by Julio Rivera | May 2, 2017 12:01 am
The people of Venezuela are similar to my ancestors. Hispanics, proud explorers and conquerors that proved the world was round and settled in the new world. They are attractive and intelligent people that live in a country with vast natural resources. Sure the global oil market has changed dramatically from 2014 levels with the per barrel prices dropping from $111.00 to a low of $27.00 in 2016, but restrictive domestic economic policy was perhaps the driving force behind the ridiculous 800% growth of inflation.
The defenders of socialism will never blame President Nicolas Maduroor his predecessor, Hugo Chavez for the countries fiscal ills. Maduro’s increasingly statist government has worked to consolidate power since he has taken over.They have worked to marginalize the legislature’s powers and give more power to their inept leader. The Government has had to deal with an uprising in the form of protests and international criticism, including threats of expulsion from the Organization of American States.
With the people suffering through poverty rates which have been said to be as high as the 80% range, we have to ask why anyone with a half a brain would think that socialist policy is still a good idea. As if the collapse of the Old Soviet Union was not clear enough evidence, academics and domesticsocialists like our own wacky US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) still attempt to push the, “It’ll work this time.” narrative on the next generation of impressionable college kids.
An example of a potential cure for the suffering exists on the same continent as Venezuela in the form of the Chilean Government. Instead of the iron fist of restrictive regulatory policies, in Chile the overall regulatory framework facilitates entrepreneurial activity and productivity growth. With an unemployment rate in the 6% range and top personal and corporate tax rates that are actually even better than what American citizens and corporations have to pay, Venezuela would be wise to examine their South American counterpart more closely for clues to how fight out of its current economic dire straits.
This advice not only applies to Venezuela, but to most of South America, who despite the mountains of historical evidence continue to embrace socialist policy. Much of it has to do with the greed and lust for power among many of their, “Democratically elected leaders.”
It hasn’t always been that way for Chile. They too for a time fell victim to the disease of socialism. Back in the early 1970’s, Chile sufferedwith an annual inflation rate of 140% and a declining GDP under then President Salvador Allende. Several years later, Chile’s economic policy would be transformed by the influence of the “Chicago Boys,” a band of libertarian and conservative economists from the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman.
Ever since then, Chile has outperformed the more restrictive socialist countries on the continent economically. Venezuela is suffering through an unprecedented economic, political and humanitarian crisis marked by devastating food and medicine shortages, growing crime rates, and an increasingly authoritarian president. The time for the citizens of Venezuela to revolt is upon them if they ever wish to have an opportunity to rise from poverty.
They must come to the realization that under their current circumstances they have no other choice. God be with the people of Venezuela.
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