“Pundits should have fixed terms,” left-wing author Naomi Klein recently told the BBC. Awarded “jobs for life,” most professional commentators — whether opining in newspaper columns like this one or blathering on television — suffer no consequence for making predictions that turn out “spectacularly wrong.” Klein’s (partly tongue-in-cheek) solution? Hold our pundits to account by making them reapply for their sinecures every four years, banishing those whose prognostications prove most wide of the mark.
The socialist Klein’s embrace of market forces, however selective, is welcome. Might I offer the unfolding horror in Venezuela as the first litmus test of her proposal?
On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed victory in a referendum designed to rewrite the country’s constitution and confer on him dictatorial powers. The sham vote, boycotted by the opposition, was but the latest stage in the “Bolivarian Revolution” launched by Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez. First elected in 1998 on a wave of popular goodwill, Chavez’s legacy is one of utter devastation.
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