Using Atlas Shrugged As A Manual

If anyone is looking for an example of how not to regulate an economy, the the perfect example exists in South America.

Once a country with a bustling economy and rising per capita incomes, Venezuela has become an economic basket case as government control crippled wider swaths of the economy to the point where nothing works, prices are skyrocketing, goods are scarce and becoming more so, and where what few factories have managed to survive to this point are grinding to a halt because they have no way to pay for parts and other supplies needed to continue production.

The Socialist Utopia ushered in by the late dictator Hugo Chavez has finally reached its goal with the total destruction of the “capitalist hell” the Venezuelan people were forced to live in under previous governments. Now that everyone (except the elites) are equal, they know share equal amounts of misery, privation, poverty, lack of necessities, and lack of rights.

One has to wonder whether Chavez and his successor read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and mistook it for a manual rather than a warning. From what I've seen of the results of Chavismo in that once wealthy country, I'd have to say that's exactly what they've done. Considering Venezuela's oil reserves are huge, one would think there would be more than enough money coming in to support government spending. But oil production has plummeted as the country's oil infrastructure has started failing because those who knew how to keep it running were kicked out, cronies moved in, and hard cash needed to buy parts to keep it running has become scarce.

And to think our President admired Hugo Chavez.