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Socialism for the Uninformed

LowDown

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In his column “Socialism for the uninformed,” Thomas Sowell observed: “socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.”

Sowell cited the slow-motion catastrophe in Venezuela as a case in point: “While throngs of young people are cheering loudly for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, socialism has turned oil-rich Venezuela into a place where there are shortages of everything from toilet paper to beer, where electricity keeps shutting down, and where there are long lines of people hoping to get food, people complaining that they cannot feed their families.”

All is proceeding as Sowell foretold. This week’s news brings the latest chapter in Venezuela’s descent. Andrew Pestano reports for UPI: “At the end of last week, Maduro signed a decree that would give Venezuela’s Ministry of Popular Power for Social Process of Work the ability to order any Venezuelan with the physical or technical capabilities to join a government effort to work in the agriculture sector for up to 120 days.” If you have a problem with that, they will help you get your mind right.

Pestano adds that “Venezuela’s farming association in June said only 25 percent of the country’s agricultural land is being used to farm.” Gee, why would that be?

And all of this is purely due to mal-governance. Socialists always go into it thinking they are going to avoid the mistakes of the past, but it turns out they learned nothing from the past.

Venezuela has democratic socialism. The government is still being elected democratically. But that, as it turns out, does not protect them from all the bad luck.
 

BitterPill

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And all of this is purely due to mal-governance. Socialists always go into it thinking they are going to avoid the mistakes of the past, but it turns out they learned nothing from the past.

Venezuela has democratic socialism. The government is still being elected democratically. But that, as it turns out, does not protect them from all the bad luck.

Venezuela’s new decree | Power Line
 

BitterPill

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All governments use socialism to function, so the question is how much socialism rather than whether to use socialism.
 

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And all of this is purely due to mal-governance. Socialists always go into it thinking they are going to avoid the mistakes of the past, but it turns out they learned nothing from the past.

Venezuela has democratic socialism. The government is still being elected democratically. But that, as it turns out, does not protect them from all the bad luck.

Actually it's not. The Venezuelan congress has had most of it's power stripped. Maduro almost totally rules by decree.
 

BitterPill

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Actually it's not. The Venezuelan congress has had most of it's power stripped. Maduro almost totally rules by decree.

Could this be the first time a democracy has descended into communism?

I'm not sure.
 

zgoldsmith23

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And all of this is purely due to mal-governance. Socialists always go into it thinking they are going to avoid the mistakes of the past, but it turns out they learned nothing from the past.

Venezuela has democratic socialism. The government is still being elected democratically. But that, as it turns out, does not protect them from all the bad luck.

A lot of Venezuela's problems stem from their government's offensively poor management of money. Chavez rode high oil prices to the top without any thought on the future and without re-investing. If the cash cow is providing for you, it would be wise to ensure the cow receives the best care (meaning there was poor investment back in to the country's oil future). Instead of pumping money back in to other exports (i.e. agriculture, technology, etc.), the government essentially wasted the money. Venezuela was essentially relying on one export to hoist the entire country and, when that failed, you see what happened. I don't know if this is a lesson in socialism per se or rather, investment.
 

Casca XV

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All governments use socialism to function, so the question is how much socialism rather than whether to use socialism.

Claiming every function of Government as Socialism is another propaganda attempt to mainstream that failed ideology.

When you claim government services and infrastructure (roads, bridges, police, firefighters and military) are socialism you are basically claiming every government that ever existed is socialist. That is pure stupidity.

Even government programs that are socialist in nature (welfare, food stamps, SSI) are not example or endorsements of Socialism because we have a Free Market Capitalist economy that pays for it all.

Google “Socialism” and you will see the definition is Government controlling all economic means of production and distribution. Despite progressive Liberal best efforts we are not there yet.
 

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A lot of Venezuela's problems stem from their government's offensively poor management of money. Chavez rode high oil prices to the top without any thought on the future and without re-investing. If the cash cow is providing for you, it would be wise to ensure the cow receives the best care (meaning there was poor investment back in to the country's oil future). Instead of pumping money back in to other exports (i.e. agriculture, technology, etc.), the government essentially wasted the money. Venezuela was essentially relying on one export to hoist the entire country and, when that failed, you see what happened. I don't know if this is a lesson in socialism per se or rather, investment.

In Venezuela the ministers all appear to be idiots who don't understand basic economics. They keep making dumb mistakes: price and wage controls, monetary exchange control, expanding the money supply, controlling distribution of basic goods, etc. Running things badly seems to be a socialist tradition. I think it stems from their unwillingness to acknowledge that capitalists really are knowledgeable people who make their money from hard work and lots of practical experience. They think any boob can run a company.
 

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Claiming every function of Government as Socialism is another propaganda attempt to mainstream that failed ideology.

I consider it more of a nod to reality.

When you claim government services and infrastructure (roads, bridges, police, firefighters and military) are socialism you are basically claiming every government that ever existed is socialist. That is pure stupidity.

Even government programs that are socialist in nature (welfare, food stamps, SSI) are not example or endorsements of Socialism because we have a Free Market Capitalist economy that pays for it all.

