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Message to Hugo Chavez: When you lose NPR ...

A stunning admission from NPR: "Economic Woes Threaten Chavez's Socialist Vision".

Or in plain English, Venezuela is a wreck:

Venezuela's economy is in trouble despite the country's huge oil reserves. Blackouts plague major cities. Its inflation rate is among the world's highest. Private enterprise has been so hammered, the World Bank says, that Venezuela is forced to import almost everything it needs.

The situation is creating a serious challenge to President Hugo Chavez's efforts to transform his country into a socialist state.

Take, for instance, the Three M metal works, tucked into an industrial zone in San Cristobal, the capital of Tachira state in western Venezuela.

On a recent day, big machinery stamps out sheet metal. For a moment, things seem normal in the plant. But more often than not these days, the contraptions are dead quiet -- shut down.

"Just like us, everyone is suffering," says manager Marta Medina. She reels off a list of problems the company faces: lack of spare parts, power shortages and falling orders.

The workforce is down to just eight, from more than 50 people employed a year ago.

It's a common experience in Venezuela, where the economy contracted 3.3 percent in 2009 and is expected to shrink further this year. Few business owners see a rosy future, at least in the short term.

Jose Guerra, a former Central Bank economist, says state intervention in private businesses is hitting the economy hard.

"The government is nationalizing, expropriating, or confiscating," he says. "They are not creating new wealth; this is wealth that was already created."

If that weren't bad enough, another factor is hobbling the economy -- an unprecedented energy crisis.

Critics say a lack of investment, coupled with government ineptitude, left Venezuela without the electrical generation capacity it needs. The government blames a brutal drought.

Whatever the reason, cities such as San Cristobal go dark every day -- sometimes for four hours or more, as the government uses rolling blackouts to save energy.

The slow motion train wreck that is the Venezuelan economy can be ascribed to one simple fact: central planning doesn't work. It never has, and as long as our human nature remains flawed, it never will.

h/t JammieWearingFool


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Comments (25)

Hugo follows lil' kim like ... (Below threshold)

Hugo follows lil' kim like Barry follows Hugo.

"Message to Hugo Chavez: Wh... (Below threshold)

"Message to Hugo Chavez: When you lose NPR ..."

Barry is faced with the same dilemna here.. The shamestream media are crashing as fast as Barrys approval ratings. I only pray that Barrys daftness and socialistic tendencies bring him crashing down faster then his big uncle hugo's failed dalliance.

Yo' Hey Barry'' Socialism fails everytime you [email protected]!

Evidence that the writer st... (Below threshold)

Evidence that the writer still doesn't really understand the problem:

The situation is creating a serious challenge to President Hugo Chavez's efforts to transform his country into a socialist state.

These people cannot grasp cause and effect. If only the economy didn't happen to sour just as he started crushing private industry...like it's all just bad timing or something.

Feel free to relate the abo... (Below threshold)

Feel free to relate the above 'can't see hand in front of face' theory to why the press here is running 'why is the economy still so bad' and 'why is the unemployment rate still 10%' stories.

All just a coincidence that it's happening when Congress is dragging private business CEOs before them for public ridicule, plans are to massively hike taxes on investors and job creators, and massive spending with no plans to pay for it.

The situation is creating a serious challenge to President Barack mmm mmm mmm Obama's efforts to transform his country into a socialist state.

By George, they've almost got it.

But of course Hussein is ju... (Below threshold)

But of course Hussein is just SOOOOO much smarter and better than his thug buddy in Venezuela, so Marxism will work just FINE in the US!!!

Yo' Hey Barry'' Socialis... (Below threshold)

Yo' Hey Barry'' Socialism fails everytime you [email protected]!

Socialists don't give hundreds of billions of dollars to banks.

Thank you for playing.

Yes, OLDPUPPYMAX, Barry is ... (Below threshold)

Yes, OLDPUPPYMAX, Barry is the brighter more diligent Musolini, why, just look at all the goody good things he has brought to the table? The dead are now expected and even encouraged to vote from beyond the grave, we have 20 million unemployed, taxes are slated to jac when the evil Boosh tax cuts expire, Cheney W Haliburton is to blame for cancer.. It just keeps gettin better a marxist in power..

By the way, not that I care but what happened to steve green? Forget it, I dont care.

"Socialists don't give h... (Below threshold)

"Socialists don't give hundreds of billions of dollars to banks."

No socialist has ever had billions to do so, this one does.

A socialist would give bill... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

A socialist would give billions to the banks if it meant the government OWNED the banks afterward.
See GM for an example.

Uhhh....yeaaaaaaah....they ... (Below threshold)

Uhhh....yeaaaaaaah....they just "gave" money to banks. Riiiiiiight.

Mm hmm, well that's...very good...for a first try. You know what? I have a ball.

Perhaps you'd like to bounce it?"

In addition to your comment... (Below threshold)

In addition to your comments about socialism not working, you must remember that Hugo Chavez is a first class buffoon and thug. He makes Barack (every time I clear my throat I think of his name)look like only a front for the gang and not a real thug. Obama is only the face the public sees.

BHO has a long way to go be... (Below threshold)

BHO has a long way to go before he runs out of OPM.

The BHO strategy is more mature than that of a "President for Life". The BHO strategy is to bail out of the burning and out-of-gas airplane, hand the controls over to someone else, and say, "Here, I got us this far, you land it."

