Yesterday The New York Times posted an article about recent events in Venezuela.
The article reports:
For the first time in a century, there are no rigs searching for oil in Venezuela.
Wells that once tapped the world’s largest crude reserves are abandoned or left to flare toxic gases that cast an orange glow over depressed oil towns.
Refineries that once processed oil for export are rusting hulks, leaking crude that blackens shorelines and coats the water in an oily sheen.
Fuel shortages have brought the country to a standstill. At gas stations, lines go on for miles.
Venezuela’s colossal oil sector, which shaped the country and the international energy market for a century, has come to a near halt, with production reduced to a trickle by years of gross mismanagement and American sanctions. The collapse is leaving behind a destroyed economy and a devastated environment, and, many analysts say, bringing to an end the era of Venezuela as an energy powerhouse.
First of all, American sanctions are a very small part of the problem. When the government began taking over industries, it did not know how to run them successfully and there was no real incentive for innovation and progress. Innovation and progress are much more commonly associated with the free market than socialism. This was entirely predictable.
In November 2013, I posted an article reporting the following:
On Friday the Associated Press reported that PDVSA, the government-owned oil producer in Venezuela, seized control of two oil rigs owned by a unit of Houston-based Superior Energy Services. The company had shut down the rigs because the Venezuela oil monopoly was behind on payments.
…Nicolas Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chavez, has not taken over any industries during the six months he has been President of Venezuela. This is the first move he has made in that direction. When Hugo Chavez began taking over industries, one news analyst observed that it would be difficult for him to keep those industries running at their profit levels without the knowledge of the companies that owned them. The seizure of these two rigs, which are repair rigs, is an illustration of that point.
Before socialism, Venezuela was one of the richest nations in South America. They had a booming economy. Now people are starving. The is the fruit of socialism. People are designed to work for a reward. When there is no reward for extra work, there is no extra work done. The Pilgrims attempted a communal system of farming when they originally settled Plymouth. They abandoned the idea and gave each family their own plot of land to farm after they nearly starved to death. America tried socialism already. It didn’t work. Now we have a candidate who embraces socialistic policies running for President. If Joe Biden is elected, America will eventually go the way of Venezuela.