Posts Tagged ‘prices’

Holy crap, have a look at this–

Total trip price: $933.35
Airfare: $330
Taxes and fees: $603.35

2014-09-04 09.47.59 pm

UY$325/kilo for Queso Magro: US$14.55 per kilo, for basic basic plain old cheese. The kind that in the old days would be in the Generic aisle of the grocery store in a plain white paper label with black text “Cheese.” From local producers, in a country which actually, factually, in its history, proposed infrastructure so that one could tie into a city milk supply and have a spigot installed in your kitchen, out of which poured milk.

UY$546 for 6x 2.5-liter bottles of Coke products. That’s US$4 per bottle. That’s ON SALE!

2014-03-06 16.41.18

Argentina has another nail in its coffin. Price controls in all supermarkets, to be active for 2 months. How much you bet that store shelves start looking empty within a week or two? Or less?

We remind the reader that price controls have never worked. Ever. Throughout all known history. Simply because they are incompatible with simple mathematical and physical reality. And each and every time they have been tried, they end up in shortages. Look no further for a recent example than the glorious Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela to see how this plays out.

“This time will be different!” they think. Well, they can’t really get honest information anymore because they tend to arrest those who tell the truth about how printing too much money results in the loss of value and credibility.

I’ve gone past the point where I wonder if they really believe that they are doing the right thing, and now it’s clear that they know they are destroying their country, and don’t care. And the Argentine people will cart Kristina through the streets in her golden chariot, cheering as she brings the whole place down on their heads.

Read more here.

Also interesting commentary on ZeroHedge, here.

Thanks to SustainableBob for the heads-up.

You might think that a price of $120 (USD$6.00) for a 400-gram bag was enough to dissuade Uruguayans from eating potato chips, but clearly they love them too much and continue to buy them. So the genius board of miraculous experts is discussing a special “potato chip tax.”

According to Senator Ernesto Agazzi, “I recognize that this is a somewhat delicate issue because it affects freedom of supply and demand, but, unfortunately, often lower-income sectors consume this shit because they’re cheaper.”

Cheaper??? What? Jesus Christ on a cross, man, have you done your own shopping recently?

Anyhow, you can read the official absurdity here. Thanks to BeelzeBob for the link.

Uruguayans return to find: expensive country, and little work.

Original article here on El Pais. Thanks to Beelzebob for the link. Awful translation by yours truly with help from The Google.

Gustavo came to stay, but only for seven months in Uruguay. Claudia took a year because she could not afford to buy a ticket to return to Canada. Returnees say they arrived with “false expectations,” and many decide to leave.

“The reality slaps me. Wakes me from this patriotic dream that I had. What was I thinking when I? (…) Today it starts all over again, my second migration (…) Uruguay has perfect sunsets on the Rambla, and then you have a barbecue with friends, mates, the stars of Cabo Polonio, it can be an enjoyable vacation.” This is one of the messages posted on her blog; it summarizes the feelings of many Uruguayans who returned to the country from abroad and clashed with a reality that was not what they expected.

They say that the consulates lied because the country is not better, as they were assured. “What has improved? You might find a job but you have to work three jobs to pay the rent, bills and eat” says Claudia, who lived in Canada for ten years and then came to Uruguay, where she says she is “just surviving “.

“As survival here is appalling, I am making plans to leave,” she says.

Claudia works in a mall, earns $10,000 (USD$500 per month), lives in a “horrible” pension apartment because, she says, it is all she can afford on her salary. She regrets that she made the decision to return. “This is not my country, my country is Canada that gave me everything and opened my doors. Uruguay gave me nothing,” she says with absolute coldness.

The housing and wages are the two major difficulties faced by returnees who come to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “For income, the Housing Ministry will ask for a deposit of $60,000 and that your balance is above who knows how many thousands of dollars. It’s Ridiculous,” says Claudia.

Gustavo spent seven months in Uruguay, after living eight years in Spain, and was able to rent an apartment from a former neighbor. “As I lived in that building for my whole life and the owner knew me, I was able to rent it, but it did not meet any of the standards that the State promised me,” he says.

Gustavo returned to Uruguay in January. He left Barcelona because he said his country was “very nice and very good to work in.”

“Then I found everything horrible. Aggressive people, dirty city, a lot of crime, and all expensive. It’s a very expensive country to live in. Food in Barcelona is half cost. You take 50 euros ($ 1,300) to the store and you leave with the car full, “says Gustavo.

His contact with the State was asking for help with housing. And the answer was the same that Claudia received. <the following untranslatable due to some weird bureaucratic Uruguayan thing which makes my brain derail, something about the Montevideo Intendencia and possibly an inheritance?>

“In the Administration, I was told that if the estate had no money, my wife should put a notice in the newspaper offering to work. That was all the advice,” he says.

