Sunday, July 29, 2018

Venezuela's new low

Styx on Venezuela's nosedive as its inflation rate flirts with 1,000,000%—and on why command economies don't work (and why you can't look to Scandinavia as a "good" example):

In that spirit, here's commentator Robert Tracinski on "The Top 5 Forms of Socialism Denial." A quick overview:

1. "But Communists Oppose Fascism"
2. "Whataboutism" (e.g., "What about capitalism's poverty problem?")
3. "But Denmark" (i.e, "Scandinavia makes it work!")
4. "Literacy in Cuba"
5. "No True Socialist"

I like that Tracinski notes that (2) and (5) are examples of the tu quoque and No True Scotsman fallacies, respectively. Point out fallacies wherever you see them.

Both Styx and Tracinski make the same point about using Scandinavia as your pro-socialist rebuttal to the old "socialism always results in disaster" argument: in Scandinavia, what you've really got are strong market economies with redistributive elements. Scandinavian countries like Sweden rate arguably higher on indexes of entrepreneurship than the US does (probably because US businesses are hamstrung by some of the worst tax rates—corporate or otherwise—in the world: the US is by no means a free-market economy in the fullest sense of the term). Arguing for socialism's beneficence on the basis of Scandinavian economies isn't particularly convincing; such arguments fail to consider Scandinavian economies as actual wholes.

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