That 500% inflation for Venezuela in the current year is false. That’s the figure that been bandied about the lying US press. That comes from one very controversial IMF report. However, that report’s conclusions have been rejected by most other economists. A panel of 12 economists agreed that the true figure for Venezuela’s economy this year is ~150%. That’s pretty bad, but it’s not 500%.
The figures on exchange rates are wrong. One government dollar does not equal 80 black market dollars. That exchange rate is only for money the government gives to importers to import goods from abroad.
The importers want those dollars cheap like that, that’s why the government gives them out so cheaply. This belies the arguments that the government rate does not begin to even cover costs because the companies will have to buy the goods at the black market rate overseas. That’s just not so. The government gives those dollars out cheaply as an incentive for the importers. If it was such a horrible deal, they would not give the dollars so cheaply.
The official exchange rate is 400 bolivars to the dollar. The black market rate is 1,000 bolivars to the dollar. So the black market rate is only 2.5X the official rate, which is hot nearly as bad as I had thought.
Many products are readily available and have been since the start of the shortages. The shortages are mostly of staples and sanitary necessities. For instance, milk is always in very short supply, but cheese and yogurt have been readily available since the start of the shortages.
Coffee beans are very difficult to buy in the stores. However, on every street corner is a little store or cafe where you can buy a cup of coffee, so coffee itself is obviously not in short supply. It’s just that the beans are not being sold to retail markets for sale on grocery shelves. If businesses can’t recoup their costs on sales of goods, how come they can apparently recoup their costs easily on yogurt and cheese but not on milk? How come they can recoup their costs just fine selling coffee beans to retail coffee shops that sell cups of coffee but they can’t recoup their costs on coffee beans sold to grocery stores. That makes no sense at all.
Studies have shown that food producers are producing just as much food in total numbers as before the shortages. So the argument that producers cannot recoup costs hence they have stopped manufacturing and importing things cannot be true because if it were true, food production would have plummeted. If total food production is as high now as it was before the shortages, surely businesses have no problems recouping their costs. And if production is the same now as before, why would there be shortages of staples. Obviously those shortages are artificially created.