I thought about sending him and email, but he’s a socialist leftie and by definition cannot learn from their mistakes. It’s sad to watch what may be a modern Walter Duranty try to smooth over what was a failing state even back in 2013. But fail it did, with horrifying results.
By morning, three newborns were already dead.
The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.
Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.
“The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in the nation’s capital, Caracas, referring to the toll from Venezuela’s collapsing hospitals.
At the University of the Andes Hospital in the mountain city of Mérida, there was not enough water to wash blood from the operating table. Doctors preparing for surgery cleaned their hands with bottles of seltzer water.
“It is like something from the 19th century,” said Dr. Christian Pino, a surgeon at the hospital.
The figures are devastating. The rate of death among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals run by the Health Ministry, to just over 2 percent in 2015 from 0.02 percent in 2012, according to a government report provided by lawmakers.
The rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period, according to the report.
Here in the Caribbean port town of Barcelona, two premature infants died recently on the way to the main public clinic because the ambulance had no oxygen tanks. The hospital has no fully functioning X-ray or kidney dialysis machines because they broke long ago. And because there are no open beds, some patients lie on the floor in pools of their blood.
It is a battlefield clinic in a country where there is no war.
“Some come here healthy, and they leave dead,” Dr. Leandro Pérez said, standing in the emergency room of Luis Razetti Hospital, which serves the town.
We forget here in America how fragile society really is, and how quickly it can succumb to outside forces. In a hurricane, we see looting and people hungry because nobody prepares for it. But that is mitigated by our nation’s ability to provide food and security and care to those trapped within the region affected. But what if the whole nation goes under at the same time? And what if the leader of that nation is a flaming retard socialist is more than just a little nuts?
Remember, Marduro is a flaming moron BEFORE Chavez picked him as a successor, and Chavez wasn’t all that bright or stable either. Both have managed to squander over a trillion dollars in a nation where a few dollars can go a long way.
Part of it was on his racing teams.
But let’s get to how much Sirota sounds like Duranty.
For the last decade in American politics, Hugo Chavez became a potent political weapon – within a few years of his ascent, he was transformed from just a leader of a neighboring nation into a boogeyman synonymous with extremism. Regularly invoked in over-the-top political rhetoric, Chavez’s name became a decontextualized epithet to try to attach to a political opponent so as to make that opponent look like a radical. Because of this, America barely flinched upon hearing the news that the Bush administration tried to orchestrate a coup against the democratically elected Venezuelan leader.
Just to get it out of the way, I’ll state the obvious: with respect to many policies, Chavez was no saint. He, for instance, amassed a troubling record when it came to protecting human rights and basic democratic freedoms (though as Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy notes, “Venezuela is recognized by many scholars to be more democratic than it was in the pre-Chávez era”). His rein also coincided with a boom in violent crime.
That said, these serious problems, while certainly worthy of harsh criticism, were not the primary reason Chavez became the favorite effigy of American politicians and pundits. In an age marked by America’s drone assaults, civil liberties abuses, and war on voting, it is not as if this nation’s political establishment sees an assault on democratic freedoms as deplorable. Likewise, that same political establishment is more than friendly with leaders of countries like Mexico and Colombia – countries which are also periodically hotbeds of violent crime.
No, Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.
Actually, no he didn’t. What he did was nationalize industries and on the back of a trillion dollars over a decade simply spent his way into popularity. He used oil money (ewww, oil money! lefties hate it!) to fund is crazy socialist experiment without actually providing for his nation’s future. And then his successor doubled down on this madness until all the money is gone. Venezuela is so broke it doesn’t have the money to print money! It’s over, done, gone. And it did so in fifteen years.
Sirota may be a dummy who doesn’t understand basic economics. Most liberals don’t. Kind of like the chimpanzee riding on the Soviet rocket. He’s just there for the view, not to actually pilot the thing.
Even back in 2013 the writing was on the wall for anyone with more than a sixth grade education and basic understanding of economics. However, Sirota seemed to have neither as he concludes is article with this;
To start, that means asking important questions.
For example, the United States has adamantly rejected the concept of nationalization and instead pursued a bailout/subsidy strategy when it comes to rapacious banks and oil companies – and those firms have often gone on to wreak economic havoc. Are there any lessons to be learned from Venezuela’s decision to avoid that subsidization route and instead pursue full-on nationalization?
Likewise, in a United States whose poverty rate is skyrocketing, are there any lessons to be learned from Venezuela’s policies that so rapidly reduced poverty?
And in a United States that has become more unequal than many Latin American nations, are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chavez’s grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution?
Lessons to be learned, as children die in hospitals, people starve and the nation is on the verge of a civil war?
Socialism is a bad idea, every time it is tried and everywhere its done. I mean, duh. Margaret Thatcher is famously remembered as saying socialism works until you run out of everybody else’s money.
She was right then, she is right now.
Jeez, David, pick up a book.