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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 » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 08:16:05

Obviously Kub, you didn't really read the links, I provided. Yes high oil prices helped Venezuela but it helped the impoverished class because of policies by the Govt. Or else it would be BAU, rich getting richer and poor poorer.
And give me a break with the Crony Capitalism , Capitalism has always been about Crony and a Plutocracy ie. rule of money. That is why two classes have always existed, the rich and the poor. The exception has been modern industrial civilization which allowed a consumer class to blossom of about 1/5 of the world's population. Which by the way was also very advantageous to the high wealthy class.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby GHung » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 11:01:06

Oil tanker PDVSA seized in Curaçao

Various shipping companies are demanding a hefty $ 30 million from PdVSA for outstanding invoices.

WILLEMSTAD - The Panamanian oil tanker Proteo is not allowed to depart from Bullenbaai. The ship is on the chain. The cargo of Venezuelan crude oil has been seized.

According to local Dutch newspaper Amigoe, this has been done by international shipping companies. They demand a hefty 30 million US dollars from the Venezuelan State Oil company PdVSA for outstanding invoices.

http://curacaochronicle.com/local/oil-t ... n-curacao/
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby Cog » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 11:14:54

Sounds like the government of Venezuela are dead-beats. What a surprise.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:43:39

I guess I'll state my point another way: state ownership of natural resources is a mistake. It's a mistake that many countries make, poor or otherwise. It's not so much a mistake because it invites corruption, though it does. The mistake lies in treating natural resources as a separate profit center. The state gains a necessary interest in this profit center succeeding. They make more from selling their resources externally. What happens to them, though, is tantamount to what happens within a corporation when they approach the departments within their organization as if each one has to justify their existence by adding to the bottom line. Departments that are not revenue generating departments eventually shrink or approach failure. Necessary functions, like accounting, are not revenue generating. They suffer from belt tightening that has no relation to proper management.

Corruption only exacerbates the problem. It doesn't cause it. The root cause is the misunderstanding of the true value of those things that can be brought about if the state were to use its own oil for its own purposes, as opposed to the easy to see return from considering it as a separate and superior asset sold on a world market.

Countries like the United States use their resources. They understand that a leasing system that honors risk taking promotes the use of their natural resources by other risk takers within their economies for downstream purposes, using their resources as inputs into manufacturing or conversion to consumer goods. External entities still compete for the resources, but the country can tweak its approach, adjusting tax law and the tariff structure to achieve a broader purpose. And that can happen well outside the kind of corruption seen doing it the other way. It can happen under the auspices of the state rather than that of the ruling party or the regime that never changes. The tax base that results from such a point of view is much broader, and the economy much more dynamic, than the one legged stool of state ownership.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:47:43

I guess I'll state my point another way: state ownership of natural resources is a mistake. It's a mistake that many countries make, poor or otherwise. It's not so much a mistake because it invites corruption, though it does. The mistake lies in treating natural resources as a separate profit center. The state gains a necessary interest in this profit center succeeding. They make more from selling their resources externally.-----
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 13:03:11

I may add that you cannot just look at what countries do or do not do within a vacuum. It all is happening within the context of the world financial system in which rich countries and institutions set up by them hold an inordinate sway and power. So, if a country wants a Loan it must adhere to certain conditions. These sometimes are referred to as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP). These conditions include cutting Social Services, gearing Economy to import/export, cutting wages and weakening Unions, weakening environmental laws , letting borders open up completely etc. This is how Globalization has come to be. It is administered and enforced by the World Trade Council ie. WTO and is aided by the IMF and the World Bank. In addition to bilateral Trade treaties. So, poor Countries many times have little recourse than to adhere to these conditions if they wish to participate in world trade and if they wish to receive loans. Chavez tried to disengage and thought he could because he possessed great oil wealth. Well, it is very difficult to do so as you become an economic pariah and outcast.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 13:23:44

