No, Kiddo. Venezuela Doesn’t Have a Measles Epidemic Because of Socialism. It’s Because of People Like You.

We were going to write a big old blog post on how Socialism and Capitalism are not opposites of each other. We were going to tell you that there are Capitalist societies deeply embedded in Socialist states. And then we were going to argue against The Kid’s assertion that Venezuela has a measles outbreak because of Socialism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only that, but the United States can never become like Venezuela.

In essence, he is comparing apples to giraffes again.

This one screenshot wraps up his thesis:

Screenshot 2018-08-16 19.20.18

“She” is a young woman who graduated from the Kid’s college and is advocating for a more Socialist approach to the way that the United States deals with certain issues, like healthcare.

Hilariously, that same screenshot wraps up his naïveté. “That country has also embraced socialism more than any other country in the Americas that isn’t an island.” Think about that for a second, and then think of how much this Kid has not traveled the world.

Living in a cocoon is difficult, but that should not preclude a self-anointed epidemiologist from picking up a goddamned book once in a while. Bolivia is just as Socialist as Venezuela, perhaps even more, and yet it is thriving:

“Since 2006, Bolivia has been run by socialists every bit as militant as Venezuela’s. But as economist Omar Zambrano has argued, the country has experienced a spectacular run of economic growth and poverty reduction with no hint of the chaos that has plagued Venezuela. While inflation spirals toward the thousand-percent mark in Venezuela, in Bolivia it runs below 4 percent a year. Shortages of basic consumption goods — rampant in Caracas — are unheard of in La Paz. And extreme poverty — now growing fast in Venezuela — affects just 17 percent of Bolivians now, down from 38 percent before the socialists took over 10 years ago, even as inequality shrinks dramatically. The richest 10 percent in Bolivia used to earn 128 times more than the poorest 10 percent; today, they earn 38 times as much.”

 

So that kills that whole argument about scary “Socialism” and how it ruins things. And that comment about an “island” is a swipe at Cuba, one of the places on the whole continent where public health is the strongest. They don’t kid around there. Because of the size of the island, the culture of the Cuban people, and the authoritarian/military regime, things get done. People get vaccinated. Water gets cleaned. Outbreaks are stopped in their tracks.

They do such a good job with diseases in Cuba that they sent their physicians to Africa to help with the Ebola outbreaks! (Colleagues who worked side-by-side with Cuban public health workers in Africa have nothing but good things to say.)

What does ruin things? Why is Venezuela so screwed up? Why are measles on the comeback? That, dear reader, would involve a very long discussion on what got Venezuela to where it is. The story would involve authoritarianism, an over-reliance on oil as a source of cash, and a constant friction with American-allied countries (Colombia, Brazil) while being aligned with OPEC countries. This timeline from BBC is a good primer.

We’ve known awhile that the Kid is an Alt Right believer who has stated that social movements like Feminism and Black Lives Matter are “a cancer.” We know that he is a big fan of the current Administration (which is hilarious because the authoritarianism being shown by POTUS 45 and company rivals what Hugo Chavez did in his first term in Venezuela). And we know that he is anti-vaccine.

If anything is going to make measles great again, it’s people like the kid, not someone looking to strengthen public health through policies that are put in scary quotes and are obvious dogwhistles.

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11 thoughts on “No, Kiddo. Venezuela Doesn’t Have a Measles Epidemic Because of Socialism. It’s Because of People Like You.

      • In some states, that could result in high velocity lead poisoning.
        Not a recommendation, just a mention of a somewhat new trend, revived from an ancient historical custom that was previously thought safely dead and buried.
        Then, the government would get blamed. After all, to the paranoid, no conspiracy theory goes too far afield.

        Fortunately, in other states, stalking is a crime and enforcement of the statute is rigorously enforced.

    • I do the same, for different reasons.
      I do a head to toe, out of force of habit as a military NCO.
      Some, do it sexually specific and exhibit specific body language at the time of encounter.

      An example, a specific XO literally collared me, a retired military contractor, in the hallway. To review a specific and honestly, significant, in a modest military mission specific way, problem.
      It’s being addressed in that manner.
      It’s a major problem to him, it’s a major problem to the specific user and it’s a serious problem (note the down flow), but needs to be addressed soon, rather than *now*.

      My first review was to head to toe him, noting one boot that was badly scarred and ill maintained, just enough and a bit of plus, but far inferior to his peers, but also noted his office.
      “Coded” within the general conversation was mention of the previous problem, his backstabbing on a favor and some other gaffes in his new office.
      And since the issue is real and trivially adjusted in man hour terms and beyond trivial in technical terms and final authority rests with his boss, yeah, tomorrow morning, I’ll address it, as it was end of shift for the lot of us.
      Triage is critically important in more than one field. 🙂

    • Who knows? He’s been twisting every single news item into an anti-vaccine rant. Maybe it’s that. Maybe it’s that she went on Fox News and he’s insanely jealous. Maybe it’s just his way of processing bad news.

      • The cigars, not as good as a quality Honduran. Though, I’ve given those up, as every time I had one, I had a nosebleed (prone to them, but those events were off season).
        The cuisine is excellent as well!

        Although, our diplomatic offices seemed to be an unhealthy place to work. Trump blamed it on brown noise, but I suspect the illnesses were caused by playing one of his speeches and by seeing his photo on the office wall.
        I certainly feel a degree of nausea whenever I see his picture on an office wall at our installation.
        Although, it could be worse. They could have a mirror up instead. 😉

        • LOL. Yeah, I bought a big box of cigars in Miami once and gave them out to friends who liked to smoke them. They said they were not as good as advertised.
          There’s a picture of 45 at the entrance to where I’m working. I honestly believe he looks women up and down and winks at the ones with Eastern European extraction.

          • Given his history and our memory from meeting him once at a business social event (attendance was down the following year, as nobody enjoys a narcissistic boor at a major social event and tended to be unforgiving at that level of unenjoyable evening), yes, he does indeed look women up and down, uncertain with the wink, but it’s likely.
            What is amazing is that he’s kept his current wife so long. We suspect it’s that she’s blackmailing him. He turned every previous “model” in while still quite young.
            That was some time during the year 2000.
            Among the following year’s non-attendees, my wife and I and our patron, who still passed along an invitation, but didn’t wish to attend because of their guest of onerousness.

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