A modern case study on the evils of socialism

Venezuela is the most important case study on the evils of socialism in the world today which is why you hear so little about it. But this did come up today: Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.

Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood [!!! – this reporter really is beyond pathetic], the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country. . . .

Two bakeries were also seized for 90 days for breaking a number of rules, including selling overpriced bread.

However, there is a response from someone frustrated by all of this who has a simple and perhaps obvious solution.

Juan Crespo, the president of the Industrial Flour Union called Sintra-Harina, which represents 9,000 bakeries nationwide, said the government’s heavy hand isn’t going to solve the problem.

“The government isn’t importing enough wheat,” he said. “If you don’t have wheat, you don’t have flour, and if you don’t have flour, you don’t have bread.”

He said the country needs four, 30-ton boats of wheat every month to cover basic demand.

Yes, that’s it. Import more wheat. Why hadn’t they thought of it themselves? Given the state of the media today, it is amazing to see this reported at all even though the reporter is naturally clueless about the cause and effect. You will look high and low for an explanation of what has caused this wheat/flour/bread shortage, and if bread is in short supply, you may be certain everything else is as well. The report goes on in its own inane way.

The notion that bread could become an issue in Venezuela is one more indictment of an economic system gone bust. The country boasts the world’s largest oil reserves but it has to import just about everything else. Facing a cash crunch, the government has dramatically cut back imports, sparking shortages, massive lines and fueling triple-digit inflation.

Come on, what’s the problem? Explain the situation. Provide some kind of analytical depth. Tell us why is this happening???? Alas, this is all you get instead. Socialism can never be criticised even if people are starving.

Earlier this week, President Nicolás Maduro launched “Plan 700” against what he called a “bread war,” ordering officials to do spot checks of bakeries nationwide. In the plan, the government said it would not allow people to stand in line for bread but it’s unclear how it might enforce the order.

“The government is doing everything in its power to end the bread lines,” Crespo said, “but they’re looking at the whole thing backwards.”

Crespo said he’d been in touch with several union members in Caracas and that most said they’d passed the inspection by simply opening their pantries.

But there is an upside of sorts: Venezuela Discovers The Perfect Weight Loss Diet.

In a new sign that Venezuela’s financial crisis is morphing dangerously into a humanitarian one, a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food.

The extreme poor said they dropped even more weight than that.

The 2016 Living Conditions Survey (Encovi, for its name in Spanish), conducted among 6,500 families, also found that as many as 32.5 percent eat only once or twice a day — the figure was 11.3 just a year ago.

This is a story that should be known to everyone everywhere. Instead it is known to virtually no one anywhere, and even where it is, no one is given the slightest clue why any of it is happening at all.

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50 Responses to A modern case study on the evils of socialism

  1. Jannie

    Soon they will be picking on the potato speculators.

  2. zyconoclast

    Let them eat cake.

  3. Fisky

    The vast majority of economists believe the real problem in Venezuela is deficit aggregate demand. You go around and ask them, I can guarantee only a minority will venture that fixing prices below the cost of production and expropriating businesses are the main problems.

  4. Louis Hissink

    Either the usual suspects are just plain dumb in a Victor Borge sense, or, being a tad cynical, perhaps the goal is to reduce population numbers by other means than using lead missiles or polluted atmosphere.

    Isn’t the policy reducing Earth’s human population to around 1 billion?

  5. zyconoclast

    Soon they will be picking on the potato speculators.

    Which was/is worse that the Irish potato famine type of the WA potato marketing board type?

  6. the sting

    Reading this story you could substitute the word electricity for wheat and change the location from South America to South Australia

  7. NewChum

    I remember reading a book, I forget the title.

    It was about inflation in France, after the john laws debacle.

    Same response. Imprison people found to be selling food not at the fixed price.

    Amazing how it keeps happening, over and over again.

  8. Fisky

    Great to see South Africa about to have a jolly good go at land confiscation. Let’s see if a miracle can occur this time!

  9. Biota

    Shades of the same where the South Australian government blames the gas generator operators for a lack of power and aims to nationalise generation. Couldn’t be anything to do with the fact that they first destroyed cheap power. No.

  10. Roger

    Reading this story you could substitute the word electricity for wheat and change the location from South America to South Australia

    Yes, the inability of the Venezuelan government to identify and fix the problem due to ideological blinkers reminds me very much of our politicians’ blindness on energy policy.

  11. Jannie

    This is WA in ad 2017.

    Basis on which the Potato Marketing Corporation of Western Australia is constituted.

    The functions of the Corporation are defined in Section 17A of the Marketing of Potatoes Act 1946 as:

    • Regulate the production of ware potatoes so as to ensure the supply of quantities, kinds and qualities preferred by consumers in the state.

    • Take delivery of, and otherwise deal with, potatoes in accordance with this Act and market potatoes in the state and elsewhere.

