Posted by: Daisy Luther | on April 2, 2014
What if you were forced to “register” in order to buy groceries? And what if, through that registration, the food you bought could be tracked and quantities could be limited?
That’s exactly the plan in Venezuela right now. The AP reports that in an effort to crack down on “hoarding” that ID cards will be issued to families. These will have to be presented before foodstuffs can be purchased.
President Nicolas Maduro’s administration says the cards to track families’ purchases will foil people who stock up on groceries at subsidized prices and then illegally resell them for several times the amount…
Registration began Tuesday at more than 100 government-run supermarkets across the country. Working-class shoppers who sometimes endure hours-long lines at government-run stores to buy groceries at steeply reduced prices are welcoming the plan.
“The rich people have things all hoarded away, and they pull the strings,” said Juan Rodriguez, who waited two hours to enter the government-run Abastos Bicentenario supermarket near downtown Caracas on Monday, and then waited another three hours to check out.
Checkout workers at Abastos Bicentenario were taking down customers’ cellphone numbers Monday, to ensure they couldn’t return for eight days. Shoppers said employees also banned purchases by minors, to stop parents from using their children to engage in hoarding, which the government calls “nervous buying.”
Rodriguez supports both measures.
“People who go shopping every day hurt us all,” he said, drawing approving nods from the friends he made over the course of his afternoon slowly snaking through the aisles with his oversized cart.
Reflecting Maduro’s increasingly militarized discourse against opponents he accuses of waging “economic war,” the government is calling the new program the “system of secure supply.”
Patrons will register with their fingerprints, and the new ID card will be linked to a computer system that monitors purchases. On Tuesday, Food Minister Felix Osorio said the process was off to a smooth start. He says the system will sound an alarm when it detects suspicious purchasing patterns, barring people from buying the same goods every day. But he also says the cards will be voluntary, with incentives like discounts and entry into raffles for homes and cars.
Expressionless men with rifles patrolled the warehouse-size supermarket Monday as shoppers hurried by, focusing on grabbing meat and pantry items before they were gone. (source)
Last year in Venezuela, it became a crime to “hoard” food, and the country’s Attorney General called upon prosecutors to crack down on “hoarders” by imprisoning them for the “crime”.
Some people may read this and think to themselves, “Why on earth do I care about what happens in Venezuela?”
You’d better care, because this is our future.
Already the Obama administration has moved the pieces into place on the board to be able to appropriate supplies from anyone, at any time. Mac Slavo of SHTFplan warns:
It should be clear from the laws that are already in effect that the government has given itself a legal pretext for confiscating anything they so choose in the midst of an emergency.
Should an emergency befall the United States, the military, national guard, and local police operating under orders from the Department of Homeland Security will have carte blanche to do as they please.
In a widespread emergency where supply lines have been threatened and millions of Americans are without essential resources because they failed to prepare, the government will swoop in and attempt to take complete control.
They will enter our homes and search them without a warrant. They will confiscate contraband. And they will take any ‘excessive resources’ that you may have accumulated. This includes food, toiletries, precious metals and anything else emergency planners and officials deem to be a scarce material. (source)
Just think how much easier it would be to do so if every purchase you make is tracked and documented for future reference.
How Much of a Footprint Are You Leaving?
Now, think about those “loyalty cards” that every grocery store in North America promotes when you go through the checkout. Have you noticed how much more those are being pushed lately? Could there be a nefarious purpose to that? I doubt the person at the cash register thinks twice about it – if these actually are data collection tools, it is something put in place by people far higher up the food chain (pun intended) than the staff of your local supermarket.
I strongly recommend you think twice about collecting “points” – the discounts may not be worth it if it means that your stock-up purchases are in some database, easily accessible to the NSA. If you feel it is imperative to have one of those cards, consider using a pseudonym and false address. You really don’t want to provide an inventory of your stockpile to the government. Some cards, like the one from Target, for example, even take it a step further and link to your credit card or debit account. I can’t even wrap my brain around giving out that type of information to the person who rings up my paper towels and garbage bags.