Venezuela right-wing opposition wins control of National Assembly by a landslide

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

RDP wrote:

I never asked for a PURE socialist paradise.  Just a socialist paradise.

 

Let say you were born poor and remained poor all your life.  Where would you rather be born...the US or Cuba?

Cuba especially if I was black

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Over the last 50 years there have been a lot of boats with a lot of migrants floating.  I have yet to see one floating to Cuba.

I hear ya.  But that doesn't mean that everyone's miserable, and it doesn't mean that the remedy for their misery would be laissez-faire capitalism.

Quote:
Do you need one to draw conclusions?

You keep demanding a "socialist success story".  Do you feel that I have an imagination, but you lack one?

It's honestly difficult to tell whether you believe that any and all socialism is bad, or believe that "too much" socialism is bad, or whether you're just going to keep moving the goalposts around the field depending on whether someone says "Sweden" or "North Korea".

Any chance you could pick just one, for the purposes of discussion?

RDP

You are wrong.  How come we don't see boatloads of black Americans migrating to Cuba?  Consider how bad it must be in Cuba for migrants to risk their lives to escape.  Why didn't Cuba allow its citizens to travel abroad until recently?  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/15/cuba-relaxes-travel-restri...

Reminds one of the Berlin wall.  The Berlin wall wasn't built to keep the west out.

RDP

Not a bad question.  Too much socialism is bad.  Some social programs are desirable.  Too many get abused.  99% of hard core capitalists believe in some social programs. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I wouldn't move to the US for a billion dollars. It's a shithole. DEnmark,Norway,Holland and even Germany are far more superior in quality of life,freedom and political system.

No debates. The US is a despicable country that I won't even visit.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

RDP wrote:

You are wrong.  

Actually I am left and you are right wing, ignorant and ill informed. Flint Michigan says it all about the US and how well unregulated states do in providing basic services like water. As for the boatloads of black people they can't get to a boat because they are locked up in for profit prisons.

"While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population, it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners."[1] 

Given those private prisons make some people a lot of money I presume in your eyes they would be a good thing. 

6079_Smith_W

Quote:

Too much socialism is bad.

Right now I am thinking more about the problem of too much stupid.

Can we get back on topic please? I much prefer the kind of trolling where you get to enjoy the spoils with some garlic, butter and lemon.

Some things that are probably in short supply right now in Venezuela.

Remember?

 

RDP

Yet look what it accomplishes.  Look how it runs to the rescue when there is a natural disaster.  Look at how it is the place where most of life advancing technology germinates.  Look at how it was one of the few countries in the history of mankind to fight a civil war to end slavery.  Look at how men and women of colour occupy some of the most powerful positions in the country.  (Do you expect to see a black Prime Minister any time soon?)  I could go on.

6079_Smith_W

Please don't.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Meanwhile, in Venezuela.

Venezuela government mulls move to dissolve congress

Quote:

Venezuela's government is considering asking the high court to dissolve the legislature controlled by President Nicolas Maduro's opponents who are seeking to remove him from office, a spokesman said Tuesday.

It was the latest maneuver in a political conflict that has raised tensions in the volatile South American country as it struggles with an economic crisis.

Maduro's side "has started discussions to request a consultation with the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court" with a view to achieving "the abolition of this National Assembly," ruling coalition spokesman Didalco Bolivar told a news conference.

Perhaps this is just sabre-rattling, and they won't make the ask.  But if they do, it'll be historic either way. 

Either the STJ will dissolve the National Assembly (and/or charge everyone with treason), which would be historic.

Or, the STJ will, for the first time since Chavez first took power, deny the government their wishes, which would also be historic.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

RDP wrote:

Yet look what it accomplishes.  Look how it runs to the rescue when there is a natural disaster. 

Look at how it is the place where most of life advancing technology germinates.  Look at how it was one of the few countries in the history of mankind to fight a civil war to end slavery.  Look at how men and women of colour occupy some of the most powerful positions in the country.  (Do you expect to see a black Prime Minister any time soon?)  I could go on.

