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Tags Venezuela incidents , Venezuela issues , Venezuela politics

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Old 7th February 2020, 01:40 PM   #1321
lomiller
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post

Venezuela is used by right wingers as some great proof that all aspirations for social policy is ultimately doomed. I just wanted to point out that idea is absurd.
I donít disagree, but the problem I have with their logic is that social policy isnít Socialism. Running the oil industry directly, or via a Government owned corporation would be a Socialist policy, but one Socialist policy doesnít necessarily mean the country is Socialist overall.

Per my post above, oil exports can be potentially troublesome to a market economy. It may be that socializing an industry like this can actually work better than just letting private industry run it. If something works debating whether ďItís SocialistĒ or not is silly. All of these economic structures are just a means to an end, so we should be picking and choosing what works. Finding what works for countries that are net exporters is the hard part, and it doesnít look like there is any one good answer.
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Old 7th February 2020, 01:41 PM   #1322
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Greece?
I can give you Greece.

Quote:
Somalia?
No, sorry, can't give you Somalia. First off, Somalia spent a long time as a socialist dictatorship under Mohamed Siad Barre. It transitioned from a socialist state to a failed state. Now that it's a failed state, some people like to consider it "capitalist" since there's a lack of central government control over the economy. But it really isn't. Capitalism needs markets which protect property rights and contracts. Somalia lacks these. Its continuing failure can be considered an indictment of anarchy, but not capitalism.
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Old 7th February 2020, 01:44 PM   #1323
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Indeed. Every failed socialist state if proof that the whole concept is invalid. Meanwhile, every failed capitalist state is not proof of anything.
The whole Marxist concept is invalid.
Not all Socialism is of the Marxist variety.
I have doubts about if any kind of pure socialist system would work in the US...though I support some Socilaist ideas..(I am support UHC, though open as to how you do it..not convinced a hard Single Payer system in the only way).
I think we are just too plain ornery invidualists to accept a pure Euro style Socialist system,though we might accept some individual programs.
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Old 7th February 2020, 01:48 PM   #1324
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That strawman must be running really fast, the way you moved those goalposts to try to keep up.
If you say so bud.

What goalposts do you think i've moved? Please share.

My point remains. Venezuela failed under conditions in which many other non-socialist countries have also failed spectacularly.

The history of post colonial south and central America is one of tremendous suffering which includes many political models. The failure of Venezuela is not exceptional among its peers with a similar history.
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Old 7th February 2020, 01:57 PM   #1325
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Thing is, they were a relatively rich country in the middle of the 20th century, not a poor one. Not to derail the experiment, just wanted to mention that it seems more like a redistribution challenge vs. an economic growth challenge.
It was in the late 70ís that oil prices really climbed, so issues with BoP and comparative advantage would have been much stronger after that point and indeed 1980 is around the time the Venezuela economy starts to languish.
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Old 7th February 2020, 02:04 PM   #1326
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I can give you Greece.



No, sorry, can't give you Somalia. First off, Somalia spent a long time as a socialist dictatorship under Mohamed Siad Barre. It transitioned from a socialist state to a failed state. Now that it's a failed state, some people like to consider it "capitalist" since there's a lack of central government control over the economy. But it really isn't. Capitalism needs markets which protect property rights and contracts. Somalia lacks these. Its continuing failure can be considered an indictment of anarchy, but not capitalism.
The relevant question isnít whether they did the things required to make Capitalism work, itís whether the means of production are/were privately owned or socially owned.
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Old 7th February 2020, 02:15 PM   #1327
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
The relevant question isnít whether they did the things required to make Capitalism work, itís whether the means of production are/were privately owned or socially owned.
No. That's a bad definition of capitalism. Capitalism isn't simply a lack of socialism. That's a false dichotomy.
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Old 7th February 2020, 02:35 PM   #1328
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I think most people in the Scandinavian countries will balk at the description of them as "socialist". Most businesses in these countries are privately owned, just think of IKEA, Lego, Volvo, to mention a few large ones that are operating in the international markets. Even parts of our NHS systems are private, such as GP doctors and apothecaries.

I've been trying to think of a better term and come up with "pragmatist countries". I hope you all like it!

We have NHS because it simply works better than the alternatives. Or, like when they came up with some good prison reforms in Sweden, we copied that. Sure, the criminals aren't punished as hard as some would like, but the end results are better. More criminals become ordinary taxpayers after they are released, crime rates drop so less police is needed, and so on.

The Scandinavian countries are good at looking at each others results, and if one of the other countries appear to have had a good idea we send a delegation to study it. I think many other countries do this, too. But not the USA, it seems.
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Old 8th February 2020, 07:13 PM   #1329
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Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
The Scandinavian countries are good at looking at each others results, and if one of the other countries appear to have had a good idea we send a delegation to study it. I think many other countries do this, too. But not the USA, it seems.
We are arrogant. We don't see something working successfully somewhere else as a good reason to copy it.
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Old 8th February 2020, 07:26 PM   #1330
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
So how about a thought experiment for Venezeula. You're a small, fairly poor country that has discovered that it has large oil resources. What is the best way for the country to exploit these resources in a way that benefits the entire Venezuelan population?
My opinion:

The failures of Venezuela are too much corruption siphoning off wealth, failure to maintain infrastructure, and failure to invest in other aspects of the economy to buffer the effects of falling oil prices.

