I have always wondered what would happen, were Chavez to lose, to my blogging. Would I lose the drive to blog often? Would there be enough material to blog on? While I have always seen a possible Chavez departure as a likely end to my blogging, the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that I will continue.
The reason is simple. I don’t want a better Venezuela, I want the best possible Venezuela. But it is clear that the effects of the devil’s excrement will simply not go away with a change in Government and I will continue to have a lot to write about (and criticize!). Of course, Chavez represents the worst effects of the devils’ excrement, he put high power steroids into its effects by his ignorance and belief that you can invent a new economic model out of the blue. But it does not look like all the effects of the devil’s excrement will go away with a new Government.
While I support Capriles and I am sure that his Government will be orders of magnitude better than Chavez’, the pressures on him will be enormous and it is not clear to me that he has a clear line of thinking on economic matters. And while oil can cover up the mistakes in economic decision-making, we will not have the best country possible unless we impose a rational economic system in Venezuela. Capriles’ Chief economic adviser said it well today, when he said “We don’t have a grave financial problem, we have a management problem”
But I think it was absolutely irresponsible for Capriles to say last night in his presentation of his first 100 days that he would increase the minimum salary and index it to inflation. The first part I agree with, but to build inflation into the economy via indexation is playing with fire. It has not worked anywhere and as it happens when you impose such artificial rules into the economy (Chavez has imposed dozens of them), they are easy to implement, but almost impossible to remove.
And it is irresponsible for Capriles to say that, because he either means it or he does not. If he does, he will create a new economic distortion that Venezuelans will pay for for many years. If he does not mean it, then he should not say it. Period. I know that he wants to get rid of Chavez, but over promising may be the surest way to not be successful once he is in office.
Once Capriles is in office, he is going to have to deal with the myriad of distortions imposed by 14 years of ignorance and improvisation. He can not start by adding to the foolishness, there is simply too much that needs to be done and fixed.
And you can be sure that I will be here blogging if Capriles wins on October 7th. In fact, there will probably be less incentive to blog if Chavez wins, he is simply too repetitive. But you can be sure that I will be here stirring up the discussions on the economy and criticizing what I don’t like if Capriles is President. We do need the best Venezuela we can make and it is possible with rational and coherent economic policies.
So, it does look like there is certainly life for this blogger after Chavez. But let’s get the job of electing Capriles done first. There will be plenty of time to criticize him later, if he does not do what needs to be done.