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Venezuela Descends Into Predictable Dictatorship

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A thousand gleeful obituaries have been written for “Kansas’ failed experiment” with Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts. But if Kansas’ economy provides a cautionary tale for supply-siders on the right, then Venezuela provides an even more stark warning for socialist sympathizers on the left.

Last weekend, president Nicolas Maduro used a sham election to consolidate power, and by Tuesday armed thugs were rounding up opposition leaders. This is the all but inevitable outcome of the Venezuelan government’s economic policies, which have driven the richest nation in Latin America—a country with more oil than Saudi Arabia—into shocking destitution.

Basic necessities such as diapers, toilet paper, and toothpaste have become rare luxuries. Infant mortality has skyrocketed, and is now higher in Venezuela than in Syria. Inflation has reached an annual rate of 700 percent. The government has responded by “scrambling to print new bills fast enough to keep up with the torrid pace of price increases,” as Bloomberg noted a year ago, which of course has only made the problem worse. – READ MORE

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