The Legacy of Fidel Castro

A preview of this blog for 2017 and also Fidel Castro’s Legacy for Cuba
The Legacy of Fidel Castro
2017 Preview of the MLLG Blog
By: George Noga – January 8, 2017

    Before we get to Cuba, I must attend to some MLLG business. I hope you enjoyed the new MLLG blog throughout the past year. We are continuing the blog in 2017; hence, I now must ask for contributions from readers to help with our costs which are not inconsequential. I hope that this will be the only time I make such a request.

    All support goes 100% for expenses; any help, even a small amount, is appreciated. Please mail your check to MLLG at: P. O. Box 916381, Longwood, FL 32791-6381. To save time and money, I no longer maintain a separate MLLG legal entity; therefore your check, to be negotiable, must be made payable to “George Noga“. Thanks to all of you for reading, forwarding to others and for all your support since we began in 2007.

    I am excited about upcoming posts. Next week we present a postmortem of the 2016 election; this is followed by a special edition on Inauguration Day (January 20) which is a not-to-be-missed retrospective of the Obama presidency. Other upcoming topics include: Kitty Genovese and the Democrats, nullification, the war on blacks, the ninth amendment, more on climate change and MLLG commencement addresses for both high school and college. With the election now over, 2017 will contain more posts about economic, tax, human interest, environmental and cultural issues.

Fidel Castro’s Legacy

   In 1959 revolutions took place in two countries, both on small, subtropical islands governed by dictators. Both countries were mountainous, less than 25% arable and both relied on sugar exports. Also in both cases, there were giant hostile mainland nations just a few miles away that cut off all diplomatic and economic relations and threatened military invasion. However, one of the nations was much more prosperous than the other one and well ahead in terms of health, education and income.

    One of the two nations was Cuba and in 1959 it was the more prosperous. Today its economy has failed; its per capita GDP is $5,500, but the take home pay of most Cubans is $30 per month. It remains a brutal dictatorship filled with political prisons that practice torture. Its GDP per capita ranks 137 in the world and its freedom index ranks 171. One-third of all pregnancies are aborted and it is a nihilistic society.

    Even Cuba’s vaunted health care system is a failure. Cuban doctors botched Fidel’s treatment in 2006; specialists from Spain flew in to save his life. Infant mortality, once claimed to be ultra low, is based on lies. Cuban data are based on forced abortions for any pregnancy considered risky and they do not count infant deaths from underweight births. Cuba’s infant mortality is worse than elsewhere in Latin America. Most Cuban doctors are sent abroad to earn hard currency to keep the regime from utter failure.

    You may be surprised that the second country referred to is Taiwan. Dirt poor and under military dictatorship in 1959, it became a vibrant democracy and a capitalist economic tiger. Today Taiwan’s economy ranks 21 in the world with per capita GDP of $40,000. It ranks 26 on the index of human freedom. Cuba was ahead of Taiwan in 1959 in nearly every metric of human and economic well being. The juxtaposition of Cuba and Taiwan between 1959 and today reveals the true human and economic disaster that is the eternal legacy of Fidel Castro to the remaining people of Cuba.

    Castro and Che may continue to adorn tee shirts of clueless youth. Useful idiots, in and out of the media, may offer encomia, but the people of Cuba, when the regime inevitably falls, will render final judgment. Castro statues will be felled, murals defaced and the truth outed – that Fidel was a hypocritical, despotic, murderous megalomaniac who inflicted incalculable poverty and suffering on the people of Cuba.

Our next post January 15th presents a postmortem on the 2016 election.

Why I Write This Blog?

