A very rightwing Russian in the comments suggests that Communism and socialism has failed everywhere:
Robert, as a “right wing Russian” Im very curious on your on the fall of the USSR. it was socialist to the bone (my birth certificate even has a nice little hammer and sickle on it, I’m sure you’d love it) yet it fell apart. Also, why do Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea suck? Shouldn’t they on your list?
The list is of the top 13 richest countries on Earth. 12 of the 13 are socialist states (welfare states). The three countries you list are not in the top 13 wealthiest countries.
Look at Russia now. A shithole or what? They were better off under Communism. The transition to capitalism killed a good 15 million people and life expectancy collapsed. I think it has just now recovered, 20 years later.
I’m not wild about pure Communism. It’s got a ton of problems. But I think Russia has gone too far to the right now.
Nevertheless, Russia is a still a socialist country.
Russia has a gigantic state sector in the economy. It still has a very extensive safety net if I am not mistaken. Maternal mortality and infant mortality is very low in all of the CIS. If you compare the CIS to places with similar incomes, housing and health care is excellent.
Moldavia is a very poor country, very poor. Yet their health figures are superb, there’s no hunger, the cities look nice and modern, education is first world.
It’s similar in all of the former states of the USSR. All of the former USSR are still socialist states with a big state sector, vast safety nets, good housing and health care, excellent health and education figures.
All of these great things are a legacy of the USSR.
The Russian government is following a state capitalism similar to the Chinese. It’s not neoliberal capitalism at all. It’s a kind of socialism, certainly it’s socialism according to the Republican Party – Tea Party – Glen Beck sense of the word. The Russian state spends huge amounts of money on roads, broadband, all sorts of public works. Even cities spend lots of money on things like public baths.
All of the former USSR rejects the neoliberal model if I’m not mistaken. Those who went for it the most have eaten shit the worst. Latvia went neoliberal-wild and their economy has been totally creamed, with a Depression as deep as the US Depression in the 1930’s.
Venezuela is doing great! Compared to the rest of Latin America. Things have improved dramatically since Chavez took power. The people love him. That’s why he always wins.
Cuba doesn’t suck either. Cubans have the best housing, health care and education in the region. There’s no unemployment. There are no homeless.
If you go into the rural areas, you will see something you will not see in any other Latin American country, healthy, happy, clean, well-fed children wearing nice clean uniforms. There are no kids on the streets sniffing glue and dressed in rags, starving with no shoes. There are no shantytowns in Cuba. None, zero. Nearly all homes have electricity and plumbing. No other state in Latin America has achieved any of these things.
Cubans are some of the best fed people in the region. The malnutrition rate is 2%, the lowest in Latin America. Cuban health care is the best in Latin America, and Cubans live the longest or nearly the longest in the region. Cubans live longer than Americans! LOL! Cuban health care is so good that rich Latin Americans, fierce anti-Communists, flock to Cuba from all over the region to have specialty work done. Cuba has more agronomists per capita than anywhere else on Earth. Every Cuban has a job, nice clean clothes, access to transportation and access to cultural activities. You can’t say that about anyplace else in the region.
North Korea sucks, but I doubt if it’s their fault. With the fall of the USSR, the price of oil went up 10X and everything collapsed. I’m convinced that they are trying to do everything they can to feed their people and get the country going again, but it’s an uphill battle, plus we threaten them. Before 1990, North Korea was doing great.
I actually support a mixed economy versus pure Communism.