Another milestone for the revolution

Silence. Job killer at work.

The World Bank’s “Doing Business 2013” report just came out. It measures the favorability of different countries toward business, by putting together a series of indicators such as the ease of opening a business, getting hooked up to electricity, and making cross-border shipments.

Venezuela is at the bottom of the list.

I guess that’s another thing we learned two weeks ago: Venezuelans hate private business, and want the government to increase regulations. Perhaps six years from now, we will have surpassed the Central African Republic as the worst place in the world to do business in.

Let’s hope the Minister of Efficiency makes sure we reach that milestone. The majority demands it.

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  1. Come on Juan, its a straw man to say ‘the majority’ voted for this. I think the fact is the elections were not fair (the campaigning and violation of campaign rules etc), there was scaremongering of public employees, etc (think this has been covered ad nauseum). I would agree that perhaps Venezuelans are not the most free market oriented people as a whole (perhaps because in a country were one entity -read the State- concentrates the bulk of wealth, it is hard to run a free market? -thinking out loud-). This ‘the majority’ theme is getting boring – build a bridge get over it – the majority of readers demands so! :-p

    • Sorry. I refuse to delude myself with group think. The majority voted for Chávez – warts and all. They endorsed his horrible agenda. The sooner we accept it, the better off we will be.

      • The idea that the electorate endorsed his entire agenda is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
        They voted for Chavez DESPITE their disagreements with his policies on certain issues — DESPITE their opposition to the expropriations and the failure on crime.
        They viewed their misiones, pensions, public jobs, etc at stake, and they viewed those things as most important.
        The idea that all Chavez voters supported all Chavez policies…it makes as much sense as saying you, as a Capriles voter, supported all Capriles policies (and we know that ain’t true).

    • Chinese foreign policy is where America’s was circa 1950, more than happy to sign one sided agreements and not insist on any long term reforms on the part of local politicians whatsoever. Today it’s called “non-interference” because it serves the interests of local politicians and they are the ones controlling the message. Thirty years from now, it will be referred to as Chinese neo-imperialism, when future citizens look at how their countries were turned into pure supplies of primary resources for the Chinese industrial engine.

      To be clear, I’m not knocking the Chinese leadership. Their job is to improve the lot of the Chinese people, and they are doing a very good job of that by securing reliable sources of unprocessed resources.

  2. The problem with all private business ( I know I am gereralizing) is taht it is totally inefficient. Evenm when CANTV was private it was inefficient and non existent if you did not live in a “decent area”. Privare business forms cartels to fleece the public – look at the cable channels, the pharmaceutical distribution chain, the car dealers, the local airlines and their time keeping, the buses, the rip off taxis in Caracas whewre fuel ,is almost a gift – and this is without even mentioning the insurance industry.

    The sooner we reach the bottom of tise list the better and put these crooks out of business. Companies and the individuals that run them in Venezuela need more regulations since everyone wants to make a fast buck, earn undeserved commission and generally do fuck all to earn their money.

    This is a national cutlural problem and any gobierno de turno lets this sort of stuff continue unhindered. It´’s corruption in its many different forms- from JuanCcarlos Caldera, Capriles father to Diosdado Cabello.

      • A lot of private industry would have no place in a socialist society: fast food places, gambling venues, factories which make useless baubles.

        You can’t eliminate all that with the stroke of a pen, because it would put too many people out of work.

        As for useful and productive major industry, gradual and ordered expropriation makes more sense than rapid and chaotic.

        You need the management and organizational capacity, or ideally base of workers who can self-manage. And most importantly, total expropriation would mean nothing if everything was still being traded in a market system.

        Hence the “process” and the importance of retaining the correct people in power to oversee it.

        • So what? Those people out of work can be employed by the government, and it’s not like they’re going to vote for the opposition anyway, remember? Communism wasn’t build gradually in Cuba or the Soviet Union.

          You guys should simply do away with all this stuff before the Comandante quacks. Besides, it’s what the majority wants, remember?

          • Why pretend you know anything about communism? There are plenty of lessons to take away from the Soviet experience, and Cuba is still developing socialism after decades of difficult conditions. Communism has never existed.

          • Well, at the rate you’re going, it is simply impossible to “expropriate” (i.e. take away without compensation) all the “strategic” industries you need. It’s not ideology, it’s simple math. But suit yourself…

          • “Communism has never existed”. This has been the commies’ mantra for quite some time now. Let’s take that at face value, shall we? If trying to establish communism caused 100 million deaths, how many deaths would it cause if you guys “succeed” at implementing it? Just askin’.

          • I know only one thing for sure about communism and freedom. When people want to leave the US they book a flight with the travel agent. When someone wants to leave Cuba they build improvised boats and navigate through shark infested water. Families lost their loved ones of thirst or thirst induced madness (drinking salt water for instance)

            I’ve never heard one case of a person in Florida doing this kind of trip to go to the communist paradise that is Cuba.

