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Thread: Socialism Fails Again

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    Default Socialism Fails Again

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworst...rse-yes-worse/

    "As for the people of Venezuela, well, obviously, this isn’t going to work out well. Their rulers have pretty much bankrupted the country through their incompetence: and now they’re taking more economic power unto themselves?

    Not going to work, is it? Even competent governments haven’t been able to make nationalised food distribution systems work…."

    When are people going to learn?

  2. #2
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    The article is more about the corruption and lunacy of the Maduro and Chavez regimes than about government food disribution.

    And while the article does go on about how only the markets can fairly distribute food by allowing supply and demand to drive price, it does not address the large swathes of the Venezuelan population driven to poverty by those regimes who have no money to buy food no matter what the price.

    And I would say this is exactly where capitalism fails, if my world view were so short-sightedly simple and black and white as yours.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 05-06-2015 at 07:29 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    "Scientists raise alarm: bananas can cause EU"

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Bit of a dog bites man headline, not a man bites dog one. We know socialism doesn't work.

    Tim if we had honest government and capitalism in those countries then they would have money to buy the food. Capitalism works, I've not heard of a single capitalist democracy that has the same problems as Venezuela - have you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    People will always slip through the net, for a whole multitude of reasons, no matter how rich the country is, nor how honest and transparent the actions of government are.

    The markets can never cater for those people. A sensible welfare state and artificial intervention in the markets for outlier situations needs to exist.

    Which is why the one-shoe-size-fits-all blinkers of Lewk's world is so ... inadequate. The world is complex, and lives are messy.

    Capitalism works as a general rule, yes, but it needs to be tempered with social policy for those very outliers.

    ~

    Anyway; this is sounding too much like reasonable debate, and this is a Lewk thread... so

    venezuela hurf durf socialism lol librulz
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    "Scientists raise alarm: bananas can cause EU"

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    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Tim if we had honest government and capitalism in those countries then they would have money to buy the food. Capitalism works, I've not heard of a single capitalist democracy that has the same problems as Venezuela - have you?
    You'd think they example of Russia would be proof enough that simply introducing capitalism and democracy to a country with a dysfunctional political system is not sufficient. You'd think the example of the middle east would convince anyone that switching to democracy is not some kind of magic 'win' move that will lead you down the path to stability and democracy. You'd think the example of China would convince anyone that socialism and (conventional) capitalism are not required for stability and prosperity. You'd think all these things would convince anyone that the question of what makes a nation succeed or fail is more complicated than whether or not the the economic and political systems they employ are "capitalist and democratic" (awesome) or "socialist and totalitarian" (not awesome).

    You'd think that, but no. Doctrinaires gonna doctrinaire.
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Russia maintained corruption, not capitalism. You can't seriously think Putin arresting any businessman that looks sideways at him is an example of capitalism can you? Russia has cronyism and totalitarianism, that is slightly less totalitarian than before. It does not have either of capitalism or democracy.

    India and China are two examples that have moved away somewhat from socialism/communism to a more capitalist economy and their public is far better off as a result. That has seen the amount of the global population in abject poverty collapse.

    I agree with Tim. Capitalism (with a safety net) works. Nobody proposes "pure" capitalism, but it hasn't occurred anywhere. Its like Churchill's quote on democracy "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried". Same can be said for capitalism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    You'd think they example of Russia would be proof enough that simply introducing capitalism and democracy to a country with a dysfunctional political system is not sufficient. You'd think the example of the middle east would convince anyone that switching to democracy is not some kind of magic 'win' move that will lead you down the path to stability and democracy. You'd think the example of China would convince anyone that socialism and (conventional) capitalism are not required for stability and prosperity. You'd think all these things would convince anyone that the question of what makes a nation succeed or fail is more complicated than whether or not the the economic and political systems they employ are "capitalist and democratic" (awesome) or "socialist and totalitarian" (not awesome).

    You'd think that, but no. Doctrinaires gonna doctrinaire.
    All of Eastern Europe had dysfunctional political systems. Most of them managed a pretty good transition from communism (after some initial pain).
    Hope is the denial of reality

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    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Russia maintained corruption, not capitalism. You can't seriously think Putin arresting any businessman that looks sideways at him is an example of capitalism can you? Russia has cronyism and totalitarianism, that is slightly less totalitarian than before. It does not have either of capitalism or democracy.

