In 2011, Bernie Sanders wrote an essay accusing America of being a banana republic and gushing that it is now easier to achieve the American Dream in socialist Venezuela than in the U.S.A..
Fast forward to today, and the IMF is now estimating that Venezuela’s inflation rate will soar to 2300% in 2018. Of course, the IMF did have to put in some work to come up with this number, because Venezuela’s central bank gave up even trying to publish inflation data back in 2015. If you’re wondering how bad 2300% is, for or a point of reference, the Congo was number 2 on the IMF’s inflation scale and they are supposed to increase by 44% next year. Venezuela’s GDP is tanking as well. In 2012, the average Venezuelan earned the equivalent of about $14,500. By 2016, that number decreased to the equivalent of about $12,800.
The saddest thing about all of this is the human cost. Venezuelans are literally starving. The average individual involuntarily dropped 19 pounds last year. Crime rates in Venezuela are sky-rocketing as well, with its capitol, Caracas, now bearing the dubious distinction of being the murder capitol of the world. The U.S. government estimates that Venezuela had over 27,000 homicides last year, with a rate of 91.8 per 100,000 people. (The U.S. had about 5.3 per 100,000). The Venezuelan government does dispute these figures, but their estimate is 70.1 per 100,000.
None of this had to happen. Venezuela was once the richest nation in South America, and still sits on the largest oil reserve of any one country in the world. But unfortunately, they allowed a socialist government to seize nearly absolute power and are now following down the inevitable path of destruction that always ensues. (See also: The 43 million people who starved to death in Communist Russia and China in the 20th century.)
So the next time that Bernie and his followers start preaching to you about the evils of our Nation, remember what they would like to see it become.