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Caps on Prices Only Deepen Zimbabweans’ Misery
new york Times. ^ | August 2, 2007 | MICHAEL WINES

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, Zimbabwe’s economy is at a halt.

Bread, sugar and cornmeal, staples of every Zimbabwean’s 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. Mugabe’s 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. Mugabe’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bulawayo; economics; economics101; mugabe; robertgmugabe; zimbabwe
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1 posted on 08/03/2007 2:52:43 PM PDT by george76
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To: SunkenCiv

The government’s 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.


2 posted on 08/03/2007 2:55:49 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Clive

“There are no IV fluids to speak of; no sticks to check for diabetes, no opioid analgesics,”


3 posted on 08/03/2007 2:57:57 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

4 posted on 08/03/2007 2:58:39 PM PDT by Bon mots
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To: george76
I am sure the price controls on gasoline will work here, however.

do I really need the sarc tag?

5 posted on 08/03/2007 2:59:52 PM PDT by dynachrome (Henry Bowman is right.)
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To: dynachrome

Do they have ‘free’ health care ?

/s


6 posted on 08/03/2007 3:03:00 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76
Farmers are unwilling to sell their cows at a loss.

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.

7 posted on 08/03/2007 3:03:50 PM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: george76

Can people dying of starvation riot effectively? Maybe we will find out soon in the agricultural wonderland of Zimbabwe..


8 posted on 08/03/2007 3:04:34 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: george76

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.


9 posted on 08/03/2007 3:05:44 PM PDT by justanotherfreeper
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To: Nonstatist

Apparently many have left for South Africa. They send money back to their stuck families.


10 posted on 08/03/2007 3:06:35 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: ccmay

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...


11 posted on 08/03/2007 3:09:51 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

if there ever were an argument for economics 101

in high school,

this is it.


12 posted on 08/03/2007 3:19:30 PM PDT by ken21 (b 4 fred.)
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To: george76
Caps on Prices Only Deepen Zimbabweans’ Misery

The only "Caps" Zimbabweans need are for some caps in Mugabe's ass.

13 posted on 08/03/2007 3:20:26 PM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: george76

Careful now. Mugabe was the US media darling twenty five years ago when fighting against that “evil” Rhodesian government!


14 posted on 08/03/2007 3:20:47 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: george76

Whitey’s fault.


15 posted on 08/03/2007 3:27:57 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Brian J. Marotta, 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub, (1948-2007) Rest In Peace, our FRiend)
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To: george76
It appears, however, that not even an unchallenged autocrat can repeal the laws of supply and demand.

This would only be news to the New York Times.

Somebody should tell the Democrats.

16 posted on 08/03/2007 3:29:47 PM PDT by Maceman
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To: george76

Price caps, destroys cities and Countries every time it is tried.


17 posted on 08/03/2007 3:33:37 PM PDT by The Bat Lady (Using gov. math it is really 20 million illegals and will turn into 100 million in 5 years.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
Mugabe was the US media darling twenty five years ago when fighting against that “evil” Rhodesian government!

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?

18 posted on 08/03/2007 3:50:14 PM PDT by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: george76

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 organization’s stockpiles by year’s 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.


19 posted on 08/03/2007 3:55:43 PM PDT by Safetgiver (So simple, even a Muslim can do it.)
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To: george76
They cant support everybody with reparations. The economy is grinding to a halt. Only in an Orwellian nightmare can people be expected to produce things at a loss. It is one big penale colony, only Mugabe cant feed the inmates.

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.

20 posted on 08/03/2007 4:01:37 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: ccmay
This will be an object lesson in economic laws that will be in the textbooks until the end of civilization.

Not so long as the Commies are running the schools.

21 posted on 08/03/2007 4:05:15 PM PDT by Iconoclast2 (Two wings of the same bird of prey . . .)
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To: Nonstatist

Here is the kicker. Mugabe’s government will eventually collapse and he and his apostles will retire to France with billions.


