I think that when we discuss economics, we should try to identify where specific policies have been tried and then we should observe the consequences to the people who tried them. Often, in college and university classrooms, one view of economics is sold to students by professors as the “nice” view. The professors, many of whom have never worked in the private sector in their entire lives, tell the students that socialism is the “nice” point of view, and anyone who disagrees is “mean”. Is that the right approach to teaching young people what to believe about economics?
Let’s take a look at this article from Yahoo News about socialist dictator Hugo Chavez’s country of Venezuela, a country much admired by people on the socialist left.
All the lady wanted was some chicken. But in shortage-plagued Venezuela, she waited in line five hours, only to go home empty-handed.
“I got here at 5:30 am and came away with nothing! It is just not fair that you have to work so hard — and then put up with these lines,” said an exasperated Lileana Diaz, a 49-year-old receptionist at a hospital emergency room.
Venezuelans have been enduring shortages of the most basic goods, such as toilet paper, for more than a year.
In Caracas, a cottage industry has emerged with people who will wait in line for you — at a price.
But things are even worse outside the capital.
The problems are staggering here in Valencia, an industrial city west of the capital of this oil-rich country.
Valencia has big factories that produce food and other essentials. Still, the list of goods in short supply is long.
It includes coffee, cooking oil, cornmeal, soap, detergent, you name it.
Chicken is one of the most coveted.
Frustrated shoppers like Diaz are legion.
One tells the story of people who climbed over a fence to get a good place in line outside a store, prompting police to intervene and stop scuffles that broke out.
Another lady shopper shows off a nasty bruise on her right leg, thanks to a fight she got into as she tried to buy disposable diapers.
In recent weeks, the lines of people waiting hopefully outside supermarkets and stores have grown longer in cities away from the coast, such as Maracaibo, Puerto Ordaz and Cumana.
Venezuelan media have reported situations of nerves running very, very high and shoppers coming close to looting.
At times it has gotten that bad, in fact. In late January, one person died and dozens were arrested in the chaos of a looting outbreak at stores in the town of San Felix in the southern state of Bolivar.
[…]In another supermarket in Valencia, a line 50 meters (yards) long snakes away from the entrance.
“We call these ‘holding out hope lines,’ because once you get inside, there is nothing on the shelves,” said Oscar Oroste, a 53-year-old chef.
Oroste said that until recently, people would wait in line knowing what was available to buy. “Now, people are in line but do not even know what they will be sold.”
Venezuelans go from supermarket to supermarket, and store to store, clamoring for basic necessities which have prices regulated by the leftist government.
But some buy just to resell at a handsome profit, and economists say that is another source of the shortages.
Egne Casano, a 28-year-old homemaker, said things are a bit better in Caracas. “I went there not long ago and saw that there is a better supply,” she said.
[…]In the long lines, people digest their woes with a mix of humor, resignation and anger.
At another supermarket in Valencia, a whopping 600 people stood in line under a blazing sun to buy powdered milk.
Graciela Duran, a retiree, got a kilo of it after waiting for four hours.
“I was lucky today, Sometimes I come and there is nothing,” she said.
“Waiting in huge lines is what we do all day, every day,” said Duran, shielding herself from the sun with an umbrella.
A dozen police were stationed at the entrance of the store and around the parking lot through which the queue moved.
A truck drove by and the driver shouted out sarcastically: “Homeland, homeland, beloved homeland.”
That comes from a song that late president Hugo Chavez used to sing and is heard often on government-run media and at official events.
If you’re interested in real statistics on Venezuela, I recommend this recent article from The Economist, which is as far left as Venezuela is, and endorsed Barack Obama.
In socialism, the main purpose of policies is to make the leftist leaders at the top receive applause. They say things that will get them applause from the people. The policies are not intended to lift people out of poverty, otherwise Zimbabwe, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. would all be rich and prosperous. The policies are intended to make the leaders feel good about themselves. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan”. It’s not true, it’s just meant to make economically-illiterate people applaud.
So why do we keep voting for socialism, when we know it doesn’t work?
- How well are Democrat economic policies working in Venezuela and Argentina?
- Marco Rubio’s speech exposing the horrors of socialism in Cuba and Venezuela
- Obama silent as Venezuelan government violently represses democratic opposition
- How well is government-run health care working out in socialist Venezuela?
- Venezuela orders soldiers armed with assault rifles to impose price controls
- An honest look at the many contributions of Hugo Chavez to Venezuela
- What causes Colombia’s economy to grow? What causes Venezuela’s economy to shrink?
- Socialist government of Venezuela announces devaluation of their currency
- Obama’s buddy Chavez nationalizes an American company
- Venezuela legislature votes to nationalize 11 US-owned oil rigs
- 80,000 tons of food rotting in Venezuela government warehouse
- Hugo Chavez confiscates private property as Venezuelan economy declines
- Owner of the last anti-Chavez TV station arrested in communist Venezuela
- OAS report details violence and lost freedoms in communist Venezuela
- Photos from the revolution against communism in Venezuela
- Venezuelans riot as communist Hugo Chavez seizes control of TV channel
- Hugo Chavez says that Haiti earthquake was caused by secret US weapon
- Chavez marches Venezuela down the road to serfdom at gunpoint
- Communist Venezuela introduces energy rationing in 2010
- Hugo Chavez shuts down 34 radio and TV stations in Venezuela
- Venezuela nationalizes Spanish-owned bank
- Obama restores diplomatic ties with Venezuela and Syria