Hugo Chavez, RIP

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Jacob Two-Two

Slumberjack wrote:

They're a communist dictatorship that engages in globalization.  As a communist nation it redistributes a portion of the nation's GDP to social programs and services.  It does allow capitalists to make money, but state owned businesses dominate the scene there.

And "allow" is the operative word. There is no right to property in China, or a right for profit or industry. Nothing that capitalists point to as central to their limited, myopic notion of freedom exists in China. And yet they have been the most quickly growing economy for decades. Clearly allowing capitalists to run rampant and unregulated is not necessary for economic growth at all, despite what neoliberal bootlickers tell you.

RDP

josh wrote:
RDP wrote:

 

Countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark are all countries with a mixed economy and redistributionist policies, reduced income inequality, and little poverty. Show me a so-called non-redistributionist capitalist country without wide income inequality and high rates of poverty.

All countries including Canada and the US are mixed economies with with degrees of redistribution policies.  The top 10% of income earners pay around 50% of total tax revenue.  The bottom 50% of earners pay little or nothing.  This is redistribution.  Sweden, Norway & Denmark aren't that much more redistrbutive than us.  In the last two decades the nordic nations have become less not more redistributive and they have been enjoying the economic benefits.  There is incremental benefit moving away from socialism towards.

To answer your question, study Hong Kong & Taiwan versus China since the revolution up until the 90's.  If it was 1950, which country would you rather be born in?

josh

That doesn't answer my question, and the high quality of life and satisfaction in the Nordic has existed for a lot more than two decades. But feel free to keep on moving the goal posts.

RDP

You are quibbling around the edges.  Pick extremes.  The most capitalistic large nation is the US.  The most socialistic large nation was the USSR.  Where would you rather be born in 1950?  Were soviets trying to emigrate to the US or were americans trying to emigrate to the USSR?  The USSR promised a high quality of life and satisfaction.  The walls holding their citizens in is indication that they couldn't keep their promise.

josh

You pick the extremes. Seems like a simplistic analysis you would be good at. I'll stay in the real world, which for the most part is not so simple.

RDP

Please provide examples of socialist paradise in your real world.

Sean in Ottawa

RDP wrote:

Please provide examples of socialist paradise in your real world.

Please provide an explanation of how the word paradise is not an extreme.

Sean in Ottawa

josh wrote:

They're a dictatorship, with both socialist and capitalist features. With little respect for workers' rights I might add.

A fairly good summary -- although it may be debatable.

I would say that China is an oligarchy with no pretence at democracy and personal freedoms where as we are also an oligarchy with a huge show of democratic process that in reality ranges from partially effective, to irrelevant, and we make a big show of personal freedoms even though they are presently in decline.

In both cases there is little respect for the people while China seems okay with direct brute physical abuse, we prefer a kinder, gentler kind of abuse that does not directly assault the person. The other difference worthy of note is on a per capita basis we are a whole lot richer with more resources and a lot fewer people.

I think Canadians tend to believe their government's bullshit at a higher rate than the Chinese do even if many are currently angry with the Conservatives.

RDP

I am not singing the praises of China.  But, their move toward capitalism away from socialism and how ever so slight has been a step in the right direction and the population in general has benefited.

Sean in Ottawa

RDP wrote:

I am not singing the praises of China.  But, their move toward capitalism away from socialism and how ever so slight has been a step in the right direction and the population in general has benefited.

How incredibly simplistic.

In some respects they have gone from one extreme to another.

Some of what has improved things have been directly the result of state planning. Some of the problems come from the marketplace.

And there is no across the board move -- there are changes and compromises and individual policies -- some more right wing than we have here, some far left of what we have here.

The biggest single change has come form the willingness of the West to buy from them -- this has created income. Some of that income has gone to each level of society. The impact has really come from sales-- at cost to the environment, certainly but to the profit of many ordinary citizens. Much of what was produced was in state owned facilities so the political system is not as relevant as the income.

