Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sure, President Chavez, Sure

Chavez Promises to Eradicate Poverty Through Socialism

So, how does President Chavez think he can succeed where so many before him have failed? This is an extremely complicated issue, but one which bears some examination.

First, he fills government offices with his cronies. Second, he starts massive social programs aimed at eliminating poverty and want. Third, he attempts to have the Venezuelan constitution changed to eliminate term limits, which if successful will virtually assure him status as "President for Life." Looks to me like a recipe for a dictatorship.

Like so many countries where socialism and communism have been tried and failed, Venezuela appears to be headed down the same road to misery and more poverty. The anti-socialist revolution has been going on around the world since the mid-90s and "caretaker" governments have been overthrown or changed. This is because people finally realized that freedom, democracy and a free market are the best things to truly bring up a country's standard of living. Even in those countries which still have communist governments, like China, a limited free market is in place and the people who are able to participate enjoy a far better standard of living than the average.

Venezuela does have oil, and that has the potential to enrich the lives of all her citizens. My fear, though, is that power corrupts and Hugo Chavez is fallible just like the rest of us. If he is able to grab enough power, most of that money will go in his pockets and the pockets of his cronies before it has a chance to get down to the people. It's happened many times in the past, and history does have a habit of repeating itself.

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