Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Socialism, the Great Equalizer


If you’d like a good picture of where American socialists are leading our country, consider the situation in North Korea, which is the world’s best model of a socialist society. In North Korea, everyone is equal because everyone is equally poor. The government is the sole owner of the means and results of production, which means it is the sole employer in society. Everyone works for the government. It totally controls the economy. It is the central planner of all economic activity. It has a central bank and government-provided paper money.

North Korea is an economic disaster, and that’s not a coincidence. That’s what socialism produces — equality in poverty, despair, and starvation, not to mention brutal enforcement of economic rules, dictates, and regulations.

If you think the United States has economic problems, they’re nothing in comparison to the situation in North Korea. A New York Times article today describes the situation as dire. Food supplies are meager and the prices of what food is available are soaring, in large part because of the government’s debasement of the currency. Making matters even worse, the North Korean regime is now engaging in “sweeping attempts to revive socialist central economic planning and crack down on private markets” including “punishing private traders who smuggled goods from China.” You know — those evil, greedy, profit-seeking, bourgeois, private-sector, speculator swine that socialists everywhere hate so much.

No doubt American socialists will love the ingenious way the authorities decided to steal from “the rich” in order to better maintain total economic equality among the people. The government recently issued new paper currency and told people to bring in their old paper money to exchange for the new paper money. But — and here’s the kicker — each citizen was permitted to exchange only a limited amount of old notes, making any excess savings in old notes worthless. How’s that for a brilliant way to plunder and loot people and equalize their economic condition?

There is one positive part of this story: the New York Times actually seems to understand that North Korea’s economic distress is a direct consequence of its socialist policies. The bad news is that all too many Americans continue to blame greed, deregulation, and the free market for America’s economic woes rather than the U.S. government’s socialistic policies, including its out of control spending for domestic welfare-state programs and the monetary shenanigans of its central bank, the Federal Reserve.

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.