RDP

China was overwhelmingly state planed under Mao.  How did that work out?  Poverty & death were the norm.  The biggest single change was the government of China's willingness to allow their entreprenuers to produce and sell products.  The entrepreneurs figured out what to produce.   The move away from a state owned economy has resulted in less poverty and less death.  Capitalism triumphs yet again.

Slumberjack

The US of A demonstrates that a lack of state planning doesn't bode very well for poverty and death statistics either.

Quote:
A research team from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City has estimated that 875,000 deaths in the US in 2000 could be attributed to a cluster of social factors bound up with poverty and income inequality.

According to US government statistics, some 2.45 million Americans died in 2000. Thus, the researchers’ estimate means that social deprivation was responsible for some 36 percent of total US deaths that year, a staggering total.

Is this also considered a triumph of Capitalism?  Fewer hands out because they're dead?  Oddly enough, those red state values are sure Darwinian by the look of things.

RDP

It is easy to quantify death by starvation.  Trust me.  There is no death by starvation in the western world.

josh

"We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet."

Ronald Reagan

lagatta

Why on earth should we trust you? I'm sure as hell not trusting someone who called me an anti-semite.

RDP

Who died Josh?  In China millions DIED.

RDP

Slumberjack...how many died of starvation?  Try to find that stat.  Half of Africa and half of Asia still die of hunger.  They don't have the luxury of philosophizing about income inequality.  

Sean in Ottawa

RDP wrote:

It is easy to quantify death by starvation.  Trust me.  There is no death by starvation in the western world.

I am glad you said "in the western world" rather than "due to the actions of the western world." That is an important distinction.

Starvation is not a uniquely left or right thing. In fact the starvation in China may well have been similar had the nationalists won. The communists embarked on an ill-conceived plan to make steel. The plan was wrong  and it was a catastrophic failure. But the probelm was as much with the concept as the ideology that tried to put it in place. And, of course, the prime problem was that it was a dictatorship. Dictatorships do not have to be communist. The world record indicates that non-communist dictatorships do not ahve a better record. So the problem was not communism so much as dictatorship.

Again I am not endorsing communism -- I am merely correcting your suggestion that it was communism that was the major problem (which it sems you confuse with the concept of socialism.

But there are lots of serious issues with communism which is an extreme. I am not endorsing or defending that. However, when the Western World has to compare itself to dictatorships in poor, war-torn countries in order to justify itself, it is most truly intellectualy bankrupt.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The communists embarked on an ill-conceived plan to make steel. The plan was wrong  and it was a catastrophic failure.

This could be apocryphal, but I've heard that they did make some -- not a lot -- and then shuffled the same steel from town to town and village to village for Mao to proudly inspect.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
The communists embarked on an ill-conceived plan to make steel. The plan was wrong  and it was a catastrophic failure.

This could be apocryphal, but I've heard that they did make some -- not a lot -- and then shuffled the same steel from town to town and village to village for Mao to proudly inspect.

The problem was that the recycled steel was of poor quality and that they destroyed agricultural tools to make it.

They actually made quite a bit of this steel -- but it was not any good.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Did it at least look good in a photo?

Sean in Ottawa

Here is an article about this:

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/greatleap.htm

Do not miss this part:

"China did not have the technological and financial resources to complete these projects on its own and Mao Zedong was made conscious of how vulnerable China was in depending upon outside aid, even from communist regimes."

This is important as when we judge these regimes in failure we have to consider all the factors and Communism is low on the list.

The isolation caused not by communism but the rest of the world's reaction to it in the form of isolation is key in almost every mistake.

Likewise consider Cuba: This is a country that actually improved under communism and then suffered under an embargo. Those who place the embargo blame communism for what was clearly the result of economic isolation. And we do not have to add that even so, what meagre resources remained were used to educate the population and provide healthcare the limits of which were only created by the massive wealthy power that limited their trade with the outside world.

