Just when you thought things in Venezuela couldn’t possibly get any worse, they do. This from Yahoo! News:
Caracas (AFP) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution in the South American nation beset with record shortages of basic goods, runaway inflation and an escalating economic crisis.
During a rally Friday, on International Workers’ Day, the socialist leader allowed a union activist to ask for the nationalization of food and essential-item distribution.
Citing new decree-making powers recently granted by the National Assembly, Maduro said he would carry out such a measure “in the coming days and weeks.”
Maduro had pledged earlier in the week to announce economic reforms.
Various estimates suggest the government already controls about half of the country’s food distribution, but that hasn’t stopped record shortages in shops and markets.
Has no one in the Venezuelan government not looked around the world or looked at history and asked, Under what system does food distribution work best. Under a market system being the answer. Just think about the stories of shopping in the old Soviet Union to get the point.
On any given day, people in Venezuela can wait hours to get some subsidized milk, cooking oil, milk or flour — if they can be found at all.
And does Madura really think nationalising the rest of the food distribution system will help. Market reforms are needed to get the economy going again. What is needed is the use of the price system to allocate resources giving consumers and producers the right incentives and information about scarcities. This would counter the black market and smuggling of goods out of the country.