Venezuelans now using social media to seek out basic goods

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday June 15th, 2016

Eight of 10 items unavailable in stores in the socialist paradise.

Good news: Nicolas Maduro will never be president of the United States. Bad news: It hardly matters, because neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders quite understands what's gone wrong with the Chavista revolution in Venezuela.

Things are now so bad in the socialist paradise where Maduro haplessly presides, Venezuelans have more or less given up looking for basic goods in stores. You can't find them there. Eight out of 10 items people need are unavailable. So they've taken to going on social media and asking pretty much anyone who might be on there if they have milk, rice, diapers, toilet paper . . . you name it. It's like going to your next-door neighbor and asking to borrow a cup of sugar, except that things are so bad in Venezuela you have to expand your search range by a factor of thousands to have a shot at finding what you need:

If you are in Venezuela and you type the word “trueque” (Spanish for swap) on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram’s search bars, dozens of users or groups specially created for this purpose will pop up.

You will see Venezuelans’ despair in real time — thousands of men and women searching for products as basic as rice, flour, coffee, diapers, aspirin, birth control pills, flour, deodorant, shampoo, soap and a wide range of medicines. 

A lot of these are simply unavailable in supermarkets and, if they are, they eat up several hours of the people’s schedule.

Diana Antunez told Fox News Latino she has been forced to swap products online to get diapers and milk for her 3-year-old son.

“I usually exchange things with family members, neighbors or coworkers, but some time ago none of them had diapers and I had to visit @Truequejusto,” Antunez, 28, said.

More than 11,300 people currently follow that handle, created a year ago.

Users just have to mention it with the product they are looking for and how much they are willing to pay, @Truequejusto retweets it, and people get in contact if they are interest.

Let's not forget why this has happened. Following the lead of his late predecessor Hugo Chavez, Maduro and his government have instituted price controls and other economic meddling that have severely squelched any sort of profit potential for manufacturers to make things or for stores to buy things. This was done under the guise of "helping the people." It didn't help them. It artificially exploded demand while artificially deflating supply.

Result: Scarcity.

This is what happens every single time government screws around with the market for the purpose of beating up on the wealthy and bad corporations who are making too much profit. When you reduce the profit potential of making stuff, or of selling stuff, there will not be as much stuff made or sold.

These are the exact same policies Bernie Sanders openly advocates in the United States. You might find yourself relieved that he is apparently not going to be the Democrat nominee, but you shouldn't be. Hillary Clinton isn't as open about it, but she believes in socialism too. She's been a creature of the left her entire adult life, and the only thing that outranks socialist policies on her priority list is whatever benefits Hillary Clinton.

She is also a creature of government control, and the ham-handed exercise thereof. She believes the problem in Venezuela is not that the government has paid too little respect to free markets, but that their interference with these markets has been too incompetent. Give her the chance to run roughshod over capitalism (except those capitalists who have paid her quarter-million-dollar speaking fees, of course), and she will do it with skill and aplomb.

Just like she does everything else.

America is not different, folks. Foolish economic policies will wreak havoc here just as they have in Venezuela. Look how much we've already depressed economic growth, decimated the labor market and exploded the national debt thanks to Obama's anti-capitalist policies. If you think we can't get to where Venezuela has gotten, just because we're America, you don't understand what made America such a strong country in the first place. Hint: It wasn't by thinking like Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.

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