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Venezuela Runs Out of Toilet Paper!

AP reports:

First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities - toilet paper.[...]

One supermarket visited by The Associated Press in the capital on Wednesday was out of toilet paper. Another had just received a fresh batch, and it quickly filled up with shoppers as the word spread.

"I've been looking for it for two weeks," said Cristina Ramos. "I was told that they had some here and now I'm in line."

The shortages are not difficult to understand. Price inflation is raging in the country as the central bank aggressively prints money and the government has responded by instituting price controls. The inflation rate in Venezuela was recorded at 29.44 percent in April. Force prices below market prices, which is what price controls do, and supply disappears.

AP even gets this:

Economists say Venezuela's shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government's controls on foreign currency.

"State-controlled prices - prices that are set below market-clearing price - always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union," said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 5202/27/2014

In related news, the newspaper industry has been saved from extinction.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 105/16/2013

Fuck off, freeper. Link to price controls and comparative inflation rates, moron.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 205/16/2013

The end of world loonies claim that toilet paper is one of the best things to stockpile, as it can be used to barter in case of economic collapse or Armageddon, or whatever the hell they horde for.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 305/16/2013

Venezuelans are the most stuck-up people in the world.

I'm sorry for the poor, but the middle-class and the wealthy in that country deserve it.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 405/16/2013

I'm pulling out my cahrn-cahb holders and sendin' the cahbs your way!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 505/16/2013

They could always use money as toilet paper

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 805/16/2013

In related news, Libertarians are still idiots.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 905/16/2013

Bum-mer!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 1105/16/2013

dirty anus alert!!!!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 1205/16/2013

No shit.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 1305/16/2013

Capital strike.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 1405/16/2013

Honey Boo Boo's mom strikes again.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 1505/16/2013

Heck---toilet paper is for sissies!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 1705/18/2013

Freepers have nothing to worry about, since they wipe with the constitution.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 1805/18/2013

[quote]you think socialists worship the constitution?

Dear heart, you wouldn't know a "socialist" if one bit you on the ass.

[quote]Can you not see how what is happening in VZL is going to happen here if we don't stop giving the federal govt unlimited powers?

No, dear, we can't, because there is zero chance of that happening here. It's only in your fevered imagination that such things take place.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2005/30/2013

Is this supposed to be a new story about Venezuela? I thought runaway inflation was long established.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2105/30/2013

So much for tightly whiteys in Ven-Land.

Pull out the Clorox. I see a run for difficult brown.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2305/30/2013

[quote]If the Federal Reserve keeps printing money to bail out the big banks, then it WILL happen here.

Dear heart, the Federal Reserve isn't doing anything that it hasn't done literally dozens of times before. Such actions have never, not once, even come close to having the impact you keep predicting. Nor is there any sign in the economy today that we are even remotely heading in that direction, despite the fact that you have been confidently predicting such catastrophe for years now. Don't you get tired of being wrong?

Oh, and typing something in ALL CAPS doesn't make it any more true than when you write in mixed-case.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2405/30/2013

[quote]Uhhh, yes it is DOING SOMETHING IT'S NEVER DONE BEFORE. It is paying interest on the TRILLIONS they printed up and loaned to banks. That has NEVER happened in history.

Dear heart, I'm afraid that, as usual, you're wrong, as you once again demonstrate your complete ignorance of both history and economics.

[quote]Those TRILLIONS are on loan to the FED

No, dear, they're not. Really, if you're going to post on topics like this, shouldn't you have at least *some* basic understanding of the principles involved? As it is, you're making it too easy, since your utter ignorance doesn't require any real effort to debunk.

[quote]and when interest rates rise, or the FED quits paying interest on these reserves--- well, that money is going to FLY into the system. Right now the over 2Trillion is waiting to be unleashed.

You do realize that this sentence makes absolutely no sense, right? And that it in no way resembles anything out here in the real world?

[quote]WHEN, not if, that happens, the dollar will lose (relative) value and interest rates will rise fast, hard and high.

Dear heart, the Fed controls interest rates. They will not let interest rates rise "fast, hard and high."

[quote]I'm saving this thread so that when this happens I can show how economically ignorant you are.

