Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chavez' Shop-n-Save

Remember Julie Murphy?  She's the 7 year old entrepreneur whose lemonade stand got shut down for lack of a $120 license.  The Portland health department explained, "we still need to put the public's health first."

Such vigilance should be rewarded.  Let's put these guys on the border.  Nothing gets by them!

Don't ask me why, but this incident came to mind when I read about Venezuela's recent nationalization of supermarket chains in the socialist utopia.  In announcing the "deal", the Chavez government stated:
 "With the acquisition of a majority stake [in the Cativen group], the transition to a socialist economic model will be reinforced... Now the people can buy and eat more."
But then on Friday the Miami Herald ran this headline: Venezuela introduces Cuba-like food card.  The card is called the "Good Life Card" (but of course).  The fear is that the card will be used to ration food as it is in Cuba.  But I wouldn't worry.  Hugo Chavez was quoted as saying:
"I have called it a Good Life Card so far.  It's a card for you to purchase what you are going to take and they keep deducting.  It's a buy what you need, not to promote communism, but to buy what just what (sic) you need."
See?  Nothing to worry about.  Buy and eat more food... as long as it's not more than you need.  And who decides that?  Why Hugo does!  Sorry, no more eggs for you!  There's a shortage.  Don't be greedy.

Socialism creates the exact opposite of its stated goal.  Not free food for all, but shortages.  Good intentions don't create wealth.

To date, the Chavez regime has taken over banks, utilities, telecom, cement, steel, sugar, dairy products, oil, oil services, refineries, hotels, mining, rice, and now grocery chains.  Even a chocolate factory and a private (horror) university.  None of this should be a surprise.  As capital gets destroyed and "redistributed", the government is constantly searching for new sources of cash and goods to placate the masses.  Every one of these confiscations was for a reason.  There was always a greedy private company made out to be a demon.  And yes, the citizenry cheered their savior at every step.  One wonders how long it will take for the blinders to come off.

Interestingly, cattle ranches were among the first businesses seized by the Venezuelan government (2005).  Not coincidentally, shortages of beef started appearing in 2007 and are still a problem.  How is this possible?  It must be those greedy grocers!

Hugo took over the utilities in 2007.  Today, blackouts are widespread.  What?  A pure coincidence.

At the time a JP Morgan report stated:
We still do not feel Chavez intends to stamp out the private sector altogether in Venezuela; the nationalization of CANTV and other former public utilities carries symbolic weight.”
Merrill Lynch said, "We do not see an across-the-board abolition of private property."

Good call guys! 

Here recall that Thatcher quote about  running out of other people's money.  In this sense, Venezuela is running out of pockets to pinch.  Once you've got the banks and oil companies, supermarkets are relatively small potatoes.  This socialist experiment is getting long in the tooth.  But they'll continue to destroy what's left of the economy before the inevitable collapse.

Given the list of industries above, one wonders what's left to nationalize.  And that brings us back to our little Portland entrepreneur.

Julie, be glad you're in the USA.  If you were in Venezuela, Hugo's thugs/parasites/community organizers would get around to nationalizing your lemonade stand sooner or later.  After all, 50 cents for lemonade is pure greed, an assault on the poor.  The nerve of enriching yourself at the expense of so many!

Instead of the health inspector shutting you down, Hugo would put one of his G-men in charge of your (scratch that) the people's lemonade stand.

Free lemonade for all (while supplies last).  Power to the people!

Sadly, there are plenty of parallels to Venezuela here in this country.  That Portland is in the forefront shouldn't be a surprise.  Just kidding...

Try this Chavez quote addressed to all the country's private banks under the heading of Private Banks Must Help Country's Progress:
You want me to nationalize the banks?  I have no problem with that because the banks don't want to extend credit to the poor, they don't comply, they don't want to comply with the bank's purpose for existence.
Sound familiar?  Lending money to people who can't pay it back?  The real purpose of banks?  It sounds like Barney Frank and other Fannie/Freddie proponents.

And how about our new free health care!?  Or is that just the health care we "need"?

Give me Julie's lemonade and other "greedy" capitalists over an altruistic government plan.  When it comes to protecting the public health, I trust the pursuit of profit over a government license any day.

Looks like poor Julie isn't safe anywhere these days!

Disclosure:  I love black market lemonade!


  1. and the party continues..

    (Chavez Nationalizes Plant Partly Owned by US)http://www.cnbc.com/id/39610223