Venezuela’s Inflation Rate Hit 80,000 Percent In 2018

We have been following the unfolding disaster in Venezuela where the socialist dream of Hugo Chavez and his dim-witted successor Nicolas Maduro has reduced a major nation to virtual starvation.  The central planning of Maduro’s nation has destroyed the oil-based economy and triggered inflation that is projected to reach one million percent within the year.  Maduro however continues to follow the absurd economic model of Chavez and his chief ally, Cuba (another economic basket case).  Rather than change course, Maduro ordered five zeros to be simply erased on the inflated currency while increasing the minimum wage by over 3000 percent.  Venezuela now has been confirmed as having an annual inflation rate at the end of 2018 was 80,000%.

The Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) stopped reporting inflation statistics on a regular basis in 2014, but outside groups have fulfilled the role in tracking the economic basket case that is Venezuela.

The hyperinflation has caused widespread food shortages and shutdowns with millions fleeing the country.


72 thoughts on “Venezuela’s Inflation Rate Hit 80,000 Percent In 2018”

  1. Obama did indeed set aside a great deal of land for national monuments and other protections.

    “In doing so, however, Mr. Obama also solidified his reputation for using public lands to reward his friends and enrage his enemies.

    Environmentalists cheered his commitment to conservation, but Republican lawmakers, state officials and locals accused him of ignoring their input in order to score political points, lock up productive lands and expand federal control.

    Rep. Rob Bishop, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, said the hotly disputed designations represent business as usual for Mr. Obama.

    “Much of the agenda, like the monuments, was done behind closed doors, in the shadows, in secret, and would otherwise be rejected under established democratic processes,” said Mr. Bishop. “They systematically abused executive powers through unilateral rules, orders and memorandums designed to make energy and resource development uneconomical.””

    Here is what Democrats and the government alphabet soup need to understand – the difference between battles and wars. When they create an adversarial relationship with landowners and the democratic process, they migh be jubilant about their immediate victory, but they will have engendered such resentment and unlawfulness that their actions merely get unwound at the earliest opportunity.

    Take, for example, the result of land seizures or loss of use because of the discovery of an endangered species or the designation of some man made ditch as an ephemeral stream. If your livelihood depends on your land, and you discover some endangered little fish or toad that will mean the government will prevent you from using or selling your land, bankrupting you, there is a strong temptation to kill that endangered species. It is against your own survival to report it.

    I have a relative who had explained the clear benefits of environmental agencies and academia forming a mutually beneficial, friendly relationship with landowners, and accomplishing far greater things than fighting.

  2. I cannot bear what is happening in Venezuela. As a parent and a human being, I am not okay sitting here hearing about kids starving to death over the course of months. Socialist Venezuela won’t admit Socialism is a failure. The people are too disarmed and weakened from hunger to do anything about it. Military coups just seem to put in a new dictator. Fine. Then we need an Underground Railroad to get as many kids out as we can.

    We can’t just do nothing while they starve to death. We’ve got to save as many as we can. This is the real refugee crisis. Death is on the line, and that’s not just political rhetoric or a line to conceal the motivation of better jobs. But for an accident of birth, that could be us or our children out there.

    Months ago I read an article that has haunted me ever since. It interviewed a family where the grandfather and oldest boy, who was maybe 11, gave their meager food to the mother and little boy so they could survive. The man and boy looked skeletal and empty, and that was months ago. Without intervention, or getting stuffed in some reporter’s suitcase to get smuggled out, there is no way either is still alive, and it’s doubtful the little one and mother are still in good flesh, either. Months have gone by and I never saw an update. Did they just slowly starve to death in full view of the entire Western world? I cried reading that story, and it’s only gotten exponentially worse.

    It is a common refrain that people wish they could have gone back in time and stopped the Nazis, the German Socialist Party, earlier and saved lives. Well, here’s your chance. Another Socialist regime is killing millions of people. We should airlift food and offer the people a deal. Let us eject Socialism, install Capitalism, and save them. We dump billions of dollars in aid and environmental programs around the world. We can’t figure this out???

