Venezuela Shocker: Price Controls Cause Shortages

You mean that government cannot arbitrarily lower the prices on food and household items without disrupting the supply of those items? Who would have thought it? No one except every real economist who’s ever lived. But since when have socialists been concerned with such things as economic realities?

Not only has Venezuela imposed price controls, it now seeks to “cure” shortages by cracking down on shoppers. “Venezuela’s food shortage is so bad the country is mandating that people scan their fingerprints at grocery stores in order to keep people from buying too much of a single item,” Fox News reports.

The Guardian offers some background: “In 2008, when there was another serious wave of food scarcity, most people blamed shop owners for hoarding food as a mechanism to exert pressure on the government’s price controls, a measure that former president Hugo Chávez adopted as part of his self-styled socialist revolution.” (Nicolás Maduro is the current president.) Of course, price controls spawned a black market where common items go for exorbitant prices.

Today’s left continues to pretend that they can strip away people’s economic liberties without harming their civil liberties. The fact that Venezuela now wants to fingerprint grocery shoppers to counter the “hoarding” caused by price controls is merely the latest reminder that economic liberties are civil liberties.