    • Register persons who are to be authorised to carry on business as a commercial producer of potatoes, and license the areas of land to be used in any such business.

    • Encourage and promote the use of potatoes and provide for the monitoring and, if thought fit, regulation of the production of potatoes for propagation or for any other prescribed kind of use.

    • Foster methods of production and adopt methods of marketing that will enable potatoes grown in the state to compete in price and quality against potatoes from alternative sources of supply.

    • Promote, encourage, fund and arrange for the conduct of research into matters relating to the production and marketing of potatoes, and undertake market development.

    • Seek and apply knowledge of new and improved techniques and materials that will assist it to perform its functions.

    They have about 15 permanent staff, and a budget of $5m pa, their annual report shows they met all KPIs in 2015. Only one of the staff has an Irish surname.

  12. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    What are you complaining about? It’s only flour!!! Why don’t they go to the nearest MacDonalds restaurant, and get some food, fast? It serves the bakers right for not voting for the government…
    I keep suggesting that what all countries need is some sort of permanent underground economy. Failing that, an organised libertarian group which trades in gold, and moves into countries suffering from strong cases of socialismitis, selling food and drugs and guns to the enslaved citizens.

  13. .

    • Register persons who are to be authorised to carry on business as a commercial producer of potatoes, and license the areas of land to be used in any such business.

    Pffft….hahahaha!

    It would be funny if it was only a hypothetical joke. I grew potatoes as a kid, some scraps started growing on a compost heap.

    If I went to a hippy market and sold them – I’d get prosecuted?

    What a country.

  14. H B Bear

    Hugo Weatherdill has quite the ring to it. Maybe Penny should have stuck around a bit longer.

  15. duncanm

    Look,

    its clearly because they haven’t gone full socialist.

    You must always go full socialist.

  16. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I keep suggesting that what all countries need is some sort of permanent underground economy.

    You can bet your life Venezuela already has one, a thriving black market paid in US$ and a barter exchange system for the impoverished middle classes. The poor go hungry or start going back to the Church for the soup kitchens. It’s an almost textbook case of how socialism fails. Yet everyone from the left in Australia that I speak to about it says it is due to international oil magnates, big oil is destroying Venezuela.

    Somehow there’a always a big bad evil capitalist behind it all for them.

  17. This sounds like the Victoristan government wanting to take over and run a timber mill with 250 employees, using taxpayers money, because the timber mill has declared it’s unprofitable to run unless it can source a reliable annual quantity of timber (to which the government has denied access).

    It’s clearly the timber mill’s fault.

  18. Tel

    The vast majority of economists believe the real problem in Venezuela is deficit aggregate demand.

    It was the austerity policies that really brought them down.

  19. Mick

    I’d really like to hear from the likes of Sean Penn and Michael Moore — Chavez’s biggest fan boys.

  20. Baldrick

    Why do they always come after the bakers first?

  21. Howard Hill

    Given the state of the media today, it is amazing to see this reported at all even though the reporter is naturally clueless…
    Come on, what’s the problem? Explain the situation. Provide some kind of analytical depth. Tell us why is this happening????

    Perhaps they had a run of mother ducks crossing roads and holding up traffic?

    And now for the weather: It’s the hottest year on record, reported the Weather Bureau.

    And now for the sport: The Yellow Journalists vs the All Bloody Communists(ABC) – And don’t forget to tune in for A Current Advertisement right after the not news.

    What, you don’t know why the power keeps going out; don’t you watch the news???

  22. Hydra

    This is the most disgraceful economic humanitarian crisis of the 21st century and it is exactly what the Venezuelan government want.

  23. JohnA

    bemused #2329510, posted on March 17, 2017, at 6:37 pm

    This sounds like the Victoriastan government wanting to take over and run a timber mill with 250 employees, using taxpayers money, because the timber mill has declared it’s unprofitable to run unless it can source a reliable annual quantity of timber (to which the government has denied access).

    It’s clearly the timber mill’s fault.

    Precisely, bemused.

    This is the downside of fixed four-year Parliamentary terms.

  24. stackja

    Socialism works as long as OPM last.

  25. Robbo

    Venezuela is the nation that our home grown idiots, the Greens, would like us to emulate. The wonder is that about 10 percent of voters in Australia vote for those numbnuts. Let’s have voluntary voting and see whether those Greens voters are prepared to put down their drug of choice for an hour and go and vote.

  26. RobK

    The technocrats think being in charge means telling everyone what to do rather than just keeping to a minimum of basic core business with a minimum of interference and simple, well understood laws.

  27. Empire

    Why do they always come after the bakers first?

    If the butchers and the candlestick makers don’t do anything , they’ll be next.

    In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country. . . .

    This shit would never fly in the US. Private firearm ownership was outlawed by Chavez in June 2012.

