Venezuela

A Tragic Socialist Experiment is Ruining Venezuela

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Credit: durdaneta/wikimedia

City. A.M. Editor Allister Heath has written a great article that highlights the awful situation in Venezuela and its experience with socialism.

From City A.M.:

Food is running out, as are other essentials, even though the country claims the world's largest oil reserves. There are shortages of toilet paper and soap, empty shelves and massive crowds queuing for hours in front of supermarkets. Patients are sometimes having to buy their own medicines; doctors are warning that 95 per cent of hospitals have only five per cent of the supplies they need. The central bank's scarcity index has reached a record of 28 per cent, which means that more than one in four basic goods are out of stock at any time; and the situation has worsened considerably since the figures were last compiled.

The reason? A brain-dead rejection of basic economics, and a hardline, anti-market approach of the worst possible kind. There are maximum prices, other prices controls, profit controls, capital controls, nationalisations, expropriations and every other statist, atavistic policy you can think of. An extreme left wing government has waged war on capitalism and won; and as ever, ordinary people are paying the price.

Heath goes on to mention Venezuela's very high murder rate:

Independent observers estimate that there were close to 25,000 murders in 2013, five times the amount seen in 1998, when the current regime took over and really started to wreck the country.

Heath points out that the U.K., which has more than twice the population of Venezuela, recorded 532 murders in the year to June 2013.

The Venezuelan Violence Observatory estimates that Venezuela's murder rate was 79 per 100,000 people last year. The U.S., which is one of the developed world's most homicidal nations, recorded a murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate of 4.8 per 100,000 people in 2012.

Heath concludes by saying that the situation in Venezuela is just as relevant as the situation in Ukraine because economic illiteracy is not geographically restricted:

This is a hugely important story and yet one which has been covered insufficiently prominently in the UK, partly because we are understandably more concerned with what is happening closer to home in Ukraine. Yet the political blunders and the economic illiteracy at play in Venezuela have universal applicability, and are therefore just as relevant to us than Putin's power grab.

The lesson from all of that is clear. Socialism doesn't work. Price controls don't work. Stealing people's property doesn't work. Chasing away foreigners doesn't work. Destroying the supply-side of an economy doesn't work. Supply, unsurprisingly, has collapsed, as has investment, and that means fewer goods in the shops as well as reduced incomes. Companies aren't allowed to increase prices, despite rampant inflation, so they are not selling at all. It is a spectacularly horrible case of what FA Hayek called the Road to Serfdom. The world must pay more attention to Venezuela's plight.

Ongoing anti-government protests began earlier this year. Today it was reported that a student leader was shot dead at a protest in western Venezuela. According to journalist Rafael Osío Cabrices, the protests have prompted the government to respond "with massive military force, raiding offices and houses without judicial orders, imprisoning civilians in military compounds and applauding the killing of protesters by paramilitary groups."

Perhaps unsurprisingly the Venezuelan government's behavior didn't stop the actor Sean Penn from recently posing with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for a selfie. 

More from Reason.com on Venezuela here.

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  1. What is with the article spam this afternoon, I can’t keep up. I have a day job I have to do too.

  2. A Tragic Socialist Experiment is Ruining Venezuela

    The word ‘tragic’ totally unnecessary here.

    1. It’s kind of like “Sean Penn is an idiotic turd.”

    2. The word ‘tragic’ totally unnecessary here.

      “Experiment” too.

  3. What in the fucking fuck is wrong with Sean Penn?

    1. He likes the taste of real power.

      1. I don’t think that’s what he likes tasting.

        1. When it comes to Maduro-love, Sean’s more about the Milk than the Harvey. He’s a good socialist that way.

    2. The government has a station running Sean Penn movies 24/7.

    3. Madonna fucked his brains out.

      1. There is no evidence that Spicoli ever had any brains in the first place.

        -jcr

    4. Like all socialists, he knows socialism works, but people have to do it in the right way! And capitalists and wreckers have to stop sabotaging it!

