Drowning-in-a-Glass-of-Water Update

79

Climbing a Pile of FilesThis piece in El Estimulo – part of the new breed of the communicational-hegemony-runaround websites – is enough to make you despair: in response to deepening goods scarcity the government is reacting with…more bureaucratic controls.

Now each individual shipment to each individual store will need its own “guía” (authorization document), rather than allowing one truck going to several stores to do so with a single guía. A tramite that used to take, on average, three minutes may now take as long as 35.

This is yet more evidence that even now, a estas alturas del partido, the government still doesn’t actually understand the mechanism that generates scarcity. Even now, after years of deepening goods shortages tending to hyperinflation, they’re off chasing a mirage instead of pursuing the common sense reforms that economists from Ricardo Hausmann to Mark Weisbrot agree are needed to begin to stabilize the macroeconomy.

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. It just is.

79 COMMENTS

  1. “the government still doesn’t actually understand the mechanism that generates scarcity” Do you really think so? I think they very well know what they’re doing… Los brutos somos nosotros!

    • Agree, I think they sit around a table, probably at lunch paid by constituents money, and figure out how to create scarcity, or they probably have some kind of Lines Olympic Games to see who is capable of generating the longest lines

      Javier

      • It is not like Maduro or his wife and gang are sitting around planning this – they just set up the conditions which allow the lower functionaries to create these mechanisms to add to their booty. The functionaries propose these plans to the bloodsuckers at the top as a “solution!!” to the problems , Maduro goes out and gives a speech about this next “solution” while ranting at the imperialists who are to blame. These corrupt functionaries are pirates and they feast at the table along the entire food distribution chain. It is all about how much each and every corrupt government official and military “Guard” can skim off the top before handing out the crumbs to the people. The rich who have not left are paying someone to get what they want either to stand in line or simply pay off the corrupt officials and get to shop at the “special” stores as they are part of the chosen. It is like watching a massacre in slow motion. Every little gory detail is there to examine. Of course, this is peanuts compared to the real corruption that is going on at the top, where the billions are going missing in PDVSA as they make the wholesale purchases with dollars at 6.3 and sell them in Bolivars at 193.
        When you are making a profits in the thousands of percent on every transaction why on earth would anyone think you would dismantle this ridiculous joke of a currency exchange system. As far as they are concerned the currency controls are working PERFECTLY and the money flows from there for all these “SOLUTIONS”

    • they actually know how to generate scarcity… what they havent figured out, and never will is the way to mantain production and distribution… My advise, if you are in Venezuela get out for the next couple of years if you can, it will get uglier.

      • I know it’s very hard to accept that there are people in this world who are evil enough to starve a population. But if you read thoughout history, you will find infinite examples of this same thing happening.

        Stalin, for example, was not “stupid” when he created Holodomor. Quite the opposite.

  2. For anyone still in doubt this silly bureaucratic reaction to food shortages surely underlines the fact that the Chavista’s run their government in an ad hoc manner, no planning whatsoever. First there is panic, then you find buttons to push. There is no thought process as to what the plan will look like tomorrow, or in a month, or in a year. No plan, just a reaction to events. It’s a display of economic insanity at its finest. It’s a Three Stooges fire drill with someone having forgotten to bring the water hose. There are food shortages all over the place, basic medical supplies don’t exist in the hospitals, and the entire economy is grinding to a halt because of lack of foreign exchange, yet they keep paying evil Wall Street bankers their interest charges and draining what little is left of foreign reserves. One can only step back for a moment and marvel at all the stupidity. Is this really happening?

    • Your take on how the govt actually operates sounds about right , (also funny) , Reminds me of a very smart board of director fellow in a transnational (many years ago) who as sometimes happens found himself facing a problem that had no ready solution , so he would issue frantic orders right and left to strike blindly at the problem ( I guess to appease his sense of anguished futility) . The govt thinks it can control its way out of the present crisis and actually is just responding hit or miss to put out the fires as they arise, in willi nilli fashion with very little thought as to what the implications of each measure taken is bound to be .

      They cannot face the deeply humiliating fact that they are inept and incapable of handling the crisis so they try and blame it on a demonized enemy and make believe that they can handle the problem by imposing fines and paranoid controls on the producers and distributors that do the actual job of bringing goods into the market. .

