The cost of freedom. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.
(Cross-posted from my other blog, which was originally posted on 5/31/16.)
This freedom stuff is not just some abstract concept. The lack of economic, political, or religious freedom is ugly and painful.
If you want to see what the lack of economic and political freedom looks like, consider Venezuela today.
5/20 – Yahoo News – Venezuela, where a hamburger is officially $170 – That hamburger priced at 1,700 bolivars is US$170 at the official exchange rate. At black market exchange rates it is about a buck and a half.
Article reports that the middle class is sliding into poverty. Keep in mind people are essentially paid at the official exchange rate.
Stores that sell anything other than food are closed. Article says nobody is buying anything other than food.
What is going on in Venezuela?
5/28 – New York Times – Venezuela Drifts Into New territory: Hunger, Blackouts and Government Shutdown – The New York Times notices the devastation afflicting the people of Venezuela.
Government offices are only open two half-days each week.
Article says protests at empty grocery stores are turning violent.
The bottler producing Coca-cola products cannot find sugar so it is halting production.
Other suffering this article doesn’t mention:
No toilet paper on the grocery store shelf and no international phone service.
The country’s largest beer producer can’t get enough foreign currency to buy hops so it has stopped making beer.
Water is rationed.
Electricity is only available sometimes and randomly at that.
Infants are dying in hospitals because of lack of medicine and respirators.
Back to the NYT article.
When water is on, people are gathering some in spare buckets for use later. The water (when available) is brownish and is making members of one quoted family sick. Many people say either lack of washing or the water itself is causing illness.
What is the cause of this suffering?