By: George Noga – September 10, 2014
        This posting marks the beginning of the end. Between now and mid-December I will publish the final MLLG posts. I often have been asked why I have taken the trouble. Why have I spent 1,000 hours writing 300 posts filling 900 pages containing 500,000 words since November 2007? Why have I written fact-based and principled tracts about public policy even though I am unenamored with politics and politicians? This post answers the question: why. In the Federalist, Alexander Hamilton questioned and challenged his fellow Americans thusly:
“Whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend on accident and force.”
       If any society of men fails to get its politics right, it affects every aspect of life and life itself. Get politics right and we live our lives in freedom, prosperity and pursuit of our dreams. Get politics wrong and liberty, happiness and property are forfeit and life itself is nasty, brutal and brief. Politics, grubby as it is, is the sine qua non to having a life worth living.
      Examples abound of those who got their politics wrong: Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Imperial Japan, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and Stalin’s USSR were all black holes where life and liberty were trampled. Today we have,inter alia, Putin’s Russia, the Jongs’ North Korea, the Castro brothers’ Cuba and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. And don’t forget the entire Arab world, nearly all of Central and South America, Africa and any place ending in “stan”.
       If you believe the western world is exempt, think again. WWI was a senseless slaughter with 40 million casualties; its politically inept conclusion led to WWII with its 150 million casualties. This was due to a failure of politics in Europe and also in the USA. In the past century and continuing to the present, “civilized” Europe has experienced 100 genocides, pogroms and ethnic cleansings. Vietnam was a  colossal failure of American politics to get it right; it cost 58,220 American lives and 303,644 more wounded. Nor have we learned; we continue to get it wrong right up to this day.

       If we don’t get our politics right, our children and our children’s children will live in an Orwellian torpor with their lives, liberty and property constantly at risk because of obeisance to failed ideologies, fantasies, vote buying, political correctness and the never ending and fruitless search for Utopias. Politics is inherently personal. Following are but some of the ways I have been directly harmed throughout my life by our failure to get politics right.

  • I had no father at home for 4 years during WWII which resulted from government ineptitude in fighting and ending WWI. Father was in Korea, also the result of political blunder, for another year during my childhood.
  • I received an execrable, pathetic non education in government schools from age 5 to 18.
  • The Federal Reserve created economic conditions that resulted in severe cycles, bubbles, panics, meltdowns and deep recessions throughout my life continuing to the present.
  • I was subject to income taxes of over 90%, creating perverse, uneconomic incentives.
  • It now requires $15,000 to buy what cost $1,000 when I was born due to government currency debasement.
  • Regulation run amok made owning my business onerous. The regulations, all in the guise of protecting consumers, in actuality, caused them (and me) great harm.
  • The politically micromanaged Vietnam War disrupted my life for the 6 years I served in the military.
  • The Fed has brutally devalued a lifetime of hard work via chronic negative real interest rates intended to protect a feckless government from the consequences of its ongoing debt binge.
  • A torpid, Europesque economy has been imposed, dooming me to economic stagnation instead of robust  growth.
  • The current crisis of spending, debt and deficits ultimately will result in a lost generation.
  • Our government has recklessly created and/or exacerbated dangerous situations throughout the world by weakening our military and appeasing tyrants. An existential crisis likely will result.
  • Obamacare death panels will ration and deny medical care and ultimately could kill me.
       Due entirely to failed politics I was fatherless for five years and lucky I wasn’t orphaned into a life of poverty. I survived utterly wretched government schools, incessant and severe economic cycles, debilitating inflation, astronomical tax rates and hyper regulation. Vietnam discombobulated my life. And all this was because of a government most consider one of the best extant. And all because we failed to get our politics right.
       Now, in my eighth decade of life, our once vibrant economy is riven by government-created anemia. America has transmogrified into sclerotic Europe where men lead lives of quiet desperation. Government has created a crisis of spending, debt and deficits, one consequence being sustained negative real interest rates that savage my decades of prudence. My final indignity is Obamacare; its rationing and death panels may end my life prematurely.
       Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with me. Our children and our children’s children are doomed to a much poorer and more dangerous future; they will be a lost generation. They will pay for our debt binge and generational theft with vastly reduced opportunity. They will inhabit a Clockwork Orange world where nuclear arms proliferate in places committed to our destruction and solely because we weakened our defense and kowtowed to tyrants. Our weakness invites terror and slaughter for which they will pay dearly, perhaps with their lives. And all this from a government most consider one of the best extant. And all because we failed to get our politics right.
“The correct answer to Alexander Hamilton’s question may be in the negative.”
       As you can see, if we don’t get our politics right, our lives are vastly diminished and trivialized in countless ways; we condemn our progeny to economic stagnation and loss of freedom. Their lives and liberty are at grave risk because we failed to get our politics right. It appears the correct answer to Alexander Hamilton’s question may be in the negative.
       I have tried mightily through this blog to show that the answer lies in more liberty and less government. Hopefully, my efforts have given our children’s children that infinitesimally better chance for liberty. And that is my answer to the question: why I write this blog.
        Note to readers:  I am striving to make the final postings between now and mid-December special as I seek to end my MLLG blog on a high note. I hope you enjoy them.