The Independent Institute

 
        

Four Years after Chavez’s Death, Venezuela Sinks Deeper into the Abyss »

Venezuela’s dictatorship has tried to turn the fourth anniversary of Hugo Chávez’s death into a mystical experience of sorts—and a dose of much-needed political oxygen. Not a simple task in a country with inflation predicted to run at 1,600 percent, an economic growth rate of negative ten percent, a painful shortage of the most...
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More Money, More Problems: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Won’t Help Inflation »

It seems like Venezuela always provides great classroom examples for all the wrong reasons. I’ve written on this blog multiple times about the government of Venezuela and the polices it has enacted. I’ve argued that falling oil prices aren’t to blame for the country’s troubles and that the once-high oil prices only masked the underlying...
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Colombia Joins Argentina and Venezuela in Adopting Backward Economic Policies »

The Colombian government recently “persuaded” food producers to agree to have the prices of some of their goods “frozen.” Soon the prices of products like red meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, and processed foods will be set by the Colombian government. Once imposed, producers of these goods will be unable to raise their prices. According...
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Venezuela’s Problem Isn’t Oil—It’s Government »

On Sunday night, my husband and I sat down to watch comedian John Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight.” The news satire program is a guilty pleasure for the both of us. As the host, Oliver often brings humor to many otherwise (rightfully) dreadful topics. Although I usually enjoy the show, that’s not always the...
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How Socialism is Destroying Baseball in Venezuela »

Spring is around the corner, which means the 2016 Major League Baseball season starts soon. Baseball has long been an international game, but more so today than ever. On opening day last year, 230 players on the 25-man rosters and inactive lists were born outside the 50 U.S. states, or 27 percent of the...
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Venezuela’s “New” Government: Don’t Get Too Excited »

In their most recent elections, the people of Venezuela voted to oust many of their elected officials. Just hours after the polls closed, the National Electoral Council reported that the opposition party had won 99 seats in the Venezuelan government. These results generated much excitement, not just in Venezuela, but internationally. Many pointed to...
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When Government Fails—Venezuela Edition »

Whenever Venezuela comes up in the news the story is rarely good. From massive civil unrest, to rampant shortages, to hyper-inflation, to stories of squatters, the country is probably not on the top of many people’s “places I’d like to visit” list. While we may look at the situation in Venezuela and think, “wow,...
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The Prime Importance of Private Property Rights »

Imagine for a moment you decide to rent out a room in your home to another person. There are two parties in the contract—the landlord (you) and the tenant. You both agree to the lease and sign the contract. Things are going fine, but then, your tenant stops paying their rent. The solution to...
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Galeano vs. Rangel: A Conflict of Visions in Latin America »

In 2009, President Hugo Chávez caused a stir when he presented President Barack Obama with a literary gift titled Open Veins of Latin America. The author, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, an icon of the left, died last month. It so happens that 2015 is also the fortieth anniversary one of the best books about...
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Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro Tightens His Grip »

Venezuela’s tyrant, Nicolás Maduro, has a habit of surpassing his own repressive feats every now and then. The latest wave of repression gives a stunning indication of how far he is prepared to go to hold on to power in the face of massive rejection. At the end of January, Maduro’s government gave the...
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