You can probably find someone Stateside who thinks this is a swell idea:
Venezuela’s embattled government has taken the drastic step of forcing food producers to sell their produce to the state, in a bid to counter the ever-worsening shortages.
Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores. Shortages, rationing and queues outside supermarkets have become a way of life for Venezuelans, as their isolated country battles against rigid currency controls and a shortage of US dollars — making it difficult for Venezuelans to find imported goods.
The state stores, numbering 7245, are presumably hoping to get some coin of the realm back from people who prefer the 113,000 or so grocers in the private sector, represented by the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber. You can guess what Pablo Baraybar, head of the Chamber, thinks of this whole scheme:
“Taking products from the supermarkets and shops to hand them over to the state network doesn’t help in any way,” he said. “And problems like speculating will only get worse, because the foods will be concentrated precisely in the areas where the resellers go.
“Consumers will be forced to spend more time in queues, given that the goods will be available in fewer stores.”
And you might think that Venezuelans have suffered enough already:
In March, Venezuelans were so worried about food shortages and diminishing stocks of basic goods, fingerprint scanners were installed in supermarkets in an attempt to crack down on hoarding.
Venezuela’s official rate of inflation hit 64 per cent last year — the highest in the world. The government hides the scale of shortages, but angry consumers regularly post photos of empty shelves on social media.
As with all socialist (and more than a few non-socialist) governments, “official” numbers are arguable at best.