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Government Watch / Politics

Could Venezuelan Socialism Come to America?

Venezuelan Socialism

Could Venezuelan socialism come to America?  Let’s hope not, but let’s be frank.  Many Democratic presidential candidates and vocal congressional leaders, if believing they will “do it better,” are promoting exactly the approach taken by Venezuela’s Chavez and Maduro.  That approach has produced hell on earth for Venezuelans, who cannot find water, meat, gasoline, safe haven, or even so much as an egg in Caracas.

Specifically, left-pressing Democrats say they want control over the means of production, that is, federal authority over producing and distributing health care, medicine, energy, education, transportation and any other sector they can pull into a command-and-control economy. 

If this sounds radical, it should – it is.  This is precisely the bankrupting philosophy, and specific practical ambitions, that have animated socialists and communists for the past hundred years.  And everywhere this failed ideology, which trades individual political and economic freedom for the promise of heaven on earth through collectivism, submission and centralized control, has produced misery. 

Venezuela is just the most recent example of the same old witch’s brew – conceit and arrogance, ambition advanced by government coercion and violence, raising a socialist ideology over prerogatives and choices of the individuals in a free society.

But let’s be even more specific.  While Democratic presidential candidates and congressional voices speak glowingly of free things for everyone, from health care and medicine to education and energy, let’s come back to reality.  

First, from a purely economic perspective, only the private sector generates income, wealth and revenue, not the government.   Entrepreneurs, skilled workers, citizens who invest their savings in technologies, services, and markets produce things.  They are incentivized by profit, returns on their work and investment, and a better life.  Governments tax, tap and confiscate property earned in the private sector, sometimes for worthy or agreed purposes, but always on the backs of those who work.

Second, Venezuela is a classic example of the witch’s brew producing – what it always does – high minded words, promises of something for nothing, then confiscation of property in growing amounts, loss of liberty, then loss of access to formerly available material items – from food and energy to stable economic conditions and security. 

What happens is that political freedoms and free markets are taken over, opposition sporadically and then methodically squashed, protesting voices put down, wage and price controls  imposed, rationing begun, class warfare encouraged – the rich and increasingly the middle class vilified, and as more become poor, state dependence for survival fanned, expanded and made life’s only option. 

That is what happens everywhere socialist ideologies are promoted, whether by slick-tongued, half-falsifying, half-historically ungrounded political candidates, or by party organizations hoping to wrestle control from the people, in the name of the people.  It is an old game, by now – but a scary one.

So, once again, let’s see what it brought those who were duped, threatened, indebted, promised, cajoled, hoodwinked or deceived into believing that socialism was their ship coming in.  Consult – for reference – the miserable lives of those who lived or live in socialist or communist countries, including the former Soviet Union, communist East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, or in the Far East, China, Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam.  In this hemisphere, try Cuba on for size. 

In Venezuela, you have seen the photographs of radiating misery, and it has been a long, inevitable process of decline, demoralization, diminished liberty and ultimate impoverishment and dependence.  But here are some numbers that drive the point home.

In Venezuela, while misery began in the late 1990s, the descent into hell has just continued to accelerate.  Centralized control, whatever the motivations, can never replace individual choice and freedoms.  The present inflation rate is estimated at 1.3 million percent annually, which means a cup of coffee today will cost the price of a house by this time next year, in current currency.

Put differently, as one recent analysis demonstrated, the socialist economy is unstable, and has spun out of control.  While food is nearly impossible to find, a basic MacDonald’s “Big Mac” cost a year ago roughly $145,000 bolivars, while in America it cost roughly $5.30.  That means that a dollar converted, a year ago to roughly 27,500 bolivars.  A year prior to that time, a dollar converted to 27 bolivars.  And today, you will not likely find a Big Mac in Caracas.

