Venezuelan health care collapses, infants die by the thousands, amputations to cure infections, doctors protest government
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151 FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 6:48pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Strategist says

In any event, the key to a successful system is incentives.

There is a widespread myth that the socialist economies faltered because people there were not working hard because of lack of incentives. That is not true. Incentives do not have to be monetary and people there did work as hard as in many western capitalist countries.

The reasons why centrally planned economies do not do well are:

(1) Accurate information for the state of the economy does not reach the the central planning body; there a lot of levels of management (party apparatchiks) along the way who exaggerate/modify/hide information.

(2) The economy is just too complicated and it is impossible (yet) to plan all aspects of it well.

152 FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 6:55pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote        

On the other hand economies with no central planning, regulation and involvement also cannot function well. In the best case it leads to boom-bust cycles and poverty. In the worst case, well, the end of the world; capitalism is short sighted after all.

So the question is not which one is better, but what is the right amount of government role in the economy.

153 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 7:03pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

FP says

Strategist says

In any event, the key to a successful system is incentives.

There is a widespread myth that the socialist economies faltered because people there were not working hard because of lack of incentives. That is not true. Incentives do not have to be monetary and people there did work as hard as in many western capitalist countries.

The reasons why centrally planned economies do not do well are:

(1) Accurate information for the state of the economy does not reach the the central planning body; there a lot of levels of management (party apparatchiks) along the way who exaggerate/modify/hide information.

(2) The economy is just too complicated and it is impossible (yet) to plan all aspects of it well.

Bullshit. Capitalist countries have those issues too.
Here is an e.g. When I was in college i read an article about the USSR. They had these teams of police who would go to movie theaters, and make those who called in sick to go back to work. Do you think these people really do much even when they are at work? Hello? they get their paycheck anyway.
Another e.g. I was in Socialist Poland in 1980 visiting my first girlfriend i had met in London. I was at a government office trying to extend my visa for a few days. There was a short line, but the gal at the window was as slow as a snail. Suddenly she went away. No one bothered to take her place, even though they were sitting around doing nothing. Finally she came back, and after a long wait I got the visa extended. It took 10 seconds to stamp my passport.

154 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 7:07pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

FP says

On the other hand economies with no central planning, regulation and involvement also cannot function well. In the best case it leads to boom-bust cycles and poverty. In the worst case, well, the end of the world; capitalism is short sited after all.

No no no. It leads to a Bust Bust cycle.

FP says

So the question is not which one is better, but what is the right amount of government role in the economy.

That I agree. Where do you draw the line? The West is closest to that invisible line.

155 FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 7:09pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Strategist says

Bullshit. Capitalist countries have those issues too.

No, they don't. There is no central planning of the economies there.

As for people not working in capitalist countries, I can give many examples too.

156 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 7:26pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

FP says

Strategist says

Bullshit. Capitalist countries have those issues too.

No, they don't. There is no central planning of the economies there.

Here's what i mean. Capitalist countries need to collect data too. But their system is more efficient than socialist/communist countries.

157 FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 7:37pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Strategist says

Capitalist countries need to collect data too. But their system is more efficient than socialist/communist countries.

Uffff, I give up

158 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 7:41pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

FP says

Strategist says

Capitalist countries need to collect data too. But their system is more efficient than socialist/communist countries.

Uffff, I give up

OK, i'll give you a second chance. Which system do you think is better? Socialist, Capitalist, or a hybrid in which case where do you draw the line?

159 FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 7:53pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote        

Strategist says

Which system do you think is better? Socialist, Capitalist, or a hybrid in which case where do you draw the line?

I already answered this above. The exact role of government involvement depends on the circumstances. What is best for a developing country may not be optimal for a developed one.

160 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 8:13pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

FP says

Strategist says

Which system do you think is better? Socialist, Capitalist, or a hybrid in which case where do you draw the line?

I already answered this above. The exact role of government involvement depends on the circumstances. What is best for a developing country may not be optimal for a developed one.

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh. Let me put it in another way. Which system is better for:
Developed Countries.
Developing Countries.

161 sagacious1   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 8:30pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

FP says

sagacious1, again, let's distinguish socialism from totalitarianism.

I have been to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary in the 80's and it wasn't that bad there. Actually it was nice. Poland of course had problems in the 80's. I've heard things were not so good in Romania too. The gulags were much earlier.

