Guns and Tortillas

A month ago word went around that tortillas were going up in price from 16 pesos a kilo to 18 pesos. The local mafia had decided that this was going to be one brilliant great strategy to provide an easy extra minimally managed stream of revenue.

I could just imagine the sly application of genius behind this, figuring how a couple of tortillas tax per kilo would be just like taking a tiny squirt of milk per cow from a herd the size of infinity.

Ironically, fantasies like this rarely take into account much more probable outcomes. As for me, I reckon if one really wanted to get every last single person pissed at you all at the same time then I couldn’t think of a better way of doing it than holding the region’s primary foodstuff hostage.

This isn’t particularly new or particularly deep think tank stuff. Even the Nazis had this figured out way back during WWII. Did they deprive the Frenchmen of their baguettes? Hell no and that’s why Paris fell in 3 days. In fact pre-invasion a primary directive was issued down from the Nazi central command to wit that all boulangeries were to be spared in the attack least the French resistance gain such a powerful recruiting tool. (Or so said one history book anyway…)

That 2 peso bump, effectively a crime tax, can also possibly serve to make every last citizen remember bitterly with each tortilla and every bite how that extra cost is there just so gangsters can buy more guns and kill even more people this week than last.

Retraction. This past week the mafia issued a rambling electronic memorandum saying in so many words that 18 pesos was ‘unconscionable’ and the directive was repealed forthwith. And the same directive some blather later said in so many words ‘for the benefit of the people’, tortillas would henceforth be reduced to the more affordable price of 10 pesos per kilo.

Governments, criminals, and scoundrels all seem to bathe in the same water, collectively soaping each others backs whilst rabidly fondling their own genitals.

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