Venezuela


#161

How about… tree fiddy?


#162

Now you know what its like


#163

Office workers abandon the city to pan for gold in malaria infested jungle pits.

Meanwhile, oil production plummets.


#164

Brad DeLong quoting Orwell:

[quote]
At its nadir, the Depression was collective insanity. Workers were idle because firms would not hire them to work their machines; firms would not hire workers to work machines because they saw no market for goods; and there was no market for goods because workers had no incomes to spend. Orwell’s account of the Depression in Britain, The Road to Wigan Pier, speaks of “…several hundred men risk[ing] their lives and several hundred women scrabbl[ing] in the mud for hours… searching eagerly for tiny chips of coal” in slagheaps so they could heat their homes. For them, this arduously-gained “free” coal was “more important almost than food.” All around them the machinery they had previously used to mine in five minutes more than they could gather in a day stood idle.[/quote]


#165

They’re now importing light crude, which they used to make domestically. They’re unique among Earth’s kleptocracies in that can’t even do basic resource extraction properly.


#166

The last pretense of Venezuela being a democracy is gone.


#167

The last, last pretense of Venezuelan democracy is gone. The Supreme Court has stripped the National Assembly of all powers and assigned them to Maduro and themselves.


#168

…and apparently they’ve taken over a GM plant there, too.

The plant, though, makes parts, not cars any more. But still sort of emblematic of the crisis going on in Venezuela I guess.


#169

Huge protests, detentions and counter-media stories.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/19/thousands-protest-human-rights-crisis-venezuela


#170

According to Maddow the protestors there are actually protesting Trump.


#171

While it’s silly to suggest any Venezuelans are upset at Trump, it’s absolutely valid to criticize Trump for accepting huge donations from that absurdly corrupt government.


#172

#173

O.o


#174

Is that a T-X terminator?!


#175

Venezuela: A country that has actually been turned into Somalia.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/venezuela-is-starving-1493995317


#176

The source of the problem lies within this phrasing!


#177

It’s okay, guys. I’ve been assured by thought leaders that Venezuela is not, and in fact never has been, socialist, and that they’ve also always been at war with Eastasia.


#178


#179

It’s not socialism, per se, that’s the problem for Venezuela. It’s inept, cronyist, cult-of-personality-gone-horribly-wrong socialism, or some version thereof.

One of my students this semester was from Venezuela. His family has had to leave several times, and now only his father is still there, desperately trying to navigate the flames as the country burns to the ground, in an attempt to protect or at least salvage what assets he can from the family business. A business, from what the student tells me, which is still there, more or less, only because of being lucky enough to be necessary to the goons in power in terms of shifting their money around.

It is, though, truly amazing how fast Venezuela went from poster child of “stick it to the yanqui” to poster child for “dumpster fire of a country.”


#180

It’s authoritarianism. Populist, socialist authoritarianism, but still authoritarianism.

Many would argue that’s the end result of going too far socialist anyway, which could be true. Once you start nationalizing things and blaming capitalism, it seems like it always ends like this.