As in the old Soviet Union, Chavez and Maduro have no understanding of price. All they know is the empty flame-throwing rhetoric attacking "capitalism," whatever that means to whoever listens to them!The comparison with the Soviet Union seems like an eternal gift that keeps on giving. Writing at Cato (yes, the libertarian think-tank, in case any of my faculty union "comrades" are reading this!) David Boaz notes (ht):
In 1990 I went to a Cato Institute conference in what was then still the Soviet Union. We were told to bring our own toilet paper, which was in fact useful advice. Now, after only 16 years of Chavista rule, Venezuela has demonstrated that “Socialism of the 21st Century” is pretty much like socialism in the 20th centuryYes, toilet paper.
What happened, you ask?
“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.”…Boaz comments:
But what I never understood is this: Why toilet paper? How hard is it to make toilet paper? I can understand a socialist economy having trouble producing decent cars or computers. But toilet paper?Chavez's "Bolivarian Socialism" gift to the people!
But, of course, one can always pay a high price in the black market, thanks to bachaqueros. Who are they, you ask?
Often moving in motorized packs, bachaqueros specialize in ferreting out what items are available and where they can be found among the various government-sponsored food outlets and privately run stores. The bachaqueros depend on inside informants and satiated buyers who tip them off before word gets out to most people.Maduro, the heir selected by Chavez himself, is making sure that when he is done, the country will be FUBAR. What is FUBAR, you ask? Fucked Up Beyond All Repair!
Purchasing the goods with cash, they resell them through informally arranged delivery networks set up through social media. They sell milk powder, chicken and disposable diapers at outrageous markups, counting on Venezuelans to pay premiums to avoid the hassles of la cola, which means standing in line but which has become a synonym for the act of shopping itself.
So, how does Maduro respond?
President Maduro blames Washington and "imperialism."Saint Chavez can't be wrong, and neither can his anointed one, right?
But, Maduro does not stop with that. No sir. He is one hell of a nutcase.
PresidentBut, that is only a few more days to go. How can Maduro get this done, you ask?
Nicolas Madurois drumming up a petition, to be signed by Venezuelans opposed to the measure, to hand Obama in person at the Summit of the Americasin PanamaApril 10-11.
Well, he began last week by ordering all Venezuelan schools to hold an "anti-imperialist day" against "U.S. meddling" in the oil-rich but bitterly divided nation's internal affairs.Ah, yes, will make Hugo Chavez smile from that socialist heaven!
Activities would include — you guessed it — the "collection of the signatures of the students, and teaching, administrative, maintenance and cooking personnel."
Maduro's next step, according to the opposition and human rights groups, was to order state workers to join in, or be sacked.
Discussing his petition this week, he said: "I believe that the threat from Obama has awoken the greatest love for what we are doing for the fatherland."There is not enough toilet paper to wipe the shit that comes out of Maduro's mouth!
"History books will recall him, President Obama, as the one who attempted to threaten a people and what he did was lift up their national, patriotic and Bolivarian spirit."