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

Friday, November 30, 2018

Venezuela-Revisited Yet Again

It's always fun to compare the fantasy claims of wizened socialists like Bernie Sanders or light-weight newbies like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez against reality. Socialists propose a utopian country that provides free medical care, free college, student loan forgiveness, a centrally controlled economy in which the government keeps rapacious capitalists under control, a living wage or even better, a guaranteed income, and lots and lots of other free stuff. The "woke" will dominate the "deplorables" in this utopia, and the deplorables will quickly learn the error of their ways ... or maybe not.

Every six months or so I revisit the socialist utopia in our neighborhood—Venezuela. Here's an excerpt from an article direct from The New York Times, a media source that loves, loves, loves both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez:
CARACAS — Venezuela's economy shrank by 29.8 percent in the third quarter compared with the year-ago period, the opposition-controlled congress said in a report on Wednesday, as the five-year long recession deepened.

That was a sharper deceleration than the OPEC nation's 16.6 percent contraction in 2017, according to preliminary data compiled by the country's central bank. The economy has been in freefall since oil prices collapsed in 2014, quickening the unravelling of an already-faltering socialist system.

"Hyperinflation, the fall in oil production and the lack of confidence in the economic model are the reasons for the economy's disastrous behaviour," said opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado ...

More than 3 million people have left the country since 2015 as it faces shortages of basic goods like food and medicine and hyperinflation that the IMF expects to reach 1 million percent this year.

President Nicolas Maduro blames the country's economic woes on U.S. sanctions and an "economic war" being waged by the South American country's business elite.
Unlike the manner in which they editorialize straight news articles when the Trump administration's economic successes are reported, it seems that the NYT is incapable of commenting on the total economic and social collapse of Venezuela's socialist utopia. No comment on what "lack of confidence in the economic model" implies. The economic model, by the way, is perilously close to the one proposed by Bernie and Alexandra. No comment on how Maduro's claim that it's all the fault of the United States is patent B.S. The NYT refuses to conclude that the socialist model in Venezuela has created massive human suffering that is so bad that 3 million people simply left (BTW, that's 10 percent of the population!). Guess those immigrants didn't get "woke" enough.

There's the socialist fantasy proposed by Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez and the socialist reality implemented by Maduro. When fantasy collides with reality ... reality (no matter how awful) wins every time.