Meat and Sugar Scarce in Venezuelan Markets as Prices Explode, Will Media Notice?
While the media fawn over despots like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, they rarely report on the horrors of life for most under such rule. With that in mind, it seems safe to assume that a current meat and sugar shortage in Venezuela that appears to be caused by government price controls is likely to go mostly unnoticed.
As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis mine throughout):
President Hugo Chavez's administration blames the food supply problems on unscrupulous speculators, but industry officials say government price controls that strangle profits are responsible. Authorities on Wednesday raided a warehouse in Caracas and seized seven tons of sugar hoarded by vendors unwilling to market the inventory at the official price.
Hmmm. Price controls and government intervention in the free market causes shortages and hyperinflation. You don’t expect to see that reported on the broadcast network news programs tonight, do you? Regardless, the article continued:
Shortages have sporadically appeared with items from milk to coffee since early 2003, when Chavez began regulating prices for 400 basic products as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor.
Yet inflation has soared to an accumulated 78 percent in the last four years in an economy awash in petrodollars, and food prices have increased particularly swiftly, creating a widening discrepancy between official prices and the true cost of getting goods to market in Venezuela.
"Shortages have increased significantly as well as violations of price controls," Central Bank director Domingo Maza Zavala told the Venezuelan broadcaster Union Radio on Thursday. "The difference between real market prices and controlled prices is very high."
Quite a lesson in capitalism’s benefits that would be marvelous if America’s media had the guts to share with the citizenry, dontcha think?