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Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 13:25:42

I agree with much of what you said Evil, but have a problem with this
Much of Africa and Central America suffers the legacy of a US policy that supported corruption in the war against communism rather than trusting the democratic and capitalistic models they could have helped blossom


While these strongman and their cronies are and were corrupt, the notion that any semblance of Democracy and a Capitalistic model could have sprung up in many of these countries is highly unrealistic. First off, Democracy in its benign and populist meaning has barely existed in our history. It certainly has not existed in modern times. It is but a myth espoused by those who find it convenient as a propaganda tool. Mostly the so called Democratic West. Second, Capitalism is precisely being practiced in these surreptitious and unscrupulous installing of "friendly" countries to the Western Economic Elite. The Strongmen or Military precisely are beneficiaries of the corrupt and Crony Capitalism of modern times. They seize power without popular consent and maintain without popular consent because they are not amendable to populist inclusive policies to lift many people from poverty etc. They are characters who originate from corrupt institutions like the Military or the Business world. The masses know it and so are not enamored by them. But it is a notable reality of our modern times, that the desires of the masses are routinely ignored and marginalized. The politicians and would be leaders talk nice but never fulfill their promises. And the international system is both a sponsor and beneficiary of the structural economic inequality and corruption which is a legacy of our troubled history as a species and our penchant for hierarchical power structures.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 13:30:43

EG, without disputing anything that you said, I would ask you to consider one more concept. What are the alternatives to the way things are today? Chavez was after all, only approximately the 40th dictator to try and fail at an alternative to Capitalism. I would submit that there are about 195 unique forms of Capitalism in the World today, and some obviously are working better than others. But History says that the forty odd attempts at Marxism all failed and all increased the suffering of the people who had to live in those countries.

It may well be that the World of today is the optimal way for 7.6 billions to live on a small planet that is running out of everything. You can imagine a worker's paradise, but there may be no way to actually improve on what we have.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby evilgenius » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 12:48:16

KaiserJeep wrote:EG, without disputing anything that you said, I would ask you to consider one more concept. What are the alternatives to the way things are today? Chavez was after all, only approximately the 40th dictator to try and fail at an alternative to Capitalism. I would submit that there are about 195 unique forms of Capitalism in the World today, and some obviously are working better than others. But History says that the forty odd attempts at Marxism all failed and all increased the suffering of the people who had to live in those countries.

It may well be that the World of today is the optimal way for 7.6 billions to live on a small planet that is running out of everything. You can imagine a worker's paradise, but there may be no way to actually improve on what we have.


Marxism is probably too unstable. If it cannot survive the pressure put upon it by the West, how could it survive the pressures it would encounter in the 'worker's paradise' of the lore? Markets, so far, are the only discovery with the capacity to meet that sort of demand. That's an aspect of the theory that Marx and Engels didn't develop very well. I suppose that kind of thinking was more Wittgenstein? I mean how linguistics tracks the flow of information, and extracts meaning from it.

The irony is that the technology upon which Marx would have fixated even more than he did that of the burgeoning industrial revolution, AI, has come at a point in man's economic development that it exists to maximize advertising revenue over being motivated by making the world a better place. The marketing of it is about making the world a better place. The motivation isn't. Markets again.

What would the Soviets have done with such technology? We'd like to think they would have done something great, but we don't know that the surplus wouldn't have all wound up as dachas on the coast of some exclusive sea. Growing up during the Cold War, I saw all kinds of stories detailing how dysfunctional the Communist Party was in the Soviet Union. It was in reference to them that I first heard the word 'kleptocracy.'

