Venezuela

Venezuela Hits . . . er, Bottom?

Featured image As everyone over the age of six knows (that excludes Sanders voters obviously), one of the first things you run out of in a socialist economy that attempts price controls is toilet paper. But with Venezuela’s hyperinflation, you could always swap out the worthless paper currency for the Charmin. Except: Venezuela Doesn’t Have Enough Money to Pay for Its Money Venezuela’s epic shortages are nothing new at this point. No »

Venezuela’s Pathetic Decline Continues

Featured image Venezuela, one of the world’s most oil-rich countries, can’t keep the lights on. The country’s socialist government has announced that Venezuelans will now be entirely without power for four hours a day. But that’s not the worst of it: they will have to sit in the dark without beer: As Venezuelans digest news that they’ll have no power for hours a day, they also may have to do without beer »

Col. Sanders’ Cambridge Fried Economy

Featured image 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 Lights Go Out In Bernie Sanders’ Utopia, Venezuela

Featured image Venezuela’s slide into poverty and chaos continues. The country’s socialist government is now rationing electricity to shopping centers. They will have to close for portions of the day unless they can generate their own power. But they can’t generate their own power, due to the government’s strict currency controls that prevent them from obtaining foreign currency that would allow them to buy the necessary equipment. That’s life under socialism, every »

Maduro, Sanders and Clinton: Compare and Contrast

Featured image Socialism always fails, and it’s always someone else’s fault. In the last stages of socialist collapse, when there is not enough to eat and society teeters on the brink, “wreckers” and “saboteurs” are the traditional villains. That’s the point Venezuela has reached. President Nicolas Maduro is now blaming Lorenzo Mendoza, the head of Empresas Polar SA, Venezuela’s largest food company, for the country’s food shortage. (I’m not sure who is »

For Venezuela, the End Is Near. Someone Tell Bernie!

Featured image Venezuela’s disastrous experiment with socialism is nearing its inevitable end. The Financial Times has the numbers: The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press. In the free market, the »

Hasta La Vista, Socialism! (2)

Featured image Ted Bezat writes to comment on John’s post “Hasta La Vista, Socialism!” celebrating the election results in Venezuela earlier this week: I just finished reading your post and thought you might be interested in the documentation from 10 years ago when they really started to cripple their own oil industry. The primary reason that Venezuela’s “economy” has disintegrated is the drop-off in petroleum revenues. I’ve been tracking this ever since »

Hasta la Vista, Socialism!

Featured image We have chronicled the catastrophic collapse of socialism in Venezuela here and in many other posts. Government control over the economy, beginning with liberal hero Hugo Chavez and continuing under his successor, Nicolás Maduro, resulted in poverty for pretty much everyone outside the ruling elite. (Socialism produces the most rigid class distinctions of any economic system.) Venezuelans were engaging in knife fights in grocery stores, trying to grab the last »

The Socialist Dream, Venezuela Version

Featured image We have chronicled the long, painful decline of Venezuela’s socialist economy. It was kept afloat for a while by Venezuela’s extraordinary oil reserves, but nothing, not even vast natural resources, can keep a socialist economy going for long. Toilet paper is a thing of the past, and many Venezuelans are now confronting the possibility of starvation, due to government-imposed price controls. The Wall Street Journal reports: Hours after they looted »

Socialism: The Most Corrupt Path to Great Wealth

Featured image Hugo Chavez, deceased President of Venezuela, is still revered on the international left. Chavez was a vicious socialist: The rich are evil! The rich are lazy! Confiscate their money! Now we know what he did with it. Diario las Americas, as translated and reported by the Daily Mail, says that Chavez’s daughter Maria Gabriela Chavez has stashed away a cool $4 billion: The daughter of Hugo Chavez, the former president »

Venezuela Circles the Drain

Featured image We have chronicled the accelerating decline of Venezuela’s economy under its narco-socialist rulers. When a country can neither produce nor buy toilet paper, you know the end is approaching. Now, Venezuela’s international reserves are disappearing, as its currency implodes. Dimitra DeFotis reports at Barron’s: Russ Dallen, who contributes to a newsletter for investors, and writes about Latin America, writes today that “Venezuela’s situation continues to unravel at increasing speed as »

More Venezuela Follies

Featured image I didn’t think the collapse of Venezuela’s socialism could be any more stark than the notice here a couple days ago of the closure of major league baseball operations, but sure enough, things are getting worse: Venezuela to Nationalize Food Distribution Caracas (AFP) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution in the South American nation beset with record shortages of basic goods, runaway inflation and an »

Venezuela: Now a Shortage of Baseball Players?

Featured image It surprised no one when the news came out a couple months ago that Venezuela’s socialist economy had run out of one of the easiest products to stock—toilet paper—but today the Wall Street Journal reports that most of the U.S. major league baseball talent scouting and development operations in Venezuela are closing down: The Mariners are the latest Major League Baseball team to pull out of Venezuela, leaving only four »

Venezuelan Security Head Defects, Blows Whistle On Regime

Featured image Leamsy Salazar was the head of security for Hugo Chavez and, after Chavez’s death, for Diosdado Cabello, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly and second-in-command of the Socialist Party. Salazar has defected to the United States and unleashed some explosive allegations against his former bosses. Salazar says that Hugo Chavez died in December 2012, not March 2013 as was claimed by his successor, Nicolás Maduro. Salazar says that Maduro and »

Whatever Happened to Cynthia McKinney?

Featured image Cynthia McKinney was one of the looniest Democrats of her generation. A 9/11 Truther, she lost not one but two Democratic primaries because she was considered too far out. Her father’s explanation that she was in trouble because “the Jews have bought everybody. J-E-W-S” added to her legend. After her second primary rebuff, McKinney left the Democratic Party. She was the Green Party candidate for president in 2008–which tells you »

Reviving the Misery Index

Featured image Graybeards will remember Jimmy Carter’s embrace of the “Misery Index”—the combination of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate—that Peanut Brain used against Gerald Ford in 1976, but which he then doubled during his forlorn presidency as Ronald Reagan skillfully reminded everyone in 1980.  Well, it’s baaaack. Only this time in a much more refined and useable way, as economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University explains in a terrific »

Is There a Market For Stupidity?

Featured image The single worst thing any government can do is try to control prices. The result of price controls, always and everywhere, is disaster. At PJ Media, Richard Fernandez sets forth the sad history of price controls in Venezuela under Chavez and Maduro. There is lots more, but here are some excerpts: In September 2013 the Guardian wrestled with a mystery. “‘No one can explain why a rich country has no »