You are correct, Stalin's rule ultimately evolved into totalitarianism, though that was not the case early on. His initial 5 year plan began the transformation of Russia into a Socialistic society. It was a time of dissolution of property, wealth distribution, industry confiscation, collectivization and agrarian reform all by defined Socialistic construct. It was a particularly brutal time. Anyone offering the least resistance was summarily executed. Individuals were targeted, groups were targeted and entire classes of people were carefully identified and designated for extermination all under the banner of "social reform" and in the interest of the Socialist state. Herein lies the issue with Socialism...the individual becomes disposable, the greater cause is the interest of the community state. It was during the 2nd 5 year plan, where his regime took on a totalitarian approach, targeting potential political competitors and many even within his own ranks and party. If I were to wager, I'd say this will be the next course for Venezuela's Maduro....it's the socialists way.

Yes, my travels were in the 70's in Poland, Hungary, Romania and East Germany. Primarily rural areas. It was difficult travel, many challenges to enter and exit the countries and move about with any ease. I was a young man (teens) and I found the living shockingly meager. The relatives I met all expressed sorrow and pity for me, living in such a horrible country as the U.S. I told them little, as each community had the neighborhood Kommissar ( party official who monitored speech). A tourist would not notice, yet there still was a great deal of fear of retribution among the people. Don't underestimate the power of that phenomenon...my parents, who are still living and spent the majority of their lives safe in this country, to this day would never talk of the horror's they've experienced in public. Frankly, were it not the anonymity of this forum, nor would I in such a bold manner.

Those generations after in these countries, knew little if anything of the horrors before...the education system conveniently omitted such things. Propaganda abounded. The 80's and 90's I spent most of my travel in the Middle East, so I can't account for the situation with any precision since the 70's. I can say this, there was joyous relief of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it's noteworthy that the staunchest opposition to the Socialistic reforms across Europe via the E.U come from the Formerly Eastern Bloc Nations.

In any case, having read over my previous posts it's clear I may not have the most objective view. My natural demeanor is measured and reserved, so I'm taken aback by the visceral reaction. I needed to step away for a bit actually. However, it is confounding and frustrating to know so many, many people died in such horrific ways all in the name of Socialism and virtually no one knows of it. I guess Stalin was correct when he quipped, "1 death is a tragedy, a million merely a statistic."

162 Dan8267   ignore (3)   2017 Jun 1, 9:29pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)     quote        

Strategist says

My, what a short memory you have.

What a bad grasp of English you have. Learn the language or get out of the country.

The statement

There is no such thing as a socialist country. All countries use the tactic of socialism, but it's a tactic, not a system.

does not remotely mean the same thing as the statement

[T]here is no such thing as socialism.

Do I really have to explain basic English to you, or do you get why you are completely wrong?

163 Dan8267   ignore (3)   2017 Jun 1, 9:33pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)     quote        

FP says

Socialism is where workers contribute to society according to their abilities and receive benefits according to their contributions.

That's the textbook definition of communism, not socialism. Socialism is the tactic of paying for things as a group. For example, one socializes the cost of roads through taxes, and thus everyone is much better off than if no one paid for roads. Socializing the costs of some things is absolutely necessary because the costs would be greater than the benefits for an individual paying the price, but the benefits greatly outweigh the costs if everyone in a group pays. When Bernie Sanders talks about socializing, that is what he means. When people talk about socializing medicine, this is what they mean.

164 Dan8267   ignore (3)   2017 Jun 1, 9:36pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)     quote        

FP says

The reasons why centrally planned economies do not do well are:

One does not have to choose between capitalism and centrally planned economies. The removal of the mechanism separating society into owners and workers can be eliminated while using a distributed economic system. If anything, capitalism results in centrally planning as wealth and control is concentrated into the hands of a few individuals. Just look at De Beers as an example. They use central planning to control the price of diamonds.

165 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 9:41pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Dan8267 says

FP says

Socialism is where workers contribute to society according to their abilities and receive benefits according to their contributions.

That's the textbook definition of communism, not socialism. Socialism is the tactic of paying for things as a group.

You said socialism does not exist. Hello?

166 curious2   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 9:45pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

socialism has two main definitions:

1) "the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy."
Usage: Obamneycare is lemon socialism, privatizing gains while socializing losses, not actual socialism. The NHS hospitals owned by the British government are actual socialism, and they work better.

2) "(in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism."
Usage: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics began with Marxist theory, achieved a transitional social state after the overthrow of capitalism, then became an evil empire promising communism but not really getting there.