I guess I'll state my point another way: state ownership of natural resources is a mistake. It's a mistake that many countries make, poor or otherwise. It's not so much a mistake because it invites corruption, though it does. The mistake lies in treating natural resources as a separate profit center. The state gains a necessary interest in this profit center succeeding. They make more from selling their resources externally.--


The model that works well is one in which the state owns its resources. There are very few places in the world where the state is not the sole owner of resources (US seems to be one exception). What happens is that companies whether domestic or foreign are allowed to produce hydrocarbons and sell them with either the host country getting royalties or actually participating as a partner in the case of Petroleum Sharing Agreements. In this manner the State spends no capital but collects the majority of the income either as royalties or a percentage share of production. In most countries the contract that companies sign specifically state that the company does not own the oil. Because they have the right to lift oil, take on risk in doing so they are generally allowed to claim the hydrocarbons they discover as reserves net of royalties for accounting and stock exchange reporting but they never, in fact, own the reserves.

Where Chavez made his mistake was in kicking out all the foreign companies. As such much of the revenues should have been reinvested in the oil fields to maintain/improve production rather than doing what he did which was to seek popular support amongst rural poor by donating the vast majority of oil revenues into social programs. As a consequence, the oil fields deteriorated and with the drop in oil price they could no longer even support social payments let alone serve as a source of funding to maintain oil fields, roads and other infrastructure. If he had kept the foreign companies in and even opened up the industry further as neighboring countries such as Colombia have done he would still have had somewhere between 80 - 90% of the revenues from the oilfields but with no requirement to reinvest the capital for maintenance as that would be handled by the foreign companies.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 17:05:55

onlooker wrote:Obviously Kub, you didn't really read the links, I provided. Yes high oil prices helped Venezuela but it helped the impoverished class because of policies by the Govt. Or else it would be BAU, rich getting richer and poor poorer.
Onlooker, this is nothing but rhetoric. Not facts. Let's take a look at this BAU time before Chavez that made the rich richer and poor poorer:

During the 1970s, Venezuela was the richest country in Latin America. With the region’s highest growth rates and the lowest levels of inequality, it was also one of the most stable democracies in the Americas.
Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse by Ricardo Hausmann and Francisco R. Rodríguez

Far from your rhetoric, Venezuela had the lowest levels of inequality, highest growth rate, and most stable democracy in Latin America.

By the 1960s and the 1970s, the governments in Venezuela were able to maintain social harmony by spending fairly large amounts on public programmes. Venezuelan workers were known for enjoying the highest wages in Latin America.
Venezuela's worst economic crisis: What went wrong?

Here we have the impoverished class helped by the govt polices funded by oil. Long before Chavez. Do you see what I am saying here Onlooker? Once you look past the political rhetoric and at actual facts you will see I am telling the truth.

onlooker wrote:And give me a break with the Crony Capitalism , Capitalism has always been about Crony and a Plutocracy ie. rule of money.
More rhetoric. Did you read anything that I linked to Onlooker? Cronyism reached new heights under Chavez and Maduro.

Cronyism and patronage
Boliburguesía is a term describing the new bourgeois created by the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chávez and Chavismo, made up of people who became rich under the Chavez administration. The term was coined by journalist Juan Carlos Zapata, to "define the oligarchy that has developed under the protection of the Chavez government". Corruption among the Boliburguesía and Chavez-administration sympathizers has moved millions of dollars with the complicity of public officials, with some becoming rich under the guise of socialism. The general secretary of opposition party Acción Democrática says that corruption in the financial industry and other sectors was tied to functionaries of the administration.

During Hugo Chávez's tenure, he seized thousands of properties and businesses while also reducing the footprint of foreign companies. Venezuela's economy was then largely state-run and was operated by military officers that had their business and government affairs connected. Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Harold Trinkunas, stated that involving the military in business was "a danger", with Trinkunas explaining that the Venezuelan military "has the greatest ability to coerce people, into business like they have". According to Bloomberg Business, "by showering contracts on former military officials and pro-government business executives, Chavez put a new face on the system of patronage".