I will just highlight the areas you are saying the US is good at. Disaster relief is a good example.

Quote:

NEW ORLEANS — A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered the restroom. Blood stains the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers.

The Louisiana Superdome, once a mighty testament to architecture and ingenuity, became the biggest storm shelter in New Orleans the day before Katrina’s arrival Monday. About 16,000 people eventually settled in. Within two days, it had degenerated into unspeakable horror. A few hundred were evacuated from the arena yesterday, and buses will take away the remaining people today.

“We pee on the floor. We are like animals,” Taffany Smith, 25, said as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. In her right hand she carried a half-full bottle of formula provided by rescuers. Baby supplies are running low; one mother said she was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.

At least two people, including a child, have been raped as the arena darkened at night. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for.

http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/trapped-in-the-superdome-refuge...

 

Then there was the end of the civl war after the black people were "freed."

 

Now the question of when a black person will become PM is a funny one and tells me you know little about Canada. Blacks make up 2.9% of the population of Canada unlike in the US were they make up 13.2%. In comparison Asian Americans make up 5.6% of your the population.

Unlike the US, Canada's minority group were French Canadians. French speakers, mostly in Quebec, make up 22% of Canada's population. We elected our first PM from our largest minority in 1896 and our current PM is like your POTUS in that he comes from a mixture of the dominant cultures in our society although his mother was English speaking and his father was French. Obama of course has a white mother and a black father. 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Look how it runs to the rescue when there is a natural disaster.  Look at how it is the place where most of life advancing technology germinates.  Look at how it was one of the few countries in the history of mankind to fight a civil war to end slavery.  Look at how men and women of colour occupy some of the most powerful positions in the country.

Getting back to YOUR point, is all of this good stuff happening in low-tax states, where the clever are legally permitted to prosper, or in high-tax states, where crypto-socialism robs the worthy?

RDP

What is your benchmark for disaster recovery. 5 people dead doesn't seem so bad.  How many died in Haiti recently?

Most societies throughout history have had slaves.  Very few fought a civil war to end it.  Yes, it didn't go too smoothly for the next 100 years but steps were made in the right direction.  So, in total 2 maybe 300 years of slavery.  Doesn't compare so badly to history.  A little perspective is required.  I believe Brazil had legal slavery until the 1950's.

6079_Smith_W

So what are we talking about now... Haiti and Brazil?  Wandering from bashing socialism to U.S. apologism.

And does it make the U.S. somehow more moral that they slaughtered half a million people, rather than just putting it to a vote, as they did in Britain?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Perhaps this endorsement of the USA would be well suited to be a counterpoint in the "United States of Atrocity" thread, if only so we don't have to try to imagine a magnet with only one pole, or the idea of a "hot" without a "cold".

I've never had any quarrel with honest thread drift, but I'm having trouble seeing what any of this has to do with Venezuela.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

RDP wrote:

What is your benchmark for disaster recovery. 5 people dead doesn't seem so bad.  How many died in Haiti recently?

Haiti is a US controlled shithole. The US overthrew the democratically elected government and you are absolutely right to point out that the government they installed in its place is corrupt and inept and the people have suffered because of it. Canada was complicit and aided in this regime change and I condemn our government equally.

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The violent overthrow and forced exile of Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has ripped aside the democratic pretensions of Washington and the other major powers to expose the brutal and predatory character of resurgent imperialism. The actions taken by the US government in Haiti demonstrate the farcical character of its claims that the aim of the US invasion of Iraq was to inaugurate an era of democratization and freedom in the Middle East and around the world.

Aristide’s overthrow is the outcome of a bloody coup orchestrated by the Bush administration and aided by the Chirac government in Paris. It was executed by a band of killers drawn from the disbanded and discredited Haitian army and the CIA-backed death squads that terrorized the population under the former military dictatorship that ruled the country in the early 1990s.

