Venezuela’s Maduro Orders 3,500 Percent Increase in Minimum Wage … 40 Percent of Businesses Close

250px-Flag_of_Venezuela.svgWe have previously discussed the meltdown in Venezuela and how the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro has done everything possible to ruin the economy, including a one million inflation rate.  The latest moronic move was to increase the minimum salary by nearly 3,500 percent when businesses are struggling to exist. The result? Nearly 40 percent of all Venezuelan stores have closed so now there are no wages. In the meantime, the Maduro government (and its Cuban intelligence forces) are doing what they do best: arresting anyone critical of the government including a couple firefighters are joking about Maduro.

The national currency, the bolivar, has now lost two-thirds of its value in thirty-one days.  However, ordering massive increases in wages merely cut forty percent of the businesses still supplying dwindling job opportunities.  With four out ten stores closed, many are ominously selling off their merchandise.

Not only do these closed businesses represent a decline in the job market, but they can have ripple effect on the supply of goods and labor for the surviving businesses.

In the meantime, two Venezuelan firefighters were arrested by the military for merely  making of a viral video that mocked Maduro by likening him to a donkey touring a fire station. Venezuela’s military counterintelligence unit DGCIM arrested the firemen, Carlos Baron and Ricardo Prieto.

Maduro has succeeded in destroying democracy with the same determination of destroying the economy.

 

127 thoughts on “Venezuela’s Maduro Orders 3,500 Percent Increase in Minimum Wage … 40 Percent of Businesses Close”

  1. Chicago’s current problem with homicides and gang violence can be attributed in part to the Mexican cartels.

    Gang crime is a modest fraction of recorded social violence in the country. You can have wretched trouble with street crime with no gangs at all (as you do in my home town). There is a certain population of feral young men in any society. They need to be deterred, punished, and incapacitated. When you don’t do that, you have Detroit. And Gary. And St. Louis. And the South Side of Chicago. And Baltimore. Some of them may be fighting over drug deals and drug turf. Some of them are fighting over girls. Some of them are fighting over a plate of chicken.

    1. oh hell no, did you say FRIED CHICKEN?

      i like my fried chicken with collard greens and a lil watermelon for dessert… mm time for lunch

  2. If you have nothing and owe thousands for a college education and are promised government pay for free healthcare and your college loan paid off then socialism sounds good, that’s why people like Cortez may get elected.

    1. Yes, Bruce. And those people include about half of all Millennials. Which means the cows are out of the barn in the march towards socialized medicine.

        1. Olly, those ‘sheep’ want coverage for pre-existing conditions. But Republicans feel that demand threatens free markets. And this is where Libertarian ideals collide with reality.

          In the real world people have pre-existing health conditions. Somehow they have to access a healthcare system. They need government subsidies and, or direct assistance. Obamacare sought to address their needs.

          So far Republicans have offered no alternative to Obamacare. There’s a good reason why: ‘They can’t get to the right of Obamacare and provide sufficient coverage for the larger public.

          Obamacare was the Last Free-Market stop on the road to socialized medicine. Obamacare is where Republicans should have gotten off.

          1. “In the real world people have pre-existing health conditions. Somehow they have to access a healthcare system.”

            True enough, so you provide that small percentage with healthcare and leave the rest of us alone to get our own insurance.

            1. Peter doesn’t understand that insurance is for the unknown sick which far outweigh in numbers the known sick. The idea is to get the unknown sick onto insurance before it is known and manage the known sick in a different way. Many of the known sick can easily go onto health insurance plans if we don’t have stupid laws like Obamacare. The remainder can be aided as needed.

          2. “Obamacare was the Last Free-Market stop on the road to socialized medicine. Obamacare is where Republicans should have gotten off.”

            Peter Shill, you demonstrated a total lack of knowledge about Obamacare numerous times on the blog. This is just your newest ignorant post.

  3. Jay S.: If you really look at the numbers, you will see that the economy was awful under Obama (tons of people were really hurting all across the country) and then took off right after Pres. Trump was elected because of the hope he instilled in people and businesses with assets to invest. Then, things really took off again when he cut our taxes, especially but not only the corporate rates. This would never have happened under Obama’s awful and anti-business economic policies. Never. Obama was clueless about how the economy actually works and what stimulates people to take action that is good for the economy; or if he understood, he did not care. His views that manufacturing would never return and that anemic ~2% GDP growth was the best we could do tell me that the former was the case — he was clueless about economics. No matter, his economy was anemic; thank God for the people in control of our economic policy now. They know what they are doing.

    1. Econ, The Unemployment rate was ‘below’ 5% when Trump took office. By any historical measure, 5% or lower is good. Therefore this LIE that the economy only improved when Trump took office is just a LIE and nothing else.

      And I remember, all too well, that during Obama’s first term, right-wing media kept blaming Obama for ‘bailing out the banks’. In actuality, the banks were bailed out under Bush. But that didn’t stop right-wing media from repeating that lie over and over.

      1. The rate of decline (trend) in the U 6 was over twice as fast under Trump than for Obama when it should have been a slower decline in unemployment. No one denies the economy improved, but it was sluggish when it should have been raging. Now it is closer to the raging side.

      2. Obama broke records for people on food stamps. Lower unemployment must be evaluated against Wefare rolls to evaluate economic performance of policy.

