Hugo Chavez referred to his policies as “21st century socialism.” But I don’t see how this is any different from “20th century communism.”
In a capitalist society, a person would spend these same seven hours working at a job, creating real wealth, and getting paid real money, and then after work they would make a quick stop at the supermarket to buy far more food than the scrawny amount that these people are getting for their ridiculous seven hour wait.
Communism has a lot of bad things going for it, and one of the worst is that it causes people to waste so much of their valuable time waiting in very long lines for things that people in capitalist countries can get in just a tiny fraction of that amount of time. Time is one of people’s most valuable resources, and communists don’t seem to care about it at all.
What Seven Hours of Waiting Will Get You in Venezuela
August 19, 2015
Take a Walk Down the Atrocity Covered in Wallpaper
“The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” ~ Occam’s razor
“Why can’t you get things? It is very difficult to explain. I understand you are upset, but you can’t give the oligarchy the upper hand. It’s a matter of being united … another economy is an option, the community economy, the one stemming from small producers … do not give these racketeers (the entrepreneurs) resources. You have to wait in line with us as well, but at least in the end you don’t pay as much.”
The above message is meant for Venezuelans, who — though bogged down by out-of-hand inflation, alarming scarcity, and despair over what might come next — choose to attend “community provision” days.
On Saturday morning, my sister-in-law decided to go to one of these events in a poor neighborhood in the heart of Caracas. She did it because organizers had announced that meat, fish, deli meats, and chicken would be available. She arrived at 6 in the morning, was given number 250, and waited in line for seven hours.
To appease my curiosity, I joined her for the final two-hour stretch.
The following is an attempt to describe what the common Venezuelan experiences at this type of event nowadays. I say it’s an “attempt,” because finding the precise words is no easy task. And I haven’t been able to find a better description, a better title, than one that pretty much works for nearly all — if not all — Chavista initiatives: an atrocity wallpapered in propaganda.
The intentions behind the community provision day are clear at the door. Placards with photos of presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro posted at the entrance say: “If it wasn’t for them, this sale would not have been possible.”
The same is going on inside. There is not a single square meter in the crumbling warehouse that doesn’t show either a picture of Chávez and Maduro, a quote from Chávez, or a picture of Chávez with Fidel Castro. The latter perhaps is an attempt to justify the photos of Maduro sitting with Castro in Havana on the 89th birthday of the caudillo, amid the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
Maduro didn’t go on his own; his wife and other officials went with him. Presumably, he charged the expenses to taxpayer funds from the country in which cancer patients — children — have to leave the hospital to protest in the street because they don’t have access to chemotherapy.
“You will be able to buy fish; the meat truck did not come, since it overturned on the way here … inside you will find corvina, white snapper, sardine, mackerel,” says one of the organizers. Here’s the first disappointment: there’s no meat, or sausage, or chicken, and no corvina or snapper, the only good white fish. Instead we must settle for mackerel and sardines, and at not much of a discount (half price relative to regular supermarkets).
The second disappointment: once you enter the warehouse there is no direct access to shopping. Instead there is a new group of chairs. Here, people are made to hear the monologue you have read at the top of the page.
Applause comes only from those who organized the operation, a community council from the area. Apathy reigns among the rest of the audience, and animosity clearly sets in among most, when they see what they can buy: ugly, green potatoes (one kilo per person, hand picked by the person handing them to you); carrots (about the same); some tomatoes that cause a reaction somewhere between repulsion and shame — while boxes of beautiful red tomatoes remain stacked against a wall.
“When will you sell those?” I ask. “Later,” they reply. I suspect they’ll sell those on the side, on the black market, and I’m not alone in my suspicion. The peppers are shamefully small. I get three micro-peppers, no more.
I can also get juices and oatmeal drinks (not milk, which is scarce), which Los Andes produces. The government has expropriated this previously ubiquitous brand, so now you can only find their products at this type of operation. Please click the link, so you can see what this dairy company’s website is for: propaganda again.
At that moment, a woman with a megaphone yells: “these are the achievements of the communal economy. We are growing.”
Raúl Castro used to say “each day, Venezuela and Cuba are becoming more and more the same.” That was in 2010, and even the most feverish mind could not have imagined an experience like the one I had on a Saturday morning. But he was telling the truth. If this is what socialism can offer, we are going to starve.
