Venezuela’s tragedy fed by cronyism and the death of free markets

Caracas_from_El_Calvario cc

As we have said many times, socialism and crony capitalism are sisters and good friends. Centralization is a key part of socialism and absolutely necessary for crony capitalism. The political class lives well, and the rest, well, they are the rest – particularly in Latin America.

(From The Globe and Mail)

Imagine a city where menus don’t print prices because inflation drives them higher daily; where streets are empty after dark and the murder rate is the world’s highest; where people queue for hours for meagre supplies of medicines and food; where farmers don’t take goods to market because roads are dangerous and police corrupt.

Imagine a country whose richest woman, with billions stashed away, is the daughter of the former president, whose family owns 17 country estates in his birth state; where “socialist” elites live in mansions and have ready access to government-subsidized supplies that others must line up for from dawn to dusk.

Welcome to one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Caracas, in resource-blessed Venezuela. Kidnapping is so routine one victim praised his kidnappers to me: Ransom negotiations were reasonable, and they only broke one finger. But murder is increasingly common even when ransom is paid.

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