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Increasingly evident, the flaws in government communication increased the distortions about President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s proposal to contain the shortage of the main food products that Mexicans consume on a daily basis.

Price control is a term that alludes to a PRI past that no one wanted to revive. Like food self-sufficiency, it has a bad meaning for neo-liberal economists and politicians.

The federal Executive wanted to say that it is determined to curb food inflation. And that it will act energetically, within the scope of its powers, to curb speculators and discourage producers who use transgenic seeds and harmful fertilizers.

Monetary policy is something else. To stop the escalation of prices, the federal government authorized Ricardo Sheffield as spokesman, who in sin brought penance.

Other background issues created the distortion: the Profeco basket does not have the same products that Coneval considers in updating the poverty and extreme poverty lines by income, or in the preparation of the National Consumer Price Index.

Not only the discrepancy between those listings generates the perception of a failed strategy. The tax authorities know that consumption patterns change in shorter periods than intercensal measurements. The substitution effect is one of the most noticeable behaviors in recent weeks.

The government plan to contain inflation depends on four variables: the containment of the prices of basic necessities, the gasoline subsidy, the frozen rates in the road network in charge of Federal Roads and Bridges, and the package of regulatory measures that will facilitate the placement of imported merchandise on the shelves of self-service and miscellaneous stores throughout the country. Despite the benefits, some input producers have decided to take a confrontational route with federal authorities. And if not, ask the nixtamaleros who will soon have to pay more for the raw material.

Paradoxes of the food crisis: the increases in prices and the increase in exports have favored the agricultural sector. The producers of the field require financing to cover the demand. Self-sufficiency is a chimera, self-consumption, a lacerating reality.

The effects of climate change are already noticeable. And the main effects would be for small producers —less than five hectares— who lack insurance and are not technified. Large producers will be affected by the high exchange rate and the increase in insurance premiums due to natural disasters.

Side effects

SLOPES. The Morenoist leadership wants to show muscle in Coahuila territory. The national president of the ruling party, Mario Delgado, wanted to take a dozen governors and the three candidates for the presidential candidacy to Torreón, but he already understood that Miguel Riquelme is loved in his land. Finding another venue is the least of their problems: if Claudia Sheinbaum and Marcelo Ebrad have not overcome their contagion, they will have to reschedule the second session of the rally for unity and mobilization.

Alberto Aguirre

Journalist

Vital signs

Journalist and columnist for El Economista, author of Doña Perpetua: Elba Esther Gordillo’s power and opulence. Elba Esther Gordillo against the SEP.


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