ROFL.... Oh, please do, just like I've saved the threads where you have predicted economic Armageddon, hyperinflation, and gold climbing in value tenfold. I'm afraid that my track record over the past several years is far, far better than yours.

[quote]Most people are smart enough to know that printing TRILLIONS of dollars will eventually cause the price of milk, bread, beef, etc. to rise.

That depends on the economic circumstances at the time, dear, and how and when those "TRILLIONS" are eventually unwound. As I said, dear, the Fed is doing what it has done countless times before. And in none of those previous times has anything like what you predicted taken place. You really should learn something about history, finance, and economics before you post again.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2605/31/2013

Let's post some of your greatest hits, dear, shall we?

Gold coins are cheap now. At $1700+ they are a steal. Wait until the government defaults and it will be worth 10x that. Or more.

Gold will always pace or outpace inflation, when held over long periods.

Gold is much safer than any other stock or commodity.

Until the government is no longer in control of the money supply, gold will just go higher and higher.

Gold is a hedge against major inflation. Like Weimar or Argentinian level hyperinflation.

Gold is the best performing asset in the market.

Gold will keep going higher and higher until the Federal Reserve quits inflating.

Gold is still the best asset to hold compared to S&P or DJIA.

When the dollar is worth nothing, people will still want to trade gold for food, gas, etc.

That is why gold is not in a bubble. Trust me, I know more about this than you think you do.

[I do so love that last line. Talk about "economic ignorance!"]

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2705/31/2013

I love all the simplemindedness on DL when it comes to Venezuela. People, on the "left" and the "right", who easily reduce a very complicated and difficult historical situation to sophomoric American-style rhetoric. People who think they have an understanding of what that country is going through and haven't the least clue. People who reduce Venezuelans of all political, social, economic and intellectual affiliations to the most ill-founded stereotypes.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2805/31/2013

[quote]How long before the US is in the same boat?

Is this a serious question, OP? We live in the C.S.A.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 2905/31/2013

OK, can someone explain this to me, because I don't get it. Particularly in a country such as Venezuela.

OK, so there is inflation. This means that a 3.00 roll of toilet paper is now 6.00 dollars. To keep it from rising to 9.00 the government fixes the price. I don't see why this would cause a shortage unless the toilet paper manufacturer has a temper tantrum and stops making toilet paper. In which case the government in Venezuela could easily throw the toilet paper manufactures in jail and run the plant at full capacity, producing enough toilet paper for everyone.

The basic problem seems to be that the manufacturers will not allow their percentage of profit to change. If the profit is 300% they wont settle for 250% in spite of the fact that they are still making a profit. And yes, I understand that inflation would would affect the manufacturers costs (except for labor, inflation never seems to be reflected in the worker's paychecks). However, they could split the difference and take 50% of the increase out of profits and pass 50% on to the consumer.

Also, wouldn't be better to be selling 10,000.00 rolls of toilet paper at a 6.00 and a 250% profit rather than 2,500.00 rolls at 9.00 and a 300% profit?

If the toilet paper manufactures are selling the product over seas at a better price, ban the export of toilet paper until the issue is resolved. (And FYI, I may not know a great deal of economics,but I know a bit about the DDR. The reason for shortages in the DDR (East Germany) was that 85% of the consumer goods manufactured in the DDR were exported. That means that only 15% of good manufactured in the DDR remained in the country.)

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3005/31/2013

[bold] Venezuela: Toilet Roll Stash Found Amid Crisis [/bold]

A huge stash of toilet roll has been found in Venezuela, just weeks after it was revealed the country faced a crisis over shortages.

A tip off from a member of the public led police to a warehouse where 2,450 bales were discovered.

Officers also found 7,000 litres of fruit juice and 400 packages of disposable baby nappies.

Two weeks ago, huge queues were being reported at supermarkets as shelves were left empty by the toilet roll shortage.

New president Nicolas Maduro, who took over after the death of Hugo Chavez, blamed a 'conspiracy' to destabilise the country.

Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said on Twitter the paper was stored "in a clandestine warehouse".

An investigation has been launched to determine where all the merchandise came from and who it was for, National Police chief Luis Karabin said.

Other products the country is suffering from severe shortages of are toothpaste, toilet soap, nappies and feminine hygiene products.

The government announced this month it was importing 50 million rolls of toilet paper.

