At some point, the results have to implicate the system. At some point, we have to push back from the table and see what it is that we have caused to occur.
Has the rhetoric of our elections brought about that things that we have promised? Or have we caused the exact opposite to occur? In our quest to provide food for the masses, have we, in fact, brought about the opposite? In an effort to set to work the poor, have we taken from them the opportunities that bring about job creation? In short, is what we are doing working?
Or, perhaps, as citizens, we have to step back and begin to wonder if it’s really the aim of the government to provide in the first place?
It seems to me that we’ve had a grand experiment in action, in real life.
For the last 12-13 years, Hugo Chavez has been President of Venezuela. And slowly we have seen that country go from a rich and vibrant nation into a nation that is on the brink:
But for the time being the Bolivarian revolution faces unprecedented difficulties. Everyday life is getting harder for Venezuelans. While the rest of Latin America is recovering strongly from the world recession, Venezuela is slumped in stagflation.
The IMF projects a contraction of Venezuela’s GDP of 2.6% this year, after a fall of 3.3% last year. By March, average wages (allowing for inflation) were 15% below their peak of 2007.
Wanna know why? Because government power has become involved in all areas of the economy and the market:
The problems start with PDVSA, the national oil company
In 2003, the company was a private one, managed for profit. It worked hard to earn money, invest it back into infrastructure to improve it’s a ability to do what it does; pump oil. Now, at the hands of the government, the money is gone:
Mr Chávez has turned [it] into a social-development agency. Not only is its budget raided for social projects; it has also set up subsidiaries to produce, import and distribute food.
When Chavez realized that his social programs weren’t working, he went out and found a new source of money. And stole it. All you have to do is look at the productivity of an industry after the government takes control:
More than 100,000 people are now on PDVSA’s payroll, up from 37,942 when the government seized control of the company after the 2003 strike. But oil output has fallen, from a peak of 3.5m barrels per day in 1998 to perhaps around 2.8m now
Let’s just do quick math:
While PDVSA was a private company it produced 92.24 barrels per day per person. Now, with the government in charge, it produces 28 barrels per day per person. That’s a 66% reduction over just 7 years. That type of result in America would result in the corporation to g out of business and the infrastructure to pass into more productive hands.
At some point, the results have to vindicate the system. Or implicate it.