Venezuela Is Falling Apart

The Atlantic reports:

In the last two years has experienced the kind of implosion that hardly ever occurs in a middle-income country like it outside of war. Mortality rates are skyrocketing; one public service after another is collapsing; triple-digit inflation has left more than 70 percent of the population in poverty; an unmanageable crime wave keeps people locked indoors at night; shoppers have to stand in linefor hours to buy food; babies die in large numbers for lack of simple, inexpensive medicines and equipment in hospitals, as do the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

That socialist revolution is working well then.

You wonder how many people have to die before people get it.

A case in point is the price controls, which have expanded to apply to more and more goods: food and vital medicines, yes, but also car batteries, essential medical services, deodorant, diapers, and, of course, toilet paper. The ostensible goal was to check inflation and keep goods affordable for the poor, but anyone with a basic grasp of economics could have foreseen the consequences: When prices are set below production costs, sellers can’t afford to keep the shelves stocked. Official prices are low, but it’s a mirage: The products have disappeared.

Yet in NZ some politicians push for rent controls, not realising that it would inevitably lead to an even greater shortage of places to live.

When a state is in the process of collapse, dimensions of decay feed back on each other in an intractable cycle. Populist giveaways, for example, have fed the country’s ruinous flirtation with hyperinflation; the International Monetary Fund now projects that prices will rise by 720 percent this year and 2,200 percent in 2017. The government virtually gives away gasoline for free, even after having raised the price earlier this year. As a result of this and similar policies, the state is chronically short of funds, forced to print ever more money to finance its spending.

Quantitative Easing on steroids!

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government can no longer afford to provide even rudimentary law and order, making Caracas, the capital, by some calculationsone of the most murderous cities in the world. Drug traffickers run large sections of the countryside. Prison gang leaders keep military-style weapons on hand, and while grenade attacks still make the news, they are nothing new. Recently, the police captured an AT4 antitank rocket launcher—basically, a bazooka—from a suspect.

The breakdown of law and order is so severe that even children are being robbed. At Nuestra Señora del Carmen school in El Cortijo, a struggling neighborhood of Caracas, supplies for the school-lunch program have been stolen twice this year already: Thugs have broken into the school’s pantry late at night after fresh food is delivered. The second burglary meant the school couldn’t feed the kids for at least a week.

So sad for those living there.

And it is about to get worse as the Herald reports:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday extended the economic state of emergency in the South American country by 60 days. Yesterday he warned that authorities will seize any factories which stop production, and throw their owners in jail.

Oh yeah that will help.

Maduro said a complaint by factory managers that they were lacking the hard currency for raw materials was “whingeing” and their threat to close was a declaration of “economic war”. Any factories which stopped working would be “occupied by the people”, Maduro said in a televised speech. “We will do it. We will take over all the plants paralysed by the bourgeoisie,” he said. “Any who does not wish to work, let him leave.”

So he wants mobs to invade the factories. I think Mugabe has tried that approach!

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