While Obama plays golf and paid anti-Trump protesters commit hate crimes, another country farther south of the San Jose riots, is burning. Venezuela is experiencing an unprecedented economic crisis. The government is insolvent, it’s currency is nearly worthless, and what food there is to eat, is disproportionately expensive.
Imagine spending half of your income on groceries, then nearly all of it. Then scraping to find food in allies, buying from illegal merchants. Imagine that one month your income is $2,700, and overnight it becomes $27. To buy a dozen eggs, it costs $150. 2 pounds of powdered milk, which used to cost 90 cents, now costs $10.
And, the government requires you to purchase groceries, even if you don’t want them, and at the government’s regulated prices.
The Los Angeles Times best explains the economic crisis in Venezuela. It interviewed a 42-year-old single mother who describes her experience of buying regulated groceries in a government-run grocery store:
“They sold me one kilo [2.2 pounds] of rice, a kilo of pasta, a kilo of sugar and a liter of cooking oil for 1,540 bolivars. But to buy the basket of regulated products, I had to buy a watermelon for 400 bolivars. I didn’t want the watermelon and didn’t have the extra money to pay for it.”
She needs $15.40 worth of staples: pasta, rice, sugar, and oil. But the government is requiring her to buy a watermelon for $40. This is socialism.
The Times breaks down inflationary costs in Venezuela:
The International Monetary Fund predicted Venezuela will experience an inflation rate of 720 percent this year. Other estimates project its inflation rate to reach 1,200 percent.
The Times reports that the single mother they interviewed used to be able to buy corn flour for 95 cents a pound. Now the official price is ten times that amount per pound. Ten times more for the same amount of flour. It reports that:
“It’s hard to find the product outside the government-run stores, and the price is much higher on the black market.
“The family was never wealthy, Linares said, but such prices are making her and her kids feel poorer than ever.
“’Now we are feeling hunger,’ she said. ‘I don’t know what I’ll do if prices keep going up.’”
This is what socialism is. Universal poverty for everyone. Universal food shortages and high costs. This is what “democratic socialism”– the platform of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders ‘s is– total government control.
Venezuela is an example of a failed political and economic system that causes widespread, and needless suffering. But this is what socialism is and does to people– it destroys their quality of life and any hope for their future. Socialism creates fear and dependency on government regulations that continue to harm everyone. It has proven disastrous in Venezuela and will prove disastrous for America.
This is what grocery shopping looks like in Venezuela: