Protectionism

Norway Has an "Acute Butter Shortage"

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paula deen

And it's so bad, there's even a Russian butter smuggler. Butter makers are blaming it on the weather and people who want to lose weight by eating more butter:

The shortfall has been blamed on a rainy summer that cut into feed production and therefore dairy output, but also the ballooning popularity of a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich diet that has sent demand for butter soaring.

This could ruin Christmas in the land of Santa!

The shortage comes at a time when Norwegians usually eat plenty of buttery traditional biscuits and other homemade Christmas treats made with love and the liberal inclusion of dairy products.

Now this Christmas tradition is in danger.

H/T to Andrew J. Coulson, who poses (and answers) the obvious question over at the Cato@Liberty blog:

Well why don't they just, you know, import more?

That's what Sweden's doing—they've had similar weather and they've got the same diet fad, but their stores (and soon their arteries) are chocked full of butter. But the Norwegians couldn't do that.

Why on earth not?

Norway has a butter monopolist called "Tine" that is deliberately protected from foreign competitors by government-imposed import tariffs.

Well, with all due respect: duh! We've only known the damaging effects of monopolies and protectionism for, like a couple of hundred years.

Reason on butter's storied political history here, here, and here.