Venezuela has become a wheelbarrow economy.
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That means they've reached the point where Venezuelans need a wheelbarrow to hold the currency required for a simple purchase. Hyperinflation has arrived. One million percent inflation by the end of the year, says the International Monetary Fund.
President Nicolas Maduro will try to stem the tide with a new “stronger bolivar.” All they're doing is dropping the last five zeros from bank notes: instead of 6,000,000 million to the dollar, it will be 60! And, they'll raise the minimum wage 6,000 percent. They're done. The economy will seize up completely, and the tide of people fleeing the country will become a flood. The precise details of when and how it all ends, we don't know. But they are well and truly done.
There are lessons to be learned, especially for socialists here. Granted, Venezuela is an extreme form of socialist dictatorship, but what started the rot was the take-over of private enterprise, capitalism, by politicians, leftist politicians. It was Hugo Chavez who got the ball rolling when he seized land, farms, oil and factories. It was downhill from there.
Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed the political takeover of business here. Warren wants big companies to ask Washington for permission to do business. And they wouldn't be granted permission unless “workers” and other “stakeholders” ran the show.
Is that where we want to go? The so-called Democratic socialists, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders want to demonize business: tax it and control it. Is that where we want to go?
I don't think so.
A year ago our own Liz MacDonald brought us video from Caracas of people eating out of garbage cans. That was last year! The socialists managed to stay in control by thuggery. Well time’s up.
This long-running tragedy is almost over. Venezuela, with the biggest oil reserves in the world, is now a wheelbarrow economy. We should take a hard look at it, to make sure we don’t go down the pathetic socialist road.