      1. Well, shit, if socialism is that difficult and delicate, maybe it isn’t a good system.

        1. Your oppressive capitalist logic has no place here!

      2. “It’s Bush’s fault!”

      1. She convinced him to get rid of his gun collection. What a bitch.

        1. The only reason that Theron and her mother are alive today is because her mother had a gun and used it for their protection. Still she would deny other women the right to protect themselves in the same situation. That is the real war on women.

          1. What does she care? She can afford professional private security. And those guys are professionals, so they can be trusted with firearms. And the hoi polloi can always call the police. And besides which, what does it matter if a few unimportant people are raped or murdered waiting for police to show up? If the life of a single child is saved, it’s worth it.

            And Columbine. And New Haven. Never forget, bro.

            1. What is ” the hoi polloi” ?

        2. If she’s smart she got him to get rid of his baseball bat collection.

      2. Sean Penn is starting to look like ALF with less hair in those pictures.

      3. It’s particularly irritating that she, as a South African, ought to know a repressive, out-of-control government when she sees one.

        1. That’s why she no longer lives in South Africa

    5. He’s rich so it doesn’t matter as long as his feelings are assuaged.

    6. He’s both rich and useless, so he uses this to assuage his guilt. He also has no capacity for reflection or analysis, so he repeats the same tropes ad nauseum without regard for actual results. And then, of course, he returns to his mansion in the US, far from the effects of the policies he champions.

    7. He’s a retard. A lot of people assume he was acting in I Am Sam, but he wasn’t. In fact, the director never even told him the camera was rolling. That was all just candid footage.

      1. “Sean Penn went full retard; went home empty-handed.”

    8. Sean YOU are the record…

    9. Madonna fucked him up real good.

  4. It wasn’t socialism it’s that the wrong people were in charge.

    1. Yeah, socialists.

      1. Boom. I prithee you’re here all week?

    2. Just one more try…we’ll get it right.

      1. NEED MOAR TOP MENS

        1. Can I haz anarchy burger?
          hold the government please

  5. I wonder how long the Army will let this go on? Once enough of their officer corps has family getting pinched, the enlisted and NCOs see conditions going downhill – the South and Central America Special (coup d’ etat) will be coming.

    Of course, too late and too much blood shed before this.

    1. Interesting dynamic over there: a lot of the army is Chavista but very hostile to the Cuban intelligence hosted by Venezuela. The house speaker or something his name is Frank Underwood Diasdado Cabello and apparently he expected to be the guy to replace Chavez not Maduro. He is a nationalistic Chavizta who hates the foreign aid giveaways and Cuban influence he has a lot of military and party support. If anyone makes a move it’ll be him.

      1. Yeah, you can pretty much tell the way Diosdado looks at Maduro, and tries to out macho him in his speeches. Whatever else is happening, those two are in a pissing contest.

    2. Sad to say but they’ll probably just end up with another oppressive regime.

    3. Which is why Maduro called in the Cuban “avispas negras” Special Forces.

  6. The Venezuelan Violence Observatory estimates that Venezuela’s murder rate was 79 per 100,000 people last year.

    Scientist looking through telescope: Look, Diego, another murder!

    The lesson from all of that is clear. Socialism doesn’t work.

    Well, he just lost the attention of the MSM.

    Ongoing anti-government protests began earlier this year.

    I wish I were more familiar with… Latino Street… I’m honestly curious to know what the average Venezuelan wants. Are they demanding more better-er socialism, or is anyone in that country actually interested in such concepts as free markets and liberty? Because from my observing Latin America, it seems to be locked in the game that the enigmatic RC Dean labeled “capture the flag” (an apt moniker).

    One of the great disappointments in my life (now that I’ve lived long enough to have seen it) is people don’t avail themselves of history’s lessons.

