Debbie D’Souza, from Venezuela, Demolishes Leftist Arguments Regarding Socialism in America

| November 30, 2020

Debbie D’Souza is from Venezuela and has family there still. She explains, in a Prager University video, the reality of Socialism. (Prager University)

One common theme, among leftists arguing for socialism, is that it was not properly implemented in the other countries. However, those planing it in the US have a practical way to make it workable in the United States. Debbie D’Souza, is originally from Venezuela and has family there. She has seen what socialism has done there, and showcases it to us as a cautionary tale.

Transcript of the video, “They say Scandinavia, but they mean Venezuela” by Debbie D’Souza for Prager University:

Venezuela, where I was born and still have family, bad. Cuba, bad. Zimbabwe, bad. Soviet Union, bad. China under Mao, bad. Sweeden, Denmark, Norway, good.

This is the socialist report card as it currently stands. Never mind that Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, the Soviet Union, Mao’s China were once good! Once they go bad, they stay bad and are quickly forgotten. Lost down the memory hole. But those Nordic paradises, they never let you down.

Whenever Bernie, The Squad, and the growing horde of Democratic Socialists ever get cornered, there’s always, “Like Denmark…” to come to the rescue. “No, no, we don’t want anything like what’s going on in Venezuela, Denmark is what we have in mind!”

Except, they don’t. And it’s time we all figure this out before it is too late. Here’s what you need to know about Scandinavian countries. They are capitalist in wealth creation and socialist in wealth distribution. They have low corporate taxes, around 20%, no higher than in America.

Unlike America, neither Norway, nor Sweden, nor Denmark, has a government set minimum wage. Most make it very easy to start a new business. Most have private health care and education options. Yes, the Nordic countries have an expansive welfare state, but everyone pays into the system. Rich, middle class, and poor.

Nobody escapes the taxman because nobody escapes the 25% value-added tax. The sales tax, a tax on what you buy, is regressive. Meaning, it falls much more heavily, percentage of income-wise, on the poor and on the middle class than it does on the rich.

This concept is a complete nonstarter for American socialists, who want only the rich to pay more! Even though America’s tax system is already steeply progressive. The rich, the top 10 percent, pay about 70% of all income taxes. But for the socialists, it never seems to be enough.

So, if the American left has rejected the Scandinavian model, which model is it embracing? Where, where do the leading figures of the American left, from Sean Penn to Michael Moore and Bill Ayers go when they want to praise socialism? Here’s a hint: When was the last time you saw Bernie in Copenhagen?

First, it was the Soviet Union. Then it was Cuba. Then it was Venezuela. Venezuelan socialism, like current American socialism, is based on sowing social division. The left in Venezuela divided the country not merely between the rich and the poor, but white and black or brown-between Europeans, Africans, and indigenous people. Hugo Chavez made much of his black and Indian roots.

Venezuelan socialists were bringing down statues of Columbus long before American leftists did. Once you establish the villain class, taking away their wealth is not hard to do. Whatever Chavez and now his successor Nicolas Maduro wanted, they took — or, if you care about moral clarity, they stole-always, like the French and Russian Revolutions, in the name of “equality.”

It didn’t start out that way, of course. It never does. Chavez portrayed himself as a moderate in his early presidential campaigns. Expropriations came later. What Chavez and Maduro achieved at the end of a gun, the American Left would achieve through extremely high taxation on income, wealth, and inheritance.

But we shouldn’t leave guns out of the discussion. In 2010, Venezuelan socialists started a campaign to disarm law-abiding citizens under the guise of stopping gun violence. They called it “Desarma la violencia”. When citizens, now unarmed, began to protest the corruption and tyranny of the socialist government, Chavez and then Maduro unleashed a group of criminal thugs-the collectivos — to terrorize them. Their specific targets included small business owners, entrepreneurs, farmers, and clergy. There are no colectivos or Antifa in Scandinavia.

