Venezuela reaches the final stage of socialism: no toilet paper

market empty venezuela cc

Whether a state has a more corporatist flavor or a more “socialist” flavor (crony systems typically have both) it is the denial of prices, the denial of reality, which leads ultimately to disaster. If the pricing mechanism isn’t allowed to work distortions in the economy arise. Distortions make the system wobbly, and sooner or later the system is off the rails.

And out of toilet paper.

(From The Business Insider)

Venezuela’s product shortages have become so severe that some hotels in that country are asking guests to bring their own toilet paper and soap, a local tourism industry spokesman said on Wednesday….

“It’s an extreme situation,” says Xinia Camacho, owner of a 20-room boutique hotel in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada national park. “For over a year we haven’t had toilet paper, soap, any kind of milk, coffee or sugar. So we have to tell our guests to come prepared.”…

Montilla says bigger hotels can circumvent product shortages by buying toilet paper and other basic supplies from black market smugglers who charge up to 6-times the regular price. But smaller, family-run hotels can’t always afford to pay such steep prices, which means that sometimes they have to make do without.

Notice that the larger hotels are able still to supply themselves (for the time being) with toilet paper. It’s the mom and pop bed and breakfasts which have to send guests out into the rain forest to look for banana leaves.

Click here for the article.