Free Markets, Free People

Venezuelan government seizes electronics chain over “fair” pricing … or so they claim

If you thought Hugo Chavez was bad, his successor, Nicolás Maduro, is Chavez without the charisma.  But Maduro learned all of Chavez’s tricks to stay in power, and one of them is to claim to be involved in a perpetual war against outside forces who are bent on destroying their socialist paradise.   In this case the “high prices” in Daka stores (equivalent to our Best Buys) gained the ire of Maduro who sent the military in to seize the stores and require them to offer “fair prices” on their electronics:

Members of Venezuela’s National Guard, some of whom carried assault rifles, kept order at the stores as bargain hunters rushed to get inside.


Daka’s store managers, according to Maduro, have been arrested and are being held by the country’s security services. Neither Daka nor the government responded to requests for comment.

Of course, Daka is unlikely to continue to serve Venezuela if it can’t make a profit – something most socialists governments have never understood.  But let’s look at the real reason this is happening:

“I have no love for this government,” said Gabriela Campo, 33, a businesswoman, hoping to take home a cut-price television and fridge. “They’re doing this for nothing but political reasons, in time for December’s elections.”

Maduro faces municipal elections on Dec. 8. His popularity has dropped significantly in recent months, with shortages of basic items such as chicken, milk and toilet paper as well as soaring inflation, at 54.3% over the past 12 months.

Which means:

“This is more like government-sanctioned looting,” said 42-year-old Caracas-based engineer Carlos Rivero. “What stops them going into pharmacies, supermarkets and shopping malls?”

It is exactly like government-sanctioned looting.  And the engineer’s point is telling – what industry in Venezuela can feel safe given the actions of this government?  Why would any foreign entity ever invest or take the chance of establishing itself in Venezuela?  Each election would put them on a target list for seizure depending on how poorly the head of the government viewed his popularity and how much he felt it necessary to boost his reputation.

The one entity whose job it is to protect you from force and fraud is engaged in both “legally”.

Why would anyone feel safe?


25 Responses to Venezuelan government seizes electronics chain over “fair” pricing … or so they claim

  • “Fair” prices and “affordable care”.
    As determined by the Ubermensch of the Collective.
    Prices are determined by market forces (which includes your personal choice), or they are determined by self-interested bullies.
    With market forces, you get a benevolent result that ramifies throughout society.  With self-interested bullies you get ruin that ramifies throughout society.
    And the question still echos…how many times does this truth have to be demonstrated?

    • Somewhere a self muzzled academic is whimpering sadly that markets don’t correct themselves.

      • Not only DO they tend to self-correct, they generally do it with amazing efficiency.
        Compare and contrast with bureaucracies, who DO NOT self-correct, while expending VAST resources to COVER UP any need for correction, and resist change at any cost.

    • how many times does this truth have to be demonstrated?

      >>>> For (sadly) too few, only once – if ever.  For the rest, it will never be enough

  • “Why would anyone feel safe?”
    Heh, maybe the government can find ways to make them feel safe.  You know like ours does, by spying on their communications, restricting their intake of trans-fats or groping them when they travel.
    Oh, heck, it’s about businesses isn’t it…..well,
    how about if the government makes them feel safe by bailing them out with taxpayer money any time they hose up their company with a lousy product or bad business practices.
    How about guaranteeing them a tax payer looted profit if laws the government passes adversely affects the company, like the Insurance companies with Obamacare,
    or just effectively excusing them from taxation for a few years altogether like GE.
    Venezuela’s REAL problem is they’ve already pretty thoroughly fleeced their middle class, so they have to shift wealth around in other ‘fair’ ways like this.
    We’ll get there, Obama be praised, just give us a little more time.
    “I will not stand for any thing that’s crooked or unfair
    I’m strictly on the up and up let every one beware.
    If anyone’s caught taking graft and I don’t get my share,
    we line em up against the wall and POP goes the weasel”

  • Obama and the Dems are watching and racking their brains to see how they can do the same thing here.  Maybe by demonizing “bad apple electronics retailers”?

    • Don’t forget “bad apple” Big Oil…and when inflation kicks in, it’ll be due to Big Business “unfairly” jacking up prices.
      And, just like a couple years ago when gas prices were flirting with $4.00 a gallon, 60% of the people attributed it to Big Oil, and 20% said it was due to Republicans (< 10% said it was due to Obama and his interference with XL and off shore drilling…).

  • And speaking of naked banana republic style government  –
    “Elections have consequences!!!!!”
    and when you’re a Democratic, and you don’t LIKE them, you can do something about it!

  • [Australian] FEDERAL cabinet has ruled that Australia will not sign up to any new contributions, taxes or charges at this week’s global summit on climate change, in a significant toughening of its stance as it plans to move within days to repeal the carbon tax.
    Cabinet ministers have decided to reject any measures of “socialism masquerading as environmentalism” after meeting last week to consider a submission on the position the government would take to the Warsaw conference.

    • Australia offers hope that people CAN learn from mistakes.

      • Austrailia is more an exception though. Of the other countries in the world, they were one of the closest to us in spirit and thought.

  • I see the other part of this plan is to restrict company profits to a percentage.
    Now where have I heard THAT?  Because it somehow sounds familiar.

  • Ummmmm, if memory serves, they ELECTED that government, right?
    Just like Detroit, Kalifornia, Chicago, etc., reality rears it’s ugly head…

  • Common Corpse.
    Central planning + Collectivist indoctrination.
    All the WORST of a failed model from LAST century in an iPad generation.

  • In a sense, this is the same as Democrats pushing a raise in minimum wage up to $10.10 for the 2014 midterms.

    • Yes, and once again American Business will nobly sacrifice itself and absorb that new cost without passing them on to the consumers or cutting staff.

  • “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

  • “good and necessary”
    Did they learn from twitter what the “fair” prices should be?

    • No, no.  The Venezuelan “approved” social media for komrads.
      Defaced Book.

    • Could this be the start of a Latin American Spring do you think?   Because the 20 somethings are rising up and replacing the old outdated thinking.
      We’ll just have to wait and see because this won’t happen over night and it will take time.   But I’m optimistic!