Sunday, 18 February 2018

The tomatindex revisited: the Chavista-Madurista drama in Venezuela

Back in 2014 I published a post trying to explain how Venezuelans were worse off than when the military coupster Chavez was elected president in 1998 even though oil prices back in 2014 were still way higher than in 1998.

I went back to that post today. Newspaper Notitarde, which I used as one of the sources for prices, was taken over by the regime and it stopped showing historical data, so the links in the post are no longer valid. Still, here you have the index showing how many kilogrammes of tomatoes, onions and chicken you can buy with the minimum wage (actually min. wage plus food tickets). 

On the left, how many kilos you can buy with the minimum wage plus food tickets

I got the latest prices from a small village in the province. In reality things are more expensive in where the median Venezuelan lives: in a city of 100,000 or more inhabitants.

In 1998 the minimum wage would allow you to buy 125 kilos of tomatoes, 250 of onions or 83 of chicken.

In 2014 you could buy 85 kilos of tomatoes, 53 of onions or 75 of chicken. Now, in mid February of 2018, you can buy 28 kilos of tomatoes (28000 bs/kg), 8 of onions (100000 bs/kg) or about 3 of chicken (300000 bs per kilo).

How come there is no revolution? The military are more corrupt than ever. They are supported by security forces that profit from the economic system in place. They have the support of Russian and Cuban intelligence services. They do not care and are actually happy millions of Venezuelans are leaving the country.

Venezuelans can put an end to the dictatorship but the task will required more effort than what Eastern Europeans had to go through back in 1989.

Ref: min. wage (actually wage plus food tickets)