Among those leading the armed bands that overran the country are Louis-Jodel Chamblain, a former Haitian army officer sentenced to life at hard labor in connection with the 1993 assassination of political activist Antoine Izméry, and Jean-Pierre Baptiste, likewise sentenced to life for his role in a 1994 massacre. Both were leaders of the FRAPH, or Haitian Front for Advancement and Progress, a CIA-backed organization that carried out state terror against opponents of the military regime that ruled the country from 1991 to 1994.

Another leader of the armed bands is Guy Philippe, a former member of the Haitian military who received training from US Special Forces in Ecuador in the 1990s and was then sent back to Haiti, where he became a brutal police chief and sought to organize a coup in 2000. He is suspected of involvement in cocaine trafficking.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2004/03/hait-m01.html

So why do you make the outrageous claim that only five people died from Katrina.

Quote:

Hurricane Katrina was the eleventh named storm and fifth hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. The storm is currently ranked as the third most intense United States landfalling tropical cyclone, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Overall, at least 1,245 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest United States hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. Total property damage was estimated at $108 billion (2005 USD),[1] roughly four times the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

Cuba on the other hand knows how to deal with hurricanes. It is that tiny socialist country that is recognized as the leader in disaster prevention.

Quote:

Cuba is the largest and most populated island in the Caribbean yet is consistently experiences the lowest death tolls during hurricane season.[5] According to United Nations, it's not because Cubans are lucky but because they're prepared.[6] According to Oxfam, from 1996-2002, only 16 people were killed by the sixhurricanes that struck Cuba.[7]

Cuba has a world-class meteorological institute, with 15 provincial offices. They share data with US scientists and project storm tracks. Around 72 hours before a storm’s predicted landfall, national media issue alerts while civil protection committees check evacuation plans and shelters. Hurricane awareness is taught in schools and there are practice drills for the public before each hurricane season.[7]

State run television and the civil defense authority broadcast to the population with information and instructions about what measures to take. Each residential block has a person assigned to take a census on who is being evacuated to which shelter, with special attention paid to the elderly and pregnant women, and as efforts are organized locally, compliance is increased.[7]

The response system has four stages. In Stage I, which takes place 72 hours before landfall, the Civil Defense Structure is placed on an alert, and the media begins broadcasting warnings of the impending storm. At Stage II, 48 hours before the storm, the DCN (National Civil Defense) in each municipality or zone begins to organize hurricane preparation efforts, such as sending students home from schools. Shelters are inspected and supplied, and evacuations begin. Once the hurricane makes landfall, Stage III begins, during which the media continues to provide coverage of the hurricane, and the DCN attempts to maintain lines of communication. After the hurricane has passed, Stage IV begins, and people return to their homes, after they have been certified as sound by the DCN. Rescue operations and tallies of damages begin.[7]

 

 

wage zombie

RDP wrote:

Let say you were born poor and remained poor all your life.  Where would you rather be born...the US or Cuba?

A better comparison would be Cuba vs Dominican Republic.  Which would you choose?

MegB

RDP wrote:

I never said socialism = communism.  It doesn't. 

Compare someone making $100/hr to someone making minimum wage.  I guarantee you that one is more productive than the other.  I'll let you guess which one is which.

Those working 60hrs. per week making minimum wage have made a few bad life decisions that they are paying for now.

Why would a greedy capitalist pay people to smoke cigars and snort scotch whiskey?  Seems somewhat inconsistent with what we would expect a greedy capitalist to do.

Poor-bashing. Keep it up and you're gone.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Thank you,Meg

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

(Right-wing) Paramilitaries assassinate Socialist Party activist and burn her body...

 

Quote:
A community activist and local leader of Venezuela's Socialist Party was killed by alleged members of a paramilitary gang in Caracas, according to a party spokesman.

Elizabeth Aguilera, was the head of her local unit of the PSUV, the ruling party headed by President Nicolas Maduro.

Wait, there's more ...

"Aguilera was shot multiple times in the Cota 905 sector, a popular area in the south-center of the Venezuelan capital. Her body was also burned and photographs were posted on social networks, presumably by Aguilera's murderers."

