Venezuela

The collapse is near.

Via Stephen Green, who writes: “We’re watching the last chapter of Atlas Shrugged play out in Venezuela in realtime.”

Yes, it was supposed to be a cautionary tale, not a how-to manual.

[Update a few minutes later]

Aaaaand the water plants have shut down.

[Update mid-afternoon]

Trump’s biggest challenge: Educating the kids on socialism. We shouldn’t have to do this, but the schools clearly haven’t. And unfortunately, that’s no accident.

12 thoughts on “Venezuela”

  1. Trump’s biggest challenge: Educating the kids on socialism.

    The biggest challenge is being able to articulate the benefits of capitalism. Pointing out the deficiencies of marxism is useful but we also need to be able to show a better way. I think a large part of why this is complicated, is that capitalism relies on the unknown. We can point to examples from history of spontaneous or serendipitous discoveries, innovations, and creations but by their very nature, they can not be predicted in the future. It takes a bit of faith.

    Humans have an evolutionary fear of the future. We don’t know and can’t predict what the future will bring. This has driven a lot of human innovation but it also used to control people by offering them the false promises of control. It is probably why AGW alarmists and marxists are birds of a feather.

  2. Improbably, for a country awash in oil reserves, gasoline in Maracaibo may be about to run out due to refinery breakdowns and distribution problems. This would be catastrophic to a population dependent on generators and scavenging.

    Yes, I am sure it had nothing to do with the US seizing their refineries, barring purchases of light crude oil to blend with their heavy tar like oil, threatening sanctions on third parties who provide them with alternatives for these services, or anything. Of course they are having issues while they switch to different suppliers. They also don’t have enough refining capacity in Venezuela by design. Because their major refineries are abroad.

    The major economic blunder Maduro did was instituting price controls. But that has happened elsewhere too. Like Nixon in 1970s.

    1. I missed the part where the U.S. “seized” their refineries. They took them over themselves, then ran them into the ground. Because they ran out of other peoples’s money. As socialists always do.

      1. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-refiner-citgo-prepares-fend-212206444.html
        http://citgorefining.com/lake-charles/

        Citgo remember?

        Venezuela’s heavy oil can’t just be processed anywhere. Most of PDVSA’s refining capacity is located in the US and was under control of their subsidiary Citgo. The limited refining capacity there is in Venezuela proper requires lighter crude to blend the fuel. The US also barred the sale of that.

        It is always nice to claim others are incapable when you are actively sabotaging them.

        1. This is dichotomy is hilarious:
          Venezuela’s heavy oil can’t just be processed anywhere.

          It is always nice to claim others are incapable when you are actively sabotaging them.

          Did Gojira actively sabotage Venezuela’s heavy oil industry?

          1. This has a list of PDVSA’s refineries.
            http://www.pdvsa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6550&Itemid=903&lang=en

            Basically Citgo had like half the refining capacity of PDVSA. Including the 6th largest oil refinery in the USA.
            When you add to that what happened to the refinery in Curacao they might have like a quarter of the refining capacity they used to. They also don’t have easy access to the lubricants to process their oil.

            So, big whoop, the “socialists” fail. Of course, cut someone’s legs and then see if they can still run.

          2. Your Yahoo article from January of this year says Citgo was still processing crude, and we were still buying heavy crude from Venezuela.

            In case you weren’t paying attention, people down there have been eating zoo animals for quite a few years now. Millions had already fled due to starvation, the inevitable result of doctrinaire socialism, as is deploying the army to guard the country’s toilet paper factory, a move they had to make many years ago.

            Their oil industry is in a state of collapse because A) they basically looted it from foreign companies through nationalization, and B) the government then looted it by not re-investing in personnel and equipment, leading to massive deterioration, and C) the government appointees who ran it then looted it for their own enrichment, and D) the generals who replaced the government appointees kept right on looting.

            Under capitalism the rich can become powerful. Under socialism the powerful become rich.

          3. George, I agree. I had initially wrote a comment noting that the linked Yahoo story didn’t back up his claims. Further, a look at production charts shows that Venezuela oil production went from 3mmbbls a day to 1.5 mmbbls a day from 2001 to 2003, and more or less stabilized at that lower number for a decade. I know what happened in Venezuela during that time, and it had nothing to do with US refineries or a downturn in the price of oil.

          4. Would you send oil to the US refineries if they didn’t pay you back? Because that’s what the US government did basically.

            PDVSA had been privatized in the 1960s-1970s. Chavez wasn’t there. What Chavez did is he wanted the government to have a majority stake in all operations. So outside investors had to have less than 50% stock. Some negotiated with the government, others simply thought they were more important than a sovereign government in who decides how to extract mineral resources. At least that’s how I see it.

            With regards to the people who were fired from PDVSA, if I had someone go on strike to topple down the government like they did in 2002, I would fire them too. Regardless of how “professional” they were. It’s funny how you guys defend Thatcher firing coal miners, or Reagan firing radar operators, but Chavez is evil, because he fired people who didn’t want to work from a government job.

            Millions fled due to starvation? Not really. They fled because of poor economic conditions. If they have a trade skill in a hyper-inflation environment, of course they are better off working elsewhere. Millions also fled southern europe in the last decade because real wages fell. I don’t see this being used as an excuse to invade those countries.

      2. It’s also interesting how they “ran out of other people’s money” when the US ordered billions of Venezuelan gold seized from their government in the UK.

        You know who ran out of other people’s money? The US banking sector.

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