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A *complete* waste of time and money

From the Mail & Guardian, South Africa:

"The Cabinet has approved a draft framework for a national food-price agency, President Thabo Mbeki said on Sunday...."This arises out of the concern about the high and rising food prices and their impact on the poorest in the country," he said. It was necessary to have some institutionalised way to respond to it on a continuous basis, rather than an ad hoc basis. The agency would study the phenomenon so that it could recommend to the government what could be done to produce the desired results".

Could it be that supply and demand are alien concepts to Mbeki? Cutting through the persiflage, this is a softening up ahead of introducing price controls, which sure as night follows day will lead to shortages. If he really wants to do something about the cost of living, he would be better off giving a loaf of bread to everyone he meets.

Meanwhile, they are trying the reverse approach some 100 degrees to the north:

"Preliminary conclusions from a new report show that the uniform price reform has given low income workers in the big towns more money in their pockets.

At the same time, middle-class residents in the smaller settlements and outer districts have seen a worsening of their finances. The conclusions are part of a soon to be published report from the Department of Infrastructure and the Environment, according to knr.gl".

Can't say I am surprised.

As a probably one off, 'only in Greenland' footnote, note this reference by Rasmus Sembach Olsen of the distribution department of the Environment Agency: 'the big towns like Ilulissat, Sisimiut or Nuuk'. Ilulissat - pop. 4,453, Sisimiut, pop 5965 and the great metropolis of Nuuk - 15,047.



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