Hugo Chávez’ Socialism made Venezuela a more Violent and Dangerous Place

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 28th, 2013

Week in Review

The Democrats have a mission.  To reduce the income disparity between rich and poor.  To reduce the rate of violent crime.  For the only reason people ever hurt one another is because they are wanting for the basic necessities in life.  And they sometimes take them forcibly from those who have them.  But if there is no income disparity there is no rich and poor.  So no one would ever hurt anyone.

Which is why Democrats work so hard to reduce the income disparity between rich and poor.  Their tool?  Income redistribution.  From those according to ability.  To those according to need.  Like Karl Marx wanted to do.  But socialism never really caught on in the United States.  As most Americans see the abject failure it has been.  But this hasn’t stopped other nations from experimenting with it.  In 1999 Hugo Chávez became president of Venezuela.  And he proceeded to make Venezuela socialist.  Here are some highlights of his work pulled from Wikipedia:

Following Chavismo, his own political ideology of Bolivarianism and Socialism of the 21st Century, he focused on implementing socialist reforms in the country as a part of a social project known as the Bolivarian Revolution. He implemented the 1999 Venezuelan Constitution, participatory democratic councils, the nationalization of several key industries, and increased government funding of health care and education and made significant reductions in poverty with oil revenues.[1][2] The Bolivarian Missions have entailed the construction of thousands of free medical clinics for the poor,[3] the institution of educational campaigns that have reportedly made more than one million adult Venezuelans literate,[4] and the enactment of food[5] and housing subsidies…[6]

Closely aligning himself with the communist governments of Fidel and then Raúl Castro in Cuba and the socialist governments of Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, his presidency was seen as a part of the socialist “pink tide” sweeping Latin America. Along with these governments, Chávez described his policies as anti-imperialist, being a prominent adversary of the United States’s foreign policy as well as a vocal critic of US-supported neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism.[8] He supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South, and the regional television network TeleSur. Chávez was a highly controversial and divisive figure both at home and abroad. On occasion he used undiplomatic language towards other world leaders, having compared US president George W. Bush to a donkey[9] and the devil.[10]

Hugo Chávez created a socialist paradise in Venezuela.  One that would have pleased the father of socialism.  Karl Marx.  Chávez destroyed the income disparity between rich and poor.  Making the people happy.  Where they linked their arms together and sang Kumbaya.  Like the hippies in America did as they lived in their socialist/communist communes.  So you think the people would be living together in a brotherhood of man.  Like John Lennon sang about in his song Imagine.  No possessions.  No greed or hunger.  Just everyone living as one.  So how is that socialist paradise?  Well, the people aren’t living as one in a brotherhood of man (see Venezuela’s Homicide Rate Rises, NGO’s Report Says by the AP posted on ABC News).

A non-governmental group that tracks violent crime in Venezuela says the country’s homicide rate has risen again in 2013 and has quadrupled over the past 15 years.

The Venezuelan Violence Observatory estimates that 24,763 killings occurred this year, pushing up the homicide rate to 79 per 100,000 inhabitants. It was 73 per 100,000 people in 2012. In 1998, the rate was 19.

The more Chávez made Venezuela socialist the more violent crime there was.  That’s not what’s supposed to happen according to the Democrats.  It’s supposed to create a brotherhood of man.  Like John Lennon sang about.  Not make more people kill each other.  Apparently not only was Karl Marx wrong.  But the Democrats are wrong, too.  Imagine that.

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Venezuela may put People before Profits but they have no Toilet Paper

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 18th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left wants to have the economic system they have in Venezuela.  Where they put people before profits.  To prevent evil corporations from getting rich.  While exploiting their workers.  And overcharging their customers.  You see, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen in Venezuela.  Because they put people before profits (see So, Venezuela Has a Toilet-Paper Shortage (Don’t Laugh. Seriously.) by Jordan Weissmann posted 5/16/2013 on The Atlantic).

Venezuela is now suffering from a government-induced toilet paper shortage. The situation has become politically dire enough that the government has promised to import 50 million rolls to calm shoppers.

