A post on by Daniel Greenfield got me to thinking why the United States couldn’t suffer a similar fate to Venezuela’s:
After the fun of electronics stores forced to discount televisions at gunpoint, there were no more televisions. And no more cars. Then no more toilet paper, milk and other basic necessities.
The Socialist government tried to solve its money problem by printing more money. But it wasn’t able to pay for the money it wanted to print because of the inflation which officially did not exist.
Greenfield goes on to note that some American politicians propound policies of a similar mindset, making one wonder whether there’s something in the American character that will eventually stop the process or it’s just a matter of luck and the erosion of principle.
The first argument of distinction between our country and the one that Hugo Chavez ruined is that we’re wealthier, and in a broader way. But that just means we have farther to fall, which could mean more time or it could only necessitate a bigger mess up… say a decade of quantitative easing and massive federal debt combined with a regulatory state that makes it more difficult for people to work off the extra burdens and a welfare state that promises to buy them off if dependence on government is an option they’re willing to entertain.
A second argument, related to the fact that we have more wealth and room to fall, is that we have a culture of self-reliance and rebelliousness. Well, we’re arguably engaged in an experiment to discover how few generations it takes to get out of the habit of self-reliance. And as for rebelliousness, that’s well and good to talk about and believe in, but the proof is in the doing.
Ultimately, if it can’t happen here, we better get to proving it soon.