There are a couple of current events that have caught me without an answer. The first is the recent Austrian election that brought the Freedom Party into a coalition government with Austria's conservative People's Party. The Freedom Party has opposed former Soviet bloc countries joining the European Union and has taken an anti-foreigner stance. Its recently resigned leader, Joerg Haider, is on record having praised some aspects of the Nazi era. As a result of Austria's new ruling coalition, there have been calls for sanctions against Austria. Ursula Koch, president of Switzerland's Socialist Party, expresses much of the European sentiment saying, "Receiving Austrian government members is not very wise; it distances us from basic European values."
Europe reeks with socialists. Socialists criticizing Joerg Haider and the Freedom Party is like the frying pan calling the pot black. Hitler's Nazis were horrible people who committed horrible deeds. But Nazi murder cannot even begin to measure up to murder committed by socialists in Europe and elsewhere. Let's look at the tally. At worse Adolph Hitler and his henchmen were responsible for the brutal murder of 21 million people. But there's much more blood on the hands of socialists. Stalin and his successors were responsible for the murder of at least 62 million people. American and European leftist's favorite guys, Mao Zedong and his successors, were responsible for the murder of 35 million people. Recent information coming out of China puts the number closer to 50 million. You say, "What do you mean, American leftist's favorite, Mao Zedong?" Just think back to college campus demonstrations during the 1960s when campus radicals marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao's red book. The fact of the matter is that socialism differs little from Nazism. Even the word Nazi is short for National Socialist German Workers Party. What's puzzling to me is why would Europeans, and the Clinton administration, condemn Haider and his Freedom Party and say nothing about Europe's socialists who've praised Mao Zedong, Karl Marx and socialism?
Here's the second perplexity that's much closer to home. Gasoline and oil prices are shooting through the roof. People are fretting about the effects high fuel prices have on the economy and poor people. Many of those who fret about high fuel prices are the same people who fret about the lack of "affordable housing." Many of those who fret about high fuel prices are the very people who've called for restricting our supplies of oil, namely the environmentalists and their congressional allies. They've managed to place an estimated 16 billions barrels of oil off limits in northern Alaska. They've gotten drilling restrictions in numerous off-shore oil sites. As a result of our environmentalist's agenda, we've become increasingly dependent on foreign sources of oil.
These environmentalists are the same people who fret about affordable housing, but they call for mandates for open air spaces, green areas, restrictions on the height of buildings and rent control. All of these actions restrict the supply of housing. Guess what a restricted supply of housing means for housing prices? If you said housing prices rise, go to the head of the class. By the way, the term affordable housing is nonsense. Send me a picture of an affordable car, affordable vacation, affordable furniture or affordable house.
Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. and his environmentalist minions are now pushing for the elimination of "urban sprawl." If they have it their way, land-use in suburban and rural areas will be restricted. What do you think that'll do to housing supply? We ought to be glad that today's environmentalists didn't make their appearances earlier; if they were, we'd probably be a Third World nation.
Walter E. Williams
March 17, 2000
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