That doesn't mean they wouldn't have surprised me. I've heard a lot of stories about how many billions it means to a person to be the grand poobah of China. Even though that job has meant excessive enrichment of its occupant, it hasn't necessarily meant that certain policies haven't remained geared toward the public's best interest. There you look for a willingness to come down to a market level, to understand that business has to make money to succeed. The impressive part is how the Chinese keep up their reserve, how they are not nearly as rampantly corrupt as you would imagine the Russians would be in similar circumstances. You can see how the two cultures deal with their fear of scarcity. Incidentally, once again proving Marx wrong by suggesting culture, in certain cases vital to society at large, even if the impact is underappreciated, showing up economics. You don't see the Russian exchange listed, even though they have gone all capitalist, but the Chinese one you do.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 13:34:36

The Chinese abandonned Marxism decades ago, and now practice a curious authoritarian Capitalism. My problem with Marx and Engels is that they were contemporaries of Charles Darwin, and thus never understood the import of his work. The entire science of Anthropology, and our understanding of the primate nature of humans, came about in the 20th Century as a direct result of Darwin's work. Marx and Engels were unaware of the basic nature of mankind, and had just about zero understanding of how these ape instincts give rise to actions we call "Capitalism". Their supposed insights about the nature and evolution of economic systems, plus all the nonsense about class warfare are fatally flawed, and thus only of historical interest.

If the university level education included Anthropology, this would be well understood by all. But Anthopology is considered one of the Biological sciences and is taught seperately from History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Those curricula are still rooted in 18th Century (and often far older) concepts of the nature of Mankind, all too frequently with the pre-conception that our species was divinely inspired. They do not acknowledge Darwin, Anthropology, or the Behavioral Sciences, and their curricula are largely obsoleted by such.

Because you see, Anthropologists have recognized behaviors that are the fundamentals underlying Capitalism in Chimpanzees and Baboon troops. This is why when Marxism fails yet again, Capitalism breaks out spontaneously to replace it - Capitalism is apes doing what comes natural.

It's not impossible to overcome such natural instincts, given a university level education or a lifetime of indoctrination in Soviet schools - but since the vast majority of the 7.7 billion humans will never have such, Capitalism is pretty much what we have and will ever have.
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Venezuela Has Some Bad News and Some Really Bad News

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 20 Jan 2018, 16:58:44

I think we can all agree that, absent a war or some deliberate strategy, a 14 percent drop in a country's oil production in the space of one year is not a good thing. Even worse, though, is a 29 percent drop. These two realities, both undesirable, were presented for Venezuela in OPEC's latest monthly report, out Thursday. The oil-exporters' club publishes two sets of production figures for each member: namely, what the countries report themselves and a consensus figure from secondary sources. In Venezuela's case, something very interesting happened in December. While secondary sources estimated a drop of 82,000 barrels a day in the country's output, Caracas said it was 216,000 barrels a day. This chart showing the month-to-month changes in Venezuela's output over the past year from the two sets of figures shows you just how weird that is: Self Harm Venezuela's own numbers


Venezuela Has Some Bad News and Some Really Bad News
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 29 Jan 2018, 11:26:54

Seems like the new head oil guy is under reporting actual production so he can later claim oil production miraculously turned around on his watch. Lame.

The timing makes this interesting. In late November, Major General Manuel Quevedo was suddenly appointed both oil minister and head of state-oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA. new leaders inheriting bad situations have an incentive to kitchen-sink the figures in the hopes of gaining credit for subsequent stabilization. Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American energy policy at Rice University's Baker Institute, says Quevedo appeared on television on Sunday claiming production had collapsed to 1.5 million barrels a day but was already recovering to almost 1.9 million.
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The Crisis Engulfing Venezuela’s Oil Patch Is Far Worse Than

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 10 Feb 2018, 20:59:03

Summary Venezuela's oil industry is caught in a deep-crisis. There are signs that oil production is declining at a faster rate than many analysts are anticipating. If output drops as sharply as it appears to be it could dislocate anywhere up to 900,000 barrels daily from global supplies bolstering prices. President Maduro's attempts to hang on to power will only cause the crisis to deepen. Venezuela's crisis will give OPEC and Russia an opportunity to review their stance on production cuts. Deeply troubled Latin American nation Venezuela is in economic and political freefall. The turmoil surrounding the regime of President Maduro continues to deepen while Venezuela’s economy lurches closer to failure. There are signs that not only is this turmoil in conjunction with Caracas’ policies doing irreparable damage to the nations’ oil industry, but that Venezuela’s oil industry is in freefall and its energy patch is


