Blame it on the corrosive influence of teevee or USA Today, but now even pencil-necked readers of The Economist are demanding those fancy little number-pictures to go along with their pompous prose.
There was nothing wrong with the text of this story. It got in a lot of zingers against Chavez and price controls and the oppressive nature of state regulation. But then some new guy in the graphics department put together the following “chart” which totally contradicted the point they were making.
Like a drunken heckler in a comedy club, it screams out in a belligerent rage:
“Hey Moron! Looks like Venezuela’s prices have always been higher than the Latin American average. Maybe that’s because it’s an oil state!” and:
“Yo dickwad! Wasn’t Chavez elected in 1998? Doesn’t it look like inflation was double then what it is now?” and:
“Doesn’t that stinking spike in the middle come at the same time that the US pushed the oil executives to sabotage their own goddamned economy?” and:
“Those price controls that you’re all freaked out about? Don’t they freaking coincide with that gigantic drop in inflation in ‘03?” and:
“So all those fucking press stories about out-of-control inflation are about that little fucking uptick at the end? And it's based on your fucking "forecast?" That’s what we’re fucking talking about?! You gotta be fucking kidding me!”
Sorry. I mean that little chart is my buddy and everything, but he can get obnoxious when he drinks.