Saturday, January 10, 2015

Venezuelans Throng to Grocery Stores Under Military Protection

Grocery store line in Venezuela.


Grocery store shelves in Venezuela "protected" by military.

I fear that someday this will come to America, once price inflation skyrockets.  TSA agents will monitor, where we shop, what we buy and at what price. It won't happen in 2015, but it is a threat down the road.

Here is Bloomberg with background on what is going on in Venezuela:

Shoppers thronged grocery stores across Caracas today as deepening shortages led the government to put Venezuela’s food distribution under military protection.

Long lines, some stretching for blocks, formed outside grocery stores in the South American country’s capital as residents search for scarce basic items such as detergent and chicken.

“I’ve visited six stores already today looking for detergent -- I can’t find it anywhere,” said Lisbeth Elsa, a 27-year-old janitor, waiting in line outside a supermarket in eastern Caracas. “We’re wearing our dirty clothes again because we can’t find it. At this point I’ll buy whatever I can find.”...

Police inside a Luvebras supermarket in eastern Caracas intervened to help staff distribute toilet paper and other products.
The government will make all kinds of excuses about the shortages, but it is ultimately about price controls. Free markets clear.

On November 1, the Christmas shopping season officially began in Venezuela. The Superintendency of Fair Prices (SUNDDE)  launched its 2014 Merry Christmas Plan. The plan coincided with the government’s economic strategy, informally known as the Dakazo, that mandates stores maintain “fair prices” on key items.

President Nicolás Maduro ordered audits be conducted throughout the country. The government sent out Círculos de Lucha, inspection teams consisting of 27,100 inspectors, 700 attorneys, and military officers, to certify sales are conducted at prices set by the state.
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If these can't be sold at free market prices, they won't be sold. This is basic economics and there are historical examples through out history.

It happened in Eastern Europe during the Soviet rule:


And in Germany during the price controls at the time of the 1920s German hyperinflation:

German breadline


4 comments:

  1. Rational people look at the situation and think "our government does not want this to happen here, and they are going to do everything they can to prevent it.". Our government look at the situation wistfully and think "how do we get that here?"

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