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Venezuela socialism

Venezuela: The incredible legacy of an experiment with socialismVenezuela: The incredible legacy of an experiment with socialism.  Here’s the legacy of Venezuela’s experiment with socialism: daily riots and protests that have resulted in at least 40 deaths in recent weeks at the hands of government security forces. Inflation estimated at 720 percent. Shortages of basic foods and medicines. An average weight loss among Venezuelans of 19 pounds, which had nothing to do with the South Beach diet. Newborn babies deposited in dresser drawers because hospitals have no beds. Zoo animals hunted down and butchered for food by the ravenous population.

Finally, this week, and only at the urging of the United States, the United Nations is considering the desperate situation in what was once South America’s most prosperous country, before socialism sank its fangs in, sucking the economy dry.

President Nicholas Maduro, a political stooge who assumed power after the death of the charismatic but egomaniacal Hugo Chavez, was forced earlier this year to ask the U.N. for emergency aid, an admission of his inability to keep his people fed and secure. And to show what a powerful institution it is, the U.N. took away Venezuela’s vote in the General Assembly because it could not pay its dues. Maduro must have been quaking with fear. When the Organization of American States criticized Maduro’s response to the unrest, he took decisive action – he pulled Venezuela out of the OAS.

Maduro’s response has been like that of the Emperor with no clothes. He blames his opponents for inciting violence. This from the man who – for now anyway – control the armed forces. The demonstrators have taken to hurling glass jars filled with feces, coined “poopatov cocktails”, at the troops. Not exactly a strategic balance of force.

A human rights monitoring group, Foro Penal, alleges that, perhaps in retaliation, political detainees in the western part of the country are forced to eat spaghetti with a sauce made of human waste.

The near-daily riots have turned deadly in recent weeks, as Maduro’s forces, propped up by Cuban security, resort to live ammunition against their fellow citizens. As my colleague at the Wall Street Journal Anatoly Kurmanaev reported this week from Caracas, the police are weary of killing their neighbors. Their support for Maduro – the only reason he is still in power – diminishes with each deadly demonstration.

“A lot of Venezuelans have become radicalized because they’re desperate,” Kurmanaev told me. “There’s no going back to how things were two months ago. Something is going to change. This is the final chapter of Venezuelan history, one way or another. Either Maduro will cement his rule by dictatorship, or there’ll be some kind of transitional government. It can’t continue like this.”

For many aggrieved Venezuelans, that choice is an easy one.

John Moody is Executive Vice President, Executive Editor for Fox News. A former Rome bureau chief for Time magazine, he is the author of four books including “Pope John Paul II : Biography.”

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  • LM

    They are too stupid to know the cause of their collapse (those that do know already headed to FL… long ago). They are fully capable of embracing a bigger dose of statism (communism) as a solution to their misery under Chavez’ Bolivarian Socialism. Like the hung over drunk who takes some hair of the dog next morning.

    Americans are fast approaching the same mental state, still far from a majority but significant. The faces of Chavez’s Bolivarian Socialism in America are clearly visible……Obama (Dreams From My Father), Hillary (It Takes a Village), Bernie, Elizabeth, Maxine, Nancy….. We are on the way man, same shit as Chavez, elective socialism, but slower because unlike Venezuela we do not have a long history of caudillo rulers and still respect elections…..sorta…for now.

    The problem with a failing government in the Southern hemisphere is they are ripe for invasion of China Russia Iran influence. When an entire nation is starving the people will do anything to feed their families. Riots, anarchy revolution aka liberalism rules which is what the goal of the vast left wing conspiracy taking place here.

  • What is socialism? We miss the boat if we say it’s the agenda of those left-wingers and Democrats. According to Marxist doctrine, socialism is a stage of society between capitalism and communism where private ownership and control over property is eliminated. The essence of socialism is the attenuation and ultimate abolition of private property rights. Attacks on private property include, but are not limited to, confiscating the rightful property of one person and giving it to another to whom it doesn’t belong. When this is done privately we call it theft. When it’s done collectively we use the euphemisms: income transfers or redistribution. It’s not just left-wingers and Democrats who call for and admire socialism but right-wingers and Republicans as well.

    Republicans and right-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to farmers, banks, airlines and other failing businesses. Democrats and left-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to poor people, cities, and artists. Both agree on taking one American’s earnings to give to another; they simply differ on the recipients. This kind of congressional activity constitutes at least two-thirds of the federal budget.

    Regardless of the purpose such behavior is immoral. It’s a reduced form of slavery. After all what is the essence of slavery? It’s the forceful use of one person to serve the purposes of another person. When Congress, through the tax code, takes the earnings of one person and turns around to give it to another person in the forms of prescription drugs, social security, food stamps, farm subsidies or airline bailouts, it is forcibly using one person to serve the purposes of another.

    The moral question stands out in starker relief when we acknowledge that those spending programs coming out of Congress do not represent lawmakers reaching into their own pockets and sending out the money. Moreover, there’s no Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus giving them the money. The fact that government has no resources of its very own forces us to acknowledge that the only way government can give one American a dollar is to first through intimidation, threats and coercion take that dollar from some other American.

    Some might rejoin that all of this is a result of a democratic process and it’s legal. Legality alone is no guide for a moral people. There are many things in this world that have been, or are, legal but clearly immoral. Slavery was legal. Did that make it moral? South Africa’s apartheid, Nazi persecution of Jews, Stalinist and Maoist purges were all legal but did that make them moral?

    Can a moral case be made for taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong? I think not. That’s why socialism is evil. It uses evil means (coercion) to achieve what are seen as good ends (helping people). We might also note that an act that is inherently evil does not become moral simply because there’s a majority consensus.

    An argument against legalized theft should not be construed as an argument against helping one’s fellow man in need. Charity is a noble instinct; theft legal or illegal is despicable. Or, put another way: reaching into one’s own pocket to assist his fellow man is noble and worthy of praise. Reaching into another person’s pocket to assist one’s fellow man is despicable and worthy of condemnation.

    For the Christians among us, socialism and the welfare state must be seen as sinful. When God gave Moses the commandment “Thou shalt not steal”, I’m sure He didn’t mean thou shalt not steal unless there’s a majority vote. And, I’m sure that if you asked God if it’s okay just being a recipient of stolen property, He would deem that a sin as well.

  • LM

    They don’t have any choice, Ms. Munnell. The retirement age has to increase……68, 69, 70.

    FICA payroll taxes must increase, the rate and certainly the maximum earnings to which they extract the FICA tax.

    Benefits must be “means tested”: If you have saved up substantial dough for your income in your retirement, you don’t “need” and therefore don’t receive Social Security….even if you have paid in maximum FICA tax for 40 years. That’s what means testing means, aka “from each according to his abilities…to each according to his needs”. Mechanisms for this can be reduced Social Security benefits paid…..or tax away the benefits received when one’s total income is high on the 1040. Or a net worth test to determine if one has “means”.

    They also will have to resort to printing press money to cover the burgeoning Social Security benefits coming due and exacerbating the national deficits and debt. That funny money causes inflation and thus inflates away some of the future Social Security benefits in real purchasing-power terms (also erodes the value of the people’s own savings if held in that funny money the Fed prints).

    Has to be some combination/mix of the above measures Ms. Munnell. Count on it.

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