      Sometimes controls can be useful to handle a difficult scarcity situation , in the India of the 70’s , there wasnt enough foreign currency to buy enough oil to meet the countrys demand so a control system was instituted which kept control of oil product movements at a tanker truck level , thus they would buy just enough oil to meet the demand at the exact time needed . Of course they had some dam clever people handling the controls but still it was a touch a go desperate operation . Not our case at all.!!

      its like the case of the big flour mill people who got a couple of hundred inspections from govt inspectors to see where were the missing products only to find they were empty or nearly empty because recieving no US dollar allocations they couldn import the grain they needed to maintain normal operations .!!

      The problem for the govt was not in the fact that they did not allocate the dollars needed to maintain grain supplys at par with demand , but that somehow the grain was being kept stored and hidden by the private company processing it .!!

      • Exactly. There is no plan. The very first truth that was discovered when oil prices dropped last September was that there was no rainy day fund, not in Fonden, not in Bandes. The money had all been previously squandered. Breathtaking. Now they are feeding the remaining Venezuelan assets into a voracious financial gullet. Incredible. And the plan here is what? Oil prices back to 100 by December? More parcels of the Orinoco oil belt up for sale? Borrow money from the Chinese etc? Wall Street bankers will be so impressed with their regular and on-time interest payments that they’re ‘likely’ to provide even more funds in the future? Really? That’s the plan? Or is it? Er, what’s on the chalkboard over at the Finance Ministry? How can one deduce a plan out of all the insanity taking place? Here’s what’s frightening, there obviously is no economic plan, and the cliff is fast approaching

    • evil Wall Street bankers? Oh, pull-eze. They did not force Vzla to issue sovereign bonds at terms that the country did not agree to.

      • I didn’t call them evil, they did! The point being, of course, is that they are paying-out tens of billions of precious dollars to people they declare to HATE, yet concurrently depriving their own poor of needed food and medicine. Amazing. The word ‘irony’ doesn’t even begin to describe this train wreck of an economic policy.

  3. Great. The worse it gets, the better. See if of corrupt and lazy populace begins to wake up.

    For now, sarna con gusto no pica. They are getting what they deserve.

    • “But even under the current exchange rate regime, there is no need to devalue”-Weisbrot , September 2012

      “Already, inflation has started to fall from its peak of 6% monthly.”-Weisbrot, July 2013

      That’s just a sampling of the nonsense Weisbrot publishes on Venezuela (though not as regularly as in the past…I wonder why?)

      He is a shameless propagandist first (someone has to fund his think tank!), economist second. I did see that the new Greek government, the Communist one who doesn’t want to pay its debts or make any reforms in return for debt forgiveness, has hired him as a consultant. I wonder if they hired him for his propaganda or economic expertise?

      • The Greek government did make a payment, last week. Don’t know if that economic behaviour will be sustained or curtailed at some point.

      • I agree with Rory. Weisbrot does not deserve to be called an “Economist”. At best, he is a propagandist who uses an economist’s vocabulary.

  4. “Actualmente, se emiten Guías al Detal que permiten incluir a más de un cliente por cada unidad de transporte”. Y “la exigencia de que la totalidad de los despachos se realice mediante Guías Personalizadas, impone la dedicación de un tiempo mayor para la emisión de cada documento, con la consecuente pérdida de efectividad en el despacho de productos por jornada”, advirtió el gremio industrial.”

    Woww.. this is great news.. The shy is gonna hit the fan. In terms of logistics, the repercussions can be gigantic: instead of issuing one single “Consolidated Truck Bill of Lading” or nota de despacho, or whatever they call’em today in Corruptzuela, the hundreds of thousand of daily trucks attempting difficult deliveries, already with huge Traffic, terrible road system, colas, alcabalas.., will have to waste even more time producing often dubious documents. Great! More escasez and more Inflation, and of course, more Bribes at every stop for our corrupt fiscales and lazy populace. See if they finally start getting really pissed off!

  5. An Ecuadorian “Economist” on tour in Europe last week informed his audience that the food shortage was due to some sinister plan of el imperio… the same which happened in Chile before the coup 1973…
    The guy actually was Economic MInister of Ecuador between 2007/08.
    https://amerika21.de/2015/04/117676/paez-ecuador-destabilisierung
    Now he holds the office of “Superintendente de Control de Poder de Mercado”.
    Its religious and endemic. Las dos cosas.

  6. We just head from our Sister-in-Law who lives near Valencia. They have very little food in the house and have not been able to find food in any of the Stores near their home for the last two weeks. Most of their neighbors are in the same situation. They have banded together to try and survive.

    SO I am not sure just how much worse it can get. Do people have to starve to dead before the government gets off its backside and does something that will actually start to fix the problems?

    • My family in Merida still manage to get food very expensive or after long queues, but the food they have, they have to cook it with an electric stove with only two burners. The gas company just stopped going to their house to replace the “bombonas”. No matter how often they call, the answer is “el camion esta afuera distribuyendo”. Where is it distributing? God knows. Some people say if you pay extra to the driver they will come. Others say you have to pay extra to the lady that takes the calls in the office, etc. It has been three months with no gas. And trust me, when you have an 88 years old granny living in the house you need warm water to take a shower, specially with Merida’s water, it is really cold form the faucet.

    • I once said another person that Venezuela needed six months of actual famine for people to become so furious that they wouldn’t be afraid to lynch every milico and colectivo the regime sent against them once they went into the protests.

    • Sadly there are still many poor suffering, while the Majority, Millions and Millions of enchufados are better than ever. Corrupt, Freebies and huge Kickbacks everywhere. Just on this post, what do you think will happen at each control point for trucks by the “guardia”? “A BAJARSE DE LA MULA, o no sigues.” And who are the “guards” who are gonna implement this draconian new laws? El Pueblo Corrupto, chamo.

      I do feel sorry for the FEW, honest people left suffering, but apparently, as this article says, it will need to get even worse before the Majority of our bribes, lazy and corrupt people wake up, straighten-up, and starts working for once.

    • You’re being generous by even thinking that the government at some point will get off it’s backside and do something to start fixing the problem. They won’t!

      • Mentioned this before , people in the barrios tell me that they are using Micasa ( the barrio supermarket chain taken over by the govt and whose owners were imprisoned ) to actually distribute the basics food stuffs (including milk , harina pan, sugar , coffee) in small amounts , once a week , depending on the las digit of your ID card . Some other govt controlled supermarkets are used the same way. For all others distribution is arbitrary , lakadaisacal and erratic , with lots of stuff that people can get once after a long queue and which then can disspear for months at a time . People from the barrios however do get into the regular supermarket queues to buy scarce goods ( when they appear) for themselves and to do bachaqueo . Supermarket employees have a guaranteed first access which they use to do bachaqueo.

        That means that the regime is applying a double standard , if you are in a barrio or place where favourable voters concentrate then you do get the basics through a tightly rationed system , if you are outside that area then distribution is erratic or non existing.

        They are taking care of their constituency and neglecting or ignoring the rest .

        The other priority is finding ways of raising enough money to continue servicing the international financial debt so as to avoid a default . every other finanacial or comercial debt is treated as if it didnt exist . Imports to local industry is strictly rationed which means that production is stalling or just shutting down .

        There is no long term plan comprehensive to handle the financial crisis , decisions are taken and implemented to cover rents and holes in the fabric but with little thought to the overall situation. They are on a survival mode.

        I hear Pdvsa has basically abandoned all long term projects and plans , they have a basic plan based on chinese financing ( which very difficult to obtain and which must be paid in oil ) to spend strictly on those small /mid size projects which have a very quick pay out . Max a couple of years. They have also several billion dollars in offered loans which their joint venture partners are supposed to make to help the joint ventures start or increase production . These loans however dont always materialize because the partners dont really trust Pdvsa or the capacity of the country to allow the associated investment to be carried out .

        Meantime the persecution of oppo figures is relentless and fierce on all fronts .

  7. I guess this is old news, I mean, wasn’t this thing called “SADA” something already? I remember a friend who explained me that the government already could track each shipment across any part of the country due to tracking serials much like you mentioned in the post.

    The most efficient way to one-hit scarcity is to raise the prices to international levels (kills the extraction smuggling as there won’t be any profict to be made) and chase the illegal vendors (cuts the mafia tentacles, making difficult to resell products)

    But we all know what this regime thinks about those two simple measures…

  8. Is the Sunagro requirement a done deal?
    Or is it yet another one of the government’s many half-baked theories, which don’t always make it out of the oven, but which provide grist for the mill, useful for alarm-setting and especially for the reporting media?

    Otherwise, I didn’t know whether to chuckle over the Vzlan reality show of Just-in-Time inventory, or be annoyed by the pretension — even in the best of times.

  9. Quico, la semana pasada el INTI, junto con el gobierno de barinas, un tribunal de barinas y los invasores “despojaron” el hato el rodeo. Despues de varios años de invasiones, juicios, abogados, muestras y mas muestras de que era una finca productiva (con mas de 7mil cabezas de ganado). La semana pasada fue el punto final. Capaz dejan sacar el ganado que no han matado o robado (unas 1400 cabezas).
    No solo estan complicando la distribucion, estan matando la produccion. Venezuela va a pasar hambre, antes de lo que la gente piensa.
    Sinceramente dudo mucho que Maduro aguante lo que viene.