        1. Karen, you’re claiming The Great Recession never happened?? What a croc of bunk!

          The Financial Crisis hit around this time in September of ’08. Your news sources should be noting that. If they aren’t that’s suspicious.

          Luckless George W had to go out with the first Financial Crisis since 1929. But Bush did the right thing by bailing the banks. It was vastly cheaper than letting them collapse!

          Nevertheless Obama was blamed for bailing the banks. Never mind that he hadn’t been elected yet. That fact is only a technicality in right wing media. The idea is that Obama ‘would have’ bailed the banks.. so in effect ‘he did’.

          1. TARP: Troubled asset relief program.

            Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street
            Neil Barofsky *** the IG for TARP*** Great read.

            Blurb from Amazon:

            An insider of both the Bush and Obama administrations offers an irrefutable indictment of the mishandling of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailouts and the extreme degree to which our government officials-from both parties-served the interests of Wall Street at the expense of the public.

            From his first day on the job as the special inspector general in charge of overseeing the distribution of the bailout money, Neil Barofsky found that the officials at the Treasury Department in charge of the bailouts were in thrall to the interests of the big banks. In vivid behind-the-scenes detail he reveals how they steadfastly failed to hold the banks accountable even as they disregarded major job losses caused by the auto bailouts and refused to help struggling homeowners. He discloses how the team at the Treasury under Secretary Timothy Geithner worked with Wall Street executives to design programs that would have funneled vast amounts of taxpayer money to their firms and allowed them to game the markets and make huge profits with almost no risk and no accountability. Providing stark details about how-through a combination of sheer incompetence and a profound disregard of the plight of homeowners-the interests of the broader public were betrayed, he recounts how an increasingly aggressive war was waged by the Treasury against his efforts to raise the alarm about the failures.

            Bailout is a riveting account of his plunge into the political meat grinder of Washington, as well as a vital revelation of just how captive to Wall Street our political system is and why the too-big-to-fail banks have only become bigger and more dangerous in the wake of the crisis.

            Neil Barofsky is currently a senior fellow at New York University School of Law. From December 2008 until March 2011, he served as the special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Before that he was a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Bailout is his first book.

        2. Using U3 but IMO U6 is more meaningful because it contains a larger number of unemployed. The U3 doesn’t count those that stopped looking for a job. From Jan through end of October. Understand seasonal changes have a partial effect as well causing numbers to go up and down

          Obama: 4.9, 4.9, 5.0, 5.0, 4.7, 4.9, 4.9, 4.9, 4.9, 4.8
          Trump : 4.8, 4.7, 4.5, 4.4, 4.3, 4.4, 4.3, 4.4, 4.2, 4.1

          Obama unemployment down by 0.1 Trump down by 0.7. That is a drastic change and represents the perception and the reality that Obama policies would be and were reversed. Trump is now down to baseline unemployment and stable while people not considered unemployed in U3 statistics are becoming employed.That reduces food stamps, welfare and medicaid which reduces government expenditures.

          This shows Peter Shill to be full of sh-t.

    1. People are starving in the streets because of socialism. Again.

      These people are dying. Kids are dying. The population is probably too weak at this point to fight back. Is the rest of the world just going to sit back and watch millions of people die? Do we do something? Airlift people out and welcome them back to capitalism and food?

      We’ve got to get the kids out of there.

      1. “Kids are dying.”

        Unfortunately that is what happens in a socialist state, but we should look at ourselves and look at the kids dying in leftist Chicago.

        Year to Date
        Shot & Killed: 358
        Shot & Wounded: 1850
        Total Shot: 2208
        Total Homicides: 418

        Socialism kills.

        1. Allan, this is a great example of the brainless nonsense you post each day. Somehow violence in Chicago is attributed to ‘socialism’.

          Where do you get this crap?????

          Never mind that crony capitalism has always dogged local government in Chicago. Never mind that the Mafia had a grip on the city for 60 years. Never mind that Chicago has tortured history of race relations. In Allan’s mind Chicago violence is the product of ‘socialism”!

          1. No,

            1. The violence in Chicago is a function of the liberal mentality, which is a function of the social ideology you find in teacher’s colleges and social work programs. Or, as a tired policy wonk told Morton Kondracke a generation ago: liberals want to give people things.

            2. It’s also a function of addle-pated black nationalism, which sees the police force (and disciplinary officials in schools) as a subaltern class with no authority to enforce rules against the true aristocrats, blacks.

            3. It’s also a function of lawfare artists who serve one or another of the above threads, and commonly fancy themselves the defenders of the oppressed against officialdom.

            You have an amply staffed police force in Chicago, but they’re not optimally deployed and they/re munching on doughnuts because if they were doing their jobs, they’d have more confrontations with feral young men, and these can be career-enders when politicians do not have your back. The responsible parties are Chicago’s elected officials and judges.

            So, you have homicide rates north of 45 per 100,000 per annum on the South Side and west side of Chicago, even though homicide rates of 13 per 100,000 would be a realistic social goal.

            1. Spastic, I used to work with Chicago cops on a daily basis.. I totally sympathize with them. But Chicago’s problems are highly complex. There not issues one can simply blame on misguided liberals.

