Socialism’s failures on full display in Venezuela; NPR reports on misery, but won’t assign blame


Last June the reports came of Venezuelan efforts to stop toilet paper and diaper shortages by raiding warehouses, and we knew at that time that it was the beginning of the end. The country had long ago swallowed the socialist poison pill, and when the predictable economic diarrhea arrived they were left with a nasty mess.

The protests, the murdered students, the jailed opposition leaders and intimidation — it was all very predictable, because socialism’s historical track record is one of pain and misery.

Today, NPR reported:

Alvaro Villarueda starts his morning the same way every day — putting in a call to his friend who has a friend who works at a Caracas, Venezuela, supermarket.

Today, he’s looking for sugar, and he’s asking his friend if he knows if any shipments have arrived. As he talks on the phone, his wife Lisbeth Nello, is in the kitchen.

There are 10 mouths to feed every day in this family — five of them children. The two youngest are still in diapers.

“The things that are the scarcest are actually what we need the most,” Nello says. “Flour, cooking oil, butter, milk, diapers. I spent last week hunting for diapers everywhere. The situation is really tough for basic goods.”

Again, completely predictable. Yes, over and over again individuals do not get the lesson. Perhaps part of the reason is because news outlets refuse to report the obvious:

As with everything in Venezuela, the reasons given for the food shortages depend on political affiliation. The government says it’s the result of unscrupulous businessmen waging an economic war and hoarding by regular people afraid of shortages.

Those in the opposition blame a system that imposes price controls, the lack of money to buy imports and problems in the supply chain after the expropriation of farms and factories by the socialist government.

Whatever the reasons, the shortages have meant that Nello spends a lot of time in long lines.

“Whatever the reasons”?! It is quite clear that socialism is to blame for Venezuela’s woes, but NPR can’t bring itself to do more than “report” on the symptoms of the disease. It doesn’t want you to know about the disease itself. All it can manage to “report” is a “whatever…” when it comes to the results of spitting in the face of basic economics.

Instead of looking at the very real history of price controls around the world — a dismal track record indeed — NPR would rather shrug its shoulders and essentially say, “Well, it could be those ‘unscrupulous’ businessmen. Who are we to say?”

The sad truth is that if you pick ten random people on the street in any country, then most of them will probably not have a firm grasp on basic economic principles. However, all of them understand hope and will gravitate to the person who instills it in them. When educational systems and news outlets fail to show people the dire consequences of socialism, the stage is set for generation after generation to fall victim to its smooth talking salesmen.

It is a very distinct possibility that Venezuela will lurch further to the left before the country collectively takes part in an ideological course correction. There are countless variables in the air at the moment, but the one constant is the cult-like addiction to the socialist vision by its advocates. As long as Western media outlets continue to engage in mealymouthed coverage of the truth that is staring them in the face — socialism doesn’t work — the cycle will continue to repeat itself.

Related: Venezuela: You can’t have a revolution without a few skidmarks; ignore the toilet paper shortage!