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Old 11-28-2018, 06:11   #211
miclo18d
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Part II

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Pérez would immediately turn to the International Monetary Fund for help. The IMF’s suggestions were ultimately a mixed bag. On the positive side, they encouraged tariff reductions and privatization of state-run industries. That being said, the government could not tame inflation, implemented a value-added tax on top of the income tax system, and did not even bother to privatize its state-owned oil company.

Nevertheless, the tariff reductions and privatizations gave the economy some breathing room. But Pérez’s market reforms weren’t without political pushback. In fact, his attempts to restore some semblance of normalcy to the Venezuelan economy would lead to his undoing.

Hugo Chavez and Political Breakdown

Unfortunately, in the middle of these reforms, political drama began to rear its ugly head. Pérez’s own party, Democratic Action (AD), was not a fan of Pérez’s economic program. Fearing that his economic liberalization schemes would undermine their political privileges, they worked tirelessly behind the scenes to stop Pérez’s reforms.

Additionally, AD had plenty of help on the streets. An assortment of leftist groups took to the streets and protested Pérez’s “austerity” policies. These protests snowballed into the infamous “Caracazo” incident of 1989. In this instance, the Venezuelan government put down a series of protests in the capital city of Caracas, leaving hundreds dead.

Even with this repressive incident, radical groups continued to mobilize throughout the country. One group that stood out was then Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chávez´s organization, Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200). Chávez exploited the ever-growing political disarray by organizing an anti-government movement within the Venezuelan military. The MBR-200 attempted to flex its muscles in 1992, with two failed coup attempts.

As punishment for his failed uprising, Chávez was imprisoned. Nevertheless, the damage to the bipartisan model had already been done. As social unrest snowballed, the Pérez administration gradually lost the public’s trust. Pérez’s fate was sealed when he was impeached for corruption charges in 1992.

By then, the Punto Fijo model had completely collapsed. The Venezuela of the 1950s to 1970s – an era of robust growth and political cohesion – soon became a distant memory. The Punto Fijo model then gave way to a new coalition, Convergence (Convergencia), of disgruntled political parties. Headed by President Rafael Caldera, Convergence attempted to reassemble the broken pieces of Venezuela’s political machine.
In terms of policy, Rafael Caldera maintained Venezuela’s statist model of economic organization. Caldera continued implementing certain lukewarm IMF measures, but inflation raged on, peaking at 100 percent in 1996. Structural problems like privatizing Venezuela’s national oil industry were never addressed. Big business’ cozy relationship with the government also remained intact.

The Failure of Soft Socialism

No matter how apologists of Venezuela’s democratic era (1958-1998) slice it, its political class delivered sub-optimal results. From 1958 to 1998, Venezuela’s per capita GDP growth was a disappointin -0.13 percent. In essence, Venezuela grew poorer during the Punto Fijo period.

Charles Jones, the author of Introduction to Economic Growth, categorized Venezuela as a “growth disaster” for its lackadaisical economic performance. The only other Latin American country in this economic hall of shame was Nicaragua – a country under the iron grip of a socialist regime and the victim of a bloody civil war.

By the time Chávez entered the political ring, Venezuela was ripe for the taking. Its disillusioned masses were looking for a savior outside of the political status quo, and Chávez fit the bill. At first, Chávez masked his radical Marxist intentions by positioning himself as an anti-corruption candidate.

However, his actions betrayed his neutral rhetoric. Out-and-out Marxists would join Chávez’s brain trust and move him towards radical socialism once in office. Sadly, Venezuela’s fed-up voters were not aware of this when they casted their ballots for Chávez. Unbeknownst to them, Chávez was about to take Venezuela on a dangerous ride.

The Rise of Socialism

Chávez was correct in his assessment of the previous Punto Fijo order’s corruption. Unfortunately, he continued the same failed policies, expanding their reach and enacting them in a tyrannical manner.

Property rights went out the window once Chávez had full control of the state apparatus. Expropriation of private property became the norm during the Chávez years. According to some reports, the Venezuelan government confiscated upwards of six million acres of farmland. Foreign companies such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips also fell on the wrong side of the Venezuelan government’s expropriation crusade.

