I Am Sure that This Is a Sign of a Thriving Society

Everything is going just fine in Venezuela. What could make anyone think otherwise?

Oh.

A Venezuelan state agency on Friday ordered the temporary takeover of a factory that produces toilet paper in what it called an effort to ensure consistent supplies after embarrassing shortages earlier this year.

Critics of President Nicolas Maduro say the nagging shortages of products ranging from bathroom tissue to milk are a sign his socialist government's rigid price and currency controls are failing. They have also used the situation to poke fun at his administration on social media networks.

A national agency called Sundecop, which enforces price controls, said in a statement it would occupy one of the factories belonging to paper producer Manpa for 15 days, adding that National Guard troops would "safeguard" the facility.

"The action in the producer of toilet paper, sanitary napkins and disposable diapers responds to the state's obligation to ensure a steady supply of basic goods for the people," Sundecop said, adding it had observed "the violation of the right" to access such products.

Further commentary really isn't needed, is it?

Of Venezuela and Toilet Paper

For those who think that all has gone swimmingly in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, I give you this.

I'll spare you the obvious jokes that I could make about this situation; this is a family blog, after all, and one tries to keep things clean. I will note, however, that if the Venezuelan government can't handle the relatively easy task of ensuring that people have sufficient access to toilet paper, it is probably fouling up a host of other more complicated projects even as I write and you read this blog post.

Also, who still thinks that price controls are a good idea? It's 2013. Have we learned nothing?