See, I’d do the “hahahahahahahaha” bit if it wasn’t for the fact that many perfectly decent Venezuelans are caught up in the current economic hell (where’s that “miracle” now?) that Chavez created.
Socialism ALWAYS fails. (Yes even in the Nordic countries.) The bigger the socialism the bigger the eventual failure. When Swedish “socialism” (it’s not really socialism) hit some very rough terrain in the early 90s it still had some traditions of free enterprise and hard work, the things that made Sweden rich prior to World War 2, and so it was able to mitigate some of the pain and muddle along. For a country like Venezuela muddling is not an option because the country went whole hog in on the economic lie that is socialism. Now it sees whole hog failure.
But Salon said in 2013 that there was an economic “miracle” down there.
Might want to consider the validity of Salon as an economic news source in light of this – and everything else on the site practically. (Assuming one hasn’t already.)
For instance, according to data compiled by the UK Guardian, Chavez’s first decade in office saw Venezuelan GDP more than double and both infant mortality and unemployment almost halved. Then there is a remarkable graph from the World Bank that shows that under Chavez’s brand of socialism, poverty in Venezuela plummeted (the Guardian reports that its “extreme poverty” rate fell from 23.4 percent in 1999 to 8.5 percent just a decade later). In all, that left the country with the third lowest poverty rate in Latin America. Additionally, as Weisbrot points out, “college enrollment has more than doubled, millions of people have access to health care for the first time and the number of people eligible for public pensions has quadrupled.”
When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore.
Oh what a difference 4 years makes huh? Now Venezuela is on the edge of famine.
What Venezuelan socialism teaches us, and really this is a lesson many of us learned long before Chavez, is that one can produce a spike in stats through state sponsored theft (redistribution), obfuscation, and just flat out lies, but sooner or later the market always corrects. Sooner or later the denial of real prices collapses. Sooner or later the misery that is associated with socialism ALWAYS comes. It is only a matter of time. This was true for socialist Britain, and it was true for the USSR, and it is true in Detroit, and it is true in Cuba, and it is true…Well you get the point.
Free prices and see prosperity. Open markets. Let people start businesses and live. Regulate the economy to death and that is exactly what one will get every single time. Death.