A timely reminder


This nifty BBC interactive feature serves as a timely reminder: gasoline in Venezuela isn’t so much “cheap” as it is, for all intents and purposes, free.

Fuel Cost[Hat tip: Anelim]


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  1. If the opportunity cost of not selling the gasoline at a higher price overseas is included, the price of gasoline would likely be higher than in the U.S. Gasoline in Venezuela is wasted but that is what individuals want.

  2. I’ve been interested in this topic lately. There’s a great book titled “Fuel Taxes and the Poor” by Thomas Sterner (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) that compiles a number of essays on the distributional effects of fuel taxation in countries ranging from the U.S. and wealthy European nations to developing ones in Asia (including India and China) and impoverished ones in Africa. Interestingly enough, there is one essay that studies Mexico and one (with striking resemblance to the Venezuelan case) on Iran. The overall conclusion of the book is that fuel taxation is weakly regressive in rich countries and is strongly progressive in developing ones – that is, leaving out recycling of the additional income of the State and other alternatives they argue could effectively balance any unlikely regressivity.

    Here’s the link to the book (it’s rather expensive, I am afraid) – http://bit.ly/WyBBR3

    The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) released a report that makes an overview of international fuel prices. They have a quite enlightening chart that ranks countries in terms of their gasoline retail price. Unsurprisingly, Venezuela is at the very bottom, followed by Iran. Take a look (page 63) – http://bit.ly/Yj4vni

    And here’s a little piece that sums up Sterner’s conclusions: Are fuel taxes regressive? (infographic) – http://bit.ly/VXA7hB

    This Suits index thing is fascinating stuff.

  3. I’d love to know what’s MUD’s official position on the subject, but probably that’s too much to ask for from a headless chicken. What about an individual statement from ANY opposition politician? Bah, they would probably give a non-answer…

  4. It’s just so nuts. Such a waste of money, and at the hands of a movement which claims to put environmental protection foremost.

  5. I think this graph lacks any explanatory value. It gives no context to compare on, there is only one other Latin American country, Brazil, and many OPEC countries are missing. The lack of similarity between the countries gives no basis in which to compare, as would be comparing the territorial expanse of Russia and the Vatican. It is true that Venezuela’s oil is the cheapest in the world, but this graph only seeks to exaggerate the extent of this as the other countries mentioned do not have the same amount of reserves (thus being oil importers) and their size of their economies demanding more fuel for it, that is more supply, and a higher drive for causes. I would use this article for a better perspective of the issue. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-2191375/Top-10-cheapest-countries-world-petrol-2012.html#axzz2JxpcxOrl


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