Venezuela is now a cautionary tale. All the people you see on the news rummaging through garbage cans or standing in line to get food, toilet paper, and gas-those are the ordinary citizens. The country’s leaders aren’t missing any meals. The socialist elite, the so-called Chavistas, eat in fine restaurants and go on European vacations. Miraculously, it always works out that way.

The American Left keeps telling us they want to take us to Stockholm, but its policies point in the direction of Caracas. My birth country was once prosperous and free, but socialism destroyed it. Take heed America.

I’m Debbie D’Souza for Prager University.

Category: Guest Link, Guest Post, Politics, Society

Comments (46)

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  1. SFC D says:

    Here ended the lesson. Ignore it at your peril.

  2. Mason says:

    But my professors at college, who may or may not have been members of the Weather Underground, said that capitalism is evil. They wrote a book on it. It’s not free for some reason, but socialism is definitely the answer if you read it.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    “Take heed America.” ^Word^

    This should be required reading/viewing for every American. With back up videos of “before” and “after” in her Country.

    What we are seeing now can be equated to the toady frog in the pot of cold water on the stove. By the time he realizes that the gas is turned up, he is already boiling to death…and it’s too late.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    Elections are coming up in Venezuela. Myteriously, a warehouse full of voting machines ignited somehow and burned them.

    Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice.

  5. Deckie says:

    Lars will be along shortly to inform you all why you’re wrong and socialism will work, AKA Tales from the Hood…

    He’d be defending shitty leftist ideas while they tie his dumbass to the take and put the blindfold on.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      “When Comrade Stalin hears of this, you will regret it!”

      -numerous nameless Gulag dead men

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        “This is not how Communism/Socialism/Progressivism/Anarchism works!”

        -numerous nameless victims of Communism/Socialism/Progressivism/Anarchism

    • rgr769 says:

      Lars hopes to someday inform on us instead of “inform us,” once his crypto-communist totalitarian “utopian” nation is achieved. You know, like thatn large country to the west where he speaks the lingo.

  6. Deckie says:

    to the stake*

  7. timactual says:

    Why does everybody forget Great Britain? After WWII the British nationalized whole industries. GB is probably the only example of Democratic Socialism that was actually Democratic. It failed.

  8. penguinman000 says:

    Not to mention all of the oil and gas revenues Norway uses to fund things. That kind of flies in flies in the face of the green new deal.

    The amount of cognitive dissonance it must take to think “democratic socialism” is an actual thing must be staggering.

    Democratic=The individual has priority over the state.
    Socialism=the state has priority over the individual.

    The two words are polar opposites.

    I guess when folks just start giving new definitions to words at the drop of a hat it gets hard to keep everything straight.

    • David says:

      A time honored practice of the left, rename what you are doing. For an example, see how ‘gun confiscation’ has turned to ‘gun safety’, or ‘socialism’ turned into ‘wealth redistribution’ and the like. A good measure of how despicable one of their policies is, is to check how many names it has evolved through.

  9. Only Army Mom says:

    Ah yes, the lauded Nordic states.

    Sweden tops the list of “youngsters at risk for depression” at 41% of the population, per WHO guidelines. There is a 60% increase in youth homelessness in both Sweden and the Netherlands. One in three homeless people in Denmark are children. In all of the above, 3 out of 10 children are at risk of poverty.

    In Denmark, 70% of all adults are currently on or have been on antidepressant medications.

    Sweden is also the Rape capital of the West, surpassed only by Lesotho in South Africa. Convictions and actual jail time for rape in Sweden is the same as Lesotho, almost zero, leading to estimates of 70% or more of sexual assaults going unreported.

    Per the 2020 point in time count in the US, 567,715 are homeless with over 96k who are chronically homeless – think addicts, mentally ill and those who chose to live outside the bounds of society, i.e., on the streets. Overall, that is .0017% of the population.

    Homelessness has decreased by 12% since 2016 in states with Republican governments. The states with the highest homeless populations are CA and NY and the cities with the highest rates are ALL chronically Democrat run, and their numbers increased by as much as 27% prior to 2016. Between 2016 and 2019, even those states and cities saw drops, though not as much as Republican areas.

