Aleppo: UN vs private traders

In a success for the "invisible hand" over "big government", we have People gather to buy fresh produce that was brought into rebel held areas of Aleppo by private traders from a newly opened corridor that linked besieged opposition held eastern Aleppo with western Syria that was captured recently by rebels, in Aleppo versus U.N. Seeks 48-Hour Aleppo Ceasefire to Deliver Aid to Syrians.

I heard the second link on R4 a day or so ago and thought to myself "how typical of a giant lumbering bureaucracy". The first, contrasting, link was a throwaway line in the FT, that I then found online.

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The "invisible hand" manages to get a few trucks full of produce into a city of a few hundred thousand, with the help of militias armed by various big governments.

Big government is successfully starving that city, with the help of bigger government.

Biggest government is trying to feed the civilians of the city.

There isn't a whole lot of room for your beloved free markets in a war zone.

[Err well as you point out yes: (bad) govt is indeed their fundamental problem. However, it isn't clear where you get "a few trucks" from. "Biggest government is trying" - well, remember that the UN isn't a world govt, whatever the black-helicopter folk may say. But the problem there is "trying" - they are trying, ineffectually. You get no points for that -W]

By numerobis (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

WC on Aleppo: Global warming is disproved because it was colder here today than last year!

Meanwhile the failure of WC's economic theory to explain the 2007-8 financial collapse and its aftermath goes unexamined.

As PK writes today - for the nth time: "They – OK, we – declared that with interest rates near zero massive increases in the monetary base would not cause high inflation, that large budget deficits would not drive interest rates up or crowd out private investment, and that fiscal multipliers would be positive, in fact more than one, and would be considerably larger than estimates based on non-liquidity-trap episodes suggested.

And all of that came to pass.

....but Aleppo!

Markets cannot fail - they can only be failed.

By Kevin O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Qatar Charity Distributes 5,000 Food Baskets in Aleppo

and in the same article:

"Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF) also announced today entering of a convoy of urgent relief to the city of Aleppo, as part of its relief efforts of the Syrian brotherly people. The convoy consisted of four trucks carrying 20 tons of essential foodstuffs and medicines that in coordination with a number of partners in Syria.(QNA)"

This Daily Beast article would also bring into question whether your private traders were actually really private - or part of Ahrar al-Sham's PR campaign.

[Would it? Are you suggesting that it is impossible for more than one entity to bring food into the city? -W]

Heroes? Jihadis With al Qaeda Links Break Assad Siege of Aleppo

"As ever, amid geopolitical gamesmanship and bureaucratic wrangling, the extremists have shown that they can dispense with red tape and get things done—to the greater glory of their domestic “brands.” Ahrar al-Sham, for instance, made a point of importing 10 to 15 trucks full of food into Aleppo not just to cultivate goodwill among the population but also as a military training exercise."

Regardless - it appears there are far more gov't and NGO humanitarian supplies being delivered to Aleppo than supplies delivered due to market forces.

[Interesting. But… appears to be private, not public -W]

By Kevin O'Neill (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink