Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Congratulations to Bolivarian Socialism – Venezuela’s 60 Fold Increase In Minimum Wage To $30 A Month

We should indeed praise the success of Bolivarian Socialism in Venezuela. For they’ve been able to announce a 60 fold increase in the minimum wage. Isn’t that a massive boost to the fight against inequality, a proof that this state control of the economy raises the living standards of the poor? No, truly, we’re told, repeatedly, that raising the minimum wage is a necessary and important part of that fight against the drear circumstances facing the poor. The US minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, just think how rich we’d all be if that were $435 an hour. We could all work just the one hour a week and live well. The British minimum wage, raise it to £400 or so an hour. Why not? After all, Venezuela’s application of proper socialist principles has shown us what is possible.

Third, it is important that currency reform goes alongside an economic strategy designed to foster consumer and business confidence. Maduro’s announcement of a 60-fold increase in the minimum wage is likely to do the opposite because it will lead to still higher inflation and company failures. The government has said it will fund the minimum wage increase for small and medium-sized companies for 90 days. It is unclear what will happen after that.

No, don’t worry about those effects, that’s not important. Just feel the width of that minimum wage increase.

Economists warned that some companies would go under, unable to shoulder the massive increase in monthly minimum wage from 3 million bolivars to 180 million bolivars, or roughly $0.5 to $30. That will likely increase unemployment and further fuel mass emigration that has overwhelmed neighboring South American countries.

Hmm. What’s that? The minimum wage is only $30? Not per hour, but per month? After the 60 fold increase?

Ah. It appears that full on socialism doesn’t in fact make the workers rich. Pity really, especially as so many recommend that we all do exactly the same things. Anyone told Owen Jones yet?

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5 years ago

“Just think how rich we’d all be if [our own minimum wage] were $435 an hour” — and imagine that government can make it so with just a decree! The only nice thing about minimum wages is that, in an era of inflation, they automatically declare fewer and fewer jobs illegal (until government periodically raises them, in a pre-election show of its own magnanimity). The flip side of the “democratic socialism” that debutante US politicians gush over began today in South Africa, as the government began stealing farms without compensation based on the owner’s skin color. Property-by-majority-vote was the way… Read more »

5 years ago

The only way to assess any minimum wage is to compare it to prices. What does $30 a month buy you in Venezuela?

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
5 years ago
Reply to  jgh

$30 would buy you quite a bit, if only there were anything in the shops …

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