Contest: Most stupid law or regulation this week by the silly revolution

July 22, 2009

(Este post está en español aquí)

This is not a joke, a parody or is the Devil pulling your leg. This is a serious contest about trulu real stuff. I want you to vote on which of the following things is sillier:

1) The Government will regulate how new and used cars are sold. The whole thing is ludicrous, but Art. 7 takes the cake, it says:

Any person, individual or company, who sells or buys a car with up to two years of use, will have to pay the National Treasury a tax equivalent to three times the Manufacturers suggested price of the acar when it was acquired as a new vehicle.

Need I say anything more?

2) The new hot dog vendor regulation of th Libertador District of Caracas, led by former VP, Head of the Electoral Board Jorge Rodriguez will force hot dog vendors to move daily so that hot dog selling becomes (I guess) an equal opportunity system by which each vendor will be exposed to the same flow of clients as the other.

I wonder if the hot dog vendors that are very popular will begin Twitting tehir daily position so that their regular costumers can find them.

Tell me? Which do you find to be sillier, crazier, stupider. Use your own language to categorize both of these revolutionary imbecilities.

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37 Responses to “Contest: Most stupid law or regulation this week by the silly revolution”


  1. I notice a wonderful development inside your writing, I would really like to obtain in touch. Maintain the great perform! Your writing is extremely motivational for someone who is having their first go to this kind of stuff.

  2. Avila Says:

    I cannot believe you are making us choose?!?!
    Whatever happend to Venezuela time (or is that a regulation)?
    or the list of approved Venezuelan names for babies?–or did that get left with the law of no homeless children (well technically that was an election promise) and everyone shall have a large house (Does a constitutional article count?)

    Does the hot dog apply to guys who sell pepitos? Man that would suck not to find my favourite pepito guy on the corner in Las Mercedes? Then again is anyone actually producing beef in Venezuela?

  3. BW Says:

    Can the car or hot-dog regs be any dumber than having to show and record your national ID to buy these things? Is there a more bass-ackward way to collect a sales tax?

  4. Marcio Says:

    He who wants to control everything, in the end controls nothing…

  5. Colin Says:

    This is insane! A best-selling fiction writer couldn’t make this stuff up.

    The car law is worse. It rings familiar from when former California governor Gray Davis tripled the car tax. There were stories of old folks receiving their bill in the mail and fainting. That law put a lot of dealerships out of business.

    The hot dog law is just outrageous. Who cares about vendor competition enough – and has the clout – to get that nonsense enacted???

  6. Euro Andres Says:

    I find a very smart and stupid the one of the vehicles… smart for the ultimate porpuse this government has that is destroy all the sectors that produces wealth. Stupid because the consequence of this will be that the government will have to subside the cars sales, as he is doing with everything else… How much can the oil pay?


  7. […] Concurso: Ley o reglamento más estúpido emitido por la revolución boba Julio 24, 2009 (This post in English here) […]

  8. firepigette Says:

    Alex Dalmady,

    “Things fall up, instead of down.”

    jaja clever and funny..and so right on

  9. Amber Says:

    Does anyone know if the law about vehicles is in place now?

  10. HalfEmpty Says:

    it’s perfectly OK to walk around in public drinking a beer, the anti-smoking nazis haven’t gained much more than a foothold, and you can still whistle at the beautiful women.

    Wait a second…. Ima have inner conflict now.

  11. Kepler Says:

    I definitely think the hot dog vendor law is the top. I am profoundly offended. Venezuela can have bad but also incredibly delicious hot dogs.
    Normal hot dog vendors don’t have access to twitter. How are Venezuelans going to find their favourite vendor?

    I am happy there are car controls on the roads in Britain and the US. I am amazed at how many people think accidents cannot happen to them. Hitting another object at 110 or at 150 makes a huge difference. It is basic physics, even for someone who thinks he IS Schumacher.

  12. moctavio Says:

    For certain things this is indeed a Libertarian paradise, but not for others. I work in a company that is partially regulated. We get visits daily and they are a pain in the behind. We also get so many visits from Seniat that is not funny anymore. The best was the other day, we got something like this:

    1998 Total due 0.0 Interest 25 Bolivars

    Go figure

  13. moses Says:

    How about the new law that requires that every truck that has a brand name or the name of the store etc. requires to pay a tax for publicity ?

    Since the fines are big, what most people have done is to cover up the the names until they settle the permits, taxes, etc.

    But you know what the best part is ??? You have to leave the back part of the truck free of any publicity for… Government propaganda …. believe or it not !

  14. Nobody Special Says:

    I don’t know about a non-functioning state being a libertarian paradise. I got stopped twice today at police checkpoints that were more interested in looking for bribes than crimes (Margarita is now in la temporada and the checkpoints are sprouting up like toadstools after a spring rain). However, under normal conditions it’s nice to be able to drive down the road and ignore every cop you see… not like in the US, much less Britain.

