Moments after we have laid socialism-slayer Milton Friedman to rest, this durable old economic philosophy popped up twice in a weird coincidence.
- Hugo Chavez, the wildly popular leader of Venezuela, executed an even harder left turn and started nationalizing key sectors of his economy. His example is rippling across South America as a repudiation of capitalists' naive presumption that showing poor people data tables and charts about how they are better off than they would be even with a tiny few becoming obscenely rich. Look, I agree the arithmetic is correct, but the marketing is not working. A vastly scaled down version of this revolt on inequality could be building here.
- Even weirder, while in Washington DC yesterday I was walking by Union Station about 5:30 PM. when I heard a choir of really good voices singing in a plaza. This choir director could not resist and I stood transfixed for several minutes as a group of about 25 young people made some gorgeous music in open air - always a tough venue. The punch line: They were part of the Worldwide LaRouche Youth Movement. [I thought that dude was in jail, actually] An earnest young disciple approached me with the inevitable literature, and "engaged me in dialogue" I listened patiently - I had accepted the free concert - and tried to leave by telling him I was simply a choir director who loved good choral music, and I complimented (sincerely) the singers. He began to walk with me explaining how a choir was a good way to show the power of their socialist ideas. I stopped and looked him in the eye and said, "Look - a good socialist choir is a wonderful thing. The real trick is to form good libertarian choir." He turned and left me.
Wait - don't we count Venezuela as a "safe" place to source oil?