The Crisis Engulfing Venezuela’s Oil Patch Is Far Worse Than Anticipated
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby tita » Sun 11 Feb 2018, 08:15:17

For me, Venezuela suffers from a classic "Dutch Disease"

Since the beginning of the 2'000s, Venezuela used oil as a rent to grow. But this growth was artificial, and because other economy sectors were not stimulated enough, they disappeared. Slowly, the only income from foreign currency came from the exportation of oil while the exports grew for almost everything else they needed.

Chavez should have created a fund similar to the Norwegian oil fund, let the oil industry develop itself while taxing the profit they made, and aimed for a much slower growth with less assistance but backed with the fund for development.

OIl cursed Venezuela in some way... The inability to manage this resource, along wrong economic beliefs (a single resource can feed a country) were the cause of the actual chaos. It's not specially related to the political system... A total neoliberal system can also lead a country to an economy relying only on the most competitive production, not enough diversified.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 14 Feb 2018, 16:20:59

"It's not specially related to the political system"? What actually happened is that the oil business was profitable and created a large new Middle Class in Venezuela. Then Chavez and his Marxist buddies nationalized the foriegn assets in the oil fields, and made a set of bad decisions that crashed the economy in Venezuela. They managed to destroy not only oil production, but the price controls for foodstuffs pretty much caused all domestic food production to cease.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby tita » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 06:24:34

KaiserJeep wrote:"It's not specially related to the political system"? What actually happened is that the oil business was profitable and created a large new Middle Class in Venezuela. Then Chavez and his Marxist buddies nationalized the foriegn assets in the oil fields, and made a set of bad decisions that crashed the economy in Venezuela. They managed to destroy not only oil production, but the price controls for foodstuffs pretty much caused all domestic food production to cease.

But the precedent government, extremely liberal, also dried the economy of Venezuela outside oil. This was called the second dutch disease... Because the first occurred earlier in the XXth century, and dried the agricultural production. A large middle class is useless if they are unable to consume goods and services inside the country. Without a diversified economy, you end up with a small upper class and a large poor class.

The problem is that there is no policy to use efficiently the revenue from oil to develop agriculture and industry. And it takes time. It's not socialism or liberalism dictatorship that will solve Venezuela's problems. Even democracy failed.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 09:44:13

The only thing that will save Venezuela is re-establishing Capitalism. The country was a net exporter of food until the Marxist government instituted price controls which caused domestic food producers to fold and cease producing food beyond a bare minimum to feed themselves. Then the failure to re-invest Capital in oil production ended that as well.

At this point it is a rock and a hard place. With a record of nationalizing foriegn investments, there will be no more. So they have to bootstrap their entire economy.

Marxism cursed Venezuela.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 16:36:03

Dear reader. Kaiser would have you believe that governments exist in a vacuum. Or that history justifies Capitalism. I was just researching about the so called Oil Curse or Resource Curse. And lo and behold it wishes to portray the domestic local rulers and governments as the main culprits in exploiting their own citizens. Well, excuse me, money is what makes our world go around. These countries were good examples of extreme exploitation way before modern times ie. 1950 onward.

You see our whole evolution has stemmed from exploitation and the maximum power principle. Or as Kaiser would say our ape instincts. The entire world is geared to Capitalism in its basic form of private property, money and the consequent corruption as the rich get richer and the poor poorer. The exploitation is ubiquitous because that is the Nature of Capitalism. Oil has NOT cursed Venezuela. A planet of vast inequality and injustice rife with corruption has cursed Venezuela. The problem for any country is NOT wealth or lack thereof but the unequal distribution and the corruption to maintain societies which have clear cut classes so that the upper class can always have more relatively speaking. And it is so EASY. Because such is the world we live in, in which money buys you everything and where certain groups have most of the money. So, people are exploited by other people. It makes no difference to my argument whether its people within a country exploiting their own citizens or those outside of it. It is still about the rule of money and how with money people and groups get to not just enjoy the perks of money but get too tilt the playing field in all endeavors to their favor. It is done from the smallest unit ie. a family to the largest countries.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 16:58:36

https://listverse.com/2014/02/14/10-sho ... countries/

10 Shocking Ways The West Abuses Developing Countries
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby Cog » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 17:18:10

