Venezuelans Reduced to Hunting for Toilet Paper with Smartphones

Socialism. It really, really, really doesn't work.

Hope, Change and Two-Ply Hope, Change and Two-Ply

If you want to see how Socialism can reduce a country to the stone age, contemplate the bizarre scene of residents of Venezuela's capital using high tech pieces of incredibly complex hardware and software, which are available, to hunt for squares of toilet paper, which aren't.

Socialism. It really, really, really doesn't work.

Toilet roll has been in short supply in the South American country in recent months, with economists blaming price controls imposed by the government.

The new programme, launched last week, uses crowdsourcing technology to enable users to let each other know which supermarkets still have stocks of the tissue.

Called Abasteceme – "Supply Me" in English – the free Android app has already been downloaded more than 12,000 times.
Creator Jose Augusto Montiel said most downloads have been made by residents from the capital Caracas.

He said: "Lots of things are in short supply, but what people are most worried about is finding toilet paper. People never knew how much they needed it until it started running out."

Nicolas Maduro, who became Venezuelan president earlier this year, claims anti-government forces are deliberately buying up basics like toilet paper to destabilise the country.

Maduro has also claimed that Chavez appeared to him as a bird and that the US was plotting to kill him, so it's safe to say that his grip on reality is tissue thin. But it wouldn't take much to turn Americans into savages hunting for basic needs with smartphone apps. Having high technology does not make one civilized. Having a civilization does.