Venezuela’s toilet-paper shortage oddly worsening, despite Maduro’s “new economic order”

posted at 5:31 pm on February 1, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

When will President Nicolas Maduro finally free Venezuelans from the tyrannical shackles of supply and demand ruining their lives? Despite his best efforts at establishing price caps, government rationing, currency controls, and stationing troops at places of business in order to prevent the collusion of greedy profit-seekers and American imperialists in their “economic war” against him, the mass shortages of basic goods plaguing Venezuelans persist. Indeed, since parliament granted Maduro his requested “emergency decree powers” in the weeks before the country’s municipal elections and he promised to impose a “new economic order” of fairness and equality, the shortages, the rampant inflation, and the black-market exchange rate of more than ten times the official rate all seem to be getting even worse. It just doesn’t make any sense, amirite?

The Washington Post has a nice write-up of the continuously devolving situation in the Socialist utopia:

Employees at the Excelsior Gama supermarket had set out a load of extra-soft six-roll packs so large that it nearly blocked the aisle. To stock the shelves with it would have been pointless. Soon word spread that the long-awaited rolls had arrived, and despite a government-imposed limit of one package per person, the checkout lines stretched all the way to the decimated dairy case in the back of the store.

“This is so depressing,” said Maria Plaza, 30, a lawyer, an hour and a half into her wait. “Pathetic.” …

“Soon we’ll be using newspaper, just like they do in Cuba!” said an elderly man nearby, inching forward in line. “Yeah! Like Cuba!” others shouted. …

[Sidebar: Er, no actually -- they probably won't even have that. Venezuela is struggling with a major shortage of newsprint, too, with press outlets unsure of whether they'll be able to keep their newspapers in circulation.]

The arrival of basic staples such as cooking oil, chicken, flour or milk brings Venezuelans running to supermarkets and touches off surreal mob scenes, even as the government imposes price caps and rationing to prevent hoarding. …

“The store owners are doing this on purpose, to increase sales,” said Marjorie Urdaneta, a government supporter who said she believes Maduro when he accuses businesses of colluding with foreign powers to wage “economic war” against him.

“He should tell the stores: Make these items available — or else,” she said. …

“Make these items available — or else”? …Well. That’s one economic template that will certainly help to incentivize people’s behavior — just probably not with the precise types of incentives Venezuela needs right now.


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Yeah, its getting pretty crappy in Venezuela these days.

Although, toilet paper didn’t exist for many, many generations. We managed to survive through that period.

BobMbx on February 1, 2014 at 5:34 PM

“The store owners are doing this on purpose, to increase sales,” said Marjorie Urdaneta, a government supporter who said she believes Maduro when he accuses businesses of colluding with foreign powers to wage “economic war” against him.

“He should tell the stores: Make these items available — or else,” she said. …

Do it, I double dog dare you…..do it and see what happens Idiot.

Johnnyreb on February 1, 2014 at 5:34 PM

America behold your future!

Murphy9 on February 1, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Well, it could be worse and be North Korea;

“What do I do with this handful of tree bark, wipe my ass with it or eat it?”

Gator Country on February 1, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Well there’s your problem.
Paper has an ‘R’ on the end, not an ‘L’.

Lanceman on February 1, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Not a shock seeing as they just lost a huge asswipe with Chavez getting flushed off this mortal coil.

Flange on February 1, 2014 at 5:37 PM

And I’d say we’re only about another Obama or two away from this happening in America. What a disaster!

Kensington on February 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM

he promised to impose a “new economic order” of fairness and equality,

Sounds familiar.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM

“Make these items available — or else”? …Well. That’s one economic template that will certainly help to incentivize people’s behavior — just probably not with the precise types of incentives Venezuela needs right now.

Yeah this is the USSA under the O. Of course Zero is talking out both sides of his mouth. He tells companies to pay people more and then tells congress to import 30 million illegals who will drive our wages DOWN.

dogsoldier on February 1, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Whenyerriteyerrite.

thatsafactjack on February 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

In my 20 years in the US Navy I had port calls in various $hitholes around the world and I witnessed what I have since called the “Third World Indicator”, and that folks is toilet paper, or more aptly, the lack of toilet paper.

