socialism

Learning this one historical fact about politics explains so much about the Left

Until recently I was ignorant about the origins of America’s two main political parties. I knew that the Democrats were similar to our Labour party and the Republicans were similar to our National party. They have other parties but, because they do not have MMP, the tail never gets the opportunity to wag the dog like it does here in New Zealand.

So, many of the Democrat’s policies confused me because, to my conservative and libertarian eyes, they were patronising and racist. It turns out that there is a very good historical reason for the way they treat their Black American supporters.

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The Green party is a “despised party of big business”. Really?

While useful idiots like Martyn Bradbury are waxing lyrical about the Red/Green wedding it seems that the hard left aren’t happy at all...mostly with the Greens.

Underscoring the collapse in support for the Labour Party, well-informed political blogger Richard Harman recently wrote that its membership might have sunk below 5,000, that is, lower than the Greens’. Tens of thousands of workers left Labour in disgust following the Labour government’s wave of pro-market restructuring, mass sackings and privatisations in the 1980s, which led to soaring social inequality.

The MoU, which aims to prop up this despised party of big business, demonstrates once again the reactionary politics of the Green Party. Like its sister parties in Germany and Australia, the NZ Greens are not a “left” alternative but a party of nationalism, militarism and big business. James Shaw, elected Green Party co-leader last year based on his experience as a business consultant for HSBC bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers, has described himself as “a huge fan of the market” and promoted Margaret Thatcher as a model environmentalist.   Read more »

Stick a fork in it, Venezuela is done

Socialists always seem to forget that you need capitalism in order to pay for the socialism.

Venezuela forgot that and now they are finished.

Venezuela no longer can feed or care for its people. Yet many Americans have forgotten what socialism really is. Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns as if Karl Marx was just another Santa Claus.

Real socialism largely disappeared decades ago. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites effectively ended the age of collectivism.

Nevertheless, oil-rich Venezuela since became a flamboyant exponent of socialism. Its travails should remind us how America’s power is built upon a prosperous economy. Prodigal spending at home and promiscuous intervention abroad are undermining our nation’s economic foundation.

Like most Latin American nations, Venezuela never enjoyed a genuine market economy. After years of misrule, Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez attempted a coup in 1992. He failed, but six years later frustrated Venezuelans elected him president, leading to his “Bolivarian Revolution.” Before his death in 2013 he nationalized industries, provided bountiful social benefits, spent wildly on domestic and foreign ventures, turned the state oil company into a fount of political patronage, and imposed price controls.   Read more »

The Swiss are pretty smart

I didn’t think the Swiss were quite this sensible. then again they do guard lots of wealthy people’s money and have a big standing army to prevent anyone invading.

Still, it is a pretty overwhelming majority against the stupidity of a UBI.

Swiss voters rejected by a wide margin on Sunday a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for everyone living in the wealthy country after an uneasy debate about the future of work at a time of increasing automation.

Supporters had said introducing a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,563) per adult and 625 francs per child under 18 no matter how much they work would promote human dignity and public service.

Opponents, including the government, said it would cost too much and weaken the economy.

Provisional final results showed 76.9 percent of voters opposed the bold social experiment launched by Basel cafe owner Daniel Haeni and allies in a vote under the Swiss system of direct democracy.

Haeni acknowledged defeat but claimed a moral victory.

“As a businessman I am a realist and had reckoned with 15 percent support, now it looks like more than 20 percent or maybe even 25 percent. I find that fabulous and sensational,” he told SRF.

“When I see the media interest, from abroad as well, then I say we are setting a trend.”

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Capitalist Chile vs Socialist Venezuela

Venezuela is a basket case and mostly because of their rampant socialism.

You don’t have to look far for suitable comparisons between successful capitalist countries vs collapsing socialism.

The story of Chile’s success starts in the mid-1970s, when Chile’s military government abandoned socialism and started to implement economic reforms. In 2013, Chile was the world’s 10th freest economy. Venezuela, in the meantime, declined from being the world’s 10th freest economy in 1975 to being the world’s least free economy in 2013 (Human Progress does not have data for the notoriously unfree North Korea).

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Is socialism a giant ponzi scheme?

Could it be that socialism is a fraud, a giant ponzi scheme that benefits those at the top?

Glen Reynolds seems to think so:

It is a common misconception that socialism is about helping poor people. Actually, what socialism does is create poor people, and keep them poor. And that’s not by accident.

It is by design and deliberate. Keep people poor so they are grateful for the state “helping them” while those at the top help themselves.

Under capitalism, rich people become powerful. But under socialism, powerful people become rich. When you look at a socialist country like Venezuela, you find that the rulers are fabulously wealthy even as the ordinary citizenry deals with empty supermarket shelves and electricity rationing.

