Three years ago, the intrepid progressives at Salon praised socialist president Hugo Chavez and his economic miracle. Somewhat surprisingly, the link to the article is still up. A fool named David Sirota observed:
When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore. It suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism, especially when said country has valuable oil resources that global powerhouses like the United States rely on.
Meanwhile, in the worker's paradise:
A hamburger sold for 1,700 Venezuelan bolivares is $170, or a 69,000-bolivar hotel room is $6,900 a night, based on the official rate of 10 bolivares for $1.
But of course no merchant is pricing at the official rate imposed under currency controls. It's the black market rate of 1,000 bolivares per dollar that's applied.
But for Venezuelans paid in hyperinflation-hit bolivares, and living in an economy relying on mostly imported goods or raw materials, conditions are unthinkably expensive.
Even for the middle class, most of it sliding into poverty, hamburgers and hotels are out-of-reach excesses.
So much for that economic miracle. We eagerly await Sirota's follow up piece, How Progressive Ideology Led Me to Write One of the Dumbest Articles on the Internet.
Contrary to Sirota's assertions, we don't see socialist experiments as cautionary tales. We learn nothing. This summer, the TSA lines are longer than ever. Officials attribute congressional budget cuts and staffing shortage. Perhaps would be workers are off doing something less demeaning than molesting senior citizens and small children under the guise of protecting us from terror.
No one expects the TSA agents to be competent. We simply want our hard earned money to be utilized in a way that makes us seem safer. Security theater is the game, but the Feds can't even handle that properly.
And yet, you still hear calls for universal healthcare. It is asserted that our broken system can only be fixed by allowing the same bumbling bureaucrats who staff the TSA to allocate medical treatment. Whatever could go wrong?
We have learned nothing from Venezuela. One doubts we ever will.