Viva la Marxism eh onlooker?
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 20:34:55

The USA in fact was once a collection of 13 exploited colonies, plus a set of Stone Age natives. We were that way until we formed a collective nation based on a unique form of Capitalism, the ideological opposite of Marxism, which would not even exist as a bogus economic theory with that name for another century.

Now we are the largest, most successful First World nation on Earth, and onlooker has benefitted from living here and is one of the 330 million people to have done so. Yet somebody has filled his head with twaddle and told him that he is a victim and everybody else who doesn't live here or in a handful of other First World nations are also victims.

Meanwhile, every time somebody has tried to implement the flawed ideas of Marx and Engels, they have failed, and most have joined the list of the most evit despots and villians in history. This has happened by my count to 45 nations, the last being Venezuela. Meanwhile, the list of First World nations contains nothing except Capitalist nations, including perhaps soon China, a mighty and brand new Second World economy which managed to avoid the Marxist Doom and is struggling to join the short list of most successful Capitalists. It needs only to establish a series of elections and to enact a Constitution to protect the rights of it's citizens to join the First World. If it manages this, it will be the first successful former Marxist nation.

Amazingly, onlooker - in defiance of all reason - continues to believe in a failed economic theory and to reject the only working one. He will not be swayed from this belief no matter how many times Marxism fails. But in order to maintain his flawed beliefs he must first blame the latest failure of Marxism on Capitalism.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 20:58:02

First off for those who have bothered to follow the ongoing debate between me and Kaiser, will have noted that I have never specifically identified myself as a Marxist or Communist. Our debate is an honest one with Kaiser and I humbly think a fascinating one. And it comes down to this. Kaiser has reiterated that Capitalism is the natural form of behavior arising from our ape like instincts and urges. I have already conceded that I do not specifically disagree with that. However, I believe we humans are and can be more individually and collectively than that. Extensive research has been done by Jane Goodall and others on primate behavior. They have discovered that only do primates have these primitive aggressive selfish instincts but also altruistic and sharing type behavior.

Now in relation to the "success" of Capitalism. That success simply boils down to the rule of might you can say. In this case might equivalent to money. That readers is why throughout our history, our societies have been characterized by extreme inequality and injustice. Now another recent feature of Capitalsim that must be stressed is how it is in fact driving us to the precipice of possible extinction. Kaiser states that this is simply due to overpopulation. But one must also remember that our assault on the Earth is not just from our numbers but also from the technologies and consumers culture that are a byproduct of Capitalism. And that in fact the ethos of Capitalism growth parleys into population growth. as Markets have always sought extra people as workers, soldiers and as consumers. And that the conditions to allow for this growth were made possible precisely because of thriving Economies. So, then I ask is all this really a Success for our species? Or in fact quite the opposite as I contend.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 16 Feb 2018, 00:32:05

onlooker wrote:So, then I ask is all this really a Success for our species? Or in fact quite the opposite as I contend.


This has little to do with Venezuela, but I feel nature is amoral. I feel humans are ultimately a neurotic species because we, above all others, have developed a sense of morality (think of the tree of good and evil). Morality's closest analog in the natural world is familial bonding, which allows pets or disparate species to sometimes coexist if they imprint each other as parent/child/sibling. So above the family you have the TRIBE. Morality's purpose in nature is to protect the tribe, the fundamental unit of humanity. Baked into the cake of tribalism is hypocrisy. Justice is for us, not them. In times of scarcity it's necessary to institute lifeboat ethics. The tribe gets precedence over the not-tribe. In mixed groups, tribalism takes the form of ideology/politics, something you see play out here.

