RL: You mention state stores but guess what? Those state stores are all competing with private stores that are selling the same thing. Sound like Communism to you?
EPGAH: Thing is, those state stores compete at a loss, right? How could any store keep going at a LOSS — UNLESS they made up the loss in TAXES? Oh, wait, that’s a “competitive” advantage that non-state actors don’t get!
Have you been to my website? I sell computers cheap. You could buy them and sell them for half my price. But you couldn’t maintain that because YOU need to make a living too.
It sounds like the state is using taxes FROM the businesses to put them OUT of business!
Taxes or income from the nationalized oil, gas and energy industries.
The private stores are doing just fine. The price of food and household items was way too high for most of the poor and low income types, so they just couldn’t afford to buy a lot of food or in particular household stuff like appliances. Chavez set up those stores to make food cheap for poorer people so they could buy more food than they could otherwise. Now Venezuelans are eating better than ever. Caloric intake skyrocketed under Chavez.
Also the “My Happy Home” stores sold things like washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen accessories, etc. Poorer and low income folks could never afford any of that stuff. So under Chavez, a lot of poorer people got to buy a lot more and better food and they bought all sorts of nice things for their households. It was really cool!
They do sell the stuff for cheap. Not sure if it is at a loss, but the prices are cheaper than the private sector stores. But there are long lines outside the state supermarkets so if you’re not poor, you probably would not even want to go there. I am not sure if there were income limits on shopping in the state supermarkets or in the My Happy Home stores or if anyone would go. I will tell you though that no opposition supporter would be caught dead in any of those stores.
I am not aware of the state stores putting private stores out of business. The people shopping at the state stores could never afford most of the stuff in the private stores anyway.