August 21, 2006

220,000 dollars for a loaf of bread.

Soon to be only 220 dollars, as Zimbabwe readjusts its currency so you won't have to lug around bags of cash when you go shopping.
Critics say the measure does not tackle the underlying causes of Zimbabwe's inflation.

They accuse President Robert Mugabe of ignoring economic principles and trying to bribe voters by seizing productive white-owned farms to give to poor black families.

23 comments:

Seven Machos said...

I read in The Atlantic that Zimbabwe had, at least at one recent point, a law requiring bread to cost less than the cost of making bread. That's the economic problem of the left in a nutshell right there.

Freeman Hunt said...

So where do people who want to leave Zimbabwe go? Is the border to South Africa well-guarded? I think that's where I would head off to, but I'd probably try to avoid stopping at the border farms.

MadisonMan said...

$220K? That's a lot of bread for bread.

Someone had to say it.

Freeman Hunt said...

$220K? That's a lot of bread for bread.

Better have some seeds or herbs or something baked in there.

RogerA said...

According to the BBC (link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4775987.stm), Zimbabweans, some million of them, have gone to South Africa where, regretably, the are exploited by South Africans.

Eli Blake said...

Robert Mugabe is a despot in every sense of the word (and it isn't just towards white people, blacks who disagree with him or his policies are deprived of their property, imprisoned or sometimes murdered.

He's lucky that Zimbabwe is more like North Korea than Iran: If there was oil there, then darn it, we'd have found an excuse to ratchet up the war rhetoric and bring Democracy to his country by now.

El Presidente said...

Robert Mugabe is a fine fellow. We met several times while he was setting up his socialist paradise.

Seven Machos: Only an American Capitalist could criticize cost controls on a loaf of bread. Don't you want the poor to eat?

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Icepick said...

He's lucky that Zimbabwe is more like North Korea than Iran: If there was oil there, then darn it, we'd have found an excuse to ratchet up the war rhetoric and bring Democracy to his country by now.

WTF? When did we invade Iran? Damnit, at the last meeting of the VRWC I was told the invasion wasn't scheduled until late October. I HATE it when they change schedules like this.

Icepick said...

Methinks Seven Machos wasn't paying attention....

Seven Machos said...

On second thought, maybe El Presidente is being sarcastic and I am a complete rube, too anxious to educate. It's hard to tell. In the interest of intellectual honesty, here is what I wrote above:

"Oh my God! Brilliant! We have, in El Presidente, an exact and perfect example of the specimen of sheer idiocy concerning economics that the left cannot help but suffer.

Okay, El Presidente, let's play Remedial Economics 101. What happens when the price of something is set artificially below the market price? Here's a hint: is there enough bread in Zimbabwe, or not enough?

Hence, if you truly wish to feed the poor, are price controls a good idea?"

Jonathan said...

Seven: I'm not sure which left wingers, except for Mugabe, are calling for price controls to be set below cost. Antitrust laws are supposed to make things affordable for consumers, but the goal of antitrust is to maintain the price at the competitive, market level rather than the supercompetitive, monopoly/oligopoly level. Additionally, a hypothetical price control that capped the price below market (hence having some effect) wouldn't necessarily cap price below cost (which would result in none of the goods being produced) because usu. mkt price > cost.

Seven Machos said...

Subsidies are price controls. In the food and education industries, we give massive subsidies to both producers and consumers. This leads to higher costs, but fairer and more stable outcomes. The libertarian conservative in me doesn't think this is quite right, but the pragmatic functionalist in me knows it is probably necessary.

The one price control with reagard to goods and services that you don't want is an actual price control.

Alan, Esq. said...

Alas... We keep seeing Zimbabwe's real-life experiment to re-create the effect of Atlas Shrugged. Only, instead of the productive population quitting their jobs, they are being murdered or forced off their land by the government.

It's a human tragedy which will affect millions...

I wonder if there is any new news on Jon Benet Ramsey.

dearieme said...

"seizing productive white-owned farms to give to poor black families": black, no doubt. Poor: I doubt it.

PatCA said...

Icepick,
You gotta give us more time to get out this wacky fake diatribes from the Iranian President! Like the old saying says, it's hard to make this stuff up.

Revenant said...

WTF? When did we invade Iran?

For that matter, when did we invade Venezuela? It's closer to home, better-equipped to supply Americans with oil, and isn't full of crazy religious people.

JorgXMcKie said...

I'm sure that my Lefty friends will explain to me that Mugabe's Socialism, like Stalin's, just isn't being properly implemented. You know, the way Castro's is.

Icepick said...

Revenant, I have argued strenuously for invading Venezuela at the VRWC meetings, but to no avail. One of the points you and I consider to be a plus (namely that it "isn't full of crazy religious people") is seen as a liability. After all, how can this be pitched as part of the war on Islamo-fascism?

Personally, I think the American public is sick to death of fighting those damn religious crazies. Plus, we haven't invaded a Latin American country since the early 1980s, and we haven't even toppled a government in over 15 years!

As a member of the Traditionalist Faction, I find this egregious. How can we forget our roots like this? Damnit, how can we claim to be Americans if we aren't invading Latin American countries and toppling their governments? Even the VRWC is going to Hell in a handbasket....

Troy said...

Icepick... do not forget Mugabe's stellar universal healthcare and education programs.

His Weimar bread program just needs time to catch hold. Changing $100K notes to hundies is the way to go... Jedi mind-trick as monetary policy.

Abraham said...

I'm sure that my Lefty friends will explain to me that Mugabe's Socialism, like Stalin's, just isn't being properly implemented.

More to the point, I am certain that we shall hear that it is the fault of the United States that socialism is failing in Zimbabwe.

El Presidente said...

Seven: Who do you trust to set the price of bread, a magnanamous leader only interested in the interests of his people or those who stand to profit from from a high sales price.

I missed your comment but I can assure you I need no eduaction on running a third world country. Have you not heard of the universal healthcare and 100% literacy in the socialist wonderland.

Chip Ahoy said...

OMG, this is awesome, talk about synchronistic coincidences, talk about 'em, I said, I was just now wondering if Gatsby made it to Zimbabwe or what

So I typed Zimbabwe into the Althouse blogger site search and BANG! there is Zimbabwe right there underneath it but the item is unrelated so it sends me a cosmic joke that's unfruitful, like freaking out a kitty with a pen laser light, no fair.