That is, they're so confident with Yanqui support that they're basically boasting about their atrocities. Sounds like Ukraine to me.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
According to police officers, the perpetraitors fled the Sucre neighborhood when a unit from the federal anti-paramility squad, called Operation Liberation and Protection of the People or OLP, came to the area.

Sometimes typos say so much.

Quote:
That is, they're so confident with Yanqui support

Violent crime is pretty commonplace in Venezuela right now.  It doesn't require "O-Bomb-a's" blessing.  If the killers feel invincible, it's less likely because the United States has their back, and more likely that they paid the right people with a big sack of masa harina.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Maduro Hands over Power to Defense Minister

So basically, food distribution, pharmacies, shipping ports and state-run social programs are now the military's bailiwick.  That, and the military owes Maduro one back-scratch.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Maduro Hands over Power to Defense Minister

So basically, food distribution, pharmacies, shipping ports and state-run social programs are now the military's bailiwick.  That, and the military owes Maduro one back-scratch.

[url=http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12080]Venezuelanalysis.com[/url] has not reported this, and they're generally one of the most reliable sources for news about Venezuela. Which leaves me skeptical about an article that to me looks like a right0wing smear piece against Maduro.

What Venezuelanalysis did report on was Maduro's shuffling last week of Venezuela's top military command.

[url=http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12077]Venezuela’s Maduro Announces Changes to Top Military Command[/url]

Quote:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Thursday a shuffle of the South American nation’s top military commanders in a bid to strengthen the Bolivarian Armed Forces’ organization and preparedness. 

“It is necessary to continue building clearly and firmly a new organization of the armed forces in order to guarantee peace [and] territorial integrity, and [ensure] that our motherland is not trampled by the foreign or imperial boot,” he declared during a graduation ceremony for 1,112 junior officers in Caracas. 

The commander-in-chief took the opportunity to unveil key changes to the nation’s highest military posts, appointing Admiral Maneiro Gaspar to head the Bolivarian Navy and tapping Major General Benavides Torres to lead the Bolivarian National Guard.

Maduro also announced a complete reshuffling of the commanders of Venezuela’s seven Integral Defense Regions (REDIs), which are the key territorial units charged with organizing the country’s defense on a national level.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Venezuelanalysis.com has not reported this, and they're generally one of the most reliable sources for news about Venezuela. Which leaves me skeptical about an article that to me looks like a right0wing smear piece against Maduro.

It's there, in the article just above the one you linked to.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

How US corporations sabotage the Venezuelan economy ...

Venezuela: Seized Factory Was Well Stocked but Wasn't Producing

Quote:
Warehouses belonging to Kimberly Clark Corporation — which recently had its factory seized and handed over to the workers — were found to be full of raw materials, despite the insistence from the factory's owners that they could not produce goods, Venezuelan Industry Minister Miguel Perez Abad confirmed Friday.

The Kimberly Clark Corporation is a producer of numerous personal, feminine, and baby care brands including Huggies, Kotex. These products have been in short-supply throughout the country, causing grief for many Venezuelans. 

President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly accused managers and owners of certain private companies of engaging in an “economic war” against his government by deliberately limiting the availability of basic goods, including personal hygiene products.

The factory halted operations earlier this month and fired more than 900 workers, with the company alleging that they lacked the raw materials to make their products.

Looks like they got their just deserts.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

They're not the first company to turn off the lights and take the loss, and they probably won't be the last.  Clorox did the same thing, and the government took them over too, but I don't recall that turning into ample supplies of cleaning products.  Raw materials are part of it, but so is access to hard currency, and runaway inflation.  Companies whose earnings are losing value for every day they have to wait just to exchange them for dollars are understandably going to be less than enthusiastic about running at full production.  They're not charities.

Anyway, we'll know who's lying here when we either do or don't see a sudden adequate supply of paper products in Venezuela.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I know what side I support when it comes to choosing between a socialist oriented government or the glorious rights of private property.... regardless of what happens. 

So do many babblers, I'm glad to say.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I know what side I support when it comes to choosing between a socialist oriented government or the glorious rights of private property.... regardless of what happens.