              1. Chicago’s problems are highly complex and so are the problems of Detroit, Baltimore etc., but they all have one thing in common Liberals in charge.

                1. i hate to say it but they hotspots are all black neighborhoods. i am not sure ideology really plays into this as much as people would like to believe.

                  but these days the truth is apparently racist so let’s just put it all down to social conditioning, poverty, etc whatever other thing continues our cherished American delusions.

                  I saw how mad everybody got last week when I denounced the Dec of Indep, so I won’t do it again. I just had that thought and silenced myself before I said something.

                  1. Kurtz, the worst of the largest cities are run by Democrats for a long time. They have poor management skills and that is why all too frequently the legislation they wish to pass is faulty. The two things run together. Under Guiliani NYC murder rate fell (admittedly for many reasons) and the techniques used in NYC were extended to other large cities. Todays leftist mayor is making all the old mistakes so my bet is that crime and murder will increase despite the fact that the NYC police department continues to function much like it did before. Entropy always prevails unless there is a counterbalance. Time will tell. I can say that when I am there the city isn’t as nice as it was when it should be nicer.

              2. I totally sympathize with them. But Chicago’s problems are highly complex.

                Any urbanized locality has multifarious problems. What they don’t have is homicide rates 3x or 4x higher than they need to be. Which is a function of inertia, incompetence, and the signature features of governance by the Democratic Party. You haven’t had a Republican mayor in Chicago since 1931, so you could at least own this situation.

                1. In Illinois, Republicans aren’t necessarily any ‘less’ corrupt than Democrats.

                  Chicago’s current problem with homicides and gang violence can be attributed in part to the Mexican cartels. Because Chicago is so far north, people don’t think of it as a cartel stronghold. But Chicago is really not that far from Texas in terms of driving time (about a day and a half). And Chicago is the perfect distribution point for massive drug shipments. That’s the reason Chicago became a huge city; it’s the perfect distribution point to other parts of the country.

                  1. “Chicago’s current problem with homicides and gang violence can be attributed in part to the Mexican cartels”

                    How about Detroit, Baltimore?

                    Maybe Trump is right in building a wall.

                    1. blacks again more than mexicans by far

                      now, that’s not to say that mexican cartels are peaceful, but they mostly confine their extremely murderous practices to south of border.

                      here the gangs are a different stratum than the cartels. so like you have la Eme one of the most murderous prison gangs who are mexican americans mostly but they are a self governing crew who act as contractors not partners to the cartels or so I read…. to use a business analogy

                      of course the black gangs are the same; so is the AB and whatever white gangs distribute on the streets

                      gangs and crime and drugs are all factors…. but in a lot of places in the world you see those things and a lack of daily random shootings like Chicago

                      where can you see craziness like that?

                      lets see how about more than 20,000 murders in South Africa
                      https://businesstech.co.za/news/lifestyle/271997/heres-how-south-africas-crime-rate-compares-to-actual-warzones/

                      what does SA and Chitown have in common?

                      what does that mean? it’s pretty obvious correlation actually, we leave it to the reader

                    2. “blacks again more than mexicans by far”

                      That is fine, but what is involved in a lot of killings? Drugs and broad neglect by a lot of leftist politicians.

                  2. It is huge and it is a natural distribution center
                    there are tons of mexicans there and cartel activity

                    but the murder problem is mostly blacks. i would like to lay this one on illegal immigrants but there are so many in Chicago and mostly they are peaceful to be honest. maybe more violent than the average population but nowhere near Chicago black murder hotspots.

                    i suppose most black folks are peaceful too, but, let’s seriously quit kidding ourselves, they have a higher percentage who are not.

                    it’s completely obvious if you live there for any time and in fact I did for quite a while, back when Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor homes were still standing, and they were still tossing their victims out the windows

                    how can anyone forget poor little Eric Morse, a decent young chap who wouldnt steal candy. they threw him out the window for it

                    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-941015-eric-morse-story.html

                    1. Several things. I wouldn’t blame all the killing on illegals either, but when you create a certain environment you compound the problem. Drugs is a major problem and a lot drugs come from our southern border transported by illegals from the south. One doesn’t know who is illegal or not so one can’t even be sure about the number of illegals that are considered black along with the fact that there are black south Americans. Lawlessness stems from the soundbites shouted by Democratic supporters.

                2. oh don’t blame this on the Democrats honest to goodness that is false.

                  blame it on the most obvious factor you can’t allow yourself to say.
                  at least speak the truth in your own mind.

            2. why bother with confrontations?
              there’s a white Chicago cop on trial now who shot a black teen who was carrying a knife, who had just stabbed a tire on a cop car and smashed a window, and refused to put the weapon down

              now he’s on trial for murder

              wny bother; let them continue to shoot each other up and hopefully at a rapider pace than ever

              I know some Chicago cops and trust me they are anything but liberal

              they may be Democrats but exactly the kind that voted for Trump, at least my contacts

          2. Liberals are now pushing socialism. I think DSS below says it all.

            As an addition to the Liberal cr-p that abounds in your head I just saw reference to the fact that Ford took the polygraph one month ago. Why would that have been done if she weren’t planning to have her name released. Additionally, if she is unhinged on this issue and really believes something that didn’t happen she could pass the polygraph but that doesn’t make her delusions true. This is a typical hit job.

        2. Allan, Chicago kids placed in peril by Democratic policies prey on my mind. Kids deserve safe neighborhoods to grow up in. Black women need to have greater expectations and wait to start a family until they are married. Plus, if the Chicago neighborhoods put a fraction of the energy and unity of BLM into throwing out the gangs, mentoring kids, helping kids get to school safe, helping them with homework, and carpeting the city with police patrols watching over them, it would be vastly improved within 5 years. But it won’t improve until we get started, and we can’t get started until Chicago and the rest of Illinois goes Republican, Libertarian, or anything but extreme Left.

          We are just spinning our wheels while kids’ futures blow up.

          1. Karen S – the Democratic system (big D Democrat) has forced men out of homes. You are penalized if there is an adult male in the household and you are trying to get welfare, sooooooo daddy has to goooooooo.

            1. Like Stalin did many on the left want to break up the family and social norms so that people will be more reliant on the state and consider the state family. The actual social norm is not as important to them as the end, the state family.

          2. We spend tons of money and resources all over the world while kids die in cities like Chicago (Democratic ideals) and the death toll from drugs exceeds 70,000 mostly young. Infants dying because they are of low birth weight due to drugs or mentally and physically impaired for the same reasons. Maternal mortality is high also because of drugs

            Democrats don’t give a damn about these social problems that lead to crime and murder. Instead they spend their efforts trying impune the reputation of one of the finest jurists in the land.

          3. they are black gang controlled territories and the funny thing is the only black “gang” with enough muscle and self control and decency not to act like a civil war is in progress is the Nation of Islam of the much maligned Louis Farrakhan who actually is one of the sanest politicians (in the wider sense) that Chicago produced in the past century, and the source of inspiration to a lot of law abiding black folks in the area.

            sobriety of course is part of the program of Islam. I am not a Muslim but they have certain good cultural practices and sobriety is one of them. Respect for men is another.

            I could sing many of his praises but somebody would just say, oh we already have decided that you’re a racist so your opinion doesnt count, or, oh he speaks ill of Jews and so forth, or oh he says there is a Mother Ship and he is a crank; and then all the good that he does would go by the wayside.

            And indeed compared to the other heinous black leadership in Chicago Louis Farrakhan is practically a saint.

            https://twitter.com/MosqueMaryam?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

            1. Kurtz, read the Koran. I have no problem with Muslims that do not believe in Sharia Law, don’t support terrorists and are peaceful. Unfortunately, what we are seeing is state sponsored Terrorism along with countries that support teaching their chidren that Americans are the devil.

              I’ll give you a sample and provide sample after sample if need be.

              Koran 47:4 “Do not hankeer for peace with the infidels:behead them when you catch them.”

              Read the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum from the Holy Land Trial.

              “The Ikhwan must understand that their work
              in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the
              Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house
              by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated
              and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

              A complete copy of the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum in Arabic and English is at http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/20.pdf

              For more information you can refer to this book https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CSP-Explanatory-Memorandum.pdf or I can provide you a multitude of other reputable sources.

              1. i dont need to allan, thanks, i know there is a lot of Muslim nonsense, the point is specific to chicago. the black muslims there are more orderly than the genpop by far

                sobriety is not a bad ideal, though it can be taken to a fault if legislated prohibition

                again, my point is specific to chicago in that regard

                1. If you are being specific to Chicago I won’t disagree with regard to Muslim activity. It’s just that you made a comment that didn’t sound too realistic or knowledgeable about that threat. Your comment sounded rather naive and male dominated.

                  Let me quote you: “Respect for men is another.” So much so that the Koran says:

                  Koran: 2:223 A woman is chattel in marriage and can be forced to have sex.

    2. The United States has had socialistic programs for 80 years. Pure capitalism would be very cold. Ask Charles Dickens.

      1. Dickens was writing at a time when real incomes were less than 1/10th of what they are today. Everyone was living a great deal closer to subsistence.

        1. Spastic, one could argue pure capitalism was a necessary evil to jump-start the industrial revolution and transition from an agrarian economy to a consumer-driven economy. But pure capitalism was never kind to the poor and it wouldn’t be today.

          This Koch Bros fantasy of pure, free markets is no more realistic than pure socialism.

          1. Peter of course that is true, it’s so clear that it’s barely worth arguing

            we live in a mixed economy since FDR and probably a lot better off because of it

            mostly arguing the topic is just for sport

      2. Peter, Charles Dickens wrote fiction that he could control. You espouse dreams that you can’t control but can destroy those that have to live under your type of fiction.

        Capitalism does not preclude a healthy environment. It doesn’t prevent society from helping those truly in need. The poor that are healthy and able to work are poorer than need be when they have no jobs. Capitalism improves economies and thus provides an environment to help those on the bottom. That is why so many people today that start in the lowest strata of economic wellbeing in the US find themselves rising and many rise to the top.

        Socialism creates the opposite environment. If one looks at where capitalism thrives one finds the highest economic output and invariably a much higher standard of living than other places. It is amazing that home furnishings such as refrigerators, air conditioning, TV and all these other wonderful tecnological advances seem to enter the middle class and even the poor in the US only a limited number of years later than it entered the rich class. That is not true in socialist nations.

