This episode, Mak and G are joined by a special guest from Venezuala to discuss the history of oil in Venezuela, the problems with nationalizing companies, and why Venezuela is going through a shortage of oil.
Venezuela is well known for its problems with corruption and government, but what caused all of this?
This episode, Mak and G talk about the history of oil in Venezuela, why oil workers went on strike bringing oil production to a halt, and the problems with nationalizing companies.
“A strike has nothing to do with baseball, it’s when workers stop working to bring attention to some cause.” – Mak
“Where does Dracula keep his money? In a blood bank!” – G
00:10 – Venezuelan food and traditional Venezuelan breakfasts.
02:30 – The history of oil in Venezuela.
04:00 – The problems with nationalizing companies.
05:00 – The short supply of oil in Venezuela and why they rationed oil.
06:15 – Our favourite dad jokes.
Connect with Ben Jones:
MAK: Welcome back to Money with Mak & G, we’re happy you’re here. We’ve got a special guest today, and we’re really excited to have him.
GRANT: Yeah, I’m hoping he brought some of those Venezuelan Pass-tell-us with him from the business his cousin started, Tequemuch.
MAK: Grant, you only think of your stomach and video games, but those Nutella things we got from there were to die for.
GRANT: See, awesome food. You can’t deny it, can you? And those cheese sticks weren’t like any cheese stick I’ve ever had. You had that Green Sauce and BAM, instant smile!!!
DANIEL: Wow, Grant you clearly love a solid Venezuelan breakfast. That’s what I grew up with. I used to eat Pastelles and Tequenos at least once a week.
GRANT: Daniel, can I be an honorary Venezuelan? Then, mom has to get me a couple of “Pass-tell-us” each week, and won’t argue with me about it, since it would be part of my heritage.
DANIEL: Of course, you can be Venezuelan. But, you might want to know a little about some history first, since it has been pretty rough for quite some time. Plus, you definitely need to speak a little Espanol. Because, Amamos Nuestro Idioma.
MAK: Wait, TIME OUT guys. We haven’t even introduced Daniel yet, and you’re talking about changing your citizenship, eating habits, heritage, possibly your tax rate, and more!!
GRANT: Ok, how about I introduce Daniel since he kind of is my new food bestie because he hooked me up with all that good cheesy gooey fried grub.
MAK: Ok, you do the honors…
GRANT: Welcome to the show Mr. Daniel. It’s been great to get to know you since dad’s accident. For everyone out there, Daniel is from Venezuela.
MAK: Duh, you said Venezuela like 10 times already.
GRANT: Ok, ok, slow your roll, Mak. Daniel has been telling us stories of things that happened in his country and a lot of it is about money. Who better to talk about money issues in another country than him. He’s lived it and is still dealing with it from the US.
MAK: On behalf of Mak & G, welcome to the show, or Bienvenido al podcast!!
GRANT: I could have done that.
MAK: Maybe you should have.
DANIEL: I know you’re teenagers, but didn’t you just have a birthday?
GRANT/MAK: We did. The big ONE FOUR!
GRANT: You know I’m older, right?
MAK: Seriously G…
DANIEL: Well, congrats. I wanted to say Feliz Cumpleanos, and thanks for having me on the show. I’m happy to tell you a bit about Venezuela and its money issues.
GRANT: Since I know you listen to every episode we put out, last week we spoke a little about gas prices, and you have an interesting view on it.
MAK: Since your country has a ton of oil, you’d think gas would be cheap and easy to find.
DANIEL: So true. You would think our government would have that completely under control. But, it’s not true. I have friends and family still in Venezuela, and it’s a bit crazy.
GRANT: Ok, is that the video you showed us about people waiting in line to get gas? I’d say:
GRANT/MAK: It’s UNBELIEVABLE
MAK: It’s scary. You have to see it. We’ll post the link on the website and YouTube channel.
DANIEL: You have to understand a little history first. We do have tons of oil, but when there were issues with our government years ago, workers at the biggest national company called PDVSA went on strike. This is an oil company which is our biggest natural resource.
MAK: A strike has nothing to do with baseball, right? It’s when workers stop working to bring attention to some cause.
DANIEL: Yep, they didn’t like the leader back then. His name was Chavez and things were hard. For 2 months they didn’t work and didn’t produce almost 3 MILLION barrels of oil a day. That’s billions in lost revenue for the government. Chavez wasn’t nice, he didn’t like what happened and fired lots of people. Then he put his friends in power. But, his friends weren’t oil experts, so the production of oil went down a lot.
GRANT: The country began to produce less oil, which meant less money for government programs, fewer jobs, and it just hurt the economy right?
DANIEL: That’s right. I was about 7 years old when Chavez came into power. I remember we could get food, travel without a problem, and had freedoms. But, once he took over….
MAK: A lot of it changed, and it sounds like it never came back to that easier time?
DANIEL: Yep, he was a socialist, but I think we believed he was more communist like China, Russia or Cuba. He started to nationalize companies, which means the government took the companies over to run.
GRANT: We’ve seen that before. Usually, companies become less efficient. And, sometimes, there is corruption. When the government watches government companies, it’s like…
MAK: “The fox watching the hen house”. From what I read, Chavez didn’t let the press write bad things about him, he bought votes and arrested and sent away people he didn’t like.
DANIEL: Yep, it seemed like he wanted power more than anything. He used money and control to get what he wanted. It hurt many of my countrymen. The problem is when people get into power it’s really hard to get rid of them and it can take a VERY long time.
GRANT: I thought Chavez tried to help the poor, make sure those who were hungry had food, wanted to make better roads, give healthcare to everyone, and build better housing.
DANIEL: He did talk about that, but when things aren’t run well, oil is not being sold, his people are stealing money or corrupt, and elections aren’t run fairly, things don’t get better because there is no money.
MAK: Even though you have lots of oil, now you produce less than ever. The video shows people waiting in line for days to get gas. Some were pushing their cars to keep their place.
DANIEL: That’s right. The line goes for miles. If you wait for days, you can run out of gas. It’s tough. You’re also only allowed to on certain days. With a short supply, lines get REALLY long.
MAK: So, there’s a calendar of when you can get gas and how much? Isn’t that rationing?
DANIEL: It is. You’ve had to wait in long lines in 1973 when OPEC, the group of countries in the middle east that produce a lot of oil, had an embargo. So they didn’t send you any.
GRANT: That really happened here?
DANIEL: Yep, they were mad about how the US supported Israel. That’s a long story, probably for another day. Mak, didn’t you say you wanted me to help you with something?
MAK: It’s Father’s day this weekend, and we wanted to give our dad, and others a little present called:
GRANT/MAK: DAD JOKES!!
GRANT: Some might be called BAD JOKES. Let’s give him a couple of laughs for his special day. Ready?
MAK: What do you call Mac ‘n’ Cheese that gets all up in your face.
GRANT: Way to use Mac ‘n’ Cheese, like Mak & G. So, what DO you call it?
MAK: Too Close for Comfort food.
EVERYONE: AWWWW. BAD.
MAK: You ready to do one Grant?
GRANT: Yep. Here’s a money one. Where does Dracula keep his money? Anybody? Daniel?
DANIEL: Nope, where Grant?
GRANT: In a blood blank!!
EVERYONE: AWWWW. BAD.
MAK: Ok, based on that one, where do fish keep their money. In a riverbank.
EVERYONE: AWWWW. Booo.
GRANT: Here’s one for Ross on Friends. How do dinosaurs pay their bills?
MAK: That’s easy, with Tyrannosaurus CHECKS!!! BAM, drop the mic.
GRANT: Ok, Daniel, we know you like to ride bikes, got a dad joke for us?
DANIEL: Ok, here’s mine. Do you know why the bicycle couldn’t stand up on its own?
MAK: Why couldn’t a bike stand up on its own?
DANIEL: It was two tired!!!
EVERYONE: YEA. Way to go!! Nice dad joke!! “A” for effort!
EVERYONE: HAPPY FATHER’s Day!
GRANT: And we’ll see you next week, with Daniel, and more Money with Mak & G!