Caracas, Venezuela (Accredited Times) – Want more equality, more progress, more social justice, and even a thinner waistline? Try moving to Venezuela.
Yes, Venezuela, a sleepy Latin American country nestled just above the Amazon rainforest, has wowed activists for years with its dedication towards progressive governance — and the impressive results it has achieved.
Senator Bernie Sanders (VT-Socialist/Democrat) raved about Venezuela, saying: “These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger.”
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, agreed that the Venezuelan government had made terrific strides by insuring “that the poor matter and wealth can be shared.”
Following the successful model championed by progressive economies like Cuba and the Soviet Union, Venezuela has implemented a host of Marxist measures to stimulate the economy. Although countries like the United States have made significant progress towards realizing Karl Marx’s platform, Venezuela has made even more progress.
How Marxist Is Venezuela?
Following the Accredited Times’ previous analysis of the United States, here is an evaluation of the degree of Marxism in Venezuela:
1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose – Venezuela essentially has made the same progress as America on this item, but Venezuela also took the abolition of private property a step further by “nationalizing” (seizing) various large business operations, including:
- Gold mining facilities controlled by Gold Reserve Inc. and Rusoro Mining Ltd.;
- Energy projects controlled by oil and gas majors, such as ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Total, and Statoil;
- Eleven oil rigs controlled by Helmerich & Payne Inc.;
- A major gas injection project owned by Williams Cos. Inc.;
- A rice mill operated by a subsidiary of Cargill Inc.;
- All operations of local fertilizer company Fertinitro;
- All operations of agriculture supply company Agroislena;
- All Venezuelan operations of glass container maker Owens Illinois Inc.;
- Various cement facilities owned by Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd., France’s Lafarge S.A., and Mexico’s Cemex SAB de CV;
- A steel mill controlled by Ternium S.A.; and
- Various banks, including Banco Federal, Banco de Venezuela, and dozens of small banks.
As in the United States, Venezuela imposes property taxes locally. Each municipality sets its own rate. As a result, most people essentially “rent” land from the government, and private property in land does not really exist.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax – CHECK. Like the United States, Venezuela has a heavy progressive tax rate. Surprisingly to some, Venezuela’s top tax rate, 34%, is actually lower than the United States federal government’s top tax rate of 39.6%. The U.S. rate is even higher when factoring in state tax rates, which can go as high as 13.3% in California. So, with respect to taxation, the United States is actually substantially more Marxist than Venezuela.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance – As in the United States, Venezuela has heavy inheritance taxes, which can go as high as 55%.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels – Venezuela has actively confiscated property from capitalist pigs who have dared to attack the socialist paradise, but more undoubtedly needs to be done.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly – CHECK. The government-controlled Central Bank of Venezuela controls credit for the entire country.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state – CHECK. The Venezuelan government controls the roads and communications companies, including CANTV, the largest telecommunications provider in Venezuela.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan – CHECK. As noted, the Venezuelan government seized various factories and production facilities to give the people “public options” in deciding what to buy.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture – CHECK. Venezuela unionized the country and built armies of paramilitary “Chavistas” to attack anyone who criticizes the Venezuelan government.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country – CHECK. Venezuela has adopted the most recent technologies in combining agriculture with manufacturing, particularly with the nationalizations of Fertinitro and Agroislena. The Venezuelan government also launched a National Railway Development Plan to create 15 railway lines across the country with 8,500 miles of track by 2030 in order to distribute the population more equitably over the country.
10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc. – CHECK.
Venezuela’s Economic Scorecard: A+
Venezuela’s progressive economic policies have made the country the envy of Latin America. Not only has the country prospered economically, but its people have also thrived considerably by the more equitable distribution of wealth.
Most notably, the average Venezuelan reported losing an average of 19 pounds in a study conducted in 2016. How many Americans would love to have those weight loss results? Venezuelans have even named their healthy eating practices the “Maduro Diet”, after current progressive Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuelans have also adopted more sustainable food practices. While restaurants and grocery stores in the United States routinely throw away over 40% of food, Venezuelans have followed the local produce model championed by healthy food advocates like Michelle Obama. Venezuelans eat whatever they can find locally. Venezuela has shown that in agriculture, as in healthcare, “single payer” is better.
Venezuela has also achieved significant results on the overpopulation front. Venezuela’s population is actually currently shrinking. That’s great news for environmental activists concerned about CO2 emissions.
Although Venezuela has faced some economic challenges from recent oil price declines, Venezuela’s Marxist government has dealt with those challenges far better than non-Marxist governments, such as those in other oil-and-gas-based economies, including Russia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Trinidad & Tobago (a neighbor to Venezuela). To deal with the minor turbulence, Venezuela has followed the tried-and-true progressive method of Central Bank money-printing, plus vigorous minimum wage increases and price controls to keep capitalists from price-gouging. As a result, regular people continue to live the high life and keep earning more and more money. Bakers and milkmen now typically make eight times what they made last year for bread and milk, respectively. Maduro even recently raised the minimum wage by 60% to over 200,000 bolivares per month. Imagine if you made $200,000 or £200,000 per month!
Capitalist pigs are currently attempting to undermine the “Venezuelan dream” with lies and propaganda. They are even trying to mount a fascist coup with the help of traitors in the military. Don’t believe the lies. Venezuela is a progressive success story.
Karl Marx was right. Bernie Sanders was right. Socialism works.