Monday, February 6, 2012

Venezuela's Fateful Presidential Primary

For a peak into the present and future of America, one might want to look into the mess that Venezuelan politics is in.  Mary Anastasia O'Grady paints a familiar, and universal scenario.   

Regarding a dark-horse challenger to Hugo Chavez, she writes:
Ms. Machado talks the language of markets and liberty. She speaks of "Peoples' Capitalism" and of ending Venezuelan dependence on the state. She is the only candidate who has called for private investment in the oil sector. 
Some say the Machado platform is too radical for an impoverished population that has been marinated for decades in the idea that they are rich because of the oil revenues and that the only challenge is just distribution. Perhaps. But a more serious problem is the avarice of the political machine, greased by oil income and heavily reliant on voter dependency on the state. 
In other words, Ms. Machado would break too many rice bowls among those living off government contracts. If you know Washington, you know what I mean.
Dependence is an awful thing to foment, and a vicious cycle to endure.  The government takes people's money, with which it then pays people to surrender their independence, and more money.

Remember that next time you hear someone extol the virtues of government compassion, just redistribution, public-private partnerships, fairness and the like. Among other problematic features, the arrangements extolled build in powerful incentives to preserve the status quo, even if politicians invoke the rhetoric of change to sell these Statist policies.

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