Breaking down Maduro-nomics

Good ol' Joe Schumpeter - he's no Karlin Granadillo
Good ol’ Joe Schumpeter – he’s no Karlin Granadillo

Maduro. Sunday night:

“I have decided, once the Enabling Law is approved, to set percentage limits on earnings in every sector of the economy”

Really Nicolás? Every sector? How long is that going to take? Do you even know how many sectors there are? Are you going to apply the same blanket percentage to everything? Oh, and how is one supposed to calculate these percentages?

For example, depreciation – is everyone going to have to estimate depreciation in the same way? What about capital costs? What about companies with high fixed costs? What about the cost to bribe some National Guardsmen to get your container out of the port – stuff that doesn’t normally go into the books – are you going to take that into account?

Really, every sector of the economy? Oh, that’s not going to be a disaster. At all.

Thankfully you’ll have the Enabling Law to help you. Because right now you simply have no power whatsoever to control how much private businesses earn. Why, you’re just as powerless as a sloth in a jungle full of hungry eagles.

“… obligatory limits, such as those that exist in every country in the world.”

Hmm. Every country in the world? Are you sure that somewhere, perhaps in the Cayman Islands, or in Liechtenstein, there isn’t a business that can set its own prices and its own earnings, based on, you know, rational business decisions made by someone seeking to maximize their profits? I mean, I’m sure you’ve studied this, not to question you or anything, but I’m just wondering.

“There are going to be minimum profit margins on everything, as well as maximum margins.”

Thank goodness for that. Minimum profit margins! Why, you’ve solved the basic problem of capitalism, what with all those dastardly businesses that fail because of negative profit margins. Thankfully, here your brilliant bureaucrats will swoop in and make sure people earn at least the minimum margin. People not buying your product because it’s crap? Minimum margin! Cost overruns preventing you from selling at a price above cost? Minimum margins! It’s so easy.

“We will also use the Enabling Law to put in jail those people receiving dollars from Cadivi and using them to speculate, and steal and loot the people.”

Well that’s a relief. Because, you know, there are no laws about this at all.

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I hate to say this, because it’s painful for those living through the nightmare that is Maduro’s Venezuela, but the deeper he digs his own grave, the more likely it is that the solution is just around the corner. Think about it: what would you think if Maduro began making sense on the economy? If he started making the right decisions? Wouldn’t we be more worried if he was making sensible choices, if he was actually making the Revolution viable?

At the rate he’s going, even chavistas don’t give him more than a year.

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