I am old enough to have walked the streets of East Berlin in the now gone DDR and see shops with goods for sale full of western tourists but no locals, to have walked a mere two blocks off the tourist path and see a Bäckerei with a display window full of bread but nothing behind the counter. In a recent post Richard Fernandez writes:
Yet that would not appear remarkable to anyone who understands what state-controlled economies really are. Hope and Change economies are crony capitalist systems which pick winners and losers. They maintain the status quo at all costs — and reward those who have captured government over those who innovate. Thus the Reuters headline “Banks saved, but Europe risks ‘losing a generation’” is perfectly comprehensible.
That is not how everyone thinks especially those who never lived under the Soviet Union’s hegemony.
Naturally this plight is explained to the desperate voters as the consequence of the remaining vestiges of capitalism. The growing impoverishment, we are told, is occurring because socialism hasn’t gone far enough. Only give the government more power and all will be well. And so the low information voters turn out in the streets offering to exchange what little freedom they have left for some low paying jobs and a little welfare. The poorer they are the more eager they become to trade their last liberties for one more benefits check.
Ever notice how the safety net grows and grows until everyone is bribed with their own money?