    India and China are two examples that have moved away somewhat from socialism/communism to a more capitalist economy and their public is far better off as a result. That has seen the amount of the global population in abject poverty collapse.

    I agree with Tim. Capitalism (with a safety net) works. Nobody proposes "pure" capitalism, but it hasn't occurred anywhere. Its like Churchill's quote on democracy "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried". Same can be said for capitalism.
    I'm wondering, isn't corruption basically also an effect of pure capitalism? I mean, you're essentially buying someone's services at a price. Pure capitalism also doesn't preclude things like cartels and monopolies does it? It's just companies trying to maximise profits, and is only stopped (or hampered) by regulations. Not to mention pollution, exploitation etc.

    Capitalism certainly works, within bounds and with a safety net.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    I'm wondering, isn't corruption basically also an effect of pure capitalism? I mean, you're essentially buying someone's services at a price. Pure capitalism also doesn't preclude things like cartels and monopolies does it? It's just companies trying to maximise profits, and is only stopped (or hampered) by regulations. Not to mention pollution, exploitation etc.

    Capitalism certainly works, within bounds and with a safety net.
    Corruption is a consequence of poverty and crappy government institutions. You accept bribes because it's the best way to make money, and you give bribes because it's the best way to get things done. The larger the government, the more potential there is for corruption, since the government is involved in more economic activities.
    Hope is the denial of reality

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    I'm wondering, isn't corruption basically also an effect of pure capitalism? I mean, you're essentially buying someone's services at a price. Pure capitalism also doesn't preclude things like cartels and monopolies does it? It's just companies trying to maximise profits, and is only stopped (or hampered) by regulations. Not to mention pollution, exploitation etc.

    Capitalism certainly works, within bounds and with a safety net.
    Actually the effects of cartels and monopolies are greatly overstated in pure capitalism, since if a monopoly is charging too much a new company will be created to undercut them etc. Regulations actually frequently have an effect of protecting established corporations rather than encouraging new ones. Deregulation in the 1980s especially tended to see new companies be created that flourished in stale old industries and reinvigorated them causing a fall in prices and greater (not less) competition.

    Besides in a pure capitalist situation (which has never existed) there's no point in corruption. Corruption is where there are illegal distortions which counter what should have happened and isn't the same as a purchase. Paying a government employee illegally is a form of corruption that enriches the individual but not the country - so the country pays the price for the corruption. If there's minimal government you have minimal opportunities for corruption, which is why its rife in totalitarian states not liberal (capitalist) ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Actually the effects of cartels and monopolies are greatly overstated in pure capitalism, since if a monopoly is charging too much a new company will be created to undercut them etc. Regulations actually frequently have an effect of protecting established corporations rather than encouraging new ones. Deregulation in the 1980s especially tended to see new companies be created that flourished in stale old industries and reinvigorated them causing a fall in prices and greater (not less) competition.
    ie, Uber and Tesla. disruptive innovation is a bitch of a business to be in, in the US at least, thanks to how easy it is for established businesses to buy/influence our politicians.
    You can also throw in the fact that internet neutrality required a fight to achieve.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  12. #12
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Indeed. If the politicians aren't involved then innovation can be more adept and agile.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

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    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    You'd think they example of Russia would be proof enough that simply introducing capitalism and democracy to a country with a dysfunctional political system is not sufficient. You'd think the example of the middle east would convince anyone that switching to democracy is not some kind of magic 'win' move that will lead you down the path to stability and democracy. You'd think the example of China would convince anyone that socialism and (conventional) capitalism are not required for stability and prosperity. You'd think all these things would convince anyone that the question of what makes a nation succeed or fail is more complicated than whether or not the the economic and political systems they employ are "capitalist and democratic" (awesome) or "socialist and totalitarian" (not awesome).

    You'd think that, but no. Doctrinaires gonna doctrinaire.
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find many that believe Russia is a poster child for capitalism or democracy.

