The failure of... capitalism?

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The failure of... capitalism?

Postby carsonfire on Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:21 pm

http://tinyurl.com/yd6jbrp
Chavez Devalues Bolivar 50%, First Time Since 2005

By Daniel Cancel

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) — Venezuela devalued its currency by half yesterday, the first such action since March 2005, as President Hugo Chavez seeks to pull the economy from recession amid falling oil revenue.

Chavez said the bolivar will be devalued to 4.3 per dollar from 2.15 per dollar for most imports. A second, subsidized peg of 2.60 bolivars per dollar will be used for importing food, medicine and machinery intended to boost the economy’s competitiveness.

The Central Bank, which agreed yesterday to transfer $7 billion in reserves to the government, will “intervene” to prop up the bolivar in the unregulated parallel market, Chavez said, without providing details.

“This is to boost the productive economy, to reduce imports that aren’t strictly necessary and to stimulate exports,” Chavez, 55, said in comments on state television. “We need to stop being a country that only exports oil.”

Chavez is trying to maintain spending for his 21st century socialist revolution as South America’s largest oil exporter fails to emerge from its first recession in six years. The government is seeking to stem its falling popularity and the highest inflation rate among 78 economies tracked by Bloomberg ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for September…


The usual defense for the predictable, consistently poor performance of socialist-based societies from the left is that capitalist nations have interfered somehow, even if it's just a matter of their simply existing, which has a corrupting effect on the world market.

Like with health care -- where socialist health care schemes fail on a state-by-state basis -- they convince themselves that the failings of socialism as an economic model (as opposed to being merely a social expense) do not exist, but that socialism can be finally perfected by making it universal, requiring a more complete eradication of capitalism and other freedoms.

This remains something like somebody devising a plan to become solvent by financing their life with credit cards -- but they must first eliminate the interference caused by their job.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby carsonfire on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:51 pm

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6091OS20100110
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez ordered soldiers to seek out businesses that raise prices after a sharp devaluation of the bolivar currency last week, saying he will expropriate firms that engage in price gouging.


http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60B40B20100112
Venezuela economy slow despite devaluation boost


Duh.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby carsonfire on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:52 pm

More trouble in Venezuela. Chavez must be dizzy from inhaling all that sulfur.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6 ... 22&sp=true
Venezuela plans blackouts in Caracas, oil town

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela will switch off lights for hours at a time in Caracas and other cities such as oil town Maracaibo in planned blackouts to tackle power shortages that threaten President Hugo Chavez's support.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby VictorK on Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:57 am

It's clear to anyone who knew anything about Venezuela that Chavez' initial reforms were much needed in Venezuela. But, as with all things, you can go too far.

Using Chavez' Venezuela to point out the failure of socialism strikes me as about as useful as using pre-Chavez Venezuela to point out the failure of capitalism. There's a hint of truth in both arguments, but all that really tells us without further analysis is that capitalism and socialism are flawed human systems. As you so eloquently put it:

Duh.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby Casual Notice on Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:36 am

Actually, Chavez didn't pck up a failing capitalist system. What he did was take advantage of the painful period of adjustment that occurs when a socialist system becomes a capitalist system in order tolaunch his autocracy. The eason so many Americans (especially here in Texas) got their tights in a wad about Chavez nationalizing the Venezuelan oil reserves, was because foreign corporations had NOT been raping Venezuela's national resources for decades. Venezuela nationalized their reserves and joined OPEC fairly soon after their reserves were exploited in any reasonable fashion. They were bleeding money and privatized the reserves just two years before Chavez's initial (perfectly legal) election. Then Chavez renationalized them.

It was the international equivalent of selling your house, deciding you didn't want to live elsewhere, after all, then evicting the new owners of your house. I agree with you that Chavez's failures are all on Chavez, but he would not have been in a position to acquire any power at all had the original socialist government not imploded under the weight of its own hubris.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby VictorK on Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:54 am

I think it's a bit of revisionism to say that the previous government was 'socialist'. I don't mean to say that that government resembled the US system, but it was certainly working towards if not arriving at a capitalist system. I think that focusing on oil is something of a red herring; most of the people who elected Chavez could give a damn about who owns the oil industry, Chavez was more about alleviating their extreme poverty by attacking elites who dominated industry. We could perhaps say that the regime that prevailed was corporatism; and I'm open to say that corporatism or any similar union of political power and economic controls is not capitalism, but often in the west the two are becoming synonymous.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby carsonfire on Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:36 am

The question is "does the economic system allow disaster or cause disaster?"

