Monday, November 11, 2013

Venezuela Price Gouging

Could this happen in the U.S.?

 The Christmas shopping season has started with a jolt here, with the socialist Venezuelan government dispatching soldiers to “occupy” a major chain of electronic goods stores, ordering prices slashed there and in other shops that it has accused of price gouging.

Huge crowds formed outside stores in several cities over the weekend as inflation-weary Venezuelans showed up hoping for bargains. Others took the government’s order as a license to loot: Some posted cellphone videos online showing large-screen televisions and other items being carted off in Valencia, the country’s third-largest city. 

 The dramatic measures, ordered on Friday by President Nicolás Maduro, were reminiscent of the populist gestures of his immediate predecessor, Hugo Chávez, the country’s longtime leader who died in March. They come as the government grapples with serious economic problems, including inflation of 54 percent a year and shortages of many basic goods, including toilet paper, milk and flour. 

All of that is weighing on Mr. Maduro a month ahead of municipal elections that the opposition is seeking to cast as a referendum on his young government. Mr. Maduro argues that his government is facing an “economic war” waged by what he calls the right-wing opposition in Venezuela and its backers in Colombia and the United States. In announcing that military personnel would occupy the five-store electronics chain Daka, Mr. Maduro said that the government would supervise sales at significantly lower prices and that the store’s stock would be liquidated. 

Answer:  If Chris Christie gets his way, yes.  Gov. Christie might well declare a state of emergency if he thinks prices are "too high" during the Christmas shopping season.  Christie is clearly a Chavista at heart.


big al said...

and here i was just watching "the battle for chile"...oh, the resonance...

Pelsmin said...

I read these stories and think of my business school buddy who is head of the Venezuelan chamber of commerce.

I've thought of some ways I can help him deal with this government, and I've come up with only one sure-fire idea to help him, but I think it's illegal to mail narcotics across international borders.

Anonymous said...

Please explain the difference between Maduro taking over the electronics market and Obama taking over the insurance market.???