In America, liberals are still pushing the Fight for 15 in terms of the minimum wage. If that fails under the new administration they might want to consider moving to Venezuela, where the Fight for 40,683 per month took no effort at all. That’s the new minimum wage (in bolivars) after President Nicolas Maduro decided to hand out some goodies for the new year in an effort to keep the peasants from further revolt activities. That may sound like a lot of money, but before you get too excited we should remind you that it probably still won’t buy you a sandwich every day of the month in the average deli. (International Business Times)

The Venezuelan government has raised the minimum monthly wage by 50% to combat the ever-rising inflation in the country. President Nicolas Maduro’s announcement on Sunday (8 January) is the fifth rise in 12 months to protect workers from the country’s failing economy.

Following the hike, minimum wage stands at 40,683 bolivars (£49, $60) as of the official standard exchange rate. However, according to reports, it could only a mere $12 in the black market.

“To start the year, I have decided to raise salaries and pensions. In times of economic war and mafia attacks … we must protect employment and workers’ income,” said the socialist president in a televised address.

As Maduro fights to keep his crumbling nation in one piece, the people continue to attempt to remove him through the normal constitutional process. The opposition party announced last week that they will be attempting to schedule early elections to oust the president, a move which is theoretically within their power. They have taken control of the legislature and installed a new speaker, Julio Borges. He’s not exactly impressed with Maduro’s track record. (Yahoo News, emphasis added)

“If anyone has doubts about the arguments for doing this, know that since 2013, more than 100,000 Venezuelans have been murdered. More than one million jobs were lost last year. Inflation since Maduro became president is 4,200 percent. One in 10 Venezuelans eats trash from the streets,” he said.

His swearing-in marks the start of the opposition’s second year in control of the National Assembly, after winning legislative elections in December 2015.

But Borges is likely to run into the same problems as his predecessor in the opposition’s top elected office, Henry Ramos Allup.

For all of his bluster, Borges doesn’t really have many options. Every bill passed by the legislature last year seeking to rein in Maduro was shot down by the courts, which the president effectively controls. In the meantime, as he rather bluntly points out, Venezuelans are scavenging trash in the streets to feed themselves and protests continue to shut down business in many major population centers. The citizens are fleeing in large numbers to Brazil in search of work, food and basic medical care, creating the beginning of a refugee crisis in that country.

We’ve been monitoring this situation for more than two years now, but don’t tune out. Nobody seems to be offering any concrete solutions at this point but it still offers a valuable lesson for the rest of the world. This is how socialism ends. Every. Single. Time.

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