So this is Venezuela. In addition to knowing where it is, you should also know that Venezuela is in trouble. That trouble is in the form of an economic collapse. The country currently possesses the world's highest inflation rate.
Venezuela is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, with picturesque beaches likes this one on Margarita Island. Yeah, even the name sounds pretty good. But Venezuela president Nicolás Maduro declared Venezuela officially in a state of emergency in early 2016.
Here's where things get crazy. See this fairly unassuming box of instant milk? That should probably run you around a solid 5 bucks, right? Right. But that's not the case for the citizens of Venezuela, who are experiencing an extreme shortage of basic necessities. So how much does that milk cost in Venezula?
In Venezuela that powdered milk will run you roughly $700. Let's just pause and let that sink in. You could basically buy an entire ice cream store with $700. Okay, not exactly, but it's still ridiculous.
For how much it costs for a single box of pasta in Venezuela, a person could buy about 120 boxes in the U.S. So what in the world is going on? Well, it's the result of a lot of policies that really didn't go quite as planned. For instance, expropriation puts most of Venezuela's companies in the hands of the state instead of private business owners.
This policy means that the people of Venezuela end up paying about the price of your phone bill for a single watermelon: $40. That is if they can even find a watermelon. Fresh produce is difficult to come by and sometimes can only be found on the black market.
How is this even possible? Another reason for this crisis is that global oil prices are currently low. This is good news for your wallet when you go to the pump but not great news for Venezuela, whose economy largely depends on oil exports.
Even a cup of coffee is going to cost you an arm and a leg in Venezuela. Next time you think you're paying a lot for that fast food you just got, send a little thank you to the fast food gods that it doesn't literally cost you an entire paycheck.