UPDATE: And a few days earlier, there was state-sanctioned looting:
Nov 9 – Thousands of Venezuelans lined up outside the country’s equivalent of Best Buy…President Nicolás Maduro ordered a military “occupation” of the company’s five stores…”I want a Sony plasma television for the house,” said Amanda Lisboa, 34, a business administrator, who had waited seven hours already outside one Caracas store. “It’s going to be so cheap!”
I’m shaking my head at the short-sightedness. If stores are going to be occupied and looted, then no, Amanda: TVs won’t be cheap.
Nov 15 – Venezuela’s socialist government has arrested more than 100 “bourgeois” businessmen in a crackdown on alleged price-gouging at hundreds of shops and companies since the weekend, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.
“They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites!” Maduro thundered in the latest of his lengthy daily speeches. “We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment.”
Inflation is the problem:
Officials say unscrupulous companies have been hiking prices of electronics and other goods more than 1,000 percent…
To spell it out for any lefties reading this: Companies only do what’s needed to stay afloat – and what the market will bear. It’s the Venezuelan currency that has been printed into oblivion. So yes, inflation.
Naturally, the government claims that its interventions help the poor:
The successor to the late Hugo Chavez also said his government was preparing a law to limit Venezuelan businesses’ profits to between 15 percent and 30 percent…
..Like Chavez, Maduro says he is defending the poor…”It’s time to deepen the offensive, go to the bone in this economic war,” he said.
Maduro still has money to hand out
Obamaphones Samsung products:
Via Bloomberg (from Venezuelan State TV):
•Venezuela to pay $100m in cash for Samsung product imports, Ramirez says
•Samsung products to arrive before Christmas, Ramirez says
Any bets on whether all this will help or hurt Venezuela’s poor?