By Bob Shapiro
Venezuela used to be a relatively rich country. Today, it has a nominal GDP around $100 Billion, a population around 32 million, a labor force of 14 million, and unemployment over 30%. GDP fell last year by 14%, and inflation is so high that official statistic are meaningless. 87% of the population is described as living below the poverty line.
Through the many recent years of socialism in Venezuela, the government has racked up deficits and debt that defy reality. With recent low oil prices, and government mismanagement of the industry, revenues have fallen so much that, if the Central Bank didn’t print money with wild abandon, the government would have had to declare bankruptcy long ago.