Not Letting a Good Crisis Go to Waste

As was eminently predictable, arch-reactionary/socialist Hugo Chavez is having trouble keeping his country’s lights on. Venezuela is starved for electrical power. That always happens when industries get nationalized and bureaucrats start to run things. With cush jobs and little fear of layoffs, there’s little consequence of sluffing off on the job. The private-industry people who really knew how to run things are long gone. There’s little or no new investment in the industry because the government wants to spend its money elsewhere. And there’s certainly no private investor willing to see his or her money go down a rat hole.

But Hugo (that’s Ooo-go – the H is silent in Spanish) has put an interesting twist on the whole thing. Faced with power rationing, he’s directing that rationing to his political opponents, i.e. market-economy-driven sectors like shopping malls, while reserving plenty of it for his allies.

You’ve got to hand it to ole’ Hugo for creativity – knowing how to turn a bad situation into his advantage.