Vin Scully has been calling Los Angeles Dodger games since 1950, an unbelievable 67-year run that puts him firmly in the category of legend.
Last week, in a rare foray into politics, Scully, 92 and in his last year of broadcasting, showcased the inimitable style that has led to his longevity:
“Perez, 25 years old, originally drafted by the Tigers. Lives in Venezuela. Boy, can you imagine you’re a young kid, you’re playing in the United States, you’re from Venezuela, and every time you look at the news it’s a nightmare… Socialism failing to work, as it always does, this time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello! Anyway, 0-and-2.”
“Being rich is bad, it’s inhuman,” Chavez said in 2005, eight years before his death of cancer in 2013.
Maria Gabriela Chavez, his daughter, was recently revealed to be worth $4.2 billion as the socialistic Chavez era comes to a bitter close.
Indeed, Gabriela Chavez’s entire life is a story of appalling nepotism.
Strings were pulled to get her a spot in Venezuela’s most prestigious university; she failed out.
Her father alluded to anointing her his successor, despite her abject lack of experience. Instead, his sudden demise left him unable to fully control who his successor would be.
Afterwards, Gabriela Chavez continued to live illegally in the presidential palace at considerable public expense.
In 2014, she was appointed a Venezuelan representative to the United Nations, prompting protests at the same university whose rigor she could not handle as a student.
And, in a twist of fate that would make Chavez – or at least the idealized version of him held up by his remaining supporters – turn in his grave, Gabriela Chavez’s remaining hold on popularity is her social media postings about her toy Pomeranian dog, drawing comparisons to Paris Hilton.
Meanwhile, the people of Venezuela, a country that sits on the world’s largest proven oil reserves, encounter a daily struggle to find enough food to survive. Every product faces shortages. Power is constantly interrupted by outages. Hospitals look like war zones. Days are marked by riots; nights by looting.
Socialism failing to work, as it always does.
The irony is, here in the U.S., Bernie Sanders is encountering the most support for any socialist figure since the 1950s.
And Sanders’ political heat on presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton led during the campaign to something of a bidding war on left-wing policies, particularly as it relates to health care.
In one instance, Sanders, astonishingly holding up the Department of Veterans Affairs whose neglect killed dozens of our nation’s heroes as an example, forced Hillary to endorse price controls for pharmaceutical drugs.
“What we need is a national health care system that puts people ahead of profits and health ahead of special interests,” Sanders says. Drug prices are too high, so just lower them – by fiat.
What Scully hit on, with the subtle fatalism of his mini-rant, was this: the same thing that makes Sanders’ (and Clinton’s) proposals on drugs tempting – human nature – is what makes it ruinous in practice.
We all want shortcuts in life. Wouldn’t it be great if life-saving drugs could be produced for free? A $15-an-hour minimum wage? Why not $50?
But give people the direct power to allocate resources, and they always seem to allocate to themselves, like Gabriela Chavez’s $4.2 billion fortune.
Meanwhile, the distortions of politically-driven resource allocation eventually cause madness and dysfunction in its production.
You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat.
It’s not going to be different when we do the same thing here with drugs.