Commentary by Mac Olsen
I have only sympathy for the people of Venezuela, as many have been forced to flee abroad to find employment to provide food for their families.
The country’s petroleum industry is struggling to hold onto its workers, and the national government is trying to keep them from leaving by decree or at least, slow down the exodus.
The petroleum workers still employed are often too weak to work due to hunger.
Maintenance is not being done or it’s being delayed because of this situation.
Added to this is the corruption in government with expert managers being replaced by party loyalists.
These issues are outlined in a Bloomberg.com article I read recently in the Calgary Herald.
The article entitled ‘We are dying: Venezuela’s oil workers have become so hungry they are too weak to do their jobs’, goes into wrenching detail about the plight of individual petroleum workers.
‘I haven’t eaten meat for two months’, said Pablo Ruiz.
‘The last time I did, I spent my whole week’s salary on a chicken meal’.
This article and others go into an analysis of Venezuela’s economic crisis.
Again, I’m not making light of the plight of the Venezuelans, they don’t deserve to suffer the circumstances they are in.
The collapse of oil prices in recent years is partly responsible for their plight. That cannot be discounted, just as it has had an impact here in Alberta.
But I blame mainly the ‘socialist autocracy’ that is the Venezuelan government, whose governing model has made everyone equally poor.
That is the fatal flaw with socialism and it’s one that originated with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the 1920s.
The USSR and the nations under its control or influence, found out just how unequal and poverty stricken their people became.
The ‘redistribution’ of wealth in a socialist state doesn’t make everyone equally prosperous.
It makes the ordinary workers equally impoverished, while the elite prosper.
Some socialist governments obviously haven’t learned from the old adage, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” with Venezuela being its latest victim.
In contrast, the U.S. stock market has grown by leaps and bounds since President Donald Trump came to office.
On Feb. 26, the Dow Jones was 25,709.27 points – a level that would never have been realized if President Barack Obama was still in office.
True, just 10 years ago, due to banks’ lending practices, a financial crisis resulted in the U.S. and around the world, a crisis that could have caused another Great Depression.
Nonetheless, it resulted in financial ruin for many homebuyers and owners, not to mention other sectors of the American economy.
Hopefully, the American financial system has learned well from the financial crisis of 2008, lest the federal government bring its invisible hand to bear once again.
In the end, I would rather have the American capitalist model than the socialist model.
We must learn from history if we are to avoid the plight imposed by socialism on the people in Venezuela.