    • As you know, the Military control much of local ganado production by sending it over the border to Colombia in exchange for hard currency, while the Govt. gives enchufados $ at 6.30 to import beef from Brasil–great profits on both sides, and a resulting huge local beef scarcity.

  10. Chamo, it’s the same with SIMADI as I told you, the governments is making it difficult for foreign companies to sell their OWN dollars through SIMADI, which will BENEFIT them as they won’t have to put their own scarce dollars there. Al que crea que el chavismo puede resolver la peor crisis macroeconómica de nuestra historia le tengo unos pantanos bellísimos a precio de ganga donde van a poder construír muchos edificios.

    • “…the governments is making it difficult for foreign companies to sell their OWN dollars through SIMADI”
      Amen, dude, even I, a simpleton nobody, can’t sell a couple of bucks I have earned for some small works through PayPal in that idiocy that’s simadi.

      And all of this is due to the stupidity of the mafias who want to control and devour everything like a fracking marabunta.

  11. I think the bet may be “Let’s do all of this and see how far we can get. If things get rough in the street, we have the means to control the populace”.

    Because these cunts trully believe in that system. I think they’re doing it on purpose.

    • Of course they are doing on purpose, their model is the Cuban one: starve the population, escalate the brain drain even further, let the poor eat the grains falling from our table, genocide the ones who rebel.

    • I don’t think the Escasez is on purpose.

      That’s how crooked and inept they are: the Masburrista Dictatorship does Import Thousand of Tons of food and products everyday, don’t they? They are even shameless enough to trade Oil for Toilet Paper via Caricom, do they not? They organize hidden underground Queues so people don’t “see” them, etc.

      They are obviously trying to at least feed the people to avoid popular unrest. They are incredibly stupid, but not that much, not quite suicidal yet.

      They’re just Inept, uneducated and corrupt to the bone, that’s all. They Steal so much, there’s nothing left to produce, import or distribute. They are such crooks, that any attempt to reform anything is via more corruption and theft, through the Chinese deals, the Financial controls, the Latin American Kickbacks.

      They are so Greedy that every thing that is implement enhances and breeds more corruption, enables the activity of more enchufados and thugs, more control, more bribes, at every level.

      The Logistics Guiso on this thread is just another example: more control, more Corruption in the streets, at very Truck Stop: Cuanto hay ‘pa eso??.

      As simple as that. No need for convoluted “Equadorian Economist” theories here, whenever you wonder about anything related to Corruptzuelan think BECAUSE hay tremendo Gui$o. That’s it.

      • “the Masburrista Dictatorship does Import Thousand of Tons of food and products everyday, don’t they? ”

        But of course they do! They and their families need to eat too, right? They haven’t been elevated to the status of demi-gods just yet, have they? And the ultra-conservative-super-reactionary laws of nature will still kill them if they don’t eat a minimum amount of calories per day, won’t they? See Eduardo Galeano dying today, for example. But I bet that there are many socialists around the world totally incredulous about one of their Gods being killed like that by cancer, just as if he were a damn human.

        Cuba imports food too. Hell, even North Korea does. But at the same time they have fierce control of the distribution of this food. ISIS is doing that as we speak. And weren’t the Chavistas trying to expropriate Farmatodo some weeks ago? Why would they do that? Obviously to keep the population hostage . I mean, you won’t waste time organizing your neighbourhood to protest against the regime when you can’t find milk and diapers to your son, right? You will try to find the damn diapers and milk first! Likewise, if you know that the government may diminish the number of goods you can buy per week if they see you at some anti-Maduro protest, it’s very likely that you will keep a low-profile, if not for yourself, it will be for your kids’ health sake. It’s quite simple, isn’t it? It worked for Cuba, let’s see if the Venezuelans will comply too. I think that they won’t.

        • Disagree. Even Masburrismo knows they are in deep shyt. Meaning in danger of having pissed off people way too much, with “approval” below 25%.

          There wouldn’t be such long Colas everywhere is they could help it.

          Everyone knows the Roman’s basic precept for mass domination: Bread & Circus.

          The Circus is doing just fine, with El Imperio Contrataca part VXII, Panama Blues, Daniela Sings, El Burro Rebuzna otra vez, etc.

          The lack of Bread is what brought the people to la Bastille in France, and all true popular revolts.

          It’s getting down to that: Famine. Can’t wait.

          • “There wouldn’t be such long Colas everywhere is they could help it.”

            But they CAN help it! They CAN!!! No one is stopping them, it’s a dictatorship, dammit! Yet they chose to escalate the problem to a new unprecedented level every new month. Why they do that?

            Why did Maduro send the people to loot Daka? To fix scarcity? Why he is STILL expropriating the distribution of goods at this late stage of the game, when famine is becoming a very real possibility?

          • Again, if you want to understand anything about Corrupztzuela, look no further than GUISO. Cuanto hay ‘pa eso? That and, of course, under-education and Astounding Ineptitude.

            Excessive lack of FOOD brings governments down. Even Masburrismo knows that.

          • You cannot compare the original Cuba situation 60 years ago, and much less ISIS religious fanaticism to Corruptzuela.

            With Russia’s support, there was always some rice to eat, and it was a straight-forward Military Coup from day 1. Vzla’s decadence into Corruption Hell has been a disguised, slow process.

  12. It’s endemic. People that one would think they know better think the same way, more laws and controls.
    El izquierdismo latinoamericano. A f…. cancer.

  13. The three stooges rule because the master plan is to promote incompetent and loyal to positions to which they are utterly disqualified.

    What follows by design, is necessarily chaos.

    From Maduro level down, every ministro, every director general and every department lead in the regime is there demonstrating Peter’s principle to the best!

    …each one of them knowing they would never get such a job (and power and graft potential) without serious brown-nosing (In this case red!) and will embezzle the most for the short time he has at the zenith of his/ her “career”.

    Cuba (and others) has effectively used Venezuela’s own riches and corrupted people into a very effective social control mechanism. Every one get their cut (Cadivi, misiones, dollar arbitrage, Military commissions, etc) while the occupation embezzles big time.

    This will continue until all treassury is dry ( near future?) and the party will end in a BANG.
    Sad times.

    • No. It is not Peter’s principle at work. Most of these people are many, many levels (not one level) above the job they should be in. But the rest of what you said applies…

  14. I tend to agree with Emelia and Dr. Faustus. From an economic perspective, there is no plan. The bureaucracy is simply doing what bureaucracies do, “…expanding to meet the needs of the growing bureaucracy.” No bureaucrat will ever recommend measures that place their own job in jeopardy. If the system of controls is not functioning, the answer from the government functionaries will always entail adding additional controls. The regulations are the source of their power and their income.

    The unchecked expansion of the rules and regulations are symptomatic of an out-of-control bureaucracy. The government, Maduro and company, has lost control of the reins and are unable to stop the system from driving itself over the cliff.

    • “The unchecked expansion of the rules and regulations are symptomatic of an out-of-control bureaucracy.”

      It’s not the bureaucracy itself that is out of control, it’s those in power who can come up with no other solution to the myriad of disasters they face than to expand government ‘control’ of every thing they can.

      • Just ask yourself… Could the byzantine system of price and currency controls that we have today be “invented”? I don’t think so. It got to where it is because of a lack of control at the helm. It is often forgotten that much of the bad that happens in the world is not the result of malice aforethought, but through incompetence and negligence.

        • I certainly agree, someone would have to be on some strong hallucinogens to think up a system of price and currency controls such that Venezuela has today. I was merely saying bureacrats have to follow policy makers, who in this case are completely clueless or unable to do anything but go further down this Kafkaesque system of economic controls.

    • Students of Chinas long history have discovered that whenever a Dinasty faced a crisis it could not overcome , the laws and controls proliferated exponentially , without stopping the rot . Rulers when they find themselves overcome by adverse conditions , think that by ennacting many laws and controls they are able to contain it . The multiplication of rules and controls is precisely a sign of a regimes incapacity to control things , of its incompetence , of its lack of effective means for dealing with a situation .!!

        • Quizas sea algo mas complicado de lo que expone el articulo , el habito ciertamente tiene dos efectos contradictorios , por un lado nos hace menos agudo el goce que algo nos da , si nos encanta el chocolate y lo comemos todos los dias tres veces, al dia , al año no lo vamos a disfrutar tanto. De igual modo nos hace tolerable o comodo aceptar una molestia que tenemos mucho tiempo soportando , los que sufren de tinitis por ejemplo ( un zumbido continuo en el oido que nunca se quita) llega el momento que deja de fastidiar tanto . Esto no somos los venezolanos sino cualquier ser humano.

          La costumbre con el tiempo neutraliza hasta cierto punto el goce o disgusto que algo nos produce .

          Lo otro es que cuando de repente perdemos algo a lo que estamos acostumbrados , la sensacion de perdida es mas penosa y exasperante por el mismo hecho que nos hemos habituado a aquello que hemos perdido . Si por años fuimos libres de conseguir y hacernos de muchas cosas que brindaban comodidad y disfrute a nuestra vida y de repente nos falta , la reaccion es espontaneamente violenta y vehemente . Por eso nos da tanta rabia lo de la perdida del cupo de viajero .

          Incluso esta demostrado que el duelo por alguien querido que se nos va es muy agudo los dos primeros años y luego no es que sintamos indiferencia pero el dolor se hace mas tolerable .

          Todos conocemos el cuento del sapo que metido en una paila de agua que se calienta muy lentamente termina por morir herbido en el agua por que la lentitud del calentamiento lo adormece a reconocer lo que le esta pasando.

          Esto tambien vale para el entusiasmo Chavista y la efectividad de su propaganda , despues de 15 años de repeticiones su efecto ya no es el mismo y empieza a aburrir . La orquestacion de los efectos tiene que hacerse mas teatral y exagerada. !!

          • Right. But we are suffering from both aspects of being Creatures of Habit. (“Animales de costumbre”, to be perfectly clear) :

            Chavismo has ruined Vzla progressively, not all at once: Alert, uninhibited wives in CCS will bluntly tell you: “nos lo han venido metiendo poco a poco, y no nos damos ni cuenta”. So the uneducated, naive and rather affable people have some time to adjust, get used to it, until the next Totalitarian blow.

            Se acostumbran facil. Sudenly, they get used to long queues, not having chicken or coffee, even of getting killed in the streets.. very short memories, and a looong fuse. Y se lo meten con bastante vaselina, I might add: regalitos, casita, trabajito, tigritos, aguinaldito.. y mucha rhetorica populista.. se sienten finalmente reconocidos (error fatal de los cogollos Adecos/Copeyanos). Entonces si consiguen un dia carne, se contentan! Que bueno, hoy no comemos mas pasta!

            On the other hand, the more “freebies” and favors they get for doing nothing, the more they want. They get used to being Mantenidos, Enchufados, Subsidiados, whatever you wanna call it. And they want MORE. More gifts, cash, tigritos, Guisos.

            On one hand they get used to the degradation, on the other they get greedier for more Freebies. And when in power, if they steal a Million $, they see the neighbors stole $5 Million, so they want more.

            IOW, animales de costumbre, that get used to having less, work less, and yet get greedy, crave to steal more. It’s like the Plague: highly contagious and decadent.

          • Corruption is part of the social landscape in Venezuela , people take it for granted , they dont like it so much if they are its victims but if they have a chance of making something off the side without too much risk many will go for it . Venezuelan society and culture promote a very disorderly form of life and nothing thrives in disorder and chaos as corruption . We live in a state of badly administered chaos , where few rules are ever enforced or observed , where authority and hierarchies are disliked and every man likes feeling free to do whatever he likes.

            This govt hasnt officially legitimized corruption so much as created conditions of chaos and disorder where it can prosper and spread without restraint or control . most men are corruptible to some degree , but in Venezuela people take pride in being corrupt because its a sign of viveza which is the mark of men of superior unscrupulousness boldness and cunning who have the capacity to exploit and abuse those who lack those traits (el pendejo) .

            Because the govt cant fight the corruption of its own people without hurting its political image it has made it a policy to tolerate it or even to foster it where it takes the form of a reward for political loyalty . Moreover the govt uses corruption to root itself deeper into power which is for them the end all of all human pursuit .

            Affluence to a certain extent protect men from their corrupt urges beause if they have most everything they need and want the rewards of corruption are not all that tempting . Poverty on the other hand make men more inclined to practice it but at the same time more fearful of being caught because of their social vulnerability. So if the govt makes all men poor and dependent on its generosity and largesse , lots of people will find it easier to engage in corrupt conduct while attempting to protect themselves by loyally toeing the regime line .

            Young democracies before they institutionalize the operation of govt are very susceptible to corruption , corruptions is the means whereby the pol group rewards the loyalty of its followers and allies through patronage , graft , make believe jobs and the like .

            In europe only those countries were the calvinist and protestant religions proliferated has an order of life been established which eschews corruption . In spain , the civil service which is an institutionalized career system has scaped the scourge of corruption but corruption is rife among the tribe of professional pols elected to office . i.e in the sector of public life where democracy and not professional merit or customs determine who will be appointed to a job .