  28. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Venezuelan u.n.communists are into bread and naughty bakers The australian u.n.communusts are into climate change, the US u.n,communists are into destroying Trump ,the EU u,n,communists are Ito reversing Brexit. Don’t the Commisars have control over the comrades ? Wouldnt have happened in comrade Dzhugashvillis day ,Slack lot ,couldn’t fight a revolution like we did . And that Trump is no Hitler ,.

  29. Nighthawk the Elder

    Is knock on door.

    I say “Who is knock on door?”

    He say “Is potato man. I come give free potato”

    I open door. Is no potato man

    Is Venezuelan secret police.

  30. cynical1

    Bread?

    Chavez the daughter has lots.

    Four billion it is rumoured.

    It seems like only yesterday that the likes of Phat Adams and Pilger wanted to educate Australia about
    the economic miracle of Chavez.

    I hope the bastard call still smell sulphur…

  31. RobK

    Borat goes to Venezuela?

  32. H B Bear

    Why do they always come after the bakers first?

    When you can’t afford the circuses then you better be able to provide bread.

  33. john constantine

    If only Trump would let Venezuela open its borders and stimulate their economy through mass importation of tenants and clients and voters for True Stalinism.

    If only north korea could free trade a nuke to venezuela, then the Tories would be sorry.

  34. john constantine

    When only the Army has guns and the government can’t pay wages, it sucks to be a peasant with a few breeding goats that can be shot and eaten, or a store of seed grain for next year.

    Preppers in Venezuala not doing much better than anybody else,if all they did was prepare to be self-sufficient after society collapsed.

    The only prepper trick worth doing is to earn a ticket on the crony socialist lifeboat by getting a good government job crushing the free-living proles and taking their stuff.

  35. Rabz

    The entire country, for its own sake, shut be shut down.

    Oh wait, it already has been.

  36. OneWorldGovernment

    What Venezuela represents is the complete and utter failure of ‘big man’ Spanish EU Rule.

    The entire Sth American continent is fked because of it.

    Look at any place around the World.

  37. Farmer Gez

    The drop kick from the Miami Herald cannot possibly be quoting the Industrial Flour Union rep corrrectly.
    “Four, 30-tonne boats of wheat every month to cover basic demand”.
    That’s only 120 tonne of wheat and at 450 grams per loaf will give the 32 million population one loaf to share between 116 people per month.
    Not a chance that the quote is correct.
    Journo’s know less than nothing.

  38. Roger W

    Why don’t they just eat cake?

  39. iampeter

    Instead it is known to virtually no one anywhere, and even where it is, no one is given the slightest clue why any of it is happening at all.

    But Steve, I thought this could never happen if they just had tight immigration control and protectionist economic policies. Immigration being like the number one issue EVER.

    It’s almost like to have a successful civilization…there’s a lot more too it than that.

  40. The Pugilist

    National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights

    How long before Weatherill appoints an ex-CFMEU thug to take up this glorious position in South Australia?

  41. Farmer Gez

    Ross Garnaut on ABC News Radio reckons the wind blows best at night.
    Check out any 24 hour wind record on Southern Australia and see the opposite is the case.
    Is he trying to sell something I wonder?

  42. Gerard

    Sounds like our power problems. It’s those bad gas companies causing our powe problems, not our command and control policy settings.

  43. classical_hero

    To government, the cause of and solution to all life’s problems.

  44. Crossie

    The vast majority of economists believe the real problem in Venezuela is deficit aggregate demand.

    It was the austerity policies that really brought them down.

    It’s all over when you cancel private property rights. We are now watching the results of it in Venezuela.

  45. struth

    Socialism needs other people.
    Other people’s money and yet when it still fails , other people to blame.

  46. Tintarella di Luna

    When you can’t afford the circuses then you better be able to provide bread.

    Very elegant H B Bear

  47. King Koala

    Yet everyone from the left in Australia that I speak to about it says it is due to international oil magnates, big oil is destroying Venezuela

    That is true in a larger sense. First world oil companies went into a third world nation and forced it into the modern world, which results in a population boom and an increase in the standard of living that can only be sustained through foreign wealth and foreign leadership. What is happening in Venezuela is the same thing that is happening all over Africa; the natural outcome of low iq, low trust people who cannot maintain the veneer of civilization they were given.

  48. Nerblnob

    Colombia also relies on oil and resources export money, and it is doing all right.

    There is a stark difference between its policies and its neighbour’s.

    Australia has inexplicably chosen Venezuela’s path.

    Meanwhile, Colombia, in reaction to energy shortages in the 90s:

    While Colombia has vast hydroelectric potential, a prolonged drought in 1992 forced severe electricity rationing throughout the country until mid-1993. The consequences of the drought on electricity-generating capacity caused the government to commission the construction or upgrading of 10 thermoelectric power plants. Half will be coal-fired, and half will be fired by natural gas.


    Colombia – Mining & energy Wiki

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