    1. Are they demanding more better-er socialism, or is anyone in that country actually interested in such concepts as free markets and liberty?

      I would guess the average Venezuelan wants to be able to do a lot of things like being able to wipe their ass efficiently and being able to buy bread for dinner without standing in line for hours and couldn’t care less why that happens. Hell, the American colonists immediately wanted a king following the revolution.

      1. I would guess the average Venezuelan wants to be able to do a lot of things like being able to wipe their ass efficiently and being able to buy bread for dinner without standing in line for hours and couldn’t care less why that happens.

        I think you’ve touched on the problem.

        1. Wiping their ass and buying bread (or corn flour) is way up there on the list of course, as well as not having to constantly worry about being kidnapped, raped, shot or killed. But from what I’ve seen and heard talking to relatives, they have HAD it with socialism, and are very disillusioned with left wing leaders who either defend Maduro (because he’s left wing) or look the other way.

          The only Latin country to even mildly reprimand Venezuela in the last OAS meeting was Panama.

          Venezuelans living in the US are the best educated among all Hispanic groups, and they are starting to become like the Cuban ex-pats. I even heard former socialist leaning in-laws saying things like “What’s wrong with Obama? Bush would’ve at least done something.”

          1. By “left wing leaders” I am talking about left wing in other countries, particularly Latin American countries. They cannot stand Michele Bachelet anymore, for instance, and are heartened by Uribe’s recent election to senator in Colombia.

    2. …”is anyone in that country actually interested in such concepts as free markets and liberty?”

      Same question I had about Ukraine; no answer.
      I’m afraid in both cases, they’re just griping that the free shit ran out and they want more free shit, dammit!
      Anyone know if there’s a way out of that other than to let ’em starve?

      1. Let ’em kill each other?

        Oh, they’re doing that too.

        Well, then, I can’t come up with anything. What I CAN come up with is that subsidizing their military – what the idiots running the US will eventually do because they wanted to do it in Egypt and Ukraine – is and equally stupid idea.

      2. This isn’t even a new phenomenon. Latin America has embraced Bolivarian Socialism for the past century, and it always produces the same result.

        1. People elect a popular leader who rides in on the Free Lunch Express.

        2. The inevitable corruption that comes with the class warfare inherent in populism mixes with the crippling effects of Bolivarianism to crush the economy, creating widespread poverty and political unrest.

        3. The President (or whatever he’s called at the time) uses the military to lean on political dissent and takes an increasingly direct hand in economic policy, mostly with the aim of giving free shit to the masses in order to stave off revolt.

        4. It doesn’t work, there’s a coup/revolution, and they decide to try a “free market”.

        5. Failing to eliminate poverty within two weeks, capitalism is declared a corrupt imperialist scheme, and we go back to step 1.

        I don’t know what the deal is. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing, if it’s some sort of post-imperialism hangover, or a combination of factors, but for whatever reason they just keep going back to that shit.

    3. The incident that originally sparked this whole movement was an attempted rape on a college campus. The authorities never bothered to do anything about it, so the students took to the streets to demand justice. They were arrested and beaten for their trouble, so it ballooned into what it is today. They have many grievances, but probably the most poignant one is the total lack of security and the fact that 93% of murders go unpunished. These are not Randian objectivists, to be sure. They would probably be considered moderate Democrats in the US.

      1. So it has little to do with shortages, lines and nascent effects of socialism, just lack of basic criminal justice.

        Unless of course the argument could be made that it was ‘ready to boil over’ due to the shortages and other inconveniences being suffered at the hands of a socialist “experiment”.

        Pshaw… socialist “experiment”. That’s like putting your hand on a hot stove to see if it burns you and calling it an “experiment” with hot things that burn.

