Venezuela

Venezuela to Fingerprint Supermarket Shoppers

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When artificial price controls fail to bring food to the poor and instead lead to catastrophic shortages for everyone, what do you do? If you are Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, you don't admit that the socialist policy you inherited from the late Hugo Chavez is a failure, you double-down by ordering all supermarket shoppers to be fingerprinted as a means of preventing "fraud."

Revolutionary rationing
Carlos Garcia Rawlins—Reuters

From the BBC

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has announced a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets to combat food shortages and smuggling.

He said the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item.

But the opposition in Venezuela rejected the plan, saying the policy treated all Venezuelans as thieves.

Critics said fingerprinting consumers of staple products was tantamount to rationing and constituted a breach of privacy.

Fingerprinting follows only four months after Marduro mandated all Venezuelans to use a "Secure Food Supply" card, which according to The Guardian:

will limit Venezuelans to once-a-week shopping and will set off an alarm to halt any transaction if a purchaser breaks the rules. The government wants to prevent individual shoppers from "over-buying" in a country hit by acute shortages of basic items including milk, sugar and toilet paper. Critics say it is an admission of failure of economic policy in one of the world's big oil-producing nations.

Venezuela continues to be plagued by staggering murder rates, inflation and scarcity of many basic cooking staples. Anger over empty supermarket shelves in a country with the world's largest oil reserves was a primary cause of the massive protests from earlier this year, which were violently suppressed by government forces. 

Even one-time "revolutionaries" of Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution, which was supported by most of Venezuela's poor, are growing weary with failed top-down economic policies. Also from The Guardian:

For some, the recent move is nothing short of a Cuban-style rationing card that will sooner or later hamper citizens' economic freedoms.

"I don't want to be told what I can buy and when I can buy it. That's what I work for. I am a revolutionary but I didn't go into this wanting it to become Cuba," says Mercedes Azuaje as she exits a corner shop with an almost empty bag of groceries.

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  1. That sounds like a really great idea! Let’s draw up some legislation!

    /USA Congresstards

    1. Coming soon to a food stamp program near you.

  2. “I don’t want to be told what I can buy and when I can buy it. That’s what I work for. I am a revolutionary but I didn’t go into this wanting it to become Cuba,” says Mercedes Azuaje as she exits a corner shop with an almost empty bag of groceries.

    Well, you see, you stupid commie fuck, in Commiefuckistan you don’t make the rules, you OBEY them. Now shut up and get in line!

    1. I laughed out loud at that. Talk about missing the forest for the trees. No, love, dear, sweetheart, you poor urchin, this is your revolution. This is the radical reorganization of your beloved Venezuela. This is everything you might have hoped for and nothing you could deny.

      1. Yeah, if you’re not going to be content with your daily ration of government sponsored gruel, it’s probably best to re-think your political alliance.

      2. Good thing it’ll work out better in the US.

      3. I LOL’ed as well…She is a revolutionary as long as it doesn’t affect her material well-being. It’s only good if others suffer…

    2. I bet more than a few inmates looked out through the bars of Dachau and said WTF?

    3. They HAVE to say that they are the revolution. Whenever a Cuban “protests” about something it’s in the form of “I love my revolution, but this is not in the original spirit,” or something like that.

    4. You know how it is – ‘socialism is for *the people*, not the socialists’.

  3. For some, the recent move is nothing short of a Cuban-style rationing card that will sooner or later hamper citizens’ economic freedoms.

    Uh they’re already being forbidden to buy certain things in certain amounts. What has to happen before their economic freedoms are actually hampered?

    1. So making Venezuela more like Cuba turns out to make Venezuela more like Cuba? Who’d a thunk it.

      1. Wait a minute… isn’t Cuba the closest thing to the workers paradise? I mean, they have the best health care and best everything on earth, right?

        1. Certainly according to official Cuban statistics they do!

    2. Uh they’re already being forbidden to buy certain things in certain amounts. What has to happen before their economic freedoms are actually hampered?

