Has the Chavez revolution been a success?
Mark Weisbrot, Center for Economic Policy and Research joins Thom Hartmann. Viva la Revolution in Venezuela. On Sunday - voters took to the polls and elected Hugo Chavez to serve a third term as President of Venezuela - thus continuing the socialist revolution Chavez started nearly 14 years for at least another 6 years.Chavez has been a pariah among Western governments ever since he took control of his nation and nationalized oil and other major industries in the country - and redistributed wealth down to the poor and working class. So far - it's been a success story in Venezuela. Under Chavez's watch - poverty has been cut in half - and extreme poverty reduced by 70%. College enrollment has doubled - public pension have quadrupled - and a new government housing programs has built a quarter-million new homes across Venezuela. Access to health care and education have also risen considerably. In two different parts of the world - we're seeing drastically different economic approaches. In debt-ridden Europe - with the exception of France - technocrats and banksters are shoving austerity down the throats of working people - cutting back on social services - and privatizing big chunks of the commons. But in South America - an opposing economic philosophy is seeing enormous success...socialism.So why is that? What can we learn from the Socialist revolution in South America - especially during a time of austerity in the Western world