Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rise of Chávez Sends Rich Venezuelans to Florida

NY Times: Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has tightened his grip on the country's political institutions, imposing his socialist vision and threatening to assert greater state control over many parts of the economy.

Result: A wave of Venezuelans, mostly from the middle and upper classes, have fled to the United States. Weston, a suburb west of Fort Lauderdale, has become so popular with Venezuelan immigrants, it is known as "Westonzuela."

The Venezuelan community in the United States has grown more than 94% this decade, from 91,507 in 2000, the year after Mr. Chávez took office, to 177,866 in 2006. Much of that rise has occurred in South Florida, making the Venezuelan community one of the fastest growing Latino subpopulations in the region this decade. In many ways, the Venezuelan influx is reminiscent of the Cuban migration spurred by Fidel Castro’s overthrow of Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and his imposition of a socialist state.

Note: Venezuela ranks #148 out of 157 countries for the Heritage/WSJ 2008 Index of Economic Freedom, just barely ahead of other "socialist paradises" like Iran, Burma, Libya, Cuba and N. Korea.

Bottom Line: The main difference between capitalism and socialism? Capitalism works.

8 Comments:

At 1/23/2008 7:04 AM, Anonymous Fred said...

The redoubt. That's how I think of my America. It's the last best hope for the world. I think it's good that people around the world can find refuge here.

I worry though that their being here means they have failed their own countries and in some way bring the seeds of that failure here. Have you seen what the Somalians have done to Minneapolis? Little Somalia doesn't evoke the charm of say, Little Italy.

My concern is first that this is my country but also that if America falls I have no place to go. There is no backup for the United States.

 
At 1/23/2008 8:22 AM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Sorry fred, but your whole post just smells of xenophobia. My family immigrated from the Soviet Union 30 years ago. I guess we failed our country. But in this country we have been quite succesful. That has been a net positive for the US.

The sad thing is being intellectually smart and politically smart are not necessarily mutually exclusive but nor are they dependent on one another. So, a man who has horrible ideas can and often does come to power by playing on the fears of his population.

 
At 1/23/2008 12:42 PM, Anonymous John K Galbraith said...

Capitalism is the system where man exploits man. Under Communism it is the other way around.

 
At 1/23/2008 1:20 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

Sorry Machiavelli, but your post just smells.

 
At 1/23/2008 1:49 PM, Blogger vulcanhammer said...

Price controls causing food shortages and 25% inflation will tend to force people to look for better options. Many of these migrating Venezuelans are entrepreneurial/skilled particularly in the oil industry where there is a high demand for skilled labor right now. Many Venezuelans have also migrated to Canada (Alberta)to work in the oil industry. Our country benefits from Venezuela's loss.

 
At 1/23/2008 8:50 PM, Anonymous machiavelli999 said...

fred, when the baby boomers retire who will buy all the stocks they sell (Answer: foreign investors)

Who will continue to fill the jobs once the baby boomers retire? (Answer: immigrants. No, not your kids. There aren't enough of them.)

Just like the tarrifs of the the early 20th century, the protectionist policies touted by the likes of Fred would lead us to financial failure if enacted.

 
At 1/23/2008 11:39 PM, Anonymous Ian Random said...

I don't agree with Fred's overall point. However, some immigrants may vote for the party that most resembles the one they aligned with in their home country. I remember an article ascribing a predisposition to statism, that is no radical change, for Latin American immigrants. Cubans, however, seem to tilt to the right, probably due to their experience with the far left.

 
At 1/25/2008 2:20 PM, Anonymous Tommy said...

"The main difference between capitalism and socialism? Capitalism works."

....Hell yeah!!

 

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