22 posted on 08/03/2007 4:07:31 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The Democrat Party: "Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.")
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To: george76
Perhaps he should have a whole bunch of these made:


23 posted on 08/03/2007 4:11:47 PM PDT by mgstarr (KZ-6090 Smith W.)
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To: george76
Yet merchants and the government’s many critics say that much of the cut-rate merchandise has not been snapped up by ordinary citizens, but by the police, soldiers and members of Mr. Mugabe’s governing party who have been tipped off to the price inspectors’ rounds.

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.

24 posted on 08/03/2007 4:17:11 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: ccmay
I'm sure the suffering is dreadful, but we should not lift a finger to prevent the coming catastrophe

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.

25 posted on 08/03/2007 4:44:57 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Billthedrill

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.


26 posted on 08/03/2007 4:45:00 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: Graybeard58

Like Mexicans, they are getting money from Zimbabweans in South Africa. People’s ingenuity to survive should not be underestimated.


27 posted on 08/03/2007 4:46:46 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: Billthedrill
This is socialism's final victory. The middle class has been assassinated, leaving masters and slaves.

Coming to Venezula soon. Chavez is a Mugabe wannabe.

28 posted on 08/03/2007 4:48:22 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: ccmay
There aren't any herds...

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.

29 posted on 08/03/2007 4:50:21 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: Graybeard58
Sure there is, Mugabe should be read a riot act and told to pack his bags for the Riveria, there to spend the rest of his unnatural life where he can't inflict further suffering. Or if he doesn't want to, he can drop dead.

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.

30 posted on 08/03/2007 4:53:18 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: Graybeard58
I hate this "can't do anything" nonsense. It is an utter lie. We could blow the man to kingdom come tomorrow without tensing a muscle. That he don't has nothing to do with "can't" and everything to do with "don't give a damn".
31 posted on 08/03/2007 4:55:08 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: mgstarr

Whip Inflation Now!

The price of the buttons went up during Ford’s administration.


32 posted on 08/03/2007 5:15:06 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: Bon mots

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!


33 posted on 08/03/2007 5:24:55 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ccmay; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; KlueLass; ..
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!!!
34 posted on 08/03/2007 5:25:23 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: dfwgator

:’D


35 posted on 08/03/2007 5:27:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Nonstatist

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.


36 posted on 08/03/2007 5:27:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Graybeard58

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.


37 posted on 08/03/2007 5:29:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Billthedrill
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.
38 posted on 08/03/2007 5:31:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Nonstatist
"Can people dying of starvation riot effectively? Maybe we will find out soon in the agricultural wonderland of Zimbabwe.."

Weapons are controlled by the state.


39 posted on 08/03/2007 5:36:11 PM PDT by monkeycard (There is no such thing as too much ammo.)
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To: george76

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.


40 posted on 08/03/2007 5:36:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

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.


41 posted on 08/03/2007 5:57:33 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: JasonC
I hate this "can't do anything" nonsense. It is an utter lie.

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.

42 posted on 08/03/2007 6:15:19 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58
Over a million people have already walked out of the country.

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.

43 posted on 08/03/2007 6:20:44 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: JasonC

Grok?
Drink deeply of the water of life brother.


44 posted on 08/03/2007 7:26:30 PM PDT by conejo99
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To: Billthedrill
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.

There will be cannibalism before very much longer. Not in days or weeks, perhaps, but in months.

-ccm

45 posted on 08/03/2007 7:31:09 PM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: george76

Is Mugabe still getting advice from Jammy Cahtah? Sounds like it.


47 posted on 08/03/2007 9:29:24 PM PDT by Rembrandt (We would have won Viet Nam w/o Dim interference.)
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To: Bon mots
He looks like Darth Sidious.
48 posted on 08/04/2007 10:09:46 AM PDT by Niuhuru
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To: Bon mots
He looks like Darth Sidious.
49 posted on 08/04/2007 10:09:50 AM PDT by Niuhuru
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To: george76
Maybe we have a few of these laying around in some government warehouse somewhere:

L

50 posted on 08/04/2007 10:12:07 AM PDT by Lurker (Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing small pox to ebola.)
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