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Venezuela: A Country That Does 'Feel The Bern

Bernie Sanders and his supporters seem to love "democratic" socialism. However, they should look at Venezuela to see the logical conclusion of their ideas.

A woman Venezuelan citizen residing in Cali, Colombia, holds a poster that reads: '# SOS Venezuela. Venezuela free! Below repression' during a protest against the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, on February 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images

To anyone with basic economics knowledge, Bernie Sanders’ success is simply appalling.

How can long-debunked collectivist ideas from the 19th century still be so popular? It’s due in part to public education, which leaves no space for critical thinking as shown in this textbook. It’s also due to willful ignorance of the consequences of socialism, as it is painfully obvious in Venezuela.

A woman Venezuelan citizen residing in Cali, Colombia, holds a poster that reads: '# SOS Venezuela. Venezuela free! Below repression' during a protest against the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, on February 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images A woman Venezuelan citizen residing in Cali, Colombia, holds a poster that reads: '# SOS Venezuela. Venezuela free! Below repression' during a protest against the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, on February 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images

The country, host of the fifth largest proven oil reserves, is now in complete chaos. The consumer price index – the price of a given basket of goods – has increased exponentially since 2007. What used to cost $83 only nine years ago now costs nearly $2,150 – and counting.

You need over 200 bolivars (the national currency) on the black market to get one U.S. dollar. This meant that, only a year ago, a pack of condom cost $755. Needless to say that unwanted pregnancies and diseases like HIV are rampant.

The country also adopted a host of policies Sanders’ supporters would dream of.

  • Venezeulan President Hugo Chavez nationalized several industries, including cement, oil and steel. As a result, production has dropped in each of them and Venezuela now has to import.
  • In order to control “capitalist greed” Chavez set strict price controls over food products. Thankfully, otherwise this hoarder of powdered milk would have gotten more than his fair share.
  • As of 2016, over 65 percent of businesses’ commercial profits are taxed, making the country the second worst on the matter. Let's see how capital is renewed at that rate.
  • Chavez nationalized nearly all TV and radio stations, after which vast censorship ensued. The mob at Ben Shapiro’s talk in California would have surely rejoiced at these actions…

The Hidden Face of Scandinavia

Because of their cognitive dissonance, Sanders supporters will of course claim that they loathe the chaos in Venezuela. Although some might rely on Oliver Stone’s pamphlet whitewashing Chavez’ legacy to defend the failing country.

Instead they will claim that they want America to be more Denmark or Sweden. This would actually be an excellent idea, but not for the clichéd reasons they claim. For starters, both of them have a less progressive tax system.

Sweden abolished all farm subsidies before being forced to re-enact them to join the European Union. Its corporate taxes are much lower than in the U.S., there is no minimum wage, school vouchers are very common and nearly all that was state-owned was either privatized or opened to competition.

Denmark ranks third categories in the ease-of-doing-business index in 2016, beating the U.S. (seventh) in all but three categories (like Sweden, ranked eighth). And its corporate tax level is barely higher than Sweden. This explains why Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said that his country, despite a very generous welfare state, is not the socialist paradise Sanders claims it to be. And its social security tax is nearly 2.5 times lower than in the U.S.

In short, those that “feel the Bern” look even less educated than Donald Trump supporters are alleged to be. They support socialism without accepting its dire consequences, and they still believe that Sweden and Denmark are utopias to be integrally copied.

Well, considering that they believe government spends their money best, surely they wouldn’t mind being much poorer if the U.S. adopted a welfare system like Denmark’s.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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