People begin to show their anger, but in a low grumble: “this is no good,” “I can’t have lost a morning for this.”
Nobody revolts, though. They know that such a person would be an “enemy of the nation,” and therefore subject to being thrown in jail, just like in any other good old fascist state. Complaining in the queue is rebellion, and the government, though inefficient in everything else, is plenty efficient at repression.
Notwithstanding, the country’s general disposition is prone to an impending uprising. Human-rights NGO Provea has been warning about it for a while; President Maduro knows. Even the community council know, though they said, as if to excuse themselves: “No one can despair. It is time to be united. We are facing an economic war. It is very difficult to explain.”
Of course it’s difficult to explain. It is very difficult to explain how the largest petrol boom in the nation’s history ended up in this shipwreck; this “Haiti” sans the earthquake. How does one explain the riches of the Chavista nomenklatura? How could anyone explain to the people waiting in line for six hours that the meat and chicken didn’t arrive, and that they will have to settle for a very few, rotten vegetables?
How long can this go on? It seems uncertain, but I don’t think the people will take it for much longer. It’s clear there is no food.
It is very difficult to explain socialism, simply because it has never worked anywhere. On the other hand, capitalism can explain itself. It’s as easy as what a certain lady said to me: “30 years ago, there was a supermarket here, and you could choose what you wanted and pay cheap for it.”
Mind you, the Venezuela back then wasn’t paradise. Yet this one, compared to that one, is definitely hell on earth. They are trying, in the most miserable, despicable way possible to tie hunger to votes, but using such bad food that the propaganda becomes anything but. It’s anti-propaganda.
Editor’s note: the author of this article expressly asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.
Bernie Sanders says he’s too busy campaigning to answer reporter’s question about the failures of socialism in Venezuela
Shame on Bernie Sanders for saying that he’s too busy with his campaign to answer this reporter’s question about the problems in Venezuela, which Hugo Chavez referred to as “21st century socialism.”
Bernie Hits Bump on Univision: Speechless on Socialism’s Failures
May 26, 2016
LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: I am sure that you know about this topic: various leftist governments, especially the populists, are in serious trouble in Latin America. The socialist model in Venezuela has the country near collapse. Argentina, also Brazil, how do you explain that failure?
BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: You are asking me questions…
LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: I am sure you’re interested in that.
BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: I am very interested, but right now I’m running for President of the United States.
LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: So you don’t have an opinion about the crisis in Venezuela?
BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: Of course I have an opinion, but as I said, I’m focused on my campaign.
In Venezuela, parents make their children skip school so they can spend all day waiting in line for food at the supermarket
In the real world, there is a tradeoff between time and money. But Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro never seemed to understand this.
Sure, price controls mean that families save money on their grocery bills. But if that means they have to pull their kids out of school so they can spend all day waiting in line at the supermarket, then this monetary savings from lower food prices is more than negated by the fact that the kids are skipping school.
And according to this article from the Atlantic, that is exactly what is happening in Venezuela.
Venezuela Is Falling Apart
Scenes from daily life in the failing state
May 12, 2016
In poorer communities, parents often respond to this by taking their kids out of school: They’re more useful standing in line outside a grocery store than sitting in a classroom.
Venezuela arrests business owner because he somehow managed to acquire enough toilet paper to properly stock his employees’ bathrooms
According to this article from the Atlantic, in Venezuela, a labor union at a private business has a clause in its contract which says that the bathrooms must always have toilet paper. I agree with the union on this.
Since price controls caused a shortage of toilet paper, the only way the employer could get enough toilet paper was to illegally buy it on the black market for a price that was higher than the government controlled price.
Now the government is accusing the business owner of “hoarding,” and he could end up going to jail for it.
Interestingly, the article also says that the government might have seized his business if he had not properly stocked the employees’ bathrooms with toilet paper. Darned if you do, and darned if you don’t!
Venezuela Is Falling Apart
Scenes from daily life in the failing state
May 12, 2016
When a Venezuelan entrepreneur we know launched a manufacturing company in western Venezuela two decades ago, he never imagined he’d one day find himself facing jail time over the toilet paper in the factory’s restrooms. But Venezuela has a way of turning yesterday’s unimaginable into today’s normal.