For those familiar with the Bolivarian Republic’s less-than-sterling economic record of late, this won’t come as a surprise. The country, while relatively wealthy by developing-world standards, has been suffering through a chronic shortfall of everything from groceries to asthma inhalers, resulting in desperate lines of shoppers and a healthy black market trade in kitchen staples like flour.

In the United States about the only toilet paper shortage people are familiar with is when they drop trou in a public restroom without looking to see if there was toilet paper first.  Why do people do this in the United States?  Because we take toilet paper for granted.  And always expect it to be there.  Because we are not socialists.  We’re capitalists.  And being a capitalist means you never have to see an empty shelf when buying toilet paper.

So why do socialists have such a difficult time buying toilet paper?  Because they put people before profits.  Which sounds good but is only code for dictatorship.  Where the dictator lives well.  As there is always enough for the privileged few.  But to sustain this privileged position a dictator has to steal from his people.

In 2003, then President Hugo Chavez slammed currency controls into place to prevent money from fleeing the country while government seized land and corporate assets. Those rules have made it harder to buy imports. Meanwhile, price caps meant to make basic staples affordable to the poor are so low that, for many products, they don’t pay for the cost of production.

Nobody’s going to make toilet paper if they’ll lose money selling it.

Price caps make things cost less than the prevailing market price.  Which encourages people to over consume.  Just as Nixon’s price controls led to gas shortages in the United States.  While at the same time the price caps force suppliers to sell below the prevailing market price.  Which is often below their costs.  So while people are clearing shelves off suppliers are not replenishing those shelves.  Leading to shortages.

To buy imports you have to first exchange your currency for the currency of the country you’re buying from.  For U.S. companies accept the U.S. dollar for its exports.  Not the bolívar fuerte.  Venezuela’s currency controls prevent Venezuelan businesses from exchanging their currency.  Making it impossible for them to buy the imports they need.  So they have to throttle back production.  Making it more difficult to restock those empty shelves.  Forcing the people to go without toilet paper.  While Hugo Chavez died a billionaire.

This is what happens when you put people before profits.  You make it possible for a charismatic dictator to impoverish the people he champions.  Which is impossible under laissez-faire capitalism.  For businesses can buy the imports they need.  And they can sell at a price that covers their costs.  Which keeps the shelves in capitalist countries overflowing with the goods people want to buy.  While wannabe dictators can’t seize land and corporate assets.  But have to work for a living.  Like everyone else.

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Hugo Chavez is Dead but the Bizarre Conspiracy Theories live On

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

The United Nations isn’t too happy about President Obama’s drone policy.  Killing suspected terrorists anywhere in the world.  As well as a few innocent bystanders here or there.  It smacks a bit of imperialism.  And it may be a little extralegal.  But apparently terrorists and innocent bystanders aren’t the only people President Obama is signaling out for special treatment.  What they call extreme prejudice in the covert ops business.  Apparently he’s looking at presidential candidates, too.  At least, according to Venezuela’s Maduro (see Venezuela’s Maduro accuses U.S. of “plot” to kill rival by Daniel Wallis posted 3/17/2013 on Reuters).

Venezuela’s acting president urged U.S. President Barack Obama to stop what he called a plot by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to kill his opposition rival and trigger a coup ahead of an April 14 election.

Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to blame the murder on the OPEC nation’s government and to “fill Venezuelans with hate” as they prepare to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro first mentioned a plot against his rival, Henrique Capriles, last week. He blamed it on former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich. Both rejected the claim as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.

“I call on President Obama – Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, officials at the Pentagon and at the CIA are behind a plan to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate to create chaos,” Maduro said in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday…

Capriles, who kicked off the opposition’s bid to drum up support with big rallies in the provinces over the weekend, said Maduro would be to blame if anything happened to him.

No matter what you think about President Obama or his liberal use of drones to kill people this is a pretty outrageous claim.  First of all, the Left loved Hugo Chavez.  And they don’t come further left than President Obama.  He’s trying to take the United States in the direction of Venezuela.  So he wouldn’t kill the guy that wasn’t a socialist to foment chaos to bring down the one that was.  He would just do it to bring down the right-wing candidate.  If he did that sort of thing.  Which, of course, he doesn’t.  Unless Capriles was a member of an al Qaeda cell.  Or he had the misfortune of being too close to someone who was.  Then all bets are off.

