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Aren't These the Same?

I saw these two posts one after the other on Q&O.  One is about Chavez's food regulations in Venezuela, the other is about a government health care plan in California.  One is about government takeover of a critical industry, price controls, supply rationing, and demonizing large private corporations, and the other is about the same thing, but in Venezuela.  Since Chavez is further along with his program, we might see how things are working out for him:

Venezuela’s top food company has accused troops of illegally seizing more than 500 tonnes of food from its trucks as part of President Hugo Chavez’s campaign to stem shortages.

The leftist Chavez this week created a state food distributor and loosened some price controls, seeking to end months of shortages for staples like milk and eggs that have caused long lines and upset his supporters in the OPEC nation.

The highly publicised campaign has also included government crackdowns on accused smuggling, with the military seizing 1,600 tonnes of food and sending 1,200 troops to the border with Colombia....

He also threatened to expropriate companies selling food above regulated prices.

"Anyone who is distributing food ... and is speculating, we must intervene and we must expropriate (the business) and put it in the hands of the state and the communities," Chavez said during the inauguration of a new state-run market in Caracas.

Yep, sounds about the same.  Fortunately, people in the West can still travel across borders to get health care when government rationed and price-controlled services are not available, as many Canadians and British do. So in the US, when we implement all these same steps, we'll be able to travel to..., travel to...  Where will we be able to go?

Posted on January 29, 2008 at 08:23 AM | Permalink


The irony is that we'll have to go to Cuba.

Posted by: BobH | Jan 29, 2008 8:51:18 AM

Perhaps Singapore?

Posted by: chuck | Jan 29, 2008 12:44:35 PM

I am in Venezuela quite frequently for business and let me tell you, the food situation is completely out of hand. Chavez forced the prices of milk so low that the dairy farmers ended up slaughtering much of their herds because they couldn't afford to feed them. Now, there is ZERO milk available in the supermarkets (dried, fresh, canned, whatever). Rebuilding those herds isn't going to happen overnight. There isn't anyone on this planet (in Cuba even) that believes for a second that Chavez can create government farms that can fill this void more cost effectively. This is simply a situation of mis-management. The situation is similar for chicken and eggs.

People need to realize that whenever you read something about Venezuela that there are two currency rates: the official and the black market. Farmers have to sell their products at the official rate but must buy feed at the international commodity prices dictated by the black market. If you grow corn, you can either sell it in Columbia at 5.3 Bolivars to the dollar or sell them domestically at 2.1!

Furthermore imagine this: If you are a farmer, you can't sell your stuff to whoever you want. You must sell it to the government(at their price)! The biggest joke is that it isn't as if farmers were working on such huge margins that they can sell to the government for 50% less!

Posted by: Mike | Jan 29, 2008 1:48:35 PM

Is Chavez going to ask the ghost of Lysenko for advice on improving farm production next?

Posted by: markm | Feb 1, 2008 9:30:24 AM

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