        1. It’s really about all of those things, but the lack of criminal justice was the catalyst for the current round of demonstrations. If you want a sense of the opposition’s ideology, I’m sure it varies since there are many different camps, but Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate, often points to Brazil as a model. Also, the most recent march against a lack of medical supplies in hospital was framed as an infringement of the “right to health care.” So yeah, definitely Democrats. But in their defense, the reality on the ground in Venezuela is that it’s impossible to forge any kind of popular majority without winning over at least some of the chavistas, which means preserving some of the popular social programs put in place by Chavez. They have to start somewhere.

          1. Leopold Lopez is more radical than Capriles at least in terms of tactics if not ideology. Brazil isn’t a great reference point but you could do worse.

            1. Yes, Lopez seems to be playing Malcolm X to Capriles’ Martin Luther King. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Lopez will keep the base energized with his status as a political prisoner while Capriles strikes a more conciliatory tone to win over poorer Venezuelans. They’re a real one-two punch.

              1. That’s what I see as well, Gahan.

              2. By the way, Lopez has just called on the opposition to be more “irreverent and libertarian”. Hmmmmm.

        2. And doing it over and over expecting a different result.

      2. Tiananmen Square started as protests over subsidized housing. Once people noticed that nobody was coming out to crush the student protesters, everybody with a beef came out of the woodwork and started to protest, and it turned into a massive demonstration in favor of widespread reform.

        It seems like, when you’ve got a critical mass of discontentment, it just takes one catalyst to set the whole thing off.

      3. I think Gahan has a handle on it. But because of the way other Latin countries’ leaders are responding they are getting a very sour taste in their mouths about socialism or any left leaning political philosophy.

        At least in Pinochet’s Chile people could buy necessities and go to work and study without constantly worrying about being killed. But they got embarrassed I think because of his ties with the University of Chicago. So now they have a socialist president.

    4. “Well, he just lost the attention of the MSM.”

      Related note just breaking–Sharyl Attkisson just quit (forced out) of CBS.

    5. I only know one Venezuelan, but he moved to the U.S. He HATES the current government there so he’s really pulling for the students.

    6. I think they wanted cheaper flat screen TVs or something

  7. OT: Day 2 done, all but 1 case settled, my number still hasnt been called.

    1. Here comes the murder/incest/rape/kidnapping trial to save you from your ennui.

      1. All in one? That sounds like a fun one.

        1. Better than the embezzlement trial chock full of three weeks worth of expert CPA testimony.

          1. They wouldnt let an engineer anywhere near THAT jury box.

            1. Or an asbestos case – threaten to commit seppuku if they have you in one of those.

    2. A few years ago I got called for jury duty and my number got called right off the bat. It was a murder trial and when they attorny asked if I could be unbiased I answered honestly and said that I couldn’t because I believed that the two kids were guilty. Needless to say I was dismissed from that jury but was made to sit there the rest of day “just in case”. I hate jury duty.

      1. I think if I got called I would tell them that I spend most of my free time reading blogs that describe episodes of police brutality and everything else that’s wrong with our criminal justice system and government in general. If they still want me to serve, great, but at least they know what they’re getting. 😉

        1. I dont see any point in avoiding a jury. Ive got to spend two weeks on duty, so as long as I get on a short trial this week, Im cool with it.

          Come end of next week…things will change.

          1. I hear some states call you up and if you don’t get on a jury that day, you’re dismissed for a couple more years.

  8. If not for the stooges of Capitalism, things would be great.

    1. Man…I used to love the Stooges!

      ….why I oughta!! Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

    1. At least one person gets it:

      I am in biotech developing new drugs, and this reporter should be ashamed of the oversimplifications in this story. It is not about profits, people. Really. It is about liability. I have worked in companies where we have had to deny compassionate use requests, sometimes from our own investors. The reason is because giving the drug to someone who is near death means that the person is highly likely to suffer all kinds of awful medical events while on the drug. Whether these events are related to the drug or not, the company developing the therapy must report those safety events to the FDA and they can jeopardize the ability of the drug to get approved eventually.

