Worms, Inequality, and North Korea

Possibly the greatest inequities in human history have been made in the name of liberation and equality.

Communism, with its ideological zeal and concentration of power, created a ruling class distinguished by its power and its access to luxury. No other modern society could match the inequities between a small ruling clique of dedicated believers and the rest of the people.

While the Russian toilers experienced the miserable and deadly effects of forced collectivization, Stalin drove a Rolls Royce. While the Chinese people experienced the famine and ravages of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong and his court lived in luxury with lavish meals and wild parties. While Romanians were deprived of basics and worked in deplorable working conditions, Nicolai and Elena Ceausescu lived in palaces and homes that would make kings and queens of old blush.

Today, 100 years after the Russian Revolution, North Korea’s Workers Party rules one of the most oppressive and inequitable societies on Earth.

What did the American Founders think about tax policy? Join us for lunch on March 6 in Pittsburgh to hear from a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation. Click here to learn more. (Art work: Craig Wetzel)

Recently, this reality was laid bare to the whole world when a brave Korean escaped to South Korea amid chase and gunfire. What the world saw was the stark example of the worst inequality. The bullets that pierced his body were the least of his problems as he was ravaged by tuberculosis, hepatitis, intestinal worms, and malnutrition. His diseases and infirmities are shared by countless others in North Korea, whether in prison camps or otherwise.

But these diseases and infirmities are not shared by Kim Jong-un and his court. He and his court live in comfort and luxury. The people are hungry yet many of this small group of rulers are healthy and fat. Google the country and you can see the stark contrast of palatial palaces and prison camps.

Look at propaganda photos and you can see leaders and wives wearing the finest clothes and the most expensive of jewelry. Research the experiences of Kim Jong-il’s sushi chef, and learn of the luxuries of the finest food, alcohol, and homes. This when the country experienced the most devastating famine in the 20th century.

Look at pictures and video of workers toiling at construction sites with rusted equipment and no signs of safe and secure working conditions. And, look at the stark contrast of the light from the darkness between north and south when the sun sets on the peninsula.

North Korea is neither liberated nor equal. It is one of the greatest examples of inequality in the whole world.

Communism, with all of its propaganda of liberation and equality, has reduced countries to the most horrific and unequal societies ever. We can only hope that soon the people of North Korea will be liberated.