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    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Indeed. If the politicians aren't involved then innovation can be more adept and agile.
    And if hot air was money, we'd be drowning in it.

    Any more meaningless platitudes you are meaning to spout forth while you're at it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Indeed. If the politicians aren't involved then innovation can be more adept and agile.
    This is not what I said
    Laws and government have a place to both protect and encourage. This issue is dealing the corruption, removing what can be corrupted and ignoring whats causing the corruption isnt solving the problem.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    This is not what I said
    Laws and government have a place to both protect and encourage. This issue is dealing the corruption, removing what can be corrupted and ignoring whats causing the corruption isnt solving the problem.
    Please, you haven't yet realized that anything besides "Ra! Ra! Go Capitalism!" is simply not done?
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    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Please, you haven't yet realized that anything besides "Ra! Ra! Go Capitalism!" is simply not done?
    While I know you think this is a withering response - it really isn't.

  18. #18
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Khen let us know once you've decided to stop trolling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    So basically if you're a huge and powerful company or cartel that controls a particular sector you should want a powerful government in place to help you stay in power. sorta
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    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    While I know you think this is a withering response - it really isn't.
    Please, I know perfectly that it isn't. However, while my posting is empty and devoid of substance, Rand's posting are just the same - it's just that it's more obvious for mine. Seriously, what is this blind and mindless "We need less regulations, hurr durr!" crap supposed to achieve?

    There's a reason why those regulations came into play and it's not always the "government always seeks to grow"-tenet that some people here subscribe to. The world is pretty complex and as such, easy "solutions" like those are usually the wrong ones. It's intellectually as valid as "foreigners take our jobs" or "jobless people are just lazy".

    As long as you guys insist on posting such oversimplified garbage you can pretty much bet on me not taking such positions very seriously. Not to mention that "innovation can be more agile" deserves a place on the "business speak bullshit bingo".
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    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    So basically if you're a huge and powerful company or cartel that controls a particular sector you should want a powerful government in place to help you stay in power. sorta
    Ideally a weak government while you provide the legwork for said government making them dependent on you (at least, that's how banana republics worked IIRC).
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

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    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Russia maintained corruption, not capitalism. You can't seriously think Putin arresting any businessman that looks sideways at him is an example of capitalism can you? Russia has cronyism and totalitarianism, that is slightly less totalitarian than before. It does not have either of capitalism or democracy.
    Putin's Russia is an example of a failed capitalist economy and a failed democracy. If you're going to dismiss the example of Russia, it means that what you're saying is nothing but a banal tautology.

    India and China are two examples that have moved away somewhat from socialism/communism to a more capitalist economy and their public is far better off as a result. That has seen the amount of the global population in abject poverty collapse.
    And yet, India, China and Russia stand within the same 'mostly unfree' band in the economic freedom index. If India and China are successes and Russia is a failure, what does that tell us about the relationship between economic and political freedom and prosperity and stability?

    I agree with Tim. Capitalism (with a safety net) works. Nobody proposes "pure" capitalism, but it hasn't occurred anywhere. Its like Churchill's quote on democracy "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried". Same can be said for capitalism.
    I would prefer the statement "Capitalism doesn't not work".
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Russia is a failed Communist dictatorship, not capitalist democracy. During what window do you think that Russia was capitalist?

    I'm not suggesting that India and China are perfect, but they've taken steps in the right direction and that's improving the life of their population. Still an incredibly long way to go.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    Putin's Russia is an example of a failed capitalist economy and a failed democracy. If you're going to dismiss the example of Russia, it means that what you're saying is nothing but a banal tautology.
    Citation needed. Who has ever thought Russia was a model of a functioning capitalist economy? In essence you are arguing that capitalism has failed in North Korea because the government has not cracked down on the capitalist grey markets there.

    And yet, India, China and Russia stand within the same 'mostly unfree' band in the economic freedom index. If India and China are successes and Russia is a failure, what does that tell us about the relationship between economic and political freedom and prosperity and stability?
    I think you are operating with a broken yardstick. India and China aren't successes - they are just not as terrible as they once were. This is in large part thanks the liberalization of their economies.

