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Socialism: Oil-Rich Venezuela Now Has to Import Capitalist Oil

Socialists argue that socialism is inherently better than capitalism in every way. They claim it's more free (it's not, by definition), it's more fair (ditto), and it's just the bestest best way to provide for everyone.

Well, in Episode 23,432 of the always popular, always predictable "Let's Mess With the Supply/Demand Curve," socialist Venezuela is now having to import American oil ...

... despite Venezuela having the largest known oil reserves on the planet:

Venezuela’s petroleum industry, whose vast revenues once fueled the country’s Socialist-inspired revolution, underwriting everything from housing to education, is spiraling into disarray.

To add insult to injury, the Venezuelan government has been forced to turn to its nemesis, the United States, for help.

“You call them the empire,” said Luis Centeno, a union leader for the oil workers, referring to what government officials call the United States, “and yet you’re buying their oil.”

The declining oil industry is perhaps the most urgent chapter of Venezuela’s economic crisis. Oil accounts for half of the Venezuelan government’s revenues, what former President Hugo Chávez once called an “instrument of national development.” The state oil company poured its profits, more than $250 billion in all from 2001 to 2015, into the country’s social programs, including food imports.

The South American country's oil revenue was the only thing keeping Chavez's socialist policies afloat. The commodity allowed them to keep the nation solvent to some degree. But now that oil prices have dropped, yet another country's government officials are being taught that "profit" doesn't mean "evil," it means "sustainable."

As in "not losing value on every transaction until there's nothing left."

Venezuela can't even produce enough oil to meet their own demands, needing to import light crude so they can mix it with their own heavy crude for export.

Oil workers, due to inflation, are making about $1 per day, which is about enough to buy two loaves of bread.

"Oh, socialism will work, but we just haven't seen it with the right people in charge yet," someone will argue.