Venezuela and the dangers of socialism

CARACAS, Venezuela.


A powerful earthquake shook Venezuela’s northeastern coast on Tuesday, forcing residents in the capital to evacuate buildings and interrupting a pro-Maduro rally in support of controversial economic reforms 

The terrifying moments after the quake were captured live on state television as Diosdado Cabello, the head of the all-powerful constitutional assembly, was delivering a speech at a march in support of the socialist government’s recent package of reforms to rescue an economy beset by hyperinflation and widespread shortages.

Experts have long warned that Venezuela’s failed government is ill-prepared to deal with a major natural disaster. Hospitals have almost no supplies, many ambulances are grounded and food and water are among goods that have disappeared into obscurity a country suffering from inflation estimated by the International Monetary Fund to reach 1 million per cent this year.

For years, Venezuela has been one giant economic marble to be shaped as saw fit, its 32 million citizens their value reduced to that of mice. The Maduro regime has been condemned worldwide (besides Jeremy Corbyn, who refuses to denounce him). Maduro’s latest attempt at sculpting the economy is telling, and may well lead to greater catastrophe, even massive famine.

Socialist principles are at stake: if the economy will not behave which it wont, the follow edicts usually follow. If money is low, then borrow — or print — more of it. If prices are rising, enforce price freezes. Venezuela is imposing a huge version of ideas and strategies that every "principled", Champaign socialist has been proposing in miniature. The world can now see the results.

So far the Venezuelan government devalued their currency the bolivar by a staggering 96%. Which means residents will need to take massive stacks of bills to the store just to buy bread also, increased the minimum wage by 6,000 per cent - Considering pretty much no business could afford to pay their workers at such an inflated price the Maduro government have had to pay the wage increases for millions of businesses for three months and at this point the Maduro government are desperate to stop the economic hemorrhaging money so He and his government have the bright idea of tying their already unstable currency to that of a completely manufactured and equally unstable, let alone untrustworthy cryptocurrency    -          which acted more like a worthless "token" fiat than an actual infrastructural Crypto that had utility in some way, on top of all of this the people of Venezuela have had to endure petrol rationing; and an impose of 0.7 per cent tax on big financial transactions.

 

Over the past week, Maduro’s government has tried to address the economic meltdown but nothing his team did seemed to help. “With economists saying the new economic measures could make a bad situation even worse, people rushed to supermarkets and gasoline stations to stock up on necessities, while some business owners considered closing for good,” Rachelle Krygier and Anthony Faiola reported.

“President Nicolas Maduro can now claim that socialism has succeeded in making everyone millionaires,” financial columnist Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes.

As with any big news story you always have the 'not so sharp' Tools in the political shed come out with what is usually not possible but these days it is more so - These journalists actually try to defend not only Maduro at times but the authoritarianism of his particular brand of 'socialism' is known for as it has infected almost every South American nation since the 1900's.

Take Francisco Toro for example, Man of Venezuelan descent, reporter and editor - despite the devastation his country has suffered, he (while living in the Netherlands) feels the need to spend his time  defending Maduros brand of socialism (by saying it wasn't real socialism) while defending the moronic idea that socialism (as a moralistic ideology disguised as an economic theory which can be boiled down to a very basic concept - equality of outcome), can be achieved and in-fact has been achieved.

Bolivia is a favourite pet of the socialist/Marxist-Mao/Communists from around the world as as the perfect example of a 'Socialist nation done right.' "Since 2006, Bolivia has been run by socialists every bit as militant as Venezuela’s" -  FranciscoToro, WashingtonPost.

Lets put Bolivia to the socialist smell test.  . .

