A new report about the dire situation in Venezuela focuses on the plight of professional businesswomen who have had to engage in prostitution to feed their families. With a failed economy, a dysfunctional government, food shortages, and few able to help, these women have done what they felt they have to do to keep their children and themselves alive.
The sad downfall of Venezuela has been well-documented. What was once a strong, vibrant economy has slid into chaos and disaster due to the Socialist polities of the late Hugo Chavez and his successor and current, but hopefully soon-to-be former, president Nicolas Maduro.
Socialism is incapable of creating wealth, because it removes the economic incentive for people to do so. Why work hard only to pay extremely high taxes? Why create a company when the government will seize it if it becomes too large or important? Why spend time and effort to work when the government will provide you with free money in exchange for your political support.
Socialism only works as a parasite on a capitalistic economy. It can be “successful” only in so far as there is a previous strong economy to leech off of; once the blood is gone, there’s nothing left and the parasite begins to die.
This dying of the parasite is what is happening now to the socialist system in Venezuela. The country has hit rock bottom, people have been ramping up their protests against Maduro, and there is even an internationally-recognized rival to political leadership, Juan Guaidó, who promises to help restore the country.
In the mean-time, people are doing what they have to do to survive. This is a sad pattern repeated throughout history as socialist governmental policies ruin formerly strong economies. In the Ukraine, the “bread basket” of Eastern Europe, during the Soviet era millions starved to death in 1932 and 1933 in the “Holodomor,” or “Death/murder by hunger” due to the collectivist policies pursued by Stalin. People resorted to cannibalism to survive. Another sadly prominent example was the Ethiopian famine in the 1980’s, again precipitated by socialist policies which ruined a country which had once been one of the stronger ones in Africa.
This pattern is predictable and should serve as a warning. The promises of free stuff paid by “the rich” are ultimately unfulfillable as the parasitic policies of socialism strangle the economic engine. Once that engine dies, it is hard to restart it, as government typically doubles-down on its failed policies and the people have lost the will or ability to generate wealth.