This sounds so much like the latter stages of Atlas Shrugged, when one by one Colorado businesses shut down, worsening shortages across he country. The government tries to come in and restart each factory, but there is no confidence that the government can actually do the job and within months the whole thing has imploded forever.
Over the weekend, Kimberly-Clark said that the South American nation’s deteriorating economic situation had made “it impossible to continue our business at this time." The company had made a number of hard-to-find staples in Venezuela such as diapers and face tissues.
As Bloomberg adds, the decision will likely to add to shortages that have gripped Venezuela for the past few years after the ruling socialists capped the price on many consumer basics below production costs." As we have documented repeatedly, desperate shoppers now routinely spend long hours in front of stores to purchase essential products ranging from toilet paper to rice. At the same time, companies face hefty losses on price-controlled goods, while the products are often flipped on the black market for many times their sticker price.
So in retaliation, Venezuela's government announced it had seized the factory. Labor Minister Owaldo Vera said Monday that the socialist government took the action at the request of the 971 workers at the factory that the company decided to shutter. The seizure follows a similar takeover from 2014 when Clorox announced it was closing its doors.
"Kimberly-Clark will continue producing for all of the Venezuelans," Vera said in a televised statement from the factory surrounded by workers chanting pro-government slogans. That statement was not exactly true: former workers of the company would continue producing under the observation of government management. We doubt this "forced restructring" will survive more than a few months.
I have written this before, but I interpret Atlas Shrugged a bit differently than most. There is much criticism of the one-dimensional characters and limited character development in the book. But I have always thought this beside the point. The main character in Atlas Shrugged is the world itself, and the main story arc is the decline and fall of the world under the increasing influence of socialism. All the human characters are just props to this main drama.
In this interpretation, the climax of the book is when the hobo Jeff Allen tells the story of 20th Century Motors to Dagny on the train. This story shows the final death throws of a group of people attempting to pursue socialism in its purest form. It's a statement of the end towards which everything else is quickly heading. After this point in the book, we immediately are in Galt's Gulch and end up with Rand's Utopian vision, which from a literary standpoint is awkward and boring. That's because utopian novels are always dull as dirt. Rand's triumph in that book was that she was absolutely prescient about how socialism plays out, which we are seeing today in Venezuela.