San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Monday, February 27, 2017

Economic Ignorance + Envy = Death

I read two fascinating reports about the state of life in Venezuela last week.  The first one, found here, mentioned that, "In a new sign that Venezuela’s financial crisis is morphing dangerously into a humanitarian one, a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food. The extreme poor said they dropped even more weight than that. The 2016 Living Conditions Survey (Encovi, for its name in Spanish), conducted among 6,500 families, also found that as many as 32.5 percent eat only once or twice a day — the figure was 11.3 just a year ago."
The second story was in the Denver Post.  It began by informing me that, "Venezuela is so short on food that tens of thousands are going hungry or even starving.  Its murder rate is among the highest in the world.  Its economy is so crippled that the average shopper spends 35 hours a month waiting in line--three times more than in 2014.  Yet even as the country becomes increasingly unlivable, the socialist government is more entrenched than it has been in years.  A sense of hopelessness, a belief that nothing will really change, has settled over what was once among the richest nations in South America."
What happened to Venezuela?  The answer is a simple one.  Socialism killed Venezuela.  Did you hear that all you Bernie supporters?  If you want to see the end game of Bernie's economic beliefs just take a long look at Venezuela.  The Socialist Democracy of Amerika would quickly turn into the equivalent of Venezuela if the socialists who live in this land ever assumed total control of the government.
According to Wikipedia, "Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías  (28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was a Venezuelan politician who served as the 64th President of Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. He was also leader of the Fifth Republic Movement from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which he led until 2012."  Chavez was a ruthless and self-serving dictator who destroyed the economy of his country by imposing his religiously held beliefs about socialism upon his underlings.  Venezuela is awash in oil. When oil prices were hovering around $120/barrel, good, old Hugo found himself awash in cash.  (He had nationalized all of the profit-seeking oil companies.)  After taking a nice percentage of the oil profits to finance his own lascivious lifestyle he passed on copious amounts of cash to the people, providing "free" healthcare, education, housing and food for many citizens of Venezuela.  As you would expect, he became very popular.  Who does not love it when the rulers they worship give them all they need for free?  Then oil collapsed to $30/ barrel.  Guess what happened next?
With virtually every citizen in the land on the government dole and with the government now bankrupt Hugo found himself in desperate straits.  Fortunately for him he died before things got ugly.  His socialist successor, a tyrant named Nicolas Maduro, continued his policies but with no money coming into the coffers from oil he did not have much to offer the people.  So what did the people do?  Did they reject the socialism that is directly responsible for the problems they are suffering today?  Of course not!  Did they come to their senses and embrace free market economics?  May it never be!  To reject socialism would be to reject the fundamental sinful human emotion of envy and nobody is ever going to do that.
The envy-filled citizens of Venezuela are doing exactly what any staid worshiper of government would do.  They are crying out with anger against their god of civil government and demanding some other deity in the ranks of government rise up and overthrow Maduro in order to bring back the good old days.  The fact that their economy is dead and will not be revived until they abandon socialism is lost on all of them.  Religious faith runs deep and frequently blinds the eyes. 
Former King Obama turned a blind eye and a cold should to the shenanigans in Venezuela.  Good for him.  At least in one case we have an example of how the SDA should conduct foreign policy.  King Donnie, on the other hand,  has already met with opponents of the Maduro government and has taken the ridiculous and harmful step of slapping drug sanctions upon Maduro's vice president.  The entirely symbolic action does nothing but serve Donnie's propaganda interests as he seeks to be seen as a good guy in the eyes of the Venezuelan people.  His efforts are misplaced however as the newspaper article declared that Donnie's actions "could alienate the vast majority of Venezuelans who still revere the late President Hugo Chavez."
The situation is this:  1) Venezuelan's love socialism, 2) Socialism is starving Venezuelans to death, 3) Venezuelans loved Chavez because he was the dictator when money was abundant and 4) Venezuelans hate Maduro because he is the dictator while money is scarce.  The one key ingredient found in each of the items listed above is a religious adoration for the tenets of socialism.  As long as men, following the envy in their hearts, call out to government to steal from the productive members of society in order to give to the lazy members of society they will experience mass starvation and death.  Venezuela's oil money only delayed the inevitable.  When it comes to the real world:   economic ignorance + envy = death.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  Is Bernie listening?  Are millennials listening?  I doubt it.  They are too busy fanning the fires of their envy for their neighbor's property. 

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