18 1 min 9 yrs

Another triumph of government economics.

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

Explanation: Venezuela has been printing money like mad, resulting in massive price inflation (reported at 29.4% most recently). The government panics and institutes price controls, forcing prices below market levels. Consumer demand soars as people grab what they can while supply dries up. Astonishingly, the AP (as published in The Telegraph) manages to zero in on this explanation:

“State-controlled prices – prices that are set below market-clearing price – always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]


  1. I actually saw a quote from a Venezuelan official saying the shortage of Toilet paper was because demand was up…..

  2. Their role model and ally Cuba has long had toilet paper shortages. Foreign Visitors often bring this and other basics to give to the locals.

  3. “Explanation: Venezuela has been printing money like mad,”

    You sure it’s money and not TP?

  4. Lots of worthless paper money and a shortage of toilet paper…hmmmmm

    If only there was a common solution to this problem. 🙂

    Wonder if Mugabe could ship them a few trillion Zimbabwe Dollar notes We could even have a whip round to bung him the GBP equivalent. If we delay it a couple of days about 10p ought to do it. 🙂

  5. No say it ain’t so, it’s a bum wrap copper!

    These are the jokes folks…yuk yuk!

  6. The toilet paper crisis is the least of their problems.

    The state owned oil company is being ruined by mismanagement and underinvestment.

    This will bear bitter fruit in the near future. Oil is their only real earner.

    The Big Lie was that Cuban poverty and the lack of a working economy there was due to the US Embargo. But Venezuela, which is not subject to any embargo, will soon be in a Cuban state, despite its oil. Communist policies lead to Communist poverty. If there’s no incentive to invest or to work hard, no one will invest or work hard, or innovate. The future is foretold.

  7. Right then here’s the plan;
    We send Petrkin complete with trendy student’s scarf plus revolutionary keffiyah ( it pays to be cautious) and forty nine million rolls of recycled toilet paper (in blushing pink) to Venezuela asap.
    One way ticket -no student discounts.

  8. Another triumph for socialism. All that all wealth and they can`t even wipe their arses.

  9. Agit8ed – I imagine Petr has a variety of Palestinian dishcloths to wear.

    Anyway …

    So milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal also ran short. These are staples. Nappies and pet food go quick too.

    We’ve seen time and again that both government action and natural forces can lead to shortages and empty shelves. Do like Goldman Sachs and keep supplies of what you need.

  10. Meant to type “oil wealth”. Venezuela really is a basket case – the murder capital of South America, rampant inflation etc. Maybe it`s the combination of oil and socialism.

  11. The Venezuelan economy is screwed up nine ways to Sunday.

    One of the things that are cheap there is gas / petrol – 12 cents a gallon from the govt owned oil company.

    Which distorts the entire economy – no one cares about fuel economy since ” it doesn’t cost anything “. There is fuel smuggling into Colombia, and probably lots of smuggled goods going the other way, including the precious toilet paper.

    If the world price of oil goes down in a significant way, it will be good for most of us, but Venezuela’s economy could crash.

  12. Peter –

    There’s a Resource Curse Theory, which suggests that natural resources can be a curse rather than a benefit.

    I dunno, maybe there’s something to it, or maybe many places with an abundance of resources don’t have a sufficiently strong tradition of law and an independent judiciary to check the corruption which comes with newly-discovered and massive wealth.

  13. They’ve usually been a curse.

    The Japanese and Koreans have nothing, so they’ve had to work with their brains and muscle to great great countries.

    The Saudis Russians and Venezuelans think that they can sit on their ass and that the free money will always be theirs.


  14. Pete

    Yes, I`ve read about that. The UK frittered away the bounty of North Sea oil on tax cuts and welfare. Compare with Norway, which has built a huge fund to finance the future.

Comments are closed.