Can we count on you to do your part to insist that it's an urgent and necessary choice?

RDP
RDP

Those lucky poor.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Green Acres is the place to be,

Farm livin' is the life for me!

Land spreading out so far and wide,

Keep Caracas, just gimme that countryside!


Unionist

This thread looks like the comment section of the Alabama Daily Hillbilly.

Imagine talking about sending people to grow food to help feed the country in a crisis. Slavery!!

What next!?

Sending notices to young people that they have to don uniforms and go abroad to murder foreigners and come back maimed or dead themselves? On pain of prison for refusing!!????

No, sorry, that couldn't happen, don't know what came over me.

Oh wait, I know: "You can work wherever you want (if you can find a job that is) - but you have to hand over a big chunk of your earnings to the government, to do with as they please!"

More slavery.

Gimme a gun and let me defend my homestead. The fuckin' socialists are comin'.

 

Doug Woodard

Going hungry in Venezuela:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36913991

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Price controls are a laudable goal.  The poor deserve to eat too.  But it seems to me that they can only work under two conditions:

1.  The price of a good -- let's say milk -- can't be set so low as to be a disincentive to producing, distributing or selling it.  I'm not suggesting that farmers, truckers or stores have to make outrageous profits, but none of them are charities either.  If the government wants to take on one or all of these roles then they're welcome to do so pro bono if they wish -- that's pretty much why Venezuela can continue to sell gasoline at a tiny fraction of the price of milk.  But if it costs $1.50 to produce a gallon of milk, you can't fix the price of a gallon of milk at $1.40, no matter how much the consumer might want or need that price.  If you fix the price reasonably (i.e. those involved are earning a fair profit) and the poor still cannot afford milk, it would be better to simply give money (or milk vouchers) to everyone to cover the difference.

2.  There must be an adequate supply of the good -- again, let's say milk -- that's being fixed.  As soon as there's a scarcity, demand goes up, and people will seek out milk on the black market if they want it enough, and they'll pay as much as their demand tells them to.  This is clearly tied to the condition above in the sense that if the price of milk is fixed too low, and farmers or stores say "screw it" and stop producing or selling milk then supply goes down and the black market price goes up.  The lucky few who manage to buy a gallon of milk for $1.25 may indulge themselves by drinking it, but there's a clear incentive for some to try to sell it on the black market for $10 or whatever.  But if theres plenty of milk to go around then the black market in milk is out of business -- who's going to pay black market prices for a good that's neither overpriced nor scarce?

Where Maduro's got it all wrong is in trying to strongarm companies into going along with his arbitrary pricing, then trying to strongarm them again when they elect not to bother producing or selling any more.  If he wants to tax all companies (and/or all individuals) in order to finance subsidies, that might have legs, but it seems to me a non-starter to simply decree that this or that grocery store must bear the full burden of feeding everyone at prices they can afford.

And this is why I say to RDP that this isn't "socialism", or at any rate, not the only "socialism".  Smarter socialism could fix this.

RDP

Price controls are not laudable.  The goal may be laudable but judge the results not the intentions. This happens everywhere it is tried.  Price controls try to alter the immutable laws of supply and demand.  Sorry, Immutable.  Force a lower price on producers, you get less product.  Force a higher price on consumers, you get less demand.

 You would think that by now someone would've stumbled onto smarter socialism.  We've had about 100 years of experiment.

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

The last time price controls were implemented in the U.S., it was by that notorious socialist, Richard Nixon.

RDP

yes, he was a fool and the 70's were an economic disaster for the US.  Just like the last 8 years.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Force a lower price on producers, you get less product.  Force a higher price on consumers, you get less demand.

I think that really depends on whether the good that's being price controlled is readily available, and whether producers/sellers can still realize a reasonable profit.  An example here in Toronto is taxicabs.  It's no coincidence that they all charge the same rates (which the City recently dropped by $1).  But there's no shortage of taxi drivers, because even with controlled rates, they can still earn a living.  If the City were to offer more plates, they'd get bought up like nothing.

