Sunday, April 15, 2007

Behind closed doors its all blue skies 

It is always fund to observe the mendacity of the Venezuelan business class. On TV and in the press the talk endlessly about how the sky is falling - inflation is out of control, shortages are rampant, industry is at a stanstill, the whole economy is going to come unglued at any moment. Or so they say, to try to disparage the government and maybe strenghen their hand when negotiating with the government.

Yet, when they are talking amongst themselves behind closed doors a different picture emerges. One of things are doing quite well, so well in fact that one probably wants to go out and invest right now to reap the rewards. And the Venezuelan consumer, rather than standing in imaginary lines caused by imaginary shortages, is doing quite well. Yes, yes, we already know consumption is way up under Chavez. But there is more to it than that.

To show this I won't use the normal number filled post that may have the effect of boring some. I'll cut straight to the executive summary given in this slide from the opposition (when they think know one is looking):

It reads:

The expectations for 2007 for the consumer and comsption are:

The sustained increase in GDP for the third consectutive year have increased the per capita consumption for Venezuelans.

The expectations for the increase in the economy and consumption for 2007 are postive.

The plans and missions of the government have lifted up Venezuelans in the most basic areas: food and health.

All social and demographic levels have had an increase in their real income over the past three years.

The concumer feels that they have more purchasing power; they have become consitantly more sophisticated, demanding, and complex.

They are optomistic regarding their situation in the future and are have a positive predisposition to consume.

Not much reason for an opposition politician to feel good about 2007 is there? Lucky for them, there aren't any major elections scheduled this years anyways because if there were that would be just one more set of elections for them to lose (thought I suspect given what happened on December 3rd of last year they would go back to their boycotting ways of 2005).

Better still for Venezuelans, it looks to stay this way for some time. OPEC has successfully defended prices and Venezuelan oil now selling again for the same price it sold for last year. Its international debts with the IMF and World Bank just got paid off (Wolfkowitz is going to have to fund his lovers with someone elses money), and even the venurable Sabana Grande boulevard is filling up with out door cafes where politics is debated and sales are up 40%.

If only the opposition knew how to kick back and enjoy. If they can't enjoy life now maybe they should seek out a good therapist.


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