The notion that if capitalist societies are left unrestrained, they will consume every resource available is probably one of the BIGGEST lies most liberal socialists spread. And, this is probably the easiest to refute.
The inverse is actually true. Socialist societies are probably the biggest polluters, and the biggest consumer of resources in the history of mankind. Don’t believe me? One only need to take a good look at Eastern Europe after the Iron Curtain fell. Not only were those nations technological backwaters, but the amount of pollution spewing from their inefficient factories was think enough to use as glue in some instances. During the Cold War (and continuing to this very day) the Soviet fishing fleets regularly plundered the seas without regards for global restrictions of limits. This isn’t conjecture, it is fact.
One only need take a look at the soot-encrusted cities of former Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union, not to mention Chernobyl to see what naked socialism does to the planet. The former Soviet Union was probably one of the most polluted nations on earth. And to think, they we a one-time superpower. Moreover, despite their aggressive expansionist behavior, they were unable to feed their own people. It is no big secret that the US, especially around the time of Richard Nixon, had to give the Soviets grain in order to keep their people from starving. Even now, in the horribly polluted country of North Korea, they have to hand out pamphlets extolling the nutritional value of grass.
Europe’s post-Soviet greening – gains and failures
Nov 29, 2009
DNIPRODZERZHYNSK, Ukraine — Twenty years ago, when the Iron Curtain came down, the world gagged in horror as it witnessed firsthand the ravages inflicted on nature by the Soviet industrial machine.
Throughout the crumbling communist empire, sewage and chemicals clogged rivers; industrial smog choked cities; radiation seeped through the soil; open pit mines scarred green valleys. It was hard to measure how bad it was and still is: The focus was more on production quotas than environmental data.
Today, Europe has two easts — one that has been largely cleaned up with the help of a massive infusion of Western funds and the prospect of membership in the prosperous European Union; another that still looks as though the commissars never left.
Even in the Democratic Socialist nations of Europe, they have far lower emissions standards for their vehicles. Want an example? Recently, the Ford Festiva was brought over from Europe to add to Ford’s current fleet, in order to improve the company’s average automotive fleet mileage requirement for CAFE (another lovely liberal program that’s destroying the automotive sector). In Europe, the Festival was a huge hit, getting something like 50 mpg, with loads of horsepower. There was one problem though: the vehicle could not be directly transplanted to the American markets.
Why, you ask? Well, the main reason is that the Festival wouldn’t match American emissions requirements. Yes, the Europe that hosted the (laughable) Copenhagen Conference is probably one of the most smog-friendly areas of the planet. Plus, the vehicle also ran on diesel, which isn’t used in this country because of its emissions (and thus taxed much higher than regular gasoline).
But how about we look at the other side of the coin. You want to know what is one of the biggest indicators of how a Capitalist society eventually pollutes less than socialist nations? The answer is: Corn.
And I’m not talking about ethanol. I’m talking about plain old corn.
I mean, you can use pretty much any grain crop you’d like, but if you want to see a marvel of American Capitalist industriousness, one only need to direct their attention to the American farmer. Despite the crusted-over FDR, Grapes-of-Wrath hippy idiot types who constantly complain how the American small farmer is becoming an extinct species, agricultural production in the US is higher now that it has ever been in the past. In 2009, farmers in the US harvested 12.091 billion bushels of corn, 85.98 million acres of farmland, giving us a total yield of 153.90 bushels per acre. Contrast this with 1927 when farmers planted 99.66 million acres of corn, produced 2.140 billion bushels, for a yield of 25.7 bushels per acre. In less than 100 years, capitalist farmers used approximately 15 million less acres to produce nearly SIX TIMES the amount of corn per acre. Why?
Because of financial incentive. Farmers, especially these days, are mini-businessmen, and they plant whatever crop gets them the best yield. The more they produce (the price across this time dropped from $25.00 a bushel to something like $4.cooper bushel, adjusted for inflation), the greater the price drops. So, a farmer needs to produce more with less, otherwise his/her costs go up.
This is reflected by the fact that the number of people in agriculture had dropped from something like 25% of the workforce, to around 1%. Essentially, we have less farmers, producing more grain on less land, and (by extension) with less equipment. Farmers either retire, pass away, or are driven out due to competition. These farming “refugees” eventually re-assimilate into the economy, some of whom end up producing good or services that aids active farmers in their crop production.
Does anyone complain about the smog hanging over a farm? No. So, farmers also pollute less as well.
Now, your average socialist will attribute this abundance to farming subsidies. Remember, the main purpose, and stated intent of farming subsidies is to keep farmers from going under, and/or keep crop prices high. The numbers I cited should be more then enough indication as to how farm subsidies have been an blatant, horrible failure. There are less farmers in the market today than there were when farm subsidies were first provided, and the crop price has fallen through the floor. In fact, the only thing crop subsides do these days is pay people who literally don’t farm (and I’m not kidding about that).
Not to mention that the soviet union collectived (subsidized) their farmers, and they couldn’t even feed their people?
You can see the same thing with other crops like wheat, rice, and even the fishing industry. Fishing fleets are so competitive and so efficient that whatever isn’t sold at market under the guise of kid’s fish sticks is turned into fertilizer, oil, and sometimes even powers the ships that process the catch – literally nothing is wasted.
That’s because it is the basic nature of any die-hard capitalist to make or save a buck with what he or she has on hand. If an entrepreneur could make a profit selling dog turds, I guarantee you they would. Thus, we turn sawdust into particle board, wood scraps into reinforced timber framing material, and walnut shells into high-density structural material.
We even produce methane fuel from our landfills. That’s because some capitalist figured out a way to trap the stuff and sell it.
Methane, by the way, is what what fills most liberals: it is unstable, smells, and usually derives its existence from total crap.