Socialism Brings Food Shortages to Venezuela

Another day, another post about the failures of socialism. Today’s story comes from The New York Times. (It’s a shame they fail to put two and two together.)

Venezuela is run by a socialist dictator. He’s instituted price controls on food. Now there are food shortages. I went to the grocery store a little while ago and the shelves were full. In socialist Venezuela people wait in long lines and the shelves are practically bare.

[Emphasis added]

Venezuela is one of the world’s top oil producers at a time of soaring energy prices, yet shortages of staples like milk, meat and toilet paper are a chronic part of life here, often turning grocery shopping into a hit or miss proposition.

Some residents arrange their calendars around the once-a-week deliveries made to government-subsidized stores like this one, lining up before dawn to buy a single frozen chicken before the stock runs out. Or a couple of bags of flour. Or a bottle of cooking oil.

The shortages affect both the poor and the well-off, in surprising ways. A supermarket in the upscale La Castellana neighborhood recently had plenty of chicken and cheese — even quail eggs — but not a single roll of toilet paper. Only a few bags of coffee remained on a bottom shelf.

Asked where a shopper could get milk on a day when that, too, was out of stock, a manager said with sarcasm, “At Chávez’s house.”

At the heart of the debate is President Hugo Chávez’s socialist-inspired government, which imposes strict price controls that are intended to make a range of foods and other goods more affordable for the poor. They are often the very products that are the hardest to find.

“Venezuela is too rich a country to have this,” Nery Reyes, 55, a restaurant worker, said outside a government-subsidized store in the working-class Santa Rosalía neighborhood. “I’m wasting my day here standing in line to buy one chicken and some rice.”

Venezuela was long one of the most prosperous countries in the region, with sophisticated manufacturing, vibrant agriculture and strong businesses, making it hard for many residents to accept such widespread scarcities. But amid the prosperity, the gap between rich and poor was extreme, a problem that Mr. Chávez and his ministers say they are trying to eliminate. (Read More)

Does that last line sound familiar? If not, you haven’t been paying attention. This is what the progressive left wants to inflict upon us, in the name of fairness, of course.

H/T The Astute Bloggers

Update: Linked by The Pirate’s Cove – thanks!