Tagged Socialism

May Day and Historical Obliviousness

Yesterday was May Day, the day when people around the world who benefit from the effects of capitalism in ways too numerous to mention, spend one day denouncing capitalism and arguing for policies that will lead to the immiseration of billions if implemented.

Venezuelan Humor Has Turned Mordant, which Means that the Venezuelan Political Landscape Could Be Ripe for Change

Nicolás Maduro had better be worried. Jokes like this one have become popular: An Englishman and a Frenchman are at a museum, admiring a Renaissance work depicting Adam, Eve, and the apple in Eden. The Briton observes that Adam sharing the apple with his wife shows a particularly British propriety. The Frenchman, unconvinced, counters that the pair’s obvious comfort with their nudity clearly marks them as French. A passing Venezuelan, overhearing, remarks candidly, “Sorry to intrude, caballeros, but these are obviously Venezuelans: they have nothing to wear, practically nothing to eat, and they are allegedly in Paradise.” Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez, the writer of the…

Marxist Economist Begins to Realize that Marxist Economics Does Not Work

You’d think that the lesson would have taken earlier: Venezuela’s economic failings are turning it into the “laughing-stock” of Latin America, according to late president Hugo Chavez’s top economic planner. Former Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, who was sacked in mid-2014 by Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, said in an interview this week that reforms in the South American OPEC nation are years overdue. “We should have taken measures from Oct. 7, 2012,” Giordani told local website notitimes.com, referring to the date of Chavez’s last presidential election victory. Chavez, who was president for 14 years, died of cancer in 2013.…

The Failure that Is the Venezuelan Economy

I still recall the days when many a pundit in the United States expressed at least mild admiration–and oftentimes, significant admiration–for Hugo Chávez’s socialist project. Behold what it hath wrought: Shoppers thronged grocery stores across Caracas today as deepening shortages led the government to put Venezuela’s food distribution under military protection. Long lines, some stretching for blocks, formed outside grocery stores in the South American country’s capital as residents search for scarce basic items such as detergent and chicken. “I’ve visited six stores already today looking for detergent — I can’t find it anywhere,” said Lisbeth Elsa, a 27-year-old janitor, waiting…

Behold the Fruits of a Chavista Economy

Venezuela’s economy has gone into recession. The gory details: In a statement, the bank said GDP contracted 4.8 percent in the first quarter, versus the same period of last year, then it fell a further 4.9 percent in the second quarter and shrank 2.3 percent in the third quarter. The statement added that 12-month inflation, which is the highest in the Americas, reached 63.6 percent in November. The central bank statement, confirming an economic contraction widely forecast by analysts, came just before President Nicolas Maduro was about to start a news conference in which he was expected to announce economic…

Venezuela’s Disastrous Economic Situation

Behold what Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro hath wrought: The sprawling street market that radiates outward from the metro station in Petare, Caracas’s largest slum, is the retail equivalent of an anti-Target. There’s no organization to it. Tube socks and school supplies are sold beside giant pyramids of pineapple and piled yucca. Leopard-print hot pants stretch over mannequin buttocks next to the stinky stalls of fishmongers. The bazaar was known until this month as one of the city’s biggest open-air black markets, the place to find all the scarce items that shoppers must queue up for hours to get in…

In which Socialists Learn a Lesson about Economics

The Freedom Socialist Party (yeah, I’ve never heard of them either) is advocating a $20 per hour minimum wage. But when it comes to trying to get a part-time web designer, the party is only willing to pay $13 per hour. Asked about the discrepancy between the party’s words and deeds, “Doug Barnes, the party’s national secretary, told The Huffington Post on Saturday that the group relies heavily on donations from low-wage workers and could not afford to pay much to an inexperienced designer.” And of course, that is entirely understandable. Why, if the minimum wage were actually raised to…

Millennials Are Politically Confused

Nick Gillespie explains: A new national poll of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 — the Millennial Generation — provides strong evidence of a new generation gap, this time with the Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) playing the role of uncomprehending parents. When Millennials say they are liberal, it means something very different than it did when Barack Obama was coming of age. When Millennials say they are socialists, they’re not participating in ostalgie for the old German Democratic Republic. And their strong belief in economic fairness shouldn’t be confused with the attitudes of the Occupy movement. [. . .] Millennials use language differently…