Really Bad Ideas

Leave it to Venezuela. This (subscription required) makes the wishful thinking of New Mexico’s social and economic development schemes look small. Any bets as to the success of Venezuela’s new utopian cooperatives?
Here is a sample of what Hugo Chávez is trying to do:
“To accomplish that goal, the Chávez government is plowing billions of dollars into new programs, called “missions,” which act as social welfare agencies. Mostly financed by the PDVSA and run by a hodgepodge of bureaucratic offices, the missions are largely devoted to health-care education and jobs training. They exist as a sort of parallel government and are controlled by Mr. Chávez. The missions provide hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans with monthly stipends to learn everything from reading and writing to setting up cooperative farms. Mr. Chávez plans to combine the dozen or so existing missions into a megaproject dubbed “Mision Cristo,” or Christ’s Mission, which he proclaims will end poverty in Venezuela by 2021.”
This is bad news for Venezuela, bad news for Latin America and bad news for New Mexico.