    So, boys and girls, what do the Nordic countries and the Democrats have in common that have led to similar outcomes?

    • Only Army Mom says:

      A few more facts…

      Want to buy a car in Denmark? You’ll pay 105% of the car value in tax. Values over 80,500kr is taxed at 180%. 80,500 Danish kr is just under $13k USD. In other words, just about every car is taxed at 180%.

      On censorship in Sweden, an agency under the Ministry of Defense issued a report that states, “”Hate” is defined broadly to include violent extremism, “hateful expressions”, jokes, internet trolling and even the use of certain quotation marks. For instance, in the report, placing the word “refugees” in quotation marks, as well as “unaccompanied children,” is supposedly an expression of “hate”.

      Sweden has similar restrictions on “libel”. All Swedish broadcasters and journalists must apply for and receive a license, which can be revoked by the government for committing “hate speech” or “libel”. The first has been used to prevent inclusion of terms like “Muslim” or “refugees” when describing an offender. “Libel” is used to shield politicians and public figures.

      In other words, 90% of American news media would be pulled from the air or circulation if that “libel” law existed here. Private citizens can be fined or arrested for public or publicly accessible expressions of opinions that violate these laws.

      The point is, Loonie Lefties, be careful what you wish for or set up while your hand is on the rudder. It will, absolutely, come back to bite you.

    • 5JC says:

      In all fairness Sweden’s suicide rate likely has more to do with lack of day light than socialism. They also made the horrible decision to import their rape and homeless problem by allowing near open border immigration from Iraq last decade “03-11”. Now they have a huge, poor, rapey underclass that has outsized crime statistics.

      • UpNorth says:

        Sweden also has no-go zones now, thanks to the wonderful immigration policy they have.

        • rgr769 says:

          That would be the same kind of immigration policies to deal with both legal and illegal immigration that Gropey Joe and the Ho (and their crew) plan to implement here.

        • Mason says:

          We have enough no-go zones already with BLM and the “refugees” we import.

  10. xyzzy says:

    What about socio-capitalism? That’s capitalism, but with a few socialist elements to ensure that we all get our needs met. For example, price controls on the healthcare industry to prevent medical bankruptcy. You still have the free market, but with rules to keep excess avarice from harming the poor.

    Be interesting to see what you think. I don’t know enough to have an intelligent position on this, but some of you might. I know Ex-PH2 does.

    • penguinman000 says:

      Want to exert positive impact on health care costs? You achieve that by putting mechanisms in place to drive down cost. Not by passing a law regulating price.

      An oversimplified version is this, if it costs a plumber $100 in material and labor costs to do a job, the cost of the job isn’t going to be driven down by the government simply saying he can only charge $80 for that job.

      That kind of short sighted policy would put plumbers out of business and would also kill an interest to pursue the field. The same exact thing would happen in the medical field.

      Here are some basic things we could do to drive down health care costs.

      1. Allow people to buy health insurance outside of their state borders. Right now you are basically locked in by your geographic location. More options=lower prices and better service.

      2. Require all health insurances use the same process to file claims. Right now every single insurance company has their own process. Every doctor’s office, clinic, and hospital has to retain an entire staff to navigate this.

      3. Price transparency. The average costs for procedures and drugs should be readily available to consumers and doctors. Right now your doctor or you will have no idea what the cost would be if you went in for a procedure. Even if they simply used CPT/ICD codes or RVUs and the cost associated with those, it would be a good start.

      4. Incentivize preventative care. The lowest paying medical specialty is primary care. The highest paying tend to be derm, surgical (different variations) and OB/GYN. A good primary care doctor can do quite a bit of stuff at a much cheaper price.

      5. Adopt Gawande’s model of “hot spotting” to target resources to those most in need.

      6. Give doctors the time they need to see patients. 15 minute appointment slots are inadequate. Practicing cattle car medicine is how things get missed and mistakes get made.

      7. Ban all advertising for medication that requires a prescription.

      I could go on and on. The bottom line is medicine is a business but it’s a business unlike any other. When is the last time someone died while waiting to get their oil changed?