Congress, meanwhile, approved an $80m (£52m) loan to import loads of the five scarce essentials.

The shortages have prompted the government to hold meetings with businessmen in various economic sectors.

Price controls were introduced for certain basic goods in 2003 after an oil industry strike paralysed the economy, sent inflation soaring and led to shortages of goods.

Experts say such price controls lead to shortages as there is little incentive to supply when the amount manufacturers receive for the goods is less than they are worth.

It can also lead to hoarding as some are tempted to buy up large amounts of goods when they are cheap so they can be resold elsewhere or later where or when prices are more expensive.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3105/31/2013

They're a bunch of shit-asses!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3205/31/2013

R30, thank you for an intelligent question.

Imagine the government decided to force gas stations sell gas for $2. If the supplier of that gas requires $2.01 for gas, no gas will be delivered.

Any price controls- too much or too little- will always result in gluts or shortages because all of the "inputs" for prices are set at the margin by millions of individuals.

Think of this- if a disaster hits, and there is no water, wouldn't it be better to pay $5 a gallon for water than die of thirst? The reason that the it costs $5 a gallon is because entrepreneurial individuals decided to buy water at 10 cents a gallon, drive hundreds of miles, use their time and energy with a HOPE of making money. In a short time, these "rapacious price gougers" will be replaced by people selling water for $3/gal and soon there will be an ample supply at 15 cents a gallon- because the smart people know how to cut prices to make the most money.

If the gov steps in and says "All water must be sold for 10 cents a gallon" then the people will die of thirst because no one can make money by taking time and effort to help the people.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3305/31/2013

R33, bad example, at least for me because I firmly believe those "rapacious price gougers" should be shot.

But to get back to more realistic examples...

To use you example of gas, if the cost price of gas is 2.10, nobody expects gas to sell for 2.00. However, if the retail price for gas at 2.10 would be 4.50 (keystone rounded up to the next logical price), it wouldn't be a hardship if the price was fixed at 4.00.

The problem is when the price is fixed at 2.00 and the supplier jacks the price up to 2.10 because he wants to play games, prove a point, or try to show who has the most power. Or, in short, manipulate the market.

According to an above post, good were being warehoused in order to manipulate the market. This sort of market manipulation should be considered treason.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3405/31/2013

W&W for R18!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3605/31/2013

I hate when I forget to buy TP and have to use paper towels to wipe. Venezuela, I feel your pain gurl!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3805/31/2013

[quote] Good God, how can someone be that stupid.

Good God, how can anything think that nationalizing oil fields or creating price controls is a BAD thing?!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 3905/31/2013

I'd lick their shitters! Yum!

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4105/31/2013

They should just run down to Costco. They always have plenty.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4205/31/2013

I wonder if we could sell the resident Libertarian Idiot off to Standard Oil. How much do you think they'd pay for him?

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4305/31/2013

BUMP

now I know some of you have following the violent protests recently, the deaths of some student protesters, and the blocking of twitter in Venezuela.

Anyone who still thinks Venezuela is a paradise is a fool. It's hardly free and certainly not prosperous or on the right track.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4402/27/2014

Paging Johnny Carson. Paging Mr. Johnny Carson.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4502/27/2014

Shitty country

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4602/27/2014

where are the Chavez and Maduro apologists now?

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4702/27/2014

[quote]where are the Chavez and Maduro apologists now?

They're hiding behind that stupid little imaginary strawman you just created.

BOO!

I'm not seeing a single apologist on this thread for Chavez or Maduro. Zero. While I can understand your psychological need to paint anybody who disagrees with you as a Chavez apologist, things here on planet earth are a bit more complicated than that.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4802/27/2014

Fierce anticommunist Marco Rubio wants Congress to slap sanctions against Venezuela.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 4902/27/2014

Hopefully the current government will be overthrown. Chavez and Maduro have ruined the country in many ways.

The fact that students, historically known for being liberal, are protesting says something. Clearly the conditions in the country are not suitable for most people.

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 5002/27/2014

What's shocking is how brutal the military is attacking the protesters, shooting point black at the face or kicking them to death. I hope Venezuelans have the strength to free themselves of these corrupt pieces of shit that have ruined their country

by How long before the US is in the same boat?reply 5102/27/2014
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