• **Domingris Montano did the calculations as she stood in the rain at the midpoint of a queue outside a bank in Caracas. She needed to buy groceries. A package of rice would cost 3,500 bolivars, more than half the daily withdrawal limit, and the automated teller machine might be empty by the time her turn came. Maybe she could hit a few more before dark?

    “I’ve had to go to six different ATMs just to get 6,000 bolivars,” said Montano, a 36-year-old hair stylist, poking her head out from under her umbrella to see if the people ahead of her at the Banesco Banco Universal CA branch were moving forward. They weren’t.**


  • @KUSTEVE Wow. And I just bought an Xbox one… Hard to believe the struggles other countries have.

    If we could have news thread like this going on the daily that would be great I think. At least for me. I try to read the news some every day, but sometimes I have a hard time finding anything worth reading. A good story like this posted every day would be something I think a lot of us could benefit from.

  • @KUSTEVE India is going nuts, too, since they decided to void large value currency to fight money laundering.

  • Sean Penn, Oliver Stone and numerous other Follywood dingbats believe in the Venezuelan socialist government. They kissed the feet of Chavez.

  • @Kcmatt7 IMO, the financial collapse coming soon will make the whole world resemble Venezuela. Once the Fed raises the interest rates, and they will, it will be like a financial hurricane world wide.

  • @mayjay I had not heard that. Wow…

  • You should have seen Argentina when it had its hyper inflation period. The amount of money that would buy you a house, a couple of weeks later would only buy you a car and a week later it would maybe buy the tires for the car…this is what I call having big time problems.


    We have been living on borrowed money for way, way, way too long; sooner or later it will be time to pay the piper and then all hell will break loose.

  • @KUSTEVE Seriously, at what point is enough enough with the debt. USA shouldn’t have debt or worry about having a financial crisis. Looking at the federal budget makes me sick.

    6% of our budget goes to the interest on our debt. Or $230 Billion

    Medicare is almost $1 Trillion dollars a year. It needs to be cut down some. I’m all for keeping people healthy, but we need to cut it back.

    Social security is $1.3 trillion. It needs to get phased out slowly starting right now. And it needs to be announced and broadcasted far and wide so people have time to save for retirement.

    We should cut military by $100B and offer an incentive for private businesses to hire former military members. If we subsidized their salaries for 4 years, we would still save billions.

    International affairs cost us $50B. How are we spending that much on international affairs? It isn’t like that includes military bases. That’s too much. Cut it back by at least 75%.

    At some point. a generation is going to have to suck it up for 20-25 years. And we can either do it sooner and keep it from lasting forever or we can keep passing it on like it is roulette and hope that we aren’t the ones who take the bullet.

    If we got back into the positive, we could do some great, great things for the entire world. But until we realize that, we will just continue to hurt ourselves.

  • @Kcmatt7 People don’t mention that Bill Clinton ended his second term with a surplus, and economists were predicting at least 10 years of surpluses.

    Bin Laden ended all that.

    Are Medicare and Social Security part of the federal budget? In France they are not.

  • @mayjay Diabolical policy, imo. Make the some of the world’s poorest people more poor.

  • @ParisHawk They are part of the budget. A very very large part of the budget.

  • edit whoops, remembered where the hell I am. KUBucket.com

  • @dylans

    You point out that the president elect is cutting deals, except how did he cut those deals? Oh yeah, that’s right, tax incentives. That means that he basically gave a company a few million dollars not to move. He paid them to stay. So what happens when another company wants to move? You have to pay them to stay as well. And so on, and so on, and so on. He has unfortunately started another cycle and set a precedent for his administration.

    It will be very difficult to run the government like a business because there are certain functions of government - public safety, education, criminal justice (the court system) and infrastructure immediately come to mind - that will never generate revenue to match their costs. In business, you would just cut those programs due to underperformance. You can’t really do that in government.

    Without public education, there is no way to train a large workforce. Many countries are still struggling today because they lack basic education infrastructure that allows for the training of their workers on a large scale. I’ve been to a lot of countries. The ones that lack good public education struggle mightily because there’s no economic mobility. We have already seen changes to public education funding here in this country create a system of haves and have nots. Are we ready to experience that on a much more widespread level?

    Without public safety (talking about fire protection, health care and things like building codes, etc.) you can’t keep the nation functional. One of the things that stunted the growth of the US throughout the 1800’s was the outbreak of illness. Vaccinations and the availability of health care made the US much more productive and elevated this country to its current status as a world leader. Do we really want to undo that. We have already seen what wildfires do in this country with our current public safety regime. Do we want to test that out if we start to dismantle it?

    Without infrastructure it is impossible to build an economy. Things have to move from place to place, so we need roads. People need water and electricity. Want to throw our country back 100 years? Just dismantle the infrastructure and say hello to the 1900’s again. And before you argue for cuts, remember, the best way to make infrastructure most efficient is to focus the infrastructure on the areas that have the most people, and away from the areas that are more sparsely populated. Guess what, densely populated areas tend to be blue, sparsely populated areas tend to be red. If the president elect uses his business acumen, the very people that voted for him will likely be left out in the cold when infrastructure improvements come, while large metropolitan areas receive those benefits.

    And then there is the court system. Yes, the prison system needs to be reformed, but much of the money that currently flows into an inefficient prison system really needs to go into the court system anyway. There’s simply a lack of available court time to take up all of the cases in a timely manner. That means delays for months or, in civil cases, even years, leading to eroding memories, lost or cold evidence, etc. Cutting that budget would only make those problems worse.

    I agree that cuts need to happen, but the where is not as easy as it may seem on first glance, and I think the president elect is starting to discover that as he works more with his transition team.

  • And yet i already have more hope than I did for the last 8 years…

  • We’re rearranging the deck chairs. We are Venezuela…the whole world is Venezuela …that is our future.

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