167 Dan8267   ignore (3)   2017 Jun 1, 9:45pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)     quote        

Strategist says

You said socialism does not exist. Hello?

Reference the quote then. You can't do that, can you?

Sometimes your tenuous grasp on reality is astonishing. You see things that simply aren't there while missing things that are.

Why would I say socialism does not exist when my position has always clearly been socialism, when used property and for the right things, is a useful and often necessary tactic?

168 FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 2, 1:04am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote        

Things could have gone differently with the USSR with a different leadership after Lenin.

In 1922 Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP) - partially reversing the nationalization that had begun earlier and allowing for private ownership of factories and land. This gave results and the economy improved rapidly. Lenin's vision was that NEP would satay in place for a long time (decades). However Stalin put an end to it in 1928.

(Some of you may have heard of Lenin's "will" where he recommends that Stalin be removed from the leadership of the communist party.)

169 sagacious1   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 2, 5:40am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

FP says

Things could have gone differently with the USSR with a different leadership after Lenin.

In 1922 Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP) - partially reversing the nationalization that had begun earlier and allowing for private ownership of factories and land. This gave results and the economy improved rapidly. Lenin's vision was that NEP would satay in place for a long time (decades). However Stalin put an end to it in 1928.

(Some of you may have heard of Lenin's "will" where he recommends that Stalin be removed from the leadership of the communist party.)

Quite right, yet isn't this always the complaint? That Socialism could work, if not for Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, etc....I maintain that man cannot be trusted with this evil dangerous ideology. Yes people have forgotten the millions upon millions of innocent people who have died in horrific ways as result of this evil system. Who speaks for them? Who relates their experience with this social experiment? How does one justify their deaths, and qualify their tragedy of their lives?

170 Goran_K   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 2, 8:40am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

joeyjojojunior says

Just curious--

Is it possible for someone to realize that large wealth disparity kills an economy without being jealous?

Wealth disparity actually isn't a bad thing. it's only "bad" when it's coupled with "income immobility". This is something you see in far left, socialist states.

Wealth disparity with income mobility is not bad. Bill Gates has many more billions than I do. Yet I, a simple multi-millionaire am still able to enjoy life at pretty much 99% of the level Bill Gates does. He has a bigger house, more expensive toys, but not at such a level that it has a negative effect upon my lifestyle. Also, I can continuously provide services or products that increase my wealth as long as the government does not get in my way, or allow other parties to get in my way. That's the beauty of a pie that gets bigger instead of an economy/system that believes the pie is limited and zero-sum.

171 adarmiento   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 3, 8:47am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Standard of living or quality of life is measured in part by productivity which is Output / Input (i.e., output divided by input).

In a socialist country which is riddled with corruption and crime, input is a lot larger than output. Hence, standard of living is very low.

Most socialists discount the factors going into output like motivation to want to improve, and know how (i.e. knowledge base) and competency to provide the best and most output (i.e., quality). Venezuela is learning this the hard way as gasoline is well below $3 a gallon, and there is less outside money (i.e., China, USA, Europe, etc.) being transferred into Venezuela to support its socialist government.

172 joeyjojojunior   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 3, 9:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Goran_K says

That's the beauty of a pie that gets bigger instead of an economy/system that believes the pie is limited and zero-sum.

Most of your post is pure trolling so I will ignore it, but this statement is believed by many on here--notably Strategist--so it's worth addressing.

The "pie" grows at basically the rate of productivity improvements. In the US that's running under 2% a year right now. That's how fast the pie is growing.

So, when the top 1% has income growing at 10%, that absolutely means that the bottom 99% is losing ground.

173 FP   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 3, 10:30am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

sagacious1 says

Quite right, yet isn't this always the complaint? That Socialism could work, if not for Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, etc....

Not really. At least not in my case. If you read what I wrote earlier, I think that an entirely centralized economy cannot function well for logistic reasons. However, the success of NEP illustrates that some balance between centralized planning and private ownership of capital can function well. China is another example.

It seems to me that where you and I disagree (please correct me if I am wrong) is that you equate socialist economic policies with the communist ideology from the first half of last century. I think the primary source of evil is the totalitarian ideology, or just ideological indoctrination, which does not necessarily require socialism.

Throughout history there are many examples where ideologic indoctrination has been used to keep the population in fear and subordination. In the middle ages that was religion - inconvenient people were labelled heretics or witches. In the soviet union decedents were enemy of the people and the decisions of the communist party were not to be questioned. In our current society, we have PC (of course I am not equating it to the terror in the soviet union from the 30's). We also have the fear of communism used to scare people from supporting social programs that are to their benefit.

