Shamelessly Stolen from Gazizza
...who lifted it from the National Review Online...
The Korean Peninsula: Economic Laboratory
Jay Nordlinger prints a very interesting letter:
Permit me to add something to Secretary Rumsfeld’s observations on the different
results in North and South Korea. (Living in South Korea for a year was one of the things that cured me of my youthful leftism.)
The Korean people may be the most ethnically homogeneous people on earth. About 60 percent have one of only three surnames: Lee, Kim, and Park.
North and South Korea had the same history from the dawn of history until 1945.
The Korean peninsula is small, and about 45 percent constitutes the South.
At the time of partition through about 1960, I’d say, the economy of the North was more developed than that of the South. The North had a smaller population, but one that was arguably better educated than the South’s. The North had more industry, too. During the 1950s, the South was absolutely destitute, and survived on food donations from the United States.
Thus, in 1945, an “experiment of nature” was carried out. Take a small, homogeneous country and divide it arbitrarily more or less in half. Then install one kind of government in the north and another kind in the south. Close the curtain. See what happens.
The results speak for themselves, don’t they? Fifty years of Communism produced famine, or near famine. Fifty years of an increasingly free-market system produced prosperity and wider political freedom.
What more does anyone need to know about socialism?
A good question, indeed. Communism does not work because it fails to take into account basic human nature and necessitates draconian control by its leaders. Cuba is another example right in our back yard. Once a thriving island, its economy today sucks, and since Communism demands lock-step agreement, political and religious dissidents have suffered horribly in Cuban prisons. There is something incredibly sinister about leaders who desire to control not only actions but beliefs as well. Unfortunately, that's the only way Communist leaders can maintain control.