The policies of Chávez's "Socialism for the 21st century" included "the bloating of state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., or PDVSA, with patronage hires" which led to mismanagement of the petroleum industry in Venezuela. In 2006, Rafael Ramírez, then energy minister, gave PDVSA workers a choice: Support President Hugo Chávez, or lose their jobs.
Corruption in Venezuela
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 17:11:23

And as for not reading your source, it sounds like you are the one who didn't read it. Because many of it's arguments echo what I have been saying.

The government’s current fiscal woes—international reserves are below $12 billion, the lowest level in over a decade, with reserves falling by half in the past 18 months, and by nearly two-thirds since 2010—underscore the carelessness with which Venezuela managed its oil bonanza. The drop in oil production over the past three years suggests there is something to the argument that the government should have reinvested more oil revenue in PDVSA and spent less elsewhere.

kublikhan wrote:A further harsh blow to the industry was Chavez diverting funds that should have been used to invest in new oil sector projects to fund his social programs. Using oil wealth to fund social programs is a great idea but you have to do it in a smart way(ex: Norway). But Chavez went too far and starved the oil industry of the funds it needed to survive. Oil is a capital intensive business. You need to put the bucks in to get the bucks out. But Chavez was starving his golden goose and it was slowly dying.
Oil Has Cursed Venezuela
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MISMANAGING THE CURRENCY
While falling oil prices and corruption are key contributors, the single greatest cause of Venezuela’s crisis is the government’s mismanagement of its currency. Most economists, however, including many sympathetic to the government, believe currency controls should have lasted only a few years. Once the threat of capital flight subsided, the currency should have been allowed to float against the dollar. Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research has argued for years that the government should re-establish a free float of the currency as the best way to overcome the current crisis. Doing so would immediately end one of the major incentives for corruption.

kublikhan wrote:In addition to mismanaging the oil sector, Chavez also mismanaged the general economy as well:
The third factor, which is probably the most significant at this stage to explain why the crisis is so deep, is the currency controls — which were implemented in 2003 after an oil industry strike aimed at ousting Chávez. Currency controls are usually a measure that you take for a year or two at the most, because after that, it creates an incentive for corruption, and that’s exactly what has happened. It created disincentives for production, and incentives for purchasing, hoarding and then reselling the scarce goods that there are.

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The huge difference between the lower official rate and the black-market rate has generated several major problems. First, it has created immense incentives for corruption among businesses and state/military officials who are provided dollars by the government at the lower official rate. These businesses and officials often trade these dollars on the black market in order to make obscene profits.

kublikhan wrote:The policies implemented by the Chavez and Maduro administrations encouraged people to make money not by providing goods and services but instead via corruption, smuggling, black marketeering, etc.

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Second, the diversion of dollars away from imports and into illegal black-market trading has contributed to severe scarcities as well as the marked drop in imports. Third, production by legitimate businesses (as opposed to ghost enterprises, so-called empresas de maletín) has declined because of their lack of access to dollars and needed inputs.

kublikhan wrote:Chavez and Maduro created the economic conditions that resulted in the shortages.

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Venezuela’s extreme dependence on oil is a longstanding problem. As such, it is unfair to lay all the blame for this situation at the feet of Chávez (or Maduro).

kublikhan wrote:The Venezuelan governments mismanaged the county by epic proportions. This is not a dig at socialism per se. Many other socialist leaning countries are doing much better. It was the leaders themselves. Part of the problem goes much further back than Chavez. Ever since it started producing oil, Venezuela has always been a country that spends every penny it brings in and then some.

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Chávez does, however, undoubtedly bear significant responsibility. The percentage of Venezuela’s export earnings from oil increased from 68.7 percent to 96 percent between 1998. Chávez frequently talked of diversifying Venezuela’s economy, but in practice did little to achieve this goal.

kublikhan wrote:Lack of diversification is a big problem too. You don't want one commodity making up 95% of your exports while nearly everything else is imported.

