Socialism

Venezuelan Government Seizes Toilet Paper Factory To Fight Scarcity in Socialist Utopia

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Viva la revolucion.
Kalexanderson / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

This weekend, the government of Venezuela ordered the temporary takeover of a toilet paper factory to combat shortages of the product. The nationalization is led by a state agency called Sundecop, which oversees price controls. According to Reuters, the agency is stationing National Guard troops for 15 days at factory owned by paper production company Manpa.

Sundecop stated that it is the "state's obligation to ensure a steady supply of basic goods for the people," and that Manpa violated the peoples' right to access toilet paper. CNN writes that "in Caracas, for instance, long lines are common whenever new rolls come in."

Successor to the late Hugo Chavez, President Nicolas Maduro created a new government agency this month, called "The People's Defense from the Economy," according to CNN. Vice President Jorge Arreaza explained that its goal is to redistribute scarce goods like toilet paper in order to "defeat the economic war that has been declared in the country."

Earlier this year, Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming stated his belief that the price controls set in 2003 by late-President Chavez are not to blame for shortages of basic toiletries. Rather, it is the private sector hoarding products and holding Venezuelans hostage in their own bathrooms. "There is no deficiency in production, but an excessive demand generating purchases by a nervous population because of a media campaign," said Fleming.

The Venezuelan government has taken various measures in recent months to deal with the shortage. In May, officials approved a $79 million credit to import 50 million rolls of toilet paper and other basic necessities for its 29 million citizens. Weeks later, the police turned to a different tactic, raiding a warehouse and redistributing rolls to low income neighborhoods.

Some entrepreneurs have found a niche in the scarcity, such as Jose Augusto Montiel, who developed a smart phone application that alerts users to the availability of toilet paper and other scarce goods in Venezuela. 

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  1. Earlier this year, Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming stated his belief that the price controls set in 2003 by late-President Chavez are not to blame for shortages of basic toiletries. Rather, it is the private sector hoarding products and holding Venezuelans hostage in their own bathrooms. “There is no deficiency in production, but an excessive demand generating purchases by a nervous population because of a media campaign,” said Fleming.

    Kulak Wreckers!!

    1. Moron, liar or both?

      I hope the people of Venezuela get sick of this shit and throw the commies out while they still have a country to salvage.

      -jcr

      1. They just had an election about 5 months ago. But elections are like everything else. Junk in, junk out.

  2. Chavez wanted Venezuela to follow the soviet model, and he succeeded.

    -jcr

  3. Price controls lead to shortages? First I’ve heard of it!

    /progressive derp

    1. Progressives and socialists always double down on stupid.

      1. Progressives and socialists always double down on stupid

        Yes, but now that socialism is still failing to work, they’ve decided that the solution is to triple down on it! Forward to Progress, comrades!

  4. Successor to the late Hugo Chavez, President Nicolas Maduro created a new government agency this month, called “The People’s Defense from the Economy,”

    You can’t defend people from reality. At least, not for very long.

    1. It’s never about the long-term, only the next election cycle.

      1. For pols, the next election cycle IS the long term.

        The medium term is tonight’s newscast.

        The short term is what my backers want NOW.

  5. “Comrades, we must wipe out the forces of capitalist reaction and flush them out wherever they may be hiding. Therefore, we have issued Order Number Two calling for the ass-istance of the public in this rear-guard action. Our enemies have the cheek to wreck the economy while the country feces a grave crisis.”

  6. In Soviet Venezuela, you clean toilet paper!

    1. They have drastically reduced the number of steps involved in recycling it.

    2. R C Dean|9.23.13 @ 4:05PM|#
      “In Soviet Venezuela, you clean toilet paper!”

      If they keep fiddling with the economy, they can use the currency for TP and use TP for exchange!

  7. Maduro is the great Cornholio? He needs TP for his bunghole? Are you threatening him?

    1. Yes, he comes from Lake Titicaca!

      (Note to nitpickers: Yes, I am aware that Lake Titicaca isn’t actually in Venezuela.)

