Long Live Capitalism…and Baseball

Jun 21, 2016 | Economy, Government & Policy

If you’ve followed this blog over the years or interacted with me you know I’m an unapologetic advocate of free market capitalism. My predilection is based on a long-term study of history and at least some basic understanding of human nature. While acknowledging the inequities and excesses of capitalism, nothing works better at mobilizing resources, motivating people, unlocking innovation and meeting individual and societal needs than capitalism.

I also like baseball. And last week the two topics briefly merged.

Almost as an aside while commenting on a Venezuelan baseball player during a game last Friday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers, Vin Scully, the legendary voice of the Dodgers, said, “Socialism, failing to work as it always does. This time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello.”

Scully is referring to the late Hugo Chavez whose socialist regime almost singlehandedly changed Venezuela from a prosperous country into an economic basket case. As reported in The New York Times over the weekend, the army has been called out to protect food deliveries from starving citizens.

With socialism in vogue in some circles, it was a low-key reminder that not everybody has forgotten history. Let people go about their business – literally, business – and things generally go pretty well. But give them ‘free stuff’ and eventually there is ‘no stuff.’