Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Very Socialist Christmas

Venezuela’s Maduro destroyed the currency. Now he’s after the toys.

By Review & Outlook
The Wall Street Journal
December 14, 2016

This is a time of year when many Americans count their blessings, and among these is the annual Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Marines accept voluntary donations and distribute toys to millions of needy children. In Venezuela they are developing a different tradition. The government has deployed soldiers from its National Guard to seize millions of toys before they reach Venezuelan shoppers.

Rather than accepting blame for inflation that has been running at 470%, the government of President Nicol├ís Maduro is pretending that the country’s largest toy distributor, Kreisel-Venezuela, is simply charging too much. CNN reports that along with seizing the toys, the government also detained at least two people and that Kreisel executives may be prevented from leaving the country.

The regime is promising to offer the toys at below-market prices in poor areas. But with less than two weeks before Christmas, parents are wondering if they will be able to find gifts in a nation where shortages of meat, vegetables, medicine and other basic necessities have become common. Parents also can’t shop for toys while they are forced to line up this week to deposit their 100-bolivar notes, which the government has decided to outlaw in an attempt to disrupt a thriving underground market.

Venezuela has also been racked by surging crime and poverty. The unfolding misery ought to inspire U.S. musicians to collaborate around the holidays and record songs of protest. But raising awareness of the horrors of collectivism is rarely in style among American pop stars.

Venezuelans are now aware of what happens when the rule of law disappears from a nation. To adapt Margaret Thatcher, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money—and toys.

Article Link To The Wall Street Journal: