December 23, 2006


Economic disaster is ahead in Venezuela (GEORGE MICHAEL, 12/24/06, Herald-Mail)

Chavez's soul mates can be found in Iran and Syria. He sees Fidel Castro as his spiritual father and the Cuban revolution as his inspiration. Really? Has he visited Cuba lately? Is Socialism working there? Has it ever worked anywhere?

Socialism violates both human nature and the laws of economics. You can't go for very long by confiscating economic capital and passing it out to the poor. The rich will quit being productive and soon everyone is poor.

Suppose that I am a professor with a large class of students. After an exam, I bemoan the fact that even though the median grade was an 80, a number of students had failed the test. I then announce that for future tests, to make sure we have no failures and that the class average is 70 or above, I will take 15 to 20 points from the scores of the successful students and transfer these points to any student who failed so that everyone would be passing.

With a little liberal guilt manipulation, I might even be able to convince the "A" students that this is the right thing to do. The question then is: What would be the median score on the next test? Would it stay at 80? Or would it decline? What would be the impact of this decree on the more productive students? And on the lower achieving ones?

Socialism contradicts human nature. It destroys incentive. Citizens eventually feel that it is up to someone else to provide for their needs. Personal responsibility becomes a meaningless concept and private property rights are viewed as prerogatives of the state.

Socialism violates the basic economic law of supply and demand. It creates a huge amount of artificial demand by promising free food or easy money while discouraging productive citizens from producing anything extra. In other words, more demand and less supply. The state then dictates what the prices of goods and services will be, since an economic market is no longer functioning. Without exception, such controls lead to shortages. This is what is ahead in Venezuela.

Socialism sometimes looks and sounds good in the short run. But invariably, as night follows day, it destroys any nation and any people which succumb to its siren call of materialism.

Expect to see Chavez, if he has not already done so, erecting huge pictures of himself. Emperor worship is nothing new. Tyrants like Chavez need to invest "deity" in their persona so that people will be less inclined to notice their diminished standard of living. As happens in such cases, Chavez has already announced that he will need to suspend future elections in order to continue his enlightened rule. This is called dictatorship and it is not pretty.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2006 8:34 PM
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