Norway Has a Shortage of Butter?

This is not a joke. Norway does indeed have a shortage of butter. One of the nations known for its export of dairy products, these days can’t supply its own market with butter. So bad is the situation that online speculators offer half-kilo (a little over a pound) packs of butter for 35 euro each! Stores in Norway see long lines of people waiting to buy butter; a sight that Europe hasn't seen since the fall of Communism.

And a few days ago, a Russian smuggler of butter was arrested at the border with Sweden with 90 kilos of butter in his car. If we imagine he wanted to sell them for a third of the online speculators’ price, he had cargo for 2,100 euro in his car, or about $2,800!

How can this happen? We have heard of shortage of gasoline in Iran, of water and power in Venezuela, of grain in Russia. But a shortage of butter in Norway.

Tine, Norway’s supplier of dairy products, claims that it is because of the rainy weather this summer. But wait, neighboring Sweden had even worse weather, and their stores are stocked up on butter. (Why else would that smuggler would risk to run the Norwegian border?) Another explanation offered is the “ballooning popularity of low-carb diets.” Hmm, does only Norway have that problem? And yet, only Norway has a shortage of butter.

What’s so different about Norway then?

The answer comes when we consider the fact that Tine is actually Norway’s monopolist supplier of dairy products. Norway actually has government monopolies who are entrenched in their position of monopolists by government law. Tine’s official monopoly was endangered twice: First in 1994 when Norway had a referendum for joining the European Union. If it had joined, Tine would have had to say goodbye to its monopoly. Norway’s voters voted against joining. Then in 2004 a minister in the cabinet tried to split the company by force on accusations of abusing its monopoly. The attempt was unsuccessful.

Well, now the logical end of all monopolies can be seen in Norway: shortages. The Soviet Union saw many of those, having a total government monopoly on every economic activity. The black market was what kept millions of people from starvation. Now Norwegians will have to go to the black market and buy butter at higher prices, if they want to be able to prepare their traditional Christmas pastries.

Or, even better, force their government to repeal Tine’s monopoly. Monopolies never stop until they have destroyed the whole market. Unless Norwegians want to experience the same market conditions as we Eastern Europeans experienced for 40+ years, they will have to say goodbye to their socialism.


About Bojidar Marinov
A Reformed missionary to his native Bulgaria for over 10 years, Bojidar preaches and teaches doctrines of the Reformation and a comprehensive Biblical worldview. Having founded Bulgarian Reformation Ministries in 2001, he and his team have translated over 30,000 pages of Christian literature about the application of the Law of God in every area of man’s life and society, and published those translations online for free. He has been active in the formation of the Libertarian movement in Bulgaria, a co-founder of the Bulgarian Society for Individual Liberty and its first chairman.
  • Outside The Box

    This "butter" recipe only keeps one week, must be refrigerated and cannot be used in baking or frying. However, it works on bread or melted over vegetables (add just before serving). Assemble ingredients while gelatin is softening. Olive oil, coconut oil and lard can be used in baking and frying.

    CORN BUTTER

    Soften 4 rounded t. plain gelatin in blender container in 1/4 c. cold water.

    Cook until soft and add: 1 c. water and 1/4 c. fine cornmeal.

    Add and belend until very smooth: 1/4 c. raw cashews (unroasted, unsalted), 1 level t. salt, 2 t. lemon juice, enough shredded and then chopped raw carrot for desired color (optional).

    When liquified as smooth as cream, pour into glass bowl, cool, then chill and cover.

    *For Cranberry Butter, substitute cooked cranberry and a tiny bit of white stevia powder (to taste) for carrot.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • http://thechristiansolution.com thechristiansolution

    Last Friday, customs officers stopped a Russian at the Norwegian-Swedish border and seized 90 kilos of butter stashed in his car.
    ------------------------
    Government officials arresting butter smugglers? Those Norwegians are hard core law and order!!!

  • Mayflower Decendent

    This guy was only doing a service for his countrymen by driving to Sweden for butter! And he gets busted? It's going to be the same here pretty soon, wait for the 4:00am knock on the door!

  • URKiddinMee

    Wyoming Alcohol Agents used to stake out a famous discount liquor store in Denver to see who with Wyoming license tags was stocking up. They'd then be pulled over at the border and charged with bootlegging, have their "contarband" confiscated and later hit with big fines in court.( I'm sure the "contraband" went toward worthy causes, like State Christmas paries and the like). So Norway doesn't have anything on us as far as enforcement of petty statutes goes.

    • Pete0097

      Pennsylvania did the same thing. THey watched Maryland liquor stores. They would pull the guy over, find the boose and confiscate the car. I almost fell for it once, but I turned back and went another way back to PA. I can understand alcohol, but butter!

  • LarryFrom10EC

    The only thing socialism produces in abundance is shortages. Behold America's future.

  • Pegi

    There's a lesson in this story for Obama and his socialist buddies. On the other hand, Norway's residents need to wise up before voting. Sounds like they brought this on themselves.

    • mikey

      A lesson you say? Their minds are made up. It will turn out "Right" for them is what they think. It can go wrong for them because they have thought it all out, and if it fails it won't be their fault, it will be someone else's fault. Never their fault, ever.

  • SEAN MURRY

    this is lesson to us about obummer and socialist buddies we need to wise up and vote him out of office.

  • julian

    Although long since removed, I used to brag about my Norweigan heritage.