Saturday, April 4, 2015

Venezuelan Hotels are Asking Tourists to Bring Their Own Toilet Paper

This is what happens when you institute price controls.

In Merida, a state in western Venezuelan that’s known for its stunning mountain landscapes, small hotels are struggling to stock their rooms with basic supplies, especially as the busy Semana Santa or Holy Week holiday gets underway, reports Fusion.

“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.”

Gerardo Montilla, president of Merida’s tourism chamber, told Fusion that product shortages are hitting smaller hotels particularly hard during the busy vacation week.

“Five hotels have told me they are going through this situation, where they have to ask guests to bring their own toilet paper,” Montilla told Fusion. “We’re near the border with Colombia, just two and a half hours away, and lots of [Venezuelan] goods are taken there, because they sell for more money in Colombia.”

Things have now gotten even worse, which would not have surprised the great economist Ludwig von Mises. He warned there is no middle road between free markets and interventionism, the interventionism just begins to creep and creep. From Fusion:
But now [bringing your own toilet paper] is getting difficult.

Recently, Venezuelan officials have been stopping people from transporting essential goods across the country in an effort to stem the flow of contraband. So now Camacho’s guests could potentially have their toilet paper confiscated before they even make it to the hotel. “It’s an absurd situation,” the hotel owner said.
"The middle-of-the-road policy is not an economic system that can last. It is a method for the realization of socialism by installments."-Planning for Freedom, pp. 32–33


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