Lessons from Venezuela

Democrats say President Joe Biden won “a strong mandate.” His government can do all sorts of good things!

I don’t believe he has a mandate, but thanks to the selfishness of former President Donald Trump, Democrats control Congress, and that may give them power to shove their worst ideas down our throats. Those include:

No. 1: Hate speech laws.

No. 2: Expanding the Supreme Court.

No. 3: Gun control.

No. 4: Spending much more.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have noticed that these “reforms” were just tried in a country near us. My new video reveals how they worked out (spoiler alert: badly).

Venezuela became progressives “it” country when Hugo Chavez became president.

Celebrities like Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore showered him with praise. Sean Penn called him “one of the most important forces we’ve had on this planet.”

“You have to be blind to believe that,” responds Andres Guilarte of The Fund for American Studies.

Guilarte is one of many Venezuelans who risked his life to protest socialist rule. When the protests failed, he came to the United States as a refugee.

Today, protest is even riskier in Venezuela, because of progressive reform No. 1: the “Law Against Hatred.”

Half America’s Democrats support that, says a YouGov poll.

They should rethink what they want, says Guilarte, because “the ruling party … (gets to decide) what hate speech is.”

In Venezuela, critics of the government now face jail time.

No. 2: Some Democrats want to add four new justices to the Supreme Court. Sen. Ed Markey says the new justices would “restore balance” after years of Republican rule.

Chavez added justices to Venezuela’s Supreme Court.

He “changed it from 20 people to 32 people,” says Guilarte. After that, “the court never ruled against him.” It let him shut down opposition media and confiscate 1,000 private businesses.

No. 3: American Democrats want gun control.

In Venezuela now, only the army, police and certain favored groups may have guns. That made it even easier for officials to come to people’s homes and take their property.

“You’re just in your shop, selling shoes,” explains Guilarte. “Some government officer arrives and says, ‘We’re going to shut down your business.’ That would be completely different if that business owner had a gun.”

“But the government would just come in with bigger guns,” I suggest.

“If we had a culture like you have in the U.S.,” Guilarte responds, “It would have been incredibly difficult.”

Venezuela’s gun control didn’t even reduce crime. In fact, Venezuela’s murder rate rose. Venezuela now has the third-highest murder rate in the world.

“These laws never work,” says Guilarte. “Citizens don’t have guns. But the criminals have bigger guns!”

No. 4: The most important lesson from Venezuela is the idea that governments can fund whatever they want to do simply by printing more money.

“The Federal government can never run out of money,” says Modern Monetary Theory economist Stephanie Kelton. She’s convinced politicians that they can spend much more without worrying about inflation.

“Well, of course, John,” replies Guilarte, sarcastically. “That’s how the economy works. You just print money because money comes up from trees.”

Venezuela printed money and won praise from progressives by spending some on programs they said would help the poor. But the poor and the middle class were crushed by the inflation that followed: 20% … then 100% … 3,000% … 40,000%! This destroyed Venezuela.

Inflation in America has risen to 5.4%. Bad, but of course, nothing close to what happened in Venezuela.

“Doesn’t mean that it can’t happen!” warns Guilarte.

That, unfortunately, is true.

“We were the richest economy in Latin America,” he points out. “People from America came to Venezuela to build businesses.”

Now the country is in shambles.

“Everything can fall to the ground really quickly,” says Guilarte. “Inflation is like a cancer. You never know when it’s going to hit you.”

Let’s learn from socialism’s failures.

The idea that massive government spending and other progressive feel-good policies will help America, when these same ideas failed horribly elsewhere, is a dangerous myth.

9 thoughts on “Lessons from Venezuela

  1. John, you are blaming what the democrats are doing to our country on Trump? Really?….Good God…

    1. I think he’s blaming the 50/50 Senate on Trump because of the Georgia election. I’m not sure it would have ended differently even if Trump had been more gracious. The GOP had pretty weak candidates.

    2. Don’t you know it’s always Trump’s fault? When they get sick Trump is to blame, a flat tire that’s on him to, no matter what happens Trump gets the blame, except when something good happens they steal the blame.

  2. How was Trump selfish? Everything he did helped America and her citizens, look at us now. We are weak, we are going broke while people like Pelosi and her dogs get richer, and crime in dem states is at its worst in history! 10 months ago we were a strong thriving nation now we are on a sinking ship.

  3. Please explain Donald Trumps selfishness. How many people that believe Trump was all for America, giving up his lavish lifestyle and donating his Presidential salary was selfish? You immediately lost any conservative, young or old by your unqualified statement.

  4. I am in agreement with your goal to “explain liberty and free markets to young people”. However it seems you do the same thing as you say the MSM does. I was going to join your site/page, whatever, but not when, off the bat, you make the statement …thanks to the selfishness of former President Donald Trump… . Sorry that isn’t reaching anyone who believes Trump was doing what was good for America. Proof is how badly we are doing now in such a short time.

  5. Comparing the US to Venezuela? Give Me a Break! How about comparing the US to some of the world’s countries with the lowest crime rates, like Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Each of these countries has very effective law enforcement, and Denmark, Norway, and Japan have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world. But honest journalism doesn’t serve Stossel’s right-wing agenda.

  6. I agree with some of the above comments. The article has some great points but if anything Trump was reversing policy’s and programs that Obama/Clinton spent years putting in place to lead us down this communist rabbit hole we are now in. That is why the Dems had to steal the 2020 election or EVERYTHING would have been unraveled!!

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