I think socialism is fundamentally flawed in that it concentrates power and decision making to a small number of people, which makes it very susceptible to authoritarianism and corruption.

I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with deciding that a natural resource such as oil is a "national asset" and should be used for the betterment of all the population, but to accomplish that I think your best bet is to allow the oil industry to be run by private businesses with a healthy government tax. Multiple businesses are incentivised by competition to maintain efficiency, they're incentivised to maintain infrastructure because they want to be earning money tomorrow too, and they're also incentivised to minimize corruption.
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Old 9th February 2020, 05:07 AM   #1331
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
My opinion:

The failures of Venezuela are too much corruption siphoning off wealth, failure to maintain infrastructure, and failure to invest in other aspects of the economy to buffer the effects of falling oil prices.

I think socialism is fundamentally flawed in that it concentrates power and decision making to a small number of people, which makes it very susceptible to authoritarianism and corruption.

I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with deciding that a natural resource such as oil is a "national asset" and should be used for the betterment of all the population, but to accomplish that I think your best bet is to allow the oil industry to be run by private businesses with a healthy government tax. Multiple businesses are incentivised by competition to maintain efficiency, they're incentivised to maintain infrastructure because they want to be earning money tomorrow too, and they're also incentivised to minimize corruption.
The failures you point can easily to attributed to the nature of having tremendous oil wealth.

The nature of having a resource of tremendous value is that it attracts authoritarians. Whoever controls the oil wields power that is unparalleled by the rest of nation. Be it monarchy, as in the ME, or centrally planned socialism, as in Venezuela, on some powerful consortium of big business that will turn a country into a banana Republic.

I would not be optimistic that privatizing this oil wealth will lead to long-term stability. These companies are never going to be happy with whatever their cut is. Before long, they will be plowing their massive wealth into influencing, if not outright controlling, the local government through corrupt means.
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Old 9th February 2020, 12:03 PM   #1332
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
The failures you point can easily to attributed to the nature of having tremendous oil wealth.

The nature of having a resource of tremendous value is that it attracts authoritarians. Whoever controls the oil wields power that is unparalleled by the rest of nation. Be it monarchy, as in the ME, or centrally planned socialism, as in Venezuela, on some powerful consortium of big business that will turn a country into a banana Republic.

I would not be optimistic that privatizing this oil wealth will lead to long-term stability. These companies are never going to be happy with whatever their cut is. Before long, they will be plowing their massive wealth into influencing, if not outright controlling, the local government through corrupt means.
In your opinion, can nothing be done at all?
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Old 9th February 2020, 01:49 PM   #1333
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
In your opinion, can nothing be done at all?
I don't know. Seems like a uniquely difficult problem. Norway seems to be doing better than most, but it's impossible to say if that would be successful under other circumstances. Norway has not been an oil producing nation for as long as some of these others, so perhaps they benefit from being a late-comer and learning from the mistakes of other countries.

It should be pointed out that Norway is a blend of both state and private control. I would guess that the ideal solution is neither pure state control or throwing the doors open to international capital, but rather some carefully mixed model.

Venezuela suffered tremendously from it's large oil economy prior to nationalization as well. As has been pointed out by others, there was very little incentive to engage in any other activity but oil production, as nothing else could match the high profits. The failure of socialism in running the oil market should be contextualized with the long history of failing to manage this problem.
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Old 9th February 2020, 08:39 PM   #1334
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Is it possible there is a bias in play that makes you reluctant to fault Socialism?
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Old 10th February 2020, 05:16 AM   #1335
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Is it possible there is a bias in play that makes you reluctant to fault Socialism?
I do fault socialism. Centrally planned economies are bound to fail.

My point about Venezuela is that it is used by the right as a cudgel against any proposed move to the left in politics. It's blatant bad faith argumentation.
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Old 10th February 2020, 09:41 AM   #1336
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. That's a bad definition of capitalism.
The the very first sentence in any reasonable definition of Capitalism will be about private ownership of the means of production. If you are going to reject such a basic notion of what constituted Capitalism how can there be any reasonable discussion?
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. That's a bad definition of capitalism. Capitalism isn't simply a lack of socialism.
Just as Socialism is not the absence of Capitalism. The key distention between the two is private vs social ownership of the means of production. You canít add a condition like rule of law as a requirement for Capitalism without accepting that itís also a requirement for Socialism.
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Old 10th February 2020, 09:56 AM   #1337
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
My opinion:

The failures of Venezuela are too much corruption siphoning off wealth, failure to maintain infrastructure, and failure to invest in other aspects of the economy to buffer the effects of falling oil prices.

