Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chavez's Program of Preventive Confiscation

(Caracas, Venezuela) Since the Chavez government imposed socialist price controls on staple foods in 2003, grocery stores have regularly experienced the phenomenon of empty shelves.

To counter the phenomenon, President Chavez is sending out the Venezuelan National Guard to seize foodstuffs in a program called preventive confiscation.

The National Guard confiscated about 120 tons of foodstuffs from the nation's largest food company.
The “preventive confiscation” came after authorities detected inconsistencies in reports from the Empresas Polar conglomerate about the content of several warehouses in the western city of Barquisimeto, Gen. Luis Bohorquez Soto told state television.

He said the guard seized more than 91 tons of wheat flower (sic), 12 tons of butter, five tons of rice and more than 5,000 liters (1,320 gallons) of cooking oil, among other products.

The operation was part of President Hugo Chavez’s efforts “to protect the Venezuelan family” and avoid the phenomenon of empty shelves at grocery stores, the general said.
It's worth noting that I can recall seeing news footage of the former Soviet Union where citizens had to queue up at 4 AM to assure getting food at the government-run grocery stores before they ran out which occurred right after the 8 AM opening.

Price controls are always a bad idea. They create only scarcity and black markets. Repeatedly, history has proven it is so but nevertheless, every generation has its police-state socialist utopians who think they will finally be able to make it work. I contend that utopian socialism creates nothing but a pampered ruling class oppressing a population suffering through life in hopeless and chronic poverty.

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