I’m joking, of course.  It’s probably what Capriles said.  If anything happens to him to cause him to lose the election it will probably not be the fault of President Obama.  But the fault of the one who wins the election.  Who may use some campaign tactics that may be a bit extralegal.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.

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Hugo Chávez was loved by Venezuelans, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but mocked on SNL

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 10th, 2013

Week in Review

Justin Timberlake made fun of Hugo Chávez last Saturday night on SNL.  Impersonating Sir Elton John he sang a modified version of Candle in the Wind.  Some of the lines went like this:

You called George Bush the devil, when you spoke at the UN, you said he smelled like sulfur, and you called him Mr. Danger

And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind, If a candle could pull out two pistols at a press conference

And you said the U.S. caused earthquakes, and you outlawed Coke Zero

You helped to make your country the kidnapping capital of the world, but you also increased milk production by almost 50%

And it seems to me you once gave a speech where you encouraged shorter showers, and another thing you said was capitalism killed Mars

Yes you believed in a civilization that existed on the surface of Mars, but capitalism killed it all when it was introduced to Mars

Funny.  Because it’s true.  Albeit a bit disrespectful for the recently departed.  One thing for sure, though, when Justin Timberlake hosts SNL you will not be disappointed.  He’s talented.  The man can do it all.  And he’s got guts to sing a song like this about an icon of the American Left.  For there are some who revere Hugo Chávez (see Sean Penn, Michael Moore and Oliver Stone pay tribute to Hugo Chávez by Ben Child posted 3/6/2013 on the guardian).

Penn, who first met Chávez in Venezuela in 2007 and attended a candlelit vigil for the stricken firebrand in Bolivia in December, bemoaned the politician’s lack of credibility in North America. “Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion,” he said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chávez and the people of Venezuela.” Penn added: “Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of vice president [Nicolas] Maduro.”

Oliver Stone, who celebrated Chávez’s presidency and the successes of left wing politicians across South America in his 2009 documentary South of the Border, said the Venezuelan leader would be remembered fondly by historians as a champion of the poor. “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place,” he said in a statement. “Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chávez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned.”

Michael Moore, who met Chávez at the Venice film festival in 2009 and posted pictures of himself with the president, tweeted: “Hugo Chávez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all. That made him dangerous. US approved of a coup to overthrow him even though he was a democratically-elected president.”

High praise indeed.  You would be hard-pressed to find someone saying anything nicer about Chávez.  Unless you listened to someone who hates the United States even more than Hugo Chávez (see Ahmadinejad: Chávez Will Return by The New York Times posted 3/6/2013 on The Daily Beast).

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad posted a letter on his website, promising that the deceased president would “come again” with Jesus and a Muslim prophet expected to redeem mankind. Ahmadinejad called for a day of national mourning for the “Latin American anti-imperialist figure.”

How about that?  The Hollywood Left loved Chávez as much as America’s number one enemy.  A man who suppressed his people during the Green Revolution.  In response to voting irregularities that kept him in power.  Something that happened in Venezuela, too.  Suggesting Chávez  was not as loved as some say.  Or as much as the Hollywood Left loved him.   Apparently, those who loved Chávez the most were those who didn’t have to live in his socialist utopia.

Many of the Venezuelan people did love Chávez, though. Because Chávez was a populist.  He nurtured a cult of personality.  He made the people love him.  Because he convinced the people that he was their champion.  As Penn, Stone and Moore believed.  Despite Chávez dying with a net worth of $1 billion.  Siphoned off the top of all that oil money that went to the people.  To eliminate extreme poverty.  That’s right.  He acquired wealth just like George W. Bush did.  From oil.  Only Bush did it in the free market.  While Chávez did it by just confiscating it.  Like all anti-capitalist socialists are wont to do.  Because they are the champion of the people.  Where everyone is equal.  Only some are more equal than others.