I once stood next to the line of people who were going back into China from Macau in 1986, and nearly all of those people were carrying toilet paper in huge clear trash bags over their shoulders back into China, hundreds of rolls of toilet paper in each bag.

Go to any club or bar in the Philippines in the 1980s or before and there was no toilet paper in the men’s room, you had to ask for it, and you were lucky if the had any. Spent almost 20 minutes in a run down bar in Mombasa Kenya asking for toilet paper. I didn’t speak Arabic and the guys there couldn’t figure out what I was asking for.

That is when I knew the Gold Standard for a First or Second World Country would be if people had regular access to toilet paper.

Venezuela is there now.

Johnnyreb on February 1, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Hotair sure has had a lot of highly relevant and highly exciting articles lately.

VorDaj on February 1, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Typical, it’s always the fault of someone else.

GarandFan on February 1, 2014 at 6:02 PM

It appears that Maduro is not an emperor with magical powers.

Fortunately, if this problem were to arise in the US, Obama could simply sign an Executive order for the products to appear.

Hucklebuck on February 1, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Don’t shake hands with anyone from Venezuela.

msupertas on February 1, 2014 at 6:24 PM

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Maduro was there. Maduro and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the toilet paper ran short, the mother of Maduro, said to him, “they have no toilet paper.” And Maduro said to her, “woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”

Maduro told them, “fill the stalls with Bolivars.” So they filled them to the wall. Then he told them, “Pull some out now, and take it to the next prancing guest.”

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 6:32 PM

My profound apologies.

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 6:33 PM

“he promised to impose a “new economic order” of fairness and equality” . . .
Well, I guess if EVERYONE has to wipe his ass with his hand, that’s fair, right?
How about corncobs? Are they runnin’ out of those, too?

tpitman on February 1, 2014 at 6:37 PM

My profound apologies.

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Quite right, too! You should have said One bolivar per prancing guest!

OldEnglish on February 1, 2014 at 6:40 PM

I can hear Maduro now …’ Are there no leaves left on the trees of Venezuela?’

thatsafactjack on February 1, 2014 at 6:41 PM

I’ll bet that. by the time they start using their hands there will be a full-fledged revolution there.

Why does anyone believe socialism works? Even the Venezuelans joke about the Cubans using newspaper, yet they voted for this guy. Thank you, sir. Give me another.
+

bflat879 on February 1, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Yeah, its getting pretty crappy in Venezuela these days.

Although, toilet paper didn’t exist for many, many generations. We managed to survive through that period.

BobMbx on February 1, 2014 at 5:34 PM

with an infant mortality rate of 50%

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Venezuela’s toilet-paper shortage oddly worsening, despite Maduro’s “new economic order”

The moral of the story … beware of Venezuelans’ left hands.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 1, 2014 at 6:50 PM

No shit.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 1, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Yeah, its getting pretty crappy in Venezuela these days.

Although, toilet paper didn’t exist for many, many generations. We managed to survive through that period.

BobMbx on February 1, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

I would like to donate my liberal brother’s collection of NY Times newspapers.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 1, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

In most of Europe they used magazines and newspapers … up until the 1980s. In France, they just use perfume.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Brown paper.

OldEnglish on February 1, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Venezuela is struggling with a major shortage of newsprint, too, with press outlets unsure of whether they’ll be able to keep their newspapers in circulation.

Why doesn’t Hussein send Sean Penn, Micheal Moore, Cindy Sheehan and that banana boat guy as his TP envoys , with bales of NYTimes and WaPo newsPAPERS ?
I’m sure Venezualans will appreciate the gift :O

burrata on February 1, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Time to ReWrite™ the WaPo:

The arrival of basic staples such as cooking oil, chicken, flour or milk brings Venezuelans running to supermarkets and touches off surreal mob scenes, even as because the government imposes price caps and rationing to prevent hoarding. …

Where have I seen that before? Oh yes, the Soviet Union.

