Behind the veneer of classic cars and cigar smoke, lies a country in decay. Benny Johnson, the chief creative officer for Turning Point USA, reports in The Federalist:
What many do not realize is that 90 percent of the Cuban economy is controlled by their government. Resource scarcity, poverty, horrific living conditions, and oppressive government plague this once beautiful nation.
Citizens rush the open gates of an open grocery store only to find that there are no fresh fruits, meats, nor vegetables in stock. Food is rationed and provided to establishments by the government. Cuban citizens are unable to access the necessities they need to feed their families.
Furthermore, government-provided housing is less than ideal. Socialism has so diminished the standard of living that crumbling infrastructure and filthy living conditions are commonplace. Citizens live in what were once beautiful mansions that have fallen into complete desolation because there are no private funds to maintain them. For many, this is a haunting illustration of the prosperity of a Cuba long gone, destroyed in a single generation by communism and socialism.
Despite its obvious failures in countries like Cuba, Americans still contemplate adopting socialist policies. This ideology has been especially well-received by the youth and millennial generations. But this begs the question: Why? Why do Americans idealize this form of government?
Most millennials have no concept of what socialism actually looks like when applied to an active governmental structure. This is largely because many of them were not even alive during, or even in the aftermath of, the tyrannical rules of 20th-century socialist leaders like Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. The American millennial’s lack of understanding creates no repulsion to Marxist constructs like “free health care, housing, education” because they have never witnessed the consequences that historically follow these ideas.
However, young socialism activists fail to realize the fatal problem associated with these governmentally regulated freedoms: quality control. Following the basic concept of supply and demand, it can be predicted that the quality of free government handouts will begin to crumble as the demand increases. The more free handouts the government gives, the poorer they will be in quality. Citizens will notoriously cover the cost of these “free” handouts with taxpayer dollars. Thus, making what was once considered free a burden to the people.
Such is the case in socialist Cuba. Citizens live in the ruin of a promised utopia and lack the basic “free” necessities the government agreed to provide. The very government handouts that offered such promise are what holds the society back from growth and prosperity.