Argentines have long bemoaned trade barriers that occasionally led to shortages of imported car tires, iPhones and medicine. But these days, women here are ruing the scarcity of a much more personal item: tampons.

On Friday, retailers and tampon distributors said they were scrambling to arrange the delivery of fresh shipments, possibly from Brazil, as early as next week. For now, women are finding it nearly impossible to find tampons at pharmacies and smaller supermarkets around the country—an embarrassing situation for President Cristina Kirchner ’s government, which has had to publicly address the problem.

It’s all over allocation of scarce foreign exchange of course. But:

Some commentators said such a problem shouldn’t happen in a country governed by a female president.

Perhaps not in one with a pre-menopausal female President……

17 thoughts on “Hmm”

  1. Expression with a kind of double meaning….. No? Ok..Granted possibly not too many ladies living there with that name.
    just read a funny one on CIF ..
    ” We should help them out. No strings attached.”

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    Rob – “Classic Progressivism and identity politics.”

    Actually it is a clash of classic progressivism (that is, rationing and shortages) with identity politics (not giving every woman whatever she demands right now is misogyny).

    Although in fairness Argentina is supposedly looking at buying some MiGs. Because Britain has vetoed their purchase of pretty much everything else – including, most recently Saab planes. I did not know the FCO had such an in with the Swedes. Anyway. If it comes down to a choice between some Russian fighter jets or tampons, you know, I am torn. I suspect that they will end up with neither.

  3. So Much for Subtlety

    john malpas – “would not more pregancy help ameliorate the problem. The men of Argentina should help.”

    I think that in the interests of putting aside old grievances and healing the wounds of war, we should all be prepared to help the women of Argentina in their hour of need. Well, days of need.

    I am willing to do my bit!

    How old would Gabrielle Sabatini be these days?

  4. Bloke in Costa Rica

    It shows what a pig’s ear central planners can make of an economy. It’s not like these are monocrystalline turbine blades or microprocessors – these are wads of cotton that women jam up their chuffs so they don’t leave a mark on the sofa. It’s not as bad as Venezuela, where you can’t even find bumwipe but it’s close.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    DevonChap – “BAe Systems is responsible for export sales of the Swedish Gripen. So the FCO gets a veto.”

    I think that is a bit of a euphemism. BAE seems in charge of brown paper envelopes. Which may explain why the planes have been sold to South Africa but not many other countries. Although, surprise surprise, Brazil is interested.

    BAe can’t even bribe Third World kleptocrats properly. The French wouldn’t have got caught.

    Bloke in Costa Rica – “It shows what a pig’s ear central planners can make of an economy.”

    In fairness, it is not central planning. The Argentinian government is not planning. It has created a Licence Raj. It is the more typical Latin American kleptocracy – friends of the President get the foreign currency they need and all the licences they want. Friends of the opposition don’t.

    Again we see people trending to their long term historical averages. Latin America could be free, democratic and prosperous. But they would prefer to continue to be, well, feckless Latin. And so, to lift someone else’s comment, Venezuela becomes Zimbabwe, Argentina becomes Venezuela, Brazil becomes Argentina, Chile becomes Brazil. They can’t help it. It is impossible to escape history.

  6. SMFS,

    I think there is still hope that Chile might escape the Latin trap, but the rest of SA does seem to be on a steady downward tread that has no sign of being reversed.

  7. Democracy only works until the majority realized they can vote to be paid by the minority. And then there is no escape from that cycle. At some point the minority either leaves or go Gault, and the redistribution rate goes even higher.

  8. Oh come on. Sure, they have tampon shortages, but does anyone think that this is likely to affect Kirchner herself?

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