In which Venezuela Achieves a Dubious Milestone

Q: What do toilet paper and Venezuelan currency have in common? A: Absolutely nothing, as toilet paper is more valuable than is Venezuelan currency. No, seriously. And of course, toilet paper is hard to find in Venezuela. Thank goodness that the Venezuelan government is taking the responsible approach to this economic mess. Just kidding! It actually …

May Day and Historical Obliviousness

Yesterday was May Day, the day when people around the world who benefit from the effects of capitalism in ways too numerous to mention, spend one day denouncing capitalism and arguing for policies that will lead to the immiseration of billions if implemented. When I write about "historical obliviousness" in the title of this post, …

Believe It Or Not, Things Are Actually Getting Worse in Venezuela

I continue to wonder why it is that those who celebrated Hugo Chavez back when he was insulting George W. Bush have nothing to say about his legacy now. Perhaps it is because of stories like this one, and what they have to say about the failures of chavismo: Venezuela says it will cut the …

Venezuelan Humor Has Turned Mordant, which Means that the Venezuelan Political Landscape Could Be Ripe for Change

Nicolás Maduro had better be worried. Jokes like this one have become popular: An Englishman and a Frenchman are at a museum, admiring a Renaissance work depicting Adam, Eve, and the apple in Eden. The Briton observes that Adam sharing the apple with his wife shows a particularly British propriety. The Frenchman, unconvinced, counters that the …

Marxist Economist Begins to Realize that Marxist Economics Does Not Work

You'd think that the lesson would have taken earlier: Venezuela's economic failings are turning it into the "laughing-stock" of Latin America, according to late president Hugo Chavez's top economic planner. Former Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, who was sacked in mid-2014 by Chavez's successor, Nicolas Maduro, said in an interview this week that reforms …

The Failure that Is the Venezuelan Economy

I still recall the days when many a pundit in the United States expressed at least mild admiration--and oftentimes, significant admiration--for Hugo Chávez's socialist project. Behold what it hath wrought: Shoppers thronged grocery stores across Caracas today as deepening shortages led the government to put Venezuela’s food distribution under military protection. Long lines, some stretching for …

Behold the Fruits of a Chavista Economy

Venezuela's economy has gone into recession. The gory details: In a statement, the bank said GDP contracted 4.8 percent in the first quarter, versus the same period of last year, then it fell a further 4.9 percent in the second quarter and shrank 2.3 percent in the third quarter. The statement added that 12-month inflation, …

Venezuela’s Disastrous Economic Situation

Behold what Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro hath wrought: The sprawling street market that radiates outward from the metro station in Petare, Caracas’s largest slum, is the retail equivalent of an anti-Target. There’s no organization to it. Tube socks and school supplies are sold beside giant pyramids of pineapple and piled yucca. Leopard-print hot pants …

In which Socialists Learn a Lesson about Economics

The Freedom Socialist Party (yeah, I've never heard of them either) is advocating a $20 per hour minimum wage. But when it comes to trying to get a part-time web designer, the party is only willing to pay $13 per hour. Asked about the discrepancy between the party's words and deeds, "Doug Barnes, the party's …

Millennials Are Politically Confused

Nick Gillespie explains:A new national poll of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 — the Millennial Generation — provides strong evidence of a new generation gap, this time with the Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) playing the role of uncomprehending parents. When Millennials say they are liberal, it means something very different than it …