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Hugo Chavez returns to his Socialist Utopia (Venezuela) after Medical Treatment in Cuba

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 23rd, 2013

Week in Review

The American Left loves Hugo Chavez.  Because he is an anti-capitalist socialist.  In Venezuela they put people before profits.  And the Left loves that.  For it is only under socialism where there is true equality.  Where everyone is equal.  Rich and poor.  Government official and descamisado.  And everyone gets the best of everything.  Something the America Left is striving for in the United States.  So American can be as just and as fair as Venezuela (see Hugo Chavez Returns Home After Cancer Surgery posted 2/18/2013 on Sky News).

President Hugo Chavez has returned home to Venezuela after more than two months of medical treatment following cancer surgery.

Mr Chavez’s return from Cuba was announced in a series of messages on his Twitter account…

The 58-year-old, who has been in power for more than 14 years, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011…

Mr Maduro said Mr Chavez will continue his treatment at the Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital in Caracas.

Of course, Hugo Chavez is more equal than everyone else.  When he gets cancer he goes to the finest health care available in the socialist world.  Cuba.  While the ordinary Venezuelan must suffer the Venezuelan health care system.  Which isn’t very good when it comes to treating cancer.  For Hugo Chavez didn’t get treated in Venezuela.

Note that Hugo Chavez has been making Venezuela a better place for 14 years.  A more just place.  And a more fair place.  Something the American Left applauds.  Because ordinary Venezuelans are better off than ordinary Americans.  For ordinary Venezuelans are pampered with cradle to the grave socialism.  Of course, for some, the grave comes a lot sooner than some would want.  Why?  Because after making Venezuela a better place for 14 years he still hasn’t built a decent hospital in the country.  And you know the Venezuelan health care system for the people is bad when he goes to a military hospital for his follow-up care.  For in the United States the better hospitals are not on military bases.  There in our cities.  Where they are available to everyone.  Unlike the ordinary Venezuelan pampered with cradle to the grave socialism.

The American Left can bad-mouth the American health care system all they want and laud Hugo Chavez till the cows come home but not one of them will leave the U.S. to get their health care needs in that Socialist utopia.  Venezuela.  Even if Hugo Chavez lets them use the military hospital in Caracas.  And given the choice the ordinary Venezuelan would probably choose the American health care system over their own.  And probably over the Cuban health care system as well.  For when it comes to socialist utopias they’re not very utopian.

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Used Cars put a Crimp in Venezuela’s Inflationary Policies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 27th, 2013

Week in Review

The American Left attacks capitalism for being unfair and evil because it puts profits before people.  Whereas socialism puts people before profits.  Where people give according to ability and take according to need.  Fair, yes?  In the way it makes people want to link arms and sing Kumbaya.  Because everyone has everything they need.  Thanks to that redistribution of wealth.  And exactly how does that work?  Something like this.

An unemployed man with 8 children will get more from the government than a single woman with no children working 12-hour days 6 days a week.  She will have a lot of income the state can tax.  So she has a lot of ability.  While he will get a lot of state benefits.  Because he has a lot of need.  A smart person will look at this and quickly come to the understanding that working hard sucks.  While being a lay-about means you live comfortably on state benefits.  Paid for by people like that woman working 12-hour days 6 days a week.  So in true socialism it’s a contest to show as little ability and as much need as possible.

Sometimes there aren’t enough people to tax.  So to keep the people happy the state spends money it doesn’t have.  By printing more and more money.  Which is what Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela.  Actions which the American Left applaud.  As they applaud Hugo Chavez for putting people before profits.  For unabashedly embracing socialism.  And condemning capitalism.  So Venezuela should be a socialist utopia.  So is it?  Let’s take a look (see Venezuela Ready to Crack Down on Clunker Car Inflation Refuge by Corina Pons & Nathan Crooks posted 1/24/2013 on Bloomberg).

Automobiles purchased in Venezuela, South America’s largest oil exporter, typically gain in value the moment they are driven off the dealership lot. Facing 20.1 percent inflation and capital controls introduced in 2003 that limit the amount of bolivars citizens may take out of the country, Venezuelans invest in durable goods…

Venezuela’s consumer prices last month rose 3.5 percent, the fastest pace in 32 months, the central bank said Jan. 11. Venezuela has the third-highest inflation rate worldwide.

