by: the Common Constitutionalist
The great Norwegian butter shortage! Yes, it’s true. Norway has a shortage of butter.
Stores in Norway are seeing long lines of people waiting to buy butter; a sight that Europe hasn’t seen since the fall of Communism.
The shortfall is estimated at between 500 to 1000 tons. That’s a lot of Butter.
Prices of a pack of butter, weighing around a half a kilo (500 grams), a little more than a pound, are being driven out of sight. Some online sellers are asking up to 350 Euros (about $465.00) for 1 pack.
Sheeesh! Can you say Weimar Republic revisited?
But why the shortage?
Some have blamed it on the unusually wet summer that drove yields down. Some others have said it is the new Norway. It’s citizens are opting for lower carb, higher fat diets, which has increased demand recently. They both sound like reasonable explanations on the surface, but we’re not about the surface.
Let’s take a closer look.
Norway is a socialist country. You know, like we aspire to be.
Currently, in America, there are too many butter producers to name. In Norway, there is effectively, ONE. That wouldn’t pose a problem, would it?
Tine Company is the producer of over 90% of all butter in Norway. The Norwegian government granted that monopoly to it. Remember, monopolies are bad unless the government says they’re not.
Evidently, Tine has done a pretty fair job of butter production until now. Maybe it’s that wet summer thing. Nope, that’s not it. Right next door is Sweden. They have butter out the wazoo and their summer was wetter than Norway’s.
Well, if Sweden has all that butter, perhaps Norway could just import it until they catch up? Unfortunately, tariffs are so high, that it makes imports virtually impossible. BUY NORWEGIAN! Look for the Norwegian label. Everybody sing!
This is how socialism works. First, the government takes control of production. Next, they pick a winner, say Tine. Then they tax the heck out of any foreign company trying to import to them. All the government has to do after that, is dictate how much the producer can make & what price it is to be sold.
Then they all just sit back & watch the experiment fail, as it always does.
With any luck, the people eventually figure out the great experiment isn’t working & they demand change. Well, they’re going to get it. Unfortunately it will only be temporary.
The government has decided to take drastic measures and has cut import tariffs by more than 80 percent until the end of March. It has also lifted milk quotas for domestic farmers that were in place to avoid overproduction in the market. Overproduction does not appear to be their problem. After that, everything goes back to the way it was, where centralized planners cannot react to fluctuations in the marketplace. By the way, Importers are not allowed to sell their products for less than the government dictates.
So that’s a lesson in socialism. Sounds great, eh?