Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Stock Market Correction Review - 26th Jan 20
The Wuhan Wipeout – Could It Happen? - 26th Jan 20
JOHNSON & JOHNSON (JNJ) Big Pharama AI Mega-trend Investing 2020 - 25th Jan 20
Experts See Opportunity in Ratios of Gold to Silver and Platinum - 25th Jan 20
Gold/Silver Ratio, SPX, Yield Curve and a Story to Tell - 25th Jan 20
Germany Starts War on Gold  - 25th Jan 20
Gold Mining Stocks Valuations - 25th Jan 20
Three Upside and One Downside Risk for Gold - 25th Jan 20
A Lesson About Gold – How Bullish Can It Be? - 24th Jan 20
Stock Market January 2018 Repeats in 2020 – Yikes! - 24th Jan 20
Gold Report from the Two Besieged Cities - 24th Jan 20
Stock Market Elliott Waves Trend Forecast 2020 - Video - 24th Jan 20
AMD Multi-cores vs INTEL Turbo Cores - Best Gaming CPUs 2020 - 3900x, 3950x, 9900K, or 9900KS - 24th Jan 20
Choosing the Best Garage Floor Containment Mats - 23rd Jan 20
Understanding the Benefits of Cannabis Tea - 23rd Jan 20
The Next Catalyst for Gold - 23rd Jan 20
5 Cyber-security considerations for 2020 - 23rd Jan 20
Car insurance: what the latest modifications could mean for your premiums - 23rd Jan 20
Junior Gold Mining Stocks Setting Up For Another Rally - 22nd Jan 20
Debt the Only 'Bubble' That Counts, Buy Gold and Silver! - 22nd Jan 20
AMAZON (AMZN) - Primary AI Tech Stock Investing 2020 and Beyond - Video - 21st Jan 20
What Do Fresh U.S. Economic Reports Imply for Gold? - 21st Jan 20
Corporate Earnings Setup Rally To Stock Market Peak - 21st Jan 20
Gold Price Trend Forecast 2020 - Part1 - 21st Jan 20
How to Write a Good Finance College Essay  - 21st Jan 20
Risks to Global Economy is Balanced: Stock Market upside limited short term - 20th Jan 20
How Digital Technology is Changing the Sports Betting Industry - 20th Jan 20
Is CEOs Reputation Management Essential? All You Must Know - 20th Jan 20
APPLE (AAPL) AI Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 20th Jan 20
FOMO or FOPA or Au? - 20th Jan 20
Stock Market SP500 Kitchin Cycle Review - 20th Jan 20
Why Intel i7-4790k Devils Canyon CPU is STILL GOOD in 2020! - 20th Jan 20
Stock Market Final Thrust Review - 19th Jan 20
Gold Trade Usage & Price Effect - 19th Jan 20
Stock Market Trend Forecast 2020 - Trend Analysis - Video - 19th Jan 20
Stock Trade-of-the-Week: Dorchester Minerals (DMLP) - 19th Jan 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Socialism and Other Crimes in Venezuela

Politics / Venezuela Nov 06, 2014 - 10:25 AM GMT

By: MISES

Politics

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of Venezuelan lawmaker Robert Sierra and his wife Maria Herrera, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said in a speech on October 27 that he will “purge” and “revolutionize” the country’s police forces. This comes in response to not only the murder of Sierra, but also to the murder of militia leader José Odreman a week later, and to the general failure of law enforcement to address soaring crime rates in the country.

Venezuela has the second highest murder per capita rate in the world behind Honduras. A 2013 Gallup poll ranked Venezuela as the most “insecure nation in the world,” a sentiment shared by many of its citizens: 2014 Gallup polls showed that only 19 percent of Venezuelans felt safe to walk alone at night.


Maduro dismissed the notion that the recent murder of Robert Sierra resulted from a botched burglary, and rather insisted that it was a premeditated political assassination. He suspects that the vicious crime was facilitated through help of some within the police force itself.

