Thursday, May 16, 2013

Venezuela Goes USSR - Toilet Paper Shortage

-Not much new on Benghazi. The State Department appears to be allowing their staff to be set up as the scapegoat. The Democrats are, in classic Orwellian mode, affecting to have the base closed because  well, they say it's closed.

"Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez also said on the Senate floor Thursday that the issue has been "fully vetted.' "

I wish that I could do that with my house projects. "The lawn, tree branch cutting, foundation painting - they're all done."


Very little time to type tonight.

Venezuela has gone the way of the old USSR in a big way. They have officially run out of toilet paper.

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

Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the embattled socialist government says it will import 50 million rolls to boost supplies.

That was little comfort to consumers struggling to find toilet paper on Wednesday.

"This is the last straw," said Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in downtown Caracas. "I'm 71 years old and this is the first time I've seen this."

A 71 year-old Venezuelan, having grown up in a poor nation, has seen some tough times, and this is the first time that he can't get toilet paper.

Price controls and central planning have run Venezuela's economy  one that is bolstered by loads of easily-gotten petrodollars, right into the ground.

This is in no way President Maduro's fault (Although he is also a huge dufus). This baby is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Hugo's.

For those who have, understandably grown weary of trying to convince committed Leftists, Progressives, the "Left-of-Center, or plain liberals, here is a quick blaster of an interrogatory(ies) for them:

After noting the past failures of Marxist/Socialist economies to provide a reasonably supply of basic items (Look them up - it will be a fun search), ask them at what point would they drop their affection for a system that was dead on arrival in the The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Will  it be when gasoline is rationed? Coffee? Cosmetics? Items for personal hygiene? How about nice shoes and handbags?

If it does get to that point in which you will have had enough, what would you do then?

Don't be afraid to press the  for an answer. Remember that it is they who are starting the problem by voting for the same people and advocating their positions. No nation has survived price controls, central planning, or the incessant taking of other's property or cash to just give it to others.

Even Classical history gives us a lesson. When the Roman Empire in the West ran into serious economic troubles, Diocletian opted to go with central planning. Prices were fixed, taxation was taken to the absolute limit, and people had to be forced to do certain jobs. Why forced? Well, it turned out that it was a better deal to be on the public dole or to drop everything that you owned  and just work and live as a tenant on an estate.

The people lost what vigor they still had left, and the economy continued to deteriorate. In the end, the people, who had long been without any property and also avoided even military service like the plague, found that the State no longer had even enough debased (Forget the good stuff at this point) currency to pay the mercenaries that had become indispensable. The Empire was not seized by invasions; raids-however bloody and painful, were repulsed or the leaders bought off. The former mercenaries and those that followed just walked right in and took what was now theirs. What was left of Roman administration were tiny enclaves of  revolted generals or merged with the rule of the new kings. While we, with the history books available, see the end here, the truth is much sadder. The last decades of the Empire were of such darkness and dysfunction that it was a long time before anyone even realized what it meant that the last emperor had been deposed and that an entirely new system had been put in place. The change was barely recognizable to the people of that time.

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