Thursday, April 3, 2008

Never mis-underestimate stupidity

What do you get when you elect a populist/leftist whose husband was recently president? The answer from Argentina:
With world prices for wheat and soyabeans at record levels, Argentina's president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, reckons that the farmers ought to share their windfall with the rest of the country. And the idea is catching. With stocks of some staple foods suddenly in short supply, governments around the world are slapping taxes or quotas on agricultural exports in the hope that this will stop prices from rising at home.

Virtually every tariff is a little piece of economic madness; but one aimed at hobbling your best exporters would seem to take the galleta. ... Néstor Kirchner, Ms Fernández's predecessor and husband,... even banned beef exports for six months, wrecking years of patient brand- and market-building abroad and encouraging farmers to switch to crops. His public-spending binge has turned robust economic recovery into wild overheating.

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