Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ensuing Crisis in Venezuela

A little girl helps her father campaign on the streets of Caracas. The upcoming elections will guide this country through the ensuing economic crisis. The pamphlet reads, "You Have The Power".

Venezuela; this is my third or fourth time here in the as many years.  There are things that I tend to forget and must re-learn upon each visit.  This morning's lesson came during breakfast: this country is devoid of all concept of personal service.  You can sit in a restaurant, and a very nice one at that, and wait an eternity for a refill on a cup of coffee.  Most places that I've stayed at the staff is standing by with an IV if you require a constant stream of coffee in the morning.  Venezuela, not so much. 

People have jobs here, and with tight, socialist labor laws they've been very secure in their employment. Secure to the point that there is no need to fill up your cup of coffee, no one is going to loose their job over incompetence.  Now enter 30% inflation.  Consumer prices are rising and businesses cannot keep pace, they are either going to have to cut costs (labor) or be forced out of the market.  This is the polemic that Venezuela is facing today, and the reason for my week-long visit.

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