    Socialism kills people and it is an inherently unfair and dictatorial system. Please, please, please, America, learn about Socialism so we don’t create that sort of dystopia here. It could be our own children suffering and dying in just a few short years if we copy the same system that has always killed people and destroyed individual rights every time.

    1. trust me it’s not socialism per se that’s a failure. it’s this regime that’s a failure. there’s plenty of socialist countries that are not in such a mess and not even close

      1. This is invariably the end product of despotic political systems. In the 20th century more than 100 million (outside of war) were killed trying to prop up socialist regimes and their masters. Think of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and whole host of others. Try not to play the moral equivalence game.

        1. No clue what you or Kurtz are referring to. W. Lewis Amselem described the situation thus: rising oil prices allowed Chavez to play the long con. Maduro was reduced to the “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” short con. This is what happens when the oil revenue for your free-sh!t distribution evaporates and the man in charge is an economic illiterate. Amselem during his years in the Foreign Service crossed paths with Maduro. Maduro was, ‘ere he was Chavez deputy, a labor meathead. He saw commercial companies as piggy banks you shakedown. Amselem’s judgment: “a man of breathtaking vulgarity”.

          1. “No clue what you or Kurtz are referring to”

            DSS, I can’t help that for my comments on political philosophy have little or nothing to do with Anselem. That just explains how the socialized ideas being promoted survived so long.

      2. Actually, no, socialism fails everywhere it’s tried. I vigorously disagree with you. Democrats have erroneously pointed out nanny states or Scandinavia as socialist countries, but they are not. They are capitalist countries with lush benefits paid for by a productive capitalist economy. They certainly leaned towards socialism, but never implemented a socialist economy. When the taxes got too great, it stifled their economy and they become more conservative.

        Vietnam had to pull way back from socialism due to the crush it caused on its economy. There are exactly zero flourishing socialist economies. There are certainly nanny states. Single payer (failing) healthcare. But there are no socialist economies that are successful.

        In order to create a socialist country, you have to strip individual rights. This is because people tend to object to government seizure of their homes and businesses. Socialism means that making a profit is criminalized. Socialists are not allowed to make a profit in any way. They are not allowed to own private property. Socialism progresses towards Communism, which strips the right of owning anything at all.

        There is no way to have a socialist country with individual rights, especially free speech. People fight the seizure of their property and income, so the government has to kill them to force it to happen. (See the Holodomor.) There is, however, absolute a way to operate Capitalism within a framework of strong individual rights.

        Capitalism is as good or bad as the structure on which it operates. When Communist countries allow for limited capitalism in a system where they have already stolen all individual rights in order to create a Communist Country, that limited capitalism is just as abusive as its Communist government. The worst polluters in the planet are Socialist or Communist countries. When the government has dissolved individual rights, they no longer care when its state run enterprise poisons rivers or pollutes the air. Since the people are struggling to find enough to eat in bread lines with stale government issued bread on shelves, they don’t really care about global environmental efforts anyway. The government can lie with impunity to its own people, such as China calling that toxic soup over Hong Kong “fog”, because people don’t have the right to complain. Criticize the government and you get thrown in jail.

        In a Socialist country, you don’t get to pick your job of your dreams. Your district gets assigned to whatever state run industry the bureacrats living high on the hog decide for you.

        Socialism is a nihilistic existence. No matter what you do, you cannot eat better, live better, or stay warmer. There is zero you can do to improve the condition of your family or children. You live in fear that your neighbors will report you for complaining about the government.

        I knew someone from Moldova who said that her father ran a black market business. Capitalism was illegal under the USSR. Her family ate better and had warmer clothes because her father had an illegal shop. They were always terrified the neighbors would suspect them and have them arrested. For owning a shop.

        Socialism is nothing to toy with. This is not political rhetoric for me. I am absolutely sincere in my belief that Socialism is an abusive system, kills millions of people, and creates tyranny every single place it is enacted. I believe that Democrats who support Socialism are misinformed and naive, and incredibly dangerous, because their ignorance could lead to my own child starving in his lifetime. It is an existential threat I take very seriously.

        Please do your research before you vote. It is not fair that I or my family would have to suffer if you don’t.

        1. May I add that the reason why Democrats support Socialism today is due to a very long history of Russian propaganda in the United States. They have several outreach programs that target US professors and academia in general, so that their pro-socialist anti-capitalist propaganda worked its way down through al levels of education.

          Some of the same people outraged at Russian interference in our election have gleefully embraced Russian interference in our values and antipathy towards Capitalism.

          We can thank Russsia for producing a couple of generations of US graduates who are completely ignorant on the inherent abuses and erosion of rights under Socialism.

          Here is one small example: There is a former KGB officer running a Russian organization that is purported to be a Progressive arm to counter capitalism and support a more “fair” system of Socialism, with many US professors as members.

        2. there are all economies with a lot of market pricing mechanisms and a lot of government involvement. they are mixed economies.

          i am not so sure that the venezuela of today is vastly different in systemic terms than many other mixed economies. i am sure they have a rotten government clique.

          in practice socialism always entails a degree of socialism and in that way it’s what they call “mixed economy” systems. the US is not strictly a laissez faire capitalist economy either. a huge sector of our economy is government paid for goods and services. it’s like 1/5 of American GDP is government spending. man, that’s a lot compared to a hundred years ago, I bet!

          crusading against socialism is a waste of energy. nearly every regime today outside of North Korea has predominantly market based pricing and allocation mechanisms, and nearly every economy has a large part of the economy being paid for by the government.

          PEOPLE and CULTURE make up a big part of OUTCOMES. I would rather live in quasi socialist Scandinavia circa 1980 than quasi socialist Scandinavia today because even if the systems are essentially the same, the people are not. Now they are full of defective cultural garbage ideas and moreover there are a lot of undesirable migrants there who have not improved society.

          Trust me, you take American system and replace Americans with foreigners, you won’t have America anymore. If the foreigners are a bunch of illiterate savages, guess how things will go? If they are a bunch of really orderly and hard working and smart people, it might even get better. Not that there is any big surplus of really smart people trying to jump the border today. LOL. No.

          Society is not just about disembodied ideas it’s about people made of flesh and bone and blood, who grow up in specific places and families with specific ideas and can’t be treated as if they are all interchangeable widgets.

          In short, no, we are not all “equal.” and people matter not just ideologies.

          1. specific to Venezuela, I would say, person for person, I would rather have Venezuelans as my neighbors than Hondurans. The people as such are not all that bad, as Latin Americans may vary. There has been a lot of success in 200 years of Venezuelan society compared to a hot of other places in Latin America that have done quite poorly all along. Right now, however, it’s clear that the ruling clique is really bad.

            Is it up to the US to rectify that? No, I don’t think so. It’s up to Venezuela to rectify that.

          2. ” nearly every regime today outside of North Korea has predominantly market based pricing and allocation mechanisms,”

            Start by thinking in terms of private property rights and expand from there.Yes, the marketplace is the norm and has existed from the beginning of mankind. Socialism is teaching something different. You didn’t build that. You don’t own that. Profit is a sin. That the US has strayed in certain areas into the socialist type of realm is not a good thing and shouldn’t be applauded. Putting a shackle around a man’s neck and letting him work in a so called marketplace doesn’t mean the man is free nor that the marketplace is free. It means the man in power controlling the shacked man is calling the shots. That is how your idea of socialism is functioning.

    2. I know all too many people that survived the concentration camps during the NAZI reign of terror. At the time the camps weren’t bombed despite the fact that people were being slaughtered by the millions and many others dying of starvation and disease. Their appearance before death from starvation would be identical to the appearance of a Venezuelan similarly starving to death.

      What was our response then and what is our response now. The former dealt with NAZI ideology and the latter with socialistic ideology. Not much difference in the results. The left here is more interested in whether a decade or more ago the President said something nasty. But for that attitude from the left and some equally disturbing attitudes from the right there is no real thought to uniting together to prevent this new holocaust. We will have to live with the thoughts of people dying in front of our eyes while we do nothing.

      I take note that Che Guevara shirts still sell well.

  3. The question at hand is whether there’s a capable junior officer who can organize a coup (see Jerry Rawlings in Ghana in 1979). Maduro’s position is completely illegitimate in formal terms and his utter incompetence has generated a seven-digit refugee flow, so there should not at this point be any compunction about making this happen.

      1. So what? The 1st duty of a government is to govern. The 2d duty is to govern justly. The third duty is to govern democratically. Venezuela needs therapy before it needs democracy.

  4. itShayheads need to drown in their own diarrhea or however ya spull it. Do not offer advice to them. The two main communist countries of the past are now oligarch capitalist with some social regulations which provide relief for the many. There was a fight song back in high school days in Ferguson: Lean to the left. Lean to the right! Stand up, sit down, fight team fight!

  5. In saner times, we’d have overthrown this mad man via the CIA. Now our CIA obsesses over trying to overthrow our President. The government apparatus is honeycombed with Ivy League-educated seditionists and that’s applauded by the Democrats and their dishonorable resistance campaign. Lincoln understood the notion of a house hopelessly divided and the inevitable outcome of it. The Dems seem not to as they rush headlong against the will of the voters on everything from immigration to taxes and never condemn the supportive violent words and deeds of groups such as Antifa. Their leadership even calls for violent confrontation of citizens with opposing views. Like Churchill said about a similarly oblivious politician decades ago: “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war – later.”

    1. against the will of the voters??????? THAT would be Trump as President. And please stop blaming ‘Democrats’ for everything including the fungus between your toes. It is an ignoble argument that is not born out by facts…

      1. Becka G – I have proof positive the fungus between my toes is a direct result of the poor land management by various government agencies under the Obama administration. We can scrape it, but we cannot kill it. It is like a damn superbug. 😉

        1. lol, ok. But Obama instilled new rules to protect the Land, Mr. Trump has systematically removed all of them..Good luck w/your nasty fungal toes.

          1. Rules don’t necessarily protect the land or people. Obama and others passed a lot of stupid laws that made thing worse. Stop looking at all the hype and start looking at the actual results. Forget about political affiliation and judge things considering the unintended consequences of certain actions that might look good on the surface. I live in an environmentally sensitive area that is carefully watched. My very Liberal neighbor down the street considers me an anti environmentalist yet I maintain my property the way nature left it and my neighbor has destroyed the environment.

            We talk about the environment. Idiots called Trump wrong without any good arguments when he refused to sign the Paris accords. Looking from then till now the US has adhered to those accords better than the nations that signed on the dotted line. The perception of ‘rules’ as good or bad is frequently wrong.

      2. Becka, it seems as if your bullsh!t generator is the only thing working in your world.

        Mespo, you are right on target.

      3. Becka:

        Trump’s policies are quite popular. You need a good pollster. Also, I love it when a leftist uses terms like “ignoble.” It’s like an uncontacted native from Borneo walking through a nuclear reactor. They know it’s good but have no idea why.

      4. Becca – most of the voters in most of the states voted Republican. 60% of voters of all parties support the Wall and curbing the illegal immigration that has lead to the death of thousands of children dragged across the desert to serve as leverage to their parents.

        Two states, NY and CA, have enormous populations and therefore drive the popular vote all by themselves. Many appear to believe that NY and CA, and only NY and CA, should have the right to choose our President. Removing the electoral college would disenfranchise 48 states of the Union, and turn them into the nuclear waste dumps of our country. No one would care what happened to them because they wouldn’t matter politically. Kind of like in a Socialist nation where the rulers could care less what happens to the ruled.

        Perhaps the Democrats have forgotten about disenfranchised voters, such as the Indian reservations and poor communities that got stuck with nuclear waste dumps because the more populated cities overwhelm them with votes, and they sure as heck don’t want such trash in their own cities. So they dump it in their neighbor’s land. It’s not like they have the votes to do anything about it. That would be the dystopia on a national scale brought on by doing away with the electoral college.

        Democrats sure seem to be fighting hard to bring dystopia to America on as many levels as possible, beginning with open borders and Socialist candidates and Antifa.

        1. yes karen you got that right

          this is why a civil war with NY and CA, essentially, the coasts versus the heartland, bizarre as that may seem, is a possibility

          study Mao’s victory in the Chinese civil war for clues on how such a scenario could be won by the heartland

        2. Karen it appears Becca believes that two fox and one chicken should vote on what they should eat for lunch.

    2. Mespo

      Take your TV’s advice. The last non- Ivy league president was former union president and FBI informant Ronald Reagan.
      It’s illegal and immoral to interfere in the internal affairs of another country. Whether by coups (Libya, Honduras, Venezuela, or any of the rest in the long list…just since 1981).
      You either are uninformed or else intentionally dishonest regarding your right-wing talking points about Venezuela – or anywhere else.
      You’re like the guy that shoots a wild animal, then shoots it again because it’s obviously wounded.

      1. bill mcwilliams:

        “It’s illegal and immoral to interfere in the internal affairs of another country ….”
        *************

        No it’s not — if done in your own protection. And stemming the tide of refugees is in everyone’s interest and protection. Morality is not in this discussion since, as most folks know, morality is inexorably linked to time, culture and place. (Elsewise, you’d still be sitting in your fiance’s parlor negotiating the dowry with you future father-in-law). There is no “morality” in international affairs as there is no common culture– only power, interest and will. You ought to read more Hobbes and less Mao.

        And on a side note, I am the guy who would shoot the wounded wild animal to death. That prevents needless suffering. It’s the “moral” thing to do.

        1. Mespo

          The only threat Venezuela poses is right-wing fear that more Americans will clamor for more government provided services like
          Venezuelan citizens received before the U.S. began plotting coups to steal the main source of income for their government:
          the same natural resources Tillotson’s Exxon coveted in Iraq, Libya etc. – oil.

          Ask JT about the laws against interfering in other countries. It’s also a violation of The U.N. Charter, Article V.

          Reagan may have been a snitch and alleged rapist who married Nancy after she got pregnant, and almost never attended a church – even those that consider starting wars of aggression, assassinating domestic leaders like JFK and foreign heads of state like Ghadaffi the christian thing to do. BTW, Libya had to be destroyed because too many Americans would demand the same high standard of living as Libyans enjoyed if they were to learn about it. Oh, and Ghadaffi wouldn’t voluntarily give up the oil there — just like Saddam.

          Reagan only became a right-winger when G.E. offered to make him rich for giving propaganda speeches.

          1. bill mcwilliams.:

            “Ask JT about the laws against interfering in other countries. It’s also a violation of The U.N. Charter, Article V.”
            **********************
            You mean Article 2(4) not V. The UN Charter uses numbers not Roman numerals. You also need to learn about the Humanitarian Exception to the UN’s prohibition on force and Article 42 of the Charter. Here’s a primer for you:

            https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1813&context=fac_articles

            Get back to me when you’ve read it and we’ll talk.

    3. This leaning towards Socialism and extremism on the Left gets the same visceral reaction out of me as if they proudly announced their support for Nazism. Nazism and Fascism were offshoots of Socialism. Millions died. It is terrifying how many people in America have absolutely no idea how Socialism cannot exist without tyranny and death, and how Capitalism operating in a system of strong individual rights is the most fair system.

      Socialism = government forcibly seizes farms, lands, businesses, killing owners who object, and distributing meager amounts to a populace that inevitably starves and no longer has the right to complain. The government tells you what you are allowed to buy. Capitalism = someone has an idea, good, or service, and sells it at a price that a buyer determines is fair, for something he or she wants.

  6. A few years back I read somewhere that the wealthiest person in Venezuela was Hudo Chavez daughter.

  7. Isn’t it interesting that the boys and girls on capital hill in DC can pass laws for us to live by and make themselves exempt from those laws.

  8. Tom Nash — To me the “left” always referred to socialism in the sense of government ownership of the means of production. So I need another term for the desire to have a variety of additional services provided by the government; the style seen in several countries in Europe. Maybe “communal” and so “communitarianism”. Whatever, it is not socialism.

  9. Though the government there has given many reasons to do so, the international community would certainly do well to present Venezuela with a selection of programs to choose from designed to stem the hyperinflation. How welcome this advice might come is another matter. Nevertheless an offer through the back channel might allow for some face saving and give the government a chance to take full credit in the public arena.