      • xyzzy says:

        Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. I will have to do more research on this.

        11B Mailclerk, this applies to you, as well.

        Thanks again. 👍

      • 5JC says:

        Penguin i agree with most all of that. I kind of disagree that doctors need more time with patients. If they can do it in 15 minutes than it is done. They should spend as much time as they need. I did cheat a little and consulted the wife. She is a provider.

        • penguinman000 says:

          My gripe with the 15 minute appointment slots is you get complex patients that require quite a bit of time to sort through things.

          Puts providers in the position of having to choose to blow their schedule, focus on one problem or just turn the patient away.

          Ideally providers would take as much time as needed to see a patient. And patients would come prepared.

          And since your wife agrees with me she clearly has superior intelligence. 😉

        • timactual says:

          Ask your wife how long it takes to write up the notes on each visit, transcribe them, and put them in the patient’s records. Each patient may see a doctor for 15 minutes but that does not mean only 15 minutes of labor are spent on each patient in that office. And a half century of experience tells me that four patients per hour are not processed by a doctor.

      • OldSoldier54 says:

        Yep.

      • David says:

        8. Allow Medicare (the single largest insurer) to NEGOTIATE drug costs instead of being forced to accept whatever the company thinks the market should bear.
        9. Adopt WW flat pricing. A drug here in the US costing $300/month may only cost $3 elsewhere, as the drug companies supposedly load all their R&D costs onto the US.
        10. Do #7 again.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      “Price controls” are the antithesis of “free market”.

      They -always- produce far greater negative outcomes than they propose to fix.

      So, you set a below-market price on a drug, in an effort to buy the votes of the recipients. Do the drug companies make all you want at the artificial price? No. They make only what makes enough money to be worth the effort. That can be “zero”.

      A big reason drugs are expensive here, because we so very heavily regulate drug research and manufacture. A set of phase 1,2, and 3 studies needed to bring a promising molecule to market, costs anywhere from $40-$100 million dollars and can take 6-10 years. The number of molecules that fail to make it through 1-2-3 is

      99.8% or 998 of 1000

      And “made it through” means you now can -try- to sell it. You will be immediately rivaled by attempted generics, which -dont- have to jump through the same hoops, thus largely free-riding on your research.

      You will also be sued, regularly, for negative events. Even if totally bogus a suit, your legal costs are still out of your budget, not theirs.

      Who, by the way, funds all that? Customers buying the 0.2%

      Drug companies sell cheap elsewhere, because they can charge back the difference here. End that, and you end new drugs.

      If your wages were “Price controlled” to 60%, would you keep working as currently? If some other job wasn’t “Price controlled” ?

      Price controls don’t work. They are not “free market”. Less profit, less product. No profit, no product.

      You won’t work for free. Neither will anyone else.

      • xyzzy says:

        Suppose we set the price control at 150% of the cost of production? So you still have profit, but within reasonable parameters.

        Would this be better?

        • OldSoldier54 says:

          Reread second to last sentence.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          Nope.

          150% won’t even begin to cover sunk costs of the ones that didn’t work

          998 fail versus 2 work -maybe- work enough to sell.

          You are assuming profit is bad or wrong. False.

          We grant drug makers a limited time monopoly (patent) so they can make enough money to make new stuff worthwhile.

          Note how very few really important breakthroughs come from profit-adverse regimes.

          998 out of a thousand fail.

          40 to 100 million spent on many of them. Tens of millions on -all- of them. Most fail in late phase 3, at the high end of that spend range.

          150% won’t get that next cancer breakthrough, or anything else but tweaking old stuff.

        • timactual says:

          “150% of the cost of production?”

          Who determines that? And what standards do they use?

          • 11B-Mailclerk says:

            Political pull determines the winners.

            Rich and powerful people, in other words.

            Note how the supposedly people friendly abomination called “obamacare” wound up seriously screwing millions on cost, and losing their health insurance (“you can keep your plan”). And the big-time booster of it? Insurance companies that would sell the mandated plans.

