posted at 9:01 pm on January 18, 2017 by John Sexton
Venezuelan socialism has been a huge success. There’s no doubting it now. Thanks to the brilliant economic management of President Nicolas Maduro there are probably now more millionaires in Venezuela than any country in the world. From Fox News:
Amid rampant inflation, widespread shortages of everything from toilet paper to medicine and a failing economy, the Venezuelan government recently introduced three new bank notes into the market ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars.
But while somebody in Caracas can now carry 1 million bolivars in his billfold, in terms of U.S. currency those 50 bank notes are only worth only about $300 on the country’s black market and one bill is valued at less than $6.
Well, hyperinflation does have its problems but let’s focus on the bright side. Lots of regular people can now say they are worth a million bucks. At least they could if anyone could scrape together that much cash after two years of economic collapse and privation. Chris Sabatini, a professor at Columbia University, tells Fox News, “There’s going to come a time when they’re going to run out of space on the bill for all those zeros.”
Even the transition to the new bills was badly mismanaged by the incompetent Maduro. In December he announced that Venezuelans would have 72 hours to turn in all of the 100 bolivar bills in their possession. Since the 100-bolivar bill made up about half of all the bills in circulation at the time, people had just a few days to exchange 6.1 billion of them.
Then, when the exchange deadline began, the new bills people were supposed to get in exchange for the old ones hadn’t arrived at most banks. Eventually Maduro had to extend the deadline for swapping bills several times. So on top of spending every day waiting for hours in long lines to get basic supplies like food and toilet paper, Venezuelans now had to wait in long lines at the banks to get rid of their old money.
Did I mention that President Maduro is not very bright?