Whether Maduro’s allegations are true is somewhat beside the point. The president is entirely correct in his prognosis, that the problem of Venezuelan crime is a radical one, requiring a drastic response. However, if Maduro’s support for the socialist Bolivarian Revolution is any indication, his efforts will do little to quell the violence plaguing the country.

The real culprit for the rampant crime in Venezuela is socialism.

A recent Forbes article detailed the ways in which the Venezuelan economy is on the brink. What the article didn’t mention is that Venezuela ranks 175th in the world on economic freedom, the lowest in South America behind only Cuba. Thus economic instability is to be expected and it’s no secret that harsh economic conditions encourage more criminal behavior.

But this isn’t the only way in which socialism is causing crime throughout the country. Usually terms like “capitalism” and “socialism” are applied to whole nations in a political context, but in an economic relation, this can apply to specific industries too. A nation becomes socialist when it abolishes private property in favor of state (public) property, so concomitantly an industry becomes socialist when private competition is abolished and the state takes over.

The provision of police services in Venezuela is of course socialist, leading to all of the expected inefficiencies and poor service that are endemic to socialist institutions. The policing function is disconnected from the price system — being funded through compulsory taxation rather than voluntary trade — meaning there is no feedback mechanism to assist in crime prevention. Part of Maduro’s plan is to give the army a greater role in local police functions and he has therefore announced a 45 percent raise for army personnel. But without market generated feedback, he has no way to gauge how profitable (or unprofitable) this move will be.

Furthermore, absent competition, the incentives of police officers and administrators is greatly diminished, aside from the occasional good will that some of them may possess. Even still, to the extent that some are motivated by the desire to uphold their oaths and to serve and protect the citizenry, surely there are just as many who, given their privileged position, seek to exploit their power through extortion, deals with drug cartels, or even political assassinations.

Human Rights Watch claims that the “police commit one of every five crimes” in Venezuela. But the corruption isn’t simply limited to the local level, as the regime crimes of former President Hugo Chavez have been well documented. Given that Maduro was Chavez’s hand-picked successor, surely nothing has changed.

In his speech, Maduro said that he would create a new “ethic of power” to end the practice of police “using power to enrich oneself.” This is true to socialist form: attempting to change human nature rather than adapt to it. Whenever some people have power over others to force them around and to rule over them, it’s no surprise such power will be abused. Wherever this unaccountable police power exists, there are no meaningful checks and balances because power creates a moral hazard that is difficult for anyone to overcome.

Even a country as developed as the United States isn’t immune from the detrimental effects of socialist institutions, as Chicago homicide rates provide a chilling reminder of. At the federal level, the list of corruption scandals in the U.S. isn’t limited to just Watergate either, but is in fact rather lengthy and comprehensive.

Fortunately there is an alternative, namely capitalism. America has begun to provide an example for the world in the development of private security firms. Today there are three times as many private security agents than public police in the country. In general, the private security industry is booming with the increasing popularity of alarm systems, safes, window bars, personal firearms, etc.

In response to the failure of governments to prevent crime, Latin America is also seeing a huge increase in the employment of private police. A concern with this development is that most Latin Americans live in poverty due to socialist economic policies in the region, and are therefore unable to afford such protection. The other more pressing concern regards eliminating state corruption, since private security will be no defense against public criminals.

The only way to genuinely revolutionize the Venezuelan police forces and to finally reduce crime levels is through capitalist policies, unfortunately President Maduro is unlikely to adopt any of these.

Ben Wiegold is a staunch anarcho-capitalist and has been educating himself through the Mises Institute since 2011. He is also a self-taught musician who has played with a number of small bands in the Chicagoland area. See Benjamin M. Wiegold's article archives.

You can subscribe to future articles by Benjamin M. Wiegold via this RSS feed.

© 2014 Copyright Ludwig von Mises - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules