November 26, 2016

"I’m nervous. I’m leaving with nothing. But I have to do this. Otherwise, we will just die here hungry."

From "Hungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse."

ALSO: From the November 14th issue of The New Yorker, here's "VENEZUELA, A FAILING STATE/Once the richest country in South America, it now has the world’s highest inflation rate and is plagued by hunger and violent crime. How did this happen?" by William Finnegan. It begins with a description of the horrific conditions in a hospital. Excerpt:
In 1961, Venezuela was the first country declared free of malaria. Now its robust malaria-­prevention program has collapsed, and there are more than a hundred thousand cases of malaria yearly. Other diseases and ailments long vanquished have also returned—malnutrition, diphtheria, plague. The government releases few statistics, but it is estimated that one out of every three patients admitted to a public hospital today dies there. State mental hospitals, lacking both food and medications, have been reduced to putting emaciated, untreated patients out on the streets.

93 comments:

donald said...

The Castro legacy!

Quaestor said...

Will Castro's death encourage Mad Man Maduro to return to the line of work he is most qualified to perform?

AllenS said...

Key paragraph from the article:

And as Mr. Chávez’s Socialist-inspired revolution collapses into economic ruin, as food and medicine slip further out of reach, the new migrants include the same impoverished people that Venezuela’s policies were supposed to help.

Tank said...

They were on the Bernie Sanders Plan.

Pete said...

Can't be bothered to read the article but since it's the New Yorker, I'm sure somewhere in there the United States gets the blame.

Rusty said...

"How did this happen?"

Bad luck.

Christ.

Bob said...

The New Yorker, as it's name implies is a bastion of bullshit. They don't have a clue.

Quaestor said...

I wonder where these new boat people are bound for. It seems that socialismo o muerte produces extreme sports enthusiasts — the 100-Yard Minefield Dash and Cardboard Yacht Racing being to of the popular events.

Aruba is nearby. Maybe the Dutch will send a few Muslims back to where they came from to make room for some truly grateful and industrious migrants.

rhhardin said...

Private sector greed.

Quaestor said...

Hell's baseball team just got a new relief pitcher.

Greg Hlatky said...

Not feeling in the least bit sorry for Venezuelans. They voted this government in. My betters told me the elections were free and fair (see: J. E. Carter). So as far as I'm concerned they can get it good and hard.

Rob said...

Socialism is mentioned three times in the New Yorker article. Two of those times are to say, "Understanding Venezuela’s failing state as just another failure of socialism, and of statism generally, is ahistorical. Venezuela before Chávez was often extravagantly statist. Corruption has been a major problem in every era. Even dire food shortages are not new. These things happened under capitalism, too, as did intense political repression. Today’s crisis is for most people the worst in memory, but it is not all about socialism. The predatory state, the extreme insecurity, the sheer weakness of the rule of law—these are problems more profound, at this stage, than a traditional left-right analysis can clarify, let alone begin to solve."

Par for the course at the New Yorker.

MadisonMan said...

Perhaps the Clintons can help here too.

Jose_K said...

Socialism happened:
Price control since 2002
Foreign currency control since 2002. Total control nowadays
No private property possible of rural lands
Full Enterprises confiscated
Oil´s money given away to buy support . Even Harlem received cheap oil from Venezuela
Rampant corruption , unparalleled in Venezuelan history
A savage Nomenklatura . Many of them living in the USA while stealing thru their agents anything not firmly attached to the floor
Highest inflation in the world and 3 consecutive years of recession.
Maduro is just the idiot son who inherited the mess created by Chávez
The worst part? many , including the clueless opposition leaders ,still think it would be enough to change people in charge while keeping the controls on

Quaestor said...

BOOM!

Greg Hlatky said...

The predatory state, the extreme insecurity, the sheer weakness of the rule of law

Yo, guys? All hallmarks of socialism.

Quaestor said...

"Even dire food shortages are not new...

That's the kind of truism all socialist fall back on. Perhaps the good editors at the Nooyawkah can cite an example?
... Holding my breath... Turning blue...

David said...

"Not feeling in the least bit sorry for Venezuelans. They voted this government in."

Are children allowed to vote in Venezuela?

AprilApple said...

Progressive democratic socialism. Sean Penn and Madonna approve.

Oso Negro said...

Another rotten fruit on the tree of socialism.

Jose_K said...

Even dire food shortages are not new.. true there were shortages under Chávez in 2005, 2009 and 2011 just before been reelected . Shortages in the democratic past were short lasting and weren't that deep.By the way, Venezuelan democratic governments applied socialists policies too but were smart enough to stop when thing went bad .Venezuela never knew full capitalism.
Now , it is approaching famine. Children have died of malnutrition. People ask restaurant not to mix salad with other wasted food to avoid corrupting the remaining food.. they will eat the garbage.
Parents are starving to allow their kids to eat twice a day.
The government just seized tons of medicines donated to Venezuela by people in Chile. The cancer drugs will go to the government system from were they will be smuggled out of Venezuela or sold in the black market
Now , the government is importing food but the prices are so high that no one can afford it.
And no people did not ask that , Maduro won by 300 K votes over 14 MM. Amid claims of , real, fraud.

Greg Hlatky said...

Are children allowed to vote in Venezuela?

I'd say their parents voted on their behalf. It would be cultural arrogance for me to question their choice.

Sydney said...

How can the healthcare system be in such disarray? Cuba sent its best and brightest to help!.

Jersey Fled said...

"Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert A Heinlein

(With a hat tip to Glenn Reynolds)

Rob said...

Turning from substance to the more appealing subject of copyediting, Ann follows the New Yorker's preferred style of claiming "The" as part of its name and accordingly capitalizing the "T," but she doesn't give the same treatment to the New York Times, which also claims ownership of "the."

What's the proper response to these predatory corporations that seek to own their "the's"? Knuckle under and call them The New Yorker and The New York Times, or resist?

Quaestor said...

Pope Francis said the death of Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro was "sad news" and that he was grieving and praying for his repose.

No sadness or prayers for the Venezuelan yachtsmen. Fleeing Paradise? Blasphemy! Sink beneath the waves, foul apostates!

Sebastian said...

Socialism: there's nothing it can't ruin.

Even the U.S. of A. But for now the American commies have to make do with socialism in one university (well, a few hundred).

AprilApple said...

Such sweet sweet socialism could happen here. Bernie and Elizabeth Warren want to take us there.

Anglelyne said...

Meanwhile: another day, another racist, xenophobic, misogynist nazi wins the Republican primary, "shocking" "everyone".

Quaestor said...

Socialism: there's nothing it can't ruin.

Imagine a country that owns lots of oil, about 13% more than Saudi Arabia... What's the use? ARM will never believe it.

CWJ said...

"Once the richest country in South America, it now has the world’s highest inflation rate and is plagued by hunger and violent crime. How did this happen?"

"There's a great deal of ruin in a nation."

AKA Running out of other people's money, or my favorite, burning the furniture.

Ann Althouse said...

@Rob I have chosen the convention of captalizing "the" when it is is in fact part of the name of something, but I sometimes forget to do it, especially when I'm using initials to refer The Times.

But note that following the rule, I would write I am reading The New York Times but I am reading the New York Times article about Venezuela.

I the second example the the is for article, not nyt.

Fernandinande said...

I just read Shriver's novel of this happening in the US over the next 20-30 years. 'Twas a bit creepy.

Drago said...

Not to worry. The lefties will be along shortly to explain that it is the policies and conspiracies led by the US that have undermined this leftist paradise!

Cookie was doing that just yesterday.

If only the US wasn't around the socialists would never fail anywhere!

JAORE said...

Cue Sean Penn with thre3e cases of bottled water and a camera man in a john boat.

Heeeere he comes to save the day.....

EDH said...

I thought the science was settled?

Bay Area Guy said...

Cause and Effect:

The article does a good job describing the peril, economic chaos and sadness in Venezuela (Effect).

A tad bit murky on how this unfortunate set of circumstances came to pass (Cause).

Yes, that's what socialism is and what it does.

Drago said...

As you watch the left continue to lionize this murderous dictator, remember that it was Csstro that ordered homosexuals lobotomized...

...but in a "good way", of course.

Big Mike said...

Socialism seems so easy in the university classroom, doesn't it?

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Understanding Venezuela’s failing state as just another failure of socialism, and of statism generally, is ahistorical. "

Ah, of course. None but deplorables would blame socialism.


tim in vermont said...

Socialism accompanies these failed states like gravestones do rotting corpses, and we don't blame gravestones.

But you know what? Sometimes correlation is does reflect causation.

Michael K said...

Venezuela was ruled by fools once Chavez took over. They need Pinochet but the left in other countries made sure his experiment would not be repeated. Notice the relief supplies are coming from Chile, the richest country in South America even years after Pinochet left.

There is an example of wishful thinking in the left. Reality just does not seem to penetrate.

Cuba and Venezuela should be enough to convince doubters but they are not.

Gahrie said...

I wonder where these new boat people are bound for.

Curacao

wildswan said...

I wonder why a country like Saudi Arabia can survive, prosper, even modernize with a small group of plutocrats taking a large part of oil profits but Venezuela collapsed when the banditos were socialists. In a superficial way the political situation seems the same except that one was committed to social justice, the other was committed to Wahabism. Strange that fundamentalism was better at economics than Marx.

Chris N said...

Not long ago, they were doing decently as a nation.

We had a Venezuelan guy at our building doing the janitorial work. Very nice, very hard working. We took him out to dinner and he told us some stories. Goodness. Caracas. He's got his own janitorial service now. Still doing alright.

I also got into it online with a Phd Candidate from somewhere in Boston. A socialist of sorts (Bonapartist Bolivarian revolutionary). He helped describe Chavez' rise to power and some reasons why the revolution worked. Probably still a socialist of sorts...it animates many of the religious impulses. It's always the 'intellectuals...'

Just tragic. So much lost life, lost potential and now, hopelessness and human misery.

cubanbob said...

Leave it to communist to have hunger in a country that is both drowning in oil and rich in farmland. As always the only good communist is a dead communist. May all the world's communist become good communists.

Chris N said...

The House of Saud has been around for a while. It's more of a Clanocracy. Lots of transfer payments, enough capital and investment to keep the transfer payments flowing...and lots of foreign labor in all sectors doing the actual work.

Lots of poverty, 'unmodernity,' Wahhabism, and other issues lurking...

buwaya puti said...

It is frustratingly absurd. Venezuela has plenty of excellent agricultural land, plenty for food self-sufficiency, more per capita than many socialist and misgoverned third world countries that have avoided such deep miseries. Even Cuba didnt quite get into this trap, though it certainly flirted with it after 1991.

I am no socialist of course, but I dont think even socialism, as such, explains such a state of affairs. It seems to be a consequence partly of too many years dependence on the oil income driving local producers out in favor of imports, plus too many years of "social justice" subsidized food imports, including decades of policies of pre-Chavez governments, most of which had socialist leanings of some sort.

Ultimately perhaps the whole problem comes from nationalizing the petroleum industry (the government was taking 50% of the profits for several decades even before nationalizing everything in the 70's). After that the temptation to just sponge off oil became irresistible.

In hindsight Venezuela should have imposed high agricultural tarriffs many decades ago, at the very least.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

A quick internet search tells me that Venezuelan women are pretty good looking so, frankly, I see an upside to all this.

Laslo Spatula said...

Bob of Bob's Used Girls' Bicycle Seat Emporium says:

People, has Bob got a special deal for YOU! Bob's Used Girls' Bicycle Seat Emporium has just received a HUGE shipment of Used Girls' Bicycle Seats from Venezuela! The price was practically a steal, and Bob is going to pass the Bargain on to you, my loyal customers…

For you fans of the South American girls — and who isn’t? — this is the Deal you’ve been waiting for! Quality so good you can almost see their bronzed inner thighs, lightly coated in sweat from the Caracas sun! Remember: most of these girls have never experienced air-conditioning, so these Used Girls' Bicycle Seats are rich in exotic humid sensuality…

Some dealers on the internet try to pass off cheap Mexican Used Girls' Bicycle Seats as South American: don’t be fooled! Only Bob is giving you The Real Thing! When you think of Venezuela, think of Venezuelan Used Girls' Bicycle Seats — and when you think of Used Girls' Bicycle Seats you should ALWAYS think of Bob…!

I know What You want, and I Got It or I'll Get It: THAT is my Promise to You...

I am Laslo.

buwaya puti said...

Saudi Arabia just had far more oil production per capita than Venezuela. They are in the same trap, or much worse, as they have much less to work with other than petroleum, but the inevitable collapse is further down the road.

glenn said...

I seem to recall one of the Venezuelan elections being 62% for Hugo Chavez. And a pile of the folks affected by this "bad luck" voted for the politicians who got them into this mess. Let them stew in their own juice. Good lesson for the rest of us.

traditionalguy said...

Obama to the rescue. But he may be too late to organize them like he tried to do for us.

exiledonmainstreet said...

buwaya puti said...
It is frustratingly absurd. Venezuela has plenty of excellent agricultural land, plenty for food self-sufficiency, more per capita than many socialist and misgoverned third world countries that have avoided such deep miseries"

Just as the USSR had abundant natural resources and yet Soviet citizens were reduced to standing in line for hours to buy toilet paper and crappy shoes. And Hong Kong, which has no natural resources but was for many decades perhaps the most purely capitalistic place on earth, flourished while millions of Chinese were dying in a manmade famine.

Saint Croix said...

Soul brothers.

Original Mike said...

I want Robert Cook's take on the situation.

traditionalguy said...

NB: this collapse into chaos is the handiwork of rigged elections courtesy of George Soros.

Venezuela Needs a world government Now just like his plans say.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Gahrie, yes, in the New Yorker article it was Curacao.

Venezuela's oil problem isn't just that the price has dropped steeply, though of course that's a big part of it. It's also that Venezuelan oil isn't exactly "light sweet crude." It needs a deal of extra refining (refining, ironically, that the US is in the best position to supply).

Basically, the country bargained on oil prices remaining high enough for long enough to finance the entire economy, and lost, big time. Though not identical, it's like enough to the finances of other countries dependent on a single resource to group them together.

You folks saying that "the Venezuelans" brought this on themselves strike me as awfully callous. If 62% voted for Chavez, 38% didn't. What are they, chopped liver? (I hope not; people will eat chopped liver when there's nothing else in the store.) At the moment the opposition is frantically trying to schedule a recall referendum on Maduro soon enough that it doesn't guarantee him another few years even if he loses. Do you guys want that effort to fail as well?

Venezuela announced a month or so ago that it was "asking" (i.e., demanding) employees in other professions to report to the fields to work them. The vernacular for this is "slavery," as the vernacular for expropriation is "theft." Chavismo absolutely is socialism, and its failures are all literally textbook. We are heading straight into Ingsoc territory. You may want to see such suffering on a grand scale because it "serves them right." I do not.

Michael K said...

"After that the temptation to just sponge off oil became irresistible. "

A fatal mistake may have occurred when Chavez fired thousands of oil workers in the aftermath of a general strike in 20023.

This occurred just as the Canadian oil tar fields were coming on line. Over the next few years, Chavez kept trying to punish oil workers, especially foreigners, and they kept leaving.

In 2009, Chavez attacked Venezuelan oil workers and threatened them.

Any state companies lacking a socialist committee shall be suspected of plotting against the revolution."

The minister said the nationalised oil industry, which drives Venezuela's economy, must advance the president's radical agenda. "The oligarchy has to fear us, because we hate the oligarchy. PDVSA will be here at the forefront of the revolution under the leadership of Commander Chávez." Oligarchy is government shorthand for opponents.

The minister, who doubles up as head of the oil company and is a close ally of the president, added that he would not negotiate a collective labour contract "with any enemy of Chávez".


They kept leaving and collapse followed. Maintenance also deteriorated.

Sort of like Jerry Brown and California's infrastructure.

Michael K said...

The general strike was in 2003. 20023 hasn't come yet,.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

And, how long before the starving hordes of Venezuelans start eyeing landing on the shores of our "tierra de oro"? I mean, if governments want to fuck themselves up, that's one thing, but their starving people will do what they need to do to survive. The Caribbean islands are small, but the US is big, with an already in-place immigrant smuggling industry & a ginormous Hispanic population to hide among.

We absorbed pretty much all of the 1/4 to 1/3 of the population of Cuba that fled the island during the Castro regime.

Just wait --- the next "thing" will be massive waves of Venezuelan illegal immigrants.

mockturtle said...

Where is Maria with her billions?
The net worth of late socialist leader Hugo Chávez's second-oldest daughter is estimated at $4.2 billion, making María Gabriela Chávez the richest woman in Venezuela.

The 35-year-old, whom embattled President Nicolás Maduro last year appointed an alternate ambassador to the United Nations, apparently holds most of her assets in accounts in the United States and Andorra, where they are not affected by Venezuela's volatile economy and highly deflationary currency


From the Latin Post, August, 2015.

JAORE said...

"We are heading straight into Ingsoc territory. You may want to see such suffering on a grand scale because it "serves them right." I do not"

Of course you are right. It is a tragedy occurring and it falls, as always on the little guy. In that sense it certainly does not serve "them" right.

But, articles absolving Socialism in key ways adds to the impetus that might lead one to say, tragic, but a necessary lesson. Perhaps the dim bulbs on the left might see a sliver of light as this, only the latest, failure of socialism plays itself out on the world's stage..

mockturtle said...

Historically, Socialism has been more corrupt than Capitalism. As the old saying goes,
'In Capitalism, man exploits man. In Socialism, it's the other way around.'

exhelodrvr1 said...

Just give socialism one more chance!

buwaya puti said...

Part of the agricultural collapse is just the result of over 80 years of the oil industry driving out the rest of the economy, much accelerated by Chavez and co. of course, but well along before him.

This is the "dutch disease" that affects any economy that for some reason or another has its currency overvalued for long enough to make its own more diverse industries uncompetitive. This works on the US economy too. The US has for a long time had a strongly positive balance of payments, back into the 19th century, which helped make US manufactured products uncompetitive. There are whole US industrial sectors that failed and disappeared long before the current controversies.
The US optical and camera industries for instance, were under stress even in the 1910s, and died horribly in the 1950s.

Its one reason I'm not convinced that the recent emphasis on intellectual properties and service sectors as an export emphasis is healthy. It helps drive out many other sectors, creating a less diverse and more fragile economy. California is a good bad example. All eggs in one, or a very few, baskets becomes a questionable strategy when events, as they eventually do, cut the ground out of these industries.

William said...

I read the New Yorker article. Iirc, the author made the point that Venezuela is not just a totalitarian state, but a failed totalitarian state. The upside of living in a police state is that you don't have to worry about being kidnapped by criminals. The government has a monopoly on not just the use of force but on the use of crime. But in Venezuela the government has been far more adept at cutting down on dissent than on cutting down on crime. The criminals will mug you for the bribe money in your pockets, and then split with proceeds with the cops. They are exploring brave, new worlds of failure, famine, and futility.......It would be so great if all the refugees fled to Cuba, but that will never happen.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya rightly states: Its one reason I'm not convinced that the recent emphasis on intellectual properties and service sectors as an export emphasis is healthy. It helps drive out many other sectors, creating a less diverse and more fragile economy. California is a good bad example. All eggs in one, or a very few, baskets becomes a questionable strategy when events, as they eventually do, cut the ground out of these industries.

Exactly! There will come a time when 'real' stuff will be more valuable than 'virtual' stuff.

gadfly said...

Writing commentary for Cato Institute back in January 2014, Steve H. Hanke, addressed Venezuela's economic woes, where he concluded:

So, don’t hold your breath waiting for an uprising in Venezuela because of high inflation and economic misery. Short of $50 per barrel oil, the Titanic called Venezuela might stay afloat for longer than you think, before it inevitably sinks.

On 11/24/2016, OPEC's daily basket of crude oil prices, which includes Venezuelan oil, had fallen to $45.22 per barrel. The ghost of Hugo Chavez, who died on March 5, 2013, has returned to haunt the Communists in charge of the government.

Michael K said...

camera industries for instance, were under stress even in the 1910s, and died horribly in the 1950s.

Kodak discovered digital photography, at least the mass market type. Since their business model was based on film developing, not selling cameras, it was fatal.

Peter Drucker, all of whose books I have read, used to ask clients, "What is your business ?" Often they didn't know.

I'm not convinced that the recent emphasis on intellectual properties and service sectors as an export emphasis is healthy.

It's fragile. Our whole economy is fragile. When I was a medical student, all the electricity in the Northeast went out for 12 hours. A guy came into the Mass General with appendicitis. His appendix was removed after boiling instruments and the staff held flashlights in the OR.

We are much much more fragile now.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Oil´s money given away to buy support . Even Harlem received cheap oil from Venezuela."
********************

Joe Kennedy II, the former one-term MA congressman who later reached his full potential---as pres of an heating oil company in Boston-- used to brag in TV ads that his cheap oil was "a gift from the people of Venezuela".

Kennedy claims he runs a charity, but it seems there's a very dark side to it:

"The U.S. government has launched a series of corruption probes into Venezuela’s state-owned oil company that has strong ties to a charity group run by liberal elite Joseph Kennedy.

U.S. investigators are looking into Venezuelan officials are using Petróleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) to “loot billions of dollars from the country through kickbacks and other schemes,” according to The Wall Street Journal."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/22/new-us-corruption-probe-targets-venezuelan-company-with-connections-to-rfk-jr/#ixzz4R8gACiyD

I wonder how many smarmy lefty Mass-holes have even a single pang of guilt or regret that they helped reduce ordinary Venezuelans to misery by accepting such "gifts".

My guess is: not one. ESPECIALLY not Joe Kennedy II.

buwaya puti said...

Its not just digital photography.
At one time the US held its own in optics, mechanical shutters, etc.
Lets take mechanical leaf-shutters. The whole field is now obsolete, but the historical displacement of the domestic product in spite of significant advantages is telling; in the 1910s-50s clever clockwork mechanisms with lots of tiny, precise parts were a very big deal indeed. Ilex, Wollensak and Kodak gave way to German Deckel and Gauthier which lost to Copal and Seiko. A done deal by @1955, in spite of significant American advantages in technological quality (to which I can attest, having fixed dozens, one of my little hobbies; give me an American shutter any day), and at that time the market/technology had another 30 years, with by far the highest sales volume/profit ever, to run.

mikee said...

Venezuela: Obama's "Fundamentally Transformed" ideas in a real-world example of their end state.

Rob McLean said...

Once the richest country in South America, it now has the world’s highest inflation rate and is plagued by hunger and violent crime. How did this happen?"

What is "socialist dickheads", Alex?

pst314 said...

"Otherwise, we will just die here hungry"
"Socialism or death!" is a slogan plastered on numerous buildings in Cuba.
Of course, it's always the death of ordinary people that is so appealing to lefties, never the party elite.

mockturtle said...

Let them eat code.

coupe said...

The reason Venezuela is collapsing is in direct response to Obama's hands-off policy of foreign affairs.

Michael K said...

"Blogger buwaya puti said...
Its not just digital photography. "

Interesting comment. Thanks.

I am a fan of mechanical watches. The house I am buying in Tucson is being sold by a watchmaker. His collection of trinkets is fascinating.

Joe said...

I lived in Venezuela in the early 80s. Had strong mixed feelings about it then, but time has softened that. I was hesitant to read this article, but finally did and thought it very good. I agree with the author that "it's socialism" doesn't really explain what happened to Venezuela, since the situation goes well beyond that.

Taking a quick stab, Venezuela is what happens when you turn a party crony capitalist, part socialist, country into a full socialist country run by a psychopath. Chavez was so extreme that there are few genuine parallels from which to draw comparisons. Pol Pot actually comes to mind as a "leader" so insane, that it's ultimately impossible to explain him in any way relateable to most people.

Jupiter said...

buwaya puti said...
"Part of the agricultural collapse is just the result of over 80 years of the oil industry driving out the rest of the economy, much accelerated by Chavez and co. of course, but well along before him."

Nonsense. Venezuelan agriculture would recover in a few months if the fucking government would allow farmers to set their own prices. The Venezuelan oil industry would still be just fine if the fucking government hadn't completely alienated the foreign engineers needed to get the oil out of the ground and sell it. It may be that there are peculiarly Venezuelan aspects to this disaster, but what prevents the economy from recovering is the Socialist government's bony fingers locked around its throat.

Jupiter said...

And the reason the Saudis don't have this problem is that they did not alienate the foreign engineers needed to keep the oil flowing.

n.n said...

Economic misalignment and government corruption are first-order causes of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

Hyphenated American said...

"I agree with the author that "it's socialism" doesn't really explain what happened to Venezuela, since the situation goes well beyond that."

Socialism always ends this way. It's only a matter of time.

buwaya puti said...

"Nonsense. Venezuelan agriculture would recover in a few months"

Somewhat, no doubt, but Venezuelan agriculture was in a poor state even before Chavez showed up.

tim in vermont said...

We should open our doors to Venezuelan refugees, great source of new anti-communist voters. Counter weight to the rest of them.

Danno said...

They feel the Bern! Thankfully we have delayed our entrance into insanity.

Paul said...

Hard times produce strong people
Strong people produce good times
Good times produce weak people
Weak people produced hard times.

And that is the cycle we see so often.

But in Communist countries, it's always hard times.

Carol Fleshood said...

Wherever the IMF presence is, sooner or later the destruction of that country occurs. The IMF most certainly helped this issue of driving this once beautiful country into the ground.

Carol Fleshood said...

Wherever the IMF presence is, sooner or later the destruction of that country occurs. The IMF most certainly helped this issue of driving this once beautiful country into the ground.

Sam L. said...

Venezuela has a near-terminal case of Heinleinian BAD LUCK, and little-to-no chance of recovery.

Rusty said...

Carol Fleshood said...
Wherever the IMF presence is, sooner or later the destruction of that country occurs. The IMF most certainly helped this issue of driving this once beautiful country into the ground.

No. They did it all on their own. The IMF is ancillary to the end result not the cause.

William Chadwick said...

Socialism always works out so well! We should try that here!