I think socialism is fundamentally flawed in that it concentrates power and decision making to a small number of people, which makes it very susceptible to authoritarianism and corruption.

I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with deciding that a natural resource such as oil is a "national asset" and should be used for the betterment of all the population, but to accomplish that I think your best bet is to allow the oil industry to be run by private businesses with a healthy government tax. Multiple businesses are incentivised by competition to maintain efficiency, they're incentivised to maintain infrastructure because they want to be earning money tomorrow too, and they're also incentivised to minimize corruption.
Capitalism doesnít inherently protect against this. Eg, Capitalism has no built in protection against monopolies or oligopolies.

For Capitalism to actually work as intended requires governments that can act to deal with uncompetitive markets. Ironically, itís become fashionable for ďcapitalistsĒ to call such measures Socialist, when in fact they are a practical requirement for Capitalism.
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Old 10th February 2020, 10:46 AM   #1338
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
The the very first sentence in any reasonable definition of Capitalism will be about private ownership of the means of production. If you are going to reject such a basic notion of what constituted Capitalism how can there be any reasonable discussion?
1) Do you understand the difference between necessary and sufficient?
2) Somalia does not have effective private property rights. Whatever a warlord can take by force he can keep.

Quote:
Just as Socialism is not the absence of Capitalism.
I agree. But unless you think I've unfairly characterized something as socialist which isn't, how is that relevant? And if you think I have, what and why?

Quote:
The key distention between the two is private vs social ownership of the means of production. You canít add a condition like rule of law as a requirement for Capitalism without accepting that itís also a requirement for Socialism.
True enough. But I'm not claiming Somalia is socialist now. I'm saying it was socialist before it collapsed. If you disagree, then say why.
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Old 10th February 2020, 12:33 PM   #1339
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I do fault socialism. Centrally planned economies are bound to fail.

My point about Venezuela is that it is used by the right as a cudgel against any proposed move to the left in politics. It's blatant bad faith argumentation.
I agree with both those statements.

Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Capitalism doesnít inherently protect against this. Eg, Capitalism has no built in protection against monopolies or oligopolies.

For Capitalism to actually work as intended requires governments that can act to deal with uncompetitive markets. Ironically, itís become fashionable for ďcapitalistsĒ to call such measures Socialist, when in fact they are a practical requirement for Capitalism.
I agree completely.

Capitalism doesn't have any inherent protections against anything, and the potential abuses under pure capitalism run the gamut of the potential for human evil.

Capitalism requires limitations by a government, or some entity capable of applying limitations, and it's nonsense to call those limitations "socialist". It's sad that our current political climate is giving greater voice and influence to the ignorant.
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Old 10th February 2020, 12:57 PM   #1340
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
2) Somalia does not have effective private property rights. Whatever a warlord can take by force he can keep.
Again, this isn't a property rights issue, it's a rule of law issue.

Some proponents of Laissez-faire Capitalism suggest property rights can enforced by private security. Somalia shows us that this doesn't happen and that for a market economy to function you need to add government functions on top of private ownership. Not surprisingly Rule of Law tops this list of functions but it is not the final word, though. Many other government functions are required as well, many of which seem to get incorrectly labelled as “Socialism”.

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post

I agree. But unless you think I've unfairly characterized something as socialist which isn't, how is that relevant? And if you think I have, what and why?
You said:
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No, sorry, can't give you Somalia. First off, Somalia spent a long time as a socialist dictatorship under Mohamed Siad Barre. It transitioned from a socialist state to a failed state.
It already had rule of law issues so that even if it was Socialist it could be disavowed for the same reasons you are claiming it isn’t Capitalist now.


More importantly how do you have social ownership of anything under a dictatorship? No dictatorship is ever truly be socialist because dictatorship is incompatible with the principle of Social Ownership. The phrase you are looking for to describe such countries isn’t “Socialist”, it’s “Command Economy”.
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Old 10th February 2020, 02:08 PM   #1341
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Again, this isn't a property rights issue, it's a rule of law issue.
It's both. But it doesn't even matter.

Quote:
Some proponents of Laissez-faire Capitalism suggest property rights can enforced by private security.
That's better described as anarchocapitalism.

Quote:
It already had rule of law issues so that even if it was Socialist it could be disavowed for the same reasons you are claiming it isnít Capitalist now.
It had a central government with pretty good control over the country.

Quote:
More importantly how do you have social ownership of anything under a dictatorship?
L'etat, c'est moi.
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Old 10th February 2020, 06:43 PM   #1342
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Seems there was a brief expression of public works projects as a republic. Then they went to war with Ethiopia. The drain of resources for war led to resentment/repression cycles. They flipped their entire geopolitical alignment (U.S. and U.S.S.R. swapped Somalia/Ethiopia).

Hardly a case where you can isolate a few early years of public funds going to broad public benefit into the core problem. Personally I put that near the back of the list, but not everyone sees it the same.
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