Thursday, September 30, 2010

The wonders of a government controlled economy

Apparently, the island nation of Cuba, renowned for its optimal growing conditions for sugar and coffee, is suffering its worst coffee harvest in history, and its worst sugar harvest in over a century, due to the management skills of its government.

Of course, this is no surprise to anyone who has ever tried to find an affordable apartment in rent controlled cities like New York City and San Francisco, and is even less of a surprise to anyone who watched as the former breadbasket of Europe, the Ukraine and Russia, routinely failed to grow enough grain to feed Russia.  It's also no surprise to those who have watched as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez parlayed record high petroleum prices into a budget crisis and recession, or those who have watched any number of trust fund babies like Mark Dayton and Paris Hilton parlay monstrous inheritances into personal and fiscal disaster.

The ugly reality; people are never as careful with someone else's money as they are with their own.   That's why sound economists note that the list of actual "public goods" is very short.  Hopefully we learn that here before it is too late.

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