Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Strikes from the Grave – Part 2: Venezuela

In “Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Strikes from the Grave” I noted that Argentina was following the economic policies of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The familar steps were: government debt -> inflation -> price controls -> economic chaos.

Venezuela has followed the same path but has taken a step further than Argentina in the direction of the Roman Empire of the late 4th century: the use of the army to enforce price controls. From “Venezuela Government “Occupies” Electronics Retail Chain, Enforces “Fair” Prices“:

The reason for this latest socialist victory over the tyranny of supply and demand is that overnight Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro ordered the “occupation” of a chain of electronic goods stores in a crackdown on what the socialist government views as price-gouging hobbling the country’s economy. Various managers of the five-store, 500-employee Daka chain have been arrested, and the company will now be forced to sell products at “fair prices,” Maduro said late on Friday.

State media showed soldiers in one Daka shop checking the price tags on large flat-screen TVs.

Since the political leaders of Venezuela are committed socialists, it would be vain to suggest that they read the works of von Mises, Rothbard, etc. to learn the theoretical reasons why their economic policies are failing. However, they may be more amenable to persuasion via economic history. As such, I recommend that they consult the references here to understand that they are following the failed policies of Diocletian.

Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus. Image from https://en.wikipedia.org

Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus. Image from https://en.wikipedia.org

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