Per capita GDP in Bolivia has more than tripled from just $1,000 a year to over $3,200 over a decade while seeing a quadrupling of the minimum wage.
So why has Bolivia prospered while Venezuela imploded? The difference was competence, not more or less socialism.

social spending on health, education, and poverty programs increased by over 45 per cent. The rate of illiteracy dropped from 13% to 3%. Cocoa production was dramatically reduced.
International borrowing costs have dropped so low that President Morales recently announced ‘Total Independence’ from the World Bank and IMF
— Caucus99percent

 

Well, much of the reason it has been able to succeed is that President Morales has allowed varying degrees of capitalism to exist in the Bolivian economy. And because of these market elements, Bolivia finds itself faring far better than Maduro’s Venezuela.

so there may not be any great mystery to Bolivia’s success, if we take into account the fact that it is riding high on the wave of a commodity boom, particularly in natural gas and oil that has since 2006 been nationalized, which Natural Gas alone constitutes about 45 per cent of Bolivia’s exports. the reliance of Bolivia on this commodity is as such that when the price falls, as has begun to happen this year, a rehash of the same plot line of a Latin American government’s gravy train coming to a screeching halt would not be surprising.

So why has Bolivia prospered while Venezuela imploded? The difference was competence, not more or less socialism.
— Caucus99percent

When the ardent defenders of socialism tell you to look elsewhere, you're probably in the right direction - The difference between Venezuela and Bolivia is that of luck and lack of serious corruption, yet. Not because of incompetence alone.

The thing about Socialism and communism, etc. Is that when they nationalize a commodity or company - What happens if the workers don't agree? 

When the employees of a nationalized industry want to associate with multinational ' Capitalist' companies but the government prohibits such action we end up repeating the same history that has echoed through the 20th century, the State using violence and murder to enforce their doctrine.

Having seen their income hit by the global commodities slowdown, miners had been demanding increased rights to work with private companies, relaxed environmental restrictions and more subsidies. At least two were killed in clashes with police in the run-up to the murder of a government official.

President Evo Morales has accused the right-wing opposition of encouraging the protests to foment discord, and his socialist government hit back Thursday with tighter restrictions for co-operatives.
— www.reuters.com/article/us-bolivia-mining-idUSKCN1175JQ

 

While we're on the subject of labour unions and laws -

"Earlier this year the Bolivian government drew criticism from human rights groups for reducing the legal working age to 10. But what most news outlets neglected to mention is that the government was responding to a campaign from the children’s trade union, Unatsbo, which sees the change in legislation as a first step to protecting Bolivia’s 850,000 working children from the exploitation that comes with clandestine employment. Although Bolivia has made massive strides in reducing poverty, more than a million of its citizens still live on 75p a day – a legacy of the excruciating poverty of Bolivia before Morales took office.
Nevertheless, Morales must make reducing the number of child workers a priority during his third term. Not doing so will be a serious failure of his progressive project." - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/14/evo-morales-reelected-socialism-doesnt-damage-economies-bolivia

since 2014 Morales has, in fact, lowered the age to 10 years old - effectively bolstering his labour force by a whole million workers with one piece of legislation, this disgusting law strips the children (the majority of which live in densely populated cities) of their right to childhood and a proper education.

There are some protections included in the law: children between 10 and 12 must be supervised by a parent while they work, under-12s are not permitted to undertake third-party employment, and children must still attend school. - With a total of 78 inspectors for over million children, these "protections" mean less than nothing, it means the child exploitation in Bolivia will just get worse and more heinous as time goes by.

"This week, the country’s highest court overruled the constitution, scrapping term limits altogether for every office. Morales can now run for a fourth term in 2019 – and for every election thereafter.
But the focus on Morales also hints at what critics call mounting authoritarianism by the president and his Movement Toward Socialism (Mas)." - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/03/evo-morales-bolivia-president-election-limits

The conservative senator Óscar Ortiz in reference to a plebiscite in which Bolivians narrowly rejected presidential re-election - “This is a coup against the constitution and a mockery of the referendum results".

The US state department expressed “deep concern” over the ruling, and some Bolivian opposition leaders, warning of an imminent “Venezuelan-Cuban-style” dictatorship.

By definition, socialism is state control of the means of production. In Venezuela, between 2002 and 2012, 1,168 private companies were expropriated or taken over by the state. In Bolivia, between 2005 and 2015, only 20 private companies had been commandeered by the government. 

To say Bolivia is a beacon or even a good example of socialism working, not only are they wrong about it being "socialist" in the same generally accepted definition as Venezuela but its starkly obvious that it is very much on its way to being a better example of a socialist nation in the context that so far every Socialist nation has crippled itself, unfortunately it seems like Bolivia isn't that far away from a similar fate.