We economists are not having an easy time as of late.
Venezuela’s economic absurdities have recently been compounded by the realization that, yes, Venezuela’s Central Bank is now just another arm of the chavista propaganda machine. Every day seems to bring news of the government only making things worse, and there is seemingly no end in sight.
It’s deeply frustrating. Sometimes, writing about Venezuela can be downright depressing.
Which is why I found this delirious rant by my friend, the usually cerebral Ángel Alayón, so appealing. In this one, Ángel writes in something akin to stream-of-consciousness, a welcome sight from the founder of Prodavinci, putting into words something all of us are feeling – how stupid, how evil do you have to be to screw up this much?
There comes a point where even the most even-keeled of intellectuals has to say “enough!”
The money quote, in Spanish (translation follows):
“Nada menos romántico que hablar de inventarios. No hay amor en la contabilidad. Pero se sabe que los héroes de quienes tanto nos gusta hablar no habrían triunfado sin una logística que permitiera el cumplimiento de sus tareas y aventuras. Alejandro El Grande no hubiera podido derrotar a los persas sin un complicado manejo de provisiones para alimentar a sus soldados y animales de guerra lejos de la Macedonia del siglo IV a.C., tiempos y circunstancias en las que alimentar a grandes cantidades de personas era difícil y muy costoso.
En nuestro caso, no hablamos de epopeyas. Hablamos de la vida cotidiana. Hablamos de la compra de pan, de carne, de leche, de harina para alimentar a nuestras familias. Compras que el mundo moderno ha solucionado con facilidad, un mundo que ahora nos produce envidia y nostalgia. ¿Acaso no pueden nuestras farmacias y supermercados estar surtidas como las de Brasil, o cualquier otro país de su preferencia que usted quiera insertar en esta pregunta?”
Which roughly says:
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“There is nothing less romantic than talking about inventories. There is no love in accounting. But the heroes we enjoy talking about would not have triumphed without logistics to support their quests and adventures. Alexander the Great would not have defeated the Persians had it not been for a complex web of supply management to feed his soldiers and his animals far away from fourth-century BC Macedonia, when it was incredibly difficult and expensive to feed large numbers of people.
In our case, we are not talking about great epic quests. We are talking about buying bread, meat, milk, flour with which to feed our families. These are purchases that the modern world has solved easily, the same world that we now look at with envy and nostalgia. WHy can’t our drug stores be stocked just like they are in Brazil, or in any other country you might want to insert here?”