Condoms you say are in extremely short supply in Venezuela. You might say for us guys happily married for almost forty years, this is a total non-issue. Nevertheless as you get older you tend to reminisce about your youth. Of course in actual fact, condoms to us young guys were much like lottery tickets today. Whether you bought a ticket (or owned a condom in your wallet in those days) did not matter. Your odds were virtually the same either way, as in zero. But like winning the lottery now, as a young man it was always nice to dream.
Now before you quit reading and just think me just daft, we are talking about geopolitics here with this condom example. I am just trying to make you smarter. Around 2005 Thomas Friedman published a book called The World is Flat. He predicted and described how global affairs affected workers, companies, as well as economies. So, as an example, a small country like Greece can cause heartburn to Europe which affects the U.S. dollar. Production in Russia or Saudi Arabia cause changes in the price of oil affecting the price per gallon at your corner station.
Bloomberg News reports that crude oil accounts for about 95% of Venezuela’s foreign currency earnings so as oil dropped in price due to larger global matters, its exports fell about 60%. Now there are shortages in all types of consumer products in Venezuela from diapers to deodorant and natives stand in line for hours to buy the almost-impossible-to-find items. Therefore, the very serious issue of world economies – at it relates to condoms in Venezuela.
An advertising director there was quoted as saying: “The country is so messed up that now you have to wait in line even to have sex.” Apparently this is bigger than frustrated lovers there, since the country has a very high rate of HIV infection and such. They have auction sites for scarce items and the world famous Trojans go for 4,760 bolivares for a 36-pack ($755 or about $21.00 each). So this proves the effect of globalization on the economy of a country.
Again, as a young male growing up in somewhat rural West Virginia, this would have had no effect on me. It would have made civics much more fun and understandable however. I probably would have paid more attention if they used these practical examples.
As a footnote, a friend just sent me a note saying that condoms do not guarantee safe sex. He reported that a guy was wearing one and was still shot dead by the woman’s irate husband. To quote Larry The Cable Guy: “Guns don’t kill people. Husbands who come home early kill people.”