There are often little signs that all is not well in an economy. Large numbers of young men hanging around moodily on street corners might indicate that the unemployment rate is rather high just as one example. Another might be that the simple basics of a modern life are not available in the shops. So it is in Venezuela at present, so much so that someone’s written a smartphone app to provide crowd sourced information of where those basics are:Matt Roper at The Telegraph writes,
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.Government destabilisation via toilet paper, now there's an idea for the CIA to consider!
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.