174 adarmiento   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 3, 9:19pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production.

You can view socialism within the USA such as with public schools. The government (i.e. school board, etc.) controls the means of producing public education (K-12).

The question, how far do you want your society to allow the government to control production. Do you want that to extend to health care ? Do you want that to extend to other industries the produces goods and services ?

Can socialism exist in a very heterogeneous society as it does in a very homogeneous society like the Scandinavian countries ? Keep in mind the USA spends about 3.5% of its GDP on defense, whereas the northern European countries barely spend 1% of GDP on defense. If the USA would reduce defense from 3.5% to 1% of GDP, then the $500 billion savings from defense cuts (i.e., 2.5% of GDP) could go to social welfare services. Providing a $6,000 a year voucher per person per year for health care insurance would provide coverage for 83,333,333 million American citizens.

Right now health care accounts for about 12% of the $20 trillion economy, or about $2.4 trillion.

175 FortWayne   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 3, 9:24pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

That subsidy would just increase healthcare costs by 6,000 a year.

adarmiento says

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production.

You can view socialism within the USA such as with public schools. The government (i.e. school board, etc.) controls the means of producing public education (K-12).

The question, how far do you want your society to allow the government to control production. Do you want that to extend to health care ? Do you want that to extend to other industries the produces goods and services ?

Can socialism exist in a very heterogeneous society as it does in a very homogeneous society like the Scandinavian countries ? Keep in mind the USA spends about 3.5% of its GDP on defense, whereas the northern European countries barely spend 1% of GDP on defense. If the USA would reduce defense from 3.5% to 1% of GDP, then the $500 billion savings from defense cuts (i.e., 2.5% of GDP) could go to social welfare services. Providing a $6,000 ...

176 zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 26, 11:37am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

http://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2017/07/24/venezuela-rewards-soldiers-with-toilet-paper-bernie-sanders-takes-notes/

Venezuela rewards soldiers with toilet paper

Things have been a little tense in Venezuela lately, and repression soldiers have had to deploy tear gas on citizens chanting for food. As a morale boost, it seems, some of those repression solders were rewarded with toilet paper and other personal items, and the award presentations were captured on film for posterity.

177 jazz_music   ignore (2)   2017 Jul 26, 12:02pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

This proves it, that rule by billionaires is the only sane social order.

Shareholders hu akbar!

178 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jul 26, 12:03pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

2430 says

Venezuela rewards soldiers with toilet paper

That's awesome. It's what every asshole desires.

179 iwog   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 26, 12:25pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

A list of socialist nations and their utter fury at how horrible their socialist health care is performing.

Keep talking about Venezuela however because nothing.

180 iwog   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 26, 12:28pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

A different study based solely on satisfaction:

181 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jul 26, 1:14pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

1641 says

A list of socialist nations and their utter fury at how horrible their socialist health care is performing.

I'm all for using their health care system up to a certain point. Our system is fully fucked.
I would also use their education system.
By they way , they are capitalist countries.

182 iwog   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 26, 1:21pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

81606 says

By they way , they are capitalist countries.

That's true but not in the eyes of a Republican.

183 Roidy   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 26, 1:31pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Gentle Reader,

Venezuela's problems have nothing to do with socialism, communism, democracy, capitalism, or sadism in tight latex. Well, maybe that last one. What this has to do is an economy and nation dependent on oil. I live in Louisiana, I know about oil and the problems associated with depending on the tax revenue and jobs of an oil extraction economy. We've suffered from oil.

Regards,
Roidy
P.S. Fuck you President Pouty Poo.

184 jazz_music   ignore (2)   2017 Jul 26, 1:45pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

81606 says

Our system is fully fucked.

It was designed to be a great investment and it is, so you just have a bad point of view LOL

185 Strategist   ignore (0)   2017 Jul 26, 3:28pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

15204 says

I live in Louisiana, I know about oil and the problems associated with depending on the tax revenue and jobs of an oil extraction economy. We've suffered from oil.

You guys ran out of toilet paper too?

186 Roidy   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 26, 3:41pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

81606 says

15204 says

I live in Louisiana, I know about oil and the problems associated with depending on the tax revenue and jobs of an oil extraction economy. We've suffered from oil.

You guys ran out of toilet paper too?

Gentle Reader,

I'm not really sure what you mean by running out of toilet paper, but I can say with assurance that we WILL take matters in hand if we do.

Regards,
Roidy

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