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There are no formerly-poor nations that have adopted socialist governments and then become prosperous.
A Note on Terminology
The public's definition of "socialism" is vague at best. For a discussion of the term, complete with dictionary definitions, see my October 2007 column Capitalism Is Not Freedom, and Socialism Is Not Love. Here, I am mostly discussing government social policies that involve transfer payments and other government help to individuals and groups (for example, nationalized healthcare); it is only in Communist nations where the socialist "ideal" (and dictionary definition) of having the State own and operate all means of production and distribution is actually implemented – which, in turn, is why Communist nations, since the Russian Revolution in 1917, have always been among the most abysmal hell-holes on the planet. (Communist China has transitioned from actual Communism, as practiced under Mao, to a semi-capitalism akin to National Socialism as practiced under Hitler – and even that limited, partial shift to personal freedom, property rights, and free markets has had a stunningly positive effect for the Chinese people).
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