Chavez in 2012 ordered companies to cut prices of shampoo, soap and other personal care products to contain inflationary pressures…

Inflation rose after Chavez restricted dollar supplies in a bid to close a fiscal gap widened by spending before elections in October, in which he defeated challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski by more than 10 percentage points.

The lack of dollars has created shortages of goods that range from toilet paper to detergent and extend to automobiles. Suvinca, a Venezuelan state distributor of Chinese-made cars, posted a notice on its website yesterday that said it had run out of cars and suspended sales…

“The law won’t solve the problem, because it doesn’t resolve the fact that there is still little supply. It won’t reduce demand, either,” Garcia said. “A black market will be created very fast. Instead of solving the problem, it will make it worse…”

“With this law, it will not be permissible to sell a car above the maximum suggested price, and a used car can never cost more than a new one,” Amoroso said. “Notaries will be prohibited from legalizing any transaction that is above the suggested price.”

When you print a lot of money it just makes your money worthless.  Which is why governments frown on people using their computer printers to make money.  If everyone did this money would lose its value.  For it would be as common place as leaves on the ground in autumn.  In countries with high inflation rates people want to spend their money as fast as they get it before it loses too much of its purchasing power.  For the real goods they buy will hold their value.  So it’s a safer place to put your savings.  Instead of in a bank.

The more bolivars (the Venezuelan currency) they print the less each bolivar is worth.  The more they depreciate the bolivar the faster people want to convert them into something that will hold its value.  Like cars.  If the bolivar loses half of its value it will take twice as many of them to buy a car.  So if you own a car its value in bolivars will soar the more of them they print.  Not that people want bolivars.  But they do want dollars.  And getting dollars by selling real goods avoids the inflation problem of the bolivar.  But it also helps to undermine the currency as no one wants to use it.  Or accept it in exchange for valuable goods.

Of course an easy solution to this problem is simply implementing price controls.  If you legally prevent prices from rising in response to runaway inflation problem solved, yes?  No.  Because if prices are held at artificially low levels people will buy so many of these items while the buying is good that these things will disappear from store shelves.  And if the store shelves are empty it doesn’t matter what prices are.  This is why there were gas lines in the Seventies.  Gas sales were so strong that gas stations ran out of gas.  And with prices below real market prices there wasn’t new supply coming on market to meet that excessive demand.  Because having to sell below your costs doesn’t encourage anyone to sell.  Except on the black market.  Where black market prices adjust market supply to market demand.  And everything is available for a price.

This is the socialist utopia that is Venezuela.  Only it’s not a utopia.  It just converts as many people with ability into people with need.  And when there are no longer enough people to tax to provide for those in need societies break down.  And governments collapse.  Unless you have a strong police state.  Which has been the hallmark of all social utopias that put people before profits.  Places like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, the communist countries of Eastern Europe, Cuba, etc.  Venezuela, too.

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Hugo Chávez leaves Socialist Venezuela for Cancer Surgery in Communist Cuba

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 9th, 2012

Week in Review

Hugo Chávez’s cancer is back.  He must return to communist Cuba for the quality health care he cannot get in socialist Venezuela.  Despite his hard work of turning Venezuela into a socialist utopia.  And you know it has to be bad there as this is Chávez’s 4th trip to Cuba.  So he is fully aware of the quality there.  Which may be good.  But those who can afford it go to the United States.  They don’t go to Cuba.  As Chávez would probably too had he not spent his life attacking American capitalism (see Hugo Chávez names successor after confirming need for cancer surgery by Virginia Lopez posted 12/9/2012 on the guardian).

The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, has for the first time designated a successor, after admitting he needs to undergo another operation for cancer and may be unable to return to power.

Chávez is to return to Havana to undergo surgery for a fourth time and said in a broadcast late on Saturday night that he wished his vice-president, Nicolás Maduro, to be his successor.

The announcement comes two months after the charismatic leader, who had declared himself free of cancer in July, was re-elected for a fourth term in October by a comfortable margin.