The entrepreneur’s ordeal started about a year ago, when the factory union began to insist on enforcing an obscure clause in its collective-bargaining agreement requiring the factory’s restrooms to be stocked with toilet paper at all times. The problem was that, amid deepening shortages of virtually all basic products (from rice and milk to deodorant and condoms) finding even one roll of toilet paper was nearly impossible in Venezuela—let alone finding enough for hundreds of workers. When the entrepreneur did manage to find some TP, his workers, understandably, took it home: It was just as hard for them to find it as it was for him.
Toilet-paper theft may sound like a farce, but it’s a serious matter for the entrepreneur: Failing to stock the restrooms puts him in violation of his agreement with the union, and that puts his factory at risk of a prolonged strike, which in turn could lead to its being seized by the socialist government under the increasingly unpopular President Nicolas Maduro. So the entrepreneur turned to the black market, where he found an apparent solution: a supplier able to deliver, all at once, enough TP to last a few months. (We’re not naming the entrepreneur lest the government retaliate against him.) The price was steep but he had no other option—his company was at risk.
But the problem wasn’t solved.
No sooner had the TP delivery reached the factory than the secret police swept in. Seizing the toilet paper, they claimed they had busted a major hoarding operation, part of a U.S.-backed “economic war” the Maduro government holds responsible for creating Venezuela’s shortages in the first place. The entrepreneur and three of his top managers faced criminal prosecution and possible jail time.
All of this over toilet paper.
May 22, 2016. Tags: Communism, Economics, Hugo Chavez, News, Nicolas Maduro, Police state, Politics, Price controls, shortages, Socialism, toilet paper, Venezuela. Communism, Economics, Police state, Venezuela. 3 comments.
Photographs from Venezuela show that price controls on food are being enforced by a military police state
Here are some photographs from a Wall St. Journal article from last year. Hugo Chavez and his hand picked successor Nicolas Maduro have certainly turned the country into a police state. Chavez called this “socialism.” This is what happens when the government owns the means of production and controls the distribution of resources. In the long run, it must result in a police state. By comparison, in the Scandanavian countries, the farms and supermarkets are owned and operated by the private sector.
I’d be curious to see if Bernie Sanders, Dolores Huerta, Barack Obama, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, or Oliver Stone have ever said anything specifically against what Chavez and Maduro have done in regard to the kinds of things that are in these photographs. All six of those people have either praised Chavez, given an award to someone who praised Chavez, or called themselves a “socialist.”
Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting
Violent clashes flare in pockets of the country as citizens wait for hours for basics, such as milk and rice
August 26, 2015
Shoppers wait in a long line to enter the “Latino supermarket” in the Dr. Portillo area of Maracaibo, Venezuela, on August 12.
Shoppers have their fingerprints scanned while buying government-controlled corn flour at the “Latino Supermarket” in Maracaibo to prevent them from coming back for another ration.
National Guard soldiers stand guard in Maracaibo over bags of food confiscated from people who illegally sought to contraband state-controlled food goods for higher prices.
National Guard soldiers guard food confiscated from people who sought to sell it for more than the government-set prices.
A National Guard soldier leads detainees accused of illegally selling contraband state-controlled food goods in Maracaibo on Aug. 13.
May 19, 2016. Tags: Communism, Economics, Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, Police state, Politics, Price controls, shortages, Socialism, Venezuela. Communism, Economics, Police state, Venezuela. Leave a comment.
This is what Hugo Chavez referred to as “21st century socialism.”
Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals
May 15, 2016
By morning, three newborns were already dead…
… chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions…
Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died…
Gloves and soap have vanished from some hospitals…
… there was not enough water to wash blood from the operating table…
The rate of death among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals run by the Health Ministry…
The rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period…
… two premature infants died recently on the way to the main public clinic because the ambulance had no oxygen tanks. The hospital has no fully functioning X-ray or kidney dialysis machines… some patients lie on the floor in pools of their blood…
… people are dying for lack of antibiotics…
… without water, gloves, soap or antibiotics, a group of surgeons prepared to remove an appendix that was about to burst, even though the operating room was still covered in another patient’s blood…
… the rotting mattress had left her back covered in sores…
The pharmacy here has bare shelves…
In this video, the speaker says the government should stop giving money to women for having babies out of wedlock. She says the government should force the biological father to pay for raising the child, instead of the taxpayers.
