If I Were a Lefty Strongman

Well, well, Mr. President. it looks like "another fine mess you've got us into" with the sequester squib. Not that I'm complaining, not a bit. Your government by phony crisis does wonders for the revenue at my usgovernmentspending.com. But now your chubby partner Ollie in your lefty Laurel and Hardy act is dead. I read the more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger obits on the Bolivarian Ollie Chavez. According to Megan McArdle in The Daily Beast, Chavez's record on poverty wasn't so special. In the last ten years the poverty rate in Peru went from 55% to 28%. But in chavismo Venezuela, it went from 49% to just under 30%. Not so great, even with all the free oil money. But the Chavez obits got me to thinking. If I were a lefty strongman, how would I help the poor? The big problem for the poor, in Venezuela as in the United States, is that it doesn't pay to work in the formal economy. Maybe they get a bunch of free stuff, but in the formal economy every dollar earned is taxed to the hilt. In the...(Read Full Article)