Argentina Fines Walmart for Not Stocking Price Controlled Products that Don’t Exist

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President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is going down to Chavezville by repeating the same errors as Venezuela. The only way that she could mess up Argentina any further would be by actually starting a war with the UK.

Last month, retailers agreed to freeze the prices of around 200 basic goods–ranging from detergent to milk to condoms–to fight inflation that economists say likely surpasses 30% annually.

Obviously there’s a problem here. Passing price controls doesn’t mean that the products will actually be available.

At the time, retailers said the agreement could lead to supply problems if manufacturers of certain goods curbed production of products that yielded little or no profit or, in some cases, directly led to losses.

While you can bully retailers into selling products at a loss, they already do that with loss leader items in sales, as long as the rest of their inventory is profitable, you can’t force producers into manufacturing products that they are taking a loss on. It becomes cheaper for them to export the products to a country that will pay market prices for them… and if exports are banned, then they will smuggle them out of the country.

That’s how Venezuela ended up with shortages of everything, police taking over stores and mobs fighting over powdered milk… which is price controlled and which producers find more profitable to sell to Colombia.

So naturally the Argentinian government is being entirely realistic and reasonable about this whole thing.

Commerce Secretary Augusto Costa said, in a presentation to reporters, the government fined Carrefour about $ 167,000 and Wal-Mart around $77,500. The companies were allegedly found to have an incomplete stock of certain products that they agreed to sell at capped prices. Changomas, also owned by Wal-Mart, was fined about $41,000. Other local retail firms were also fined.

Simple problem. Fine the stores until they begin selling products that aren’t available at prices that producers won’t sell at… until they go out of business.

The fines also come a week after political activists allied with the government plastered this capital city with poster-size photos of retail executives accusing them of fueling inflation by raising prices.

The posters featured portraits of executives from the local units of Wal-Mart, Carrefour and other companies. ” These are the people who steal your salary,” the posters said. “They raised the price of everything to take your money.”

Sure, it’s not the government. It’s Walmart’s fault. For some reason other countries where Walmart operates have low prices. But Walmart is deliberately raising prices because it wants to fuel inflation that will wipe out its profits.

Kirchner is going Full Chavez.

On Friday, Mr. Kicillof defended the government from critics while placing blame for inflation on businesses. “The government doesn’t raise prices,” Mr. Kicillof said. “Some businesses may occasionally be justified in raising prices, but in most cases there can be no justification for this,” he said.

Could there maybe be some justification for it?

The fines come a day after Economy Minister Axel Kicillof announced a change in the methodology to measure price increases and reported that consumer prices rose 3.7% in January from the previous month. This was the first time in seven years that the government has acknowledged that the country has high inflation.

For years, the government said that annual inflation totaled around 10%–a number so implausibly low that it led the International Monetary Fund to censure Argentina and order a change in methodology to calculate key indicators accurately.

Clearly Walmart’s fault. Or maybe it’s Socialism’s fault. Planned economies and price controls don’t work. They lead to shortages which lead to riots which lead to scapegoats which lead to economic wipeouts.

  • Norman Hatfield

    Well, the governments message would clearly resonate with some people here in the United States. (At least in the Northeast and Left Coast.)

    • DB1954

      Sure, and also with some people and/or demi-gods here, like General Hiero, the Oracle of West Point or Guido Olivares.

      • A Z

        Ok, I am lost. What are you talking about?

  • Veracious_one

    capitalism works great and leftists and socialists hate it….too much government control dooms the country to misery and failure…

    • Albert8184

      No. Leftists love capitalism as long as they can be in charge of everything and use the treasury of the country for their own personal ideological whims.

      Capitalism is the way of the world. It can’t be abolished, like photosynthesis can’t be abolished.

      • Veracious_one

        “… as long as they can be in charge of everything and use the treasury of the country for their own personal ideological whims
        that’s fascism.

        • Albert8184

          And fascism is what socialists resort to when they need a scapegoat and a populist platform to stay in power.

