Venezuelans Wanted Socialism — Got It Good and Hard
In 2016, the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds!
The Miracle of Socialism!
Also in 2016, the socialists ran out of other people’s money …
Venezuelans wanted socialism, and they got it — good and hard.
Chavez started by taking the property of the oil companies, and by the time he died, he was a billionaire. In the beginning, some of that wealth trickled down to the people of Venezuela, who were pretty happy about it — at first.
A few years later, a Venezuelan told me that there was a reality show where Chavez would strut down the street, followed by his entourage, and he would point to a building and say, “I want that one”. His government would take it and give the owners an IOU. At that point, Venezuelans were still pretty happy with their trickle down socialism.
However, the problem with socialism is, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.
A few years before Chavez died, you had to know someone if you wanted toilet paper in Venezuela. Why would anyone produce toilet paper when they were not allowed to sell it for as much as it cost to produce it, or when their business could be confiscated on a whim. Why would workers produce toilet paper (or anything else) when they got the same compensation either way? Americans tried that 400 years ago and quickly figured out the superiority of free markets and property rights vs. socialism and communism.
By early 2017, Chavez’s hand picked successor, Maduro, was using as much force as necessary to eliminate opposition. His armored vehicles even ran over protesters in the street. Of course, Venezuelans could not effectively fight back because they were not allowed to own guns. Less than a month before that, Maduro announced that he would arm those loyal to him. (It should now be more clear what Obama meant when he said much the same thing in 2008.)