John has already alerted us to the example of Venezuela’s collapsing socialist economy as a model of what life under President Bernie Sanders could be like—a prospect I’m calling “Colonel Sanders Cambridge Fried Economy,” since it would be a Cambridge (MA) professor’s dream to be in charge of fixing all of the things wrong with America.
But today’s news out of Venezuela is just too much fun. First, this from the Wall Street Journal:
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has appointed a businessman as the country’s new economic czar, replacing a leftist sociologist who has denied existence of inflation and argued for the dissolution of the central government amid the deepest recession in the nation’s history.
Question: Is being an “inflation denialist” like being a climate denialist? In any case, I’m sure he can find a new job in a Sanders Administration.
Meanwhile, a separate story in the Wall Street Journal about Venezuela today reads like a parody of Woody Allen’s parody Bananas:
Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro raised domestic gasoline prices Wednesday for the first time in nearly two decades and devalued the local currency, moves that economists said will help the country raise badly needed cash but do little to stem a deepening economic crisis.
The steps by Mr. Maduro, announced in a five-hour televised address . . .
Wait: A five-hour televised address? What is it with these socialist dictators that they have to give these epic speeches? Do they have that much to explain—or apologize for? More to the point: is this what we have to look forward to in a President Sanders State of the Union address? Anyway:
The International Monetary Fund says Venezuela’s economy will shrink 8% this year, following a dramatic 10% decline last year, while inflation hits 720%—the world’s highest rate. The gasoline price increase and the devaluation, which will make imports more expensive, will likely add to inflation. . .
Well, we all know the IMF is a lackey of the Koch brothers, so I’m sure the socialist inflation denier is correct that this is a lie. But here’s the fun part:
Starting Friday, Venezuelans will fill their tanks with 95-octane gasoline at a price of 22 bolivars a gallon, up from 0.4 bolivars a gallon, Mr. Maduro said.
But despite the more than 6,000% price increase, fuel is still priced at about 2 U.S. cents a gallon at the black market rate.
2 cents a gallon? And environmentalists here complain about fossil fuel subsidies. In any case, I think I’ll try to fill up in Venezuela.