Straightforward questions often produce straightforward answers. That to me seemed to be the case when in a recent interview, I asked Benjamin Powell and Robert Lawson, co-authors of the book “Socialism Sucks” why they had selected such a salacious title for their current best- seller.
Powell, 41, who like his free market conservative economist counterpart Lawson, 52, has written dozens of scholarly acclaimed essays touting the benefits of capitalism and warning of the dangers of socialism, asserted, “Based on the research we each separately conducted in writing essays contrasting free market economies with state run ones, and, based, of course, on our knowledge of its historically documented insidious record, it is clear that socialism never produces anything but human misery.”
But in “Socialism Sucks”, Powell and Lawson go beyond studying data and reading historical accounts to prove the ills of socialism. Rather, these two authors- who as they note in the book have been close friends, professional colleagues and beer drinking buddies for many years -journeyed on a world- wide tour, visiting socialist, former- socialist and semi- socialist nations. All to gain a first -hand understanding of the economic system they deplore.
In May 2017, just five months later, as if saving the worst of the worst for last, the two intrepid authors set their sights on North Korea, which they detail in chapter three, monikered, “Dark Socialism: North Korea, May 2017”.
In the same chapter, the authors contrast that darkness with the illuminated nocturnal skies viewable in neighboring capitalistic South Korea, and also contrast the other forms of relative wealth enjoyed by South Koreans with the extreme poverty endured by the vast majority of North Koreans.