Saturday, October 19, 2013

You say you want a revolution

John Lennon warned back in 1968 that no good was likely to come of carrying around pictures of Chairman Mao. Presidente Hugo didn't work out too well either;
Back in 1998, a year before Hugo Chávez took office, manufacture represented 17.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while in the first half of 2013 it declined to 14.2% of GDP.
Why production has declined?
Figures disclosed by the Central Bank of Venezuela show that between 1997 and June 2013, private manufacturing production grew by 15.36%, half of the growth rate of the Venezuelan population. Food production climbed 19.31% in that period.
In other nine sectors, the balance is even worse, as production is now below the levels recorded in 1997. Vehicles, textiles, and footwear are among the sub-sectors most seriously hit.
Foreign exchange controls prevent companies from buying foreign currency on time; takeovers jeopardize investments; the electric power crisis prevents factories from raising output; and price controls have become "price freezing" amid hiking inflation and tight labor regulations. These are some of the most common reasons behind the deterioration of the productive apparatus, according to entrepreneurs.
Private production grew, but since the state took over much of what had been private overall production dropped. That's what happens when an admirer of Fidel Castro takes power. As it did in Chile in 1970. The difference between Venezuela and Chile is that the latter managed to throw off their dictator and restore a prosperous society.

There was much suffering, but at least Chile has food, clothing and toilet paper.

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