      • DB1954

        Capitalism can’t be abolished, but Zer0 and George Soros are abolishing the next best thing–the middle class, aka, the “bourgeoisie.” Just ask Zer0′s loyal General, the Oracle of West Point.

        • Albert8184

          Most Marxists refer to the Democrat Party as a Bourgeois party – which is correct. I just wonder how many Democrats know what’s in store for them.

  • JimmyScruton

    Why socialism still exists???

    • Albert8184

      It’s always existed and always will…. unfortunately. In the ancient days, it was called tribal barbarism. In the medieval days, it was called monarchism and serfdom. For the last 200 years, it’s been referred to as “dialectic materialism”. Now it’s becoming “globalism”.

      • DB1954

        No, actually Marx “predicted” globalism, but he referred to it as the most advanced stage of capitalism–”imperialism.” Zer0, George Soros, and Valerie Jarrett think that the U.S. went way too far with “imperialism,” because of course we’re Anglo-Saxon in cultural origin. In other words, Zer0 thinks the Anglo-Saxon’s were essentially the worst racists in history–that’s the same tribe that defeated the Nazis, of course, but how soon we forget when it suits our personal interests to do so.

        • Albert8184

          “No, actually Marx predicted globalism” – true, but, so did the Holy Bible, the Muslims, Lord Maitreya, the Beatles, and a host of other philosophies and philosophers. Marx also predicted a globalism of utopian Marxism ultimately – he just mistakenly assumed it would somehow be free of nasty capitalism at the same time.
          It matters not to what I said, in the long run. Capitalism will always exist, whether it is state run or utterly decentralized into tribal barter economics.

      • Les Nessman

        Its offshoot in Latin American literature is called “Magical Realism.”

        • Albert8184

          Thanks for that info, Les. I’ll do some looking at that.

          • Les Nessman

            Check out Jorge Luis Borges, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Good writers, but the magical realism ruins things for me.

          • Albert8184

            Yeah, I googled the phrase and found some nice essays on the subject, and the fact it originated in Spanish literature. Didn’t get far enough though to see the linkup you referenced to being an offshoot of globalism. Can you give me a synopsis of the connection?

          • Les Nessman

            Oh, sorry if I misled you. Magical Realism isn’t an “official” offshoot of globalism, nor probably an unofficial one. It’s a trick that an author uses, in my humble opinion, when s/he runs out of ideas, and needs to spark up the narrative. Hard to explain, it’s sort of like the third world throwing a “Hail Mary” propaganda pass. Like “Baghdad Bob” when Bush Jr. went after Saddam? You insert something unreal, or surreal, into the conversation to distract people.

            I hope that you can forgive me. I’m an English major, and it’s very hard for us to describe our nonsense to rational people.

            All I meant was that folks south of the border do not have a good grasp on reality. They choose, instead, to use Magical Realism to save the day. Doesn’t work.

  • Omar

    Cristina Fernandez has gone too far. Did you know that a few weeks ago, right before the Chavez-created CELAC summit in Havana, the Marxist musical duo Calle 13 (13th Street) paid a visit to Buenos Aires to see the Argentine president. And do you know what Fernandez pledged to do for the horrible musical duo? She pledged to support forcing Puerto Rico to secede from the United States in order to install a Communist client state in the Caribbean island. The lunatic Marxist leaders (Castro, Maduro, Fernandez and others of their ilk) at the CELAC summit kept focusing on forcing Puerto Rico to join CELAC. This is despite the fact that residents of Puerto Rico voted to join the American Union as the 51st state. The Latin American radical left’s increasingly belligerent and hostile behavior towards Puerto Rico gives me an indication that they would start a war against the United States if its Caribbean territory becomes a state. Of course, the United States will be ready to defend the state of Puerto Rico if such a conflict ever breaks out. The Latin American radical left’s increasing hostile behavior against territorial integrity of countries further motivates me to support Britain in any diplomatic and/or armed conflict with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Both the Falklands and Puerto Rico have a lot in common. Besides obviously being insular jurisdictions, residents of Puerto Rico and the Falklands are proud American and British citizens, respectively, whose respective homeland sovereignties are being threatened by the Latin American radical left led by the Cuban Communist empire. The Cuban Communist empire needs to be told firmly and flatly that the Latin American radical left is not going to annex Puerto Rico nor the Falklands and that Puerto Ricans and the Falkland Islanders aren’t the properties of the Cuban Communist empire. I will tell the radical left in Latin America that Puerto Rico will become the 51st state of the United States of America and that the Falkland Islands is and will remain an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    • Albert8184

