In the United States we are using advanced technology like fingerprint scans to pay for goods. In Venezuela they are using advanced technology like fingerprint scans to ration goods. Here is the WSJ:
Amid worsening shortages, Venezuela recently reached a milestone of dubious distinction: It has joined the ranks of North Korea and Cuba in rationing food for its citizens.
…Under the system in place here, basic price-controlled items—including milk, rice, coffee, toothpaste, chicken and detergent—are rationed, with the fingerprinting machine used to ensure that a shopper doesn’t return over and over to stock up.
The stark contrast between our advanced technology and our primitive ethics has often been noted. Our advanced technology also stands in stark contrast to our primitive economics. Sadly, the problem is not only in Venezuela. Here is the WSJ (!) “explaining” the shortages:
Venezuela is turning to rationing because of shortages caused by what economists call a toxic mix of unproductive local industry—hamstrung by nationalizations and government intervention—and a complex currency regime that is unable to provide the dollars importers need to pay for basics.
No, no, no, a thousand times no! (And I very much doubt that is what the economists told the reporter.) Nationalizations, the currency regime, unproductive industry, Venezuela has many problems but shortages are caused by price controls.
Check out this wonderful photograph and the face of the customer.