Monday, October 8, 2007

Tomato republic

I know my posts on government and the economy are particularly popular.

Among insomniacs.


Wait. I think I just zinged myself. Gaw!

All right. So I've mentioned inflation before. And the government lying about inflation statistics.

But it's getting worse than ever. And the government's fudging the figures is really exacerbating the problem.

If they came clean and said that inflation was running, say, 1.3% a month, that would be one thing. But since they insist it's at .8% and everyone know that's a fantasy, people are being forced to guess at what the real number might be. This generates uncertainty and speculation, which quickly leads to making inflation worse than it might otherwise be.

The latest chapter in the saga is that this week there's a tomato boycott. The official government price for tomatoes is 3.99/kilo (that's about a dollar and change per kilo). And, yes, there's an official government price for tomatoes. Because, you see, if the government just sets a price for something, then everyone will fall in line and how can there be inflation? Right? Right.

It's not uncommon to see tomatoes going for 10, 12, 14 pesos/kilo (two or three times as much as the price agreement level).

Clearly the vegetable producers, distributors and sellers have failed to succumb to the government's reality distortion field.

The boycott is actually not a bad idea.

On the other hand, so is waiting until tomato season to buy tomatoes.

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