How well are Democrat Party policies working out in Venezuela?
Here’s the latest from CNBC: (H/T William)
The government of Venezuela has issued a decree that “effectively amounts to forced labor” in an attempt to fix a spiraling food crisis, according to a new report from Amnesty International.
A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a “transitory labor regime” in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that the government must do what is “necessary to achieve strategic levels of self-sufficiency,” and states that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.
[…]The law is vague in laying out exactly which workers can be forced to work in the farm sector, though it indicates that both public- and private-sector workers may be included. While working in food production, workers will be suspended from their regular jobs. They’ll be allowed to return to their original jobs upon the completion of service.
[…]Under President Nicolas Maduro, the country has been gripped by skyrocketing inflation and food shortages that have led to rising unrest this year.
Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy capsized with the fall in crude prices in 2014, leaving whole swaths of the country’s 31 million people without enough food or other necessities. Inflation is expected to hit almost 720 percent this year, and gross domestic product is seen falling by 8 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, left the nation in a vulnerable economic position by nationalizing energy assets while oil prices were high and spending proceeds on widespread social programs. Oil’s global drop in 2014 left the government far short of its revenue needs and with only an anemic private sector to generate taxes or jobs.
How did Venezuela get to this point where their economy is in such a shambles that they can neither produce nor even purchase enough food to feed their people?
Here is an article from March 2013 from the radically leftist Slate. 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.”
And now we know what happened after socialist policies were such as nationalizing private companies were adopted. But would you learn anything about what socialist policies actually do, in our government-run public schools, or universities, or in the mainstream media, or from the celebrities in pop culture?
In the United States, we ought to have an electorate that has more understanding of economics than a hamster does. Otherwise we run the risk of electing people who will take us down the same road to serfdom that Venezuela has walked under socialist policies.
Maybe instead of giving ignorant, spoiled millenials free tuition, so they can study English and philosophy, we should be giving them a 2 year missions trip to Venezuelan forced labor camps. They would learn a lot more about America and economics from that, than they would learn from Ivy League professors.
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