Saturday, December 03, 2022
12/03/2022

Sanders Camp Ignores Socialism's Total Failure

Young Americans are flocking to the “socialist” banner that Bernie Sanders is waving. It sounds new and exciting, but it’s anything but new. It’s a tempting political vision that has been tried many times, in many ways, and in many places. The results make for a long litany of failure, most recently in Venezuela.

In 1998, Hugo Chavez came to power, proclaiming a vaguely defined “revolution” that was “anti-Yanqui,” pro-Cuba, and solicitous of the poor. Government intervention in the economy increased exponentially and spending on social programs multiplied, sustained by seemingly limitless oil revenues. Chavez won four national elections in a row. But shortages began to appear in basic commodities, and when oil prices fell under Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, the fatal flaw in “Chavismo” was starkly revealed.

Inflation zoomed past 1 million percent and the poverty rate past 80 percent. The majority of Venezuelans said they went to bed hungry. Electrical power is spotty, medicine is scarce, and this once-thriving Latin America nation has become a failed state. Some 15 percent of the population has fled the country, producing more refugees than Syria.  

That is only the most recent installment of the story a generation of young Americans need to hear. It’s a narrative that begins nearly two centuries ago.
Military Parade Caracas by Xavier Granja Cedeño / Cancilleria Ecuador is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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