Thanks to the Communist-Socialist ascendency in Venezuela, what was once the wealthiest Latin American country now has many of its people adjusting to shortages of food, water and life-giving energy needed to heat and light their homes and neighborhoods. Common prescriptions and life-saving medicines are almost impossible to obtain there. Widespread hopelessness has led to a spike in suicides. Can this happen in the United States? The answer is: Yes.
Venezuela should be a warning to all who are mesmerized by socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Socialism, and those who sell it will wreak havoc on our nest eggs and living standards. Look at the buying power of those who have worked hard and saved their money in Venezuela. Their life savings will hardly buy a loaf of bread due to hyperinflation. This is not opinion. Investigate for yourself.
Beware of politicians that promise “free” stuff like college tuition or healthcare or other shiny giveaways in return for votes. U. S. Senator Cory Booker has recently proposed that the government force taxpayers to award payments of $50,000 to poor people as a means of raising them out of poverty. Don’t be weak – don’t take that poisoned bait. If somebody gets something “free” it is because somebody else worked hard to pay for it, or will have to in the future. Think of it this way, you work hard year after year, but under socialism someone else in government decides that you are too successful and that some lazy ass shit is entitled (in the supposed causes of fairness, equality, and social justice) to what you have worked so hard to earn. (Of course, not all people in poverty are “lazy ass shits,” but there are many.) Or perhaps this or that politician and his supporters argue that needy refugees are entitled to the wealth you have worked so hard for and saved. A reason will always conveniently be found to argue why government planners are more qualified to control the assets of its citizens. Your wealth used to be your property, but under socialism, your property will be controlled and squandered by the state. Large scale redistributions of wealth lead to large-scale decreases in productivity – everyone in that society becomes poorer. This increases equality not in luxury, but rather equality in poverty.
To put it in simple terms, essentially socialists put their faith in government to solve societal problems which is done at the expense of freedom and individual and local decision-making. Opposite the socialists are those who want to place finite limits on the power of government. They do not put blind faith in politicians and bureaucrats because history teaches that rulers with too much power become tyrants and abusers of the people. These anti-socialists instead value individual liberty, and understand that the free association of individuals into charities etc. is a much more effective means of improving society.
In 2013, when President Nicolás Maduro was elected, one of his campaign promises was that he would approve an increase in the minimum wage that would be between 38% and 45% by the end of the year. What Maduro and most of the people who have supported him do not understand is that wage increases without corresponding productivity increases will lead to inflation. In Venezuela it is even worse than that – the socialist government’s takeover of private industry and the gross mismanagement of it has led to a large-scale decrease in productivity. Under these self-inflicted circumstances wage increases will never keep up with monetary hyperinflation. Venezuelan money is practically worthless. This has destroyed the life savings of any and all Venezuelans who have worked hard and saved.
Below are excerpts translated from a Spanish-language website. Notice the obviously flawed rhetoric that focuses on the ethical and moral reasons for imposing socialism – the desire for greater equality. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Well it only took 14 years for Hugo Chavez and his socialists to ruin the lives on 32 million Venezuelans.
Bolivarian Socialist Project leaves hunger and misery in Venezuela
Thousands of Venezuelans migrate to Latin American countries in search of better living conditions
Since 1999, Venezuela has suffered from the deterioration of its productive system, as a result of the application of social, economic and political programs that, far from favoring the lives of its citizens, have left them submerged in conditions of critical poverty. This process of economic collapse, initiated by the ex-president Hugo Chávez has its continuation in the government plan of the current president Nicolás Maduro Moros, with its disastrous consequences for the 32 million Venezuelan inhabitants.
Little by little more Venezuelan citizens were added to the Chávez government, in view of the need to live in conditions of social equality … by a socialist model that would provide everyone conditions of social equality.
The focus of Chávez’s government program was based on the full realization of 21st century socialism… through the ethical and moral rebirth of the Venezuelan nation. This restructuring had at its roots the fusion of the values and principles of the humanist currents of socialism. Its ultimate goal was the supreme social happiness for every Venezuelan. (Ahhhh…. dream on….)
In 2013, Venezuelans were overwhelmed by a deepening economic crisis, which has left them unemployed, victims of organized crime, facing the loss of the purchasing power of the monthly salary of families, extremely high inflation and no food supply and of medicines. Currently, a significant number of Venezuelans are unable to meet their primary needs and live in conditions of extreme poverty.
Here are some English-language stories that will help explain what has been going on with Venezuela.
When reading this keep in mind that Chavez came to power in 1999 – coincidence?: