The real victims of adjustment

The days when Venezuelans would give gas station attendants tips worth huge multiples of what they paid for gas are well and truly over.

Sometimes you just gotta love economics.

Before the price of gas rose in Venezuela, people would give large tips to the guys pumping your gas. I’ve always thought this was on account of a certain level of embarassment for paying so little at the pump.

Now? Well, things have changed. As economics would predict, people are paying more at the pump, so they are giving less in tips.

Take it away, Efecto Cocuyo:

We gas station workers live off our tips. Our weekly wages are BsF 2,450 plus BsF 6,500 in food tickets; now, people pay just the right amount.” He recalls that on April 30th he will have been on the job for thirty years. However, after the rise in the price of gas he is considering retirement, because he says “it isn’t worth it, if tips have gone way down and crime is out of control, I might as well retire and not be exposed every day.”

From the pockets of these hard-working Venezuelans, to the pockets of the government – or what chavistas would call, a “redistributive policy.”