Thursday, May 7, 2009

Venezuela is Stupid

...Venezuela is having trouble maintaining their own oil fields, and their oil fields are not cost competitive as it is. This is somehow going to make their operations more efficient? And when it fails, it's not going to make everything cost more because of the risk of seizure?

Appropriation is never the answer.


  1. Or it could be a variation of the Curley effect ( Make conditions bad enough that people who would oppose you leave and those who're left are your people.

    Another way of viewing this: when conditions are bad enough and the country hits rock bottom, people don't protest e.g. there are no protests in NK because people are starving to death, while there are protests in China because people at the bottom have a higher quality of life and know they don't have to be living the way they do. So it's in an authoritarian dictator's best interest to screw over his country. But to do that, he needs to worsen conditions imperceptibly. I don't know if anybody has done any empirical work on this--it might be fun to do--but it seems intuitively/anecdotally right.

  2. people have done empirical work on it... chavez isn't a great example cuz he doesn't have enough power relative to the military, unlike the North Korean and Chinese governments... but its an interesting concept anyway.