Ugh, I’m so sorry but this is going to be a rant post, and if you don’t need to know about the kind of rotten people that sadly exist in this world, then I recommend you skip past this post, and I promise to try to come back with a happier note soon.
So this is happening in my country: There are people switching the sugar, powder milk, and flour inside their packages for limestone or even sand/dirt, and reselling them!. How sick and twisted do you have to to be to do that?!?!
How can this be, you ask? Well because those are some of the most scarce products around here, so everyone that has access to them by corrupt ways wants to rob us blind and make a fortune out of our honest and hard earned pay check! So on top of that, once they get you to spend 10.000% more than what they paid for said products (not exaggerating here, you will see the price comparison below) you need to come home to learn that you were doubly scammed too?!? Those people deserve to go to h***!
God! You have no idea how furious I feel right now! This happened to one of the secretaries that works with us, and obviously she was in tears and distraught because she had spent over 30% of her salary to get those items only to come home to 2 packs of garbage, leaving her with no food, and no money to repurchase them if she could find them again (yeah, like that’s going to happen twice in one day).
If you find this story hard to believe, then count yourself blessed, and I really do hope you never have to go through what we are going through here in Venezuela. Up until a few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought these things were possible or even worse, that they could happen to me either…
Let me try to break it down for you. One day here, the government decided that they were the only ones who could control prices and distribution of every essential household good, through a bill they called the Fair Price Law. That included everything from toilet paper and body soap, to meats, rice and milk to name a few. Then, because they are “so good to us” they decided that those goods should be sold at a price everyone could afford. Let’s take corn flour for example: the government decided that nobody should pay more than 19Bs for a kg of corn flour (roughly $0,02). And at first they subsidized companies that produced corn flour so that they could take their final product to the consumer for that price. (Now you can see how the government gained such popularity in its beginning. Typical populist behavior that sadly the people bought into).
Now, this wasn’t happening only with corn flour, the government was doing this with grains, meats, eggs, dairy products, coffee, sugar, toiletries, gas, oil, medicines, and even services like phone and electricity. So products would still cost the companies however much to make, but through government subsidies they were forced to sell their final merchandise for much less. But fast forward a few years, and obviously all those subsidies ate almost all of the Country’s budget and yearly income. So then what happened? The “nice and generous” government took away those subsidies without any warning to any of these companies, but still demanded that the Fair Price Law be followed. So now the company still had to sell their corn flour for $0.02 even though it cost them $0.60 to make.
Now, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that no company can survive taking that kind of loss. So 2 things started to happen: some companies reasonably tried to up their prices, and they were heavily punished, fined with millions, and/or expropriated. Most of the other companies seeing this just closed and left the country.
And that brings us to where we are right now… no food or personal hygiene products on our shelves, because even after all this the Government still refuses to withdraw their un-Fair Price Law, and there are only 2 companies still producing those basic goods, mostly out of admirable patriotism and loyalty to our people, but it’s obviously not enough to supply for a whole country; and on the other hand a handful of corrupt, heartless, soulless people that by using violence and extortion take that small amount of goods that are distributed and “hostage” them, reselling them on the streets and clandestine locations for hundreds of times their price. Like for instance that corn flour that the government insists on selling only to those a***s for 19Bs, and they then sell it to you for 2000Bs. 😠
Oh, and our the average daily salary is 500Bs, so you can see where that might be a problem, if a regular person needs to work 4 days to be able to buy one lousy kg of flour, and on top of that they go home to find out they just paid for dirt and now have nothing to prepare their kids for breakfast the next day!
So… I will end this by saying that I really hope karma gets all those mofos, and soon!
And please if you are reading this, pray that we can have our referendum this year and end this nightmare we are living…