  8. Wait, price controls are a bad idea? Who knew?

  9. called “The People’s Defense from the Economy,” according to CNN. Vice President Jorge Arreaza explained that its goal is to redistribute scarce goods like toilet paper in order to “defeat the economic war that has been declared in the country.”

    Defend people from the economy? Oh my God, the economy has become self-aware!

    1. I think Obama has one of those also, but it’s a secret. He must have one, because he’s doing a great of defending us from having a functional economy.

    2. It’s more than just an invisible hand now, it’s an entire invisible body.

      1. Does the invisible body cast a shadow economy?

    3. I haven’t seen the original Spanish, but I suspect it’s probably “defense OF.” “Of” and “from” correspond to the same preposition in Spanish, so I think the translator is just poking fun at the regime here.

  10. So the people of Venezuela now depend on the government to wipe their asses?

    1. A true socialist revolutionary wipes his ass with his hands, Comrade.

  11. Searching for hat tip…

    1. The State Central Committee for Allocation of Hat Tips must first give approval.

      1. I think he has had his hat tip quota.

        1. Hat tips are being rationed, because some people were getting more than their fair share of hat tips. We can’t let greedy hat tip hoarders ruin things for the collective.

  12. So what social media sites do Venezuelans frequent? Orkut? Twitter? I must be the first person to post pictures of myself swimming in a vault of toilet paper, ala Scrooge McDuck.

  13. I have to go see if this has been covered at HuffPo, because if it has, the comments are sure to be derptacular.

    1. I looked and the best I could find was CNN:

      Noholdsbarred22 ? a day ago ?
      We’re forgetting that the reason that Chavez (and now Maduro) came to power back in the 90’s was because the so called “democratically elected officials” back then had the country on it’s knees- “THEY” were stealing all the wealth of the country – meanwhile the poverty rate rose to dizzying heights. Who do you think elected Chavez into power? That’s right, THE POOR.

      These criminals are all now in Miami crying “mismanagement” . . . .

      Now to be fair the majority of comments are mocking of the commies, but there is a serious discussion about whether washing your ass is more hygienic than wiping.

      1. Who do you think elected Chavez into power? That’s right, THE POOR.

        Which is why I support a 500$ poll tax or some other means of restricting the franchise.

      2. Most of the comments at HuffPo on this, are coming from the right. But the ones coming from the left are basically all blaming right wingers, who are really the ones in power in Venezuela, or Venezuelas extreme right wing media (really?).

        Here’s one:

        Isn’t the GOP slowing down the U.S. economy?

        Probably right wingers are doing the same thing in Venezuela.

        1. I believe that is exactly what Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming is accusing the “right wing media” of doing.

  14. Only progressives could turn Charmin into a luxury item.

    1. Don’t worry. When the regular toilet paper runs out, they can use the currency.

    2. nobody needs more than 1-ply

      1. And what about those high capacity packs of toilet paper? Who needs 24 rolls of toilet paper!?

    3. Please don’t squeeze the proletariat.

    1. Until they unsheathe those little tiny claws.

  15. OT EMERGENCY: I have an iTunes season pass for Breaking Bad WHERE IS THE LATEST EPISODE IT’S SO IMPORTANT I NEED IT NOW.

    1. Netflix UK has it.

  16. Some guy at Sundecop is gonna make a shitload of cash selling that toilet paper on the black market.

  17. If only there were a system that could more efficiently allocate scarce resources. If only.

    1. Yeah. If there were only an incentive to do so.

      1. I got nothing. Guess we can only seize stuff from some people and give it to ourselves and people who keep us in power. It’s the only way.

  18. “Socialism: Quilted for your protection.”

  19. The president of the National Statistics Institute claims (apparently with a straight face) that the TP shortage is due to Venezuelans having a higher standard of living and therefore eating more than they used to.

  20. On a positive note, bidet sales are through the roof.

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