She also says that if she had two daughters, and one had a baby out of wedlock and needed money to take care of the baby, and the other one got good grades in high school and needed money to pay for college tuition, she would give money to the one who wanted to go to college, and not to the one who had the baby out of wedlock. Her rationale for this is that we should reward good behavior, not bad behavior.,
I agree with her. I believe that we should reward good behavior, not bad behavior. I would give the money to the daughter who wanted to go to college.
Which daughter would you give the money to?
(Video contains lots of profanity.)
March 23, 2016. Tags: Economics, Education, Idiocracy, Illegitimacy, Incentives, Out of wedlock births, Parenting, Politics, Polls, Psychology, Socialism, Welfare. Economics, Education, Politics, Polls. 3 comments.
Way to go for MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for asking this question to Hillary Clinton!
Bernie Sanders wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
But he only pays his interns $12 an hour.
I am curious to hear his explanation for this.
Bernie Sanders, if this somehow gets your attention, I would like to hear your answer to the following question.
You recently 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.”
So here is my question for you: please name one real world country where people don’t have easy access to many different kinds of deodorant, but do have easy access to food without having to spend hours waiting in line or buying from the black market.
Bernie Sanders wants Nike to stop doing business in Vietnam. He recently accused Nike of
“exploiting low-wage workers”
Unfortunately, Sanders did not actually talk to any of those Vietnamese workers to get their opinion on this issue.
Fortunately, a guy named Johan Norberg did talk to Vietnamese workers who work in a Nike factory. He then wrote the following:
But when I talk to a young Vietnamese woman, Tsi-Chi, at the factory, it is not the wages she is most happy about. Sure, she makes five times more than she did, she earns more than her husband, and she can now afford to build an extension to her house. But the most important thing, she says, is that she doesn’t have to work outdoors on a farm any more… 10 to 14 hours a day in the burning sun or the intensive rain, in rice fields with water up to your ankles and insects in your face.
Bernie Sanders wants to reduce the income of Vietnamese women by 80%.
Bernie Sanders want to force Vietnamese women to work outside in the burning sun and intense rain, with water up to their ankles, and insects in their face.
Bernie Sanders wants Vietnamese women to earn less than their husbands.
Bernie Sanders wants to prevent Vietnamese women from being able to afford adequate housing.
And above all else, Bernie Sanders believes that Vietnamese women are too stupid to make their own decisions regarding employment, and he wants to make those decisions for them.
May 9, 2015. Tags: Bernie Sanders, equal pay, equal pay for equal work, Feminism, Gender equality, Living wage, Minimum wage, News, Nike, Politics, Progressive politics, Progressivism, Sexism, Socialism, Sweatshops, Vietnam, War against women, War on women. Economics, Sexism, Sweatshops. 1 comment.
April 13, 2015. Tags: Barack Obama, Che Guevara, Communism, Dolores Huerta, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Lech Walesa, Mao Tse-tung, Marxism, News, Obama, Politics, Socialism, Venezuela. Barack Obama, Communism, Politics. 8 comments.
With help from 80 years of self-described “progressives,” Obama is now waging the biggest war against medical marijuana of any president in history
Anyone who has been following the self-described “progressive” politicians since FDR should not be surprised at Obama’s war against medical marijuana.
Obama’s war against medical marijuana is a direct result of the policies of the self-described “progressives” in the White House, Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court, going all the way back to FDR’s New Deal.
April 7, 2015. Tags: Barack Obama, Health care, Liberals, Marijuana, Medical marijuana, News, Obama, Police state, Politics, Progressive politics, Progressives, Progressivism, Socialism. Barack Obama, Health care, Police state, Politics, War on drugs. 3 comments.
The Washington Times recently reported:
Obama’s State of the Union speech to include $320B tax hike proposal
President wants capital gains rate, bank fees raised
President Obama will propose $320 billion in higher taxes in his State of the Union address, mostly by raising the rate on capital gains and closing tax loopholes for wealthier families, senior administration officials said Saturday.
Previewing Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night, aides said the president will propose raising the top tax rate on capital gains to 28 percent, from the current 23.8 percent (20 percent, plus a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income to fund Obamacare) for individual taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $200,000 or more.
Obama is ignoring the fact that in the real world, raising the capital gains tax in the past has resulted in lower tax revenues.
