The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Into the Fire

Remember Hugo Chavez, the socialist president of Venezuela? When elected in 1999, he proceeded to demonize capitalism, used rabid populist rhetoric to shore up his political base, and demonized the United Stated in forums such as the United Nations (to much applause). Following his communist instincts he began nationalizing private industry in an effort, he claimed, to help his country and the his people. Chavez was widely embraced by Hollywood glitterati and many on the Left in the US. In the beginning, Barack Obama considered him a "friend."

Unfortunately, Chavez (who died in 2013) and his like-minded successor, Nicholas Maduro, have created economic chaos, massive shortages of everything from food to toilet paper, endemic corruption, a thriving black market, and general misery for many Venezuelans. But none of that's a surprise—it's what always happens when socialism is taken to its logical conclusion.

Yahoo News reports:
CARACAS (Reuters) - A blackout cut power to much of Venezuela on Friday, snarling traffic in the capital Caracas and other major cities as authorities scrambled to restore electricity after the outage, which twice interrupted a presidential broadcast.
It's ironic that the power went out during Maduro's speech. Maduro, of course, would never blame his socialist policies for any of Venezuela's travails. It's always his opponents (sound familiar?) who are to blame. Again from Yahoo:
The OPEC nation has suffered an increasing number of power outages in recent years, which critics have attributed to low electricity tariffs and limited state investment following the 2007 nationalization of the power sector...

President Nicolas Maduro in December blamed a similar power outage on opposition saboteurs who attacked a transmission line with a firearm.

Critics call the power problems a symptom of 15 years of socialist policies that have left the country without a steady supply of energy despite having the world's largest oil reserves.

Late socialist leader Hugo Chavez in 2007 nationalized the country's power sector as part of a broad wave of state takeovers.

Maduro this year weathered three months of often violent opposition demonstrations demanding his resignation that were in part motivated by complaints over shoddy public services. He said the protests were a U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow him.
Why is it that socialism's failures are always someone else's fault? Why is it that those on the far left never examine the wreckage it creates and come to the conclusion that the ideology is flawed? Why is it that economic chaos, shortages, huge debt, and corruption always occur after extreme socialist policies are instituted?

Parenthetically, the Miami real estate market is thriving—at least in part because South Americans (many from Venezuela) from socialist countries are hedging their bets and buying residences in the U.S. If the policies of the past 5.5 years and continued for the next 2.5, and then continued for the next eight, those South Americans may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.