    The more stupid laws get passed, the fewer laws get enforced, whether they’re rational and reasonable or not. In that respect I guess this might be considered a libertarian paradise.

    Drunk driving is the Venezuelan national sport, traffic lights are optional, it’s perfectly OK to walk around in public drinking a beer, the anti-smoking nazis haven’t gained much more than a foothold, and you can still whistle at the beautiful women. It’s possible to garner a lot of wealth quickly due to the distortions the government has introduced into the economy… and look at how many people get paid in cash and don’t declare anything more than the basic income… if that. The trick is just to blend in and not get noticed.

    I think the car law is the winner for the stupid prize of the moment, but I’d rather that there not be a contest for lack of entries.

  15. Charly Says:

    Moctavio, you hit the nail right on the head: “Like all laws it will not be enforced.”.

    So many laws in this country, none are enforced unless you are an “oligarch”, whatever that means but mostly a vocal oppo dude. This place is a Libertarian paradise. Only lack of security makes it a stink hole. If only the chaburros could solve that issue, it would be paradise on earth. Imagine a country where the state doesn’t function. What a dream!

  16. Robert Says:

    Car prices make perfectly good sense in Venezuela. We just sold my mother in laws 2000 Cavalier for 40,000 BF. At the official rate this is around 18000 USD and a heck of a price for that inexpensive car. On the other hand, I want dollars and can only get 6500 USD which is about what the car is worth in the USA and might be considered the real value.

    If you turn a blind eye to the 2.15 rate, the Venezuela economy not so far out of line with others in the area. On the other hand, if dollars are not in a factor your financial dealings, you are screwed big time.

  17. zamuro Says:

    great, lets create an incentive (and compulsory expensive consumption) for car buyers in order to stimulate supply of new cars… we also could have been less rigorous at *not* assigning dollars to car producers/assemblers, but wait… we’re out of dollars!
    silly ide, but killing a market segment for used cars while keeping car producers short on dollars/parts is not as hilarious as the “lex perro caliente”.

    this law seems to implement additional regulation for the sake of regulation. at least this law gives the police more pretexts to ask hot dog vendors to “bajarse de la mula”. moreover, police keeping an eye on these vendors means a bit of distraction from the boring routine of not being around the really dangerous parts of town.

    who comes up with this kind of stuff? and even more interesting: who lets this kind of stuff become a law?

    machiavelli once wrote that a republic’s decline is indicated by an increasing number of bad laws. are we hitting bottom?

  18. wanderingfool Says:

    Can hot dog venders with similar carts leave the carts and just rotate the staff?

    Hot dog workers of the world unite!

  19. Andres F Says:

    Without a doubt number 1.

    The second option is not as stupid as the first one. For those who are unaware the same regulation for hot dog vendors has been in place and working in downtown Miami for many years.

  20. the joker Says:

    and lets wait waht surpises will bring for the awaited real state law

  21. Roberto Says:

    I just came back from Venezuela and the stories I heard regarding the new and used cars market were just out of this world!!!
    A corolla was bought for $35K (at the official rate) but wasg insured for twice as much after a year of use. Keep in mind that in the US a corolla is worth about $15K and any car that leaves the dealer loses 10-15% in the first mile…
    Another one: a 1989 machito (toyota land cruiser) sold for more than $30K!!! (official rate again)
    The main problem is that it is so difficult to get a new car regardless of how much money you are willing to spend or who you know, that once you have one it becomes one of the hottest properties to own.
    One last story: A friend of mine put his name on a waiting list to buy a small Mercedes last August. It was going for about BsF. 180,000 and was told to wait until Jan 2009.
    He was the told that the cars were late (CADIVI) and should wait until April 2009.
    Finally he got a call earlier this year saying that the cars were on their way, but that the price was not close to BsF. 300,000…
    Of course he took his name off the list and found something else to buy!!!
    Conclusion: this law makes as much sense as the rest of the automotive market in Venezuela…
    Sorry for the long comment.

  22. Victor Says:

    Is a tie. As we all know indicates that they want full control, from top (car dealers, importers and owners) to the bottom (hot-dog buyers). 1984 comes to mind….but with bribes all the way so is more like 1884 con Joaquin Crespo.

  23. Gringo Says:

    When does this tax on used cars go into effect? An easy fix is to form a company whose only asset is a new car then sell the company for what one wants for the car.

  24. concerned Says:

    The hotdog law has to be the most insane and is fitting because it is being directed by a bunch of weenies.

