The poor neighbourhood of Petare in western Caracas is not an obvious hotbed of anti-government sentiment. In the past, its residents have been among the major beneficiaries of Venezuela’s public health and education campaigns, and an economic policy that resulted in one of the sharpest falls in inequality in the world.
But as demonstrations sweep several major cities, even the people of Petare have taken to the streets to protest again surging inflation, alarming murder rates and shortages of essential commodities.
Perhaps, just maybe, said poor would prefer a sufficiency of the basics than equality?
Which does rather lead us to the idea that places should strive to have a market based system, one that provides those basics, rather than a command and control economy which strives to provide that equality.
But then I’ve made this point about Venezuela before. The basic idea, to make the lives of the poor better (if we are to believe the rhetoric) is just fine. It’s the appallingly stupid manner they’ve gone about doing it that is the problem.