A Nation of Disappointment


Gary Leschinski, Contributor

Venezuela is a perfect example of how socialism does not work. The country has been on a downward spiral since the 60’s, with no sign of change.

The Bolivar has been Venezuela’s official currency since August 20, 2018. The currency is equivalent to about 10 US cents. Since the introduction of Venezuelan currency in 1876, Venezuela has went through many different currencies and variations of such. They exchanged their 25 and 50 centimos silver coins with nickel in 1965, and their 1 and 2’s in 1967. They introduced the Bolivar fuerte in 2008, and it lasted a mere decade before being converted to their active currency as of 2018, due to the inflation crisis. Venezuela was once a Capitalist state, and has since gone down the long, dangerous road of government regulation, and become a socialist state. Venezuela’s current annual inflation rate is the highest in the world. In mid 2019, they were at an estimated 10 million% inflation rate. In 2018, toilet paper, a near necessity in most places, hit a whopping price of 2.6 Million Bolivars. Gas can sometimes be $15-20 per gallon, and it is not abnormal for people to wait 2-3 days for a fill-up.

So, now that you know the economic problems currently facing the state, let’s talk economy. Venezuela ranks as the 179th freest economy in the world, with an economic freedom score of around 25, behind Cuba at spot 178, and ahead of North Korea at spot 180. So, this country’s only economic positive right now is being more free than an Authoritarian Dictatorship, which we know little about. This goes to show how frail Venezuela’s economy is, and how far left they are as a country. In 2017, Venezuela was the lowest in GDP growth per capita. They have little, and also produce little. Most economic categories are at a net loss. Venezuela is home to the largest oil reserve on the planet, this fuels its economy, and is the only thing preventing the state’s bankruptcy. However, production has slowed by almost 3 times since the 70’s. Venezuela was once the wealthiest country in South America due to its oil exports in the mid 1900’s. It was once a prosperous, capitalist nation. However, since then, they have not had a stable economy, and in 2014, Venezuela had a great collapse, entering a recession that is said to be worse than America’s Great Depression.

Venezuela’s economy is one of the worst in the world. Their once prosperous oil reserves have plummeted in production, and it is causing a nationwide famine. A quote by Erin Wilson of preemptivelove.org says instead of measuring how many meals are missed by kids, they now measure how many days they “go without anything at all.” In Northwest Venezuela, a whopping 75 percent of families go hungry, and most are used to it. Their everyday routine consists of praying, scavenging for food, and distracting each-other from the pains of hunger. Their crime rate is through the roofs. In 2012, there were 53.7 murders per 100,000 people in the state, and the nation’s death rate is about 5.3 per 1,000 people. The life expectancy in Venezuela is about 72 years, it may seem like a long time, but when you put into consideration the countries that rank above them, it is not very long. Jamaica, one of the murder capitals of the world, has a near 75 year life expectancy, China has about a 77 year life expectancy, and even Cuba’s expected life span is about 79 years.

Venezuela is a nation of disappointment. Their socialist government has made it so the citizens are forced to rely on it for pretty much everything, and 9 times out of 10, they do not fulfill their duty. The Venezuelan economy is terrible, which makes it so the government cannot provide schooling for children, healthcare for their citizens, or even food to provide them with. Socialism is evil, and Venezuela is a perfect example of how socialism can turn a once booming economy into the laughing stock of the world.