Failure of Socialism

Another ‘victory’ for socialism – Venezuela soars to the top of the world’s 2019 misery index

By Monica Showalter

It’s no surprise to anyone that socialist Venezuela is an utterly miserable place – there’s pictures showing that the capital of Caracas looks like a trash heap, there’s the fact that hungry people eat from garbage trucks and drink sewer water, and there’s the horrible reality that people are leaving  the country may see a full half of its population flee for any country that will take them.

But there are a lot of crappy places out there and maybe it’s just bad press focusing on a few things, right?

Wrong. The sheer awfulness of socialism in Venezuela has been quantified, in hard numbers, by Johns Hopkins University Professor of Economics, Steve Hanke, whose global list, with hard data such as unemployment, inflation, interest rates, minus the percentage change in GDP per capita, quantifies the factors every year. Here is this year’s list:

A bigger version can be seen if you click here.

Notice how large a margin Venezuela’s socialist failure amounts to – its sheer rottenness on all fronts, but especially from its inflation rate, really drives home that things are as bad as the press reports they are.

Notice also that Brazil and Argentina are also near the top of the list, showing that a bad side effect of socialism is that the misery just lingers and lingers. Not only is socialism tough to shake off, even if you do it, the lingering side effects extend.

Which combined with Venezuela ought to be a warning to U.S. voters stay as far away from socialism as possible.

Economist Dan Mitchell has some exellent observations about what this really means, writing:

For what it’s worth, if you look at the actual Misery Index numbers, Venezuela is in first place by an enormous margin. Chalk that up as another “victory” for socialism.

Moreover, I’m not surprised to see that Jordan, Ukraine, and South Africa are doing poorly. Sadly, there’s not much hope for improvement in those nations.

It’s also not a surprise to see Brazil on the list, though there may be room for optimism if the new government can adopt meaningful reforms.


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