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The Fracas in Caracas
Venezuela Runs out of Drinking Water

Venezuela has already run short of milk, sugar, and even toilet paper, and now supplies of drinking water have fallen dangerously low. Drought and poor infrastructure are the usual culprits, but the socialist paradise also owed tens of billions to international bondholders, and the Chávistas couldn’t afford to finance their debts and also import bottled water. So which did they choose? Venezuela, fearful that foreign creditors would seize its oil shipments, elected to pay $2.8 billion dollars in interest on foreign debt.

Blaming a drought caused by El Niño, the state-owned water company, Hidrocapital, began rationing tap water in Caracas in May. The Table of Democratic Unity (MUD) opposition party was having none of it, noting “the lack of responsibility and improvisation with which the government acts, postponing investments, maintenance, and opportune decisions.”

MUD may have a point. Although in May the government began to pay down some of its bills, it still has over $25 billion dollars of debt outstanding to foreign companies that provide its medicine, operate its telephones, and import its food. Remain calm, however. Fervently denying that the temple of Bolivarian Socialism has credit problems, the Economy Vice President stated, “Venezuela doesn’t have debt with anyone. What we have are pending foreign-exchange liquidations, which we are reviewing.”

American college grads, rejoice: you’re not crushed by student debt. You just have a few pesky education-exchange liquidations to clear up.

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  • Pete

    Sounds like Detroit

    • JoeKlip

      All socialist government have the same ending.

  • Andrew Allison

    Who knew that MUD could be clear?

  • John Stephens

    Robert Heinlein said it best:
    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as “bad luck.””

    • InklingBooks

      Actually, the problem in Venezuela is “an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people.” It’s that their socialist/marxist/victim-inflaming ideas are foul and destructive. Their popularity or unpopularity matter little.

      Yes, from time to time individuals and small groups do make some useful advances. That said, the overall prosperity of society always centers on the the responsible behavior of the majority. Henry Ford’s mass production ideas would have gotten nowhere if his assembly lines lacked workers.

      Even the role of great inventors can be overstressed. If I recall right, it took the contributions of literally hundreds of people to make steam engines useful enough for an industrial revolution. Historians like to champion the “Great Man” thesis, but it’s much rarer than they claim.

      And if I need to make a cross-country trip, I certainly wouldn’t want to fly there on the Wright brothers first plane. I’d rather fly in one that’s the end product of hundreds of thousands of contributions. And keep in mind that what the Wright brothers did would have been accomplished by someone else within a matter of mere months. Often, great men aren’t nearly as important and a host of little tweakers.

      If you want balance, you’ll need to put the good that a much-criticized and snobbish minority on a set of scales with the evil that some other much-criticized snobbish minority has done. And keep in mind that your good side of the scales can’t include any of those whose new ideas are eagerly accepted.

      Finally, keep in mind that these so-called geniuses are often a mixed lot. Henry Ford’s cheap Model T made him popular not unpopular as Heinlein might claim. What made him controversial and unpopular with many was the thugs he used in his factories and his championing of rabid anti-Seminism.

  • Davy Jones

    If you put a dollar sign in an amount ($25 billion), you don’t have to spell out ‘dollars’.
    $25 billion dollars is redundant.

  • Gringao

    Pay no attention to the Atlas behind the curtain, shrugging non-stop!

  • AnneG

    One of Venezuela’s big problems is that they never learned to develop their own infrastructure because they had oil and could hire stuff out. They used to go to Miami to grocery shop.
    Now, the government has stolen a lot. J curves are usually not good for regimes and that is what’s there now.

  • brock2118

    I’m blaming George W Bush.

    Or something.

  • Nina Sage

    Bring in the Marxists, they will show you how to drink urine and feel good about it.

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