[ Venezuela is experiencing a double whammy of drought and low oil prices, which has lead to blackouts and inability to import food. It just keeps getting worse and worse. Related posts:
- Book review of “In order to live: A North Korean girl’s journey to freedom” by Yeonmi Park
- Inside North Korea’s Environmental Collapse
- Who Lives, Who dies in a never-ending energy crisis. Book review of Nothing to Envy. Ordinary Lives in North Korea
- North Korea: what happens to a country when the oil is cut off?
- How different nations have coped with oil shortages
- Dmitry Orlov: How Russians survived the collapse of the Soviet Union
- A book review of “Russia’s Food Policies and Globalization”
- Lessons Learned from How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
- Cuba’s agriculture experiments are not working out
December 17, 2018 Planet money podcast: Bonus indicator: the measure of a tragedy
It’s hard to understand how bad a country is doing with figures like inflation rate, unemployment rate, and their minimum wage. A better way to understand a nation’s living standards is how many calories a person could afford to buy a day earning a minimum wage if they spent all of their money on food — that is — the food with the most calories, which in Venezuela has sometimes been pasta or flour, and today is the yucca plant.
Venezuelans could by 57,000 calories in 2012 with one day’s wages, and several dozen eggs.
But today a person can afford just 900 calories or 2 eggs. It would take a Venezuelan 6 weeks to be able to afford one Big Mac earning minimum wage.
Since the average person needs 2,000 calories a day, as well as calories to feed their family, and also housing, clothing, medicine, and so on, it’s not surprising that the average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds last year, and that Venezuela probably has the highest murder rate in the world.
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