Capitalism allows disaster because disaster is at times unavoidable. No economic system can be foolproof. No economic system can guard against shortages or war or famine. But as economic systems go, the ability to trade fairly and honestly creates the capacity for success, if it is possible at all.

By contrast, socialism, as a governing economic system, does not simply allow disaster but unavoidably leads to it. There are few paths to success through socialism, because socialism goes against the grain of reality. And it must be all-consuming; proponents of socialism believe competing systems dilute socialism. Socialists historically blame their failures on the existence of capitalism elsewhere. As long as freedom remains an option somewhere, the power to reshape society through the elimination of freedom is hindered.

"Corporatism", depending on what liberal Democrats mean by that, would seem to be an extension of human failings which occurs under any system, like murder or corruption. The difference is that freedom allows for a greater latitude to indulge in crime; is a blanket revocation of freedom the answer? To the socialist, the answer is yes: economic freedom must be eliminated because they believe (wrongly) that the removal of freedom eliminates crime and abuse.

If by "corporatism", they mean a tendency for large corporations to behave in a monopolistic fashion, then they are correct that this is a problem. How often have we heard VK and other Democrats rail at corporations for taking advantage of their poorly thought-out legislation? They cap fees on credit cards and are then gobsmacked when interest rates soar up to 80%. That's a good example of corporatism.

Legislation based on hope and magic is unreliable. Recent reports have it that Obama and the Democrats are planning on creating new taxes to impose on banks. To paraphrase Obama, Obama is acting stupidly, because those taxes will of course be paid by the bank's customer: you. Thank a liberal!

Jealousy, anger, and resentment are poor motivations for an economy, but that's what we have with the current Democrat administration. I think this is why liberal Democrats are confused right now: they see an administration that is just as jealous, angry, and resentful as they are, and yet somehow this doesn't lead to the magic they expected. It instead leads to the economic depression that conservatives know it causes.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby Casual Notice on Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:00 am

Corporatism is a form of National Socialism that focuses on the benefit of the nation's industrial health by creating laws and structures that support large industrial interests and certain unions. It is not capitalist in any regard (although it does have certain similarities to laissez-faire capitalism), as the entities involved are actively supported and their well-being enforced by the nation state. The Chrysler/GM buyout can be seen as a form of corporatism, as can the TARP loans.

The only difference between corporatists like Chavez and a Nazi is that Chavez didn't have to kill any indigents or minorities, having a ready-made hobgoblin in the US's unfortunate record of stupid activity within our own sphere.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby carsonfire on Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:07 pm

Quoting Slim Pickens, "ditto!" :D

Here's a fun "life imitates the movies" from today's Best of the Web:

Life Imitates the Movies
• Esposito: "From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now--16 years old!" Fielding Mellish: "What's the Spanish word for straitjacket?"--dialogue from "Bananas," 1971

• "Whale sperm, pickles and the pain reliever codeine will be considered essential goods in Venezuela and receive a preferential exchange rate under President Hugo Chavez's new currency structure. Bleach, cheese and whisky have been deemed non-essential."--Bloomberg, Jan. 14, 2010
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby Casual Notice on Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:47 pm

Bleach is non-essential? But without a bleach ration, how will people get out their cheese and whiskey sta--oh, I see...
The savior of billions (Norman Borlaug) dying barely rated a mention in the news this year. Farrah Fawcett wore a bikini well back in the 70s and she got international coverage. Good job, society.
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Re: The failure of... capitalism?

Postby carsonfire on Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:58 pm

I'm more concerned about the whale sperm. Apparently Chavez is working to create a race of super-huge Venezuelans through artificial insemination.

Just in the news, the plan backfires when the entire population beaches itself. A platoon of environmentalists armed with disturbing Photoshops of George W Bush were unable to motivate them out of their lethargy.

Seriously, though -- what's the deal with the whale sperm? I plead ignorance.
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