    The used car policy is just a kneejerk reaction to try to slow down the purchases of new cars which the government can no longer sustain. There is not much in Venezuela to invest your money in. No one trusts the banks. Real estate is too much of a risk. But due to the demand for cars, used cars can/will actually gain in value and is a much safer bet than holding on to the equivalent in B’s which will constantly devalue. If you happen to have the extra cash, you can’t lose money if you are lucky enough to purchase one of the few new imports. By taxing the sale of the used cars, they hope it will slow down this method of investment.

  25. island canuck Says:

    OK, here’s the thing.

    I go to a bank & borrow 60% to buy a new car.
    Bank gives me the money & 4 months later I lose my job & can’t make the payments. I need to sell the car or the bank needs to sell the car.

    What happens??

  26. Alex Dalmady Says:

    Venezuela is “Bizarro-world” or kind of like “Toontown” (Who framed Roger Rabbit).

    Things fall up, instead of down. Explosives detonate and no one is hurt. Things are bought and sold for more, when they can be sold for less. If there is an easy way to do things…its discarded for the “path less traveled”. And if something makes sense…it must be wrong!

    If the laws of nature do not apply in Venezuela, why should the regulations made up there make sense to the rest of us?

  27. Douglas Novo Says:

    Hot dogs hands down. The car law, although ridiculous on itself, does hark back to some 4th Republic legal bright spots made in desperation when the macro-economic situation took a dire turn. We Venezuelans sometimes seem to forget that, contrary to what Chavez would like everybody to think, he is the embodiment of much of what has been wrong with Venezuelan society in the past 2-3 generations taken to a new paroxysm.
    The other typical manifestation is of course what deananash points out.

  28. Halfempty Says:

    The Hot-dog Law is hilarious. Leave the stands in the same places and nationalize them.

  29. Roberto Says:

    I believe you hit the nail on the head, Thomas Mohr. This illustrates, yet again, that in a model such as Hugo’s there exists a huge potential for Alice in Wonderland economics.

    It is no secret that the law of supply and demand is responsible for Venezuela being one of the few countries on earth where vehicles are not a depreciating asset. Plus, I guess VenIran needs the sales, no?

  30. dillis Says:

    Nearly as foolish as asking for a cedula to buy a bottle of water. I mean does anyone actually process what people are buying? there are billions of transactions!

  31. Thomas Mohr Says:

    Miguel, how could you not understand the car regulation law. Really everybody knows that cars might gain considerable value during their first two years of use. It depends on the development of the soon to be established “Bolsa de Coches” in Caracas but as the owner of Globovision demonstrated with hoarding 24 cars the market holds HUGE potential.Just imagine, your neighbour buys a mini cooper and due to the developments at the Boldsa de Coches the car is worth twice after just 12 months driving over highways near Caracas. This is something no socialist country can allow.

    Seriously, the incentive behind this law is pretty clear. Correct me if I am wrong, but due to CADIVI blunder the car industry in Venezuela is crashing. The government wants to prevent that by preventing the sale of nearly new cars thus driving up car production. In my opinion this is just one proof more that the Venezuelan government is plain stupid. Instead of fixing the underlying problem, they force people to waste money.

  32. marc in calgary Says:

    deananash,
    strange to both comment at the same time, mentioning “evenly” y “uneven”

  33. marc in calgary Says:

    well there’s the rub.
    of course the enforcement of these laws is going to be so uneven as to even call into question their existence…

    I’m going to say that the regulation of new-ish cars is just not a bright idea, whereas the mandatory moving of your hot dog stand so as to give all an equally excellent (or mediocre… depending) opportunity at cornering the local hot dog market, is outstandingly stupid. Not as bright as firing all those striking PDVSA workers during the strike, that one really wins the prize for me. Does Hugo have a sister? if he (seriously here, work with me…) appointed her as Miss Venezuela, that’d bring all the stupidity home for me.
    and so to respond directly, it’s hot dogs in first, used cars in second.

  34. deananash Says:

    moctavio, I have to correct you. I’m sure that the missing word was simply an oversight on your part. Your last sentence should read:

    “Like all laws, it will not be EVENLY enforced.” It will be used to extract bribes, punish any who dare question the Rojo Rojito, etc…

    In a banana republic such as Venezuela is today, that is what laws have always been for.

  35. moctavio Says:

    No, havent found one yet, but understnad the ordinance is the law already. Like all laws it will not be enforced.


  36. tough choice.

    see, chavismo can still surprise us.

  37. T.I.G.O.T. Says:

    Well, the logic behind (1) is obvious: only a rich, fascist, non-human oligarch would sell a car after using it for less than two years.

    And do you have a copy of the Hot Dog Mobilization Act? Does it say if there’s a minimum distance specified or is moving across the street OK with the law? Can they move back and forth between two different places every day or are they supposed to go to a completely different and never-before-visited place every day? And who exactly is going to keeps tab of where has each vendor been? The police? PDVSA? Or does it require (like the car sales law does) that the vendors update their web page daily with the new info?


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