I recently recorded two podcasts with the Cato Institute in which BHL readers might be interested.

The first is an hour long discussion on Libertarians and the Poor with Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus for their excellent Free Thoughts podcast.

The second podcast, released today and just 7 minutes in length, is on price controls and the continuing collapse of the Venezuelan economy.

For those unfamiliar with the situation in Venezuela, it is truly a spectacle. The presidency of Nicolas Maduro is the kind of thing that makes you think that maybe Ayn Rand wasn’t being so uncharitable in her characterization of socialists after all. He ordered a military takeover of a major electronics retailer and encouraged his citizens to loot until the shelves were bare. The Venezuelan bolivar has undergone near hyperinflation during his short, seven-month reign, and Maduro has responded largely by making matters worse, denouncing (and jailing) “barbaric, capitalist parasites,” and expanding inefficient and destructive price controls. On the positive side, though, he’s created a Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, which sounds nice. And he moved up Christmas to November.

It’s the kind of thing that would be the stuff of farce if the human costs weren’t so terrible.

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  • Sol Logic

    Looks like Chile saw how well Venezuela was doing and decided to join the party.

  • Sergio Méndez

    “The presidency of Nicolas Maduro is the kind of thing that makes you
    think that maybe Ayn Rand wasn’t being so uncharitable in her
    characterization of socialists after all.”

    She was, and I am not a socialist. Unless you think Venezuela and Sweden are in the same situation, even if both have socialist systems of goverment (very different kinds of socialisms, tu be clear).

    • Olle

      Sergio Méndez:

      Just a correction. Sweden has hardly a socialist system of government. It is a market economy, however with a large welfare state. That said, Sweden is in many ways more of a market economy than for example the US. And any comparison to Venezuela is just plain off.

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