At the recent World Economic Forum, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned of our government’s flirtations with socialism, that is, a state-run economy.
Trying not to “gloat,” Putin told the U.S. that “Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence” is a “mistake.” He reminded listeners that state control of the old Soviet economy made the nation “totally uncompetitive.”
Putin then lectured us not to “turn a blind eye to the spirit of free enterprise.”
But why isn’t Putin lecturing Venezuela? That Latin American state’s president, Hugo Chavez, is a classic strong-arm socialist, marshaling the power of the state, as well as gangs of supporters, to threaten and intimidate his political opponents.
As with any wannabe dictator, Chavez has sought to dismantle term limits. Just 14 months ago, voters rejected his first attempt. But Chavez, having consolidated his hold on the media and other institutions, came right back with another vote to end the limits. This time he won. He can now serve for life.
Only in South America? No. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently voided his own term limits. And he didn’t even bother to allow a public vote on the issue. So, who’s the more anti-democratic, Chavez or Bloomberg?
When foreign tin-horn dictators start making as much or more sense than our own politicians, well . . . it’s long past time for us citizens to make serious changes.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.