Skip to comments.Caps on Prices Only Deepen Zimbabweans’ Misery
Posted on 08/03/2007 2:52:40 PM PDT by george76
Robert G. Mugabe has ruled over this battered nation, his every wish endorsed by Parliament and enforced by the police and soldiers, for more than 27 years. It appears, however, that not even an unchallenged autocrat can repeal the laws of supply and demand.
One month after Mr. Mugabe decreed just that, commanding merchants nationwide to counter 10,000-percent-a-year hyperinflation by slashing prices in half and more, Zimbabwes economy is at a halt.
Bread, sugar and cornmeal, staples of every Zimbabweans diet, have vanished, seized by mobs who denuded stores like locusts in wheat fields. Meat is virtually nonexistent, even for members of the middle class who have money to buy it on the black market. Gasoline is nearly unobtainable. Hospital patients are dying for lack of basic medical supplies. Power blackouts and water cutoffs are endemic.
Manufacturing has slowed to a crawl because few businesses can produce goods for less than their government-imposed sale prices. Raw materials are drying up because suppliers are being forced to sell to factories at a loss. Businesses are laying off workers or reducing their hours.
The chaos, however, seems to have done little to undermine Mr. Mugabes authority. To the contrary, the government is moving steadily toward a takeover of major sectors of the economy that have not already been nationalized.
We are at war, one of Mr. Mugabes vice presidents, Joseph Msika, said in a speech on July 18. We will not allow shelves to be empty.
His June 26 decree, much of which was later enacted into law, was draconian: businesses were ordered to reduce their prices by about 50 percent. Shop owners who refused to comply would be jailed. Stores that closed or refused to restock goods would be taken over by the government.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The governments takeover of slaughterhouses seems ineffectual: this week, butchers killed and dressed 32 cows for the entire city. Farmers are unwilling to sell their cows at a loss.
There are no IV fluids to speak of; no sticks to check for diabetes, no opioid analgesics,
do I really need the sarc tag?
Do they have ‘free’ health care ?
Pretty soon they'll have no choice, as the local Big Man rolls up in his Benz with a platoon of soldiers and a fleet of trucks to haul the herds away.
I'm sure the suffering is dreadful, but we should not lift a finger to prevent the coming catastrophe. The worse for Zimbabwe, the better for the rest of the world. Nothing is more important to the well-being of the human race than snuffing out the last vestiges of Marxism, collectivism, and populism once and for all.
This will be an object lesson in economic laws that will be in the textbooks until the end of civilization.
Can people dying of starvation riot effectively? Maybe we will find out soon in the agricultural wonderland of Zimbabwe..
Anybody with a brain saw this coming a couple years ago when Mugabe started stealing the farms from the eeeviiiil white folks and giving them to his pals, most of whom were just thugs who beat up Mugabe’s opponents on command. Zimbabwe has gone from the breadbasket of Africa to a basket case. Really sad.
Apparently many have left for South Africa. They send money back to their stuck families.
Businesses will not be able to buy wholesale items for resale as the businesses will eventually run out of money.
Then the Big Man will put them in jail. Of course, the jail will not have food either...
if there ever were an argument for economics 101
in high school,
this is it.
The only "Caps" Zimbabweans need are for some caps in Mugabe's ass.
Careful now. Mugabe was the US media darling twenty five years ago when fighting against that “evil” Rhodesian government!
This would only be news to the New York Times.
Somebody should tell the Democrats.
Price caps, destroys cities and Countries every time it is tried.
Yep. I wonder how many "progressive" whites that voted for the little commie (actually, was it 2 or 3 elections before Carter got the numbers he wanted?) wished they had the RLI and Grey Scouts back now?
the World Food Program issued an urgent appeal Wednesday for $118 million in donations to feed Zimbabweans, stating that drought and political upheaval would empty the organizations stockpiles by years end without more money.....Give Mugabe more money, let more people hang on hopelessly, let the situation get worse for more people and the World Food Program can stay in business longer and the executives can richer. Sorry, cut the lifeline, and see what happens.
Its interesting to see what the end game will be. This cant go indefinitely without outside intervention, Im guessing, although SA doesent seem to want to play right now.
Not so long as the Commies are running the schools.
Here is the kicker. Mugabe’s government will eventually collapse and he and his apostles will retire to France with billions.
And so it proceeds like clockwork. The current ruling class is literally running out of things to steal and hence will turn on itself squabbling over the ever-diminishing loot.
This is socialism's final victory. The middle class has been assassinated, leaving masters and slaves. It isn't difficult to guess who will starve first.
The people are starving and there's nothing the U.S. can do to help them. Any aid sent would go directly to Mugabe and his henchmen.
The masses aren't able to revolt when they don't even have food. I don't know if there is an answer to this situation, either external or internal.
Handouts is whats keeping this thing from imploding. Handouts from expatriates, from the UN, from donations elsewhere, and so on. Maybe this could go on indefinitely, although it might just end when the lunatic dies. After all, hes over 80.
Like Mexicans, they are getting money from Zimbabweans in South Africa. People’s ingenuity to survive should not be underestimated.
Coming to Venezula soon. Chavez is a Mugabe wannabe.
Cooperation and profit, not existing goods, are wealth. The stock of existing goods in any country will not last a month without the real underlying basis. This government does not grok, and thinks it can print wealth when it prints money, and that nefarious enemies are the only thing stopping it from doing so. We have seen it all before a dozen times, and it ends in collectivization and slaughter.
Nobody having the stones for this, the people can either take matters into their own hands and do it themselves internally, or they can simply get up and walk to a sane country and leave Mugabe alone with his goons, commanding the tides to turn back. The world can sustain the people in refugee camps over the border until his pretend government collapses.
Whip Inflation Now!
The price of the buttons went up during Ford’s administration.
Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!
I'm sure the suffering is dreadful, but we should not lift a finger to prevent the coming catastrophe. The worse for Zimbabwe, the better for the rest of the world. Nothing is more important to the well-being of the human race than snuffing out the last vestiges of Marxism, collectivism, and populism once and for all.Well said!!!
It’s funny how the “have nots” always just happen to live in single party state dictatorships.
Can’t be a coincidence.
Must be capitalist oppression.
South Africa would be the logical choice to do something, but SA is not far behind Z in being screwed up. Sure am glad they got the racist regimes they wanted.
And so it proceeds like clockwork. The current ruling class is literally running out of things to steal and hence will turn on itself squabbling over the ever-diminishing loot... isn't difficult to guess who will starve first.Bingo.
Weapons are controlled by the state.
The money is worthless, so it’s a division by zero error, or somethin’. :’) I’ve actually known someone from Zimbabwe. He fled a few years before I met him, and he was pretty circumspect and reasonable in what he said about Mugabe, but was sure that it was only a matter of time. That was five years ago, when the situation was much better than now. :’) Wonder what he’s thinking now?
Final disposition of the last of the food will come precipitously; normally we can go three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food, but much of the population probably hasn’t been eating that well for a while.
My prediction is that Europe will step in.
Oh, and the US will be blamed for paying too much attention to Somalia and not enough to Zimbabwe.
In the meantime, the Moslems’ slaughter, maiming, and enslavement of non-Moslems will continue in Sudan.
And Libya will pursue its vilification campaign against Bulgaria (but not “Palestine” apparently) over those nurses held illegally for eight years.
Mugabe must be in trouble when even the ny slimes notices.
The American left will blame Bush.
Z was and can be a big profitable bread basket. This is a dramatic example of the failure of socialism. The left around the world will deny it.
Hopefully some of those who advocate ‘free’ health care will note this inconvenient truth.
I didn't mean to imply that nothing could be done, only that it will require intervention from outside sources. I for one don't want that outside source to be the United States. We shouldn't be the police force for the entire world. Your suggestion that people simply walk out of the country is not realistic.
Your tone is confrontational and I won't engage in argument with you, this is a bad situation with no easy solutions.
You may have the last word that I won't read anyway. Go for it!
God bless you and your's.
And I gave an entire spectrum of solutions, the best of which is that civilized countries refuse to allow millions of innocent human beings to be misruled by incompetent mindless savages. The next best being for those oppressed people to free themselves by force. And the least desirable but still perfectly possible, that they simply get the heck out as fast as they can, as many have before them.
Here is what should never, ever happen - civilized countries keep this sort of monster in power through handouts out of pretended moral concern for the people, when they lack the moral strength to get out of their fracking armchairs and do anything about it.
Drink deeply of the water of life brother.
There will be cannibalism before very much longer. Not in days or weeks, perhaps, but in months.
Is Mugabe still getting advice from Jammy Cahtah? Sounds like it.