“Socialism is Wealth,” Only for Chávez’s Cronies

Chavista Elitists Shamelessly Rake In Millions while Nation Suffers

EspañolVenezuelan newspaper El Universal reported on Thursday, August 14, that the Venezuelan central government has obtained US$10.68 million in credit from the National Assembly to import basic personal-hygiene products that have remained scarce since last year.

Unfortunately, news of the loan is unlikely to inspire relief among Venezuelans who must wait in long lines to buy bare necessities such as toilet paper. Scarcity of everything from milk to toothpaste has become endemic throughout Venezuela, and store shelves are often stocked with only one brand option — if at all — forcing Venezuelans to overpay for ill-suited products before the available supply runs out.

Solo una opción debido a las dificultades de importar (Wilfredor/ Wikimedia)

In Venezuelan supermarkets only one option exists for many basic consumer products. (Wikimedia)

The intention of this article is not to deride Venezuela, nor imply that the people of impoverished countries deserve the hardships of scarcity. Rather, I want to point out the irony of the Venezuelan economic crisis: a country with such infrastructural and resource potential for domestic production, yet forced to import consumer goods with capital that should have been invested in the promise that once was Venezuela.

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The Myth of Underfunded Education in Puerto Rico

Private Schools Embarrass the Status Quo and Cost Less, Not More

EspañolI remember sitting in a chemistry classroom in a government school in Puerto Rico in the 1980s, as the professor told me there wasn’t enough money to buy lab equipment. We would have to make drawings in our notebooks of lab equipment and pretend to conduct the experiments. When I asked him about it later, he alluded to the fact that Puerto Rico just didn’t get as much money as other US schools.

I sat pondering this issue of unfairness as I looked out the screen-less windows of the classroom and swatted a mosquito in the midst of yet another Dengue Fever outbreak.… A couple of years later I attended a Defense Department School at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station (also in Puerto Rico), and not only did they have lab equipment, they had chemicals and safety stations.

How unfair could the United States be?

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China’s Illegitimate Child, and No Shotgun Wedding for Venezuela

Our Fate Trapped by US$26 Billion Debt, $2 Daily Wage

EspañolIt is well known that China’s one-child policy has resulted in a generation of illegitimate children, who lack constitutional and human rights in the country. In total, approximately 90 million children live in such a condition, working in factories and making less than a dollar per day.

President Nicolás Maduro honors his counterpart Xi Jinping, president of China, as an Order of the Liberator.

President Nicolás Maduro, honoring his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as an Order of the Liberator. (Prensa Presidencial)

Less known, however, is that China has a third child: illegitimate, exploited, without constitutional rights, and earning two dollars per hour. Her name is Venezuela.

Venezuela’s infantile dependence on the Asian nation began when the United Socialist Party took power 15 years ago. Through agreements, contracts, financing, and “funding,” Venezuela now owes China US$25.7 billion. Given the population projection for 2014 of 30,206,307, every single Venezuelan owes the Chinese $850.80.

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No More US “Aid” for Eternal Poverty in Gaza

Commerce Offers Road from Humiliating Dependence to Peace

EspañolThe debate over whether Gaza Strip residents deserve to be punished for the acts of men who do not represent them warrants our attention. Criminals must be accused of having committed crimes, face trial, and then be brought to justice. Life should be preserved and protected at all costs, especially the lives of innocents; and where due process isn’t an option, innocents suffer the consequences.

Beyond the latest outbreak unfortunate violence, though, something else has been bothering me: the underling, long-term situation for Palestinians living in Gaza, and how their existence offers a glimpse into the many factors that keep them from being free and independent.

Economic Realities

Economics deals with how we exchange with one another, and its application is pertinent in this case. Its most basic principle is scarcity. If means were abundant, allocation would be irrelevant, and there would be no need to work. Scarcity makes certain means special to men.

Scarcity of certain items prompts men to rearrange their surroundings, so they may obtain what is not readily available. However, once they have bought into the illusion that there’s an infinite supply of certain goods or services, such actions appear superfluous to achieving their goals.

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Citgo Sale Signals Fragility, Desperation of Bolivarian Revolution

Crisis Drives Need for Quick Revenue from PDVSA's US Affiliate

EspañolFiscal pressure from Venezuela’s worst economic crisis in decades has catalyzed a new move from the regime: the upcoming sale of US-based Citgo Petroleum. The oil company — recently involved in controversy surrounding a violation of the Clean Air Act in Corpus Christi, Texas — represents relief for the cash-strapped administration of President Nicolás Maduro.

According to Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez, as soon as they receive a good offer, they will proceed with the sale.

Are Google and Facebook Doing the NSA’s Dirty Work?

Your Consent to Corporate Spying May Be All the Loophole the State Needs

Internet companies like Google and Facebook have long opposed government regulation. These companies understand that the mighty hand of government is like a dam on the river of innovation and profit. Yet, in their determination to become more adept at understanding how to target their users with ads and perform actions needed to better serve their clients, they have entered the danger zone of threatening personal privacy.

Recent events, however, lead us to a bigger question: are these companies now providing the National Security Administration (NSA) with the tools they need to continue its unconstitutional bulk data collection, or is this just a terrible coincidence?

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The Anarcho-Capitalism Scapegoat: If Only Kirchner Understood It

Another Juvenile, Deceitful Ploy to Obfuscate Responsibility

EspañolSince Argentina’s selective default at the end of July, members of the Cristina Kirchner administration have been lashing out at everyone and everything to exonerate themselves of responsibility for the fiasco.

Argentinean officials first compared the demands of the holdouts against Argentina with the killings in Gaza. They also announced that they would take the case to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

Krause: Populism at War with Rule of Law

Separation of Powers, Institutional Resilience the Key to Venezuela's Rejuvenation

EspañolDevelopment and economic stability depend on the quality of a nation’s institutions, says Argentinean economist Martin Krause, creator of the Institutional Quality Index and an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute.

On Thursday, during his stay in Caracas, Krause gave a lecture: “Liberal Public Policy: How to Overcome Poverty?” This took place as part of the annual general meeting for CEDICE Libertad, a libertarian policy institute in Venezuela.

Martin Krause: “We must do something for the poor; the question is, with the money, effort, and capacity of whom?”

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Social Justice, Puerto Rican Style: Pools for the Projects!

What Have Collectivist Condescension, Faux Morality Achieved after All These Years?

EspañolEarlier this year, Puerto Rico’s public-housing residents got into trouble for building temporary swimming pools and slides in their neighborhoods’ open spaces. It’s a tradition that began several years ago, and rumors suggest local drug lords pay for them to keep the poor happy.

Recently, however, the Puerto Rico Housing Authority determined they would build pools at the housing projects for the residents themselves. They now claim it was “just an idea.”

public-housing-pools

Temporary pools brighten the government housing in Puerto Rico. (@ak_guzman)

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“Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” Triumph over European Bureaucrats

French Supermarket Cuts Around Red Tape, Fights Food Waste

EspañolThe European Union marked 2014 as the year to put an end food waste. While politicians created a commission to debate the best way to resolve the food waste situation, a French supermarket chain, Intermaché, took matters into their own hands and launched their own food waste reduction campaign called “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables.”

For various reasons, it is a perfect example of how a complex problem can be solved in a more efficient and less bureaucratic way by private industries, through incentives already present in the market.

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