Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Venezuela is our future if we don’t stop the march towards socialism

Venezuela nationalized most of their big industries. Government pushed out the private sector in the name of equity and fairness for the people.

The standard definition of socialism is “government ownership of the means of production.” When government takes ownership of the means of production, that is called “nationalization.” So the more a government nationalizes, the more socialist it is.

And Venezuela has been nationalizing a lot since Hugo Chavez came to power. Indeed one of Chavez’s slogans was: “All that was privatized, let it be nationalized.”

While it’s well known Chávez expanded state control over Venezuela’s oil operations and seized the assets of foreign and domestic producers, this is hardly the only industry he nationalized.

They provided equity and fairness to the people but it was equity and fairness in misery. All the citizens are now in the same poverty ridden boat while the political class feeds off the carcass of a once vibrant economy. Nationalization brought in hyperinflation. It’s so bad that 1 million bolivars is worth $0.25 U$D. That’s right a single quarter will get you a million bolivars.

The government last week announced it would lop six zeros off the currency — a million-to-1 change — with new bills as of Oct. 1. Currently, the 1 million bolivar note is the largest denomination. It’s worth roughly a U.S. quarter.

But without other measures, that would have little to no effect on the continuing erosion of value. The government already had cut three zeros in 2008 and five more in 2018.

Despite repeated multiplications of the official minimum wage earned by millions of Venezuelans, it still amounts to about $2 — not even enough to buy a kilogram of chicken.

Millions of Venezuelans anxiously wait for the semi-monthly arrival of a heavily subsidized box of goods that costs between 43 cents and 62 cents and usually includes corn flour, rice, oil, sugar, pasta and beans. Many scramble to make ends meet with side jobs — home bakeries, haircuts, car repairs, food deliveries, barter.

Yahoo News

We’re fooling ourselves to think it can’t happen here. Look what has happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve already nationalized vaccinations. Through federal programs Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J have sold their stockpiles of vaccines to the government. The feds are making all the decisions regarding vaccines.

Child tax credits and federal unemployment subsidies are pushing wages up because people can get paid more to stay home than to find a job. Employers are forced to raise wages to get people to work. The rise in the cost of labor pushes inflation higher because those costs get passed on to the consumer. The Biden administration is already the proud papa of net wage deflation. Prices are increasing more rapidly than wages. Your paycheck is higher but everything costs more.

The United States government, through the CDC, has de facto nationalized a huge chunk of residential real estate. They did this through foreclosure and eviction moratoriums.

Think about it for one second. If you have a mortgage the bank really owns your property. If they can’t foreclose and sell it who really owns it? If you’re paying rent the landlord owns the property. If you don’t pay your rent and the landlord can’t kick you out who really owns the property? The federal government has taken control and therefore ownership of private property.

What is the next domino to fall?

Photo by Brianxx21 from PxHere