The Soviet Prosperity Argument

You often hear, from libertarian types and others, that America has never been richer, never been safer, never has it had so little poverty. Nothing to worry about, they say, all the doomer-type rhetoric from the far-Left and the far-Right is nonsensical.

Someone in the Soviet Union in 1970 could have made a similar argument. The peasants and workers have never been better off! And it is true, the Soviet people were better off than they were in 1917 by average incomes, literacy rates, ect. But it misses the point, as the Soviet Union’s economy of 1970 was nowhere near the level of it’s potential. Anatoly Karlin has written about this.

Americans are richer than ever before. We live longer than ever before. We’re less likely to die in car accidents. Our probability of being murdered is about equal to it was in the 1950s. But is our current situation the best it could be? Could America have gone in a different direction in the 1950s and wound up in a much better place? With all the advances in police procedure, better communication and record keeping, DNA evidence, mass surveillance, and with advances in medicine meaning people who get shot are much more likely to survive, shouldn’t the murder rate be a lot lower than it was in the 1950s?

I do think that some in the alt-Right are being too pessimistic about the future of America. They say that a White minority America will inevitably be part of the “third world.” A nation that is 48% White and 9% East Asian won’t be part of the third world. There will still be many intelligent, creative people to move its economy forward. Technology will alleviate some of the problems created by demographic change and cultural decline. Laziness? Robots will pick up the slack. Crime? Mass surveillance will make catching criminals easier. Corruption? Computers will make spotting it easier. STDs? Medicine will improve. No, America won’t be part of third world. But it will be a second-rate country. It will not have lived up to the potential it had in 1955, when it had virtually every advantage a country could ask for.

This entry was posted in Crime, Economics. Bookmark the permalink.