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Communism's Poor Rewards

By Editorial Staff
Published October 1, 1988

WASHINGTON, DC (FR) – A new book about the flaws of Marxist ideology has caught the attention of policy leaders in the nation’s capital, primarily because it uses facts and demographic statistics to prove that communism promotes poverty, poor health, and a myriad of other social problems.

The Poverty of Communism was written by Nick Eberstadt, a specialist in demographics and economic development at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. With a series of carefully analyzed statistics on health care, nutrition, and education, Eberstadt reports on the quality of life in the most established communist powers: the Soviet Union, its East European clients, Mongolia, Cuba, and Vietnam.

Eberstadt says that Americans often hear about the utopian goals of communism, but are never told of the horrible realities of life in all communist nations. This situation is made worse by the fact that communist governments do not admit their problems. In fact, it has only been in the last few years that the Soviets have admitted the occurrence of natural disasters within their country.

Life expectancy averages and infant mortality rates are especially alarming in communist countries. “Measured by the health of its people,” writes the author, “the Soviet Union is no longer a developed nation. There is not a single country in all of Europe, in fact, in which lives are so short, or babies’ death rates so high – not even in impoverished, half-civilized Albania. In the realm of health, the Soviet Union’s peers are to be found in Latin America and Asia.”

Eberhardt’s previous books are on the same subject: Poverty in China and Fertility Decline in the Less Developed Countries. His latest appears to be another contribution to the pile of mounting evidence against Marxism, and should serve to steer those of us in the Free World away from statist policies.


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