            If we ever want to control corruption we will have to change ourselves into a culture which is nomophilic ,like the germans or japanese or middle class chileans , which idolizes order and hierarchies and predictability and authority and self control and discipline and all the rules that create and support that order .!! We have a long way to go before we achieve any such change in our culture .

          • To grow accostummed to something doesnt mean you ever get to like it , only that you are better capable of bearing it , custom may distance us from anger but not from a kind of festering dissatisfaction that never goes away and that with enough provocation can explode into anger without prior warning . For dozens of years people in Roumania learned to bear the oppressive regime of Ceasescu , they went to his rallies and applauded him with loud cheer then one day some people got massacred in some provincial town and people’s anger exploded and the anger spread and in a few weeks time he and his wife were led before a firesquad and shot .!! One night the German Communist regime held a rally to celebrate the aniversary of the coming to power of communism in East Germany , one million people paraded with flaming torches singing party anthems before big boss Ulbricht and his entourage , a week later people just took to the street and started destroying the berling wall !! Custom does domesticate the passions somewhat but often they remain hidden and quiet until something lets them loose and there is hell to pay.!!

  15. “Bureaucracy” is just another form of widespread corruption, Leechiness, vagabondage, Theft as a way of life. Over 3 Million public Leeches in a world-record 32 Ministerios.

    Just about everyone left in Vnezuela, the vast majority is Guilty to some extent, as they are Leeching the system, enchufados, one way or another.

  16. Drowning in a glass of mediocrity would be a better title. Just thinking about Maduro makes me weep. Good, 80% of Venezuelans realize there is something wrong. But do they realize the problem is mediocrity? That Maduro is the emblem of this? If you want to get Venezuela out of the hole all you have to do is strive to be better, that is it. As individuals. Strive to be better. Not beat the opposition, not invade Guayana, not control the exchange rate etc etc Because the remarkable thing is that when you make that effort to be better, you learn and improve as a person and your ability to change your surroundings evolves, and it inspires others driving further improvement. Strive to be better, sweat a little Maduro you sack of dung.

    • The truth is that our pueblo is not much better than Masburro. Not better educated, not much smarter or hard-working either (and he is a well-known Bum) . Truth is ‘democracy’, unfortunately, worked to some extent. Our populace elected Chabruto: one of their own.

  17. There are several readings of this, each one worse than the other.

    One is, they are so absolutely into their own propaganda they actually believe the problem is one of control. They never ask themselves stuff like “how come no other country has to do this stupid accounting-of-every-single-packet” and they still have more stuff to sell at stores than us?” They never see that the reasons for the losses in smuggling (important, but not the whole deal) are the same reasons for the LACK of product to start with, and the need to import it using the ever-shrinking dollars from PDVSA: that their stupid forex controls and their stupid price controls have made stuff scare as hell AND incredibly valuable to smuggle. No, it has to be that it is “stolen” by the agents of the Imperio, which at this point have to be between 50% and 90% of Venezuelans, given the results.

    Hell. Just a bit of thinking – if the “enemy” is capitalist… dont you think at this point, IF THERE WAS MONEY TO BE MADE ON SATISFYING DEMAND, they would be doing it? You are telling me the whole world is just on a conspiracy not to make money by selling product to people that want it? Doest that sound like your average investor point of view? Have you really seen that at any point, if there is a way to make money doing something, nobody steps up to do it? Is not a more plausible explanation that YOUR CONDITIONS HAVE DESTROYED ALL PROFIT to be made?

  18. And there are people who still can’t get that there’s method in the madness.

    “Maduro: “Basta de tanta reunidera. Vamos a radicalizar la revolución”

    http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150413/maduro-basta-de-tanta-reunidera-vamos-a-radicalizar-la-revolucion

    lunes 13 de abril de 2015

    Caracas.- El presidente de la República, Nicolás Maduro, declaró que “ya basta de tanta reunidera (con el sector privado). Los convocamos, hablamos, ponen sus caritas de corderitos y se van como unos lobos a meter la puñalada contra el pueblo. Vamos a ponernos las pilas, vamos a actuar con mano dura, vamos a radicalizar la revolución. Vamos a hacer un 13 de abril en lo económico”. Esto lo dijo desde Los Próceres en un acto donde se celebraba la creación de la “Milicia Bolivariana” tras su llegada de la VII Cumbre de Panamá.