Quote:
You would think that by now someone would've stumbled onto smarter socialism.  We've had about 100 years of experiment.

OK, but don't forget that the poster child for Capitalism had its 240th birthday a month ago.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

There's one very obvious, and not-unreasonable question:  why would the government begin by poaching employees who already have a job, rather than starting with the unemployed?

Evidently the answer is that the government will expect companies to continue to pay employees who get reassigned.

It should be interesting to see which companies and workers will get selected for this.  I'm thinking that anyone who validated their signature on the recent recall referendum might want to go buy themselves some sturdy boots.

ed'd to add:  a conflicting report suggests that the government intends to cover the salaries of reassigned workers.  Still a big mystery why they don't just offer jobs.

RDP

It went from nothing to superpower in about 170 years.  No country compares to that.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Wasn't the former Soviet Union also a superpower, before they imploded?

They only took, like 60 years.

And to save you some keystrokes, I'm well aware that they're defunct now, whereas the U.S. isn't yet.  That must be their relative lack of price controls, or their non-socialism.

Except that strangely, they seem to be sore winners.  Unhappy, aggrieved, and hard done by.  What kind of winner is that??

 

RDP

Russia was around for about a 1000 years.   The US isn't doing so well now...just like the 70's.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The recall referendum passed the first of three hurdles.

Now, let the endless stalling for time begin.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

What Venezuela's diaper shortage says about the country's economic crisis

Quote:
Last month, Kimberly-Clark announced they will not make diapers in Venezuela. The corporation produced almost half of the country's diapers. Now, diapers are difficult to come by on store shelves. 

The shortage is yet another sign of just how dire Venezuela's economic crisis has become.

And it's a big problem for Pedro Rosas. He's an economist based in Caracas and his wife just had a baby about a month ago. Now, buying much-needed diapers is a complicated process. 

​Rosas can only buy 2 packs at a time, twice a week — once on a weekday, and once on the weekend. And he has to prove that his demand for them is legitimate.

"You also need to show that you need the diapers," Rosas says. "That you're not buying them just to re-sell them. So the pregnant woman has to be there, or whoever is buying the diapers has to show a recent birth certificate, also the ultrasound and medical report."

Huh?  What?

The government took over a factory that was supposedly flush with raw materials. 

Employees?  Check.

Materials?  Check.

Factory?  Check.

It's the People's factory now.  So what's the problem??

 

RDP
RDP

Mr. Magoo...I don't get you.  You post material that I should be posting but you don't seem to make the full connection.  Do you think the system in Venezuela is fundamentally correct and simply needs some tweaking to work?  Or, as I believe, the system just simply won't work (hard core socialism) because it is inconsistent with human nature.  

For the above post, why produce when the government has decreed that your clients can only buy 2 packs.  ie the government has mandated that the demand for your product is to be slashed.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Mr. Magoo...I don't get you.  You post material that I should be posting but you don't seem to make the full connection.

I like to keep some mystery about me.

Quote:
Do you think the system in Venezuela is fundamentally correct and simply needs some tweaking to work?

It's not that I think it's "fundamentally correct" at all.  Mind you, some measure of socialism seems to remain popular with Venezuelans, even as thei current government stubbornly insists on driving with four flat tires.

I don't think there's an inherent problem with (some) socialism, but I think there's pretty solid evidence that there's a problem with "Chavismo", at least as they're practicing it.

And I think they need much more than just some "tweaking".  If a little nudge to the exchange rate here, and a small shift in government spending there were going to correct things, the whole world would hope they'd just do that.

Quote:
Or, as I believe, the system just simply won't work (hard core socialism) because it is inconsistent with human nature. 

We may be in some agreement here, assuming we're both thinking of the same stuff when we think of "hard core socialism".

