Tuesday, December 3

Venezuela: The "rule by decree" thing is SO much better than the old-fashioned "laws" way

If you want to see classic "command economy" socialism in action, take a look at Venezuela.

To win votes just before national elections, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has sent the military into big chain stores to force them to cut prices.  He's jailed businessmen who aren't cooperative enough.  But the fun is just starting:

On Friday Maduro issued two new decrees:  The first limits the rent charged for commercial properties.  The second increases interest rates for savers on low incomes to 16 percent from the current 12.5 percent.

That is SO fabulous!  Why would anyone want to let capitalists and other enemies of socialism set rents and interest rates when the president can do it so much more fairly by *decree*?

You Americans are just beginning to experiment with this enlightened, progressive form of government--your president has changed a handful of laws by decree (you call it, "executive order") such as by ordering your immigration officials to stop deporting children of undocumented immigrants, or ordering delays in the start dates of politically-damaging provisions of your national health-care law, but soon you'll see that this is a much better system, and you can dispense with your woeful, unworkable "congress."

So for example, why should gasoline cost $3.20 per gallon?  The president should simply order that as of tomorrow, no one can sell gasoline for more than, say, $1.50 a gallon.

See how easy that is?

Let's try another one!  How about, "You worker bees don't have the 'right' kind of health insurance.  After today all health insurance policies must provide free maternity care, free birth control and substance-abuse counseling.  Of course these features will increase the amount you have to pay in premiums, but that's totally reasonable, right?  Oh, and one more thing:  If you fail to buy health insurance that meets my specifications you'll be fined."

See how easy that is?  Wait, you say that one's not hypothetical, that it's already happened?  In the U.S.??

Giddowdahere!  No way could the U.S. be more dic...more "progressive" than the Peoples' Republic of Venezuela!  The whole world thinks you Americans are hopelessly backward with that whole "congress makes laws and the president sees to it that they're faithfully executed" thingy.  So...no way.  Hell, the American people would never put up with the kind of cra...the "progressive" policies we have in Venezuela.

Geez, you Americans will do anything to top the wonderful achievements of other countries!

Serious update:
The leader of Venezuela's main business group, Jorge Roig, said the government's economic policies and excessive controls risk setting up the nation for serious shortages in the coming months.  Roig said businesses nationalized in the Chavez era were operating at half capacity, and that only 2 percent of expropriated land was productive.

In response, president Maduro declared "Mr. Jorge Roig, you have just declared economic war on the country." 
Didja get that?  Guy asserts an opinion contrary to Fearless Leader and the latter accuses him of "declaring economic war" on the country.  Wow, glad we don't have *our* president saying things like that about *his* critics!  Cuz, y'know, that might have a chilling effect on folks, and might push the country closer to class warfare.  Or something.

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