Stick a fork in it, Venezuela is done

Socialists always seem to forget that you need capitalism in order to pay for the socialism.

Venezuela forgot that and now they are finished.

Venezuela no longer can feed or care for its people. Yet many Americans have forgotten what socialism really is. Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns as if Karl Marx was just another Santa Claus.

Real socialism largely disappeared decades ago. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites effectively ended the age of collectivism.

Nevertheless, oil-rich Venezuela since became a flamboyant exponent of socialism. Its travails should remind us how America?s power is built upon a prosperous economy. Prodigal spending at home and promiscuous intervention abroad are undermining our nation?s economic foundation.

Like most Latin American nations, Venezuela never enjoyed a genuine market economy. After years of misrule, Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez attempted a coup in 1992. He failed, but six years later frustrated Venezuelans elected him president, leading to his ?Bolivarian Revolution.? Before his death in 2013 he nationalized industries, provided bountiful social benefits, spent wildly on domestic and foreign ventures, turned the state oil company into a fount of political patronage, and imposed price controls. ?

Chavez?s successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, is no more competent but less charismatic. Today the economy is in virtual collapse. With oil revenues declining the regime no longer can mask its many failures.

Yet Maduro?s government only blames others?political opponents and private businessmen?for everything from pervasive shortages to hyper-inflation. Maduro recently seized private factories and jailed their owners for not producing goods at a loss. People can?t even cry in their beer, since Venezuela lacks the barley and hops necessary to brew any.

In May Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency ?to tend to our country and more importantly to prepare to denounce, neutralize and overcome the external and foreign aggressions against our country.? He said his government?s problems are ?made in the U.S.A.?

It is always someone else’s fault but you can’t expect them to say otherwise, after all, they always spend other people’s money.

As they must do. Hugo Chavez said he created ?21st century socialism.? Alas, it didn?t work any better than 19th century socialism. Bernie Sanders, call your office. America can?t afford to import a system that continues to fail around the world.

Socialism only works when capitalism is paying the bills.


– Cato Institute