

The next time someone tries to tell you how great socialism is, punch them in the face and take their stuff. It will be a good crash course on how the system works.