      If this little boy takes the new drug but then has sudden organ failure due to his disease, it doesn’t matter if it would have happened anyway– Chimerix would have to report that a patient developed organ failure while on their drug. That might trip up the regulatory agencies and make them decide not to allow the drug to ever reach the market. If that happened, then all of the patients who would have had access to the drug will never get it.

      Compassionate use patients need to be carefully chosen, and sadly the patients who are closest to dying are those who are usually denied. It is very sad and I feel for this little boy like everyone else but I totally understand the decision. They can’t risk derailing their entire program for one patient.

      1. I don’t think I could be the person making those decisions. Yes, I do have FEELINGS, and they often get the better of me.

      2. “Than maybe aim should be taken at the FDA and NOT the company for allowing the results of compassionate drug use to be included in their research and findings! At least the boy would have a chance and the company wouldn’t have to suffer any negative “points” towards getting approved…
        448 ? Reply?Share ? ”

        It’s like they’re starting to figure it out.

        1. It’s like they’re starting to figure it out.

          I’m sure this attack of common sense will pass quickly.

        2. That’s the lesson I took from Dallas Buyers Club. I thought it had a profoundly libertarian and even randian message. But I’m sure that’s because I’m predisposed to see it, I doubt many people took away the same message.

          1. actually I’m pretty sure everyone got that message; it was a central plotline of the movie. But they might only conclude that the FDA is messed up, not the whole gov’t… in the same way people who really read up on nutrition or look at the paleo-style diets end up hating the gov’t mandated nutrition guidelines but don’t always go libertarian

      3. Wow, people are literally replying to this comment with, “Fuck reason. What’s needed is compassion.”

      4. A close friend of mine was a biotech. I had a class with him and some girl was complaining about how evil drug companies are. Needless to say, she got shut down on every point, hard. It’s amazing how much there is to deal with in that industry.

        One thing I learned from that conversation was if you are ever offered the chance to be in a clinical trial, do it. You will get much better care, the docs actively need to know how whatever treatment they are using is working. And the drugs have already passed a lot of preliminary tests, so they probably won’t kill you.

    2. The company would have to dish out $50,000 per compassionate-use patient, since insurance doesn’t usually pay for experimental drugs, Moch said. And perhaps even more important than the money, it would divert manpower in this 50-person company, since they’d have to handle the requests and then get the patient’s records and follow up with them, as required by the FDA.

      Emphasis added. Love how the reporter (and I’m sure all the commenters as well) just sort of skip right past the bolded part. No, no, no, it’s TEH EVUL FARMASUTIKAL KKKORPORASHUNZ FAULT!!!!111!!!!elventybillion!!!!

      Also, notice how the company only has 50 employees. I wonder why they’ve remained so small? Where have I heard that “50 employees” number before? I wonder…

      1. we need to test drugs on humans without knowing its efficacy and safety profile.

        1. Test them on fiendish progs/socialists first.

          1. Better yet, use computer models to determine whether they are safe and effective. Maybe some of the “climate scientists” could tell us how to make that work…

  9. This is obviously a failure of what is left of the free market.

    If only the capitalists would step aside and let the central planners direct where the goods are to go.

    1. Better still, the Capitalists should step up and tell the central planners where to GO. Explicitly. With pantomime, and an illustrated handout

    2. “Lets see, we have no goods to distribute. I guess no one gets anything.”

  10. How many times do we need to run this “experiment” before the hypothesis called socialism is proven false? Socialists keep predicting one outcome, testing keeps yielding an opposite outcome.

    1. Well, obviously the right TOP MEN were not involved. Otherwise, this would have worked perfectly, and all you free market jerks would be eating crow!

      /mendacious liberal stooge

    2. Hypothesis, experiment, and analysis?

      That’s so quaint.

      Now we’ve got consensus!

    3. I blame the hordes of secret kulaks and wreckers who want to hold us back from the glorious socialist utopia to come in the name of their evil profits.

