Venezuela expects a fifth readjustment of minimum wage, announced by the government of Nicolás Maduro. The value of the salary will rise from 5.2 million bolivars to 180 million bolivars soberanos.
In other words, from less than a dollar to 28 on the black market. The measure will enter into force on September 1, in the words of the President himself. With the current pay, the average Venezuelan could not buy even a hamburger.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-costs-of-venezuelas-collapse-have-spread-far-and-wide/ KENNETH ROGOFF
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 34 MINUTES AGO
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 5, 2018
Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist of the IMF, is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University.
note from canadiana:Maduro supposedly allows his military to engage in drug trafficking so they don’t don’t revolt against his regime according to this article.
As Venezuela’s great experiment with Bolivarian socialism implodes, it is creating a humanitarian and refugee crisis comparable to Europe in 2015. Traveling by bus, boat, and even on foot through treacherous terrain, around one million Venezuelans have fled to Colombia alone, and another two million are estimated to be in other, mostly neighbouring, countries.
There, they often live in desperately unsafe conditions with little food and no medicine, sleeping anywhere they can. So far, there are no United Nations refugee camps, only modest aid from religious organizations and other NGOs. Hunger and disease are rampant.
By and large, Colombia is doing its best to help, providing care to those who show up at hospitals. And its large informal economy is absorbing many refugees as workers. But with a per capita GDP of only around $6,000 (compared to $60,000 for the United States), Colombia’s resources are limited. And the government must also urgently reintegrate some 25,000 FARC guerillas and their families under the terms of the 2016 peace treaty that ended a half-century of brutal civil war.
Colombians have been sympathetic to their neighbours in part because many remember that during the FARC insurgency and related drug wars, Venezuela absorbed hundreds of thousands of Colombian refugees. Moreover, during Venezuela’s boom years, when oil prices were high, and the socialist regime had not yet decimated production, several million Colombians were able to find work in Venezuela.
But the recent tsunami of Venezuelan refugees is causing massive problems for Colombia, beyond the direct costs of policing, ensuring urgent medical care, and providing other services. In particular, the influx of Venezuelan labour has put significant downward pressure on wages in Colombia’s informal sector (including agriculture, services, and small manufacturing business) – and just when the government was hoping to raise the minimum wage.
The first waves of Venezuelans included many skilled workers (for example, chefs and limousine drivers) who could reasonably hope to find gainful employment quickly. But more recent refugees have been predominantly uneducated and unskilled, complicating the government’s efforts to improve the lot of Colombia’s own underclass.
The long-term problems may be even more severe, with diseases that were once under control, such as measles and AIDS, running rampant among the refugee population, which intermingles easily with the culturally similar Colombians. More forward-looking Colombian leaders, including the new president, Iván Duque, argue privately that humane and decent treatment of Venezuelan refugees will benefit Colombia in the long run, after the regime falls and Venezuela again becomes one of Colombia’s largest trading partners. But no one knows when that will come.
What is known is that after many years of catastrophic economy policy, starting under the late president, Hugo Chávez, and continuing under his successor, Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s regime has squandered an inheritance that includes some of the world’s largest proven oil reserves. The country’s income has collapsed by a third, inflation is on track to hit one million percent, and millions are starving in a country that ought to be reasonably well off.
One might think there would be a revolution, but so far Mr. Maduro has been able to keep the military on the regime’s side in part by granting it license to run a massive drug-trafficking operation that exports cocaine around the world, particularly to Europe and the Middle East. And, unlike oil exports, which are encumbered by massive debts to China and others, the proceeds from the illegal drug exports are by nature unencumbered, except in rare instances of seizure.
Sadly, many on the left around the world (for example, British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn) were willing to turn a blind eye to the brewing disaster, owing, perhaps, to a knee-jerk impulse to defend their socialist brethren. Or, worse, perhaps they actually believed in the chavista economic model.
Altogether too many left-leaning economists (including some who ultimately worked on the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders in the United States) were diehard supporters of the Venezuelan regime. There were also opportunistic enablers, including Goldman Sachs (with its ill-considered purchase that propped up Venezuelan bond prices), and some on the right, such as the inauguration committee for U.S. President Donald Trump, which accepted a large donation from Citgo, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuelan oil company Petróleos de Venezuela.
In recent weeks, Mr. Maduro has put in place a half-baked plan to stabilize the currency, issuing new bills supposedly backed by the government’s cryptocurrency, which is like building a house of cards on a garbage dump. Whether or not the new currency takes root, we can be sure that the Venezuelan military will continue to conduct its operations in $100 bills.
