Since the currency and price controls inherent in governmental central planning are widely acknowledged as the most righteously excellent system for the efficient and socially just allocation of resources, I’m simply at a loss as to why basic goods and foodstuffs have been mysteriously and increasingly vanishing from the shelves in Venezuela — but since the Venezuelan regime of President Nicholas Maduro evidently feels the need to involve state force in the oversight of the production and distribution of these basic goods, we probably shouldn’t question his method. Via Reuters:
A Venezuelan state agency on Friday ordered the temporary takeover of a factory that produces toilet paper in what it called an effort to ensure consistent supplies after embarrassing shortages earlier this year.
A national agency called Sundecop, which enforces price controls, said in a statement it would occupy one of the factories belonging to paper producer Manpa for 15 days, adding that National Guard troops would “safeguard” the facility.
“The action in the producer of toilet paper, sanitary napkins and disposable diapers responds to the state’s obligation to ensure a steady supply of basic goods for the people,” Sundecop said, adding it had observed “the violation of the right” to access such products.
If you’re looking for the source of the deliberate and nefarious forces clearly driving this peskily persistent shortage problem of Venezuela’s, don’t you dare suggest that the government itself might possibly have something to do with it, via CNN:
Businesses and the political opposition say the shortages stem from ill-conceived government policies such as price controls on basic goods and tight restrictions on foreign currency. These moves make it so many producers can’t even break even, they say.
But the government has said private companies aren’t doing their part, accusing them of hoarding their products in hopes of selling it later at a higher price.
They’ve also suggested the problem is tied to a broader conspiracy.
“There is no deficiency in production,” Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming said in May according to ATV, “but an excessive demand generating purchases by a nervous population because of a media campaign.”
Shadowy media smear campaigns, hostile and imperialistic foreign powers, conspiratorial political opponents, and lazy and greedy businessmen not pulling their weight: The list of the not-at-all-systemically-economic problems plaguing Venezuela’s otherwise perfect top-down socialist bureaucracy that just won’t die.