      1. You left out saboteurs.

      2. i don’t dismiss it out of hand like you do. you are saying rich people haven’t resorted to violence when they feel threatened. that’s not the history i know where time after time after time powerful and rich people have used violence for political ends

        http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7527

        1. you are saying rich people haven’t resorted to violence when they feel threatened.

          Not all, racist. My underlying principle to the snark is that Socialists tend to blame their own failures of governance on the insufficiently impoverished (kulaks) and secret enemies hiding behind every bush and tree (wreckers).

        2. “i don’t dismiss it out of hand like you do.”

          I’m sure you don’t.

        3. You don’t think Maduro is rich? You don’t think Chavez’ family are now billionaires?

        4. Socialism is for suckers.

    4. Today’s Venezuela is a model society to the modern progressive.

      Your criticism that socialism predicts one outcome but yields the opposite is obsolete. Sure, socialists predicted widespread improvements in the proletariat’s standard of living until sometime in the 1980s. But now it’s all about the environment and sustainability. Widespread poverty and shortages are a feature of socialism, not a bug.

      Take toilet paper, for example. Think how many trees are being saved!

      Or food shortages. What could be more effective in the war on obesity?

      Or fuel shortages. Venezuela is doing its part in reversing anthropogenic climate change!

      Sure, the proletariat may grumble. That’s why they need an elite attuned to the popular will and the greater good in their vanguard! The remarkable success of Bolivarian socialism continues to progress under Maduro. Forward!

      1. Brilliant.

      2. You forgot the one goal to rule them all: equality.

    5. Until all the supporters of socialism kill each other. Hitler would have eventually killed all the socialists but we stopped him short.

      1. Hi! You really need to calm down with the violent rhetoric. Since you clearly have no idea where you are or what you’re talking about let me help you out: this is a libertaran website. Libertarianism is a political system that rejects political violence and coercion in all its forms. If thats something that interests you, Id recommend that you shut the fuck up and stop salivating over the murder of innocent people as you have here and in other comments. You might learn something! Hey and if not, you can always get lost and never come back!

        1. Dark humor.

        2. Shut the fuck up. I would elucidate further but I have some Somalia children to murder. Be right back.


  11. Compassionate use patients need to be carefully chosen, and sadly the patients who are closest to dying are those who are usually denied. It is very sad and I feel for this little boy like everyone else but I totally understand the decision.

    Nothing says “compassion” like prolonging the agony of a child.

    1. Nothing says “compassion” like restricting the use of a potentially life saving drug because “safety” and “public interest”.

      The constraints that cause these decisions to be made are purely the result of the FDA regulatory.

      1. system.

    2. Nothing says “compassion” like prolonging the agony of a child.

      This isn’t about prolonging the patient’s agony; this isn’t a painkilling drug.

      It’s an experimental treatment. As such it might or might not cure the patient.

      If it doesn’t cure him it will surely delay or even prevent the introduction of this drug to the US market for the reasons (hint: FDA procedures) outlined in Scruffy’s quote and the article from which the quote is taken. Thus, giving the drug to that particular patient at this time might deny/delay access to the drug for more people in the future.

      The patient in question is a 7-yo who has had cancer four times. His prognosis doesn’t sound good.

  12. How many times do we need to run this “experiment” before the hypothesis called socialism is proven false?

    “That petri dish was contaminated. Try again.”

    1. Contaminated with capitalism, or so I’ve been repeatedly told.

  13. I think Mencken summed it up fairly well:
    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    1. so your worldview is colored by your misanthropy. i wouldn’t touch any candidate you supported with a 15 foot pole

      1. This is a color-blind forum you disgusting racist.

      2. It’s funny how your posts generally read like you’re confronting your own worst fears about yourself.

  14. The left doesn’t care about any of this, because the country is being wrecked to help the poor NOW. The future doesn’t matter.

