King Juan Carlos once put Hugo Chavez in his place. In 2007, he told him to shut up.
It's too bad a demagogue like Chavez can win power by pandering to the poor and attacking the rich, and then end up making everyone poorer. The rich don't deserve any special sympathy, but those who claim to care for the poor ought to study economic and political history.
Again and again, the world has seen misery when a government that claims to know it all punishes the successful and insists on detaching an economy from the competition, risks and rewards of a free market.
Chavez is dead. He took a rich nation and made it poor. He took a healthy democracy and made it sick. He didn't help anyone but himself. That's the history. Remember it.
For the record, the unemployment rate at the beginning of President Obama's first term was 7.8 percent.
At the end of that first term, January 2013, the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent.
In other words, $5 trillion in extremely irresponsible new debt aimed at extremely irresponsible spending was a total failure.
Labor participation down every year. About 12.3 million American workers are out of work, according to January 2013 government figures. Another 8 million workers have part-time jobs but want full-time jobs and can’t find them. And another 2.4 million workers have searched for jobs in the last year, but gave up looking and so are not counted as unemployed.
Most troubling, the U.S. labor participation rate – the share of working-age Americans who work or are even looking for work – is just 63.6 percent, near a 30-year low. Our labor participation rate has dropped every year of the Obama administration.
Now that our increasingly idle working-age population has become accustomed to living off of more than $1,000,000,000,000 a year of new federal debt (more than double President Bush's already-huge average annual deficits), it will be almost impossible to cut jobless Americans off from that imaginary wealth without ugly riots and prolonged misery.