Ron Paul: Africans Starve Because of Socialism

Normally I would consider this to be a shinning example of Derp, but I don't think Ron Paul is stupid, just batshit crazy.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul explained Wednesday that famines in Africa were a result of a lack of a “free market systems.”

“All I know is if you look at history and if you compare good medical care and you compare famine, the countries that are more socialistic have more famines,” Paul told CNN’s T.J. Holmes. “If you look at Africa, they don’t have any free market systems and property rights and they have famines and no medical care. So the freer the system, the better the health care.”

Wait, what?

Socialistic countries have more famines? That's news to me. I'm fairly certain the amount of people, and particularly children, who go hungry every day is much higher in the United States than that of Europe which has a robust, socialist safety net.

Healthcare costs are much higher and we have worse outcomes in the United States too, and we have what I'm sure Ron Paul would consider to be a "freer system."

  • Therese Hentz

    and then we ride the bomb down.

  • Jimmy Abraham

    Ron Paul looks at every problem and tries to fit it into his ideology. In reality, Africa problems are cause by the total freedom of when with power have too much. They keep everything for themselves and not develop infrastucture keeping the “have nots” outside of any gains. In fact, I would argue the areas of Africa with the worst problems are just the opposite of socialistic and more liberatarian/social darwinism/genocidal (let em die, or why not help?)

    • Rick Janes

      And US foreign aid has often contributed to aggravating the problems of the poor Africans because it went directly into the pockets of the dictators we wanted in power to ‘fight Communism.’ It was the same mistake we made in South Vietnam –propping up bad governments to be our allies against the USSR or China regardless of how they treated their own people.

  • Joshua White

    This is taken a bit out of context and I agree the quote isn’t well expressed. However, there is a simple truth hiding here. He is simply saying, that the further a country moves from having a self regulated adaptable market system the greater chance one of two things can happen.

    One,systemic reliance failure in government, such as post WWII Eastern Block countries that relied on a central government regulated distribution system of goods. When the government has turnover or change the distribution and production is halted.

    Two, non-regulated failures that come from a system with no market or authority that would, say in a rural African warring nation, give no reward to a farmer or other food provider for making the effort to product and deliver food.

    Not to say free market is perfect, but its certainly better at providing for people then other systems have demonstrated over the long term.

    • Rick Janes

      Joshua White, I understand what you’re getting at, but don’t discount that Europe, the USSR and the US, post-colonialism, have been using these African nations as pawns, interfering with their governments and running ‘black ops’ programs and instigating proxy wars without regard for the health or well-being of the residents. Many of these nations have not had a post-WWII stable govt and, without that, it doesn’t matter whether you have capitalism or socialism — Paul forgets that his concept of a ‘free market economy’ depends on taxpayer-financed courts and judges to enforce contracts, police to defend private property and arrest criminals; roads and bridges so that products can be brought to market; and a military to defend the nation’s borders from outside attack. Many African states have never had those luxuries. Any ‘socialism’ installed by the various greedy, brutal dictators the West has backed was strictly to keep the ruler protected by bribing his troops to defend him, such as in the Sudan and Ethiopia. There was no attempt by the central govt, whether it called itself Communist or socialist, to ‘share the wealth’ with the starving rural farmers. North Korea also calls itself a ‘socialist’ state while it leaves its citizens to boil grass for dinner. The label means nothing, and Paul should know better than to make a stupid remark like this.

  • dildenusa

    Obviously Ron Paul failed history class otherwise he would know that Africa’s problems stem from the colonial expansionism and imperialism of the European powers in the 19th and early 20th Century. Also you have high population densities on marginal land because in places like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, where most of the arable land is, white farmers controlled the land well into the latter half of the 20th Century. This is just more typical tea party republic buffoonery.

  • muselet

    “This whole idea that they world will not provide for people if you don’t depend on government — freedom provides more prosperity and better health care than all the socialism and welfarism in the world,” Paul said. “Nobody can compete with me about compassion because I know and understand how free markets and sound money and a sensible foreign policy is the most compassionate system ever known to mankind. So if you care about people you have to look to the freedom philosophy and limited government.”

    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Sell a man a fish and not only do you make a profit, you get to call yourself compassionate.

    “Batshit crazy” doesn’t begin to describe Ron Paul.


    • Rick Janes

      Slap him with a fish and you might wake him up, but Ron’s too far gone in Ayn Randyland for that. I guess the elder Paul missed the preamble to the Constitution where it plainly states our govt is supposed to be concerned with the general welfare of its citizens. But, then again, he’s a Libertarian who believes in restricting a woman’s liberty to choose what to do with their own bodies, so I guess that’s not surprising.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Ron Paul believes a lack of government oversight leads to prosperity. If that’s the case, then the economies of sub-Saharan Africa should be booming!

    • Rick Janes

      True, DCWilson, and Texas should be a paradise on Earth, but only Rick Perry, his wealthy pals, and the Village Media seem to think that.

    • America_Shrugged

      The lack of financial oversight in this country has brought us to the brink of 3rd world status not because of food stamps. Ron Paul is s joke and one of the reasons he’ll never be President.

  • Ryan Carson

    Oh, so tin-pot dictatorships = socialist; military juntas = socialist; tribal/factional oligarcy = socialist.

    Got it. That clears up quite a bit of late African history for me.

    • JMAshby

      Don’t forget centuries of colonialism. I guess they were socialist too.

      • IrishGrrrl

        Ashby, that’s what I was going to say. Ron Paul is just ignoring the pillaging that was done by colonialist powers for decades before home grown dictators took over. I don’t know of a single REAL socialist country on the entire continent!?

  • Alex0001

    Ah yes I remember it well, The Great Swedish Famine of the 20th century.

    • Therese Hentz

      All those homeless blondes sleeping on the beach…..

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Wait; Africa doesn’t have free-market systems? There’s “Big Government” in Somalia? WTF?