Hugo Chávez has been president of Venezuela for about 13 years.  While in office he’s attacked capitalism and championed socialism.  He insulted President George W. Bush.  And praised President Barack Obama.  Because President Obama is making America more like Venezuela than George W. Bush did.  And how great is Venezuela after some 13 years of Hugo Chávez making it better with socialism?  You have to go to Cuba for surgery.  If you’re important enough to get that kind of special treatment.

If you have to go to Cuba for surgery perhaps socialism is not the direction you want to take the country.  Perhaps capitalism is the better economic system.  And national health care (i.e., Obamacare) is something we should avoid.  For if Hugo Chávez could not staff at least one hospital with a Western-quality surgical suite imagine the quality of their national health care.  And their medical schools.  Which is not a commentary on the Venezuelan people.  Who probably would excel in Europe, Britain, Australia, Canada, the United States or any other Western economy.  But whose human capital is left to wither on the vine in Venezuela.  As socialism is one of the worst economic systems to encourage people to do great things.

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The Socialist Utopia of Oil-Rich Venezuela is Rationing Gasoline

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 22nd, 2012

Week in Review

Venezuela is a lot like Iran in a way.  They have lots of crude oil.  But little refining capacity.  Which is a problem because nothing really runs on raw crude oil.  It’s what we refine from it that we use in our cars, trucks, buses and power plants.  Causing a bit of a problem in Venezuela.  Because in their socialist utopia they virtually give their gas away.  Which was one thing when they refined it.  But another when they have to buy it (see Chavez’s gasoline rationing plan causes uproar by FABIOLA SANCHEZ, Associated Press, posted 7/20/2012 on Yahoo! News).

As home to the world’s cheapest gasoline, Venezuela has long had to contend with the hemorrhaging of supplies as smugglers haul gas across the border to cash in where the fuel costs far more.

In neighboring Colombia, drivers pay 40 times as much as Venezuelans to tank up — $1.25 a liter ($4.73 a gallon), compared to 3 U.S. cents a liter (11 cents a gallon).

So much gasoline is being taken out of Venezuela illegally that President Hugo Chavez’s socialist government imposed rationing on motorists in one state bordering Colombia last year, and now it’s touched off a furor in a second border state by announcing it will ration gasoline there, too…

Venezuela is a major oil exporter but its refining capacity is limited, so the government buys gasoline from the United States, losing money by then selling it at home for almost nothing. Those imports have been steadily rising since 2009…

Ramon Espinasa, a Georgetown University economist, blames “operational problems” at some Venezuelan refineries as well as rising demand from power plants built in the past two years that burn gasoline and diesel fuel.

“They’re not producing specialized (petroleum) products and must import finished products,” Espinasa said…

“It’s not rationing,” [Hugo Chavez] said. “It’s a means of control, to give everyone gasoline, because the gasoline here is practically free, so the idea is to give everyone what they need.”

One of the problems of socialism is that there is no incentive to risk capital.  Because if you invest and build a refinery the state will just take it away.  So that leaves the state to build their refineries.  And based on their refinery capacity shortfall that’s something the state just doesn’t know how to do.  Or else they would have done it.  And not have gasoline rationing.

Another problem with socialism is the whole ‘from those according to ability to those according to need’ nonsense.  Something that requires some people to work hard so others can have more.  Never a great inducement to get people to work hard.  So they don’t.  In socialism those who show the most need get the most.  And if they show no ability they don’t have to work hard to learn and acquire skills that will advance the economy.  So what can happen is that a chemical engineer with a college degree but no children may earn the wages of a janitor while a janitor with no college degree but with lots of kids can get the wages of a chemical engineer.  From those according to ability.  To those according to need.  You know what this gets you in the long run?  Gasoline rationing.

So socialism requires everyone to sacrifice for the greater good.  And based on the very large black market for gasoline that isn’t happening.  Which is why socialism fails as an economic system.  For people always look after their own interests.  Not the greater good.  Even in the socialist utopia of Venezuela.