Again I am not endorsing communism but if we are going to critique it, we should do so with some measure of honesty.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Did it at least look good in a photo?

Not really:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://sites.google.com/site/lewisf...

But it did in the paintings:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/110971578292376750/

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
This is important as when we judge these regimes in failure we have to consider all the factors and Communism is low on the list.

Really, though?  The painting like above has this comment below the painting:

Quote:
1959 (China) - "Smelt a lot of good steel and accelerate socialist construction" By this point, Mao knew that the Great Leap Forward had failed but decided not to stop it, as that could risk dampening the revolutionary fervour of the people.

No idea who E K Osborne-Martin is, or whether he's credible, but I'd be hard put to imagine any other plausible reason why China would insist on continuing to make steel it couldn't use.

And I think that has been a problem for various communist or "socialist" countries -- "the revolution" becomes an entity unto itself, that must be placed before everything else.

Quote:
But it did in the paintings:

One can see why communists love their paintings.  Leader can look younger and taller, the people can look happy and well-fed, and and worthless pig iron can look like a girder, ready to build another monument to the revolution!

lagatta

That is true, but capitalists do much the same, no, with photoshopped advertising?

(Not excusing either).

Sean in Ottawa

The cause of the problem not unique to socialism and the reactionis not either.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

There are actually regulations around the authenticity of product photography.

In the olden days, food photographers would, for example, dump marbles into a bowl of soup (so that the meat and veg would come to the top and make the soup look chunky and hearty).  The appealing steam rising from the soup would be cigarette smoke, blown into the soup with a straw.  Ice cream was ALWAYS really mashed potatoes, and things like a steak or hamburger would be glazed with furniture shellac.  The beads of water on a cold beer were glycerine, and the ice cubes in a drink were hand-made from lucite (somewhere in my basement I have a few, but the cheaper cast ones.)

But these days an advertising photo of a product has to be authentic.  That doesn't mean that a photographer doesn't ask for 20 burgers to be prepared and choose the best (which is interestingly known as "the hero") but you can't make a hamburger out of FIMO (or computer generate a perfect one) and use it to sell your hamburgers.

Editorial is exempt.  If you want to illustrate an article on how soup is good for you, you can do as you wish with that soup.

RDP

Long lines for little food.  Tough to get along on an empty stomach.  But, at least we "stuck" it to rich.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/87f2b896c4254f00a1f94c231d5b811c/venezuel...

RDP
RDP

Venezuelan minimum wage dropped to under $11...PER MONTH!  But apparently all are happy because the greedy capitalist pigs have all left.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/07/28/congratulations-to-ve...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Just capitalists terrorizing the population to get them back in line. Capital strikes and manufactured shortages are the standard corporatist response if an outright coup doesn't work or as run up to one. I am sure the right wing business types are getting lots of advise from the boys from the Chicago School. After all defeating the people's will on behave of the rich is their speciality.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Sounds like the "manufactured shortage" is a manufactured shortage of hard currency.

RDP

The socialists have been running the show since the 90's.  It is time to blame the socialists. 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

lol. Forbes and The Daily Telegraph? Why not go to a more conservative and like-minded discussion board?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

lol. Forbes and The Daily Telegraph, RDP? Why not go to a more conservative and like-minded discussion board?

RDP

Great moments in Socialism - Part 125

https://youtu.be/QzeKK9pycu0

RDP

Iskomos - Are these publications lying?  Do they and their journalists not have a professional reputation to uphold?  Look at Rolling Stone magazine and their story on campus rape that they were forced to retract when confronted with facts.  Reputation ruined.  Bias manifests itself in what is not printed, not purposeful lying.

