Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Los Boligarcas de Venezuela

It doesn't matter whether you call it capitalist or socialist or the revolutionary Bolivarian army -- modern governments exist to fuck you.  And when you strip away the rhetoric from the leaders left-wing academic types always love, you inevitably find nothing more than a corrupt and incompetent populist enriching himself and his buddies.  Don't believe the hype.

In the past, a number of Venezuelan presidents were more-or-less infamous for embezzling funds – abetted by a deeply, perhaps deliberately so, inefficient state. The presidents' friends and other insiders grew rich. Almost everyone else became poor.
This explains Mr Chávez's democratic rise to power. He appealed to a genuine need and a forgotten constituency. In a country of "ins" he spoke to the "outs". The problem is that the "outs" thought that under Mr Chávez they would become "ins", and only very few have, the so-called "boligarchs" – with their government connections they have become the latest generation of nouveaux riches to drive sports utility vehicles and wrinkle their noses at the proletariat.
Economic mismanagement meanwhile threatens the social gains. One oft-cited example is a near halving in unemployment since 1999 – in part thanks to a near doubling of state employees to 2.3m. Yet while more people might be employed, high inflation also means everyone earns less in real terms than they did 11 years ago.

I've been hearing people talk about how great Chavez is since 2003.  If he's so great, why do his people keep getting poorer?

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