Posts Tagged ‘socialism’



August 30, 2017

Here’s one of Prof. Mark Perry’s internet-famous Venn diagrams.



Should people wait for bread?

March 12, 2014

Or should bread wait for people?

Roberto Rodríguez M. ‏@esosiquetetengo

People is marked like this in #Venezuela to be able to buy food


From Business Insider, a report about lines at some Venezuelan grocery stores. When the columnist writes ‘long’, she means long.

Venezuelans Are Marked With Numbers To Stand In Line At Government Supermarkets

It’s hard to get a sense of what a food shortage is like unless you’ve lived through one, but this tidbit from Venezuela serves as a chilling illustration.

The lines to get into government supermarkets are so long that people mark their arms with their place in line. It’s not a permanent tattoo — just a pen — but the point is to make sure that the long lines stay as orderly as possible. […]

According to a source familiar with what’s going on, this number-scribbling takes place outside large cities like Caracas, and it doesn’t happen in private supermarkets. However, private supermarkets can set a limit to the number of items a person can buy. For example: You can only pick up 4 liters of milk, 2 liters of oil, 2 kilos of sugar etc.

And that’s if the market even has those items.

People also have numbers on their ID cards, which decide which days they can even get in line to shop at supermarkets like San Cristobal’s Bicentenario, according to AFP.

A picture’s worth a thousand words.



What’s going on in Venezuela

February 19, 2014

I’m a little surprised at how many posts I’ve written about Venezuela. It’s not as though I have any special interest in the country, but it’s certainly a textbook example of how things can go wrong under a Socialist government.

I don’t believe that the leaders of Venezuela are all socialists in good faith. I suspect that many of them are just thugs using socialism to legitimize the take-over of their country. It wouldn’t be the first that had happened.

There are peaceful, law-abiding socialist governments after all, so I don’t assume that the violence in Venezuela is solely due to socialism. And there are plenty of fascist tyrannies on the right; the left has no monopoly on civil violence.

But socialist or fascist, they’re all statists of one stripe or another. A leopard may change his politics daily but he never changes his spots.

It has mystified me since I was a teenager why people would give up control of anything else to the social agent which controls the guns — i.e., to a government which controls the police and military.

Why in the world would you trust that supreme armed authority in any country with controlling public media, or controlling an economy, or with managing the health care system? The temptations to corruption are so much stronger when the power is concentrated in the government.

That’s why I think socialist governments tend to encourage strong men and tyrants to take power. As I told a socialist friend of mine a few years ago, "When you go to bed with Karl, you’re likely to wake up with Uncle Joe."

Let’s look at the alternative: is the market always fair and even-handed? Hell no, it’s not. Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen. Business people are no more angels than bureaucrats are. We’re always dealing with the crooked timber of humanity.

But dealing with a market at least leaves you with more alternatives than dealing with a government. Some particular business may give you ‘the business’, but it won’t send you to prison and it won’t conscript you (or your child) to fight in an unjust war.


Venezuelan car markets, part 2

February 13, 2014

My last post about Venezuela concerned how the statists running the country were planning to micro-manage the used car market.

Here’s an article in USA Today about what they’ve done to the new car market (via Carpe Diem).

Venezuela car industry slips into idle

CARACAS, Venezuela — Leonardo Hernandez had hoped to buy a new car this year, ending nearly two years of waiting on various lists at different dealerships throughout the country.

Those hopes were dashed last week when Toyota Motor Co. said it would shut down its assembly operations in Venezuela due to the government’s foreign exchange controls that have crippled imports and made it impossible to bring in parts needed to build its vehicles.

The country’s other car manufacturers, including General Motors and Ford, haven’t even started operations this year, while waiting for needed parts to arrive.

“I desperately need a new car for work,” said Hernandez, who works as a salesman. “I have been waiting and waiting, and now this. I have no idea what I am going to do. And I can’t even find spare parts for the old car I have.”

Toyota joins a long list of companies saying they are having to curtail or stop operations in the South American country thanks to the government’s foreign exchange regime, which the late President Hugo Chavez created in 2003 to fight capital outflow.

%d bloggers like this: