From The Economist:
Man, that Hugo Chávez really has the Venezuelan economy firing on all cylinders! Among 178 countries, it’s second to dead last in terms of how long it takes to start a business! Second to dead last! That’s like winning the silver medal in Freestyle Sucking! (But hey, no one should be surprised – the Venezuelan bureaucracy has many layers, and it takes a long time to bribe all of them.) The only country where it takes longer is the Congo! The Congo! That country is constantly in the shadow of an ever-looming civil war that only ended 4 years ago, and according to Brussels-based Crisis Group, “The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the site of one of the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian crises…credible mortality studies estimate that over 1,000 people continue to die each day from conflict-related causes, mostly disease and malnutrition but ongoing violence as well. Rampant corruption within the transitional government and pervasive state weakness allows members of the national army and members of armed groups alike to perpetrate abuses against civilians.” That is the only country where it takes longer to start a business than Venezuela.
AND, friends, when graded by the World Bank on measures such as “labour-market flexibility, the complexity of trading across borders and access to credit,” Venezuela is 172nd out of 178! A chimp playing “SimCity” could produce a better economy than that.