            There was not one single case of a person in Germany that got shot in the Wall trying to go from West Germany to the communist paradise of East Germany.

            This is why my values and my principles stand with the superior economic and political philosophy, laissez-faire free market capitalism.

            And I long for a day in which we have an opposition making the case for liberty in Venezuela.

          • That’s right. Communism just needs more time and more commitment from its adherents to succeed. I get it.

          • He’s right though, Communism has never existed: it can’t, not with humans anyway, we’re not ants. The only way it can hope to succeed is by state control, a state that must enforce what the people really need if the people won’t play ball…oh.

        • It is true that there is a lot of waste of human effort in a market based economy (marketing, lawyers, useless gadget production etc). However, having lived and worked in Cuba I can tell you that one of the things that disappointed me was the the economy seemed to be a poor copy of capitalism. They have fast food chains (Called Burger something) except they lack the ingredients and most of the menu is not available because the workers steal the food to feed their families. Since the state is too inflexible to build hotels, they invite Spanish capitalists (Melia etc) to run tourism in joint ventures. The state being unable to successfully produce fruit juice (in a tropical country!!!!) they partner with an Israeli company to make it happen. Since state farms are 27 times less production than private land they gradually privatize agriculture (10% of land is private and produce about two thirds of the food). It is an inefficient immitation of a mixed economy where foreigners have rights Cubans don’t have.
          What is the first thing a Cuban doctor buys when he comes to Venezuela? Nike shoes or clothes. Many Cubans are extremely materialist, because like most humans, they like to improve their own life, something they are systematically denied. Many Cuban couples don’t marry because it is next to impossible to get a flat or a house. Each living unit is gradually filling up with more generations with the holes of those who have escaped (marrying foreigners or on rafts).
          What I fail to understand is, if a mixed model (e.g. Germany, Sweden etc) has achieved basically everything Communism set out to do, why still insist on jumping off a cliff with a bunch of dead people at the bottom?
          Arturo, it is true that the private sector in Venezuela has bad habits. But state economy dictatorships (to avoid the term communism in order to please theoretical marxists) have empirically destroyed the values of whatever people who suffered it and leaves a corrupt culture behind (Russia, China, Cuba, Romania etc). A country which already suffers from lack of business ethics etc will just have this multiplied by a state economy. Why? Because, taking economic freedom away from people, their only means of improving their living conditions is through social relations to obtain scarce privileges.

    • And the great idea is to get the greatest crooks to govern in an autocratic manner?

      That, and a few assistance schemes called misiones is what chavismo has accomplished for Venezuela.

    • Arturo, I think you are (incorrectly) measuring efficiency of private businesses. If you measure trade value, private business is very efficient, that is, getting the most profit from the least investment. Naturally, getting much profit by offering goods and services to poor consumers is very difficult, which is why private businesses don’t do that. Concluding that businesses are inefficient by any other measure than maximization of long term profit is like concluding that human beings are not intelligent just because they are wrecking their own environment. It would be a valid argument, as yours is, but the word choice would cause incorrect conclusions that would lead to incorrect solutions, let alone communication breakdowns with those who could help the most in solving the issues.

      If you want private businesses to cater to the poor, you need to make the poor have money. Once the poor have money, private businesses will target them with as many goods and services as it will take to get the consumers’ money from them. This would happen very efficiently.

      By the way, I think it was one of your colleagues who mentioned that Marx, himself, had written volumes regarding how efficient the market was, so don’t just take it from me.

  3. Correction: Most Venezuelans do not understand private business (or mathematics, or economics, or simple logic), and don’t want to. For the illusion holds that we are a (sic) rich country (Note: my retching goes here) with lotsa oil.

    If prices are sky-high, the economy is a mess, and inflation makes you a pauper the guys charging you the price are guilty, not those mis- and micro-managing the whole mess.

  4. As El Comandante would say, this WB list is just another Imperialist putdown of the thriving Bolivarian Socialist economy…why, it doesn’t even measure, which would have put Venezuela at the top, Buhonerismo, which has complete ease of entry, free up-the-pole hook-up to electricity, and easy cross-border contraband shipments to/from Colombia/Panama/nearby Islands!

    • You’re right. This is basically a census from business types on levels of red tape. Law and order is just liberal bourgeois superstructural nonsense for people who live by the rules of coercion and cash money, carrot and stick. Buhonerismo it is.

  5. I grew up poor. I thought that business owners were a completely different class of people. In my family, we were all workers. and It took money we didn’t have to start a business.
    Now, I am a doctor and a businessman. I have a completely different perspective of who business owners are. For one thing, nothing is guaranteed! Business can be busy or slow, and I still have to make payroll. If I choose to expand or invest, nobody else takes the risk with me. I take the consequences by myself, win or lose. But, I didn’t know that until I crossed the line from worker to business owner. Please, let’s be less judgmental and try to understand others.


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