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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The Failure of Socialism in Venezuela, Part III

March 23, 2023 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

In Part I of this series, I documented the dramatic decline in living standards ever since socialists took power in Venezuela.


In Part II, I compared Venezuela’s decline to the other Latin American nations, particularly the success story of Chile.

Initially, I planned on this being a two-part series. After all, what else needs to be said when a nation does so poorly that even other socialists try (and fail) to disavow its policies.

But I decided to add Part III because of a remarkable report in the New York Times.

Authored by Isayen Herrera and , it actually acknowledges that socialism has created massive problems. Here are some excerpts.

…a socialist revolution once promised equality and an end to the bourgeoisie. Venezuela’s economy imploded nearly a decade ago, prompting a huge outflow of migrants in one of worst crises in modern Latin American history. …Conditions remain dire for a huge portion of the population…prices still triple annually, among the worst rates in the world. …Half of the nation lives in poverty…one in three children across Venezuela was suffering from malnutrition as of May 2022… Up to seven million Venezuelans have simply given up and abandoned their homeland since 2015… Last year’s inflation rate of 234 percent ranks Venezuela second in the world, behind Sudan.

What makes this story especially noteworthy is that the Times wrote another article about Venezuela’s dismal economy less than three years ago, yet that piece never once mentioned socialism.

So it’s a sign of progress that the paper now acknowledges that statist policies deserve the blame.

And I also think it’s remarkable that the article noted that socialism produces a grotesque version of inequality, with government insiders and other cronies getting rich while ordinary people suffer horrific deprivation..

Venezuela is increasingly a country of haves and have-nots, and one of the world’s most unequal societies… the wealthiest Venezuelans were 70 times richer than the poorest, putting the country on par with some countries in Africa that have the highest rates of inequality in the world.

The poster child for undeserved socialist wealth is Hugo Chavez’s daughter, who amassed more than $4 billion of ill-gotten gains.

P.S. In spite of the wretched state of the Venezuelan economy, some nutty leftists put together a “Happy Planet Index” that ranked Venezuela above the United States. I still haven’t figured out whether that was crazier than the Jeffrey Sachs’ index that put Cuba above America.


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