We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, February 23. 2019
Self-inflicted wounds based on a bad ideology. No food, no medicine, 3 million people fleeing the once-prosperous nation.
Maduro’s Forces Burn Humanitarian Aid
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Now the $64k question is can Venezuela be resuscitated?
Venezuela has fallen so far I am not sure how it gets turned around.
What is the plan for a new leader to jump start a flat lined economy and how does he maintain social and political cohesion long enough to allow the economy to come back to life?
Failed state looks like a more likely future.
I can only hope 100s of billions of US taxpayer dollars aren't part of the turnaround plan.
Occasional-Cortex and Bernie want to bring this immiseration here. They should be put in the stocks and pelted with dung.
Trump should appoint both of them as our ambassadors there.
About the only constructive thing I can suggest is the way we solved the similar crisis in Chile: have the CIA put a bullet in Maduro's head. Chile went through some hell under Pinochet, but nothing else would have saved them from the same fate Venezuela is suffering now.
Lefties will tell you that Bernie Sanders was talking about Scandinavia, not Venezuela. While Bernie was close to obsessive in his praise for Latin American despots from the '60s through the '80s, he was relatively silent when he was in the Senate. If he was asked about Venezuela during the 2016 campaign, his stock reply was "no comment" or the like.
If you want to tee off a lefty, bring up this nugget from Bernie Sander's Senate website: 2011:Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America.
These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who’s the banana republic now?Lefties will call bringing this up "false," "unfounded," say what you will. But it's from Bernie's Senate website! If it's on his Senate website, he agreed with it, I would think. Telling us that "the American dream is more apt to be realized " in Chavista Venezuela is telling us that Chavista Venezuela should be a model for the US.
How valid was it in 2011 to bring up Venezuela's inequality statistics as a Chavista accomplishment? Chávez was elected in 1998 when Venezuelan oil was selling for ~$11/BBL. How did the economy perform when he was in office? By 2007-2010, oil was fluctuating between $60 -$100/BBL. In 2011, when Bernie made the inequality statement, economic data for 2009 would have been available. Perhaps 2010- but as 2010 was a bad year for the Venezuelan economy, I will use 2009 and compare how Venezuela did from 1998-2009 compared to other countries.
GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $), % increase 1998-2009
Upper middle income 72.7%
East Asia & Pacific 67.8%
South Asia 66.5%
Middle income 64.5%
Low & middle income 61.4%
Sub-Saharan Africa 32.5%
Latin America & Caribbean 15.2%
Even with oil rising to ~ $60-$100 BBL in 2007-2009, and all that oil revenue to deal with, the Venezuelan economy’s performance compared to the rest of the world was abysmal-pathetic- near bottom of the barrel.
The pathetic performance of the Chavista economy would tell most that those improved inequality figures were smoke and mirrors, as they weren’t backed by a good economy. As such, Bernie Sanders was a fool.
A further point about inequality is that Chavista honchos like Diosdado Cabello or assorted Boliburgués were stealing left and right. Those increased incomes were not reported. Had they been reported, inequality would have been a lot higher.
Chávez died in 2013, when Venezuelan oil was selling for $100/BBL. Compared to the rest of the world, the Chavista economy continued to lag behind in economic growth.
GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international$), % increase 1998-2013
[i]East Asia & Pacific (excluding high income) 192.1%
Upper middle income 109.3%
South Asia 102.4%
Middle income 96.1%
Low & middle income 91.7%
Lower middle income 83.4%
Least developed countries: UN classification 67.5%
Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding high income) 42.4%
Middle East & North Africa 39.5%
Latin America & Caribbean 30.1%
Venezuela 15.2 %
World Bank Data
When incomes decline towards nothing, they have a tendency to approach equality.
Rising incomes inhabit a much larger probability space and therefore are inevitably going to display more variation.
I agree, but you left out what I will call the real and the fake reasons behind socialism.
The "leaders" (Stalin, Lenin, Castro, etc.) who push for socialism tell a group of people (the poor) who are less well off than some other group of people (the rich) that their problems are due to oppression/exploitation of the poor by the rich (this is the case in the USA even though 99.9% of the "poor" in the US are vastly better off than 99.9% of people in third world socialist hell holes). They paint a rosy picture of "equality" (something that has never existed and will never exist) where everyone lives in a rhetorical Lake Wobegon and EVERYONE is above average in wealth and there are no "millionaires and billionaires" (i.e. 1%-ers).
That's the perception they try to create.
The reality is different.....and they know it. Indeed, they (AOC, Warren, Harris, et al) want to become the new 1% - not thru because they are producing more goods and services that people demand to improve their well-being (which is what enables the rich in a capitalist society to become rich), but because they will control the socialist government which owns all of the means of production. In other words, there will still be a 1%, but that will be determined based on who controls the government (all power grows out of the barrel of a gun) who can dictate by force rather than who provides what people demand.
Sure, in the short-term, things will appear great for the poor who are now able to use the government to loot the rich, but in the long-term, the same abilities and willingness (or rather lack thereof) that resulted in the poor being poor will again become evident. There will be a rich class - the government leaders - and there will be a mass of people who are equal, i.e. equally poor.
My point: (1) The equality that socialism creates is one where everybody - except for the political leaders - is equally poor. (2) The political leaders who are pushing for socialism, want to be like Orwell's pigs - more equal than others.
While Maduro is a dictator and Bernie Sanders is not, it is interesting how they sometimes think alike. Both Maduro and Bernie disliked the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and likened the impeachment process to a "coup"-an impeachment process that followed Brazilian law. Apparently following the law is, to a lefty, a coup.
Venezuela's left-wing government condemns impeachment of Brazil's Rousseff as a 'farcical coup' and accuses 'imperial forces' of overthrowing her as South America rejects socialism (I heard Maduro say this on YouTube, but without translation.)
Venezuela’s left-wing government has called the impeachment of Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, a mockery of justice and popular will.
President Nicolas Maduro’s Socialist Party has always been ideologically close to Rousseff’s Workers Party, especially during the rule of their predecessors, Hugo Chavez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
‘Venezuela categorically rejects the parliamentary coup d’etat under way in Brazil, which, via judicial farces from the oligarchy and imperial forces, seeks to topple the president and overturn popular sovereignty,’ said a statement from the government in Caracas.
Sanders Condemns Efforts to Remove Brazil’s Democratically Elected President.
“I am deeply concerned by the current effort to remove Brazil’s democratically elected president, Dilma Rousseff. To many Brazilians and observers the controversial impeachment process more closely resembles a coup d’état.
Both Bernie Sanders and Maduro said much the same about Dilma's impeachment, though Bernie waffled the "coup" statement by saying “to many Brazilians and observers.” Birds of a feather flocking together?
Other than the fact that Maduro (and Chavez) was successful in achieving a socialist state whereas Bernie wasn't (yet), I see little difference between the two.
It's not the governments fault Venezuelans strayed from the path of true socialism. Bernie and Sandy would never let that happen.
Where have see seen food being burned when people were starving?
Oh yeah, some 85 years ago by the socialist New Dealers of the FDR administration.
George Orwell’s 1944 Letter Revealing Why He Wrote 1984