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December 18, 2018


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I have read some material on the cooperation between Bolivarians and Polar corp, so now I'm wondering where I can read about a "systemic" attack. I know of conflicts in terms of land redistribution--but that generally has affected production for export, and I also tend to discount because of the racism underlying practically every land redistribution fight in the world.

I can imagine the behavior with the currency gaming doing lots of harm in getting equipment in, but I'd like to know more.

The government deliberately cut private farms off from the foreign exchange they needed to by imports.

Land expropriations hit all farms, not just export crops. That's mostly because Venezuela's export agriculture had been wiped out by Dutch disease decades earlier. It will be a while before we have the data we need to know how badly.

But the big blow landed from the Fair Price Act.

Thank, will look that up. I thought it was something like that or forcible sale of product below cost.

Creating famine is a feature of Communism and Tyrannical Socialism, not a bug (see Ukraine famine in the 1930s). The very simplified idea is as follows: the Government pursues equality of outcome and demonizes any competence as oppression. Farmers who were best at producing food manage to do better than the others and were then considered a problem and are either killed (Soviet Union, Mao), expropriated (many examples) or disabled (Venezuela). Under redistribution, the land is redistributed randomly or corruptly and production drops.

Reducing the argument to "only export crops are affected" is a double fallacy. Firstly, a significant portion of production (such as dairy farming) was focused on local markets, while being highly productive enterprises. Secondly, even export cash crops can contribute to food supply indirectly by providing FX to import food.

Furthermore, farmers were not just disabled by lack of FX (a relatively recent issue) but previously by runaway labor rules. Many farms had to mechanize in a country with high unemployment and availability of low skilled workers due to the risks aasociated with having employees. Later, the mechanisation tools and inputs were made unavailable due to lack of FX for the few producers who had not yet been prosecuted in some other way.

Actually, there is a big difference between Ukraine in 1930 and Venezuela in 2019. Stalin was, of course, evil, but he had an objective in mind, and he got it. He did not organize famine to achieve any sort of nebulous "equality" - he couldn´t care less about that. He wanted industrialization. The countriside was robbed in order to get resources to import machinery and to feed urban workers. That many of the farmers died off in the process was, indeed, a feature, not a bug - Stalin disliked the rural independence. It is true, the wealthier farmers were explicitly targeted - but in the end all of them were pretty much expropriated and, especially in Ukraine, being poor was no defense against the famine, which took everyone.

Now, in Venezuela the current disaster happens alongside the general deindustrialization. The government has not robbed the farm to feed the cities either. If anything, getting food is harder if you are not growing it yourself. There is no well-defined objective, however cruel or immoral, in any of it. Just staggering incompetense.

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