Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Tuberculosis is making a big-time comeback. ‘We’re Losing the Fight’: Tuberculosis Batters a Venezuela in Crisis – The New York Times

His family thought he just had a bad cold, nothing serious.

But Victor Martínez kept getting worse. By mid-January, he lay in a hospital ward, wasting away from tuberculosis. A month later, at his wake, stunned relatives tried to reckon with the resurgence of a disease that many Venezuelans thought had been mostly confined to the history books.

A Century of medical advances wiped out, because the government knows best. Or at least they think they do.

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Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

Hyper-inflation is running wild, because people no longer believe in the currency or the government. Venezuela knocks three zeros off ailing currency amid hyperinflation

So they’ve decided that the way to fix all of their problems, is to officially devalue all of the currency in circulation, by dividing everything by 1000.

The move illustrates the collapse of the bolivar, which has fallen 99.99 percent against the U.S. dollar on the black market since Maduro came to power in April 2013. A $100 purchase of bolivars then would now be worth just a single U.S. cent.

The official exchange rate hasn’t changed, so it is just a convenient accounting move. But it won’t fix the fact that the country – under its august Socialist leadership – is imploding.

French Rail Workers Don’t Want to Give Up Jobs for Life

Or the guaranteed annual pay raises. Who would? Just one problem, the French National Railroad is in financial trouble Unions flood streets of Paris in stand against Macron reforms

Civil servants want better pay and oppose the planned loss of 120,000 jobs by 2022, while employees of the heavily-indebted state-run SNCF rail company are fighting government plans to scrap job-for-life guarantees and automatic annual pay rises.

Of course they want those benefits. And who cares if the railroad on the nation can afford them. Oh, and they don’t want cutbacks in the face of economic trouble they want the .gov to hire more civil servants. Because socialism. (Someone should direct their attention to the examples of Detroit and Chicago and the questions of bankruptcy.)

So how do they want to get these demands met. Strikes. Air France will be impacted on Friday. And the trains in France. File that under “How to win friends and influence people.”

It must be nice to live in a world where you don’t have to worry about anything but what you want. Not about the market, or the financial state of the country or the organization you work in.

Refugees From The Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

How can this be? All those folks from Hollywood were telling me how great Venezuela was just a few short years ago. Now people are fleeing paradise? Northern Brazil overwhelmed by desperate, hungry Venezuelans | Fox News

In dozens of interviews over four days, many said they had not had more than one meal a day for the last year.

Some wore baggy clothes, had emaciated faces and complained of medical issues ranging from children with measles to diabetics with no insulin.

The Venezuelan government has run out of other people’s money.

I’m not sure if this is ironic or not. It is completely understandable.

While in recent years millions of Venezuelans have immigrated, until recently Brazil received relatively few of them. Hundreds of thousands have gone to Colombia, but authorities there and elsewhere in South America are tightening their borders.

I didn’t think tightening of borders was allowed.

Is Socialized Medicine Stuck in the Past?

Because people don’t have a choice, why should they do anything differently? Million patients a year needlessly enduring major surgery as NHS hospitals are not adopting modern practices, research finds

A million patients a year could be needlessly enduring major surgery because NHS hospitals are not adopting modern practices, research has found.

Up to three quarters of patients who could have keyhole procedures are forced to undergo open surgery, putting them at higher risk of blood loss, pain and infection.

The adoption of new methods would seem to be a result of competition. Because without an outside force, or without patients who have the ability to choose, doctors and hospitals will keep doing things the traditional ways. An then there are the bureaucrats who need to approve the purchase of new equipment for the new procedures. Even when it is clear that the new ways of doing things (keyhole surgery) are a huge benefit to the patients.

But experts raised concerns hospitals were failing to offer keyhole surgery to patients because of a combination of cost pressures, a lack of trained surgeons and a reluctance to change, with traditional surgeons “set in their ways”.

Any Bets on Whether This is the End of the Greek Bailouts?

The Great Greek Bailout ends in August. Bets on how long before they return to bad habits? Post-bailout credit line for Greece probably not needed: rescue fund head

Greece has received 260 billion euros in financial aid from euro zone countries and the IMF since 2010, and its third bailout expires in August. The country regained market access last year but some European Union policymakers and Greek central bankers believe Athens cannot go it alone without a standby line of credit after its financial support ends.

A line of credit would come with “strings attached.” And the Greek government is determined to avoid that after about 8 years of bailout-imposed austerity.

If they don’t do stupid stuff, they can probably go it alone. Their economy is growing at a decent rate, and while unemployment is still high it is coming down. If they return to the stupid things they were doing – which pretty much came down to living on a credit card and not worrying about when the bill was going to come due – they will be back in deep yogurt.

Given the number of times Greece has basically defaulted on loans over the past century, I’m not sure why anyone would lend them money, but given the number of times they’ve defaulted over the past century I’m sure someone will lone them all the money they want.

Are You Really Trying to Say That 20% Unemployment is Good?

Greece is still in a bad place. It is better than it was, but that isn’t saying much. Behold Greeks bearing a gift

Here’s the clincher: In 2018, Greece’s economy is expected to grow faster than the EU as a whole. In addition, the government has been running a fiscal surplus instead of the big deficits of a decade ago. And unemployment has fallen from 30 percent to less than 20 percent in the past five years.

OK 20% is better than 30%. As for Greece finally growing. As for the “growth rate.” Greece has been contracting for nearly 10 years. I should hope it bounces back a little.

But things aren’t completely rose-colored, even in the MSM’s view of Greece.

On corruption, however, the leftist government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras still has far to go in ensuring a virtuous circle of honesty and openness. Last month, two of its ministers had to resign after accepting a housing subsidy. And the Council of Europe told Greece this month that it has fulfilled only six of 19 recommendations aimed at rooting out corruption.

The folks holding the loans also had to “force” Greece to enact some reforms the Greeks had promised. They did this by withholding the latest payment until the reforms were done.

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