The PJ Tatler

Next Up: Invading the Falklands

Prices falling too low? Print moar monies!

Prices rising too high? Decree that they stop:

Argentina announced a two-month price freeze on supermarket products Monday in an effort to break spiraling inflation.

The price freeze applies to every product in all of the nation’s largest supermarkets — a group including Walmart, Carrefour, Coto, Jumbo, Disco and other large chains. The companies’ trade group, representing 70 percent of the Argentine market, reached the accord with Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno, the government’s news agency Telam reported.

The commerce ministry wants consumers to keep receipts and complain to a hotline about any price hikes they see before April 1.

I love that last bit especially. In the totalitarian state, you report your neighbor for insulting the Dear Leader. In the modern welfare state, you report him for charging too much for frozen chicken nuggets.

Prices, painful though they might be sometimes, are nothing more than information. And right now, all the data indicate that Argentina is all kinds of messed up.

But you knew that already.

The real fun will come when Cristina — and this is all according to a very well-worn script — next tries to raise revenue by boosting exports by devaluing the peso. Argentine consumers will just love what that does to their purchasing power.

They’d better keep their receipts.