I wrote recently how Hugo Chavez is stealing productive sectors of the Venezuela economy on its ‘Road to Serfdom.’ Now, Chavez has developed a new way to engage in class warfare: Stealing golf courses. In fact, his demagoguery against private property rights is quite disturbing.
“That’s an injustice — that someone should have the luxury of having I don’t know how many hectares to play golf and drink whiskey and, next door, there’s misery and children dying when there are landslides,” Chavez said during his weekly television show, “Alo, Presidente.”
Economically, what Chavez says above can only lead to disaster. Assuming the golf courses are privately maintained, private owners pay the costs of upkeep. Moreover, the legal framework of private property creates an incentive for other private landowners to improve their property as well, thereby improving the Venezuela economy overall. With Chavez’s bully tactics, however, all the right incentives are destroyed. Now, what is to prevent Chavez for taking anything on the grounds that people somewhere in Venezuela are doing worse?
In the end, that is the point. This has nothing to do with the poor or uplifting those who are less-fortunate in Venezuela. Instead, it is to make an excuse to take more and more power.