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Chavez suffers Relapse of Cancer and escapes his Socialist Paradise for Treatment in Cuba

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 4th, 2012

Week in Review

Hugo Chavez is remaking Venezuela into to a socialist paradise.  Where everyone is equal.  And one of the tenants of a socialist paradise is national health care.  Where they put people before profits.  And give everyone access to the same quality health care.  Unless you’re the president and have suffered a relapse of cancer (see Venezuela’s Chavez confirms cancer recurrence by Andrew Cawthorne and Eyanir Chinea posted 3/4/2012 on Reuters).

“I will live! I will overcome!” the 57-year-old socialist leader said in a televised meeting with some cabinet colleagues from Cuba, where he underwent an operation six days ago for a recurrence of the cancer that first struck him last year.

Chavez also lambasted Venezuela’s opposition as “bourgeoisie” intent on dismantling his welfare policies for the poor, spoke of an increasingly fervent Catholic faith and – as always – broke into verse at several points…

Chavez, a close friend of former Cuban president Fidel Castro, prefers treatment in Havana because he is guaranteed discreet treatment and a lower possibility of media leaks.

Yeah, right.  Discreet treatment.  If the choice was between quality care and discreet treatment what would you pick?  Quality care.  Because you’d want to live, right?  So the quality of Cuban health care must be better than the quality of Venezuelan health care.  Or Chavez simply chose discreet treatment over higher odds of survival.  Which I doubt.  No.  He went to Cuba because he wanted to live.  And the health care in his socialist paradise, that’s good enough for his people, simply wasn’t good enough for him.  Which is socialism in a nutshell.  Where all of the people are equal.  Only some of the people are more equal than others.

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The Occupy Wall Street Protesters don’t want Fairness, They want Privilege

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 9th, 2011

People who hate Capitalism hate America

Those on the Left keep trying to paint these Wall Street protesters as the Left’s version of the Tea Party.  Only better because they are standing up to corporate greed.  But when you step back and look at the broader picture you see some interesting things.  For one, our enemies abroad hate the Tea Party.  And love these Wall Street protestors (see Iran calls Wall Street protests ‘American Spring’ posted 10/9/2011 on The Associated Press).

An Iranian military commander said Sunday that the protests spreading from New York’s Wall Street to other U.S. cities are the beginning of an “American Spring,” likening them to the uprisings that toppled Arab autocrats in the Middle East.

Gen. Masoud Jazayeri of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the protests against corporate greed and the gap between rich and poor are a revolution in the making that will topple what he called the Western capitalist system.

So the Occupy Wall Street people have the support of Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez and this guy.  This Iranian general.  Who hates America.  And would love nothing better than to see its collapse.  There’s a lesson here.  People who hate capitalism hate America.

What strange bedfellows.  Pelosi.  Chavez.  And this Iranian general.

Class Warfare Works because Gullible People are Fed with Misinformation to Produce a Withering, Festering Hate

But they don’t see that.  These Occupy Wall Street people.  All they keep hearing is how the rich are screwing them.  And business owners are getting rich by underpaying them.  Because many of them think gross sales are also net profits.  They’re not.  And have no idea of what it costs to run a business (see Small Business, Occupy Wall Street Is Aimed at You! by T. Scott Gross posted 10/9/2011 on Forbes).

Small business owners, this protest is about money—yours. And if you want to bring a semblance of sanity to the discussion, you had better start showing the money…

So I say you had better show them the money. Gather your employees. Take a handful of coins that add up to a dollar. Swipe away your cost of goods. Take out payroll and then payroll taxes. Follow with utilities, cost of capital, training, advertising, maintenance, insurance, and the rest until you have accounted for all the overhead, leaving those few lonesome pennies of profit that you have risked everything to make.

Been there.  Done that.  The problem is they won’t believe you.  Because they’ve been so brainwashed to believe you are lying when it comes to the money.  Say all you want but someone is telling them, “Sure, they say that, but look at the car your boss drives.  The house your boss lives in.  Are they better than yours?  You bet they are.  And you know why?  Because they’re screwing you.  That’s why.”

