The limits of human endurance are now being tested in Venezuela. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Venezuela is starving.”
[Venezuela] was once Latin America’s richest, producing food for export. Venezuela now can’t grow enough to feed its own people in an economy hobbled by the nationalization of private farms, and price and currency controls.
Socialism, in other words.
Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation—estimated by the International Monetary Fund to reach 720% this year—making it nearly impossible for families to make ends meet. Since 2013, the economy has shrunk 27%, according to local investment bank Torino Capital; imports of food have plunged 70%.
Hordes of people, many with children in tow, rummage through garbage, an uncommon sight a year ago. People in the countryside pick farms clean at night, stealing everything from fruits hanging on trees to pumpkins on the ground, adding to the misery of farmers hurt by shortages of seed and fertilizer. Looters target food stores. Families padlock their refrigerators.
Three in four Venezuelans said they had lost weight last year, an average of 19 pounds, according to the National Poll of Living Conditions, an annual study by social scientists.
Families are taking turns eating, hoping to stave off starvation:
On a recent day, Mr. Alzolay was frying sardines. To stretch the food they have, a couple of family members skip eating one day to leave enough for the others.
Mr. Palma and his grandson Germain, 11 years old, eat less food to leave more for the two younger children. Germain’s once-thick hair is turning yellow.
“They need it more than me,” said Germain, who weighs 50 pounds instead of 70 pounds, about the average for a boy his age. … Asked his favorite meal, he said, “Arroz con pollo,” rice and chicken, which he last ate in 2015.
Starvation: it is the inevitable end point of socialism. Yet a growing number of Americans want to enact socialist policies here.