Worst. Social policy. Ever!

Imagine a candidate who went to the country with this message:

Compatriotas! When I am president, I will finally spread the oil wealth fairly. What I’ll do is, I’ll split the country up into four income brackets. To each of the richest 25% of households, I’m going to send a check for Bs.11,000 once a year. And to the poorest quarter of the country’s households, I’m going to send Bs.1,770. Vote for me!

Crazy, huh? That guy would get creamed in any election, right?

Except – and if you couldn’t see this one coming, you’re a little slow on the uptake – that’s pretty much what chavismo is doing now!

The gasoline subsidy is a Conditional Cash Transfer: the condition is driving.

Kudos to Ecoanalítica for running the distributional impact numbers. May el que te conté grab us right after confession.

[And while I’m on rant mode, here’s another thing: the most pernicious thing chavismo has done to the country over the last 13 years isn’t so much imposing insane policies like this idiotically regressive subsidy, the most pernicious thing it’s done is undermine our ability to talk about them rationally. Honestly, isn’t it bizarre how it’s become impossible to have an even minimally logical debate about this reality in the 2011 vintage Venezuelan public sphere?]

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