STACY McCAIN ON SOCIALISM IN ONE LESSON. HOW FAR IS IT FROM PARADISE TO HELL? ABOUT A HALF-HOUR, BY AIR:
If heaven were a place on Earth, it might look like Curaçao. An island in the Lesser Antilles near the South American coast, Curaçao is about 170 square miles of palm trees, white sand beaches and warm tropical breezes, the temperature ranging from 88 °F in the day to 78 °F at night. Curaçao has prospered under Dutch colonial rule, and its 160,000 residents enjoy a high standard of living. Tourism is big business in Curaçao, with more than 600,000 visitors from cruise ships each year and 1.7 million arriving by air. The coastline boasts highly rated resort hotels, including the Royal Sea Aquarium Resort, the Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort and the Hilton Curaçao.
The beautiful dream of Curaçao, however, is just 40 miles away from one of the worst nightmares of the 21st century — Venezuela, where a corrupt socialist regime has wrecked the economy, plunging the nation into hunger and poverty. “Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and it was once Latin America’s richest country,” as Nick Gillespie and Todd Krainin of Reason magazine explained. “Today, most grocery store shelves are empty, and Venezuelans are so hungry that they’re killing zoo animals for sustenance. Toilet paper, diapers, and toothpaste are luxury goods. Venezuelan hospitals have disintegrated, children are dying because they can’t get antibiotics, and the infant mortality rate is higher than Syria. The capital city of Caracas is the murder capital of the world . . . The real cause is the socialist economy. The government sets the price of staples such as rice, pasta, and flour, resulting in chronic shortages. Former President Hugo Chavez nationalized industries, confiscated property, and kicked out foreign companies. The government is trying to print its way out of the crisis, resulting in a 700 percent annual inflation rate. After a sham election, President Nicolas Maduro, the handpicked successor of Hugo Chavez, is rounding up his opponents and putting them in jail.”
That’s a lot of bad luck.