I filled my tank up the other day and I couldn't even shove $20.00 worth of gas into it. It was a pretty grand feeling.
My joy was magnified more by the thought of what this was doing to all of the oil-rich dictators around the globe. While US oil companies sock away profits from the times of plenty to cover the lean times, thugs such as Putin and Chavez produce as much as they can and base their graft off the profits. Declining profits mean a squeeze on the trouble they are able to cause.
Reading my mind, the Investor's Business Daily has penned an editorial on Chavez's travails:
The sad thing is that Venezuela's Chavez has learned nothing from history. He's ignored every lesson from the past, confident oil would remain high forever, while claiming he'd created a new paradigm. Venezuela's "Bolivarian Revolution," built around one-man rule by Chavez, was "different," he insisted.
After posting a surplus of 12.5% of GDP this year, and spending at least 4.5% of GDP on a stimulus package of soup kitchen offerings, Chavez is now down to his last $87 billion in reserves, having created nothing of permanent value. Next year, S&P estimates a wild swing into deficit by Venezuela, forcing devaluation.
Venezuelan oil prices are now $34 a barrel. Producing 2.3 million barrels a day, down 16% from 2005, and now consuming 795,000 barrels of that, as Caracas investment banker Miguel Octavio estimated on his blog, "The Devil's Excrement," he doesn't even have enough earnings to finance imports. He's given away about 424,000 barrels of oil output, and must make do on sales of about 1 million barrels. With oil down, Chavez has entered the worst phase of the oil cycle.
Couldn't happen to a better Communist.