Monday, September 08, 2008

The world doesn't stop turning 

Just because this blog is now semi-dormant and likely to remain so for at least a month or two more doesn't mean that things have gotten any quieter around the world. And while this blog has most of the relevant links for staying up to date on Venezuela some of the ones on Gringolandia aren't as obvious.

So I just want to make a plug for "The American Leftist" which is an excellent blog written by Richard who has often been a thoughtfull commentor here. His writing is superb and he covers pretty much everything going on north of the border.

And these days there is plenty going on there. Bush has always been one to shamelessly ape Chavez (from raising oil royalties to installing those funny shaped light bulbs) so you had to know he wouldn't let Chavez's flurry of nationalizations go by uncopied.

Sure enough, this past weekend Bush matched Chavez and upped him big time. While Chavez does piddly buyouts worth only a billion here a billion there Bush goes after the big guys and leads take overs that could cost hundreds of billions of dollars (and if the U.S. economy really tanks maybe even trillions).

Of course, I've viewed the Chavez led nationalizations as largely being a waste of money that could be better spent on other things. Still, at least Chavez has the good sense to buy out companies that are MAKING money. Bush goes after the ones that are losing money hand over fist and about to go belly up. If I was really cynical I'd say a big part of this was rich people bailing out other rich people (and I'd not only be cynical but right).

I have to say this "socialism for the rich and capitalism for everyone else" is starting to get old. After all, it hardly seems fair for the government to claim it can't extend unemployment benefits or expand the food stamp program but then find untold billions to bail out investment banks and now huge morgage traders.

But that is the U.S. for you. We might not be able to do much about it at the moment but if you want to at least keep up with all the shenanigans while reading some good prose then stay tuned to the American Leftist.


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