Walt Watson: America seeking Venezuela’s level

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

In my geography class back in the 1960s I watched an educational movie focused on Venezuela, a thriving and beautiful country that was among the most prosperous in the world.

Unlike Cuba, its leaders were elected; it had a free press, thriving businesses and well-educated, happy people. In the early 1950s it had the fourth highest gross domestic product in the world!

The geography lesson instilled in me a desire to visit this thriving country one day; alas, as years passed, the country sadly declined and today is on the verge of economic collapse.

Imagine going to your grocery store and finding the shelves largely empty or being forced to wait hours in line to get clean water, bread or other necessities. No longer affording to feed your family you turn your pet dog or cat loose.

Bodies of the dead lie and bloat in morgues where there is no refrigeration due to shortages of power. Newborn babies are placed in cardboard boxes in hospitals due to shortages of incubators.

Welcome to the nightmare of Venezuela, which shows what happens to a rich nation after decades of government corruption and mismanagement of a country that has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.

It’s convenient to blame socialist Hugo Chavez and his successor, but the problems of Venezuela started well before their regime took power in 1998. They just put the last nails in the coffin of what happens when people elect corrupt leaders and accept government handouts.

This is nothing new in the annals or human history – just look back at the Roman Empire for life under “bread and circuses.”

Venezuela’s decline started in 1958 after the nationalization of the oil industry and the restrictive, misguided economic policy of import substitution industrialization.

Next came further government interference with land reforms, elimination of alternative political parties, nationalization of other industries, a punitive, controlled judiciary, wage and price controls and currency devaluations (printing money without backing).

Today, heavily subsidized gasoline costs less than four cents a gallon, but there is no food, electricity or clean water. Welcome to an economy run by an entrenched, elite “democratic socialist”/socialist government.

No need to travel to Venezuela any longer; sadly, its seeds are planted here in America.

Giving too much control over our daily lives to faceless bureaucrats and unresponsive elected officials and a totalitarian judiciary gives us the chaos and costs of Obamacare, needless overregulation of businesses, increasing taxation, stagnant wages, unsustainable monetary policies and other interferences that will doom our economy – allowing us to experience first-hand the nightmare of our brothers and sisters in Venezuela.

As you cast your vote, think of Venezuela’s outcome with its experiment with socialistic policies and a “ruling class.” Do you want that for your heirs?

Walt Watson is a Saugus resident.

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Walt Watson: America seeking Venezuela’s level

In my geography class back in the 1960s I watched an educational movie focused on Venezuela, a thriving and beautiful country that was among the most prosperous in the world.

Unlike Cuba, its leaders were elected; it had a free press, thriving businesses and well-educated, happy people. In the early 1950s it had the fourth highest gross domestic product in the world!

The geography lesson instilled in me a desire to visit this thriving country one day; alas, as years passed, the country sadly declined and today is on the verge of economic collapse.

Imagine going to your grocery store and finding the shelves largely empty or being forced to wait hours in line to get clean water, bread or other necessities. No longer affording to feed your family you turn your pet dog or cat loose.

Bodies of the dead lie and bloat in morgues where there is no refrigeration due to shortages of power. Newborn babies are placed in cardboard boxes in hospitals due to shortages of incubators.

Welcome to the nightmare of Venezuela, which shows what happens to a rich nation after decades of government corruption and mismanagement of a country that has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.

It’s convenient to blame socialist Hugo Chavez and his successor, but the problems of Venezuela started well before their regime took power in 1998. They just put the last nails in the coffin of what happens when people elect corrupt leaders and accept government handouts.

This is nothing new in the annals or human history – just look back at the Roman Empire for life under “bread and circuses.”

Venezuela’s decline started in 1958 after the nationalization of the oil industry and the restrictive, misguided economic policy of import substitution industrialization.

Next came further government interference with land reforms, elimination of alternative political parties, nationalization of other industries, a punitive, controlled judiciary, wage and price controls and currency devaluations (printing money without backing).

Today, heavily subsidized gasoline costs less than four cents a gallon, but there is no food, electricity or clean water. Welcome to an economy run by an entrenched, elite “democratic socialist”/socialist government.

No need to travel to Venezuela any longer; sadly, its seeds are planted here in America.

Giving too much control over our daily lives to faceless bureaucrats and unresponsive elected officials and a totalitarian judiciary gives us the chaos and costs of Obamacare, needless overregulation of businesses, increasing taxation, stagnant wages, unsustainable monetary policies and other interferences that will doom our economy – allowing us to experience first-hand the nightmare of our brothers and sisters in Venezuela.

As you cast your vote, think of Venezuela’s outcome with its experiment with socialistic policies and a “ruling class.” Do you want that for your heirs?

Walt Watson is a Saugus resident.

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Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

  • Brian Baker

    Well said, Walt Watson!

    • indy

      I’d suggest this poster and the Op-ed writer actually investigate what democratic socialism actually is before trying to ‘frame’ a nation’s problems on conservative ideology.

      Here in the US, we have socialist based programs (funded by all for the benefit of all) like our military, courts, roads, parks, fire, police, public education, and other services that cushion the ‘shortcomings’ of capitalism.

      As far as the tire and worn out criticism based on ‘bureaucracy’, any organization requires people to operate and manage same. ‘Blaming’ the outcome without understanding the basic economic drivers in effect creates the type of paranoia put forth by the Op-ed writer and agreed to by the poster.

      Government like any organization, needs to be managed effectively.

      Here in the US, we have the ‘best’ schools of management in the world . . . and have had them for decades . . . yet the GOP conservatives keep ‘whining’ about ‘waste and fraud’?\

      Why hasn’t the GOP enlisted the tens of thousands of well-trained managers that graduate from our nation’s schools of management including Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Harvard, even our local CSUN to run government?

      How is ‘blaming’ bureaucrats a substitute for sound management?

      And here we go again with the mindless assertion of ‘over regulation’ . . . why hasn’t the House dominated by republicans held ‘OPEN’ hearings on what regulations they deem harmful? What are they waiting for?

      As far as taxation goes, as population density has creased, so has the costs of almost anything. The days of ‘more for less’ are gone . . . a outcome of ignoring the economic factors that have outdated our ‘folklore’ and today only ‘frustrate’ voters who want to know reality not just another round of ideology recitals that we see don’t work.

      It’s time that leaders, media, and voters grasp the concept of ‘sustainability’ that addresses the factors that are play with population and resources . . . which gives a more realistic reality to our future economic gains.

      Suggest visiting these sites to acquire this knowledge and remove the frustration from only listening to ideology based pronouncements:

      http://www.steadystate.org
      http://www.worldwatch.org
      http://www.populationconnection.org
      http://www.earth.columbia.edu/sections/view/9
      http://www.postcarbon.org

      Knowledge is strength . . . inform yourself . . . help your neighbors and call your leaders . . . tell them we live in the ‘real world’ . . . not some abstracted ideology driven frustration based political system.

      • tech

        Placing “Democratic” as a modifier doesn’t negate what follows, i.e. Socialism.

        Venezuela has “Democratic Socialism”. How’s that working out?

  • noonan

    Unfortunately Walt, your message will be lost on those that need it most.

  • tech

    A cogent column with a very real example, Mr. Watson.

    Nicely done!