Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (left) has decided that one of the serious problems with the nation he bullies is that there are not enough prison cells. This is a common “problem” of collectivists. Because coercion is their only real tool, although it is often artfully hidden, they must be able to force people to do what they want. On Friday Chavez instructed prison officials to build more prison cells because of recent prison riots.
After witnessing the massive economic crisis swamping the European Union and euro-zone countries in particular, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR or UNASUL) has slowed plans to create its own continental central bank and regional currency.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa (left) is perceived by many to be leading his country down the road of Venezuelan-style statism, socialism, and dictatorship — increasingly so in the past several weeks.
In the most recent example, a May 7 constitutional referendum — despite opposition members and activists in the human rights community labeling the 10 proposed areas of reform a power grab on behalf of Correa’s government (including the proposal to give the President more of a say over judicial appointments) — the President's "reforms" received widespread support from Ecuadorian voters. While casting his vote, President Correa dismissed the opposition's concerns. "They've been saying it's totalitarian... [a word] used for a state in which things are done by force. We're doing this democratically," he protested.
As a quiet example of how privatizing Social Security works in the real world, Chile’s 30-year experiment is succeeding beyond expectations. Instead of running huge deficits to fund the old “PayGo” system, private savings now exceed 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.