Some day, we should have a ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Some day, we should have a serious discussion about what is socialism. It would be something involving first, the means of production. I wasn't aware that the USA had many state/crown corporations or that any workers, in any important way, were on the Boards of Directors.

Second, that ordinary people actually had a greater imput/influence in the political process. As Gore Vidal said there is really only one political party in the US, the property party, with two wings Democrat and Republican. I believe 99% of Congressmen and women are millionaires; Wall Street has been giving as much to the Dems as the GOP, of not more. It is still much more a plutocracy than a democracy. Look at all Obama's rich appointments and their ties to the power elite.

And as for Chavez and Venezuela which has really become a unidimensional socialist country partly for its qualification in the two categories cited above, Obama and Chavez have little truck for one another.
Obama and Chávez Start Sparring Early.

Mr. Crickmore,My m... (Below threshold)

Mr. Crickmore,

My mistake. I thought that General Motors and Chrysler were controlled by the US Government. I came to that conclusion when President Obama fired Mr. Wagoner as CEO of GM. I was also under the impression that the US mortgage industry had been nationalized. I came to that conclusion when I went to get a mortgage (I invest in real estate) and my mortgage company told me that they don't even use their own orgination systems anymore - they just type directly into the Fannie Mae system.

I am glad that I have you to keep me informed. It is good I was mistaken, it would have been embarrassing for me to think that the reason Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac keep losing money is because they had been taken over by the US Government (and GM is going to sell a ton of cars and a huge profit since they have paid back all that bail out money!).

SER, don't forget the plann... (Below threshold)

SER, don't forget the planned government takeover of the student loan and health insurance business.


...And the congressional ha... (Below threshold)

...And the congressional hall talk of federal confiscation of 401k/IRA. I know, I know, they'll call it annuitizing or some such, but in any event they'll siphon off cash and act pissed when we don't thank them for their help.

Someday, we should have a s... (Below threshold)

Someday, we should have a serious discussion about why proggs only care about splitting definitional hairs on things like what "socialism" means, but never on what words like "racism" and "hate" mean.

...or "lie."... (Below threshold)

...or "lie."

Eric and Jay, yes there are... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Eric and Jay, yes there are lots of exceptions and you have provided a few when one simplifies, there are bound to be anomalies, just as everything touched by government is not intriniscally bad. Jay, the private heath insurance business is still very much alive; they have just been given 25 million new customers by public mandates.

And Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are private companies, but government backed ;probably not a good idea, but as you know more than me, SER, they are supplying 97% of the US mortgages, in the last three months. And of course, Congress 'punted' to study the issue of their reform more.

NPR, the public radio network, is public because the public interest needs to be protected or represented, such as were the temporary takeovers, as a last resort, or infusion of taxpayer cash /loans into the failing car manufacturers, General Motors and Chrysler. And just as with Wall Street, they were too big to fail. If Obama were really interested in maintaining a socialist sector for example, why not let GM and Chrysler fall and then build a hybrid government American lada style car or set up a FED investment bank?

Some day it would be interesting to hear what wizbangbers feel the purview of government should be. You want them to step up quickly in a military situation or a natural disaster but when the edifice of Wall Street crumbles-alleviated by Tarp- or there is no demand whatsovever for products or jobs-alleviated by the stimulus program-the Feds are supposed to wait patiently on the sidelines.

The world is simply too complicated and expensive to allow anything but partnership. Sure, Chavez is making a big mistake painting over half the country red, the PT's partido trabalhista colors, by choking the private sector (and opposition). Obama, is far from doing this, he is trying to help resuscitate it.

When Chavez confiscated the... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

When Chavez confiscated the property and facilities of the oil companies, he wasn't smart enough to negotiate a way to hire them back to run the industry for him. Instead, he replaced them with his trusted cronies who, for all their skill at thuggery and theft, don't know beans about running an oil operation. The output has declined ever since, because whenever something which involves more than flipping a switch goes wrong, no one knows how to fix it.

Obama and Chavez are quite similar in their combination of arrogance and incompetence and their skill at exciting ignorant and unskilled thugs, thieves, and rabble to follow them. Both also enjoy a coterie of apologists among American leftists who care more about Marxist ideals than their own country.

mr. crickmore ... (Below threshold)
tommy mc donnell:

mr. crickmore we socialized the mortgage industry in the late ninties and caused this economic crisis we are in now. we socialized the auto industry. we are socializing the banks. and don't forget the socialization of the medical field. and you still think the great one isn't socializing the country. all for political power. there is none so blind as those who will not see.

npr is tax supported becaus... (Below threshold)
tommy mc donnell:

npr is tax supported because leftist always want someone else to pay for the things they want.

Don't bother correcting Cri... (Below threshold)

Don't bother correcting Crickmore. Barry, being 'the most intelligent person in the world' will be the first to "make socialism work".

More Kool Aid, Stevie?

Cleanup on aisle 23 - a sho... (Below threshold)

Cleanup on aisle 23 - a shopping spammer spilled a load...

one simple fact: central... (Below threshold)

one simple fact: central planning doesn't work. It never has, and as long as our human nature remains flawed, it never will.

It's more than that. Even with an unflawed human nature CP won't work. (this is spelled out in more detail in Hayek's Road to Serfdom - I'll try to give the too short version)

It's an information problem. No one person can know enough about what's going so that he can manage an economy better than hundreds of thousands of individuals each working on one small part of it that they know really well.






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