RDP

Boom Boom wrote:

Occupy Wall St.'s photo. "Wealth inequality in Venezuela is half of what it is in the United States. It is rated the 'fifth-happiest nation in the world' by Gallup. And Pepe Escobar writes that, 'No less than 22 public universities were built in the past 10 years. The number of teachers went from 65,000 to 350,000. Illiteracy has been eradicated. There is an ongoing agrarian reform.' Venezuela has undertaken significant steps to build food security through land reform and government assistance. New homes are being built, health clinics are opening in underserved areas and cooperatives for agriculture and business are growing."

I doubt it is still the 5th happiest nation...even though inequality keeps dropping.  The truely poor man isn't concerned with wealth inequality.  He is concerned with absolute poverty.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I doubt it is still the 5th happiest nation

They appear to be 7th now, or else tied for third.

The survey questions are pretty quirky, though.

"Did you feel well-rested yesterday?"

"Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?"

"Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?"

"Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?"

 

RDP

They should add ... did you avoid being murdered yesterday. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Any "No" responses would be methodologically suspect.

Anyhoo, it appears that the United States of America posed as a hungry mob in order to foment unrest and destroy the Bolivarian Revolucion.  But Maduro's having none of it and has already exposed the traitors.

In other news, Maduro's wife is running for congress.  Coincidentally, her would-be opposition opponent has been barred from the election.  Happy Birthday, honey!

Do we need a Bolivarian Republic of Atrocity thread???

RDP

The US left Venezuela long ago much to the Venezuelans detriment.  Do we Canadians benefit from trade with the US or does it harm us?  Do we benefit or are we harmed that most major US companies have a branch in Canada largely employing Canadians?

Slumberjack

You're quite the cheerleader for the fascist states of amerika aren't you.  Is this a National Endowment for Democracy project, bumping up the online comments in favour of the US and against its declared enemies, or are you doing this for free on your spare time?

RDP

http://www.worldoil.com/news/2015/8/04/venezuela-s-lake-of-endless-oil-a...

You would think that the state owned oil company would protect the environment more than the greedy capitalists...but you would be wrong.  The greedy capitalists don't want to go to jail.  The government doesn't have to worry about going to jail...they won't jail themselves.

NDPP

Chavez is Gone, But Chavismo is Here to Stay

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Chavez-is-Gone-but-Chavismo-is-...

"A June poll carried out by independent Caracas based polling firm Hinterlaces revealed that 62% of Venezuelans would prefer to trust the current government to correct errors and remove some of these problems..."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I'll just quote the article you linked too and leave out the ideological drivel that you posted.

“There is great governmental irresponsibility, not just from this government but from those from more than 20 to 30 years ago,” said Gustavo Carrasquel, general director of Fundacion Azul Ambientalistas, an environmental and conservation non-profit founded in 1986. “The transnationals destroyed the lake and PDVSA doesn’t have the operational capacity to control the constant oil and gas leaks.”

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So should the government of 20 to 30 years ago come back to fix this, or should the government of today fix this?

Seems like shutting off the tap at the source would be a good start.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

If money isn't redistributed it goes offshore to never return. Business investment, consumer spending, and government spending all fall. Fairly boring economic argument for redistribution.

RDP

"If money isn't redistributed it goes offshore to never return. Business investment, consumer spending, and government spending all fall. Fairly boring economic argument for redistribution."

Really?  If a company (foreign company for the sake of this argument) has a 15% profit margin (a healthy profit margin) and they take all their profit out of the host country the remaining 85% largely stays in the host country.  Most of the 85% is wages and salaries and local expenses.  That 85% is very helpful.  You would kill the wealth generator because 15% is leaving?

 

Slumberjack

The US has a money distribution problem as well.  The bulk of it tends to flow in one direction.  If 'evil' state status is derived from a government's neglect and abuse of it's own people, or by the amount of gun violence, or how oligarchs make off with the lion's share of the national wealth, or the extent of everyday oppression, the number of people in prison, and a whole bunch of other social and economic determinants, then anyone failing to make the necessary comparitive observations in the context of Venezeula/US relations is obviously on a mission, and an imperialist one at that.

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