An inconvenient truth, but for how much longer?
In a comment on my earlier post about Hugo Chavez's adventures in authoritarianism, Globetrotter asked, "I wonder what they will do next?"
Well we didn't have to wait very long to find out:
President Hugo Chávez wasn't pleased with data released this week that showed the Venezuelan economy tumbling into a recession. So the populist leader came up with a solution: Forget traditional measures of economic growth, and find a new, "Socialist-friendly" gauge.
"We simply can't permit that they continue calculating GDP with the old capitalist method," President Chávez said in a televised speech before members of his Socialist party on Wednesday night. "It's harmful."
Mr. Chávez's comments came shortly after data showed Venezuela's gross domestic product -- a broad measure of annual economic output -- fell 4.5% in the third quarter from the year-earlier period. It was the second consecutive quarterly decline, and observers have questioned how Mr. Chávez will be able to generate growth without high oil prices.
Indeed it is harmful, Hugo. Harmful to your bid to be President for life.