The Courageous State

Police in Venezuela say they have seized nearly 2,500 rolls of toilet paper in an overnight raid of a clandestine warehouse storing scarce goods.

How much does 2,500 rolls cost in a civilised country? £1 for 6 or something? So we\’ve a police raid over £400\’s worth of loo roll.

The socialist government says the shortages are part of a plot by opponents to destabilize the country. Economists blame the government\’s price and currency controls.

Economists, whadda they know, hunh?

8 thoughts on “The Courageous State”

  1. I was just in Sainsbury’s where the own-brand loo rolls were 169p for four, which makes it just over 40p each. So that’s a thousand quids worth of bottom wiping. Andrex comes at a much higher premium.

    Of course they might be fake loo rolls, perhaps some nasty foreign power hoped to subvert Venezuela’s economy by flooding it with counterfeits.

  2. Quoting Cohen the Barbarian (of Discworld fame) if memory serves the best three things in life are good dentures, indoor plumbing and soft toilet paper!

  3. It is obviously a plot to make people buy ( but not necessarily read) socialist newspapers.

  4. IIRC at the height (low?) of Zimbabwe’s economist crisis one of the few things available in abundance was was toilet roll.

  5. “economic” – proof reading was never my strong point and definitely not at 7 am with a hangover

  6. Surreptitious Evil

    Well, yes. Economist crises are what you get when you don’t actually have a economic crisis.

  7. I expect the BBC will be satirising this government day in, day out for months to come.

    Or maybe not.

  8. Am I misreading this? It’s not very clear, but it seems to say that the rate for loo roll in Venezuela is 4.48 Bolivars (~$0.75) for a single roll.

    http://www.sundecop.gob.ve/images/stories/aviso_oficial_prensa.jpg

    By my understanding of the situation, the price controls are actually set at higher than market rates, but there are import tariffs as well – not sure if they’re official or unofficial – which are driving prices up high enough to prevent anyone importing stuff apart from the government.

    Bear in mind that Trinidad is a short ferry ride away, and does not have a TP shortage. Enterprising Trinis would gladly supply a large chunk of Venezuela’s needs, as they do in normal times. The Venezuelan government has cut off the private-sector imports, though, so they can seize control of supplies.

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