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.