    El mandatario venezolano emplazó a los ministros de su gabinete a “la máxima eficiencia, eficacia del Gobierno, escuchar y resolver los problemas del pueblo, para que no haya más 11 de abril. Atender todos los asuntos de la guerra económica. Poner mano dura”.

    Maduro dijo que “la fase actual de la guerra económica hay dos productos nuevos que pusieron a escasear que son sensibles para la vida adulta. Todas las semanas y meses hay un producto nuevo en escasez”.

    “Le dije al vicepresidente: citen a los empresarios que se les entregó dólares de esos dos productos, investigan, revisen las cuentas, vayan a los almacenes, y si es necesario vamos a detenerlos y entregarlos a la Fiscalía porque estoy seguro que están detrás del plan contra nuestro pueblo (…) Vamos a hacer un 13 de abril económico. Se acabaron las sonrisitas con la burguesía. Que respondan por los dólares que se les dieron”, dijo el mandatario.

    Aseguró que “vengo dispuesto a radicalizar la revolución contra todos los que la sabotean en lo económico. Pido a los ministros mano dura y a los poderes del Estado también. El que no pueda sostener su actividad económica que se vaya. El que encontremos en conspiración (irá) a la cárcel. Sabotaje permanente”, comentó.

    También pidió que a los trabajadores que actúen como fiscalizadores de las empresas y preguntó “¿Dónde está la clase obrera Oswaldo Vera? Tiene que salir a la calle. con la ley en la mano tiene que enfrentar a los empresarios bandidos Ya basta de las reuniones, del papeleo y de los actos. Es la hora de la acción compañero Oswaldo Vera”.

    • Well, more of the same. The problem has the same wrong diagnostic that prompts more of the same solution or a radicalization of the same solutions that cause more of the problem with get the same diagnostic …

    • They’ve made the same type speech so many times. They offer nothing. So depressing. If they really believed their garbage they would do away with the private sector completely, but then they’d have no one to blame (other than the imperio, that is).

      • “Students of Chinas long history have discovered that whenever a Dinasty faced a crisis it could not overcome , the laws and controls proliferated exponentially , without stopping the rot . Rulers when they find themselves overcome by adverse conditions , think that by ennacting many laws and controls they are able to contain it . The multiplication of rules and controls is precisely a sign of a regimes incapacity to control things , of its incompetence , of its lack of effective means for dealing with a situation .!!”

  19. So far, the government has placed ever more stringent controls on the production and distribution of goods. Yet there are still shortages. What they have neglected to do is place effective controls on the consumption of goods. With modern technology, this is now possible. What the government must do is use the internet and biometrics to monitor the consumption of every calorie of food, and every square of toilet paper.

    Let’s take the case of toilet paper… When you buy a roll, it will be entered into the database. Then, every time you use the toilet, you will be required to enter your consumption (each square) into the database via a specially developed application on your cell phone. When you have entered the consumption of the entire roll, you will then be authorized to buy another roll. Of course, excessive usage will be monitored and discovered. Initial offenses will be responded to with counseling, but repeated abusers will need to be punished. In this manner, we can now control the entire chain of production, distribution, AND consumption! Another triumph of 21st Century Socialism!

    In the case of food, each citizen will receive mandatory nutritional counseling, and a recommended (uhh… required) consumption profile will be designed to optimize your health. Again, all consumption must be reported via your cell phone to allow you to buy the requirements of your diet. In a restaurant, you will submit your fingerprint, and a meal designed to meet your dietary needs will be determined by the programming, based on your nutritional profile, and the ingredients available.

    Well, I think you can see the logic of my proposal. We MUST control all aspects of consumption to promote the health of our citizens, and the efficiency of the socialist model. Thanks to modern technology, this is now possible.

    After this revolutionary plan is implemented, we can start to develop a plan to make sure that everyone’s time is utilized efficiently. The data base will be updated with everyone’s skills and capacities, and each citizen can be ordered each day to where their labors are most needed.

    VIVA Chavez! Socialism, Patria, o Muerte!

    • Roy your logic is flawless , the proposed procedure one which an efficiency expert might envy , and yet the result is so absurd it makes you want to laugh .!! nice that you can use your wit to make the regimes obssesion with controlling everything so patently laughable and silly. !!

  20. “Let’s take the case of toilet paper… When you buy a roll, it will be entered into the database. Then, every time you use the toilet, you will be required to enter your consumption (each square) into the database via a specially developed application on your cell phone.”

    And if I drop the phone in the toilet, will Comandante Chavez replace it?

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