Economic ignorance continued with currency and price controls, which have caused massive distortions in the Venezuelan economy. In fact, price controls are the main culprit behind Venezuela’s infamous shortage crisis.

Making matters worse, Chávez politicized Venezuela’s Central Bank and state-owned oil company, which were already under too much government influence. State-owned PDVSA was used as a money spigot to finance Chávez’s social spending projects. The Venezuelan Central Bank cranked up the printing press and increased the money supply at astronomical rates. Consequently, hyperinflation is now a reality in Venezuela and is on par with Germany in 1923, the year of Hitler’s infamous Beer Hall Putsch that sought to capitalize on the Weimar Republic’s failed economic policies.

Although Chávez died in 2013, his tyrannical socialist system lives on with his successor Nicolás Maduro. Maduro has continued Chávez’s policy of plundering PDVSA, stripping it of investment, sacking experienced managers, and replacing them with sycophantic military officers.

Even though Venezuela has the world’s largest energy reserves according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the corruption and mismanagement of state-owned PDVSA is symbolic of the larger collapse of Venezuela. In many regards, Venezuela is a failed state and has reverted back to its historical mean – an increasingly fragmented, political backwater.

What’s Next for Venezuela?

Long lines to get basic food items. Hospitals running out of medical supplies. Starving people eating zoo animals.

These look like scenes from a post-apocalyptic film. However, these are lurid images of what present-day Venezuela is going through. By opting for the “death by a thousand cuts” route of state intervention in the marketplace, widespread institutional decay, private property seizures, fiat money, and rampant corruption – all pursued in the name of a socialist utopia – Venezuela is bleeding to death from self-inflicted wounds.

One can only wonder how this film would have played out had the Venezuelan populace been armed. Countries like the U.S. have avoided Venezuela’s fate in part due to the presence of armed civilians as a check against would-be tyrants.

If Venezuela had any semblance of a Second Amendment, the Venezuelan people could have stood up against Chávez or Maduro’s tyranny. Human history features repeated episodes of tyrants running roughshod over defenseless subjects, and the Venezuelan case is no different. Political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli was correct in his observation that force is the option of last resort against despots:
“You must know, then, that there are two methods of fighting, the one by law, the other by force: the first method is that of men, the second of beasts; but as the first method is often insufficient, one must have recourse to the second.”

For this tragic chapter of the Venezuelan story to come to a close, the Venezuelan people will have to choose a different path – a path in which property rights and free markets are respected. From there, this horror story will eventually become a distant memory.

Until then, Venezuela is joining South Africa as yet another 21st-century casualty of socialism.
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:24   #212
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A very well written history brief of Venezuela’s decent into madness.
Thanks; I've shared this with several who're in the "here; you need to catch up..." category.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:49   #213
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Thank you for that summary miclo18D.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:57   #214
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We should be more like Venezuela - think of how grand it would be -
We would just be BETTER at being Venezuela than the Venezuelans because OUR socialists are so much smarter than theirs......
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:18   #215
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Exactly the utopia Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her comrades at the Democratic Socialists of America want to implement in the United States.
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Old 11-29-2018, 16:05   #216
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UTOPIA ????

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Exactly the utopia Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her comrades at the Democratic Socialists of America want to implement in the United States.
WHO WILL BE IN ACTUAL CONTROL OF THE TRIDENT D-5's.... PEOPLE STILL BELIEVE THAT BULL SHIT ABOUT THE LAUNCH CODE RESIDING WITH THE POTUS. Each of the nuclear subs has two crews a blue and a gold who are deployed for an equal number of months on the boat. The knowledge and intellect of the crews is IMHO sufficient to program & launch the weapons on board; NO NEED FOR THE FOOTBALL, THE AGREEMENT AMONG ADVISORS, THE TURNING OF THE 2 KEYS as seen in the movies...I think that as few as 10 people on the boat could launch the D-5's tom kelly
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:14   #217
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Exactly the utopia Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her comrades at the Democratic Socialists of America want to implement in the United States.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez needs to be skewed with spikes through her hands and feet and laid out on the hot desert sand covered with fire ants......so, what's for lunch?
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Old 11-30-2018, 13:47   #218
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez needs to be skewed with spikes through her hands and feet and laid out on the hot desert sand covered with fire ants......so, what's for lunch?
Why do you hate fire ants?