Steve Eggleston on February 1, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Coming to America soon,if the Leftists have their way.

jeffinsjvca on February 1, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Maybe things aren’t really that bad here in the USA. Our teens throw rolls upon rolls of TP into trees.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 1, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Stupid people are ruining Venezuela.

Unfortunately, they are also running America’s government.

BKennedy on February 1, 2014 at 7:20 PM

“Make these items available — or else”?

…does he also have weird looking ears…and say: “let ME be perfectly clear!”

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

In rural areas, pages from the Sears and Roebuck catalog were popular.

/I think my Mom and Dad did this.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2014 at 7:28 PM

I love the person who thinks that Maduro can order the supermarkets to sell TP! How crazy is that? I guess that individual never learned Economics 101.
Socialism means never having enough!

armygirl on February 1, 2014 at 7:29 PM

“Make these items available — or else”? …Well. That’s one economic template that will certainly help to incentivize people’s behavior — just probably not with the precise types of incentives Venezuela needs right now.

“…Or else I KEEEELL YOU!!”

That being the unspoken corollary practically everywhere “strong man” rule or socialism takes root.

It amazes me that these supposedly brilliant “technocratic” rulers don’t understand the concept of “it has to be produced and the production has to pay for itself“.

It’s almost as if they don’t understand…economics.

Oh, who needs that? They’ve got all the guns, so if anyone doesn’t comply, they’ll just shoot him.

After all, it’s always worked so well in banana republics.

At least until El Presidente, El Comandante, El Líder Máximo, etc., begins crossing his eyes and giggling while sitting at his desk ordering more mass executions.

Things tend to get weird at that point.

My guess is Maduro will be smiling in a vaguely disturbing way inside of a month.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 1, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Corncobs. People were stouter then.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Employees at the Excelsior Gama supermarket had set out a load of extra-soft six-roll packs so large that it nearly blocked the aisle. To stock the shelves with it would have been pointless.

How many rolls didn’t make it to the store shelves? In other words, how many rolls did those employees sell on the black market or hoard for their own family and friends?

This is a return to the Soviet Union and, sadly, America if Obama isn’t crushed soon.

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2014 at 7:59 PM

I love the person who thinks that Maduro can order the supermarkets to sell TP! How crazy is that? I guess that individual never learned Economics 101.
Socialism means never having enough!

armygirl on February 1, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Um… Remember all those people that think Obama can forgive their debt, pay their mortgages, or make gas cheaper by executive fiat.

Socialism is alive and well in America.

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2014 at 8:02 PM

who needs TP when you have this.

phatfawzi on February 1, 2014 at 8:02 PM

lets do this again

who needs TP when you have this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amQ9dy5uZDI

phatfawzi on February 1, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Yeah, its getting pretty crappy in Venezuela these days.

Although, toilet paper didn’t exist for many, many generations. We managed to survive through that period.

BobMbx on February 1, 2014 at 5:34 PM

with an infant mortality rate of 50%

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Besides that being a total non sequitur, I wonder from which orifice you pulled that figure (speaking of the need for TP)? And what was your point?

In the late 1800s and early 1900s infant mortality rates were on average 100 per 1,000 live births with some European countries like Russia and Germany reaching rates as high as 250 deaths per 1,000 live births. This is according to the report, The Decline of Infant Mortality in Europe 1800 to 1850 edited by Carlo A. Corsini and Pier Paalo Viazzo. Wealth did not make any family immune to infant mortality, according to the report. Agricultural laborers tended to have the lowest infant mortality rate up until the early 1900s.

http://www.pregnancy-info.net/childbirth-history/babies.html

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

The use of paper for such hygiene purposes has been recorded in China in the 6th century, with specifically manufactured toilet paper being mass-produced in the 14th century. Modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for roll-based dispensers being made in 1883.

Although paper had been known as a wrapping and padding material in China since the 2nd century BC, the first documented use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China.