The difference between left and right leanings is that the left is more apt to think of humanity as a collective and the right is more insular. The right, despite greater religiosity, is "I'm alright jack, keep your hands off of my stack". The left is wage redistribution and the peace corp and trying to find excuses for suicide-bombers or serial-killers rather than insisting on individual responsibility.

Guess which mode of thinking will be more adaptive in the waning days of overshoot and die-off?

Utopian ideas make the most sense in a world of abundance, not shortages. Moral ideals go out the window when the store shelves go empty or waves of starving hoards are storming the border.

So I feel left-leaning talking points trying to attack people's guilty conscience and taking trips down memory lane about Dole pineapple and what not are really kind of barking up the wrong tree when it comes to doomerism. Overshoot is a zero-sum game of musical-chairs. You better the hell get used to the idea of throwing someone out of the lifeboat because if anyone's gonna survive, those sort of choices will be necessary.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 16 Feb 2018, 03:03:39

What onlooker failed to mention is that Anthropology has also found that animal altruistic behavior exists only in times of abundance. When food grows scarce, animals care for themselves and their offspring, even to the point of cannibalizing other primates.

The great human die-off has of course already begun. Parts of Asia and Afrika and South America have become uninhabitable and refugees are streaming from them. The USA has become one of their destinations.

TEOTWAWKI has happened for them, and they have made rational decisions to move North where there exist places where the economy still functions. In the process they walk away from their country, their posessions, and their hopes for the future.

Among them are now Venezuelans, and they too are coming to the USA as refugees. It is a dramatic demonstration of how Capitalism works and Marxism fails. If any of you doubt that, you are welcome to become a refugee to Venezuela.

Consider these things before deciding who is correct in this ongoing controversy.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby tita » Fri 16 Feb 2018, 04:52:38

KaiserJeep wrote:The country was a net exporter of food until the Marxist government instituted price controls which caused domestic food producers to fold and cease producing food beyond a bare minimum to feed themselves.

Okay, you are idealizing the situation in 1998 and you are just telling lies to make your point. The exportations were not due to overproduction, but a switch to non-essential food aimed for exportation, resulting in shortages for the population. I'm not arguing about how good is Marxism or Capitalism. Every country have some agriculture policy aimed to stimulate internal production and consumption, except New Zealand who have a remarkable agriculture sector. USA subsidize the sector (it gave 20 billions in 2005). Even if you want to reach competitiveness on free markets, you need some good policy to start it. Something that Venezuela failed to implement for decades.

And I agree that Chavez failed to reverse the situation. He tried, and probably because it was so controlled by the government, it failed. But pure liberalism also failed before. Sure, more capitalism is needed in Venezuela, but they also need better working policies. And if the current crisis end up with the same kind of neo-liberal governement that ruled in the 90's, Venezuela is sure to plunge again in a few years.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 16 Feb 2018, 06:28:07

I will concede that now and goiing forward, Kaiser and Asg are right. That some form of economic life boat ethics must be implemented. So naturally Capitalism is the preferred mode of economics given that its basis is a form of life boat ethics whereby those with money prosper and those without do not. So, in the recent times of abundance whereby everyone on the planet could have lived a relatively decent life, instead we have seen vast swaths of humanity consigned to a destitute life of squalor for the simple reason that they have not had money.

I do not see this as a defense of Capitalism rather an indictment of it and how it functions. Did Africa wholesale adopt Communism? No. They were not guilty of that but rather a far greater crime of being easy to exploit given the penchant of people to see them as inferior because of their color. So, yes refugees are coming to the rich countries even as a huge divide is growing within these rich countries of the have's and have nots. The refugees for the time being may get lucky and receive basic sustenance in rich countries. Then consistent with Capitalism we will begin to see the Lifeboat ethics highlighted exquisitely by people innured to the lifeboat or cut throat ethics so exemplefied by Capitalism.
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