She is going to be the gift horse that keeps on giving. The 17,500 New York voters that elected her, have given the Republicans a chance to retake the House, Senate and Presidency in 2020. Every time she opens her mouth stupid and ignorance gleefully spews out.
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Old 11-30-2018, 14:41   #219
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Why do you hate fire ants?

She is going to be the gift horse that keeps on giving. The 17,500 New York voters that elected her, have given the Republicans a chance to retake the House, Senate and Presidency in 2020. Every time she opens her mouth stupid and ignorance gleefully spews out.
Maxine Waters is gonna have some competition for who is the looniest congress critter, Cortez the sister she always wanted.
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Old 11-30-2018, 15:07   #220
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Maxine Waters is gonna have some competition for who is the looniest congress critter, Cortez the sister she always wanted.
Wait till Waters gets a coveted Financial Committee assignment and can pretend to speak about economic matters thinking she'll be taken seriously.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:58   #221
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Lol, yeah...if only...

Caravan Of Liberal Americans Makes Way Toward Socialist Paradise Of Venezuela
Babylon Bee
October 25th, 2018

MEXICO—A migrant caravan full of leftists desiring to enter the socialist paradise of Venezuela departed the United States Thursday and began marching toward through Mexico, stating they will demand asylum so they might experience the far better life that socialism offers.

The migrants claim they are leaving America because of its high standards of living, strong economy, and record employment numbers, and hope to find a better life in Venezuela's much more equitable system.

"Everyone there has the same quantity of possessions and food," said one marcher. "Everyone makes millions of dollars, and very few people work. It's a real paradise." The refugees have complex motivations, but the vast majority simply want to see everything socialism has to offer after suffering the amazing benefits of capitalism for too long.

Caravan organizers dispelled rumors that they were funded by Bernie Sanders, claiming the caravan was an organic grassroots movement.

At its current pace, the caravan is expected to arrive just in time for Venezuela to run out of food entirely.

https://babylonbee.com/news/caravan-...e-of-venezuela
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:53   #222
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Lol, yeah...if only...
Oh. Please. From your keyboard to God's clue-bat applied to their ears. Please.


Seriously, that was well done.
I understand Sean Penn was not available for comment.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:41   #223
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Why do you hate fire ants?

She is going to be the gift horse that keeps on giving. The 17,500 New York voters that elected her, have given the Republicans a chance to retake the House, Senate and Presidency in 2020. Every time she opens her mouth stupid and ignorance gleefully spews out.
Ha.......As long as they keep stinging that Bitch; well hating is easy...LOL

Every time she opens her mouth, makes me want to knock her teeth down her throat....

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Maxine Waters is gonna have some competition for who is the looniest congress critter, Cortez the sister she always wanted.
Yep, and for the life of me why would any person with a sound mind, and some form of intelligence vote for those ignorant cows? Wait, it's the "looney left", or should we say "looney tunes". It boggles the mind; Maxine Waters, James Brown in drag. What a total POS; both of them....LOL...
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Last edited by rsdengler; 12-02-2018 at 15:43.
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Old 12-02-2018, 13:53   #224
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If you ain't got a pot to piss in - they'll promise you your own pot - and you'll vote for them - and you'll get it because it's "free" - but you could have bought your own pot if you would have worked a little harder.

And when they keep telling you somebody is after your pot you'll keep voting for them just to keep your pot.

So after a while you'll still have your pot - but nothing to put in it but piss.
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Old 12-11-2018, 17:41   #225
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Well, here's some good news

Some interesting numbers from an RT article, ostensibly from the National Assembly itself:

As of end of November:
Inflation at 1,300,000 per cent

Oh, yeah, the good news...

The monthly RATE of inflation is down:
Quote:
According to the report by the National Assembly, the figure declined to 144 percent in November compared to 148 percent the previous month and 233 percent in September.
Whew, they almost had me worried there for a minute.
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