In response to the domestic and regional crises generated by the Maduro regime, the United States has put in place severe trade and financial sanctions, and Mr. Trump has reportedly floated the idea of invading Venezuela. U.S. military intervention is of course a crazy idea, and even the many Latin American leaders who desperately want to see the regime go would never support it.
But the United States can and should greatly step up financial and logistical aid to help neighbouring states deal with the overwhelming refugee problem. And it is not too soon to start planning for reconstruction and repatriation of refugees after Venezuela’s brand of socialism – or, more accurately, oil and cocaine clientelism – finally comes to an end.
Chivis, this is an amazing thread, thank you for sharing your families story.
From reading there have been two interesting discussions on this post. The first is how Canada is treating heroin addicts, and the other is the Venezuela crisis.
The drug war has been a huge failure, and that is obvious even to those who will not admit it. The way that Portugal and Canada are looking to treat drug addiction seems so simple when you hear it. As was mentioned Johann Hari (sp?) has great ideas on this. Listen to his latest appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast for some great info.
As far as Venezuela I am hoping this solidifies that socialism, in any form, will eventually cause the collapse of your society. Eventually you run out of others peoples money, as they say. There are a lot of smart people here on both sides of the aisle, and it is interesting to have read everyones point of views.
the drug war is a farce. the chapo trial was a farce. putting away one bad guy and spending more money than every other trial in history---will do ZERO to help with drug issues. clamping down on RX pain medicines only hurt those who actually are in need. going after capos has a dozen other to fill the void and empowers even more dangerous and ruthless leaders and cartels
stupid people making stupid decisions.
I was once against legalization, I now realize legalization is the only way to control and regulate.
Treatment of addicts is primary. I have followed canada's experiments with treatment. kudos to them, for attempting out of the box methods.
some people can be treated for years but will always go back to drugs. however there is such a thing as a functioning addict. one can head a family, be gainfully employed and be a positive part of society, while being an addict on drugs. even heroin. BUT he/she must be under treatment and observation of a medical source. clinic, physician etc.
security at borders including emphasis on security technology
that said with legalization, some problems will be solved or better on their own. for example, the black market will shrink and become almost a non issue.
Remember cartels in Mexico namely CDG started out as bootleggers during prohibition. what happened after prohibition? they switch to drugs
I would venture to guess that with legalization cartels would still of course traffic drugs to europe and countries without legalization, but would up their game in intellectual property knockoffs and knock offs in general. that is huge business and one in which china/asia has the ball in their court.
in mexico and latin america cartels sell a large amount of knockoffs, anything from colgate toothpaste to IP Microsoft software.
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
People who live in the areas where the safe injection sites are starting to complain as crime is increasing in their neighbourhoods.'Tent cities' are starting to appear on Vancouver Island where year round the temperatures are above freezing.I know it's like prostitution they just go to another area and doesn't get rid of the problem and it's a 'not in my neighbourhood' kind of mentality.Addicts say there is a stigma against them but I think it's not so much their habit but their predatory nature scamming and thieving to get their habit satisfied and no one trusts them.1 guy, a crackhead in my town who's parents got ill gave their son the mortgage payments to be made at the bank because they couldn't go and entrusted their son and of course the payments went up his nose and the house got foreclosed on.Just horrific to do to your own family.I agree that when they cut off RX's it could create a hardship for ppl. already addicted but I think they were thinking maybe down the line that no more new future addicts will come into the 'legal' system at least from the RX's.I believe there is functioning addicts out there just like there is functioning alcoholics too but years later it usually does catch up to them and they start going downhill because of the underlying emotional issues that were never dealt with and only covered up by using and when they have lost everything like jobs,family,living quarters,etc.It probably depends a lot on amounts consumed and some drugs a person can go for many years being functional like opiates and alcohol but can a person be functional for life on meth?I was married to an addict/alcoholic and as a landlord have seen lots and the inevidible decline.Just my 2 cents worth.
Canadian; well you've resuscitated an old thread and my appreciation to you for that.
The thread I had saved, has disappeared, implicating a certain shipment of cocaine this month to Maduro. Please stay patient as I search the news. Venezuela, has run out of gas, food and other sundries. Iran has been flying in oil engineers to repair their refineries, good luck in finding the parts.
Hopefully Maduro is collapsing. One of the worst examples of leadership in the world! Take him down.
But she did ask a question within a post rather than post a question as a headline post which is what you're supposed to do and then we posed questions back to her.It is kind of neat seeing some of the many reasons and the history of why people are on BB.I know I'm a naturally snoopy person by nature not gossip wise just curious wise.Was that way as a little girl and got me into trouble sometimes.