Socialism

Santa Claus Isn’t Coming to Venezuela

Featured image Adam Smith said that there is a lot of ruin in a country, but he didn’t know the half of it. The slow, agonizing descent of once-wealthy Venezuela into a Hobbesian state of nature has been painful to watch, even from afar. Every day brings a new set of disasters, and it is hard to understand why President Maduro hasn’t been strung up from a lamppost like fellow socialist Benito »

The Venezuelan Abyss

Featured image Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University is one of my favorite economists, and he has done some of the best original analysis of inflation around the world, calculating real inflation rates instead of just going by official government-reported rates or World Bank figures, which have defects. He is the originator of the Hanke-Krus World Hyperinflation Table, which found, among other eye-popping findings, that the world’s worst hyperinflation was not Germany »

Venezuela’s Socialists Play Santa Claus

Featured image The latest from Venezuela, where socialism has just about completed its destruction of a once-prosperous country: the government has stolen four million toys to distribute them to poor children: Venezuela’s socialist government has seized nearly 4 million toys from a private company and says it intends to hand them out as Christmas gifts to poor children this holiday season. The country’s fair pricing authority seized the toys from three warehouses »

Sweden: An Argument For Small Government

Featured image Socialists around the world never hold up Venezuela (or North Korea, or the Soviet Union, or Albania, or Cuba) as an example of a successful socialist economy. That honor nearly always goes to Sweden; never mind that Sweden isn’t actually socialist. But it is a welfare state, and that’s the best the Left can do. But the idea that Sweden proves welfare state policies are a path to prosperity is »

The Universal End Point of Socialism

Featured image We have written often about Venezuela’s long decline into poverty and chaos, here, here and elsewhere. Among the country’s many humiliations is the fact that its socialist economy can neither produce nor buy toilet paper. It is, I think, a fitting image of the last days of socialism. Michael Ramirez has, I think, been reading Power Line, and he has created this marvelous image of the fruits of socialism. Click »

We May Be Running Dogs, But We’ve Got Toilet Paper

Featured image We have chronicled the agonizing decline of Venezuela into socialist decay over the last couple of years. As poverty has deepened, Western news agencies have taken notice of Venezuela’s symptoms, if not, usually, the cause of that country’s disease. CNN Money reports on middle-class Venezuelans who come to the United States to stock up on basics they can’t buy at home: Carmen Mendoza came to New York to visit her »

From Voodoo Economics to Voodoo

Featured image Socialism is the real voodoo economics, and in Venezuela, the metaphorical has become actual. Out of medicines, Venezuelans turn to black magic. Jaime Otrupo chanted a solemn prayer then wrenched a chicken’s head from its body, allowing the blood to pump into a ceremonial clay pot as an offering to the gods. At his feet were the sacrificed corpses of a dove and a chick, both of which were beheaded »

Hungry Venezuelans Raid Zoo For Food

Featured image In socialist Venezuela, it has come to this: A gang in search of food broke into a zoo at night and butchered a horse for food, it has been reported. The shocking incident in Caracas has been held up as an example of the desperation of the Venezuelan people who are enduring a severe economic crisis. With looting and food shortages commonplace, it’s been reported that several people forced their »

How Did Resource-Rich Venezuela Become the World’s Most Godforsaken Place?

Featured image How bad have things gotten in socialist Venezuela? So bad that Venezuelans feel less secure than Syrians: Venezuelans feel less safe in their home country than civilians living in war-torn Syria, according to a new Gallup poll. Just 14 percent of Venezuelans said they feel safe in the country, compared with 32 percent of Syrian respondents who feel safe, according to the 2016 Global Law and Order Report. “Venezuela has »

What Black Lives Matter really is about

Featured image The other day I wrote: “Black Lives Matter is not about black lives; it’s about the fact that ‘Occupy Wall Street’ fizzled, requiring the radical left to find another hobbyhorse, this time one with a racial hook.” Now I learn, via Jack Fowler at NRO, that this the finding of a detailed report by Anne Sorock of The Frontier Lab. Based on lengthy interviews with activists and organizers, Sorock writes: »

Venezuela’s new decree

Featured image In his column “Socialism for the uninformed,” Thomas Sowell observed: “socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.” Sowell cited the slow-motion catastrophe in Venezuela as a case in point: “While throngs of young »

The Venezuelan hunger

Featured image If you seek to understand the catastrophe that has hit Venezuela, you can compare and contrast the views of New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey with those of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Winner: Scully. Even if he is clueless about causes, and he is, Casey can see what is in front of his nose. Give him that much. He is stationed in Caracas and he has the requisite »

Cuba Is Cursed, All Right: By Socialism

Featured image This Associated Press headline is priceless: “Cuba hopes detente will finally break curse on investment.” What curse is that? After the Castros expropriated pretty much all the private property on the island, foreign investors have been reluctant to risk their capital by investing in a broken-down Communist economy. Funny how that works. The AP includes a brief history lesson: After he seized control of Cuba in 1959 and nationalized the »

Vin Scully calls socialism foul

Featured image Vin Scully retires at the end of this season, his sixty-seventh year doing what nobody has ever done better. Among other things, he has made some classic calls in the course of a glorious broadcasting career. He may not have ever made a better one than he did during Friday night’s Dodgers-Brewers game (video below): “Socialism, failing to work as it always does. This time in Venezuela. You talk about »

NPR + NYT: A Recipe for Cluelessness

Featured image What happens when a National Public Radio host interviews a New York Times reporter on the subject of Venezuela’s economic collapse? You get a perfect storm of cluelessness. The host is Terry Gross, the guest is New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey, and the program is Fresh Air. Gross asks Casey about the utter disaster that Venezuela has become. Casey understands the depth to which Venezuela has fallen–he lives in »

The Tragedy of Democratic Socialism

Featured image We have chronicled the catastrophic decline of Venezuela’s economy under socialists Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. The situation has gotten so bad that even the New York Times has taken note: “Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals.” By morning, three newborns were already dead. The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, »

Venezuela Going the Way of All Socialism

Featured image Socialism depends on consolidating and centralizing all power, so when things start to go wrong (as they inevitably do), this also is as inevitable as food shortages, black markets, and hyperinflation: Leader opposition party in Venezuela assassinated Venezuelan politician German Mavare, leader of the opposition UNT party, died Friday after being shot in the head, an assassination that occurred in the western state of Lara, his organization said. “The board »