As the Olympics wind down, I am amazed at how things change every four years. Many Americans were glued to their televisions to watch the excitement from Beijing, and also heard announcers wax nostalgic with memories of times when the Soviet Union was the USA's biggest competitor for Olympic gold. There was a time when it was unthinkable that a government as powerful as that of the Soviet Union's could possibly crumble, yet crumble it did. The irony is that the strength of the Soviet government was also its weakness, as no country, no economic system can remain strong under the crushing burden that is central planning.
Central Planning is sold to a hopeful people as a way to solve societal problems, to right wrongs, and bring about perfect justice and equality. Central Planning promises you everything you are entitled to. As a bonus, goods and services produced by others are added to the list of commodities that everyone has a "right" to. Suddenly everyone is entitled to healthcare, housing, education, food, et cetera. It might sound nice that the state will magically provide all these wonderful things, but these rosy promises mask a dehumanizing, ugly reality. The other side of these entitlements is that now the doctor, the builder, the teacher, the farmer are slaves to the all-powerful state. No longer do they serve patients, students, or customers. They work in complete obedience to the state, their only customer.