Socialism is socialism, and it never works. One would think that the case of Stalinist Russia, Cuba, East Germany, Cambodia or now Venezuela would perhaps open eyes. Venezuela is a live and active case, falling apart before our eyes. It’s gone way beyond not being able to get toilet paper, or not having any medicine—in a country with abundant natural resources, people are starving. People recently broke into the zoo and killed a starving horse for the meat.
At a delicatessen counter in eastern Caracas, Humberto Gonzalez removes slices of salty white cheese from his scale and replaces them with a stack of bolivar notes handed over by his customer. The currency is so devalued and each purchase requires so many bills that instead of counting, he weighs them.
“It’s sad,” Gonzalez says. “At this point, I think the cheese is worth more.”
Once one of the world’s strongest currencies, the bolivar has been reduced to a nuisance. Basic purchases require hundreds of bills. Shoppers shove piles of them into gym bags before venturing into crime-plagued streets and shopkeepers stash thousands in boxes and overflowing drawers. In the absence of official data, economists are left to guess what the inflation rate is. Estimates for this year range from 200 percent to 1,500 percent.
Who would believe in socialism after all this history? Well, Bernie Sanders, and the Millennials apparently. Suggesting that it is something new by calling it “Democratic” is absurd.
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