Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do You Need Government To Help You Buy Potatoes?

Well, in Greece at least, the answer used to be, "Yes." Now that the government can't borrow money any more, the answer is, "No."

Dig this.
Katerini, a once prosperous town and local hub for agriculture, transport and tourism, has been hit by the crisis as hard-pressed as any other in debt-laden Greece. Streets are full of shuttered shops. Pawnshops offering to buy jewellery are mushrooming. Just like everywhere else in the nation, unemployment has climbed to record levels.  
The Pieria Volunteer Action Team, a group of local activists, decided to use the internet to help people get cheap food. They first contacted a potato grower in northern Greece with surplus stock and a license to sell directly to customers.  
Then they invited members and friends to place their orders on the internet. "Within 12 hours, 530 people ordered 24 tons of potatoes. We had to stop taking orders," said Elias Tsolakides, a 54-year old member of the group.
A couple of observations.
  • The government is an impediment to feeding people. Once removed, people can find food cheaply.
  • It doesn't make sense that this is a new development. Unless something changed over the last few years, free market selling of potatoes had always been better. It's just that the government in Athens, bloated by borrowed money, shoved itself into every step of the process of bringing you a potato.
  • When the progressive, socialist system falls apart, what happens? People go back to the free market.
  • If socialism / fascism worked, you'd never leave it.
  • The event reminds me of stories from the Soviet black market. Hey, that's a coincidence, right? It can't be that the same forces that dragged down communism are at work in Greece, can it?
  • So just what is the difference between the Soviet Union and Greece? If it's just a lack of armed guards shooting emigres at the border, then Greece is going to have a problem with emigres.
  • Uh oh.
  • So, anyway, back to the potatoes. The potato has been cultivated as a food product for more than 7,000 years. It's doubtful that the farmers in the Andes ca 5000 BC filled out forms for government potato distribution. What kind of idiot thinks that government intervention saturating the simple production-sales cycle for potatoes was a good idea?
This kind of idiot.

1 comment:

Dean said...

The slant of the article is "activists" and "internet". I get the feeling that the message that the majority of people reading that article will take-away is that rather than "free market". Shame.