Welcome to New Zenezuela comrades
Democratic socialism is working in Venezuela. It’s working to make everyone miserable and hungry. The economic decline Venezuelans are now experiencing is unsurpassed in the past 45 years outside of countries in the midst of war:
Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s.
The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all.
Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.
“It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war,” said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. “This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”
To find similar levels of economic devastation, economists at the I.M.F. pointed to countries that were ripped apart by war, like Libya earlier this decade or Lebanon in the 1970s.
Venezuela stopped releasing economic information five years ago but estimates by the IMF and others point to massive hyperinflation. Prof. Steve Hanke estimates the current annual inflation rate is 64,585 percent.
Starvation, lack of medicine. Lack of law and order. And a deceitful socialist government still doing its best to lie about the causes while preventing people from finding out what is happening. This is now the top example of economic devastation (apart from war) in recent history. But on the far left, dictator Maduro is still the victim and America is still the enemy.
Given the scale of this disaster, it’s no longer acceptable for Labour and Green Socialists to roll their eyes at the mention of Venezuela. They need to explain in detail how their proposals for a socialist New Zealand differs in kind from the (once widely admired) socialism Hugo Chavez introduced in Venezuela. And if they can’t spell out those differences in some detail, we should take that as an admission that they can’t guarantee the same thing won’t happen here.