The level of suffering in Venezuela is increasing. All of the blame for the current and future suffering can be laid at the feet of the socialist government.
Previously mentioned Venezuela is in the early stages of hyperinflation: Instead of reading about hyperinflation and economic collapse in history, you can watch it play out live. Tune in to Venezuela.
Some more discussion on the increased suffering:
2/6 – The Economist – The endgame in Venezuela – A few stats from the article:
Government acknowledges that for the 12 months ending 9/2015, inflation was 141% and the economy shrank 7.1%.
In addition to estimating the inflation rate will be 720% in 2015, the IMF estimates the economy will shrink 8% this year after shrinking 10% in 2015.
Check out the article for details on how the supreme court there has been packed.
2/12 – Wall Street Journal – Venezuela’s Collapse Brings “Savage Suffering” – What does life in Venezuela look like today? Infants dying in hospitals because of the lack of medicine and function respirators. Empty shelves in the stores. Long lines to buy what little is available. Actual exchange rate is 1026 bolivars to the dollar. A murder rate of 90 per 100,000 residents in Venezuela in contrast to 4 per 100,000 in the US. Preventable deaths from illness are on the rise.
The cause, according to the government? Economic war that has been waged by private companies and the Obama administration. Capitalism is also to blame.
That the government has nationalized hundreds of companies, imposed price controls on most (if not all) consumer products, imposed currency restrictions, wasted decades of oil surplus, and only has $3 million of reserves in the oil fund has nothing to do with the economic devastation.
While oil prices were running so high, up $100 a barrel, the federal budget put $40 per barrel on the books with the remainder put into an off-budget fund. Rainy day reserve is essentially empty now.
Article suggests entire spread between $100 and $40 has disappeared. Let’s do some exquisitely simple math for one year when oil was around $100. Let’s assume $90 for the year. That is a spread of $50 per barrel unaccounted for, times 90,000 bopd as I recall, or $4.5M per day, times 365 equals $1.64B for one year. Venezuela ought to have a sovereign reserve fund that is a huge multiple of North Dakota’s.
Just as a wild guess, I think the Swiss banks might have an idea where the money is.
The president’s official response to complaints that people can’t get enough to eat? They should start farming in the backyard. Seriously. Get a couple of chickens and raise your own food.
If you sense I am rather upset, you are correct. All the widespread suffering across an entire country is due to intentional government policies. This is the government’s chosen path.
Can someone far smarter than me please explain how socialism can ever be considered as having the merest shred of morality in it? In what alternate universe is this level of suffering considered moral?