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FAILING TO ADDRESS THE SCOURGE OF CORRUPTION
The government’s third major failure, in addition to the currency crisis and oil dependence, is its unwillingness and/or inability to effectively tackle corruption. In 2015 Transparency International listed Venezuela as the tenth most corrupt country in the world (out of 167 listed). Perhaps more important (given the problems with supposedly objective but inherently political country rankings), most Venezuelans appear to view corruption as a major problem. In a June 2015 interview, Roland Denis, a revolutionary activist who was Chávez’s vice minister of planning and development in 2002-2003, paints a devastating picture of pervasive corruption within the Venezuelan state. According to Denis, the number of officials involved in corruption is “not four or five, but…hundreds who in turn have created their own networks of collaborators and frontmen.” Chávez’s initial rise was fueled by Venezuelans’ disgust with growing corruption in the 1980s and ’90s. It is ironic, and obviously disappointing to his followers, that corruption grew to new heights under Chávez.

kublikhan wrote:And despite all the anger against corruption, corruption actually got much worse under Chavez and Maduro. This is understandable as the very policies implemented by Chavez and Maduro foster corruption. Chavez himself, the great man of the people, transferred $4.2 billion offshore into his daughter's bank account, making her Venezuela's richest woman. That's not even getting into the tons of Chavez/Maduro toadies lining their pockets at the expense of the people.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 17:59:31

Might as well pack it in as far as onlooker is concerned. To be fair to him, I don't think his mistaken ideas are even his own fault. I have him pegged as a second generation academic, his parents taught him his Marxist principles in total ignorance because they too never worked or owned businesses.

The only thing I fault him for is not noticing that Capitalism works everywhere, Marxism has never worked, and that corruption in government is almost universal and unrelated to the type of government or type of economic system. The cronyism he decries in Venezuela for example is part of Latin culture, which requires favoritism for family and extended family, even if laws are broken. The same problems afflict Cuba and Puerto Rico and many areas of the Mediteranean Basin.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby GHung » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 18:33:22

KaiserJeep wrote: ....I have him pegged as a second generation academic, his parents taught him his Marxist principles in total ignorance because they too never worked or owned businesses. ....


Careful, KJ. Your ass-holiness is bleeding through. My parents were both 'academics' and they worked their asses off their whole lives, even after retirement. Did a lot more than sitting in front of a keyboard in a cubicle. Indeed, you would get exhausted just reading their resumes. And they were never snooty and conceited, or unkind. You could only wish to be the kind of people they were.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 18:46:42

Read this Kub by a Venezuelan Scholar, it lays out the Economic warfare imposed on Venezuela as soon as Chavez was elected. This economic warfare being a standard operation since at least WWII in South and Central Amerira. https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opini ... -0007.html
I include this passage:
" When a nation seeks to create an egalitarian society or moves towards socialism, economic actions are taken that usually do not occur in a vacuum. They are accompanied by a media war peppered with false economic facts that seek to divert attention and mislead as is currently happening today with the Venezuelan government."
As for how Venezula was before Chavev read these two links which follow. I only include this pertinenent passage "During the decade from the late 1980’s to 1998, Venezuela signed [9] off on draconic International Monetary Fund programs, including privatizations of natural resources, devaluations and austerity programs, which enriched the MNCs, emptied the Treasury and impoverished the majority of wage and salary earners." So no Venezuela was just like all other South and Central American countries, very unequal and with a large impoverished class.
https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10112
http://creativetimereports.org/2014/04/ ... venezuela/
So, again look at the context of the Economic warfare and look how Chavez and his Govt were squeezed. Thus the responses by Chavez were to these policies. Currency controls so that local producers do not leave for greener pastures and to entice importers to trade. As for relying solely on Oil well that was the ace in the deck for Chavez, because he knew the US covets the Oil greatly as do other potent countries. In summary, Kub and others you can keep reading what sources you want and demonstrate your confirmation bias or you can try to expand your views and see through the false propaganda. They're is ample info on the Net to follow the trail of aggressive Neo-liberal imperial policies by the US and other Western powers and the Transnational Corportations whom the Western politicians are beholden too. Who knows maybe I can sway one of you.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 19:01:33

GHung wrote:-snip-

Careful, KJ. Your ass-holiness is bleeding through. My parents were both 'academics' and they worked their asses off their whole lives, even after retirement. Did a lot more than sitting in front of a keyboard in a cubicle. Indeed, you would get exhausted just reading their resumes. And they were never snooty and conceited, or unkind. You could only wish to be the kind of people they were.


