Venezuela is a disaster.
Yet 20 years ago, it was the wealthiest country in Latin America. It still has the world’s biggest oil reserves. It should be a happy and prosperous nation.
But then Venezuela went socialist. Democratic socialist to be exact. They voted for it. Hugo Chavez promised the poor “social and economic reforms.” The majority of voters believed him.
So did many American leftists.
Model Naomi Campbell traveled to Venezuela to give Chavez a hug. She called him “a rebel angel.”
Michael Moore said that Chavez used oil money to “eliminate 75 percent of extreme poverty.”
But now that the socialists created much more extreme poverty, I would think that progressives would realize that democratic socialism is not the route to paradise.
But no, nothing convinces a dedicated socialist—or much of the media.
A popular Vox video titled “The collapse of Venezuela, explained” never once mentions socialism. Instead, it says Venezuela collapsed because “oil prices plummeted in 2014 and Maduro failed to adjust.”
“Blaming socialism for Venezuela’s riches to rags story is grossly misleading,” said Al Jazeera anchor Ryan Kohls.
Venezuela didn’t collapse because of socialism, added comedian John Oliver. “It’s a story about epic mismanagement.”
But mismanagement is what happens under socialist governments. It always happens.
That’s because no group of central planners is wise enough to manage an entire economy. Even if they have good intentions, socialists eventually run out of other people’s money.
In Venezuela, the solution was to print more money. That caused massive inflation.
When businesses raised prices to try to keep up with inflation, Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro called that “profiteering” and punished many by confiscating their businesses.
The socialists claimed they would run those businesses better than greedy capitalists could because they weren’t obsessed with profits. Without the “excess” profits, prices would be lower and more money would go to the poor.
But pursuit of profit is what makes an economy work! I’d think the collapse of nations such as Venezuela, China, Russia, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Cuba would have taught the socialists that. But no.
In America, progressives claim that socialism is succeeding in much of Europe. John Oliver claims, “There are plenty of socialist countries that look nothing like Venezuela.”