I had to laugh at a suggestion from an Australian economist concerning the run on toilet paper supplies in that country, thanks to the coronavirus epidemic. There really does seem to be a panic about it there, as this video from an Aldi store in Sydney demonstrates.
Alfredo Paloyo offers his views, including this suggestion.
There are two other solutions.
The first is for the government to step in as guarantor.
In 2008, for example, the market crash engendered by the subprime mortgage crisis left multiple Australian banks vulnerable to depositor runs. In response, the Australian government announced a guarantee scheme for deposits. Depositors, assured the government would cover their losses even if their bank collapsed, no longer had the fear of being caught out by not withdrawing their savings.
In the case of toilet paper, the government acting as guarantor might involve holding a strategic stockpile of toilet paper.
There’s more at the link.
Let me think about this for a moment. The US government allegedly, and infamously, couldn’t run a confiscated brothel at a profit . . . but you want me to trust that same government to guarantee I’ll have something available to wipe my tuchus? Really?
As for administering a “strategic stockpile of toilet paper” . . . can’t you just see the bureaucratic infighting that’ll engender? Imagine the conversations:
“Hey, you! Minion! The Department of Defense needs a million packs of toilet paper for our warfighters!”
“So? Warfighters are tough. Let them use field-expedient alternatives. The households of Washington D.C. take priority – especially politicians and bureaucrats!”
Ah . . . no. I think I’ll rely on my own anything-but-strategic stockpile, thank you very much!