The inheritance did not last long and the only job he got was as a watchman in a building, which received $ 11,000, less than he needed to pay his rent. Gustavo does not regret having returned to the country. “What happened to us was something we had to do to see for ourselves, and unfortunately Uruguay is lacking in many things. We arrived in late July, and we are here today, installed with all the things necessary for life,” he says.

ORGANIZATIONS. Organizations or groups returned to the country say they have made progress but are missing a lot because Uruguay has no return policy. “There is goodwill but that is not enough. The only place that does anything is the Foreign Ministry, which basically solves emergencies” commented the organization “Retornados a Montevideo” which represents 700 people.

The organizations recognize that the advice we must give today to the Uruguayans abroad is, “if you do not have jobs and money to afford safe housing, do not come.”

“From what we can see, most are leaving; and as many turn to go, because the advice we have to give, some people are angry because they don’t want to hear that in this country”, they say.


“It’s hard to leave but harder to be back in Uruguay, I spent five months and still have no job”


“Whoever says that Uruguay is well, lies; work there does not offer salaries to live”


“This is not my country, my country is Canada that gave me everything. Uruguay did not give me anything”

Web retornados

“Today begins my second migration without the pebble in the shoe to look back and think of Uruguay”


“Living in Uruguay is very expensive. The city is unsafe, dirty and full of aggressive people. I found another country”


“Outside we used to get the basics covered very quickly and with less work”


The capital that saved him


He went to the U.S. with his wife in 2000 and returned to Uruguay eleven years later because he could never get their papers. “I could bring savings and the car, so I took another way to get here,” says William. He bought shares in a cooperative ambulances and so far works there. His wife, however, has no job. The member of the organization “Volviendo al Uruguay” recognizes that if he got his papers he would go back. “Two months ago my daughter told me ‘you never told me why you came here, I miss everyone`. It killed me. ”

Seven fateful months


After spending seven months in Uruguay and returning to Barcelona in July, Gustavo Lopez says he is newly installed in the motherland. “I have my apartment with all my stuff,” he says and claims that the “boom” of Uruguay is a terrible crisis for any European. “Now we are in crisis and I am now as I was before I left,” he says. He insists that Uruguay is a very expensive country to live and that following their experience contacted dozens of people wanting to emigrate again.

El País Digital

According to this announcement, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Association of Uruguayan Supermarkets are putting a freeze on prices for over 200 supermarket products, in more than 300 stores, “in order to fight inflation.” Not only will the prices be frozen but they will be discounted 10%.

Our old friend Lorenzo, who scared off just about all the big fish from investing in Uruguay with his proposal and subsequent law to tax foreign holdings of UY residents, now thinks he can fix the problem with price controls. Well, it’s not just his idea; it’s the Association of Uruguayan Supermarkets too. They are “volunteering” to the price freeze. Why, who knows. Probably a political stunt. If they can afford to freeze prices *and* discount them, maybe they’ve been doing a bit of scalping. I’ve suspected this for a while.

Let’s see… every single time, ever, in all of recorded history, whenever price controls are enacted, that creates shortages of those goods and hoarding by those who have them. Why sell when the government forces you to do it at a loss? Those products then suddenly find themselves missing and/or not produced in the first place.

I have a prediction, based on this evidence from all of recorded history: those 200+ items will simply vanish from supermarket shelves and not be replaced. Meanwhile whoever actually produces them will either fill warehouses with unsold merchandise, or just stop production.

I also have a better suggestion to fight inflation: stop inflating the currency supply. All it takes is to do nothing, which Uruguayans are experts at. Doing nothing requires no employees, no printing press, no ledger entries.

I have been wondering for a long time how Uruguayans can afford to feed themselves as these crazy inflated prices. Now we see firsthand. And I don’t think it’s lack of material– there have been absurd prices on things that are sourced and made in-country. My opinion as to the price absurdity: Uruguayan greed. Really there’s no need to charge US$5 for 100 grams of cheese when it’s made in your backyard. Or $5 for a bag of potato chips which contains maybe 5 potatoes which cost a whopping 10 cents apiece from field to fryer?

Thanks to GermanBob for the link.

Price comparison

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Life
Tags: , , ,


Potato chips, local brand, 400g, 102 pesos (USD$4.80 or .012/g)

Potato chips, Ruffles brand, 120g, 49 pesos (USD$2.31 or .019/g)


Potato chips, local brand, ruffles type, 320g, 990 pesos (USD$2.08 or .006/g)


1/2 to 1/3 price in Chile or 2x to 3x as expensive in Uruguay. Why the obsession with potato chips? Because it’s something that is both a common-man’s product, and locally produced from local ingredients, local labor, etc. And it’s shocking to see 5 cents worth of potatoes marked up to nearly $5 per bag.