Another Socialist Paradise (Pipedream) Circling the Toilet


#41

How do you know he ISN’T lying? hmmmm?


#42

That was a good read. However, it did not completely absolve the CIA or M16 of their role, even if it turned out to not be as great as everyone thinks. While they may not have been directly responsible for his downfall, they contributed enough to it.

I guess you could blame it on Truman then. Hey, you can blame NK on Truman as well, since he was the one who would not let MacArthur march through Korea to Beijing. This very well could have sparked a wider conflict with the Soviets, but China was coming off of a decade or so of war, and the Sovs were still recouping from WWII. Maybe if the European powers got involved on their side to take on the Reds. What world would we be living in now?


#43

How anyone can still call Carter the worst president ever in the age of Trump boggles the mind.


#44

When you read the intro again and figure out what primarily and ultimately mean let me know. Hint: the words and what they mean do not depend on context feelings or subjective interpretations based on your proximity or distance from centers of white privilege.


#45

And another salutary reminder about the effective use of “other people’s money.” Read on…

Zimbabwe’s Coup, Venezuela’s Default, And The Ongoing Failure Of Socialism

Failed Economies: As Zimbabwe locked down following a military coup this week, Venezuela defaulted on its debt. On the surface, these events in these two countries — one African, the other South American — seem to have little in common. But, in fact, they share two very big things: Both are socialist, and both are failed states.

Indeed, both nations are near collapse, suffering from hyperinflation, economic contraction and widespread hunger. What’s most alarming about this is that both countries have been, in the recent past, highly successful as capitalist economies. Today they are basket cases, Marxist-inspired dictatorships that were systematically run into the ground by their socialist leaders.

Zimbabwe’s case, just 40 years ago it was the richest and most productive country in Africa. Today, it is an utter disaster. This week, after 93-year-old Marxist dictator Robert Mugabe who has led the country since its independence in 1980 tried to position his wife to be his eventual successor, the military stepped in, removing Mugabe from power and putting him under house arrest. Mugabe’s wife has fled the country.

“What is clear is that Zimbabwe’s economy has collapsed under Robert Mugabe,” noted the Sky News website.

Yes, the case against Mugabe’s special brand of African socialism is convincing.

Food output fell by half during the 1990s as Mugabe drove European farmers from their lands and gave the farms to his supporters who largely lacked any farming experience. Alarmed by the collapse of the economy and soaring inflation, Mugabe simply declared inflation illegal. And he cracked down on anyone who spoke up in opposition to his insane Marxist policies.

Meanwhile, a needless war in the Congo led to massive indebtedness and soaring interest rates and hyperinflation. Inflation rose from roughly 59% in 2000 to a peak of 80 billion percent at the end of 2008. No that’s not a misprint: 80,000,000,000%. In addition to freezing prices, the government froze wages. To enforce its edict, it arrested business owners who were caught charging more than the law allowed.

The result: GDP fell from $6.78 billion in 2001 to $4.4 billion in 2008, World Bank data show.

Following the global financial crisis, Mugabe was forced to back off some of his worst policies, leading to a rebound in the economy in recent years. But Zimbabwe remains one of the poorest and worst run nations on the planet.

Venezuela’s socialist path has been slightly different, but the results have been the same.

Just like Zimbabwe, Venezuela once thrived with a large middle class and a strong, oil-based economy. But starting in 1999 under socialist military dictator Hugo Chavez, major swathes of the economy were seized and put under government control and ownership. Venezuela’s massive oil reserves were likewise taken over by the government. Today, its state-run oil monopoly barely pumps any crude at all.

The economy is in a free fall.

“It’s defaulted on its sovereign debt, run out of money … has widespread hunger, mass poverty, and the wreck of its medical system,” wrote Monica Showalter, a former IBD writer, in the American Thinker. “The electrical company is bankrupt, the water isn’t running, the bridges are falling apart, and now even the Caracas subway seems to be shutting down.”

Under first Chavez and, since 2013, his hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro, the economy’s once hardy private sector has been strangled into submission. By piling up massive amounts of debt, the government hid its incompetence and the inevitable economic decline. But now, faced with nearly $200 billion in outstanding loans that it can’t pay, Venezuela will soon be cut off from private-sector lending — and its economy will get even worse, if that’s possible.

“The government, meanwhile, has failed for years to ship in enough food and medicine for its citizens,” noted a CNN report. “As a result, Venezuelans are waiting hours in line to buy food and dying in hospitals that lack basic resources.”

What’s both surprising and disappointing is that there are many prominent Americans, some of them elected officials, who have lauded these governments and the socialism they represent. Even after the recent 100 year anniversary of the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, which began the world’s failed experiment in Marxist-socialism, there are those who maintain socialism could work, given the right conditions.

But the record is very clear: Each year, the Heritage Foundation issues its Index of Economic Freedom — essentially, a sliding-scale that measures the degree of economic freedom vs. socialism across all major countries. Heritage’s index correlates very nicely with economic success, wealth and citizens’ well-being. So you probably won’t be surprised to know that out of 180 ranked nations, Zimbabwe is No. 175 and Venezuela is No. 179. And, like those two, all the other bottom-performing countries are socialist, one-party states.

Based on this, here’s a little thought experiment: Suppose there was a company that made airplanes, and every one of the airplanes it ever made, all of them, crashed and burned. Would you fly in one of that company’s planes?

Of course not. And that’s precisely the case with socialism. Everywhere it’s been tried — everywhere — it has brought economic failure, human misery, want, hunger, strife, even mass death. There are no socialist “success stories.” None.