        Compare us with our western friends and see how large their homes are, how many cars they own, how many TV’s they own etc. and you will find everything in smaller quantities. Healthcare is a big concern but much of the reason healthcare spending went out of control in our country is because of government action, not the marketplace. In fact if one compares our healthcare system internationally with regard to outcomes (will I live or will I die; will I get better or will I do worse) the US does best when compared to our western friends. Most of the studies that demonstate the opposite are not based on outcomes but based on egalitarianism. In other words one gets high marks just by shooting a bullet into one’s head for the treatment of a disease… everyone is treated equally. The best international study to date that is easily read and contains excellent tables is the Concord study that I have mentioned on numerous occasions.

        If you feel differently regarding any of these comments why not put your proof in black and white not as opinion but as data that can be discussed. That is something you never do and probably are incapable of doing. Let’s see you prove me wrong.

        1. i have been to Costa Rica and their one payor system is pretty effective. So much so that there is “medical tourism” from there and it’s a favored retirement spot for Americans. They can pay out of pocket and it’s actually affordable. I hear Scandinavian health care is pretty swell too, So it’s not all that clear.

          Health care is not the same kind of resource as any other thing like making tvs or selling cars or even the usual service sector things. Let me explain.

          Hospitals are big socialist bureaucracies in any system because they triage. They must triage, that means, decide who NEEDS what care and do that first; or they are inhuman.

          About the only place I hear where there is no just and humane triage at the walk-in level is China where they will hold the family up in payment in advance for life saving care. What a worker’s paradise! That’s a place where capitalism shows its ugliest face right under the nose of the Chicom oligarchy. Pardon the mixed metaphor.

          But in Taiwan or Singapore one can expect more humane care. Is that because of capitalism versus socialism or is that just because the PRC is full of corruption and comparatively worse trained medical technicians?

          Competency and integrity matter no matter what the social system and ideology

          1. Kurtz medical tourism in Costa Rica is for cash pay and for specific high cost procedures that have been made more costly than necessary in the US. Additionally, one can go for a face lift where English is a language, for a less expensive price, at a resort and no one has to see you during the recuperative process.

            What is not clear to you is the data that is out there. This doesn’t mean that good care isn’t rendered elsewhere, it is but overall the US is probably the best. We became the best because of our system and all the socialized healthcare systems have recently been revised or have problems. Even Canada has looked at our HMO system to see if it would help their problems (That would be a big mistake). Look at the Supreme Court decision in Quebec: “Access to a waiting list is not access to health care,” wrote Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin and then she called it inhumane and found for the individual over the state. Don’t get me wrong, Canada has good healthcare but there are long waiting lines and high costs that are not seen. Natasha Richardson’s death at a 5 star ski resort demonstrates the differences in care between the two nations. Likely in at similar ski resort in the US she would be alive today. Take note of the quintuplits born a number of years ago in the US because it could not be handled in the Canadian location. The type of care provided in both cases increases costs tremendously.

            I won’t deal with the rest of your comments unless you wish to deal with one comment at a time. They are a bunch of statements when taken alone that have near zero meaning.

  4. Maduro seems to literally believe in the philosophy of when a government robs Peter to pay Paul, you can always depend on the support of Paul. George Bernard Shaw

    One major problem is Peter’s pockets are empty. And Paul is starving. Maduro begins his new 6 year term in January and unless he reverses course, he’s staring down the barrel of a military coup.

    1. olly

      Wake uP. The U.S. just tried a coup a few weeks ago. The government there has NOT robbed peter to pay paul. You really should make yourself more informed before trying to be a propagandist. FOX might love you, but the truth doesn’t.

      1. Well gosh bill, why don’t you inform me then? What happened to their oil production? What has happened with their oil reserves? What happened to the capital investments from foreign oil companies? What did Chavez and Maduro do with the money that was generated from exports?

        I’ll wait.

          1. Once again old news. The point I made and it’s still valid is Maduro will not succeed with the same policies that got his country into this mess. He will either voluntarily change course or it will be forced on him.

          2. Peter Hill – if by “supported” you mean did not try to prevent it, then you are probably right. However, there does not seem to be any active participation from the United States. It would be in the interest of the country to have Maduro overthrown, but we were not involved.

          3. a coup will make the mess even bigger. respect the sovereignty of venezuela however poorly the place is managed.

            however bad a socalled dictator may be, what comes after is usually worse

            1. a coup will make the mess even bigger.

              Not likely, provided the succeeding warlords knew which technocras to hire. Sometimes they do (Chile, 1973-90) and sometimes they do not (Argentina, 1976-83).

              1. it’s true sometimes a coup is not followed by a worse situation and chile was better

                but Chile had a lot going for it then that Venezuela does not.

                it would probably descend into a narco-anarchy.. Better a leftist governmental tyranny than the utter chaos of certain failed states in Mexico which drives so many refugees to our border.

                The US should stay out.

            2. Venezuela is not Libya which had a government that was necessary to prevent anarchy. Maduro’s government is leading towards anarchy and if he doesn’t change what he is doing someone else will. It is only a matter of time and the longer it takes the more the suffering.

