Greece is rapidly degenerating into third-world status. The UK’s Daily Mail reports:
Youngsters are being dumped by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet in what is fast becoming the most tragic human consequence of the Euro crisis. It comes as pharmacists revealed the country had almost run out of aspirin, as multi-billion euro austerity measures filter their way through society.
If you only read this much of the article, you would assume that the country’s “austerity measures” are responsible for the medicine shortage, but if you’ve ever opened an economics textbook, you’d know this can’t be the case. Shortages occur when prices aren’t able to readjust to higher demand. Why aren’t prices able to adjust? Keep reading.
Further evidence of Greeks feeling the pinch of austerity measures is the lack of aspirin and other medicines now available in the country.
Actually, that’s more inaccurate information. Keep reading further.
Pharmacists are struggling to stock their shelves as the Greek government, which sets the prices for drugs, keeps them artificially low. This means that firms are turning to sell the drugs outside of the country for a higher price – leading to stock depletion for Greeks. Mina Mavrou, who runs one of the country’s 12,000 pharmacies, said she spent hours each day pleading with drug makers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. And she said that even when drugs were available, pharmacists often must foot the bill up front, or patients simply do without.
Finally, the Daily Mail gets to the actual cause after repeatedly stating the wrong cause. Shortages can happen anywhere the government fixes prices — or artificially restricts supply. Shortages are not a third world problem or a first world problem — they’re a government problem.