Socialism Killed Venezuela

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If there is one news story that’s not going to be mentioned on the mainstream news media  broadcasts, it will most likely be the continuing fall of Venezuela. For those of you who have not heard, Venezuela is currently descending into chaos, and is approaching an almost anarchic failed-state status, where it’s government is of no really power, and there is no order and balance. How do we see that Venezuela is falling? Here is a list of things that are happening as of now:

  • Food has become incredibly scarce to the point that supermarket shelves are completely bare. As a result, people have resulted to looting to get even basic necessities
  • For some who are really desperate, they’ve taken to killing stray animals, just to get some sort of food
  • Venezuela is experiencing very bad hyperinflation, making their currency more worthless by the day. This means that even if people have money, it’s losing value as the day goes on.
  • They’ve ran out of money to even print new money.
  • They’ve been selling their central bank’s gold reserves to willing buyers (under the table, of course)
  • The country’s morgues are overfilled with bodies
  • President Maduro has ordered that there be a three day weekend, due to the lack of electricity availability (which he blames on El Nino)
  • In reality, the hydroelectric dam that supply’s 2/3’s the power to the country doesn’t have the water capacity to operate
  • Venezuela has a murder rate of 3 per hour, or 76 per day, making it one of the highest in the world
  • Venezuelan hospitals have essentially ran out of medicine, intravenous fluids, and food.
  • Hospitals are also effected by the power shutdowns, causing respirators and other machinery to go off. As a result, infants in the maternity ward have to have air pumped into their lungs manually. The infant mortality rate has gone up drastically.
  • This is all basically what Maduro wants, so that he many maintain power
  • For a much better list, I recommend you go here.

Now, what do you think will happen next? I’m putting my money on martial law, and I think I may be (unfortunately) winning that bet.

Many regions and cities in Venezuela have recently been militarized, such as Caracas, and Guarenas. The militarization one you may expect from some third world despot: tanks, military in riot gear, and no emotion or holding back on protesters. This has been the case now for many days now, and meanwhile Maduro pleads his ignorance:

Meanwhile, Maduro pled ignorance: during a press conference, President Maduro mocked the international media for questioning cities under military control. “What militarization?” He asked. “Show me.”

And what better way is there to sneak more militarization and grab a few opponents than to hold some military exercises!

Venezuela is preparing for the biggest military exercises in its history this Saturday after the South American country’s government said it’s on high alert as the opposition pushes for a recall referendum on President Nicolas Maduro.

“Venezuela is threatened,” Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on state television Thursday. “This is the first time we are carrying out an exercise of this nature in the country. In terms of national reach, it’s going to be in every strategic region.”

On one hand, Venezuela has reached the end-of-the-line. On the other, it may just completely descend from the workers socialist paradise into the socialists hell. I’m sympathetic to the former, but more inclined to believe the latter. There is no good outcome for Venezuelans looking to restore their country from the failure that is socialism. Even with Maduro’s major blow back in December elections, where his party lost big, and the opposition won the congress, he has stacked the supreme court, halted any new members from the Congress, and made sure that his people (who would be loyal to HIM) were in cabinet positions. In example, the military.

History has recorded many times when socialist nations have died, but it never just ends in a quick death, and then there’s a reformation. It’s drawn out by a government attempting to hold power. This government has controlled many aspects of Venezuelan’s lives, and now, it’s losing all that power, and it will not go quietly. I may not be able to tell you what will happen, but I can say that it will not go quietly.

The Crisis In The EU Explained (I Think)

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The European Union was formed in the late 1940’s after World War II to stop the frequent wars between nations in Europe. Back then, it wasn’t as focused on economic goals as it was simply trying to create some stability in not having neighbors fighting each other. In it’s beginnings, there were only 6 countries. As time passed on, more countries joined.

As this video from Bloomberg will show, the history of the EU is traceable back many years, and the European Union itself is set up with some flaws in it.

It was set up to manage monetary policy, but they have no control over the fiscal policy of the member nations. The result is that countries within who are more loose with their fiscal policy, such as Greece and Italy, both suffering from debt issues, are somewhat able to depend on other countries within the Euro Zone for loans and securities.

Now, the recent troubles that have been brewing come down to this: Greece is in major doo-doo. It’s banks are deep in the red, and the government has not much money to be able to pay off it’s creditors, such as Germany. Germany is demanding some austerity in return for giving Greece loans to be able to continue to float and not completely sink. This is still only breaking the surface however.

The Greeks are looking for another bailout. The International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank have previously loaned Greece money, and with Greece defaulting on the payment of 1.5 Billion Euro’s to the IMF, and a looming payment to the amount of 3.5 Billion Euro’s due to the ECB, Greece is in a position to skip paying out to their creditors.

That’s the surface. Now, diving deeper, we get to this, which I found very interesting. This comes from Storm Clouds Gathering News, which I would recommend to you if you’re looking for things that won’t come up in the mainstream news media when they’re discussing major stories like this. This video will explain what the mainstream news isn’t talking about:

And if you’re wondering, yes, they source very specifically, and it’s sites like The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and other major Internet news sites as well, which they source for everything in their video. They leave nothing out.

