Venezuela: How and Why Did It All Go So Wrong?

Venezuela was, until relatively recently, one of the richest countries in Latin America. Due to its vast oil reserves, and the revenue they brought in, they were able fund food subsidies health care and education programmes. Under the presidency of Hugo Chavez (1999–2013) unemployment and poverty halved and personal incomes doubled. Chavez nationalized the oil industry and used the profits for welfare programmes. Chavez dies in 2013 and was replaced Nicolas Maduro, who continued with the spending programme. However, the price ...

The demographic dividend

Three weeks ago the world's population passed seven billion with predictions that it could reach 15 billion by the end of the century. Naturally the emphasis of media stories was on the planet's ability to support such a figure and the stark environmental dangers of a population explosion.  Certainly the figures are staggering. It took 250,000 years for the global population to reach 1 billion, another century to reach 2 billion and 32 years more to reach 3 billion. However,  ...