The Twisted Economics of Twenty-First-Century Socialism

INTERACTIVE: Chavismo to the Core

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As Chavez campaigns for a fourth term … He may declare that he wants to "pulverize" capitalism, but the president's stewardship of the Venezuelan economy seems to have helped private firms more than workers. During his tenure, the country's stock market has skyrocketed while real wages have collapsed. The result is a private sector that is small, highly unproductive, increasingly state-dependent, and yet very profitable.

"The conventional wisdom is that Chávez's prospects will depend, as they have in the past, on his strong support from the country's poor. He has spent years developing social programs to dole out state funds to those in need, and the tactic has made him wildly popular. But that strategy alone might not work this time around. Chávez's electoral fortune today depends not so much on his connections to the poor but on his approach to Venezuela's private sector." --Javier Corrales, "How Chávez Does Business"

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