              1. How come Chavez could hold it together and not Maduro?

                Partly because black ops are destabilizing the place. I know, I know, what proof, you’re a conspiracist, etc. But I’m fairly certain there has been a sustained program of destabilization aimed at them and just now it is starting to bear its evil fruit of chaos.

                They are mostly to blame for their own problems but if you think that the CIA spooks have not put their fingers into this, you would be naive

                1. “How come Chavez could hold it together and not Maduro?”

                  Maybe Chavez was smarter. I think Maduro was a former bus driver. In any case as time goes on the situation gets worse and there is less money to spend. That is what kept the country together. Venezuela has a big advantage, oil, lots of it. With the correct government it could reverse itself. Socialism leads to a bad way of thinking and that is what we see with socialists all over the world.

                  I don’t have the slightest idea what our CIA has done in Venezuela but in the long term it makes little difference because that government has to end and will eventually fall or change under its own weight..

          4. Coups do tend to happen when everyone is starving because of government policies, and you can be jailed for criticizing the government.

            Healthcare is free, but all they have to prescribe is empty plastic bottles. The hospitals don’t even have clean drinking water.

            What Maduro is doing, Socialism, is not working. If he continues on this path, it will still not work.

            I WISH the US would help topple Maduro. We interfere in politics all the time. Why are we standing here letting Socialism kill more kids??? How long will the military watch their people die?

  5. Wasn’t Venezuela the shining example we were all supposed to look to? It was true socialism in action. Now everyone who said it is taking those tweets off their feed. Hmmmm??????

    Did anyone ask if that $3500 outfit came from campaign funds?

    1. PCS

      Venezuela will never be allowed to prosper until the U.S. stops trying to overthrow the government and steal their oil.
      Being a relatively well informed person, you should know that by now.

      1. “steal their oil.”

        Bill mcwilliams, It must be nice to say whatever one wants whether it is true or not or whether or not one understands what they are talking about. More intelligent people have a problem with that type of commenting and get embarrassed at making inaccurate statements.

        In the mid 20th century Venezuela was one of the richest nations in the world. The Dutch and the Bitish were responsible for helping Venezuela develop its oil resources.

        Sometime in the 70’s Venezeula nationalized their oil production. Look up PDVSA Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company.

        1. My Dad, who saw this unfold from the military, said that they used to have a saying in Venezuela that people would fall out of banana trees into Cadillacs.

          Days long gone.

          1. You had some interesting history in your family. He was in Saudi Arabia as well, right or was that someone else?

            What happened in Venezuela could happen in the US even though we are more diverse. Under Obama we were already seeing the cracks forming.

            1. What happened in Venezuela could happen in the US

              Not likely. The ingredients are not there. The U.S. isn’t suffering from the side-effects of a natural resources bonanza. We’re far more affluent than was Venezuela in 1992, we have functional public services, and the number of people who’ve grown filthy rich from graft is contextually small.

              1. DSS, I didn’t say it would happen, I said it could happen and I didn’t say our inflation would be as bad but it could be bad and even worse than what was seen under Carter. Yes being more affluent and having a more diverse economy means that the problems Venezuela faces would take a lot more time for such degeneration to occur, but it COULD happen. I don’t think it would be as bad but why should America face a situation that is bad with the only good thing that it is not as bad as Venezuela? Can you explain that to me and everyone else in the room?

                1. but it COULD happen. I

                  Not this particular complex of problems, no.

                  Massive inflation ‘could happen’ to any country without a strictly specie-based currency. However, the Carter-era inflation never topped 20% per annum for even one month, so was qualitatively quite different from Latin American inflations ca. 1985, much less Venezuela today.

                  1. “Not this particular complex of problems, no.”

                    No, DSS, we will not have a Maduro and we will never be an exact replica of Venezuela. Sometimes I don’t understand why you make this type of comment.

                    We can run into similar problems though they will be seen differently. We are a different nation and a different people so no one expects (except possibly you) an exact replica of Venezuela.

                    “Massive inflation ‘could happen’ to any country without a strictly specie-based currency.”

                    That is exactly the point. That Carter’s inflation didn’t exceed 20% doesn’t mean that foolish economics practiced in Washington won’t cause inflation to exceed 20%.

                    1. No, Allan. The signature feature of Venezuela’s problems has been the effect of the oil bonanza on the (mis) development of their political economy. Will not be our problem under any set of technologies with which we are familiar.

                      A possible scenario under a loong run of Bernie-type governments would be France, which has a wretchedly bloated public sector.

                    2. “No, Allan. The signature feature of Venezuela’s problems has been the effect of the oil bonanza on the (mis) development of their political economy. Will not be our problem under any set of technologies with which we are familiar.”

                      DSS, again you merely agree with one facet of my argument. Above I said “Yes being more affluent and having a more diverse economy… ” and elsewhere I pointed out their great reliance on oil so of course things will happen differently. They always do. Shall we also mention America’s very favorable geography and how that greatly helped our development as a rich nation which along with British heritage helped form our political economic system? Are you playing Tom and Jerry and assuming Tom’s character? Tom generally loses. Go get some Catnip.