      Coercion is certainly one marker, but actually once there’s nothing in the stores to buy your “economic freedom” is pretty much gone.

    3. It is the Guardian.

      They draw the line of economic freedom and lack of economic freedom between being skinned alive and being beheaded.

    1. “But it would be too hard to go get Lois Lerner’s e-mails from that backup system,”

      These insufferable assholes involved in this, every single one of them should be rotting in prison.

      1. They are violating the first rule of scandal management: get it all out and over with. Dragging this out is not working for them. Real judges are demanding answers now, and in the run-up to an election….

      2. Prison is too kind.

        Unless it’s like Oz prison and they have to toss someone’s salad on a nightly basis.

    2. A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Fox News’s Shannon Bream.

      “But it would be too hard to go get Lois Lerner’s e-mails from that backup system,

      So it is designed for a catastrophe like a computer crash….yet they won’t get it for this particular computer crash.

    3. I am not surprised that the e-mails were never lost, I am surprised that they would admit to it.

  4. How do you spoof people like this?

    How ridiculous are they gonna get?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkYfmRwryQo

    Jesus, at this rate, they’re gonna turn all of Venezuela into Detroit.

    How could they have known?

  5. This is like the less-fun parts of the Book of Revelations. It’s not all cool stuff like giant monsters and so forth…

    “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” Rev. 13:16-18

    1. When you’re imposing a policy resembling an apocalyptic prophecy, maybe you should reconsider where you went wrong.

    2. So, retinal scans are coming next?

      1. Bar codes flash-burnt into the skin

    3. Somewhere I have a ’70s pamphlet claiming that UPC codes were the Mark of the Beast, and that soon the government would tattoo them on everyone.

      1. There are easier ways to identify people than by tattooing every single one with a removable or alterable trampstamp, ways already employed (like fingerprinting or DNA matching) and some working their way down the pipe (facial recognition software).

        So either God marks us all for the Beast at birth, or the Beast is hilariously behind the technological curve.

        1. Well, if some dude from the Roman empire had a dream of future folk identifying themselves with fingerprints or palmprints or retinal scans to shop, with no technological context, he might think they were showing some invisible mark on their hands or foreheads. Not to say he did, but…

    4. Not much into biblical prophecy, but it does seem that John was rather on the right track.

      1. It was pretty broadly applicable stuff, of course. What era of history hasn’t had charismatic tyrants, or Conquest, War, Poverty/Inequality, and Death?

    5. Funny. so maybe Chavez was smelling his own odor and not Bush’s?

    6. Since when do beasts buy and sell?

      Can’t we just agree that the book of revelations make no sense?

      1. When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

        Yeah

      2. You’re right, but that’s almost a mark in it’s favor for the likelihood of it coming true.

  6. I’m shocked that the repeatedly proven-to-be-bad policy didn’t work and doubly shocked that their solution to this problem they created involves a new intrusive, sure-to-fail policy.

    I can’t wait for even tighter border controls to stop all this “smuggling”, which only capitalist scum will compare to the border control policies of the USSR and East Germany.

    To catch all these smugglers, it’s probably a good idea that they neighbors, family members, and coworkers to report those they suspect of “hoarding” or “smuggling”. That will allow the government to properly respond to those who would cheat their fellow citizens.

    Where is Sean Penn to tell us how great all of this is?

    1. …good idea that they ask/require neighbors…

  7. So glad this could never happen here in the USA.

  8. It’s like a nation run by Ayn Rand villains.

    1. I thought Ayn Rand wrote fantasy books for teenage boys with faux rebellious ideations, books which possessed no philosophical, intellectual, or historical coherence or relevance.

  9. As Sean Penn expressed it pretty well, “Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of Vice President Maduro,” if by “endure” he meant “suffer” with respect to Venezuela.

    Oliver Stone probably said it best: “Hugo Ch?vez will live forever in history.” Which is accurate, but not in the way he intended.

    1. Outside of Venezuela, Chavez will be forgotten like every other populist moron. Chavez is no different from Nasser, Gaddafi, William Jennings Bryan, Peron, or scores of other such.

