Chavez takes another step down road to ruin


President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that his administration plans to create "collective property" as part of sweeping reforms toward socialism, and that officials would move to seize control of large ranches and redistribute lands deemed "idle."

The Venezuelan leader, speaking on his television and radio program "Hello President," said the government was "advancing quickly" with a concept of "social, or collective, property" to be included in forthcoming constitutional reforms.

"It's property that belongs to everyone and it's going to benefit everyone," said Chavez, who vowed to undermine capitalism's continued influence in Venezuela.

Chavez did not elaborate, but stressed that collective property must benefit workers equally.

"It cannot be production to generate profits for one person or a small group of people that become rich exploiting peons who end up becoming slaves, living in poverty and misery their entire lives," he said.

Government advisers preparing a blueprint for pending constitutional reforms have floated proposals that would roughly define collective property as state-owned assets such as farms that are managed by workers who share profits.

One of the lessons of the 20th century is that collectivization is a massive failure that leads to less productivity and more waste. It is ironic that in a matter of days after China takes steps to guarantee private property right in their booming economy, Chavez goes in the opposite direction with his failing economy. If he had no oil, he would be as bad off as Mugabe.

Update: Thomas Lifson comments at American Thinker.


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