22 May 2009

President Nationalizes More Companies

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You thought I was talking about Obama, right? Nope, this time I was talking about Hugo Chavez. According to CNBC, such moves are to “spread socialism” when they are conducted by foreign leaders.

Now you might say, “C’mon, Chavez openly boasts of the benefits of socialism, unlike Obama who gives lip service to capitalism. So the CNBC article isn’t treating the two differently.”

Really? The article also tells us, “Chavez’s government has nationalized major steel, cement, electricity, telecommunications and oil projects since 2006 in a bid to expand the reach of the state.”

I seriously doubt Chavez told his subjects, “I am doing this to expand the reach of the state.” I bet he justifies it instead through reducing reliance on foreign imports, protecting the country from speculators, blah blah blah.

Has anyone seen a CNBC article talk about the TARP-to-common-stock flip as a “bid by Obama to expand the reach of the state”? It clearly is, just as clearly as what Chavez is doing.

But no, whether it’s torturing prisoners or nationalizing companies, things are far less sinister when done by American officials. When it comes to our own government, the absolute worst that can ever happen is that they screw up, and end up hurting the very people they were so desperately trying to help.

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