Sunday, November 10

Government of Venezuela seizes oil rigs owned by U.S. company; U.S. media nods approvingly

I found this story...educational:
The socialist government of Venezuela has seized two oil-drilling rigs owned by a Houston company.

The government seized the rigs after the drilling company stopped drilling--a decision it made because the state oil monopoly hadn't paid them for drilling for several months.

A Venezuelan judge ordered the company to surrender the rigs to the Venezuelan national oil company.  Members of the local police and national guard were present as the rigs were taken away.

The national oil company--i.e. an arm of the Venezuelan governent--called the expropriation essential to Venezuela's development.
Let's see here:  My company signs a contract with the government in which we agree to drill specified wells and they agree to pay us a specified rate--a standard agreement in the drilling industry.

My company drills for some period but the government doesn't pay.  I'm losing money hand over fist, so I order my people to stop work until the government pays us.

At which point the government simply waltzes in--covered by men with guns--and takes our property.

And I'm thinking, Is there really much difference between that theft by Venezuela's socialist government and a thousand cases here in which government--at every level--simply takes your stuff, simply by invoking some bullshit legalistic excuse?

Example:  Kelo v. New London, in which the city seized private homes with the intent to give the land to a favored private developer.  The argument was whether the Constitution permitted the city to legally seize private property and give it to a private developer.  That is, did this constituted a legitimate "public use."

The Supreme Court held that it did.  (And yes, that was before Lord Obama.)

Or consider Obamacare, in which the government will force productive workers to buy a certain product or pay a fine.  Oh, and also bars you from contracting for an insurance plan unless it offers maternity care, even if you're a 70-year-old single man.

You work hard, obey the law, pay your taxes.  Then the government decides "We will take whatever we want from you, and you can't do jack-shit about it.  Cuz, y'know, fairness."

We expect it from thug socialist governments like China, Russia, Venezuela.  A lot of us didn't expect it to happen here.

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