John Stossel

Stossel: Venezuela Is Socialism

Media personalities claim socialism didn't cause Venezuela's collapse, but it did. Here's how.

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As Venezuela collapses, many people say, "don't blame socialism."

"Blaming socialism for Venezuela's riches to rags story is grossly misleading," an Al Jazeera reporter claims.

John Oliver claims: "If you follow conservative media at all you might have seen it frequently painted as the inevitable dire consequences of a socialist government." Oliver blames it instead on "epic mismanagement."

But John Stossel says: "Mismanagement is what happens under socialist governments. It always happens, because no group of central planners is wise enough to manage an entire economy. Even if they have good intentions, the socialists eventually run out of other people's money."

In Venezuela, when their socialist government ran out of money, they just printed more. When business owners raised prices to keep up with inflation, the government often took away their businesses.

Yet celebrities praised Hugo Chavez, who started Venezuela's socialism. Model Naomi Campbell visited Chavez, calling him "a rebel angel."

After Chavez's death in 2013, Oliver Stone tweeted, "Hugo Chavez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned." Sean Penn told The Hollywood Reporter that "poor people around the world lost a champion."

Stossel says the good news is that, unlike American celebrities, "most Venezuelans who escaped their country's socialism do understand what went wrong."

In Florida, reporter Gloria Alverez talked to Venezuelan immigrants, and most of them told her socialism doesn't work. One said, "It's never gonna work." Another man explained, "It's something that breeds and leads to other misery and destruction."

Stossel warns that if we don't realize that socialism is to blame for Venezuela's destruction, "other tragedies like Venezuela will happen again and again."

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The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.