The house next door to you has a lush, green yard. It looks like a golf course. It’s always been that way. All front yards should look like the front yard next to yours.
One Saturday you go over to meet the guy who recently moved in to the house with the perfect yard. The new homeowner is in his garage mixing chemicals. He looks like a mad scientist. Eventually, he tells you that he’s working on a solution that will make his perfect yard even better. He shares his utopian vision with you. His grass will be even greener now. Children will play in it. Families will drive from miles away just to admire it. Deer will frolic in it. The grass clippings will be used to cure cancer. The future is bright. Bright green.
The next morning, you walk out and notice something different about your neighbor’s yard. It’s on fire. The once green landscape is now filled with dirt, craters, and a blazing wildfire. Your neighbor is outside with the water hose in an attempt to keep the once promising solution from destroying his home. You ask him what happened.
“Everything is fine,” he assures you. “I just need to use more of the solution. Oh, and you should try some on your yard too. It’s great!”
What would you do?
Your answer depends on who you are.
If you’re the leader of the Venezuelan government or a Progressive politician from the United States, you’d run home as fast as you could to apply your neighbor’s solution on your grass, confident that this time things will be different.
Twenty years ago, Venezuela was the wealthiest country in Latin America. Now, President Nicolas Maduro has announced a 30-day plan to ration electricity as millions go without power. So how does a country go from immense wealth and resources to a collapsed economy and the rationing of power?
But still, Progressive politicians want to try the doomed system in our yard. They try to convince us, much like Venezuelan leaders did two decades ago, that these economic reforms will put everyone on a level playing field. In a sense, they’re right. They just don’t bother to tell us that the playing field is in the middle of a prison yard and loaded with land mines.
Our economic system is not perfect. In a fallen world, no system is. But if you want to make it even worse, just give the government more control over it. In spite of all of their talk about helping the poor, all Progressives can truthfully provide the poor with from their socialist agenda is more people from the middle class to stand with them in the bread lines.
Decades ago, Milton Friedman recognized the absurdity of our embrace of socialism. “After the fall of communism, everybody in the world agreed that socialism was a failure. Everybody in the world, more or less, agreed that capitalism was a success. And every capitalist country in the world apparently deduced from that what the West needed was more socialism.”
So the next time you hear someone singing the praises of some utopian system, don’t just listen to their words. Look at their yard. If it’s on fire, you don’t want what they’re selling.