An unstable mix of socialism and populism has spent years steering Venezuela’s economy into a spiral of stagnation and deterioration, and has lately brought about a new level of crippling economic crisis. Venezuela is in the grips of rapidly rising inflation, rationing, price controls, and even predictable shortages for basic necessities, like toilet paper. However, Venezuela could end up losing far more than the products on their shelves.
The Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento Económico para la Libertad (CEDICE) — an Atlas Network partner in Venezuela — recently released a report about the results of Venezuela's 16-year experiment with socialism, in which the authors argue that increases in social spending for ideological social programs has caused the destruction of the social heritage of Venezuelans.
In the name of reducing poverty and injustice, the government diverted massive amounts of public funds to create a parasitic, clientelistic network with which to secure voter fidelity, legitimacy, and power. This resulted in the neglect and degradation of educational buildings, hospitals, universities, roads, and the electrical grid — leaving basic infrastructure and public facilities worse off than they were 16 years ago. “The result can not be anything other than the total impoverishment of society,” the report claims.