(This photo H/T Prager University)
One country that has done a good job of implementing socialism is Venezuela.
Here is an article from March 2013 from Slate, a web site that strongly favors socialism. The headline is “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle: The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains”. The author is “a senior writer for the International Business Times”.
Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.
What did Chavez do, precisely, that caused the Venezuelan economic to boom? Well, he nationalized private industry and redistributed wealth from job creators and entrepreneurs to the poor.
As The Week correctly put it, while “Chavez’s policies of redistribution and nationalization of oil assets endeared him to Venezuela’s working class” and produced many laudable results, the country’s “oil-centric economy has taken away resources from other areas that are badly in need of development.”
OK, so that’s pretty much what the Democrat party wants to do in the United States as well. Nationalize the energy sector, nationalize health care, etc. Let the government take over the private sector industries in order to eliminate “inequalities”. Raise taxes, and redistribute the money to the low income people via social programs, also known as welfare.
So, how does it work? Is socialism really an “economic miracle”?
Here is the latest from Venezuela, as reported by CNN Money. (H/T William)
Venezuelans cried at the sight of fully-stocked supermarket shelves in Colombia.
Pregnant women, children and even elderly Venezuelans crossed into Colombia on Sunday after the border was temporarily reopened, allowing them to buy basic foods and toiletries — rare commodities in their home country.
Tearful Venezuelans had gone weeks without basic food items like milk, flour and toilet paper. It’s a sad but common part of daily life today in crisis-ridden Venezuela, a country that has the world’s largest proven reserves of oil. Colombian officials estimate that about 100,000 Venezuelans crossed the border.
Venezuela is expected to dive deeper into the abyss this year, according to new projections published Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF forecasts Venezuela’s economy will shrink 10% this year, worse than its previous estimate of 8%. It also estimates that inflation in Venezuela will catapult to 700% this year, up from the earlier guess of about 480%.
“Venezuela’s economic condition continues to deteriorate,” says Alejandro Werner, chief Latin America economist at the IMF. The estimates for growth and inflation are the worst worldwide.
The numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. Venezuela is deep into a humanitarian crisis — people are dying in ill-equipped hospitals and many live without basic food items. Venezuela can’t pay to import goods because its government is desperately strapped for cash after years of mismanagement of its funds, heavy spending on poorly-run government programs, and lack of investment on its oil fields.
[…]It’s all even more tragic given that despite Venezuela’s oil abundance, its state-run oil company, PDVSA, is broke. Venezuela’s oil production fell to a 13-year low in June, according to OPEC, of which it’s a member.
That’s what you get when you let the government take over the free enterprise system, or even when you just stifle the free market with burdensome regulations and high taxes. That’s what socialists in Venezuela did. That’s what the Democrat party would do. They’re two sides of the same coin.
Dennis Prager put out a good video recently explaining the problems with socialism:
Why would anyone prefer a system that encourages some people to feel entitled to what other people create and earn? We want a system that is focused on serving your neighbor – not stealing from them.
If you would like a very brief introduction to capitalism, also known as the free enterprise system or the free market system, then you can watch the videos below, featuring Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute.
Here is the first one, which explains the myths that most Americans are taught about capitalism in school and in the culture:
An important advantage of capitalism is that it lifts people out of poverty. The poorest people in America live much better than the wealthy in Venezuela.
And the second video explains what capitalism offers to individuals for their fulfillment, which socialism does not:
Earned success makes people happier, which is at least as important as the wealth benefit.
We can compare the results of each system by looking at where it’s been tried. Capitalism lifts people out of poverty – all the people in the society who are willing to work are lifted out of poverty. Even the people who can’t work in a capitalist society enjoy the benefits of charity from their neighbors – when people do well, they give more money away. Socialism drives those who work and those who don’t work into poverty, and eliminates charity. No one has anything to share when everyone is poor.
- Do young Americans know how well socialism is working in Venezuela?
- How well are Democrat Party economic policies working out in Venezuela?
- Obama silent as Venezuelan government violently represses democratic opposition
- How well are Democrat economic policies working in Venezuela and Argentina?
- 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
- Explosion at government-run Amuay refinery, nationalized by Venezuela in 1976
- Iran launches Spanish-language TV channel in Venezuela
- Venezuela legislature votes to nationalize 11 US-owned oil rigs
- 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
- Venezuelans riot as communist Hugo Chavez seizes control of TV channel
- Communist Venezuela introduces energy rationing in 2010
- Hugo Chavez shuts down 34 radio and TV stations in Venezuela
- What socialists did to the economies of Cuba and Venezuela
- Venezuela nationalizes Spanish-owned bank