Google “Socialism” and you will see the definition is Government controlling all economic means of production and distribution. Despite progressive Liberal best efforts we are not there yet.

We have a hybrid system, and one part is socialist. Sorry about the bad news.
 

zgoldsmith23

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In Venezuela the ministers all appear to be idiots who don't understand basic economics. They keep making dumb mistakes: price and wage controls, monetary exchange control, expanding the money supply, controlling distribution of basic goods, etc.

Good post.

Running things badly seems to be a socialist tradition. I think it stems from their unwillingness to acknowledge that capitalists really are knowledgeable people who make their money from hard work and lots of practical experience. They think any boob can run a company.

Bad post. Couldn't resist getting a little dig in, could you?
 

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All governments use socialism to function, so the question is how much socialism rather than whether to use socialism.

The difference between a democratic socialist government and a democracy that merely taxes a lot and provides a lot of government services is whether or not all or most of the means of production are owned by the government. I'm unaware of any of the former that did not fail. People like to cite the Scandinavian countries as examples of successful socialism, but I think their corporations are still mostly privately owned. The government of Norway owns 30% of industry; in Sweden it's all private.
 

Casca XV

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I consider it more of a nod to reality.



We have a hybrid system, and one part is socialist. Sorry about the bad news.

No, we don't. You are confusing crony capitalism with socialism. Obviously you are one of those uninformed.

The Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all collected taxes to pay for military and Govt infrastructure. No one has ever claimed they were socialist.
 

Casca XV

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The most fundamental flaw of Progressive/Liberal/Socialism even so called Democratic Socialism is it has no ability to function without an all powerful government controlling everything, not even Bernie denies this.

Like Socialism, Fascism requires an all powerful Government controlling everything. Government is run by people and the fact is, eventually someone as insane as Stalin, Hitler or Mao will always come along.

With a free market economy and a limited power government like our Founding Fathers envisioned they have no power to create a Holocaust or Gulag situation.

The 20th century was the most murderous time period in human history. It was Big Government on both the right and Left that did all that mass murder.
 
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Casca XV

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The difference between a democratic socialist government and a democracy that merely taxes a lot and provides a lot of government services is whether or not all or most of the means of production are owned by the government. I'm unaware of any of the former that did not fail. People like to cite the Scandinavian countries as examples of successful socialism, but I think their corporations are still mostly privately owned. The government of Norway owns 30% of industry; in Sweden it's all private.

Actually Scandinavian countries get angry when American Leftist refer to them as Socialist. They have moving away from that since the 90s.
 

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A lot of Venezuela's problems stem from their government's offensively poor management of money. Chavez rode high oil prices to the top without any thought on the future and without re-investing. If the cash cow is providing for you, it would be wise to ensure the cow receives the best care (meaning there was poor investment back in to the country's oil future). Instead of pumping money back in to other exports (i.e. agriculture, technology, etc.), the government essentially wasted the money. Venezuela was essentially relying on one export to hoist the entire country and, when that failed, you see what happened. I don't know if this is a lesson in socialism per se or rather, investment.

I would just like to point out that the version of "socialism" we are seeing today is malinvestment. Obama even calls it investment. I would also like to point out that Obama is going down a worse path than Chavez because the only asset he's basing his "investment" on is that ability to tax.
 

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No, we don't. You are confusing crony capitalism with socialism. Obviously you are one of those uninformed.

The Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all collected taxes to pay for military and Govt infrastructure. No one has ever claimed they were socialist.

Frankly, I think you are the misinformed one. Every single military is a socialist endeavor.
 

BitterPill

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Actually Scandinavian countries get angry when American Leftist refer to them as Socialist. They have moving away from that since the 90s.

I don't believe you.
 

FreedomFromAll

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All governments use socialism to function, so the question is how much socialism rather than whether to use socialism.

Dont confuse infrastructure as socialism. Rome built road and water systems and were definitely not socialist.
 

zgoldsmith23

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I would just like to point out that the version of "socialism" we are seeing today is malinvestment. Obama even calls it investment. I would also like to point out that Obama is going down a worse path than Chavez because the only asset he's basing his "investment" on is that ability to tax.

Well, he's also invested money in renewable energy, technology (wireless internet, innovation), and, my favorite, the BRAIN initiative and those could pay off very well.
 
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BitterPill

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Dont confuse infrastructure as socialism. Rome built road and water systems and were definitely not socialist.

Did Rome use taxes to hire workers to build the aqueducts and roads?

If it did, Rome practiced a form of socialism.
 

Henrin

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Frankly, I think you are the misinformed one. Every single military is a socialist endeavor.

Fun. So according to you socialists came up with the idea of the military. Have fun defending that claim.
 

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Fun. So according to you socialists came up with the idea of the military. Have fun defending that claim.

It seems you claim socialism never existed until the word was created. Tell me, what was a tree before the name for tree was created?
 

Henrin

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It seems you claim socialism never existed until the word was created. Tell me, what was a tree before the name for tree was created?

An ideology being responsible for something kind of depends on it existing. Just sayin'.
 

BitterPill

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An ideology being responsible for something kind of depends on it existing. Just sayin'.

Same with the name for tree.
 
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