January 24, 2015. Tags: Barack Obama, capital gains tax, Class warfare, Communism, Economics, Income inequality, News, Obama, Occupy, Occupy movement, Occupy Wall St., occupy-wall-street, Politics, Redistribution of wealth, Soak the rich, Socialism, Taxes. Barack Obama, Economics, Politics. 4 comments.
The Venezuelan military has troops stationed in supermarkets, and they are telling customers not to take pictures of empty shelves. But that hasn’t stopped people from doing it. During the first week of 2015, the Twitter hashtag #AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela (“Empty shelves in Venezuela”) listed more than 200,000 tweets.
For example: (posted here under fair use from https://twitter.com/Indiferencia/status/551547489565016064/photo/1 )
From a different website, here’s a picture of people waiting in line to buy food: (posted here under fair use from http://www.businessinsider.com/long-food-lines-are-in-venezuela-2014-2 )
January 10, 2015. Tags: #AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela, Communism, Economics, Empty shelves in Venezuela, Food, Hugo Chavez, Income inequality, Marxism, Military, News, Nicolas Maduro, Police state, Political correctness, Politics, Poverty, Price controls, Social justice, Socialism, Twitter, Unions, Venezuela. Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Political correctness, Politics, Venezuela. 3 comments.
We should send many large ships to Cuba every day and offer U.S. citizenship to every anti-Communuist in Cuba
We would have to offer bribes to the Cuban police and military guards, but by U.S. standards, it wouldn’t be expensive: a handful of U.S. currency, bottles of booze, toilet paper, chocolate bars, and pornographic magazines should be enough to get the job done. This would make the police and guards look forward to the arrival of these ships, instead of trying to stop them.
After a few months, Castro wouldn’t have anyone to rule over, because everyone would have left the country.
In this excellent 14 minute speech, Marco Rubio explains that Venezuela is turning into a Cuban-style dictatorship.
He asks what good is Cuba’s high literacy rate if the government prevents the people from reading the things that they want to read.
He asks what good is Cuba’s medical care if doctors can make more money from driving a taxi than from working as a doctor.
He asks why, if Cuba is as great as its supporters in the U.S. say it is, do so many refugees, doctors, and baseball players flee Cuba for the United States, instead of it being the other way around.
He says the reason Venezuela has a shortage of toiler paper is because communism doesn’t work.
He talks about the arrests and censorship of protestors in Venezuela.
He argues for a U.S. embargo against Venezuela, which is the only thing he says that I don’t see agree with. I think an embargo would hurt the people of Venezuela, and would make it easier for their government to censor and oppress them. I also oppose the U.S. embargo against Cuba. I think the U.S. should offer citizenship to every anti-communist citizen of Venezuela and Cuba. I think we should send lots of large ships to Cuba every day and bring back every Cuban citizen who wishes to live in the U.S. After a few months, Castro wouldn’t have anyone to rule over, because everyone would have left the country.
Hugo Chavez was an incompetent, communist dictator, who wreaked havoc on Venezuela’s ability to produce goods and services
Last year, Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, died.
December 8, 2013. Tags: Capitalism, Communism, Economics, Gini coefficient, Income inequality, Occupy Wall St., occupy-wall-street, Politics, Polls, Redistribution of wealth, Socialism. Economics, Politics, Polls. 5 comments.
October 17, 2012. Tags: 2012 election, Barack Obama, Che Guevara, Communism, Dolores Huerta, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Lech Walesa, Mao Tse-tung, Marxism, Obama, Politics, Socialism, Venezuela. Communism, Politics. 5 comments.
Poll: man who created 7,000 jobs tells his employees what he’ll do if Obama gets reelected and raises taxes
David Siegel is the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, a real estate and timeshare company. In a recent letter to his 7,000 employees, he wrote:
Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7,000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation?
I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
That’s really quite good – I like that. Perhaps he’s read Atlas Shrugged.
October 9, 2012. Tags: 2012 election, Atlas Shrugged, Barack Obama, Business owners, Capitalism, Communism, Creation of wealth, Economic stimulus, Economics, Employment, Jobs, Marxism, Obama, occupy-wall-street, Politics, Polls, Redistribution of wealth, Richest 1%, Socialism, Stimulus, Taxes, Tea Party, The 1%, Unemployment, Who is John Galt?. Politics, Polls. Leave a comment.