Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

Bernie Sanders has described his proposals for the Green New Deal on his website. (Original, archive.)

And here is a link to a blog post that I wrote about the things that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did in Venezuela. It includes links to verify each and every one of my claims.

The two things are very similar in many ways.

Both Chavez’s and Sander’s plans call for massive government control of the agricultural, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and steel industries.

Both plans call for replacing the free market with government decision making.

In the U.S., lots of people on the political left praised Hugo Chavez’s actions in Venezuela. In addition to the many college professors and social justice warriors who praised Chavez, Chavez also received praise from Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Naomi Campbell, Michael Moore, Don King, Noam Chomsky, and Danny Glover.

The things detailed in Sanders’s plan sound a lot like the things that Chavez was talking about when he started implementing his policies. Before Chavez died, he personally chose Nicolas Maduro to be his successor. Since Chavez died in 2013, Maduro has been continuing Chavez’s policies.

The results of these policies in Venezuela have been horribly disastrous.

For example, in May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

Then in February 2018, Reuters reported:

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

You can read all about how this came to be in my blog post.

And then you can read about Sander’s proposals in his very long and detailed article on his website. (Original, archive.)

Just as huge numbers of progressives and other left wingers in the U.S. had praised Chavez’s policies, a lot of these same people are now praising Sanders’s proposals.

Both Chavez’s and Sander’s policies have massive government takeovers of the agricultural, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and steel industries. Both plans involve replacing the free market with government control.

What makes Sanders think that the results of his policies would be any different than the results of the policies of Chavez and Maduro?

In fact, Sanders actually said that it was a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see and hear Sanders saying those words in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Here’s a photograph from 2014 of people in Venezuela waiting in line for food: (posted here under fair use from http://www.businessinsider.com/long-food-lines-are-in-venezuela-2014-2 )

Sanders also said the following:

“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.”

Well, as it turns out, the policies of Chavez and Maduro have caused a shortage of both deodorant and shoes in Venezuela.

Sanders has repeatedly criticized the existence of “millionaires and billionaires.” (Although he stopped doing so after the New York Times reported that he was one of them.)

Sanders defended his own millionaire status by saying the following:

“I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

I agree with Sanders.

But here’s the difference between what I believe and what Sanders believes: I believe that it’s a good thing when any person becomes a millionaire or billionaire by providing their customers with the goods and services that their customers choose to buy. By comparison, the only person whose millionaire or billionaire status Sanders has ever defended is his own.

Chavez and Maduro managed to scare many of the millionaires and billionaires, as well as their capital, investment, skills, innovation, and jobs, out of Venezuela. And when Chavez and Maduro scared away those millionaires and billionaires, they also scared away the production of the goods and services that those millionaires and billionaires had been engaged in.

Sanders wants to “break up big agribusinesses” and encourage “urban, rural, and suburban Americans” to “transform their lawns into food-producing … spaces.”

Chavez seized more than 10 million acres of farmland from private owners, and now Maduro is encouraging everyone to grow their own food.

The industrial revolution was powered by fossil fuels. Before the industrial revolution, 90% of people in the U.S. were farmers. Today, with the use of fossil fuels as both fertilizer and fuel, it only takes 2% of the U.S. population to feed the entire country. Truck drivers whose trucks are powered by fossil fuels then transport that food to the other 98% of the population.

Chavez reversed that trend in Venezuela, and now Sanders wants to do the same thing in the U.S. Just as the Venezuelan government took over big agribusiness and is now encouraging everyone to grow their own food, Sanders wants to do the same thing in the U.S.

Sanders wants to replace private automobile ownership with mass transit, even in “rural communities.” While I myself think that mass transit in densely populated cities is a great thing, I also understand that it’s not practical in “rural communities” with much lower population densities.

Chavez and Maduro caused sales of new cars to fall by 99.4%.

Sanders said:

“I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries.”

CNN reported that Sanders was in favor of nationalizing

“the energy industry, public ownership of banks, telephone, electric, and drug companies and of the major means of production such as factories and capital”

Chavez nationalized all of those things, and it destroyed each and every one of them. Venezuela now has long term, chronic shortages of pretty much everything.

In 2011, Sanders published the following on his official U.S. Senate website: (Original, archive.)

“These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina”

Of course, Sanders didn’t explain why so many Venezuelans have fled the country and relocated in the U.S.

Sanders also didn’t explain why no one in the U.S. is moving to Venezuela for these so-called better opportunities.

Sanders wants to get rid of fossil fuels.

Chavez and Maduro waged war against the oil industry, and now Venezuela has frequent blackouts.

After Chavez took over the country’s oil industry, he did such a terrible job of running it that he actually managed to create a shortage of gasoline in a country that has some of the world’s biggest oil reserves.

And that reminds me of this quote from Milton Friedman:

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

So, to summarize:

1) Sanders said that it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

2) Sanders said that people have too many choices when it comes to deodorant and shoes.

3) Sanders hates millionaires and billionaires (not withstanding the singular exception of himself).

4) Sanders wants to replace the free market with government control of the agricultural, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and steel industries.

5) Sanders wants to replace large scale, industrial farms with urban gardens where everyone grows their own food.

6) Sanders wants to reduce private ownership of automobiles, even in rural areas with low population densities, where mass transit is not practical.

7) Sanders wants to nationalize major industries.

8) After Chavez had already adopted many of his own destructive policies, Sanders specifically cited Venezuela as being better than the U.S.

The more and more that Sander’s proposals get examined, the more and more it becomes apparent that they resemble those of Chavez and Maduro.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela.

September 3, 2019. Tags: , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics, Venezuela.

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