Tag: erosion of private property

Collectivism Has Destroyed Venezuela

By Trey Johnson | Venezuela

Millions of Venezuelans escape a country destroyed by bad government and coercive collectivism.

The border of Colombia and Ecuador is full of Venezuelans who are doing their earnest to escape the clutches of a coercive regime in search of free markets and better opportunities. Common tourists, amongst the droves of Venezuelans, must wait hours and hours in a line that wraps around the immigration office here in Ipiales, Colombia. During peak days, it can take over 24 hours to cross the border between Colombia and Ecuador.

The border crossing’s elevation is 2898 m (9500 ft), which makes the experience a rather cold one as nighttime approaches. Individuals in line are able to stay warm with the help of vendors selling coffee, hot dogs, and empanadas.

Most South American countries have no choice but to allow free movement of these refugees due to treaties signed by UN member states. The strain of this situation hampers economic stability and the free flow of goods and services due to long lines at the border.

While in the line, one can also learn of the tragedies affecting the people of Venezuela and understand why they are leaving their beloved homeland. Men and women full of fond memories and past success, now crushed by coercive collectivism. Doctors, welders, and professionals of all sorts are throwing away their experience to land a job in a neighboring country, hoping to make the minimum wage of $300 per month in favorable countries such as Chile and Peru. Ecuador and Colombia are not desirable, and Brazil’s language barrier makes the destination unattainable.

To date, an estimated 4 million Venezuelans have left the country. Hyperinflation is the sole reason these people have left. “There is a lot of work, but there is no money.” The minimum wage is currently 2,000,000 Bolivars per month which equates to $3 USD per month. That is $36 per year. The price of a kilogram of beef in Venezuela is $3 dollars and the price of shampoo is also $3.

To make matters worse, the Venezuelan government instituted new currency controls on money entering the country through financial institutions. In order to send money to your family members stuck in Venezuela, you must have a bank account in both Venezuela and an outside country. One refugee believes this policy is “choking the people.”

The current administration’s new constitution would completely eliminate the ability to own private property. This market uncertainty makes investments impossible.

The people who are working to stay in the country are almost at the end of what seems to be the brink of collapse. Schools are functioning, but they have no food to feed their students. Most of the faculty members leave the schools in search of new opportunities. Revolutionaries like the violin playing patriot and Oscar Pérez have become heroes to Venezuelans trying to take back their country.

The Venezuelan regime is continuing to provide a box of food to each family in accordance with its collectivist agreement. This box is called CLAP and contains two packages of flour and rice along with powdered milk “if you are lucky.” The frequency of these food distributions is about once every 5 to 6 months according to a refugee waiting in the 24-hour line.

One wealthy Venezuelan had a stable career for over 15 years. He had a house, a car, and “a whole complete life.” He went on trips with his family inside and outside the country. Right now he is busy moving groups of Venezuelans to more favorable environments scattered throughout South America. He understands the attraction of collectivism and believes “the Venezuelans have to learn the lesson.”

A Colombian bus driver passes and asks, “are you going to Cúcuta?”, a town on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, 32 hours in the opposite direction from this particular crossing.

It is truly a sad state of affairs for the people of Venezuela who slowly lost their grip on freedom and their country. Experts believe it will take 30 years to bring this country back to its former self. Many Venezuelans will most likely never return to their homeland, which is but another civilization lost to socialism and coercive collectivism.

Thousands of Venezuelans at the Border of Colombia and Ecuador

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Oregon is Destroying Private Property Rights Through “Bake the Cake” Decisions

By Austin Anderholt | USA

On Thursday, an Oregon Court of Appeals continued to uphold the $135,000 against two religiously motivated bakers who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding couple.

According to NBC News, the government began violating these citizens’ first and thirteenth amendment rights back in January of 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the since-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery just outside Portland, Oregon, cited their religious beliefs when declining to make a wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer. Following the incident, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found the Kleins in violation of a 2007 state law that protects the rights of LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In 2015, the couple was ordered to pay the Bowman-Cryers emotional distress damages.

You got that right.: emotional distress damages. We are living in a world, where slavery is allowed, and anyone who disagrees with that must pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in emotional distress damages.

I’ve stated this many times before, but no one can force you to make anything for someone. These bakers refused to do something with their own private means of production. To force someone to commit a service is slavery, and to do so in violation of that person’s religious values is religious oppression.

The gay couple stated that “It does not matter how you were born or who you love. All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally. Oregon will not allow a ‘Straight Couples Only’ sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores,”

If this couple personally thinks that a discriminatory business is wrong, they can think that. They can vow never to discriminate. They can refuse to buy a cake from a bakery they deem “hateful”. They can tell all their friends to boycott this aforementioned bakery. However, by no means, may the employees of the state government force people, through legislation, to abide by their personal politically correct ideas.

If you take away anything from this article, remember this: nobody has any right to legislate their personal morals into your life.

Not only is this appeals court ruling based on legislation that is highly unconstitutional, but it is ruling based on legislation that is saying “I personally believe that homophobia is bad, so I’m going to make it illegal for anyone to express a disagreement with me. I am going to make anyone who disagrees pay hundreds of thousands of dollars as punishment for their personal opinion “emotionally distressing” someone. This is outrageous.

In conclusion, I ask you to write your local representative. I ask you to protest in the streets. I ask you educate your friends, family, and peers on the Bill of Rights. Why am I so amped up about this? I amped up because my freedom is it risk in my hometown and home state. My freedom of speech, opinion, religion, and freedom against slavery are all at risk, and this is not okay.