      2. These oil thieves have a strange way of stealing.

        The current troubles of the oil industry are rooted in the oil policies implemented by President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013). He fired about half of the workforce of the national oil company, PDVSA, during an oil strike in 2003, including the vast majority of top executives and technical staff. He forcefully renegotiated joint-ventures and operational contracts with foreign companies and partially nationalized them. ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips withdrew from the country as a result. Thereafter, no relevant new oil projects have been completed. He also expropriated some service companies. In addition, Chavez drove PDVSA to run into significant debt, and transformed it, de facto, into a social and development ministry. Consequently, investment in oil development and production declined, even during the oil price boom.
        https://www.forbes.com/sites/thebakersinstitute/2018/01/24/the-death-spiral-of-venezuelas-oil-sector-what-if-anything-can-be-done-about-it/#447481057e60

      3. The US does not “steal” oil. We buy it on the marketplace just like everyone else. We didn’t even get a discount for Kuwait oil.

        I am gobsmacked that Maduro has plowed a prosperous country into the ground, kids are starving in the street, and you don’t get that it’s his policies, and not the US government, that’s at fault. What the heck do you think we are doing? You don’t think making profit and owning private property illegal has any consequences?

      4. Venezuela will never be allowed to prosper

        Bill, you’re an economic illiterate. No country needs to be ‘allowed to prosper’. They need to build their human capital, their public works, and their institutional supports. Absent severe sanctions or severely primitive conditions, no country lacks that capacity.

        until the U.S. stops trying to overthrow the government and steal their oil.

        Again, you’ve never differentiated between your imagination and reality. That aside, Venezuela accounts for < 3% of global oil production. Supposedly, they've 17% of proven reserves, but they've so ruined the state oil company that it's essentially inaccessible to them.

    2. No, Paul, it’s the bulls**t example right-wing media uses to smear any politician whose not a free-market fundamentalist.

      It seems you have to either believe that healthcare is a privilege only for the executives, or you’re a socialist who wants to take us down Venzuela’s path. There can’t be any in between; not in the right-wing media bubble.

          1. Peter Hill – we can thank Hillary for all the irate Bernie Bros. It is all on Hillary and the way she screwed him over.

            1. Aw poor Bernie..! He got his feelings hurt.

              Let’s be honest, Paul, neither you nor any Trumper on this thread cares about Bernie Sanders. Had Sanders been the Democratic candidate, all of you would have howled to the moon about his ‘communist leanings’.

              1. Yes, Bernie was economically incompetent to run a nation and probably too economically incompetent to run a small business unless he functions differently on a personal basis. Why should intelligent people that can back up what they say with data not criticize Bernie? You criticize people based on your ideology and not on economic science. You seldom if ever provide real data and when you do you can’t adequately utilize it in your argument.

              2. Peter Hill – you are absolutely correct. However, that does not mean that Hillary and the DNC did not screw him over.

                1. Paul, Bernie was never a Democrat. And a large ratio of his supporters were never Democrats. Democrats don’t have to roll over and let outsiders hi-jack their party.

                  1. Peter Hill – the DNC doesn’t have let him play, but then it doesn’t have to steal his money to give to the other candidate either.

                  2. “their:” party. You mean the Clinton’s party..Hillary’s party,. her private property, that’s how she sees it. She in da big house, you da field hands!

                    you know who a lot of Democrat women don’t like? Democrat men! their competitors from “The Patriarchy!” and oftentimes a lot less sugar coating it in person than the average silk stocking republican.

                    It’s part of why yet-ungelded industrial workers supported Trump.

                    Republicans, pray, just PRAY that Kamala runs for President. The more strident they are the better

              3. Not me. There’s a lot to like about Bernie. But yeah I would have still voted Trump.

                Bernie has had tons of great insights through the years. He is not a communist. I never called him that. I know a lot of right wingers that respect Bernie.

                1. What insights did Bernie have that were connected with real solutions that were well thought out?

                  His actions throughout his entire life show connections to communists and communist front organizations.

          2. “Was it? I’m not a Bernie Bro. We can thank Bernie for Trump.”

            I never quite looked at it that way. I think I will send a letter to Bernie thanking him. Economically speaking Bernie is challenged but he provided a President who has been expert at revitalizing the economy.

      1. Venezuela is the BS example according to Peter and if we start going down the list he’ll call everything BS. Will he look at what the problems are? No for one has to be able to think to do so. Venezuela was one of the richest countries in the world mid last century. They relied too much on oil (a common problem) and they relied to much on nationalizing that major funder and then spent money on all the social programs to keep the people happy forgetting that economic well being is cyclical so if one spends the max in good times bankruptcy is awaiting in bad times.

        1. No, Venezuela was a middle-income country and it has long had a severely unbalanced industrial mix. It is true it has been grossly mismanaged and immiserated compared to the rest of Latin America, but it was never a 1st tier country in any sense.

          1. In the mid last century Venezuela was one of the richest nations in the world. For most of the history we have been exposed to Venezuela has been a middle-income country. Most likely this occured after the war and probably in the early 1950’s. You are the statistician. Look it up. I think at that time Argentina was also one of the very rich countries.

            1. Again, Allan, the Maddison Project has assembled historical data on output. The ratio of Venezuela’s gross domestic product per capita (ppp) was

              0.27 to that of Great Britain in 1840
              0.24 to that of Great Britain in 1885
              0.13 to that of the United States in 1929
              0.33 to that of the United States in 1973
              0.25 to that of the United States in 2016.

