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Venezuela: The Failure of Socialism

Discussion in 'Europe & Russia' started by omya, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. omya

    omya BANNED BANNED

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    BMD likes this.
  2. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor BANNED BANNED

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    Of course socialism, commies etc. are stupid ideologies. Only Capitalism is best ideology I agree. That's why Pakistan, COlombia and a dozen other South American countries have done so well.
     
  3. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor BANNED BANNED

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    Fact-
    1) 'Full' Capitalism is no good (think the Great Depression)
    2) 'Full' Socialism is no good (think soviet union)

    A 'decent' socialistic country (Singapore) with fair administration will do better than a badly magaed 'capitalist country (Pakistan)
    A decent capitalistic (USA, W Europe) country will do better than badly managed socialists (Soviets )

    'Best' model- excellent freedom of trade/business with good legal oversight supported with a role for state in managing the most important concerns of people (Obamacare)
     
  4. omya

    omya BANNED BANNED

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    Bernie Sanders Is Wrong. Socialism Sucks.

    Well, there you have it. The title says it all. Yet the self-professed socialist Sanders has slowly but persistently climbed the polls, actually overtaking the originally presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in several polls in both New Hampshire and Iowa. His challenge remains an uphill fight, but Sanders has showed no signs of slowing down just yet.

    What gives? How, in America, does a socialist accumulate such a large degree of support, especially for the office of President of the United States? The United States is supposed to be a bastion of capitalism and free markets (yeah, right), not a despondent swamp of oppressive and arbitrary economic arrangement.

    Nonetheless, the political character of a large enough portion of the American electorate has evidently evolved to present Sanders as a viable candidate. But, the thing is, Sanders is just dead wrong. Socialism sucks.

    I’m not going to pretend that the United States has a free market; far from it, in fact: subsidies and cronyism and wealth redistribution abound, and regulations are rife and pervasive. Virtually no human behavior in the U.S. goes without some form of bureaucratic control. To suggest that the United States enjoys the blessings of an unfettered free market defies all notions of reality as it should be known.

    But socialism takes it to far greater extremes, advocating for enforced communal ownership of the means of production. It is a profoundly unethical arrangement for both economic and moral reasons.

    In any socialist society, the individual needs, desires, and tendencies of humans are relatively disregarded for the benefit of the collective whole. Socialism entirely ignores human nature because it forces man into a system in which the amount and degree of his labor is not proportional to his direct compensation. It wrecks ambition and installs occupational apathy, minimizing society’s overall productivity and miring the people in common destitution. No incentive systems exist to encourage humans to be creative, innovative, or productive, their uniqueness suppressed and their vibrant colors neutralized.

    Additionally, socialism regards men as means to an end rather than the end itself; it despises the uniqueness of humans and places a supreme and quasi-religious emphasis on collective objectives and identities. There can be no self-advancement because any such advancement contradicts the nature of the society: individuals must abdicate that which makes them rare and work toward that which makes them standard. They must fulfill their obligation as an obedient part in an instrument of supposed progress, and they must not deviate, for deviation disrupts the instrument, preventing its ability to operate.

    In socialism, men are regarded as mere cogs in a collective machine of arbitrary human arrangement. And in any machine, the object is not regarded for its individual parts, but for how those parts coalesce to make the whole machine operate. A machine is known for the collective effort of its parts and not for the individual actions of the vital pieces that facilitate its proper operation. Therein lies the cruelty of socialism: men are not known for their individual works, character, or being, but instead the machine is known for any progressions the dutiful and anonymous cogs obediently cooperate to produce.

    A clock is known for its ability to correctly tell time, but the screws and bolts and wheels are not known or recognized for the effort to produce the desired product. As it is with the clock, it is with socialism; the only difference is that in socialism, eventually the pieces will demand to be known.

    It is profoundly unethical to consider men as means to a collective end, virtually stripping them of their free will and placing them in a system in which their social mobility does not exist and their actions toward self-betterment either cannot occur or are deemed as insidious machinations against the collective general welfare. This is precisely what socialism commands: utter renunciation of the self, plenary denial of the individual, and iniquitous enforcement of the collective.

    Of course, the system of socialism itself is entirely depraved, but so are the means in which the system is enforced and sustained. Indeed, some administrative body must exist in order to enforce the norms and decorum and organize the distribution of resources, and this institution is generally composed of a distinct and privileged class of bureaucrats who exploit the masses for their own material benefit under the ostensible and politically noble objective of economic equality.

    But here’s the thing: socialism does not ensure shared prosperity, only common misery: for unequal wealth gives way to equal poverty.

    Freedom matters; so does individuality. These are principles upon which this nation was founded. But socialism nullifies them, transforming freedom into subservience and individuality into conformity.