So Zimbabwe and Venezuela aren’t so different after all. Just two more socialist success stories. And those that have for years lauded Mugabe, Chavez, Maduro and others of their ilk, should hang their heads in shame.


#46

Carter is and was the worst president EVER!


#47

Let’s say at one moment “someone else” won’t have money for someone’s bailout. And somebody “too big to fail” will fail as a result. Just an example.


#48

Huh? Fetch!


#49

Dear Fred, I have a poser for you:

  1. A poor country’s socialist system fails to satisfy the general public. The government falls, and the new government establishes a capitalist system that also fails to satisfy the general public.

  2. A poor country’s capitalist system fails to satisfy the general public. The government falls, and the new government establishes a socialist system that also fails to satisfy the general public.

Now my question is, which scenario is more useful for persuading people in first world countries to vote Republican (or local equivalent)?


#50

What about immigrants? Eventually they will be blamed for everything.


#51

The question is why immigrants and their needs should trump haha those of native citizens and if so all important why never a referendum to let the people decide. Why is this too difficult but referendums on marijuana use or transgender bathrooms are not?


#52

What is relevant is this: do we have statistical evidence that capitalist free societies deliver much better albeit imperfect results and quality of life? We do!


#53

It depends on your definitions. Can you find a single country today that’s truly capitalist?

I think most people agree that the US is more capitalist than Germany, Sweden, etc. Yet the US tends to score lower than those countries on quality of life indexes.

Iirc Sir @Jotham of Anglia-Saxony has told us American capitalism isn’t real capitalism because of this or that federal government intervention. Some would go further and say it was taken over by the International Communist Conspiracy™ decades ago, and the proof is in the abolition (sort of) of child labor, the decriminalization of homosexuality, the national highway system, and other things usually associated (rightly or wrongly) with modernity. If only the American people had resisted these changes, their economy would still be booming!

I haven’t asked Jothy what the deal is with Haiti or various other poor countries we rarely hear about but no doubt would hear about if they made convenient poster kids for Covfefism.

I won’t dispute that rich countries fare better than poor countries in quality of life indexes, with occasional exceptions like “gross national happiness” that probably have more to do with not watching the news every day than with actual government policy. How that proves Trump, Moore et al. are worth voting for, I’m still not clear about.


#54

You forgot the civil rights movement, desegregation of schools and military, expansion of voting rights, Obama, Hilary, and the like.


#55

The impression I get in Northern European countries is that their socialism is safety net socialism rather than redistribution socialism. In other words, in conversations I have there there’s little resentment evident because the expectation is that “I don’t mind paying for these high cost programs because I know I’ll get equal tangible benefits back in the form of low cost education, vocational training, health care, unemployment benefits and retirement benefits when I need them.”

Not so in the U.S. though where there’s no expectation that higher taxes will result in greater benefits for the payer as those benefits will largely go to someone or something else “who needs them more,” generally with high amounts of waste and little long term benefits for the money. In other words, redistribution socialism rather than safety net socialism.

The question is often asked here, for example, why supporters of capitalism living in Taiwan are so sanguine about Taiwan’s national healthcare system when they rail against Obamacare etc. in their home countries. The answer is because you largely get what you pay for here in Taiwan but the same can’t be said of Obamacare etc. in many (not all) western countries.


#56

Do American politicians (excluding the fringe) actually propose this redistribution you speak of when they talk about the possibility of imitating European social programs?


#57

On this very forum, you will find members -from Obamcareland, who have spoken out against Taiwan’s NHI scheme.

It isn’t that the ACA is a flawed program that could be fixed to work for almost everyone. It is that people were told they had to pay for something they were/are already paying for.


#58

It’s pretty clear that they favor Southern European style socialism over Northern European socialsim.

It is unacceptable that the International Monetary Fund and European policymakers have refused to work with the Greek government on a sensible plan to improve its economy and pay back its debt, At a time of grotesque wealth inequality, the pensions of the people in Greece should not be cut even further to pay back some of the largest banks and wealthiest financiers in the world. Instead of trying to force the Greek government and its people into even more economic pain and suffering, international leaders throughout the world, including the United States, should enable Greece to enact pro-growth policies that improve the lives of all of its people, not just the wealthy few,
– Bernie Sanders


#59

You can’t have German health care without German foreign policy. :ponder: That sounds even odder coming from a self-professed “ideological whore”.


Let’s see if I’ve got this straight.

Bernie (et al.): Our health care is a disgrace. We’re at the bottom of the OECD barrel! We should look to the healthier countries for inspiration.

Freddie: But we can’t imitate Germany, Sweden, etc. because North Korea, Venezuela and Zimbabwe all suck!

Rollo: I just want to add that Cuba also sucks.

Jothy: I just want to add the UK’s higher score must be thanks to Maggie, but the country now sucks because she didn’t appoint a successor.

Comrade Politburo: Actually, northern European health care is okay–

Jothy: :hushed:

Rollo: :astonished:

Freddie: :scream:

Comrade Politburo: but we can’t imitate it because we suck. And we suck because Greece sucks.

(Collective sigh of relief.)

Rollo: Woah, for a moment there I thought you were an enemy of the state!

Apologies if I’ve put the wrong words in anyone’s mouth or given anyone the wrong emoji. :bowing:


#60

You’re doing such an admirable job of arguing both sides that I hesitate to interrupt but I’ve personally never had a problem with getting what I pay for. My problem is with having to pay for the pensions of retired, 50-year-old Greek government employees because, like Comrade Bernie says, it’s just not fair to force the Greek government and its pensioners to have to pay for their own retirements. That I just don’t get. Maybe you can explain for me what my position is on why it’s only fair that I support 50-year-old Greek retirees.