      1. Maybe if The Great White Squaw is elected in 2016, she will make a giant likeness of him on the National Mall?

        1. I started to use the word ‘erect’ instead of ‘make’, it seemed like a better choice of words, but I somehow found disturbing the thought of Lizzie Warren, Hugo Chavez, and the word erect all in the same paragraph.

      2. So forgotten that you can recite all their names from memory…

        1. I’ve read a bit of history. There have been hundreds of others. Note that all of them were within the past 100 years.

          Even so, go out in the street of any country (other than the home country of the persons named) and ask 100 people who Nasser, William Jennings Bryan and Peron were, They might remember Gaddafi because he got offed only a couple of years ago, but the rest?

          1. If they’ve heard or seen Evita they’ll know who Peron is, even if tangentially.

      3. forgotten like every other populist moron.

        Don’t forget Huey Long

        Pre-Katrina New Orleans did and look what happened to them.

    2. You know who else lives forever in history?

      1. Noel Gallagher?

  10. I think Tony just creamed himself.

  11. trust “democracy”, right joe?

  12. Again, no “aha” moment with progressive socialists. Just “gas more people and everything’ll be aight”

    1. There is no “aha” moment coming for progressive socialists. Let me cut right to the chase, they’re stupid.

      1. They’re not stupid. Their problem is that they don’t think. They feel. I know. I once felt as they do. Now I think.

        A big factor is social pressure. When they learn how to think, the hive starts to reject them.

        There have been many times where I’ve managed to, one on one, sway progressives into thinking instead of emoting. But they invariably choose the hive over me.

        Seriously. By thinking for themselves instead of feeling like everyone else, they put themselves in a situation where they face some serious social pressure. I mean, they’re going to be shunned by everyone who is important to them.

        It’s not stupidity, it’s incentives. They value being one of the cool kids more than being an individual.

        1. So you’re telling me that when libertarianism becomes cool that we are stuck with these morons?

          1. Libertarianism will never be cool. Force is cool. Violence is cool. Making people do things against their will is cool. So no, we will never be stuck with them. Not until human nature changes. Which it won’t.

            1. George Orwell on Mein Kampf:
              [Hitler] has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security, and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flag and loyalty-parades?. Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,” Hitler has said to them “I offer you struggle, danger and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.

            2. Tribalism sells, even if it has to coerce you into buying.

          2. Gillesie and Welch think that the key to the Libertarian Moment lies in pandering to those morons!

        2. It’s amazing that some people have the idea that peer pressure is something that begins in junior high and ends in high school.

      2. It’s completely rational. They don’t want to be rejected by everyone they care about. Because that’s what happens. By questioning the consensus and thinking for themselves, they become a pariah. They are shunned. But we humans are social animals. We have an incentive to be accepted. We don’t want to be outcasts. And as humans we tend to choose the easy road. It’s much easier to nod your head and feel that it’s not fair that some people have so much while others have so little, and to want to use force to “fix” it. You’ve got to actually learn some boring economics stuff and apply some critical thinking before having that “aha” moment, and on top of that the courage to risk rejection from those who are close to you.

        I don’t have any progressive socialist friends anymore. I ask them to question what they feel, and to instead think. They don’t like that. They don’t want to be shunned by the hive. So they shun me.

        1. I’m not sure humans are social animals per se. I think humans instinctively understand that division of labor has obvious benefits. Most socialist/progs believe in the ethos only because someone else does the work – they would ditch the belief system in a heartbeat once THEY have to actually do the work.

          Ironically, the only ones who would WANT to do such work are obvious sociopaths who hate most of the animals they have to socialize with.

      3. I used to feel that there was a great pie in the sky, and that there were these evil rich people holding me back. That when those rich get richer, the poor get poorer. I didn’t understand that by growing the pie, everyone gets richer. I didn’t understand that money is not wealth. I measured income in dollars, not in what the dollars can buy. I didn’t understand that capital is not food being withheld from hungry children, but in fact a means to make food for hungry children.

