He campaigned against private sector economic mismanagement, and the “harsh realities” of global capitalism. He pledged during his campaign to end corruption in both the government, and the private sector.
After he took office, he claimed that he had “inherited” the worst economic situation in his country’s recent history. And then, the new President sought to consolidate his power. Once privately-owned enterprises became government-owned and operated entities, and were “restructured” so as to become, essentially, “workers’ cooperatives.”
Not surprisingly, unemployment remained persistently high, even as the new was implementing his much-celebrated “reform” measures. And while private citizens had to struggle with the worsening economic conditions, government officials nonetheless continued to exert increasing levels of control over the nation’s wealth, and also continued to enrich themselves from that wealth, despite the suffering of “the governed.”
Does this seem like a description of the first 11 months of the Obama Presidency? What I’ve described here thus far portrays the conduct of President Obama and members of his Administration fairly succinctly.
Yet, this is actually a description of the ascendency of Hugo Chavez, the once freely elected President and now rapidly-morphing-into-a-dictator of Venezuela. In fact, you could call this a “textbook case” - this is my paraphrase of a description of Chavez that appears in “International Business: Competing In The Global Marketplace,” a text book currently used among M.B.A. students at many of America’s top graduate business schools.
And isn’t it interesting to note the parallels between Hugo Chavez and Barack Obama? The story of Chavez’ early days in office deviates from Obama’s story at the point where Chavez was able to arbitrarily change the make-up of Venezuela’s “supreme court,” and thus re-write the nation’s constitution so as to legally enhance his own power and control (Obama has expressed disapproval of the U.S. Constitution, but has not yet attempted to re-write it).
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.