  15. Dude that is like really insane man.

    http://www.Anon-Works.com

  16. The morality underpinning socialism is still shared by most of the world. Until the world starts questioning the moral duty of sacrificing personal interest to those with less it will never end–or as the article mentions sacrificing the “supply-siders” to the “demand-siders”.

    Dictators and popular politician wannabes used it in a dreadfully consistent way.

    1. Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

      1. can always count on the support of Paul.

        Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

      2. Yeah, but Paul uses altruism, too. Gates can afford to give me some of his stuff because he is richer, and it is right he should do so. But Paul forget about all the people poorer than he is, and who now have the moral right to his stuff. Altruism, the moral underpinnings of socialism is extremely corrupting of everyone.

        1. Funny how socialists call capitalism a “race to the bottom,” when their system reduces everyone to the lowest common denominator.

          Socialism feels good until you think about it.

    2. Altruism and centralized economic features have to go or at least be attenuated.

    3. Charity still exists under capitalism; we’re just not really good at marketing.

  17. The world must pay more attention to Venezuela’s plight.

    But then they might not be able to convince as many useful idiots that socialism is a viable system. Also, they’d have to admit that people like Sean Penn are giant ignoramuses.

  18. I’m curious to see how the derpgressive hive mind will blame this on libertarians. You know, like Detroit.

    1. As PBrooks stated above, (to which I added) the petri dish was contaminated with capitalism.

    2. That’s easy. The evil capitalist oligarchs are smuggling food across the border to sell it in Colombia rather than sell it domestically at controlled prices for a loss like any true patriot would do. A classic case of sabotage. Or you know, economics.

      1. This is exactly what they are saying. Also that doctors are stealing medications from the poor and selling them in the private clinics and that’s why there’s a shortage of medications and medical supplies.

        I read one chavista’s comment that said “when are we going to start locking up these criminal doctors who do this?”

        Yes, great idea. Lock up the doctors for sabotage, that’ll teach THEM!

  19. The Venezuelan Violence Observatory estimates that Venezuela’s murder rate was 79 per 100,000 people last year.

    If all 79 supported Chavez, I don’t see a problem here. They are getting what they supported good and hard.

    1. You really need to calm down with the violent rhetoric. Since you clearly have no idea where you are or what you’re talking about let me help you out: this is a libertaran website. Libertarianism is a political system that rejects political violence and coercion in all its forms. If thats something that interests you, Id recommend that you shut the fuck up and stop salivating over the murder of innocent people as you have here and in other comments. You might learn something! Hey and if not, you can always get lost and never come back!

  20. so, matt, now that you’ve determined that we can be reasonably informed about socialism from the experience of a poor third world country and that crime rates are high in a country in South America can i go back to talking about miniarchism in somalia? let me know, would ya?

    i love the pounding of keyboards in the commentariat… SOCIALISM DOESN’T WORK!! don’t you fucking get it? have you guys been to Denmark lately where the tax rate to gdp is the highest in the world? that place is a shithole!

    1. Somalia; another failed socialist state and it is all the fault of libertarians.

      Socialist is an alternate spelling for idiot.

      1. Suthenboy,

        I’m sure if you go around asking the average Somalian if they’re a libertarian, they’ll say “Yes! Why, in fact, we’re all minarchists, having conscientiously chosen this form of social organization due to our respect for non-violent social interaction.”

        You, just like when you go to Venezuela and ask them who’s a socialist, in which case more than half of them raise their hands and say “Yeah, we vote that way every time!”

        1. Oh please please please go to Venezuela, american socialist. You won’t come back!

      2. I cant count how many times now I have seen some idiotic commenter bust out “Somalia!!” when the word libertarian gets mentioned. They seem proud that they actually can name a country in Africa that they associate with lawlessness. If you ask them to name what form of government that Somalia had for the several decades before it descended into chaos they pipe down pretty quick. It has an “ism” at the end of it, but it doesn’t start with “libertarian”.