    Here is one example of how such an inflation was tackled: http://jpkoning.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-to-stop-hyperinflation.html

    Obviously, there is more brokenness afoot in the country than the devaluation of its currency. I still believe that providing expertise will make for use of aid funds than more unrepayable IMF loans.

    1. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article223867625.html
      Interesting recent article about Maduro’s reliance on several countries for aid.
      Maduro doesn’t seem inclined to work with the greater international community to solve his country’s problems, since he’s doing so well without their help.😏
      But he accepts aid from the select few countries mentioned in the article, including Russia.
      Russian collusion😧, right here in our own hemisphere.

                1. The only dictators in Latin America are Raul Castro, Daniel Ortega, and Nicolas Maduro. Notice a pattern?

              1. The utility of Marines is that they remove the incumbent power and maintain order for an interim period so that disaster relief can be distributed. You’ll then need to appoint a government of technocrats to implement policy stabilizing the country’s currency. The country will need grants and loans for the interim.

                When Chavez was elected 20 years ago, the historian Mark Falcoff offered that Venezuela’s problems over the previous generation were derived from a widespread misconception about the sources of affluence, a misconception present in every strata of society. He said Venezuelans think of affluence as deriving from resource endowments and not human capital. They were as a rule persuaded their country was the world’s richest, but that they were poor because someone stole it from them. (A perception, Falcoff noted, which the country’s sticky-fingered political class stoked). He said they would have to learn the hard way that their understanding of how the world works is deficient. This is what the hard way looks like,

                1. He said Venezuelans think of affluence as deriving from resource endowments and not human capital.

                  This is what a welfare state looks like but on an international scale. When an entire country becomes dependent on foreign intervention, it won’t be long before they get intervened. Even if the citizens were enlightened enough to want to take their country back, what are their means to resist?

                  1. “Even if the citizens were enlightened enough to want to take their country back, what are their means to resist?”

                    Olly, wasn’t it made illegal for a private citizen to own a gun a number of years back?

    2. There is no such thing as ‘the international community’. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund would be the agencies best equipped to organize a rescue. That requires co-operation from the government on the scene, which will not be forthcoming.

  10. One U.S. Dollar is now equal to 250,000 Venezuelan Bolivars, their currency.
    For less than $5 Bucks, any of us could become Venezuelan millionaires!

  11. Paul I am deeply chagrined to be the bearer of bad new. The Congress is one of the parts of government exempted from the no pay provision. Even though the military etc. budget is passed the left managed to take care of themselves while screwing the active duty soldiers. But the Congress slithers through untouched.

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me twenty-five citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after twenty-eight weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Osacio-Castro seems to want to triple that spending, have gender specific justice and health care for all. Of course, she does not get a paycheck for 30 days.

        1. mespo – I like that. She is already marking her territory, peeing on the furniture. I wonder where she is bunking since she doesn’t get a check for 30 days?

    2. Ten trillion increase and a 30% devaluation of the dollar as compared to one tenth that amount. Well worth the bill if it helps destroy the left

        1. DB Benson,…
          Do you consider the “Bernie wing” of the Democratic Party to be centrist, and not “left”?

          1. “Bernie, Bernie, bo bernie.
            Banna fanna fo fermie!
            Bernie!

            If the first two yorkies are ever the same.
            Lock them both and say their names…
            Like Trump, Bernie, Hillary, swernie….
            etc

        2. gee, 64-65, that was when LBJ was pres and “civil rights” was passed, that being, the strategy of using blacks, mexicans, gays, immigrants etc to attack the white working class with a wholly new and unwelcome social order and thus to break its back.

          and, clearly, Democrats do not serve working people at all anymore, assuming that they did at least when FDR was president; and today are up in arms that Donald Trump would dare to challenge NAFTA etc which was all founded upon “free trade” dogma, that once was considered ultra right wing Milton Friedman foolishness, but now is apparently the Democrat party’s flag to fly, even as it has clearly harmed American workers.

          funny how things change

        3. “The USA doesn’t have a “left”. Went out of fashion by 1965 or so”
          *******************
          I think you’re right, David. We have an Insane Class who took up the mantle when the rational Left figured out the error.

    3. I won’t withhold blame from Republicans as there is so much blame to go around but your type of unipolar thinking is totally meaningless.

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