The readers’ forum

U.S. should take lessons from Venezuela

 

People with incomes in the top 2 percent should rejoice at the added taxes just passed by Congress. The additional taxes will not have a major impact on the standard of living of the rich, yet they fail to recognize the long-term benefits they will get.

When a great disparity occurs in democracies, the numerical power of the have-nots will grow and rival the monetary power of the haves. This results in a critical instability that will lead either to legislation that redistributes wealth or a revolt at the ballot box.

The unfair tax code of the past 15 years has resulted in a widening of income disparity in the United States. The rich have gotten richer, the poor got poorer, and the middle class has stagnated or been diminished.

Eighty years ago, before the Great Depression, we had a similar situation brewing that might have resulted in a social revolution but for the effects of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.

The United States should take a lesson from contemporary Venezuela. The rich minority ignored the needs of the poorer majority. The poor found their status worse each year and the rich, comfortable with their prosperity, refused to see or acknowledge the growing gulf.

The result was a revolt at the ballot box and the election of a populist demagogue. Hugo Chávez is routinely mocked and reviled in the U.S. press, but the sociological statistics tell a different story.

Since Chávez’ ascendency to power, poverty has been reduced 50 percent and extreme poverty by 70 percent. College enrollment is up 50 percent and medical care is free for all Venezuelans. Gasoline is subsidized and costs 17 cents a gallon.

The increased taxes on the rich and the social benefits that the Obama administration has established or increased should be viewed as safety valves to keep the U.S. from a severe revolution at the ballot box. The wealthy class should welcome the peaceable redistribution of wealth and as soon as the Republican Party realizes this, and incorporates such policies into their platform, the better our nation will be.

Harvey Rosenwasser, Key Biscayne

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Ceci Sanchez, as a toddler, with her father, Jose Ignacio Maciá, and mother, Cecile, in Cuba.

    The readers’ forum

    My father died at the Bay of Pigs Invasion

    This Easter Sunday is especially sad for me. My father died this weekend 53 years ago at the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

  • Pray for peace

    It’s with great sadness that in the midst of the holiday of Passover, we witnessed, once again, another act of violence and hatred that has become far too common of an occurrence in our world. Instead of only recalling the joy of freedom from bondage, we were also gripped by the knowledge of someone who killed out of their hatred of Jews.

  • Respect police officers

    Re April 15 article Veteran cop granted bond in U.S. drug-running case: Being a real cop isn’t something you do, it’s something you are. So we take it personally when we lose a fellow cop and when we are unfairly tainted. When a cop does wrong, as we know, cop bashers will use it to attempt to tarnish the profession. The bad acts of an individual cop do not and should not represent the profession any more than the bad acts of a civilian criminal should define their race or ethnicity. Serving and protecting comes at a high price. Each year about 60,000 assaults on cops occur resulting in about 16,000 injuries. On average this past decade, 160 cops died yearly in the line of duty just doing their jobs. Yes, the 160 may make the news but the 16,000 and 60,000 do not.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category