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

Thursday, September 03, 2015


Whenever you hear Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or any of the other Democrat candidates for president fall back on proven class warfare memes—"income inequality," a "fair" minimum wage, higher (still) taxes on the rich,or any of the other "social justice" narratives, it's worth considering just how close their comments are to the late, communist Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez. Chavez demonized the "rich" suggesting that wealth is bad, "“Rich people attack me for saying that, but I claim it [wealth] is bad," he is quoted as saying.

Venezuela is only one of the many postage children for the abject failure of socialist governance model. Chavez was an effective demagogue. He convinced far too many low information Venezuelans and more than a few wealthy true believers to follow him to ruin. Once a country with significant oil wealth and a good economy, Venezuela is now broke, shortages of food and other goods abound, and hyperinflation is rampant. Money, businesses, and people are fleeing the country.

But here's the thing. Chavez, like most leftist demagogues, never felt that wealth was bad for him or the connected elites that supported him. As a case in point, consider Chavez' daughter. According to Diario Las América:
Venezuelan media sources will soon publish materials showing that María Gabriela Chávez has bank accounts in the U.S. and Andorra with assets totaling nearly $4.2 billion.

If the claim is true, Chávez’s daughter would be the richest person in Venezuela, a country with industrialists like telecommunications magnate Gustavo Cisneros (worth $3.6 billion, according to Forbes) and food and beverage mogul Lorenzo Mendoza ($2.7 billion).

Those figures stand in stark contrast to the overall state of the Venezuelan economy, which has been plagued by the collapse of oil prices, spiraling inflation rates caused by untenable fiscal policies and massive shortages of the most basic commodities, such as food, diapers and beauty products.
Gotta love it. María Gabriela Chávez kind of flies in the face of Venezuelan income inequality, huh? But for that matter, so do Bill and Hillary Clinton.

It's bad enough that the socialist model is ruinous over the long term—ultimately, redistributionists run out of other people's money. But even worse, the socialist model siphons significant percentages of other people's money and funnels it into the pockets of selected elites. That's how María Gabriela Chávez acquired over 4 billion dollars.

Worse, this is already happening on a small scale in the United States. As big government grows ever bigger, those who understand how to play the game become rich by siphoning off some of the vast sums acquired by taxing less than half of the populace. The poor and the middle class get nothing that will truly help them, but plenty that will increase their dependency on big government.

Richard Fernandez looks at the bigger picture:
For many years, the Third World has functioned as the sump of toxic Western ideas. Ideas too dangerous for any sane person to actually try were boldly exported there. Years ago, a Bavarian friend remarked that the most destructive German export of all time was Karl Marx; far more catastrophic in effect than that perennial rival for ideological malpractice, Adolf Hitler.
There’s something to this. Marx’s disciples like Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and the Kim family have between them killed many more people than perished at the hands of Adolf. Yet after each catastrophe, the intellectuals would go back to the drawing board and try again with the highest hopes, since the inhabitants of Africa, Asia, and South America seemed perpetually ready to be sacrificed on the altar of “scientific” socialism.

One of the characteristics of Leftism is that it always works best for the “masses.” The Vanguard are somehow always exempted from its strictures, as they have important work to do. Individuals who sincerely decry “carbon footprints” see nothing wrong in flying by private jet to denounce the use of fossil fuels. The bigger the private jet, the more credible the environmentalist.

Marxism is full of schemes that are beautiful at a distance, but only at a distance.
"Beautiful schemes" targeted at the masses while the elites remain fully exempt is a common place occurrence in the socialist agenda. Sounds a lot like Venezuela. For that matter, it sounds a lot like most of the "beautiful" ideas and policies proposed by Obama, Sanders, and Clinton.