In 2019, a right-wing Twitter bonehead went to Cuba, where he visited a clean, well-lit, modern supermarket. To convey the dystopian extent of socialism, the bonehead posted photos of the supermarket’s inventory, which (gasp!) included only one brand of fruit, televisions, and other goods. The bonehead posted: “Aisles are filled with goods having NO VARIETY AT ALL. No competition. No choice. No hope.”
OK. So, a few things:
In the free market, variety has little to do with competition. Take cereal, for example. Kellogg’s makes 383 cereals, with General Mills churning out 252 and Post offering 215. Eight hundred and fifty consumer options. Three competitors.
Let freedom ring.
The bonehead also links consumer options to choice. Politicians and high judges might attack my bodily autonomy. Those same people might constrain my ability to choose among candidates via gerrymandering, etc. But here in the land of the free, I can choose between 20-plus flavors of Pop Tarts. If I want the GOAT Pop Tarts (frosted brown-sugar cinnamon), I can have them. However, if I prefer the unfrosted variety, (a) I’m out of my mind, but more importantly (b) I can do that! That’s my right as an American. That’s my choice.
That leaves us with “no hope,” the void of existential dread that awaits us when we only have one variety of television for sale. I might have free healthcare and education, but if I can’t choose between a crystal UHD 4K flatscreen with a gaming hub and a 65" curved UHD 4K HDR with LED, what hope can I possibly have for a better future?
At the Second Virginia Convention in 1775, Patrick Henry supposedly said, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" (At the time, Virginia’s population included 210,000 enslaved people.) As USA citizens, we invoke the same spirit when we say—with head held high, mindful of all those who sacrificed for our freedoms—”Hey lib—give me fries with that!”