Venezuela

The Venezuelan hunger

Featured image If you seek to understand the catastrophe that has hit Venezuela, you can compare and contrast the views of New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey with those of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Winner: Scully. Even if he is clueless about causes, and he is, Casey can see what is in front of his nose. Give him that much. He is stationed in Caracas and he has the requisite »

NPR + NYT: A Recipe for Cluelessness

Featured image What happens when a National Public Radio host interviews a New York Times reporter on the subject of Venezuela’s economic collapse? You get a perfect storm of cluelessness. The host is Terry Gross, the guest is New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey, and the program is Fresh Air. Gross asks Casey about the utter disaster that Venezuela has become. Casey understands the depth to which Venezuela has fallen–he lives in »

Political Pilgrims, 21st Century Style

Featured image Back in the late 1970s the political scientist Paul Hollander performed a great public service with his book Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society (still in print), in which he catalogued and eviscerated the naïve and mendacious leftists who always tromped off to the latest “people’s utopia” (Soviet Union, Cuba, Mao’s China, Albania, North Vietnam, even North Korea for a time, etc.) and came back proclaiming »

The Tragedy of Democratic Socialism

Featured image We have chronicled the catastrophic decline of Venezuela’s economy under socialists Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. The situation has gotten so bad that even the New York Times has taken note: “Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals.” By morning, three newborns were already dead. The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, »

Venezuela Going the Way of All Socialism

Featured image Socialism depends on consolidating and centralizing all power, so when things start to go wrong (as they inevitably do), this also is as inevitable as food shortages, black markets, and hyperinflation: Leader opposition party in Venezuela assassinated Venezuelan politician German Mavare, leader of the opposition UNT party, died Friday after being shot in the head, an assassination that occurred in the western state of Lara, his organization said. “The board »

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 »