The Venezuela socialism death spiral thread


#1

Really, this thread is overdue. Why hasn’t anyone else started it by now?

Well, in case you didn’t know, things are pretty bad there now that oil prices aren’t propping the economy up anymore. To be fair, the country always was a basket case, but Chavism sure didn’t help.

Does socialism cause societal dysfunction, or is it the other way around? Probably both.

nytimes.com/2016/06/20/world … .html?_r=0

You know it’s a big deal when the New York Times admits it’s happening.


#2

That is what happens you teach people not to be self-reliant and instead teach them to believe that the government will always help you.


#3

They might have taken their lesson from events in Eastern Europe, 1989-1991


#4

Was Venezuela ever actually socialist? My impression is that socialism is technically impossible without a functioning economy. In other words, you need thriving capitalism in order to fund the overthrow of capitalism.

I think it’s a terrible pity when people fail to recognize when there is no government; that fortuitous situation when “the sky is high and the emperor is far away”. They sit there holding out their hands to a state entity which is as mythical as Santa Claus, while failing to notice that in the absence of fiat currency, there are many other forms of wealth. Why are people hauling away “flour and sugar and cornmeal” - which isn’t even food - in a country where you could stick an umbrella in the ground and watch it sprout parasols? Poverty, IMO, is caused largely by poor people.


#5

Guns and butter:

bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36776991

[quote]Venezuela’s military has taken control of five ports in an effort to guarantee supplies of food and medicine.

In a decree, President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the army to monitor food processing plants, and co-ordinate the production and distribution of items.

Venezuela is going through a deep economic crisis despite having the world’s largest oil reserves. [/quote]

Purely by coincidence:

nationsencyclopedia.com/econ … LTURE.html

[quote] Subsidization (government payments to farmers to grow or not grow their crops) of agriculture is a tool that has been consistently used by various administrations to assist Venezuela’s ailing agricultural sector. The right of farmers to receive government subsidies was made a part of the new 1999 Venezuelan Constitution. This policy has given rise to a powerful farmers’ lobby that is dedicated to maintaining the subsidies, often criticized for maintaining inefficient and obsolete production techniques and ineffective management strategies. Since the 1980s, however, subsidies have resulted in an increase in the country’s agricultural output.

Another approach used by the Venezuelan government to bolster the agricultural sector has been the redistribution of land that can be used for planting and grazing. These land giveaways have had the added benefit of addressing the problem of land concentrated in the hands of a few owners. Today, only 3 percent of landowners hold 70 percent of the agricultural land in Venezuela. In 1999, after 12,350 acres of land were forcibly occupied by squatters, the government responded by promising that it would redistribute 6.175 million acres of government land, create 504,000 farming jobs, and give significant tax breaks to farmers. The government had been pursuing such policies since 1958, when it created its National Agrarian Institute. Although at least 10 percent of the country’s land has been redistributed, these redistribution policies have had limited success because the dropout rates for participants has been as high as 33 percent. The government has also tried to protect Venezuelan farmers from international competition by limiting the number of competing crops that can be imported into the country.

Despite all of these difficulties, the Venezuelan agricultural industry has remarkable promise. In the 1990s, only 4 percent of the country’s land area was being used for agriculture, but it has been estimated that 30 percent of the total is suitable for such purposes. Some 50 percent of the agriculture industry’s revenues came from cattle ranching in 1999, though production of such basic food crops like rice and maize has been declining. [/quote]


#6

Yeah, that’ll work. Obviously, grunts trained to point guns at people know a lot more about the finer points of food processing, storage, and logistics, than, say, food processors. :eh:

As for “land reform”, giving away the country’s primary natural capital to people who don’t have the know-how or resources to do something useful with it is pretty much guaranteed to produce food shortages and environmental destruction. Just f’ing sell it (or lease it) to people who might know what they’re doing and wish to actually do it. Blocks of 640 hectares at a dollar a hectare, perhaps?


