Socialism Never Works: Venezuela Edition

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It is painful to see a venerable superstition dying a hard death.  I am of course referring to the superstition of socialism.  Since the 19th century socialism has had an iron hold of  the mentalities of many elites, and would be elites, in most nations around the globe.  Wherever it has been tried it has proved damaging to economies and where its attempts have been extreme enough the socialist economies prove to be productive only in producing mass poverty.  The latest example of this is in Venezuela, currently undergoing riots, as Maduro, Chavez’s successor, oversees an economy in free fall and desperate protestors take to the streets at the risk of murderous repression at the hands of Maduro’s thugs.  Richard Fernandez at PJ Media tells us how bad the economy has become in Venezuela:

 

The suddenness of Venezuela’s collapse should have come as no surprise because downfalls are inherently abrupt. Collapse is a phase change. One moment something is sailing along fat, dumb and happy and the next moment it is sinking beneath the waves. The change from two to one is a loss of 50%; but the change from one to zero is binary.

So it was in Venezuela. Imagine waiting two years to buy a car and finding just when you thought you finally buy one that there are no cars for sale at all.

Leonardo Hernandez had hoped to buy a new car this year, ending nearly two years of waiting on various lists at different dealerships throughout the country.

Those hopes were dashed last week when Toyota Motor Co. said it would shut down its assembly operations in Venezuela due to the government’s foreign exchange controls that have crippled imports and made it impossible to bring in parts needed to build its vehicles.

The country’s other car manufacturers, including General Motors and Ford, haven’t even started operations this year, while waiting for needed parts to arrive.

Think of not being able to buy soap, rice or toilet paper or order a cup of coffee, where even the rich are feeling poor. “In the serene private clubs of Caracas, there is no milk, and the hiss of the cappuccino machine has fallen silent. In the slums, the lights go out every few days, or the water stops running. In the grocery stores, both state-run shops and expensive delicatessens, customers barter information: I saw soap here, that store has rice today. The oil engineers have emigrated to Calgary, the soap opera stars fled to Mexico and Colombia. And in the beauty parlours of this nation obsessed with elaborate grooming, women both rich and poor have cut back to just one blow-dry or manicure each week.”

Imagine there’s no money to keep up the sovereign bond payments, the only source of money to keep power plants going.

Go here to read the rest.  I am not as pessimistic as Mr.  Fernandez.  People in general do learn, if not most of  the brainwashed elites.  The riots against the government in Venezuela are a manifestation of the learning process.  It is sad that socialism will fall around the globe as a result  of the unending human misery it produces, but Benjamin Franklin noted the cost of learning through mistakes:  Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.

 

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  1. Well, equality is the most important societal goal, correct? To be a truly advanced society we all need to be equal, correct? This is just the true success of total equality: we are all truly equal only when we all have nothing.

  2. I have come to believe that Socialist (communist-variety) has chosen the ideology not to altruistically help the poor but using the dictatorship of the proletariat as an ideological justification permit a small clique of corrupt men who are not true democrats control the political , economic and social parts of society for their own personal benefit. In the case of Venezuela I feel the materialistic personal benefits of the militaristic clique and Cuba’s dependence on oil subsides in order to survive have been the principal motivations.

  3. In the morning my boys will come downstairs while I’m reading the newspaper and ask me what is the “death, doom, and destruction” for the day. A couple of days ago it was Venezuela: the death of protesters, the doom of an arrest warrant for the opposition leader, and the destruction of the economy by Central Planners who attempt to control prices, among other things.
    .
    Hey, that reminds me: The Volokh blog had a great executive summary of the ideas of Friedrich Hayek, contra E.J. Dionne, that might be of use to Catholics who have been told to anathematize the Austrian school of economics.

  4. Imagine waiting two years to buy a car and finding just when you thought you finally buy one that there are no cars for sale at all.
    … Think of not being able to buy soap, rice or toilet paper or order a cup of coffee,

    Perhaps this is the trickle down economy Pope Francis was speaking against. You have to wait for the items you need to trickle down to you.