      Yeah, of course, all the Leftists out there will be chiming in to inform you that “you probably don’t even know what a Marxist is”….. or something like that.

      • DB1954

        Oh yeah, I get that all the time. I studied Marxism in grad school, so what the he|_|_ would I know about it? Besides, General Hiero–Zer0′s most loyal general, would order me to shut up and know nothing. Hiero knows all defines all; has done all. Just ask him.

        • Albert8184

          I get it all the time too. It’s supposed to work like a magic charm I think. Like shouting “racism” in a crowded lecture hall. It became a favorite Left Wing cliche back in 2009, if you recall, during the “Failure of Capitalism – Joe the Plumber Days” in Obama’s media honeymoon.

    • Les Nessman

      Yeah, but she’s almost as hot as Sarah Palin.

      • El Duderino

        Dang does your employer offer a vision plan?

        • Les Nessman

          I think that my vision is fine. You prefer the current first lady, who resembles Arthur Jermyn’s great-great-great-grandfather’s wife with a tan? Have fun looking it up, shouldn’t be difficult.

  • http://guidofoliva.blogspot.com.ar Guido Olivares

    is all lie this article, around the world companies are fine , and when southamerican countrys do it, its very bad. The problem is that this article `s been written by some stupid that is paid by holdings anti south american countrys because of it interest.

    • Albert8184

      No. Around the world, socialists decry companies as “terrible” and “exploitative”. You’re just resorting to the same old situational logic. You think capitalism sucks, wherever it exists, and that use “racism” as your constant excuse for everything.

      • http://guidofoliva.blogspot.com.ar Guido Olivares

        Argentina is not a socialist country, is a capitalist country, but capitalist for people with better jobs, better wages, at least better than before …. it is very sad to see that people who defend capitalism that defends only the banks and usurious and despises people …. companies like Spain, where unemployment stands at 35% ….

        • Albert8184

          All countries are capitalist, Guido. It’s all a matter of degree. And I never said Argentina was socialist. But, even if I had said that, it wouldn’t mean that Argentina didn’t practice capitalism. All it would mean is that economic freedom was controlled to whatever degree by the state.

          Everybody practices capitalism, Guido. It’s just a question of degree.

        • Les Nessman

          Guido is the “Baghdad Bob” of Argentina. Heck, Guido will probably tell you that Argentina is mostly Vegan, and that they don’t raise and eat and export vast quantities of beef. Guido probably still has his full sized blowup doll of Evita for company on lonely Saturday nights.

    • Les Nessman

      Did you use an abacus to translate from espanol to ingles?

  • A Z

    Christina Kirchner shows that there are other world leaders as pathetic as Obama.

    How is she is in office?

    In her time August’s slutty daughter had as many credentials to be a ruler as Christina does now. Maybe more.

  • DaCoachK

    Coming to America.

    • DB1954

      Already here.

  • MattBracken

    They lead to shortages which lead to riots which lead to scapegoats which lead to economic wipeouts…
    Which lead (oh my, I’m so shocked!) to revolutions and tyranny and mass oppression, with most of the same elites in charge. Meet the new boss.

  • El Duderino

    Make it illegal to sell something at a profit, don’t be surprised when it’s not offered for sale.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    The question is how many Americans will understand the lessons on offer.