socialism

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Tagged:

Survivor Socialism?

Socialism still has its fans despite the fact it’s failed everywhere and every time it’s been practised.

Its adherents still cling to the myth that it serves the people and its wealthy proponents from the leafy suburbs – Kelsey, De Boni, Trotter, Mau, Campbell et al – should be sent to South America to enjoy its many benefits…Survivor Socialism perhaps ?

Venezuela’s embattled president has announced that he is to increase the price of petrol by 6,000 per cent, as the crippled country struggles to remain afloat economically and politically.

Nicolas Maduro used a rambling five hour televised address to explain the first petrol price increase in 17 years, which came into effect on Friday. Mr Maduro had little choice, with the economy spiralling towards collapse – but knows that he is taking a risk. When the Venezuelan government increased petrol prices in 1989, the Caracazo riots broke out, killing up to 3,000 people.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and still has the cheapest petrol in the world. Prices at the pump for 95 octane gasoline will rise from 0.097 bolívars to six bolívars (66p).

Hong Kong has the world’s most expensive petrol, at £5.55 for a gallon. Until yesterday Venezuela charged 0.5 pence per gallon. Kuwait, the second cheapest place in the world for petrol, charges 68p a gallon, according to the monitoring site Global Petrol Prices.   Read more »

Is socialism making a comeback?

It is if you listen to the political retards like commenters at The Standard and other people like Chris Trotter, who must have woken to the news of the Roy Morgan poll with some shock.

It is their belief that Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders are the path to salvation…that is, if their salvation looks and tastes like Venezuela’s.

But could socialism be making a comeback?

Perhaps people can be forgiven for having come to the belief that capitalism is synonymous with Wall Street shenanigans or bank bailouts. That’s what politicians, academics, and the media have pounded into us for years. When was the last time you saw a movie where businessmen weren’t greedy and evil, if not outright murderers. Perhaps we need to be reminded of what free-market capitalism really is, and how much better it has made our lives.

After all, if one looks at the long course of human history, our existence was pretty much hand to mouth for most of it. All that began to change in the 1700s with the development of modern — that is, capitalist — economics.

But one doesn’t have to go back 300 years to see the advantages of free-market capitalism. Consider that in the last 25 years, a period during which much of the world has embraced free markets, a billion people have been lifted out of poverty, and the global poverty rate has been slashed from more than 37 percent to less than 10 percent.

It’s not just the decline in poverty that tracks with the adoption of free markets and capitalism. Literacy rates increase and infant mortality declines as countries adopt market-based economies. Life expectancy rises, and people’s health improves. Even the environment gets cleaner.

And opportunities open up for women and minorities. Indeed, nothing challenges entrenched elites like the “creative destruction” of free-market capitalism.

Read more »

Face of the day

 

Today’s face of the day wants the liberal vote but is refusing to play the same card played by Obama and Clinton. The liberals loved Obama because he played the colour-of-his-skin card. A vote for Obama was a vote to elect the first-ever Black president. It made liberal voters’ knickers sticky. It made white women feel good about how non-racist they were. Hillary Clinton knows how the game is played. A vote for her is a vote for the first-ever female president. She plays the sex card because, again, liberals get sticky knickers at the thought of being non-sexist enough to make a woman president. Bernie Sanders has a card that will make him a first too but he refuses to play it. Why do you think that is?

Read more »

How’s that socialist dream working out for Venezuela?

The Washington Post reports that the country with the world’s largest known oil reserves is on the brink of economic collapse thanks to wacky socialists.

The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.

The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever.

Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

That’s not an easy thing to do when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it.

Read more »

How’s that socialist experiment working out for Venezuela?

venezuela-empty-shelves-getty-640x480

How’s that socialist experiment working out for Venezuela?

Not so well according to the latest news.

Venezuela on Friday released its first economic data in more than a year Friday, showing an economy in shambles and inflation at a historic high.

The Central Bank for the first time acknowledged what analysts have long said: That annualized inflation has surged into triple digits.

The bank said the economy contracted by 7.1 percent in the 12 months ending in September 2015, and inflation reached 141.5 percent.

Ahead of the surprise data release, President Nicolas Maduro said he would declare an economic emergency giving him 60 days to unilaterally enact sweeping reforms. The decree will be debated in the newly-seated opposition congress next week.    Read more »