14 August 2009

More of Those Free Markets

President Kibaki asked merchants to reduce prices in light of the current food shortage.  Again, this is an example of how free markets can destroy a country.  With outside nations gaining unfettered access and no real regulations, prices are entirely determined by the market.  When the majority of the population lives on about $1 a day, the burden rests on them.  As this continues, families become unable to support themselves. 

The main staple remains the almost entirely unhealthy ugali.  Large quantities are eaten because it can induce the feeling of fullness.  There are additional factors that contribute such as the lack of jobs for young men.  However, as long as prices can change based solely upon the companies and merchants a stress will remain on the majority of the country.

I do not suggest that businesses should operate at a loss.  Many own small shops to pay for the very same things that they sell.  There is also a point where a mark up on eggs, milk, sugar and flour can become excessive.  From what I have been told, maize flour has raised in price 300% since the end of 2007.  Global problems have helped to cause this rise, but the means of production and sale has not.  It is unacceptable for such a rapid raise in price.  Wages have remained similar in the same period.  Without a raise in wages people remain unable to afford food for a meal.