Similarly, exports fell by 67 percent between 2013 and 2016, while imports fell by 66 percent.  In other words, a country – where energy (oil) was plentiful – could not sustain production under centralized control.  Imports could not be afforded and, to preserve centralized control over such goods as electronics, were cut off.  All this was done in the name of elevating the quality of life, while the socialist leaders – including Chavez and Maduro – missed no meals.

Bottom line:  Socialism is a failed, naïve, dehumanizing and immoral approach to life, suppressing political and economic freedoms in the name of nirvana, or the perfect state of the human condition.  Those candidates who promote it are either historically uninformed, power hungry, insensibly naïve, or intentionally deceptive.

In any event, the present state of affairs in Venezuela – an undeniable human, political and economic disaster, boldly buttressed by Cuba, Russia, China and Iran – should be enough to warn any American candidate and voter off embracing socialism, even if they imagine they will “do it better.” 

Could Venezuelan socialism come to America?  Let’s hope not.  Freedom requires individual responsibility, but Americans have always preferred that to being told what to do or told what they are no longer allowed to do.  This is America, not Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China or Iran.  Let’s keep it that way. 

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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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PaulE

To answer the question posed by the author, of course socialism can come to America. All it would take is enough ignorant or stupid people falling for the all too familiar siren song of “free stuff” from the government, with somebody else supposedly paying for it all, to plunge this country into the exact same situation as Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Argentina under Peron or Kirchner or Nicaragua under Ortega. In all these cases, the people were foolish enough to willingly surrender their freedoms for the promise of “economic and social justice”. Sound familiar people? Well it should, as that is the exact same set of talking points being utilized by most of the Democrat party today. Where the government would ensure everyone was treated ” fairly and equally”, while at the same time doling out a supposedly unlimited basket of goodies to the fools stupid enough to vote them into power.… Read more »

Frank S.

The future belongs to the next generation. That should concern every one of us. We are always just one generation away from losing our freedoms and democracy. The generation attending the colleges and universities today will be tomorrow’s leaders. That should concern every one of us too. They are NOT being taught history and they are NOT being taught how to think critically. They will NOT learn from all the mistakes made just in the past 100 years alone. Conversely, they will NOT learn from the successes either. Utopia sounds grand, doesn’t it…rainbows and unicorns for everyone, and free education, healthcare, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line, conservatism must make a comeback in higher education if America is going to continue to thrive. The first step to making that happen is to push back on the muck being taught to our kids and grand kids today. We MUST demand transparency and… Read more »

Morbious

Yes, of course it could, because of the inherent weakness of human nature. If the democratic partys playbook were a stringed instrument, the notes are the seven capital sins. The tune being played now, in this election cycle is hate for their opponents, envy at the success of others along with the sloth that makes it ok to default on loans because there arent high paying jobs available for art history or theatre majors. Note also the everpresent background music of lust and the willingness to kill to undo the consequences. If, in our final yrs, we dont want to see this country on the ash heap of history, its imperative to try to talk to others, especially the young, in order to expose the dems siren song as the infernal racket it truly is.

Dee

yes it can and with these professor spouting this crap, brain washing them, promising the poor everything free and redistribution of wealth that Obama pushed on and one with; Now Medicare for all that will tax the daylights out of anyone who pays taxes, There is no way for that to cover everything they say, nursing homes, assisted livings, 10,000 a month rents on them plus more for others, all your doctor’s care, specialists if they continue to doctor, we already have a shortage coming up of both doctors and nurses, all hospital care…..you know how much that can run….. the government would have to issue us a check to live by. Everything else will be taxes. They will control everything. they will tell you if you can have the operation or not, are you too old for one…death panels. Now in some countries; they took away the homes with… Read more »

Joan

If these DANGEROUS SOCIALIST DEMS get elected it will be the end of America as we know it. Any Country that embraced socialism has
had a terrible downfall. Our Capitalist Country prospers and it works.

Joe McHugh

The false political theory that is socialism should have died out by 1900. The ideals that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels popularized in 1848, were nonsense, and appealing only to those who wanted the government to hold their hands throughout life. For these people, trading their inherent rights as human beings for security and a mediocre existence, is reasonable.