This is why class warfare works so well.  You have people who don’t know any better.  Being fed with misinformation to produce a withering, festering hate.  Which is how people like Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez and this Iranian general rise to power.  By exploiting the gullible masses.

The Obama Administration wants us to Hate People Making $250,000 or More

This kind of hate makes it easy to tax the rich.  Which is a very popular sentiment these days.  Because everyone hates the rich.  Especially those who don’t make the rich cut (see Democrats aim to tax the rich — but who are they? by Kathleen Hennessey posted 10/8/2011 on the Los Angeles Times).

President Obama and Democrats in Congress have aligned on a populist, “tax the rich” strategy for the 2012 campaign. Now they have to figure out exactly who that is…

Obama and his fellow Democrats for years have described the wealthy as couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 — 3% of U.S. households. By shifting away from that number in hopes of benefiting from the sound-bite punch of a millionaires tax, the administration may find it difficult to return to casting the broader net…

Obama’s threshold was based on broad principles, including the desire to leave the middle class untouched by higher taxes while collecting “enough” tax revenue, Bernstein said, although even he quibbles with the president’s cutoff and suggests that a broader tax increase may be needed in the future.

Going in the other direction — aiming for incomes of $1-million-plus — would yield far too little revenue to fund “a recognizable government,” Bernstein said. While the Democrats’ surtax proposal may make sense to pay for a jobs bill, “it’s actually quite important that $1 million does not become the new $250,000 when it comes to the permanent tax base,” he added.

Well, that complicates things.  Who’s rich?  People earning $1 million or more?  Or people making more $250,000 or more?  Who exactly are we to hate?

The Obama administration wants us to hate people making $250,000 or more.  Because there are a lot more of them than millionaires.  So that’s a lot more money they can spend.  But it’s also a lot of people to piss off by raising their taxes.  And with an election year coming up that’s the last thing those up for reelection in Congress want to do.

But if they only settle for $1 million now will that mean it will be harder to hate those making between $250,000 and $1 million later?  Oh me oh my.  Just who to hate?  As you can see this is quite the quandary for the hate monger.

Stimulus is Temporary whereas Tax Cuts and Deregulation are Forever

But there is a bigger issue at play.  You see, the problem with hating those earning between $250,000 and $1 million is that this income range includes our small business owners.  The job creators.  Who tend to not create jobs when things bother them.  Such as people waving their pitchforks at them crying, “Tax!  Tax!  Tax!” (see Poor Sales by Russ Roberts posted 10/9/2011 on Cafe Hayek).

Finally, I would note that while the survey that Invictus cites does indeed list “Poor Sales” as the single most important problem (25% in the September survey (scroll down to “Single Most Important Problem), taxes are listed as the single most important problem by 18% and government regulations and red tape is listed by 19%. So the two combine to 37%. They also happen to be two factors that government can actually control.

The Keynesians look at this and say we need more stimulus.   But if they’re saying this after that $800 billion stimulus in 2009 you can have but one conclusion.  Stimulus doesn’t work.  A big reason for this is that stimulus is temporary.  Like pain.  Whereas tax cuts and deregulation are like pride.  They’re forever.

Sales are complicated.  A lot of things influence people before they depart with their hard-earned money.  And there’s not a lot government can do about that.  But there’s a lot they can do about taxes and regulations.  And they do.  Unfortunately, they always choose to do the wrong thing.

The Occupy Wall Street People are Angry at Capitalism because they weren’t Born into Privilege

There are a few kinds of people in the world.  The informed.  Such as Tea Party People.  Who cite law and tradition in at their Tea Party events.  And the uninformed.  Such as the Occupy Wall Street People.  Who are an angry mob.  Angry at capitalism because they weren’t born into privilege.

And then you have people who love America.  And those who hate America.  Such as Iran.  And Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  Enemies of freedom.  And democracy.  Who have come out to support the Wall Street protestors.  There’s another lesson here.   Actually, it’s the same lesson as before.  People who hate capitalism hate America.

Here’s a solution to solve their unhappiness.  Let’s ask these protesters which country is better than America.  Whatever nation that is we’ll generously pay for their one way airfare there.  Problem solved.  Everyone happy.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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