            Obamacare was pitched as pro-consumer and “reining in insurance companies” , yet the insurance industry wanted it, badly, because it mandated young and healthy folks to buy overpriced broad-based coverage they don’t need, and vastly further limited competition.

            That is a “tell”, folks, when the powerful supposedly reined in are the advocates and primary beneficiaries. The Left, of course, denies this.

            “net neutrality” was about locking things in for the big players, not protecting internet access for the masses. Can’t have some clever upstart competing on price and plans. Well, can’t allow -successful- competition. And note how the largely unregulated internet dealt with the Covid dem-panic, and subsequent -massive- new demand for bandwidth, with hardly a burp.

      • OldSoldier54 says:

        Hear, hear.

    • Koekepan says:

      I actually studied economics, from a variety of professors ranging across the field, including one very highly regarded and influential socialist. (No details because of PII.)

      The short version is that if you want market intervention in the USA, for medicine? We have it in spades already. Everything from the AMA limiting training rates (raises the cost of training while reducing the supply of professionals – classic rent-seeking behaviour), to a patchwork of regulations on everything from insurance to abortion law that complicates getting anything done. The PPACA added a hell of a lot more (remember that one? The you’ll-have-to-pass-it-to-find-out-what’s-in-it one? Huge warning sign in a law.)

      All this mounts up to the actual consumer having little to no control, little to no insight and little to no understanding of what choices are being made. You need a shot? Why? Who authorised it? What will it solve? How much will it cost?

      If you want a market to actually function, market participants need to be able to see what’s going on, make choices in the face of the facts, and withdraw or change vendors as the situation demands. The USA has firmly refused to do that for medicine.

      Outright socialised medicine (think UK’s NHS, Canadian system and so on) has proven to be a never-ending money pit that still manages to provide lousy service. There is (no lie!) an actual canadian medical tourist industry along the northern border of the USA. Mostly it’s people coming in for things like MRI scans, because Canada doesn’t want to pay for the things, and the difference between second and third stage cancer is important, so waiting periods kind of suck.

      A lot of what is wrong in terms of key service provision in the USA can actually be blamed on well-meaning, but foolish regulations that have resulted in unintended consequences. This is one reason for my being a massive proponent of sunset clauses on such things.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        The original problem is wage and price controls in WW2.

        Labor was in high demand, and war workers could demand premium wages. To placate the industries, FDR froze wages. But workers were still in super short supply.

        So businesses added “perks” and “benefits” not under wage control. Health insurance was a big one.

        Oops.

        Now the costs went to a third party, and the buyer (patient) didn’t care if prices soared as long as they paid only nothing or a small portion.

        Oooooooops…..

        That divorced the price signal from the buyer. All the rest devolved from that. Each “intervention” to “fix” the market made it worse.

        Most of it was vote-buying or political donation seeking, or both.

        So, put it back to private purchase, and stop limiting the market to select players in select regions, and folks will chisel down costs like they do on everything else.

        Stop “fixing” things with the controls and interventions that are causing the problems. The meddling ins the problem, not the freedom.

        The -meddling- and reduction of freedom are the problem.

    • NHSparky says:

      4000+ years of economic history has taught us one thing: wage/price controls DO NOT WORK.

      Period.

    • timactual says:

      ” excess avarice”

      Avarice? You expect doctors, nurses, technicians, clerical workers, etc. work for free? Do you have any idea how many people it takes to keep one GP in business, much less an entire hospital?

      Do the math. Example, how many half-hour office visits does it take to cover a $20,000 malpractice premium at $100/visit?

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Yes, they expect folks to work cheap and deliver expensive. They never imagine the consequences of paying doctors like semi-skilled workers.

        Same political party said “you black folk gonna pick the cotton we sell”.

  11. 5JC says:

    Biden’s press secretary has gone full commie in her pink hammer and sickle hat. Its so cute, they grow up so fast.

  12. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    The trouble with socialism has always been that you can easily vote your way into it, but you must invariably shoot your way out of it…