Jacob W asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 9 years ago

Is Norway's butter shortage an example of Protectionism's unintended consequences?

Plenty of people have held up Norway as an example of how to run things. But now that butter there is costing nearly $500 per pound, shouldn't we be taking a lesson? Norway has a butter monopolist called “Tine” that is deliberately protected from foreign competitors by government-imposed import tariffs.

Update:

Correction- $100 not $500. My error.

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    Norway's butter shortage is the PREDICTED result of their policy.

    Notice the left is ALWAYS saying the EXPECTED results of their actions are "unintended" consequences? How is the EXPECTED and PREDICTED result "unintended?"

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Ehm, it's 100$ (not 500) for a pound, and that's only on online stores. Very few actually buy that, as you can of course still get the mixed margarine-butter brands (and they are not Tine, by the way), and you can still find butter in the smaller shops (I bought two packets at normal price just four days ago, in a small store just half a mile from me).

    And Tine isn't a monopolist, there are two other dairy companies producing butter. Tine is not a company in the traditional sense, it's rather a union of (almost) all the dairy companies in Norway, that have agreed to cooperate in this coalition so as to protect each other from shortages like this. The problem is, they had never anticipated that the dairy production should shortfall over the entire country at once. Not that Tine is without fault in this; they've known that this would happen for months, but they kept their mouths shut as long as possible, in the hopes that they would produce butter enough to avoid a shortage. They failed, and the other companies didn't notice before a few weeks ago. The tariffs on dairy products are, as all tariffs, based on supply and demand. When Norway produces lots of dairy, the tariffs will be hugh, so as to keep cheap Danish dairy out of the market, something that would not be good for the Norwegian economy. When there are less dairy produced, tariffs are lowered, so as to promote import to cover demand. So yes, it was an example of Protectionism's unintended consequences, as Tine failed to report on the shortage, making it a reality before the governemnt had time to lower the tariffs.

    However, no Norwegian government would ever remove the tariffs, not even the Conservative Party. In a rich country with only 2.7% arable land, the agriculture industry must be protected. A goal of most countries are to have food autarky, which cannot be achieved if the agricultural sector is abandoned.

    Source(s): I study in Norway, Scandinavian history and languages and politics. The latter includes some deal of economics. I still support limited Protectionism in certain sectors, as it is more long-term beneficial to a nation than the immediate gains of Laissez Faire.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The 9/11 Al Quaida attack on the Twin Towers and the other targets changed Airport Security. I just got back from spending a month in Antigua, Guatemala. Flying from San Francisco via Houston, my case was checked. They broke open two unopened packages of chocolate biscuits and broke and crumbled every single biscuit and spread the remains all over the case. And they stole a new carton contain a large tub of Vicks Vapour Rub. On the way home, again in Houston Airport, they stole M's grand daughter's $300 dollar camera and broke all the souvenirs she brought home as presents. 9/11 created millions and millions of hours spent on security, both for passengers and security staff. And the reports of pilfering and outright theft are reported from all over the world now. The INS and similar world organisations all say, 'this is not our responsibility.' The airlines respond with 'This is a Security Matter and not our province.' 9/11 had consequences for everybody everywhere.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Yes

    Source(s): fox news
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  • Janian
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    First off, it's 500 NOK not $500 and secondly, that was a 'Craigslist' type site.

    It was someone messing around....

    Try to read entire articles before jumping to conclusions.

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