- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 12, 2016


As thousands of millennials line up for Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders rallies, believing that socialism is America’s best path forward, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, ushered in by the late Hugo Chavez, is jailing its citizens for hoarding toilet paper.

Mr. Chavez promised the people of Venezuela “21st-century socialism,” which would redistribute the country’s wealth to the poor and produce a better standard of living for all. It’s failed miserably.

According to a report in the Atlantic: “In the last two years Venezuela has experienced the kind of implosion that hardly ever occurs in a middle-income country like it outside of war. Mortality rates are skyrocketing; one public service after another is collapsing; triple-digit inflation has left more than 70 percent of the population in poverty; an unmanageable crime wave keeps people locked indoors at night; shoppers have to stand in line for hours to buy food; babies die in large numbers for lack of simple, inexpensive medicines and equipment in hospitals, as do the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses.”

Not to mention there’s a shortage of toilet paper.

On Wednesday, protesters flooded the streets in Caracas to demand a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro — who was handpicked by the late Mr. Chavez to continue his legacy — from office.

Yet millennials in the U.S. are increasingly thinking socialism is the best route for America. A Harvard University survey released last month said 51 percent of respondents ages 18 to 29 said they don’t support capitalism. Millennials are the only age group in America in which a majority views socialism favorably, the Washington Post reports.

Exit polls reveal about 70 to 80 percent of young Democrats are voting for Mr. Sanders, a self-identified Democratic socialist, and Sanders campaign signs litter college campuses nationwide.

When asked what socialism means to these youth, most give Scandinavia as an example, where expanded social welfare programs exist.

Yet none of the Scandinavian states actually identify as socialist. After Mr. Sanders said a debate with Hillary Clinton that Denmark was a socialist country, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen countered, noting his country “is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

Venezuela is the better example. And things there are bleak. The government, trying to keep goods affordable for the poor, issued price controls that were set below production costs, which led to shortages. Government officials have become corrupt, stealing from the countries assets and mismanaging its money.

Although Venezuela sits on top of mountainous oil reserves, its people can’t turn on their lights. The country is facing an electricity shortage so severe that Mr. Maduro made the decision to cut power for four hours a day for 40 days to save energy.

This is what socialism really looks like. Millennials should take note.



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