  25. #25
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Edit: @Randblade

    Define 'capitalist'. The dictionary definition is something like "the means of production are mainly in private hands, rather than being owned by the state". Under this simplistic definition the Russian economy is a capitalist one - while Russia has many powerful state owned corporations they are limited to four industries: energy, banks, defense and transport, every other sector has little to no state presence - like every other economy in the world.

    Obviously that definition is inadequate for our purposes, so what do you mean when you say 'capitalist'?
    To ends unknown, by means unworthy, to answer wishes long dead and gone
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    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    Citation needed. Who has ever thought Russia was a model of a functioning capitalist economy?
    The very point is that it isn't. If you're going to say "well, only successful capitalist economies count" then the point becomes tautological.

    In essence you are arguing that capitalism has failed in North Korea because the government has not cracked down on the capitalist grey markets there.
    North Korea isn't trying to have a capitalist economy, Russia is.
    To ends unknown, by means unworthy, to answer wishes long dead and gone
    Old, empty promises, a just reward for the blind
    Belief makes work for idle minds
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  27. #27
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    Edit: @Randblade

    Define 'capitalist'. The dictionary definition is something like "the means of production are mainly in private hands, rather than being owned by the state". Under this simplistic definition the Russian economy is a capitalist one - while Russia has many powerful state owned corporations they are limited to four industries: energy, banks, defense and transport, every other sector has little to no state presence - like every other economy in the world.

    Obviously that definition is inadequate for our purposes, so what do you mean when you say 'capitalist'?
    If you cut out energy, which amounts to roughly 25% to 30% of Russia's GDP, banking, which has deposits that amount to roughly 7% of their GDP, defense, which constitutes 20% of all Russian manufacturing jobs, and transportation, (Russian Railways alone comprises 2% of total Russian GDP), you might have the foundations of an argument that Russia is somehow a role model for a capitalist economy. Is that a meaningful comparison when almost half of the economy is state owned, controlled, or subsidized?

    By saying Russia is definitely capitalist, except where it isn't - and where it isn't involves entire industries and enormous swathes of their economy, are you saying anything meaningful? Are you even attempting to compare apples to apples by measuring relatively free segments of the Russian economy against the same industries in other Western countries?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ie, Uber and Tesla. disruptive innovation is a bitch of a business to be in, in the US at least, thanks to how easy it is for established businesses to buy/influence our politicians.
    You can also throw in the fact that internet neutrality required a fight to achieve.
    Yes it is a deep shame that America "The Land of the Free" has so much rent seeking going on and the non-stop creation of additional barriers of entry through governmental crony capitalism. The sad/funny story is that cartels and monopolies typically form because of government as opposed to free enterprise.

  29. #29
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    If you cut out energy, which amounts to roughly 25% to 30% of Russia's GDP, banking, which has deposits that amount to roughly 7% of their GDP, defense, which constitutes 20% of all Russian manufacturing jobs, and transportation, (Russian Railways alone comprises 2% of total Russian GDP), you might have the foundations of an argument that Russia is somehow a role model for a capitalist economy. Is that a meaningful comparison when almost half of the economy is state owned, controlled, or subsidized?

    By saying Russia is definitely capitalist, except where it isn't - and where it isn't involves entire industries and enormous swathes of their economy, are you saying anything meaningful? Are you even attempting to compare apples to apples by measuring relatively free segments of the Russian economy against the same industries in other Western countries?
    Are you saying it's meaningful to apply the term capitalism only to states or parts of states which fulfill your definition 100%? That's the problem with this line of thought - there are always those pesky exceptions, the real world comes in, everything is more complicated. Your demand is problematic, by the way, because even if we drew some arbitrary lines and defined this area as "capitalistic", there'd still be the question of where to draw those lines.

    Which is the reason, by the way, why I object to Rand's truisms.
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  30. #30
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    I dunno, if more than half of a country's economy is explicitly state owned then I think questioning the capitalism score of that country is more than justified, esp when the rest of that country's business sector also seems suspect. Just because we don't know where exactly the line should be drawn doesn't mean we can't make reasonable guesses about which end of the spectrum things are closest to.
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