How Socialism Collapsed Venezuela and Why You Should Care

There is simply no debating that the situation in Venezuela is vile. Half of some people’s income is spent on toilet paper alone. The economic destruction of this nation was brought about by a series of policy mistakes from the President Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela is one of the most natural resource-rich areas in the western hemisphere and is home to nearly the most optimal farming weather year-round. Prior to the socialist overhaul of Venezuela, it was the richest country in South America. Now it is home to multi thousand dollar inflation rates every year, lines for thinly stocked grocery shelves, and corrupt State officials who exploit their power for personal gain.

The policies that made this country the disaster it has come to be are ridiculous minimum wage laws, guaranteed rights to things like food and healthcare, and government ownership of multiple industries in which it proved far too incompetent to run efficiently.

You should feel sorry for the people of Venezuela.  You should feel contempt for the powers that be that oppress them. There are many things a reasonable person should feel about this. Above all, however, you should feel afraid.

What should scare you is that the same sorts of things that brought the destitution of Venezuela are being proposed right here at home.

A doubling of the minimum wage, huge tax increases, mass redistributions, State takeovers of the healthcare industry, and overall increases in State power are all being demanded in The United States today. To demonstrate the prevalence of these ideas, here are a few instances of calls for these things:

“Hard work deserves a living wage. After 8 years, its time to #raisethewage.” – Nancy Pelosi

“We will not rest until every worker in America has the fundamental right to make at least $15 an hour.” – Bernie Sanders

“In this country we should not be throwing millions off of health insurance. We should be guaranteeing health care for all as a right.” –Bernie Sanders

“C’mon California-as the US Senate prepares to destroy the lives of 50 million Americans, lead the way on single-payer universal health care.”  –Michael Moore

As if that wasn’t enough, here are some examples of people praising the State of Venezuela shortly before the socialist collapse:

“Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world.”  –James Corbyn

“Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all. ” –Michael Moore

This is similar rhetoric to that heard in socialist nations time and time again before a totalitarian State is brought to the world. The USSR, Nazi Germany, Cuba and Maoist China are a few examples of oppressive States born of the same sort of rhetoric we hear today from those who purport to care about the poor. This is a warning siren to look past the idealist words and see the true results of these ideas. We can stop history dead in its tracks from repeating itself if we open ourselves up to the ideas of limited government, economic and personal liberty and Austrian economics. Hear the voice of reason, reject the voice of tyrants.