I published my first editorial at The Daily Caller. Check it out.
Venezuela should have been the Norway of South America. Pundits had been predicting this since 2010, when it was clear that the country would dethrone Saudi Arabia – a much wealthier country with an almost identical population – as having the largest oil reserves in the world.
But in spite of all this, Venezuela has still managing to undergo what Time described as a “complete collapse of society.” The democratically elected socialist government tried to faithfully implement a centrally planned economy and smash capitalism. By some metrics they succeeded. They smashed the markets for toilet paper and made it nearly impossible to come by, they smashed the market for food and forced citizens to wait in hours-long breadlines, and then they even smashed those lines by removing people from them based on the last digits on their government ID cards. Now food scarcity is so bad that people are set to be forced to work on farms.
The chasm between the notional and the actual couldn’t be larger. Not once did the ruling elites of Venezuela consider that their naïve – no, psychotic – utopianism might lead to bad results. President Nicolás Maduro’s adherence to ideology led him to blame the crisis on “economic warfare promoted right-wing sectors” of the country. It’s clear that, in making that statement, he was under the influence of ideology and not facts. He, just like every other socialist, is trying to relitigate 150 years of known economic fact: countries with free markets and powerful “right-wing sectors” don’t have breadlines and don’t have catastrophic shortages.