May 21, 2016

Hugo Chavez did not empower the poor, he empowered himself with the poor… pas la même chose

Sir, John Paul Rathbone refers to Hugo Chávez of Venezuela as a “gifted politician who, however wasteful, empowered the poor” “Nicolás Maduro Venezuela’s leftist lord of misrule” May 21.

What? Chávez might have been a gifted populist, a gifted demagogue, but he did not empower the poor, he empowered himself with the poor... pas la même chose. Just look at photos of the poor in Venezuela… do they really seem empowered?

The poor of Venezuela never got more than about15 percent of what should have been their fair per-capita share of the fantastic oil revenues that drowned the country during the Chavez years. It was just that Chávez masterfully talked and walked the leftist discourse. Which caused so many in the world to drool in admiration.

If we are going to understand how nations develop, all research needs to control for how much of fiscal revenues are received directly from citizens, how much are received indirectly from citizens, and how many of those revenues have never ever passed through a citizens pocket. But why is such research not conducted? You tell me! I advance the possibility there are just too much profits to be made redistributing.

For instance for decades I have begged that the net oil revenues of Venezuela should be distributed directly to the citizens, a sort of variable universal basic income; but the opposition to such idea from those who want more than their fair share is immense.

As for Maduro, before I was censored in Venezuela, in May 2013 I wrote “3 years until the recall referendum… Mamma Mia!” It was crystal clear from the very start that Maduro would be an unqualified disaster.

@PerKurowski ©