Who Owns The Mangos Anyway?

The true story is told about a family living in Venezuela, a socialist country. They did not have enough food to eat but there was a mango tree in their front yard. When the Mangos ripened it was their ethical dilemma of whether to pick them and feed them to their kids or not, because everything, including land and crops, belonged to the state. Not only was it a crime to eat the mangos, but their neighbors were encouraged to report them for such a crime. They did pick and eat the mangos, but hid the skins to hopefully avoid being arrested for such criminal activity.

Who is better at distributing resources? Government or individuals who earn income and are responsible for it? The history of socialist governments’ distribution is not very good. Forbes magazine reports that at his death, Fidel Castro had a net worth of $900 million dollars while the people were living on an average of $20/month.

Since Castro’s death though, salaries have gone up, especially for professionals. At the high end, doctors with two specialties saw their salary go from the equivalent of $26 a month to $67, while an entry-level nurse will make $25, up from $13. Salaries at government jobs in Cuba average about $20 a month, augmented by a range of free services and subsidies.And what about the family stealing mangos to feed their kids in Venezuela?  Forbes magazinereported the socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez worth $500 million at his death.

How and why do the Biblical principals of capitalism work to rescue people from their socialist government? When all the people in the republic, especially the able-bodied poor, see that their material conditions are actually improving from year to year, they are led to compare where they are today with where they would like to be tomorrow. They stop comparing themselves with their neighbors, because their personal goals are not the same as those of their neighbors. They seek their own goals, at their own pace, to their own satisfaction.

Once a capitalist system has generated a sufficiently large and successful middle class, the pressures for turning toward democracy become very strong. This is because successful entrepreneurs speedily recognize that they are smarter and more able than the generals and the commissars. They begin demanding self-government. Freedom breeds freedom. Democracy depends on a growing economy for its upward tide—for social mobility, opportunity, and the pursuit of personal accomplishment.

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