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Venezuela circles the drain

Venezuela enters the high farce stage of its development.

In a move that will no doubt help further the Venezuelan government’s aim of establishing a socialist utopian republic, President Nicolas Maduro announced this week that grocery stores will soon begin the mandatory fingerprinting of customers. The peculiar initiative, which could be implemented by the end of the year, is meant to help combat the hoarding and smuggling of government-subsidized goods.

Is this not truly epic? Is not socialism stranger than a chorus of singing penguins?

23 comments to Venezuela circles the drain

  • Runcie Balspune

    At the unofficial exchange rate, a gallon costs less than a penny

    Interesting that Venezuela is part of OPEC, the cartel that price fixes oil worldwide, but its internal economics have ensured that its citizens cannot afford that same price its government expects other to pay, so it is subsidized, which leads to the smuggling, which leads to the totalitarian jackboots to stop it.

    What better example of “more government” trying to fix the problems that “more government” originally caused.

  • I was going to LOL, then I thought ‘no, this is terrible’, then I remembered that the great majority of Venezuelans voted for this thing with both hands (although some voted with their feet by leaving that hellhole as early as they could). So back to LOL it is.

  • Like Chavez, I suspect Maduro’s incompetence and buffoonishness will mitigate the most totalitarian measures he proposes.

    It won’t happen, Maduro will get bored and come up with another equally sinister idea next month and his lackeys will forget about this idea and work on the next one for a while instead.

  • Mr Ed

    Half the Conservative Party would find this idea worthy of consideration in the UK. 90% of Labour and Lib Dems would go along with it, the remainig 10% would be concerned about the relative impact on women and minorities.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    There’s an opportunity for a free market entrepreneur here: Convince the grocery stores that fingerprints are cumbersome and tedious to file, and sell them facial recognition technology instead. The government gets unobtrusive yet near total surveillance, the customers get speedy checkout “service”–a win all around!

  • Heck. I brought up Drug Prohibition in the context of this effort in Venezuela and “Prohibition is socialism for criminals” they couldn’t see the connection.

  • pst314

    “So back to LOL it is.”

    Except for all the Venezuelans that opposed Chavez and his thuggish looters. Do not forget them. Especially the ones that murdered by Chavez’s goons.

    But for the socialists, no sympathy at all. They *fully* deserve whatever horrible things they bring on themselves.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    What’s so strange about a chorus of singing penguins, so long as the words are “urk!”?

  • Deep Lurker

    Prohibition is socialism for more than just criminals. http://www.druglibrary.org/special/friedman/socialist.htm

  • Paul Marks

    As you know Perry – the “reasoning” that leads to the policies of Venezuela is the same as that which leads to minimum wage laws, and subsidised services.

    Venezuela just takes to its logical end point the policies that are taught (indeed assumed) in almost every university (and so on) in the world.

    It is not just the “masses” (such as those flowing over the border of the United States every day) – it is the educated elites also.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    haha, I know what you were thinking of, mate!

  • Very retired

    In the final analysis, people pretty much get exactly what they deserve. Of course, there are exceptions here and there, but the price to pay for encouraging and tolerating insanity is to be caught up in the madness and dragged down to its inevitable collapse into death and destruction.

    It would be well, indeed, if the people in areas of the west who have not succumbed as yet to full-blown collectivist madness were to grasp that fundamental aspect of cosmic justice.

    The chickens always come home.

  • Deep Lurker
    August 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I dropped that link on the “conservatives” who were discussing Venezuela and not a one of them (at least not the commenters) would read it. They in fact ridiculed it.

    I can’t decide if I like socialist socialists better than I like not socialist socialists.

  • Tedd

    The fingerprinting policy makes an interesting contrast with the Uniform Invoice Lottery used by the Taiwanese government.

  • john in cheshire

    So, Revelations is being fulfilled. Who’dathought.

  • There is some passage about Venezuelan socialists fingerprinting toilet paper and milk buyers in Revelations?

  • James Skillen

    I imagine john is referring to “the mark of the beast” in 13:16-17:

    And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads
    And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

  • Ah so not as bonkers as I thought then, fair enough. Us Pastafarians tend not to know such things.

  • Paul Marks

    Very retired – the people on the train that goes in (but not out) of the tunnel in “Atlas Shrugged” spring to mind.

  • veryretired

    Paul, actually I was thinking of the cocktail party in the book where Francisco makes a comment that people will get exactly what they deserve, and the response from one of the oh, so enlightened women there was, “Oh, how cruel!”

    And, of course, the point is that reality isn’t cruel at all, merely indifferent.

    Reality rewards those in congruence with it, and punishes those who drift into the unicorn world where wishes all come true.

    There are so many unicorns running loose in our world right now I’m surprised I don’t hit a few every time I drive to the store for milk and cookies.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Alisa @ August 23, 2014 at 11:40 am: the great majority of Venezuelans voted for this thing with both hands…

    Chavez was re-elected in November 2013 55% to 45%; after his death, his handpicked successor Maduro won a special election 50% to 49%. Neither of these results looks like a “great majority” to me.

    And in both cases, the election result reflects considerable distortion: government party use of the massive state media apparatus, opposition media restricted and indirectly suppressed, state assets used at will by the government party, state funding for government campaigners, state-backed threats and intimidation for opposition campaign workers, voters “assisted” by government party agents, and opposition observers forcibly excluded from polling places.

    Yes, a lot of Venezuelans have voted for Chavismo, but not “the great majority”.

    However, it is true that the great majority of Venezuelans have voted for either chavismo or incompetent, corrupt, demi-socialist predecessors. (It has been plausibly argued that Venezuela’s policy of selling gasoline to consumers for next to nothing has by itself been enough to wreck the country, and that policy long predates Chavez.)