Socialism is closer than ever to being fully realized in Venezuela. Almost everyone has the same access to food, water, medical care, and electricity no matter their social station. And in another socialist trope come to life, money literally blows around some streets like leaves from a tree.
Before you start packing your bags, you should know there are a few problems with this seemingly idyllic picture.
For starters, although most everyone has equal access to food, water, and power, it’s only because these basics are universally scarce. Venezuela has spent most of this week in a series of major electrical blackouts. Running water became a problem months ago, and the situation is only getting worse.
Proper food is a distant memory for many Venezuelans, who turn to picking through trash and hunting cats for sustenance, according to USA Today. Many of the country’s zoo animals were culled for their meat long ago by desperate citizens.
And the cash on the street?
The joy from that may quickly turn to ashes once you realize the currency is literally worth less than the paper it’s printed on thanks to out-of-control inflation.
The country’s cash is so increasingly worthless, the International Monetary Fund is forecasting a 10 million percent inflation rate for 2019.
Because of this, stacks of bills quickly become trash as their buying power diminishes by the day.
Vandals, likely emboldened from wide-reaching blackouts and paper-thin police resources, reportedly looted a bank in the city of Mérida. Whatever else they took, money wasn’t a priority.
Piles of the useless currency ended up littering the street. A report of the incident is circulating widely on Twitter.
— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) March 11, 2019
The incident hasn’t been reported outside of Twitter users, but Google Earth images appear to confirm the bank’s location in Merida and its surrounding buildings, and the images appear to be directly related to the Twitter reports about the looting incident.
And although it looks like Scrooge McDuck’s driveway, the millions of bolívars littering the road probably won’t even cover the cost of a loaf of bread.
Let the sheer insanity of this situation sink in for a moment: Socialism’s death grip on the Venezuelan economy has made normal bank robbery a crime that probably isn’t even worth the gasoline it takes to fuel the getaway car (if you can find the gas in the first place.)
But there is hope in Venezuela. Despite the best attempts by the socialist government, capitalism has remained like a weed that refuses to be eradicated.
As the U.K. Daily Mail reported last year, ingenious capitalists discovered a use for the piles of worthless cash. Some turned the banknote portraits into art, while others wove baskets from the useless money. These crafts are sold to foreigners, netting the craftsmen a neat little profit.
The grim and total failure of socialism is a very real thing for many Venezuelans.
Unfortunately, there are those in the United States who don’t wish to distance themselves from that economic system, but actually embrace it.
So-called democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not shy about espousing their love of socialism. And they each have hordes of devotees, willing to vote this self-destructive system into power.
And if we’re not careful, those promises of money so abundant it floods the street may just become a reality here in America.
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