Memo to the BBC: Looking at shortages in Venezuela and blaming the smugglers is a little bit like looking at a gunshot victim crumpling on the floor and blaming the blood.
Just so we’re clear, the way price controls generate shortages is among the best understood phenomena in all of economics: we’re talking first-week-of-the-first-semester stuff in a standard introductory economics course.
There is no mystery to this problem. No ambiguity. No real room for debate. It’s one of the few areas of genuine consensus in the economics profession. Ask 100 economists and 99 will tell you. (The hundredth may take some time getting back to you, but then Mr. Weisbrot is a busy man these days.)
(And yes, you get extra vileness points for toeing a authoritarian propaganda lie that conveniently scapegoats an embattled ethnic minority.)