#7

What a mess, not so much to do with a socialism Death spiral as a societal death spiral. Lucky there are no fundamentalist tribal types there or the whole place would be in flames already. When politicians cling desperately to power like this they help nobody

Interestingly Uk doesn’t have stats that are much different when it comes to land ownership. We kicked that lot out a hundred years ago and enjoyed relative prosperity from land reform (my family) . Interestingly on the Taiwan side of inlaws they also prospered from land reform. So land reform is important.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article … cracy.html


#8

[quote=“finley”]
As for “land reform”, giving away the country’s primary natural capital to people who don’t have the know-how or resources to do something useful with it is pretty much guaranteed to produce food shortages and environmental destruction. Just f’ing sell it (or lease it) to people who might know what they’re doing and wish to actually do it. Blocks of 640 hectares at a dollar a hectare, perhaps?[/quote]

What matters is getting resources into the hands of those best qualified to make use of them. No one has ever come up with a formula for that, and in practice there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between manorialism and socialism.

The great about free enterprise is that it’s formula agnostic.


#9

Per the leaders of the country and the party that they represented and the people who supported them, it was all about SOCIALISM of the Bolivarian kind. Aren’t you being racist/disciminatory to say there are no extremists there? Are you suggesting that extremists and terrorists can come from ONLY ONE background?


#10

[quote]Superheroes, wizards and Jedi Knights have descended on the Venezuelan capital.

And while they may not be able to save the country from its spiraling economic crisis, fans at Caracas Comic-Con are counting on their heroes to at least help them escape their real-world problems for a while.

For three weekends, through July 31, fans are paying tribute to the worlds of comic books, video games and sci-fi at the 10th Caracas Comic-Con, the local edition of the international pop culture fest.

It comes at a time when a punishing recession, food shortages, hyperinflation and violent crime have left Venezuelans desperate for heroes — or even villains — to come to the rescue.

“It gives us space to breathe in the middle of this political situation,” said Jhoan Guzman, a 25-year-old chemist who is today wearing the white face paint and red lipstick of his alter ego: Batman’s arch-enemy Joker.

“This is an alternative to help us forget the world we’re living in, to enjoy ourselves doing something we love.”

Instead of lining up outside the supermarket for basic necessities, attendees flock to a convention hall in a Caracas mall to pay homage to their favorite pop culture phenomena: “The Avengers,” “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” “Pokemon” and “Game of Thrones,” among others.

Some even show up in costume, just like at other Comic-Cons worldwide — chief among them the giant gathering each July in San Diego — though here the get-ups are often cobbled together using whatever materials are at hand.

Ann Mary Fayard, a 34-year-old fashion designer, was decked out as Harley Quinn, the Joker’s sidekick, a costume she made from scraps.

“I recycle everything. Whatever cloth is left over, design materials. I save money and tap of my ingenuity,” she said.

“I like ‘cosplay’ (costume role-play) because I can let my imagination fly. It’s a way to free your mind of so many problems and spend time doing something else.”
[/quote]


#11

How democracies perish, or, why socialist countries can’t have nice things:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuela-congress-declares-president-maduro-has-staged-coup/2016/10/23/fba21204-997e-11e6-b552-b1f85e484086_story.html


#12

How socialism kills democracy, after destroying most other manifestations of freedom:


#13

Venezuela has been a dictatorship ever since Chavez was elected.

Source: Lived there from '97 to '01.


#14

Good grief. Sounds like a whole country of imbeciles and badly-behaved children who need a jolly good spanking.


#15

Anyone who thinks socialist policies will work needs a good spanking or a kick to the head. How could this have happened… again… this time… when it has worked so well in so many other countries like North Korea, Cuba and Bolivia.


#16

http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-venezuela-capriles-2017-story.html

Here’s hoping he doesn’t get assassinated.


#17

As much as I dislike Maburro, I feel very uneasy with US moving ships and a friggin submarine through the Panama canal -who the heck authorized that there?!

Big confusion on recent upheavals, as there are no internal news to speak of. many dead, mostly military, if you can believe the eyewitness accounts.


#18

From the social media, there are many incoming worrisome messages, stating a military coup de etat. Everyone struggling to get their families to safety. Dead and fighting in the streets, and differences among high command.

Otro Caracazo? Can’t be sure as no one knows what info is true or not.


#19

According to Evo Morales, all the turmoil in Venezuela is being caused by the U.S., who wants to overthrow the government and steal all the oil. :dizzy_face:


#20

So Venezuela seized General Motor’s plant there. If you get too greedy and do business with socialists, they’ll steal everything they can. I really don’t pity GM.