[Editor’s note: The following note was originally penned by Simon Black on July 2, 2012 from Chisinau, Moldova.]
Ah Moldova… the poorest country in Europe, which just so happens to have had a Communist party majority in its parliament since 1998.
These two points are not unrelated.
Despite having achieved its independence from the Soviet Union over 20 years ago, the state is still a major part of the Moldovan economy… from setting prices and wages to media, healthcare, agricultural production, air transport, and electricity.
Under such management, it’s no wonder, for example, that Moldova has to import 75% of its electricity. It is the exact opposite of self-sustaining.
The government does a reasonable job of chasing away foreigners as well.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Moldova’s economy… and while on one hand they say “we welcome foreign investment in agriculture,” on the other they say “foreign investors cannot own agricultural property.” It’s genius.
The average wage here is less than $300 per month… all while Moldovans’ purchasing power is getting eaten away by inflation. GDP per capita, meanwhile, is in the ballpark of many destitute African nations like Swaziland.
Of course, not everyone is poor. The politicians at the top of the totem pole are doing great, always pulling the strings in their favor at the expense of everyone else.
Since the last election in 2010, the Communists still hold the most seats in Parliament. The three other main parties banded together to form a majority coalition to take control of government.
Very little has changed. The Communists are still a powerful force in Moldovan politics, and the other parties aren’t exactly champions of economic freedom.
They bicker away about the budget, about who to tax and how much to tax, about what laws to pass and what regulation to implement. As usual, it’s the exact opposite of what they should be doing.
Economic freedom… all freedom, really, is not built by passing laws and rules and regulations.
Rather, it’s like what Michelangelo said about sculpting: to achieve growth and freedom, one need only remove the unnecessary stone, underneath which lies the masterpiece.
The likelihood of these guys figuring it out, unfortunately, is zero. And that doesn’t just go for Moldova, but all western governments.
Europe is now taking a dangerous slide back into Communism… or at least steep radicalism. Neo-Nazi parties and openly Marxist politicians are dominating the scene.
This is nothing new. As usual, history is full of lessons from when people have turned to radical figures in tough times.
The French, for example, were driven to behead their King in the late 18th century due to dismal economic conditions.
They traded an absolute monarch (Louis XVI) who wrecked the economy for a bloodthirsty dictator (Robespierre) who continued wrecking the economy, and eventually traded him for yet another dictator (Napoleon) who continued wrecking the economy.
This is the vicious cycle that forms when an entire nation reaches the point of desperation, and we are seeing signs of this forming all over the West. The only question is… who will become the next Moldova?