Venezuela Toilet Paper Shortage Isn’t As Funny As It Sounds

Venezuela’s toilet paper shortage is a nationwide problem, and it’s not as funny as it sounds when you really think about it.

The country has been running short on a lot of things lately, from milk to butter then coffee and cornmeal. But toilet paper running to the bare roll is the “last straw” to some Venezuelans, as the bathroom hygiene product is viewed as an absolute necessity.

So who is to blame for Venezuela’s toilet paper shortage? As with everything, it depends on who you ask. Political opponents on every side are being targeted as scapegoats, and the Minister blames the media for creating a mass panic over a perceived shortage that has resulted in a very real shortage.

“This is the last straw,” said one frustrated Venezuelan shopper. “I’m 71 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen this.”

“I’ve been looking for it for two weeks,” said another. “I was told that they had some here and now I’m in line.”

The country is hoping to “wipe out” their toilet paper troubles by importing 50 million rolls “so that our people calm down,” said Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming.

But while the politicians and the media play the blame game, economists have a different view of the situation. They say that the toilet paper dilemma is squarely the fault of the politicians to be sure: Specifically, policies that set state-controlled prices on products like toilet paper.

Though the policy is meant to make certain products accessible in poorer areas in the country, it actually results in shortage. You don’t have to take our word for it. The same thing has happened in the Soviet Union, as well.

On top of their toilet paper problems, Venezuela is also facing food shortages and a scarcity index at its highest level since 2009.

What do you think of Venezuela’s toilet paper shortage? Would you be able to live without TP?

[Image via: schankz, Shutterstock]