Robert C. Ingle Sr.: What is this thing called socialism?

Published 11:45 am Saturday, February 23, 2019

Many politicians and college professors are espousing the United States becoming socialistic. Many of our millennials are also embracing socialistic ideals; however, do any of these individuals actually know what they are asking for? I would recommend that any of these individuals go to Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, or any other socialist country and live at least a year to find out what socialism really is.
My wife and I took a cruise to Cuba last su¬¬mmer. We spent overnight in Havana where we toured the city. We had a very knowledgeable tour guide that informed us as to the good and bad of socialism. It was mostly bad, and he, as do many Cubans, hope that soon a new constitution will be passed making Cuba “more” democratic.
Let’s look at what items those pushing for socialism are pushing for. First, you hear a call for equal wages. Even though most are looking for a minimum wage of $15 per hour — with a tax of 90 percent — that would leave only $1.50 per hour. Compare that to Cuba — the average person makes $35 to $40.00 per MONTH. Physicians and nurses make an average of $35 to $40 per WEEK. But what do people need with money? There are no Burger Kings, McDonalds, Walmarts or anywhere else to spend their money. Only corner bistros and bars.
Second, you hear a call for FREE education. In Cuba, ALL education is free. From kindergarten to any degree a person can dream to achieve, including doctors, nurses, etc. However, to the dismay of those who work so hard for those degrees, when the years of work and toil are over — guess who those degrees belong to? The accomplishments belong to the country. What do you think is the biggest export of Cuba today? It is not cigars or rum. The biggest export of Cuba today is doctors and nurses. Cuba arranges contracts with Honduras, Venezuela, or other countries, and sends doctors and nurses to these countries for thousands of dollars per month. Who do you think gets this money? The Cuban government.
Third, there are continuous calls for free health care. In Cuba, there is free health care. There is a doctor and nurse in each zone. They care for anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 people in each zone. When someone is sick, they come to see the doctor and nurse and receive FREE health care. If the person has a problem and needs medication, the doctor can write them a prescription; however, there is no drug store to fill the prescription. The person has to go to a corner herbalist to get something concocted that will maybe help them.
Another shocker for our millennials will be the use (or lack of) their electronic toys. There is no free internet access in Cuba. The government provides internet parks in several parts of town. In order to get access, individuals have to purchase tickets for $1 per hour access to the internet. Doesn’t sound too expensive; however, remember — no one makes more than $35-$45 per MONTH. And guess who is listening to all of your communications?
Years ago, Fidel felt sorry for all the homeless in his country. Fidel had a number of high rise buildings built. All the homeless were given a free apartment. Each apartment had three rooms and a restroom. So, all the homeless were taken off the streets. However, there is no owner of the high rises. Now, years later, all the homeless have a roof over their head; however, there is no owner of these buildings so the homeless may have a roof over their head but the roof probably leaks. There are now owners of these buildings (including the government), so the owners are on their own. With no Lowe’s or Home Depot, there is no place to purchase repair items.

Robert C. Ingle Sr. lives in Americus.