Monday, August 15, 2016

What America Must Learn From Venezuela's Economic Collapse

Venezuela has made the news again this week for yet another low in the history of what anyone would classify as a failed state. Government Decree 9855, issued by President Nicolás Maduro under his broad emergency powers, allows for any Venezuelan to be forcibly relocated to agricultural labor camps in order to combat widespread food shortages. 

These forced labor camps are not in punishment for any crime, political or otherwise, but instead yet another failed Communist solution to government mismanagement that will remove ordinary Venezuelans from their jobs and homes and force them onto government-controlled slavery on plantation farms, unable to leave for an extendable period of 60 days. 

Now echoing the worst abuses of Stalin and Mao, the slave labor camps, starvation, corruption and disorder that characterize Venezuelan society should serve as a warning to Americans who don't believe in the consequences of socialist theory in action.

Let's take a quick survey of how far Venezuela has fallen. Decades before, Venezuela was one of the richest and most prosperous nations in South America. Without the drugs of Colombia and with oil wealth and an educated population that embraced both capitalistic and democratic principles, Venezuela showed great promise. But it also suffered from enormous social inequality. 

Hugo Chávez rose to power on the back of a populist movement that promised social welfare to the poor underclass of Venezuelan society. Once in power, however, he nationalized the oil industry and used its profits to fund housing, healthcare and food subsidies for millions. READ MORE