Feb 26, 201409:27 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
The grotesque tragedy of the centrally planned economy
(page 1 of 2)
The Atlantic magazine may be the best general interest periodical in our language. My criteria are: Take a position, source it well, present it logically, write felicitously, but — this, above all — don’t reinforce the prevailing wisdom. Argue against the grain.
The Atlantic famously declared that Dan Quayle was right about unwed motherhood. It proposed that more law-abiding people should carry guns if they want to reduce crime and Aurora-style mass shootings. It drew a direct causation between Section 8 government subsidized housing and the deterioration of neighborhoods. It introduced the Broken Windows theory of policing to protect quality of life before neighborhoods descend into crime zones.
“The Tragedy of Venezuela” is less startling, but equally defiant of accepted dogma. It says flat-out what Barack Obama, Ed Schultz, Tammy Baldwin, Mark Pocan, Chris Taylor, Paul Soglin, John Nichols, Amy Goodman, and company will not tell you: Socialism is failure. Not that socialism has failed (if only the right people could be found to operate its heavy machinery) but that it IS failure.
“The catastrophic consequences of Chávez’s 21st Century Socialism are impossible to mask any longer and the government has run out of excuses.”
You won’t read that in the State Journal, The Capital Times, Isthmus, or Madison Magazine. You won’t see or hear it on PBS, WPR, MSNBC, CNN, or CBS. The professors on Bascom Hill will talk theory, not results. The Progressive magazine is bobbing for apples in 27,000 pages of old emails. The New York Times is exulting in the big city’s newly inaugurated income leveler, Bill de Blasio. Quite unilaterally, the president is rewriting federal statute to save his signature big-government overreach.
Let us quote at further length Moisés Naím, contributing editor at The Atlantic, a senior associate in the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
Venezuela is now the world champion of inflation, homicide, insecurity, and shortages of essential goods — from milk for children to insulin for diabetics and all kinds of indispensable products. All this despite having the greatest oil reserves in the world and a government with absolute control of all state institutions and levers of power. Sadly, that government has used its immense wealth and authority to push through unsustainable populist policies, buy votes, jail opposition leaders, and shut down television channels. Daily shortages of basic goods, fear of crime, and hopelessness have become unbearable.