        1. Name another libertarian failed African state… The DRC. Hey if Libertarians want to pin poor 3rd world countries as an example of how socialism has failed us I can come up with 10 counter examples. This game is fun. Chad.

          1. Wow, there are so many libertarian states in Africa it is hard to chose!!!

          2. american socialist, you have know idea what libertarianism is. The DRC was way to socialist to be libertarian. It collapsed due to internal squabbling over who got to be more equal than others.

    2. Danes are poorer than America and have inferior health care outcomes. Their welfare state will atrophy just like it is in the rest of northern Europe. Also, they have super flexible labor markets you forgot to mention.

      1. Um, are they more equal? I think so. That matters more than how rich they are. So what if they pay the highest electricity rates on the continent. So what if they make a fraction of what the average American makes in a country with a higher cost of living. EE-QUAL-I-TAY.

    3. “so, matt, now that you’ve determined that we can be reasonably informed about socialism from the experience of a poor third world country and that crime rates are high in a country in South America ”

      So your are saying that if Socialism would have been tried in a country richer than ” a poor third world country” that it would have worked “this” time ?

      Or, are you admitting that if Socialist takes over a “richer third world country” that at least it would have worked “longer” ?

      You know, until other peoples money ran out ?

    4. american socialist, go back to talking about Narnia or where the hell else you think socialism does work. It doesn’t.

      Socialism is for suckers.

    5. By the way, Denmark ranks as the 10th most economically free country by Heritage Foundation, considering all factors, not just tax rate. United States is 12th.

  21. Patients are sometimes having to buy their own medicines; doctors are warning that 95 per cent of hospitals have only five per cent of the supplies they need.

    Venezuela has a national universal health care system.

    Venezuela demonstrates once again that “national universal health care system” doesn’t appear to mean what socialists say it means.

    It certainly doesn’t mean everyone is guaranteed all the health care that they will ever need, no matter what.

    Accomplishing that is more complicated than simply pretending that it is so, once the government claims it.

  22. “This is a hugely important story and yet one which has been covered insufficiently prominently in the UK, partly because we are understandably more concerned with what is happening closer to home in Ukraine.”

    I don’t think that is why it is not being covered in the UK or in the US.

    1. I think we all know. The MSM hasn’t really covered Venezuela at all…

  23. That’s really sad, but I guess it’s not that surprising.

  24. Why do socialist countries always run out of toilet paper, do the central planners not realize that everybody poops?

    1. They consider it a luxury item.

      Seriously. Soviet soldiers didn’t deploy with toilet paper.

      Hey: central planners can’t bother with extravagances while they’re busy managing the entire economy.

    2. Other countries don’t seem to value their butt holes as much. You should have seen the toilet paper I had to use in Sweden. I would have been better off with sandpaper.

      1. The Swedes are a tough ass people.

        1. Yes, they have a lot of intestinal fortitude…

    3. Your hand will do, that or a single square.

  25. Sean has actually been many times to Venezuela so he can see with his own eyes how wonderful it is for the common man there. El Presidente makes sure he gets to see exactly how great it is there.

  26. While socialism is a big part of the problem, another big part is that the leaders are incredibly corrupt.

    I mean, we think our leaders are corrupt. But it’s nothing to the ones there.

    1. I know the thread is long dead but I have to tack this on just for the record.

      Corruption is baked into socialism. Cronyism with the party faithful is the name of the game. You cannot separate the two.

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  28. got to love socialism!!

    1. This is some stuff I want to post.

              1. back to drawing board

                  1. I cut everything I could

            1. this is not suspicious at all

        1. I’m just a human being doing human things

            1. bots have better things to do than waste bits

              1. I am worse than a bot

                  1. at least I don’t drive the bot insane

          1. come out and plaaayyyy

            1. is this the end of milhouse?

              1. ugh, that was bad.. sorry about that

                1. I am trying to be more careful

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