Government-Sanctioned Looting in Venezuela

Venezuela’s democratically elected socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro shows us what we can look forward to after Democrats have finished with the health insurance industry:

National guardsmen, some of whom had assault rifles, were positioned around outlets of an electronics chain that Maduro has ordered to lower prices or face prosecution. Thousands of people lined up at the Daka stores hoping for a bargain after the government forced the companies to charge “fair” prices.

“I want a Sony plasma television for the house,” said Amanda Lisboa, 34, a business administrator who waited seven hours outside a Caracas Daka store, similar to Best Buy. “It’s going to be so cheap!”

Sure. Until they are all gone. When the looting spree is over, there won’t be any more. Who is going to make and distribute television sets that they know they will be forced to sell at a loss? But that doesn’t occur to collectivists.

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Five managers of electronic retailers including Daka are being threatened with prosecution for unjustifiable price hikes, the Venezuela government said. More stores may be at risk, as well. Government inspectors were dispatched to check prices at an array of other businesses.

Anyone see an essential difference between this approach to commerce and Obamunism? Me neither.

Just a few elections ago, socialists stood a chance of losing in Venezuela. Now Maduro barely bothers to mask his thuggery under even the thinnest veneer of sanctimony:

“This is for the good of the nation,” Maduro said, referring to the military’s occupation of Daka. “Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses … Let nothing remain in stock!”

Maduro said his seizures are the “tip of the iceberg” and that other stores would be next if they did not comply with his orders. Maduro is expected to win decree powers in Congress in the coming days that he says will be used to take over more businesses.

That is, he is doing to retail businesses what Venezuela’s government has already done to healthcare. The country’s prospects do not look bright. Yet America follows closely in its path.

It is all too easy to imagine this in our near future:

The assault against business comes amid a severe shortage of basic goods and extreme inflation, which is currently at an annual rate of 54.3%. Both are tied to policies of the government, which is boosting public spending and printing money in record amounts to pay for it.

That is what people voted for. Barring a miracle, that is what they will get.

Hope & Change, Venezuelan style.

On tips from Artfldgr and Mat T. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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