Saturday, January 12, 2013

Will The Airport Tomato Grabbers End Up Monitoring The Price of Tomatoes?

By, Chris Rossini
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Hugo Chavez, who set out to transcend capitalism with his "Bolivarian Revolution," has instead descended Venezuelans into empty shelves.

A Bloomberg headline reads:

Food Shortages in Venezuela Bigger Worry Than Constitution

First of all, every libertarian needs to memorize the following: Whenever you hear of widespread "shortages," what's the first question you should ask?

Answer: "At what price?"

In other words, the government is most likely trying to overpower the market with price controls. They're gonna tell merchants what price is allowed to be charged, and you better listen, or a goon with a badge will come after you.

Venezuala is another textbook case.

Here's Bloomberg again (my emphasis):
At a bustling food market in downtown Caracas, armed officers belonging to President Hugo Chavez’s National Bolivarian Guard marched by boxes of lettuce and tomatoes, checking prices and storage rooms.

The inspection is part of a nationwide campaign to crack down on over-pricing and hoarding the government blames for shortages of basic goods, from toilet paper to sugar.

“This is the worst it’s ever been, I can’t find any eggs, rice or flour,” Noreli de Acosta, a 55-year-old housewife said walking out of the Quinta Crespo market in central Caracas, clutching a small bag with assorted vegetables and beans. “Of course the government is to blame.”
Good for the aforementioned 55-year-old housewife. She's smarter than many Americans.

You know what happens in America to the price controllers?

Sadly, blinded Americans will look at what's happening in Venezuala and brush it off as just another "backwards country".

Meanwhile, right under their nose, the Fed prints like the world is running out of paper; and as Bob Wenzel has pointed out, goon enforcers are only a stone's throw away:
What if price inflation heats up and price controls are instituted? Will the [TSA] body grabbers be sent out into the land to monitor against price increases and black markets developing? I fear we have not seen the end of the interventionist  roles to be played by these characters. They are rested and ready.

Perhaps, in the end, Americans will need to experience airport tomato grabbers slogging through the streets making sure tomato prices aren't too high.

Let's hope (and at least do our best) to help make sure that's not the case.

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