Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Scandinavian follies

KPC recently broke the story of Norway's tragic, self-inflicted butter shortage (or as Matt Yglesias would have it, Norway's heroic defense of a diversified economy).

Now let me ask you a question? What do you call buying butter at $35 a pound?

Well in Norway apparently it's a bargain and in Sweden it's a profit opportunity.

Yes people, the marauding Swedes are trying to bring down brave little Norway by smuggling in butter!

Two guys "sneaking" across the border with 550 pounds of butter. In 18 oz. packages. Tragically the article is silent on how exactly these packages were concealed.

The article treats the shortage as somehow exogenous and talks about how it has led to "blackmarket trafficking", like butter was heroin. As we noted before, idiotic trade barriers have produced this bogus "shortage".

Norway: We're not just oil, we're oil and butter! (except when we run out of butter).

Norway: No Dutch disease here, just take a peek at our dairy industry!


Jeff said...

From the bottom of that article:

Matthew Yglesias is Slate's business and economics correspondent.

Does Matt Yglesias have any practical experience, either in business or economics, outside of reading too many Paul Krugman columns? I mean, he's a smart chap, but even very smart people are prone to saying dumb stuff when they try to opine on subjects they're not terribly knowledgeable on. I don't think you'd have to look very far through Yglesias' archives to find examples of this phenomenon.

Neil said...

money quote from the Matt Y. article comments section:

Let me guess, you made it offensive because otherwise no one would have linked to this poorly written piece of crap. Not even sure what the hell I read here.

Matthew Yglesias you fail as a human.

Anonymous said...


I wonder how the Swedes snuck in that butter. And if someone got caught, would they have a loyal brother by their side swallowing the butter for them?