Hugo Chávez's garden of Eden in Venezuela has run out of beef. And pork and chicken breasts, thighs, backs, legs and wings. All he's got left are chicken feet.
Could these people be any more stupid? Chávez and his government toadies are blaming "hoarders and speculators" for the shortages. The real problem is Chávez's price controls. Beef is artificially priced at $1.82 per pound when $2.41 per pound is required just to get it to the supermarket shelves. That means that the supermarkets have to sell it at cost, which they refuse to do, and the middlemen have to eat a $0.59 per pound loss, which they also refuse to do. Hence, no beef. Since the cattle raisers can't sell their beef to anyone, I guess that means they are hoarding it.
Chávez insituted price controls on over 400 basic items in 2003 in an effort to control inflation and help the poor. He successfully reduced the inflation rate from 25% where it was in 2003 to 78% where it stands today. And now the poor can't afford to buy even chicken feets. Nice job, Hugo!
The same problem exists for chicken parts (parts is parts, right?) of the more edible varieties, leaving nothing but chicken feets on the menu. As if this wasn't enough, the same thing is happening with sugar, so if you can manage to choke down your chicken feets, they'll go down bitterly, literally.
As a friend of mine once wisely remarked,
"I ain't eatin' nuthin' that's been stompin' around in chicken shit."
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