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Levin on Venezuela’s Collapse: This Is What Happens with Centrally Planned Economies

By Rachel Hoover | August 9, 2016 | 2:27pm EDT
Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

On his show Monday, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin said of the collapse of Venezuela's economy under a socialist regime, “This is what happens with centrally planned economies.”

“I just want to suggest to you, look at what’s going on in Venezuela,” said Levin. “That’s an extreme form of it, obviously. But now you have people breaking into the zoos and eating zoo animals. Now you have the government telling people that they have to spend sixty days or maybe up to a hundred and twenty days on farms, farming. It reminds me of Mao’s China and so forth. People are dying. They don’t have the medical—you know, surgical, medical, other medicines that they need and so forth, and this is what happens with centrally planned economies.”

Levin referred to Venezuela’s economic crisis, and the starvation of the Venezuelan population which led some to eat zoo animals. The country’s socialist government recently announced mandatory farm labor to increase the food supply.

Below is a transcript of Levin’s remarks:

“It’s a complicated economy, folks, when you have politicians—I don’t care if they’re from outside the establishment or whatever they are—they have as limited knowledge as anybody else when it comes to all the products that are being produced, who’s producing what, what’s coming into the country, what’s leaving the country, who needs what to start a business in this country, on and on and on; it is just utterly too complex for one person or even a department or bureaucracy to know what it’s doing.

“I just want to suggest to you, look at what’s going on in Venezuela. That’s an extreme form of it, obviously. But now you have people breaking into the zoos and eating zoo animals. Now you have the government telling people that they have to spend sixty days or maybe up to a hundred and twenty days on farms, farming. It reminds me of Mao’s China and so forth. People are dying. They don’t have the medical—you know, surgical, medical, other medicines that they need and so forth, and this is what happens with centrally planned economies.

“You want to strengthen our economy? Decentralize the government decision-making, and let people make their decisions, for the most part., except when it comes to national security. We don’t want to sell high-tech or cutting-edge technology to China or Russia or any other regime that threatens us.

“But beyond that, I mean, I really don’t understand all this chest-thumping, other than it is an effort to emotionalize, if you will—I’ll coin the term—to emotionalize what should be [a] sort of common-sense approach.

“Our problem isn’t too little government; our problem’s too much government. Our problem isn’t too little tariffs; our problem is too many tariffs, 12,000 of them. Our problem isn’t too little bureaucracy, rejiggering our economy, deciding who the winners and losers are; the problem is too much of it.

“I want you to think about that. The way we created 20 million jobs in this country, and goodness, an enormous amount of wealth and new enterprises, was through the opposite of all these things.”

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