Call me crazy, but when countries go into debt, and it isn’t too much, then that’s one thing. In the case of Greece, when you can’t afford to pay off your creditors, but continue to call for more money given to you, there’s simply something wrong with you. The system of banking currently in place in Greece is clearly not sustainable, but bailing it out, isn’t going to help. Bailing out the banks, instead of letting the coerced and distorted hand of the market go ahead and wipe them out won’t help the country of Greece, or it’s people.

Unfortunately, the people of Greece will suffer the most. Under current Greek and EU law, the governments can raid deposits and seize them. The Greek’s pension system will most likely be raided for money to pay off creditors. They will see the Euro devalued as time moves on, and things with other countries grow worse, as it already has done with some of the news of the Greek crisis.

In short, there is no good outcome for the Greek people, or the EuroZone in whole.

Do You Really Have A Right To Free Healthcare?

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Do people have the right to free healthcare? That is a question that some on the political left, mostly coming from the camps of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, would say yes. If you’re coming from reality though, then you’d say no. The arguements are being waged back and forth these days, and this topic seems to be picking up steam. Obamacare has been predicted by many on the right to end in socialized healthcare, where it basically is free. Vermont, the state that Senator Sanders represents, was moving for a socialized system, but dropped plans earlier this year.

S0, do people have a right to free healthcare? First off, let’s answer this: is it a natural right? Natural rights were explained by Locke to be Life, Liberty, and Property. Many liberals try to claim that free healthcare falls under the Right to Life, and is thus a natural right. This would be wrong.

Free healthcare is a “positive” right. In order for this “right” to be fulfilled, others people must provide for the people claiming this right. In the case of “free healthcare”, the doctors and physicians and nurses providing the services would be forced to do it for those who were seeking care. This kind of “right” isn’t really possible, and are not compatible with real (aka negative) rights.

Healthcare is a good. We need to make this clear. Bill Flax, writing for RealClearMarkets, writes:

We don’t have a right to good health. We do have a right to live how best we know to improve our health, but we didn’t pop out of the womb with a divine guaranty of ease and comfort. Nor can the state offer such.

One person’s misfortune never constitutes society’s obligation. A problem aggravated by social programs is the entitlement attitudes they engender. That government somehow bears responsibility to remove the pain and hardship from life. Unfortunately, Americans have grown inured to statist “solutions” and now flock to politicians who promise Utopian fantasies.
Politicians may transform luxuries like advanced medical care into rights, but they can’t make healthcare free. They can filter it through an all powerful bureaucracy and disguise its high costs, but government cannot guaranty one’s treatment without confiscating their citizens’ property.
That last paragraph holds an important line. “…government cannot guaranty one’s treatment without confiscating their citizens’ property.” If you have the natural right to property, then to have the “right to free healthcare”, the society must be willing to give up it’s natural right to property. Only one of these two are natural, and since one is a positive right, depending on a certain group of people to sell their labor at lower prices than they would in a free market, and another group possibly including them to give up their natural right to property, the likelyhood of a “right to free healthcare” happening won’t come at a good price to many of the people in that society, and would not make for a good cost-benefit analysis.
What would be the costs to go to “free healthcare”? Since nothing in reality is really free, as everything has a cost to it, the costs here would likely be high. Speaking as a future dental student myself, the costs for me to become a doctor now are pretty high. I would need:
  • Undergraduate college
  • Graduate college
  • Dental school
  • Internship + Residency
  • Certification

These alone, are going to wind up being tens of thousands of dollars. I would know. My tuition for college as it is is 5 digits. And it’s easier now to get extra money in the form of scholarships and private grants and loans than later down the road, unless you’ve got really good credit. By the end of this road, I’m probably going to be in a bit of debt. I’m going to need to pay this all off eventually, and pushing these off won’t help. And I cannot forget Continuing Education, as I’d still be bound to doing that to keep my certification.

What the “free healthcare” would bring about is a system that basically tells doctors and physicians what they do with the human capital they acquired in medical school, and post-secondary training. It’s basically letting the controllers of that system, most likely government, control what procedures are done, by who, and to whom. Doctors and physicians, in essence, become servants of the state. They become slaves, and that’s not what I’m going to school for.
Many liberals will again make the call for basic minimum access to healthcare. Beyond again conscripting doctors and physicians (limited), this will still do them little good, and the costs for these operations will be passed onto the other patients that the doctors care for, and thus, their prices will probably rise, causing some to not be able to afford the care they had, and move onto the basic care that screwed them in the first place. These types of programs, at their core, mean to simply bring people down. Liberals will try to argue against this, but a look at LBJ’s Great Society programs will show this.
So, to wrap this up; do you have a right to healthcare, or free healthcare? No, not at all. You have the right to life, as that is a natural right, but that means that people have the control of their own lives. They cannot, under this, force someone to do something for them without their consent, or giving something to them of equivalent value (like money). Free healthcare is something that would only make things worse, as prices would only continue to go up, due to government price controls further hampering the market forces that already represent consumer demand and supply. Healthcare is something Americans need to take back, not only from the hands of government, but also from the hands of their employers too. It must be made personal again, and most importantly, we must lift the mandate that all must have insurance. Households can only afford so much, and making them pay much more for a service they didn’t have but also couldn’t afford before, doesn’t help them. It only worsens their conditions.