        Like I said, I once felt as they do. I was Tony. And I don’t consider myself to be stupid. I doubt you do either.

        Then I learned to think.

  13. I dont think Jack Frapp is going to liek that?

    http://www.AnonCrypt.tk

  14. Look, if these Venezuelan ingrates don’t like the socialist utopia Chavez and Maduro have graciously instituted for the people, they can fucking move to Somalia!!!!

    /progderp

  15. President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has announced a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets to combat food shortages and smuggling.

    Cue Michael Moore documentary about how Venezuela’s grocery system is like so totally better than the evul kapitalist koch-oporate Wal-Mart/Target/Food Lion/Wegmans/etc, etc.

    1. You can’t let prices create incentives for people to move goods to where they are wanted. That’s what Top. Men. are for.

      1. If the Government doesn’t provide groceries, no one except the rich will have anything to eat!!!!

        /social justice warrior

        1. The US govt does provide groceries to the poor.

          1. The US Government provides food stamps which are an entirely different thing.

            If they actually provided groceries, a lot more people would starve.

            1. No.

              No one would starve. They would get jobs really quickly and those that could not due to genuine issues would be fed by charities.

    2. Not even the most hardened communist could have a problem with Wegmans. One of the few reasons I miss living in the northeast.

    3. My GOD I wish we had Wegman’s here in NYC.

      1. 😀 They are planning to open one near my house in Charlottesville VA. It will be their southernmost store (currently that’s the one in Fredericksburg, VA).

        1. NYC’s grocery market is extremely broken, and I’ve never figured out why. It’s not unions, because the big chains upstate like Wegmans and Tops are unionized. It’s not space, because huge stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot are very successful even in Manhattan. I honestly don’t know what it is.

    4. Point taken, but as an aside we should be aware that the free market optimizes for efficiency, not robustness. Just-in-time delivery is great for preventing waste and saving money, but if the electric grid goes down, in three days American supermarket shelves will be as bare as Venezuela’s.

      1. but if the electric grid goes down, in three days American supermarket shelves will be as bare as Venezuela’s.

        Unexpected events are unexpected. Incidentally, they are also vastly different from governmental central control policies (which are consciously implemented) that result in shortages.

      2. Actually, a free market system is vastly more robust than a centrally planned system. In a free market system, the warehouses still exist and so does most of the food supply. (Perishables are a problem in the absence of refrigeration, no matter what system you have,) In a free market system, the warehouse managers have an incentive to get the food moving again. In a government-managed system, everything has to wait for the TOP MEN to work out A PLAN.

        1. Free people do first and apologize later.

          Government people await orders and never apologize.

      3. good god. You couldn’t be more wrong. Totally fucking wrong.

      4. And in 5 days the shelves would be mostly full again.

        Unless government enacted price controls.

  16. I don’t want to be told what I can buy and when I can buy it.

    “We put the government in charge so we could do what we want.”

    Oops.

  17. The government wants to prevent individual shoppers from “over-buying” in a country hit by acute shortages of basic items including milk, sugar and toilet paper. Critics say it is an admission of failure of economic policy in one of the world’s big oil-producing nations.

    I’m officially confused.

    Are depressions caused by over-buying or a lack of aggregate demand, aka hoarding? I mean, we all know the state has to DO SOMETHING to prevent a widespread economic downturn that clearly has nothing to do with monetary policy, but it would be nice if the stories the socialists and cronyists tell weren’t completely at odds with one another.

    He said the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item.

    If only markets and the system of natural freedom featured such a useful mechanism!

  18. That person quoted is simply confused. I’m sure the old crony capitalist system sucked, and she expected the revolution to fix that. But now its worse.

    She’s becoming more libertarian! I work so I get to choose what to buy!

    Its sad that it takes a strong dose of actual communism to open her eyes.

    1. I am a revolutionary but I didn’t go into this wanting it to become Cuba,

      This womans’ eyes are firmly nailed shut.

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