Thursday, January 24, 2008

Venezuelan troops seize food reported 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.
Price controls just cause shortages. And now the government steals private property to keep the people happy. But what happens when there is nothing left for the government to steal?
... 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.
Can't export to another country without price controls.
.... Another 165 tonnes were impounded in an eastern state on accusations of hoarding, he added.
Can't wait until price controls are raised.
.... Business leaders say shortages of these products are caused by strict price controls, which have lagged inflation that is Latin America's highest.... He announced an increase of more than 30% in the retail price of milk in an effort to ease shortages that have created headaches for consumers of all social classes.
Price controls cause shortages.
He also threatened to expropriate companies selling food above regulated prices.
That will not generate more food; ou just take their inventory to prop havez up for a little longer.
"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.

CQ blogged Chavez has looked for excuses to confiscate property a little at a time. With price controls keeping private production low, he has decided to raise prices just as the state enters the market on its own -- and then keeps his cost of production low by simply stealing the product.... What do Venezuelans see from this process? Hugo steals from the rich and gives to the poor, without noting the manipulations necessary for him to succeed in doing so. At least Hugo hopes that's all they see. If Venezuelans start figuring this out, he'll have to have that last flight out of Caracas on standby.

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