    Essentially, liberty cannot exist in socialism because the individual cannot exist in socialism. And there are few greater cruelties than to deny man his liberty.

    http://outsetmagazine.com/2015/09/21/bernie-sanders-wrong-socialism-sucks/
     
  5. omya

    omya BANNED BANNED

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    Venezuela is running out of everything: Bread, sugar, toilet paper...


    And over the weekend at least two large international airlines -- Lufthansa and LATAM -- said they will suspend service to Venezuela in the coming months due to the economic crisis.


    The widespread scarcities and fleeing businesses reflect a country in crisis.

    "There's a shortage of everything at some level," says Ricardo Cusanno, vice president of Venezuela's Chamber of Commerce. Cusanno says 85% of companies in Venezuela have halted production to some extent.

    Venezuela's economy is spiraling into extreme recession. It is ironic given that the country sits on the world's largest proven oil reserves of oil. However Venezuela hasn't cut back from expensive government spending even as oil prices have lost half its value in the past two years.

    An oppostion-led Congress is pushing for the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro and people have joined rallies and protests calling for his removal.

    The country is under the spell of a drought, it's battling the Zika virus and people are struggling to get medicine in equipment-scarce hospitals.

    Toilet paper problem

    Related: Venezuela's state of emergency

    Toiletries are running in short supply across the country. Many Venezuelans say that people wait in lines for several hours to buy basic toiletries, only to sell them at much higher prices on the black market.

    Bloomberg reported last year that Trinidad & Tobago had offered to exchange tissue paper for oil with Venezuela. It's unclear if the deal ever came through.

    Condoms and birth control are hard to find, Venezuelans say. You won't have any more luck with toothpaste, soap, toilet paper or shampoo. And Maduro has asked women to stop using blow dryers.

    Glenda Bolivar lives in Caracas. Blow drying her hair at her favorite salon had been a daily tradition but she recently had to stop.

    "Pretty soon, we will only be able to use candles like the old times," Bolivar told CNN in late April.

    Food: Butter, bread and sugar shortage

    Related: Coca-Cola halts production amid sugar crisis

    Venezuela's government, running low on revenues and reserves, can't pay for sufficient amounts of imports for basic items like milk, butter, eggs and flour.

    The government has also significantly decreased sugar production due to government price controls and inability to pay for imported fertilizer.

    On Monday, Coca-Cola announced that it had halted production of Coke and other sweetened beverages due to the sugar shortage.

    Alejandro, a 23-year-old resident of Maracaibo, has learned to live without butter for a month. For a few weeks, he and his parents also learned to live without bread. They had arepas, a flour-based food, instead.

    On the unofficial exchange rate -- which many Venezuelans use -- Alejandro makes $57 a month working at a law firm during the day and teaching at night. Sometimes, Alejandro pays $2 for a case of butter -- or 4% of his monthly income -- on the black market so he doesn't have to wait in line for several hours.

    Despite his struggles, Alejandro says he's among the fortunate in Venezuela.

    "Everything here is just awful," says Alejandro (CNNMoney chose to withhold his last name). "There isn't one thing going right in Venezuela right now."

    Related: Venezuela is in a health care crisis

    Rolling blackouts in Venezuela

    Venezuelans now have rolling blackouts. The country's main source of energy, El Guri dam, is at record low water levels.

    To save energy, Maduro has instituted rolling blackouts in cities across Venezuela for at least April and May. He also cut the work week to two days for government employees.

    When Alejandro teaches his night class, he uses the flashlight on his cell phone so the students don't have to be sitting in the dark if there's a power cut. Maracaibo has lost electricity for 3 hours a day in May.

    A health care crisis

    Venezuela lacks roughly 80% of the basic medical supplies needed to treat its population, according to the Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela. People are dying in hospitals for lack of sufficient medicines and equipment.

    [​IMG]
    Jose Luis Vazquez experienced the nightmare firsthand. He had just survived a gunshot woundto the chest in a robbery attempt and doctors said all he needed was minor surgery.

    But he was still in the hospital days later and he had to pay for all the supplies -- gauges, syringes, peroxide and more.

    "There was nothing in this hospital," Vazquez told CNN earlier in May in a hospital in Valencia, a city about 100 miles from the capital, Caracas.

    Related: Venezuela is running out of sugar

    Shipping gold, low on cash

    Venezuela's government has been running out of foreign reserves and literally shipping gold to help pay for its debt. Venezuela only has $12.1 billion in foreign reserves as of March, according to the most recent central bank figures.

    That's down by half from a year ago. In order to get cash loans to pay for its debt, Venezuela has shipped $2.3 billion of gold to Switzerland so far this year as collateral, according to Swiss government import data.

    Experts believe Venezuela will likely default on its debt this fall.

    "Things continue to devolve in Venezuela," says Russ Dallen, managing partner at LatInvest, a firm in Miami that invests in Latin America.

    -- Osmary Hernandez, Flora Charner and Paula Newton contributed reporting from Caracas

    http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/31/news/economy/venezuela-shortage/index.html
     

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