I wouldn't necessarily think of that in terms of this or that policy (e.g. state ownership of a company) so much as a rigid, dogmatic and antagonistic position in which "The Revolution" is a thing unto itself, whose "rights" and "needs" supercede the rights and needs of the population.  I do think that Maduro, like Chavez before him, takes a televised glee in using state powers to deliver a comeuppance to "the rich" or "the oligarchs" or the "yanqui stooges", but more than anything, to anyone who gets in his government's way.  Safe to say you won't see me defending that.

But on the flip side, I don't think that the massive social spending that Chavez did, and Maduro wishes he could afford to do, was a bad thing.  It's not like the free market was housing people, or feeding them, or educating them.  The idea that the state has a responsibility to do so is Socialism.  They way they're trying to go about it now is "Chavismo".  The only downside to the social spending was that it was predicated on the sale of a single resource that everyone just assumed would only increase in value.  When oil stopped being black gold was when the majority of their material problems started.  Sure, it would have sucked to be a capitalist in Chavez' Venezuela, but it wouldn't have sucked so much to be a single mother or whatever.

I suppose that where you and I part ways is on the question of whether some, or any, socialism is a good thing or a bad thing, and perhaps whether this or that exercise of some socialist principle can reasonably be applied to the general idea of socialism.  As an abstract concept, I'm not critical of a government nationalizing a business, if they can do so fairly, for the right reasons, and to the greater benefit of the people.  But like land reformation in Zimbabwe, I'm not convinced on the merits of doing this without a plan to keep that business/land producing what the people need.  Don't shutter a business or a farm just to be able to proclaim that you kicked out the oppressor.

Quote:
For the above post, why produce when the government has decreed that your clients can only buy 2 packs.  ie the government has mandated that the demand for your product is to be slashed. 

Yesterday the Metro near me had a dozen eggs on sale for $1.99, with a limit of three per family.  I overheard two cashiers discussing this, and evidently they don't get another shipment of eggs until Tuesday.

I think that whenever there's a limit on the amount of a good that a consumer can purchase, it's generally because of problems with supply.  In Metro's case, they'd probably like to attract as many shoppers as possible with this sale, rather than sell all those eggs to the first person who wants them all.  In Venezuela's case, I expect that they just don't have enough diapers to allow the sale of more, OR they're just dogmatically wound up over the possibility of some speculator buying them just to resell them.  But as I noted above, the easiest way to stop the black market sale of anything is to have plenty of it to go around, sold at an affordable price.  When tomatoes are 69 cents a pound, all over Toronto, why would I buy them to try to sell for a dollar a pound on "the black market"?  Who'd buy them at my price if they can just buy them anywhere for 69 cents?

At any rate, if the supply is such that "quantities are limited", I don't think that, in and of itself, is any kind of disincentive to producers to produce more, UNLESS they're being asked to do so at a lower than market price.  If anything, the restrictions mean "we need even more than we have".

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Looks to a Marxist Spaniard for an Economic Miracle

Quote:

CARACAS, Venezuela—President Nicolás Maduro, hoping for an economic miracle to salvage his country, has placed his trust in an obscure Marxist professor from Spain who holds so much sway the president calls him “the Jesus Christ of economics.”

Alfredo Serrano—a 40-year-old economist whose long hair and beard have also elicited the president’s comparison to Jesus—has become the central economic adviser to Mr. Maduro, according to a number of officials in the ruling United Socialist Party and other government consultants. His rise has come at the expense of advisers who, though also leftist, have urged the president to undertake more conventional steps to address Venezuela’s dysfunctional economy, such as liberalizing the country’s tightly controlled currency, these people say.

...

“This is a very intelligent, very qualified man who’s building new concepts for a new economy of the 21st century,” Mr. Maduro said at a book fair last year, as he admired Mr. Serrano’s 2014 tome “The Economic Thought of Hugo Chávez.” “He’s a man of great courage.”

At this point I wouldn't really be shocked if Serrano's book blares out over loudspeakers as office workers hoe the yam crop.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Exactly.  That "conscientious stupidity" is what I'm talking about.

AKA "Let's just print more money" or "Let's just take over this company and then forget about it".

Sorry I don't have a nice one-bit graphic for it though.

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