              It should be noted that the ratios for 1973 and 2016 are misleading because they are a function of oil and mineral exports which have few backward linkages in any economy and are insensitive to the social circumstances of the country in question. Latin American countries also have the world’s most skewed income distributions and figures on domestic product per capita tend to exaggerate the well-being of the broad public therein in comparison to European countries. Venezuela has not been an exception in Latin America in these respects.

              Per Maddison, a country with a roughly similar per capita output to Venezuela’s would have been..

              Poland in 1840
              Indonesia in 1885
              Albania in 1929
              South Africa in 1973
              Colombia in 2016

              Again, Colombia’s not the recipient of any natural resource bonanza and it’s not in acute distress in re macroeconomic indicators.

              1. DSS, the question is a simple one. We are not comparing Venezuela to the United States. We are comparing Venezuela to the rest of the world. The date was limited and didn’t include the 19th or 21st centuries. It was I believe somewhere after WW2 mid century probably early 1950’s.

                Thanks for the other information.

                1. DSS, the question is a simple one.

                  And one you keep misunderstanding. The comparison with the world’s anchor economy was to demonstrate the distance between Venezuela and the countries on the technological vanguard in each age. Venezuela has not ever been among the world’s more affluent countries. It’s in the middle of the pack and has remained there for 180 years or more.

                  1. “And one you keep misunderstanding.”

                    At one time: “Venezuela was one of the richest nations in the world”

                    My comment doesn’t say it was ever richer than the US and it doesn’t say other nations weren’t richer as well. Venezuela’s position of affluence in the world has greatly varied. Its position of affluence has not remained static as you have stated. One can see that today it is on the lower end of the stack.

  6. It is called “Going to Hell in a hand basket.” Neither Communism nor Socialism can work. Russia and China gave up on Communism and now adhere to Capitalism with no constraints on the oligarchs. I suppose that North Korea is the only Commie country left. Maduro is head on his heals and is in Hell in the hand basket now.
    Bye bye Miss Venezualian pie.
    Drove your Chevys to the levee but the levee was dry.
    Good old boys drinking whiskey rye… singing…
    This will be the day that we die!
    This will be the day that we die!

  7. Well, at least we a giving “socialismo” a real try this time. When we get through with Venezuela, we Liberals/Communists in the People’s Republic of Bernie, Nancy, and DiFi (formerly known as the USA) won’t be able to say that “real” socialism has never been tried.

  8. Can’t wit till Bernie is pres and his little girl friend from New York is Vice pres. It will be paradise. All that free stuff we’re gonna get. Maybe we all will wear $3,500.00 suits. I’ll be styling.

        1. David, the Donald has done everything differently and our GDP is rising and employment is low. A lot of manufacturing has returned.

          You must be thinking about Obama who created a sluggish economy. Obama, obviously, wasn’t at the top in his class on wrecking economies.

          1. The economic data and trends are just following a continuation of what started under Obama. If you look at the numbers (or, better, see them on a graph), it is pretty clear that nothing dramatic has happened once DJT got into office. Oh, except that really rich people are getting even richer.

            1. Jay S, Apparently you were too lazy to look at the graphs I sent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL-XB7rw4OM

              Would you like to explain them? You like to make comments without factual data. Here is factual data provided by the CEA and it will include predictions by the OMB along with what actually happened. If you want to look at trends we can. Pick a metric. I’ve already shown how unemployment and GDP trends changed radically for the better under Trump but we can go though them again by reviewing the numbers released by the BEA.

              Want to take a look or do you want to just repeat predigested material that doesn’t mean much of anything.

              1. You won’t hear from Jay again, or if you do, it will be ad hominem.

                I am frustrated with the inability of the Left to make an argument. They will blame America or Trump, but they run from any factual discussion.

                I saw a video whereby someone asked anti-Trump demonstrators what Trump has done that makes him a racist, anti-semite, or fascist. All he got was, if we have to explain it to you, you’re hopeless. Then they would walk away, and warn others not to talk to him. If they had a solid point, you would think they would be eager to discuss what Trump has done wrong with the economy, etc. But they run.

                This is how Venezuela happened. People unthinkingly repeated slogans, did not critically reason, and now they are in a famine. The same thing can happen here. I believe what the Left really wants is a thriving capitalist country funding a generous welfare state, but if they vote for Socialists, what they will get is Venezuela. It can happen here. But we cannot change anyone’s mind who is not open to information or understanding, or who runs from discussion. And that describes too many on the left.

                1. Karen, you are absolutely right and your argument above “If the economy is tied to Obama’s policies, then it will fail as his polices are removed.” is a great argument.

                  I am angry, not because people disagree rather how easy it is for some on this blog to destroy reputations without any concern. Peter Shill is a major offender. Differences of opinion can be debated but that is not the intention of any of the open left wingers on this blog. So far most of what I have seen is cowardice, ignorance and innuendo. That is so trashy that I find no need to afford them any respect.

            2. Jay:

              You wrote, “The economic data and trends are just following a continuation of what started under Obama.” If that were true, then when Trump reversed almost all of Obama’s policies, then Obama’s booming economy should fail. Instead, it improved dramatically, starting when Trump took office.

              If the economy is tied to Obama’s policies, then it will fail as his polices are removed.

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