During the early 14th century, it was recorded that in modern-day Zhejiang province alone there was an annual manufacturing of toilet paper amounting in ten million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper each. During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), it was recorded in 1393 that an annual supply of 720,000 sheets of toilet paper (two by three feet in size) were produced for the general use of the imperial court at the capital of Nanjing. From the records of the Imperial Bureau of Supplies of that same year, it was also recorded that for Emperor Hongwu’s imperial family alone, there were 15,000 sheets of special soft-fabric toilet paper made, and each sheet of toilet paper was even perfumed.

Elsewhere, wealthy people wiped themselves with wool, lace or hemp, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize, ferns, many apple plant husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs. In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick was commonly used, and, after usage, placed back in a bucket of saltwater.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper

And now you know.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:18 PM

The mod won’t let me post. ??

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

The use of paper for such hygiene purposes has been recorded in China in the 6th century, with specifically manufactured toilet paper being mass-produced in the 14th century. Modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for roll-based dispensers being made in 1883.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Although paper had been known as a wrapping and padding material in China since the 2nd century BC, the first documented use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM

During the early 14th century, it was recorded that in modern-day Zhejiang province alone there was an annual manufacturing of toilet paper amounting in ten million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper each. During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), it was recorded in 1393 that an annual supply of 720,000 sheets of toilet paper (two by three feet in size) were produced for the general use of the imperial court at the capital of Nanjing. From the records of the Imperial Bureau of Supplies of that same year, it was also recorded that for Emperor Hongwu’s imperial family alone, there were 15,000 sheets of special soft-fabric toilet paper made, and each sheet of toilet paper was even perfumed.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Elsewhere, wealthy people wiped themselves with wool, lace or he mp, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize, ferns, many apple plant husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs. In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick was commonly used, and, after usage, placed back in a bucket of saltwater.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper

And now you know.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Elsewhere, wealthy people wiped themselves with wool, lace or h3mp, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize, ferns, many apple plant husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:28 PM

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

So, their paper armour plating was dual use – cool!

OldEnglish on February 1, 2014 at 8:30 PM

In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick was commonly used,

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:31 PM

and, after usage,

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:32 PM

placed back in a bucket of salt water.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:32 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper

And now you know.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:32 PM

I tired posting the whole quote and it kept getting kick out by the mod.

It was the word “salt water” without the space. ????????

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Which was the last word in the quote!

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:36 PM

tired = tried

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Infant mortality rate at abortion place near 100%.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:38 PM

And now you know.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:32 PM

And knowledge is half the battle.

Flange on February 1, 2014 at 8:47 PM

It was the word “salt water” without the space. ????????

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Once they banned salt in New York, the Hotair ubercensor must have jumped on the bandwagon :)

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 1, 2014 at 9:23 PM

How long before, You like your newspaper you can keep your newspaper!

AshleyTKing on February 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Thanks for sharing, everyone!

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 9:51 PM

OK. So, 10-25 % by your admission. You got me.

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 11:04 PM

In the late 1800s and early 1900s infant mortality rates were on average 100 per 1,000 live births with some European countries like Russia and Germany reaching rates as high as 250 deaths per 1,000 live births. This is according to the report, The Decline of Infant Mortality in Europe 1800 to 1850 edited by Carlo A. Corsini and Pier Paalo Viazzo. Wealth did not make any family immune to infant mortality, according to the report. Agricultural laborers tended to have the lowest infant mortality rate up until the early 1900s.

http://www.pregnancy-info.net/childbirth-history/babies.html

You’re right DavidK. Plumbing did.

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Besides that being a total non sequitur, I wonder from which orifice you pulled that figure (speaking of the need for TP)? And what was your point?

Hey, Genius boy, it’s not a non sequitor when our fertility rate is 1.9 and dropping.

Statistics we much?

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 11:28 PM

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:13 PM

it’s only a non sequitor if you don’t know what the most common cause of post-partum sepsis was.

I suspect you have no clue.

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 11:35 PM

Elsewhere, wealthy people wiped themselves with wool, lace or h3mp, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize, ferns, many apple plant husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:28 PM

would that be called dumping raw sewerage in these days?

