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Don't buck with me!

Yeah, never underestimate the power of a government to screw its citizens. If Venezuela sold its oil on the open market rather than using it as a crude (pun intended) political tool, it could be a much richer country. But if Venezuelans really are so infused with socialist ideaology to the degree that they're prepared to sell their property for less than it's worth, then why should I stop them? I see this (and indeed the ever-expanding remit of government in general - from something most people ignored 200 years ago to 50% or more of the economy and 90% of the evening news these days) as a problem with democracy. Anything, even monumentally stupid things, can get passed if you have the consent of a majority - or more usually the consent of the largest minority, but we know that in the real world things should not be decided by weight of popular opinion (or indeed its contrary). God doesn't exist just because a referendum on the issue would probably produce a "yes" vote - if anything the lesson of history is that most people are wrong on most things most of the time - I don't consider myself to be an exception. I wouldn't like to argue against democracy, I believe it was Churchill who described it as the least worst way to govern and in considering the alternatives I agree - but the fact that any agenda can be hijacked by a vocal minority who are tolerated by an apathetic majority needs to be addressed, before we end up with governments running everything, income tax at 100% and bureaucrats deciding what car you'll drive (or rather which yak you'll ride) to which socialist free-store and what goods you'll take home for your reguation meals - irrespective of which party you put in office. A free society is not one in which you get to choose who makes the rules - its one in which you get to make the rules yourself as far as possible.

Thatcher was wrong when she said you can't buck the market. You certainly can - just watch the Fed, ECB and BofE. But when you try to buck a market, someone has to pay - usually not the person doing the bucking but everyone else, which is why hardcore liberals like myself hate governments (or anyone else) manipulating markets absent a very solid justification of why it is in the common good to do so.