Like electrons, many human beings look for the path of least resistance. When a political candidate promises to work for “assistance” to ease the financial burdens of the people, they get votes. The more grandiose the promise, the more votes are garnered.

That people are beguiled by the theory of socialism is bad enough, that citizens actually believe in
the fantasies of the liberals is something much worse. Yep, our school systems have succeeded in producing mush heads.

Michael cozzi

It’s time to get rid of the garbage and throw it out

Rick J.

Lets hope not. That being said we have all seen that there is NO LOW the democrats won’t stoop to, in their quest to regain power. All of us who know better, must do all we can to prevent this from happening. Support the party and candidates who are for a capitalist society. Talk to friends and relatives about the evils of socialism. If you live in a purple or blue district consider becoming a poll watcher to stop voter fraud. Lastly buy a gun. Why? Because, if the democrats regain power only civil war will dislodge them. With their fear of losing power, they will never allow another free and fair election.

Alan

Most everything the Government touches it turns into a costly horrific mess. Perhaps the Climate Change supporters and “Socialist” wannabe’s should realize and accept that fact.

Bill Bated

Yes it can & will if the Democratic Socialists can seduce enough fools with promises of “Free Stuff” & also forgiving student loans. Almost bound to happen, as we approach more than 50% of people drawing, on some government dole. Maybe not this election, but watch out for 2024!

Pete from St Pete

Somebody smarter than me once said “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”. Given that our electorate voted for Obama twice, we cannot take anything for granted.

Ralph

Free cheese is only found in a mouse trap!

Rick

Obama would have loved to become the king of America vs being president. If the dems get the house, Senate and the Whitehouse, I am afraid we will lose the America we all know today.

Deb Day

Some forms of socialism are already here……medicare, medicaid, federally controlled school systems, and social security to name a few. None of these things existed in 1900. Look at how much of the federal debt they now create. Look at the dumbing down and mind control being foisted on students. We are simply being cooked on a slower boil than other countries.

George W. Spangler

I am just now finishing the first draft of a book addressing the programs of education in the Public Schools. I’d like for you to review it. One of the points I make … I am talking to parents of children in the Public School … is that the math is simple: Take a country once second only to Great Briton as an economic power and get elected by promising a better life. Publish this message to the labor force producing beef as a major export and have them promise to come in and vote. They leave their work station. Now the simple math plan is easy to grasp … every worker who leaves the field and comes to the city does so because of the promise of money. That produces one less person to tend to the cows. Now instead of exporting beef, they import beef which only the… Read more »

Rosetta

I appreciate that AMAC is sharing this. We are in grave danger of this very thing.

Harold D Fleming

Two point that need to be made. The Dems have the highest form of arrogance to think they can make something work that no one in history has been able to make work. The second point is that a study of history of any country where this has been tried it is only applied to the general public, not the elected leaders and their pals. It is just like the present, government leaders have their only insurance program and are exempted from what they want for average people. They have own retirement plan and they exempt themselves from many of the laws the pass on us. If they have their way they will not suffer, just you and me.

dino

If socialism came to AMERICA it would destroy this country.It could happen because of these idiots that are looking for a free ride.Someone should tell the idiots that nothing is free,somebody has to pay and it will end up being the people that still have to work for a living.Eventually these freeloaders will have to get off of their lazy butts and contribute.

David Sasse

I hope all of the Democrat readers are listening before it is too late for our country. It always begins with the takeover of health care because the promises sound great, then when all other options are eliminated, the long waits for care, elimination of new and better therapies and medicines, and massive cutbacks of physicians and care givers all come about.

Greg Russell

Socialism cannot come to the United States, IF we demand that the Constitution be honored. Gun control cannot be furthered in the United States IF we have the resolve to stand up, and demand the Constitution be honored. Apathy and ignorance are causing the Republic to crumble. Saving it wont be easy, it wont be pain-free, but it can be done.