Ron Paul: Africa has famines because they aren't capitalist enough

Here's presidential candidate Ron Paul on CNN responding to a follow-up question to one of the more controversial moments from last week's debate, when Wolf Blitzer asked him if he would let a hypothetical patient without health insurance die:

"All I know is if you look at history and if you compare good medical care and you compare famine, the countries that are more socialistic have more famines," Paul told CNN's T.J. Holmes. "If you look at Africa, they don't have any free market systems and property rights and they have famines and no medical care. So the freer the system, the better the health care."

This is, to put it mildly, something of a non-sequitur. He was asked about healthcare mandates and replied with an answer about food shortages.

In any case, there's an argument to be made about the difficulty centrally planned economies have in responding to famines, but it seems pretty out of touch with the current state of affairs in East Africa. There are a lot of words to describe the political situation in famine-wracked Somalia, but socialist ain't one of them. The country hasn't had a functioning government since 1991.  

Hat tip: Chris Blattman


Friday Photo: La Dolce Ganesha

Indian Hindu devotees prepare to immerse an idol of the elephant-headed Hindu God Ganesh into the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad on September 11, 2011. Hindu devotees bring home and offer prayers in temporary temples built for idols of Lord Ganesha in order to invoke his blessings for wisdom and prosperity during the ten-day Ganesha Festival, culminating with the immersion of the idols in bodies of water, including the ocean.