WryTrvllr on February 1, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Venezuela’s toilet-paper shortage oddly worsening, despite Maduro’s “new economic order”

This is the Socialism the Pope wants for his folk.

Why?

RJL on February 1, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Yes Utopia turns out to be a pain in the you know what. But that will not deter the progressive left in America in pursuing it as their goal for us all. Fortunately, we have the cornfields of America with all those cylindrical toilet paper substitutes after the kernels are shelled off.

KW64 on February 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM

for Emperor Hongwu’s imperial family alone, there were 15,000 sheets of special soft-fabric toilet paper made, and each sheet of toilet paper was even perfumed.

davidk on February 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

I had an Iranian roommate in college who questioned why our TP was scented. “Does your ——- smell?” he asked. “Well in a scents it does” I replied.

KW64 on February 2, 2014 at 12:07 AM

They had better hope their shit doesn’t stink.

claudius on February 2, 2014 at 12:17 AM

Does Venezuela produce their own toilet paper or is it imported?

goatweed on February 2, 2014 at 1:08 AM

“Well in a scents it does” I replied.

KW64 on February 2, 2014 at 12:07 AM

That must’ve rectum.

I’m on a roll!

Shy Guy on February 2, 2014 at 7:54 AM

Poor dumb Venezuelans. Gave away their freedom without a fight.

….oh wait

Lonetown on February 2, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Sheryl Crow approved

Decoski on February 2, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Brown paper.

OldEnglish on February 1, 2014 at 7:07 PM

That is soooo racist.//

msupertas on February 2, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Sorry, I can’t resist asking the question:
What did people do back then? (Before toilet paper)

gxpgxp on February 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Hint

Elsewhere in the world, besides stones, leaves were also used.

Shy Guy on February 2, 2014 at 9:55 AM

“Make these items available — or else”

Or death, I’m sure.

The leftist refrain for the past three hundred years. The French Revolution added au mort (or death) to their famous slogan after a couple years when Utopia failed to materialize. A few murders and all will be right.

PattyJ on February 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Make toilet paper available or else. Buy this insurance or else.

This is how idiots think.

Voluble on February 2, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Venezuela’s toilet-paper shortage oddly worsening, despite Maduro’s “new economic order”

Don’t laugh. That will probably be us sooner or later.

Stupid Venezuelans, how can you be swimming in oil and not have enough toilet paper? I mean really, how can you still have severe economic problems and have all that energy to sell you backwards, ignorant…oh, wait a second here :-0

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

How about corncobs? Are they runnin’ out of those, too?

tpitman on February 1, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Shouldn’t be. With us turning corn into gasoline, there should be more than enough corncobs to go around.

BillH on February 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Good friend of mine lives in Venezuela. He even runs a family business of that like a general store.

He tells me this is pretty much all completely the government’s fault (no surprise). Much of it stems from the government’s complete control of foreign currency exchanges.

In the case of toilet paper, the paper company needs to buy certain base supplies/chemicals from a foreign company/country as it is not available domestically. Well, it has to get approval and request the foreign currency from the government first. What I was told what usually happens is for example a company says it needs to buy $100,000 of something. Well the government will come back and say, “you can only buy $30,000 and no more.” Now you have a shortage.

Gyro on February 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

What do you do when you’re stranded,
And you don’t have a roll.

Aardvark on February 2, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Chavez had it comparatively easy. There was still surplus available to tide his regime over and conceal some of the shortfalls. Now there is not enough surplus left and the shortfalls are really biting now.

It seems to me the natural response, from those who think that there is no such thing as scarcity, is to demand that OTHERS supply the scarce goods. After all, they are on the side of the people and can not possibly be doing anything wrong.

Eventually it will come apart, but it is not likely to be pretty.

Russ808 on February 2, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Erika gets a lot of credit from me for this column…it is dangerous to focus on “means” only, the day to day battles of politics, without focusing on the ENDS.

The ends can possibly sway hearts and minds.

RushBaby on February 2, 2014 at 9:52 PM