The daughter of Venezuela’s socialist ruler, Hugo Chavez, is the richest individual in Venezuela, worth billions of dollars, according to the Miami-based Diario Las América. In Cuba, Fidel Castro reportedly has lived — pretty much literally — like a king, even as his subjects dwelt in poverty. In the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as Hedrick Smith reported in his The Russians, the Communist Party big shots had lavish country houses and apartments in town stocked with hand-polished fresh fruit, even as the common people stood in line for hours at state-run stores in the hopes of getting staples.

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How is socialism working out for Venezuela?

Socialism is touted as the answer to many of the world’s problems, ironically by socialists who live in capitalist countries.

But what is happening in real socialist countries…like Venezuela?

Despair and violence is taking over Venezuela. The economic crisis sweeping the nation means people have to withstand widespread shortages of staple products, medicine, and food.

So when the Maduro administration began rationing electricity this week, leaving entire cities in the dark for up to 4 hours every day, discontent gave way to social unrest.

On April 26, people took to the streets in three Venezuelan states, looting stores to find food.

Maracaibo, in the western state of Zulia, is the epicenter of thefts: on Tuesday alone, Venezuelans raided pharmacies, shopping malls, supermarkets, and even trucks with food in seven different areas of the city.

Although at least nine people were arrested, and 2,000 security officers were deployed in the state, Zulia’s Secretary of Government Giovanny Villalobos asked citizens not to leave their homes. “There are violent people out there that can harm you,” he warned.    Read more »

At least it is voters, not politicians like here

The good thing about elections is that it reveals the real motives of the politicians and also their supporters.

One key area is economic literacy, and it seems that few people actually understand the basics.

Education: Everybody talks about how the presidential primaries have uncovered intense voter anger at the political establishment. It’s actually revealed something more troubling: The widespread ignorance of basic economic truths that spans across the political spectrum.

Has there ever been a bigger disconnect between economic reality and public perception?

Polls taken during the primary season have found Democrats embracing socialism, Republicans rejecting trade, and majorities in both parties saying Wall Street is hurting the economy. That’s despite the general consensus among mainstream economists that none of these things is true.

Take Democrats’ views on socialism. An American Action Network poll finds that 40% of Democrats say socialism is the best form of government, while another 10% say both. In other words, half of Democratic voters are perfectly comfortable with the idea of the government owning and/or controlling the private sector. More than half of Democrats (57%) say that socialism has a positive impact on society.

A separate New York Times/CBS poll found the same thing: half of Democrats have a positive few of socialism; just 34% have a negative view.

Overall, the NYT poll found that a third of the public has a positive view of socialism, while just over half has a negative view.

All this despite the unbroken string of failures with socialist states, the latest of which are all happening right in the nation’s backyard, where socialist policies have produced massive deprivation and chronic shortages. Just this week, Venezuela ordered a two-day workweek to save on electricity.

Denmark, which socialist Bernie Sanders says is a model socialist state, rejects the label, insisting that it’s a market economy.

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How’s that socialism working out for Venezuela?

Socialism has never worked anywhere in the world, neither has communism, you’d think they’d learn.

Venezuela is the latest country to learnt he lesson, and they have massive oil reserves, but spend like drunken sailors.

When Senator Bernie Sanders describes himself as a socialist and his critics point queasily to such socialist experiments as those in Cuba and North Korea, the response is always predictably the same: No, no: democratic socialism. But of course Boss Hugo advanced through the democratic process (when he wasn’t attempting coups d’état) and Maduro’s rule was confirmed in a special election. Perhaps he even legitimately won that election; regardless, he is stacking the deck this time around by ensuring that those who might challenge him are sitting on the sidelines or languishing in prison.

There is more to democratic legitimacy than open ballots truly counted. As the Founders of our own republic keenly appreciated, genuine democratic engagement requires an informed populace and open debate, thus the First Amendment’s protections, which extend not only to newspapers and political parties but also to ordinary citizens, despite the best efforts of Harry Reid and congressional Democrats to trample those rights. (They call this “campaign-finance reform,” on the theory that political communications more sophisticated than standing on a soapbox outside the Mall of America requires some sort of financial outlay.) But Venezuela has been for years cracking down on newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, even as the Maduro regime’s inspirations in Havana have been locking up outlaw . . . librarians.    Read more »

Why do socialists ignore the grim reality of socialism?

The party is in melt-down after the latest poll results but, instead of realising that there is something wrong, the activists have set about claiming that Labour need to go all Corbyn and Sanders.

The problem with these socialists is that they have little understanding of the grim reality of socialism.

Democrats following Sanders, on the other hand, are proposing a fundamental break with our market-based economic system. They are proposing a completely different course by promoting socialism.

It is an interesting choice. Socialism is one of those ideas that has great theoretical attractiveness but a record of massive practical failure. The devastation — not just economic but also in terms of human suffering — that has been wrought in the name of the greater good of a socialist system is staggering.

When so many young people express so much enthusiasm for the idea of socialism and want to try it again, you have to wonder if they have ever been taught the history of the twentieth century.

One suspects that the same faculty members who dance in the streets with them for Sanders may be culprits in failing to mention the horrors brought on by socialism in every nation that aggressively embraced it during the last century.

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