Wry & Dry

Already in a Marxist abyss: Venezuela [1]

A sad day looms for ageing Marxist professors and hippy anti-free trade activists.  Their beacon of economic inspiration, Chavez's Venezuela, is about to expire.  Chavez himself rose to the great Marxist mausoleum in the sky a couple years ago, but the country he left behind has remained on his stultifying economic path.

The country's currency has effectively devalued by 99%.  It is prosecuting smugglers of powdered milk - the new frontier for illegal trafficking of granulated white substances.  The country's minimum wage, due to the brutal devaluation, is now the lowest in the world, recently falling even below that of Ghana.  

Oil accounts for a jaw-dropping 95% of Venezuela's exports, and its GDP is expected to nosedive by almost 5% this year. That's the worst performance of any country tracked by The Economist (Russia is next worst at -4%).  Its budget deficit is 17% of GDP.  Good grief, Greece's is only 4%.  

The government is demanding an $88/barrel oil price, saying that would be a fair level.

Given that we're at roughly half that now, the country is fried.