Talks of socialism are on the rise as some members of Congress push to adopt the system in the United States through avenues such as universal healthcare, free higher education, and more government control over business. Some in Congress would lead you to believe that socialism is being embraced around the world, making other countries superior to the United States because of it. However, when comparing the United States to other well-known socialist countries, the numbers prove much different.
One prime example is that of Venezuela. Although the U.S. is very unlikely to experience the crisis Venezuela is currently going through, the example illustrates what socialism can lead to.
According to data reported by HumanProgress.org, when it comes to quality of education, infant mortality rate, economic advances and labor force, the United States ranks significantly higher than Venezuela.
- Quality of Education: On a scale of 1-7, in 2017, the United States registered a 5.1 on quality of education where Venezuela came in at 2.8. In Venezuela, school systems are run by the Federal Government through the Venezuelan Ministry of Education, whereas in the United States, k-12 education is run by state and local governments giving them freedom of curriculum and budget.
- Infant Mortality Rate: Infant mortality has been rising in Venezuela in recent years climbing from an index of 14.3 in 2011 to 25.7 in 2017. In the same period of time, the United States has seen a steady decline in infant mortality moving from a score of 6.1 to 5.7. Global Health credits the uptick in Venezuelan infant mortality to the “progressively deteriorating nutrition status, the collapse in living standards, and a breakdown of the health system.” All which can be attributed to the country’s socialized medicine that runs through the government.
- Starting a Business: Evaluating economies from 1 to 190 in the ease of starting a business, the United States lands high up on the list with a score of 8, while Venezuela registers near the bottom of the list at 188. In the United States, entrepreneurship is encouraged and supported, but in Venezuela, due to overregulation from the government, it is almost impossible to become a successful business owner.
Across the world countries are seeing the negative effects of socialism and seeking to move toward a better, more prosperous free market society. Rather than seeking to change a system that has overwhelmingly led to prosperity, we should continue to look towards ways to improve our free markets so the United States can continue to improve.