And to think there are people who want to implement this system here.
According to CNN, Venezuela is that food is so scarce that people are resorting to the black market in order to provide for their families. The problem is that the black market is so expensive, that eating means giving up an entire month’s salary.
Simple items, such as milk, cost 70 bolivars in government supermarkets, and 295 bolivars in private markets. But the shortages have made finding something this common nearly impossible. So it’s off to the black market where milk costs 7,000 bolivars.
To put it in perspective, that’s the equivalent of $700.
The same can be said for items like flower and pasta, which cost around 3000 bolivars each. Imagine paying $300 for items you only paid a few dollars for that you have in your pantry right now.
Regardless of price, the black market is a dangerous place to shop from.
And that’s why, of course, so many people have no option but to go to the public supermarket for their subsidized food. There are stringent rules. They wait for the day of the week when it is specified that they may shop according to their identity card, they try to work out which store may have what they need, then stand in line for hours upon hours, and still they may come out with next to nothing.
So their socialist government assigns times when someone can go shopping in order to curb the shortages, but it may all amount to nothing. They’re damned if they do go to the black market, and damned if they don’t.
Some of those interviewed really tell of just how bad it’s gotten.
“I’ve been waiting in line since 3 a.m. and have only managed to get two tubes of toothpaste, so, I guess I’m going to have to eat toothpaste tonight,” said Monica Savaleta, a 19-year-old dancer.
Then there’s this man who wasn’t even lucky enough to find toothpaste.
Wilfredo Cardona, 25, makes considerably more as a construction worker — about 40,000 bolivares a month. But often that doesn’t help. “I came to buy flour, rice and sugar and haven’t been able to find anything,” he said. “All I find is soap and I can’t eat soap.”
“Best case scenario, I can get a kilo of chicken, a kilo of meat and one bag of rice and one of corn flour on my salary. That’s it.”
A 48 year old janitor named Wilmer Gomez goes on the hunt for his food from place to place in order to make his meager salary stretch enough to eat.
“I stand in line waiting for the regulated products and by the time my number is up there is nothing left.”
“I’ve been looking for food all day today. This morning I found four bottles of oil in one place, bar of soap in another and laundry detergent in another. Hoping to find some corn flour now.”
This is the end result of socialism. A hunger games, but with less hunting for people, and more hunting for food. Venezuela has done much to bring the means of production, and private business under government control, and in doing so, created a bureaucratic nightmare that is starving its people.
Last we reported, the Venezuelan government was forcing its citizens into fields in order to try to help curb the food shortage plaguing the nation. It’s a move Erika Rosas of Amnesty International called “…trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid.” The only thing that will save Venezuela is the government relaxing it’s iron grip on business, ditching it’s social justice concerns, and allowing the people to operate normally.
This won’t happen, however. Venezuela’s President Maduro has blamed his country’s failings on Capitalism and corporations. At this point, it’ll be interesting to see who cracks under the pressure to make change first. Maduro to cut back on his socialist policies, or the people to cut back on Maduro.
In the meantime Venezuelans, may the odds be ever in your favor.
(Image Credit: CNN Money)