There are academics and academics. Personally, I met most of the Marxists I ever met on campus, and they included every LAS professor I ever knew, but not any of my EE or Astronomy profs. My problem with this is there are so many empty-headed LAS majors produced by the US educational system, who don't know their own asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to earning a living, and didn't even study anything an employer would actually pay them for. The whole system is also supported by donations and taxes from a system and country that is Capitalist, and they don't even acknowledge where the money came from.

I acquired this opinion from being a middle-level corporate manager, with hiring and firing decisions and a department budget to manage. Not the same as owning a business, but not the ivory tower world of academia either.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 20:24:34

onlooker wrote:Read this Kub by a Venezuelan Scholar, it lays out the Economic warfare imposed on Venezuela as soon as Chavez was elected. This economic warfare being a standard operation since at least WWII in South and Central Amerira. https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opini ... -0007.html
I include this passage:
" When a nation seeks to create an egalitarian society or moves towards socialism, economic actions are taken that usually do not occur in a vacuum. They are accompanied by a media war peppered with false economic facts that seek to divert attention and mislead as is currently happening today with the Venezuelan government."
Read this onlooker. This is your own source BTW:

To an agonizingly large degree, Venezuela’s crisis is of the government’s own making. Instead of easing or ending it, the government’s actions—and inactions—over the last several years have made it far worse. Yet, the government has not acted in a vacuum, but in a hostile domestic and international environment. The opposition has openly and repeatedly pushed for regime change by any means necessary.

An honest account of the crisis must include both of these aspects: the government’s costly errors, and the destabilizing actions of the opposition and US government. To ignore one or the other is to misrepresent reality and perpetuate false all-or-nothing narratives that blame the crisis, in its entirety, on either “socialism” or the “Empire.” Such narratives may comfort those seeking affirmation for preconceived notions, but they will not aid those seeking to know why Venezuela is in crisis and how it might get out of it.
Why Is Venezuela in Crisis?

Onlooker, you and the Venezuelan Scholar are falling directly into the trap this author warned about. Putting most of the blame on Economic warfare. Yet even your own source says that "to an agonizingly large degree, Venezuela’s crisis is of the government’s own making." Meddling from Washington certainly made things worse. Yet much of what your sources call "economic warfare" I call rational human behavior. Because of the currency and price controls implemented by the government, they created a perverse incentive to not stock stores with goods at prices that are below cost. Why would anyone want to sell goods at a loss? Instead, they stock the bare minimum of goods they can get away with and sell the rest on the black market. This is not economic warfare directed by foreign governments or the Venezuelan opposition. These are rational economic decisions made by thousands of individuals. Many are doing this just to survive in these chaotic times.

onlooker wrote:As for how Venezula was before Chavev read these two links which follow. I only include this pertinenent passage "During the decade from the late 1980’s to 1998, Venezuela signed [9] off on draconic International Monetary Fund programs, including privatizations of natural resources, devaluations and austerity programs, which enriched the MNCs, emptied the Treasury and impoverished the majority of wage and salary earners." So no Venezuela was just like all other South and Central American countries, very unequal and with a large impoverished class.
Onlooker, you are mixing up the good times in the 70s(high oil prices) with the bad times in the 80s and 90s(low oil prices). Because the oil revenues fell hard in the 80s and 90s, there was no more oil revenues to bankroll the generous social program the government had been doling out. And because there was no rainy day savings to help the country get through lean times, the blow was doubly devastating. Venezuela was going to have been in a world of hurt whether they accepted the IMF program or not. It's the same dynamic we are seeing more recently. Venezuela prospering during a decade of high oil prices(2004-2013). And Venezuela becoming impoverished during low oil prices(2014-). No IMF program this time around. Yet Venezuela is even worse off now than during the 80s. I mentioned all of this before:

Onlooker, you make it sound like only under Chavez did Venezuela's poor see their standard of living rise. That's not true. The fate of the poor in Venezuela goes up and down with the fortunes of oil:
By the 1960s and the 1970s, the governments in Venezuela were able to maintain social harmony by spending fairly large amounts on public programmes. In 1970, Venezuela had become the richest country in Latin America, and one of the 20 richest countries in the world, with a per capita higher that Spain, Greece and Israel. Venezuelan workers were known for enjoying the highest wages in Latin America, a situation that dramatically changed when oil prices collapsed during the 1980s.

The economy contracted and inflation levels rose, remaining between 6 and 12 percent from 1982 to 1986. The inflation rate surged in 1989 to 81 percent, the same year the capital city of Caracas experienced rioting during the Caracazo following the cuts in government spending and the opening of markets by the then president, Carlos Andres Perez.

By the mid-1990s under Caldera, Venezuela saw annual inflation rates of 50-60 percent, and an inflation rate of 100 percent in 1996, three years before Chavez took office. The number of people living in poverty rose from 36 percent to 66 percent in 1995 with the country suffering a severe bank crisis.


onlooker wrote:In summary, Kub and others you can keep reading what sources you want and demonstrate your confirmation bias or you can try to expand your views and see through the false propaganda. They're is ample info on the Net to follow the trail of aggressive Neo-liberal imperial policies by the US and other Western powers and the Transnational Corportations whom the Western politicians are beholden too. Who knows maybe I can sway one of you.
Funny I was just going to say the same thing to you. I am not quoting fox news here onlooker. Most of the time I am quoting your own sources. Yet your confirmation bias has you tuning even them out when they don't fit your narrative. Just FYI, I am a frequent reader of venezuelanalysis.com. I like to look at sources that don't conform to my own believes just to keep myself honest. I think you could benefit from that as well. Step out of your comfort zone onlooker. Check out what the other side is saying. You might find that the truth is not so simple as your original narrative paints it. Maybe start with Caracas Chronicles and see what kind of impression you come away with after reading a few articles. Here's an article talking about the food stocking I was just talking about: Surprise! They helped people loot, now there’s no food
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 20:44:16

I hope the other posters and members allow me to pursue these Capitalism ideas as they pertain to this thread actually. Kaiser, when you say Capitalism has "worked", around the world, it behooves everyone to know what worked really means. Yes, I ackowledge that Capitalism has been very good at generating wealth, stimulating economic activity and encouraging entrepreneurship in certain countries. But it is about who it has worked for. Basically, for those already in the upper echelon economic classes meaning for a relatively small minorty. One sees it in all countries especially in the countries colonized and invaded by the Western Empires. A priviledged upper class usually white. And ones sees it also in comparatively between the minority rich countries and the majority poor countries. So that those more broadly benefitting are the roughly 1/5 of the world population who live in rich countries and utilize about 80% of the world's resources, leaving 20% for the 80% who live in poor countries.
So, it is a false and misleading notion that Capitalism has worked around the world because this statement implies for most people around the world and that is simply false. Billions still live in abject poverty only benefitting by having a tenuous social safety net via Humanatarian Relief Organizations and by the procurement of basic modern benefits like sufficient food and some access to life saving medical treatment. This being more a product of humanities increased and cumulative knowledge and technology and abundant energy via FF. What is striking is that despite these incredible advances one can still witness so many people around the world living in very destitute and relatively helpless conditions. So no I am not ready to praise Capitalism so much. You yourself Kaiser have admitted and described the state of abject poverty of the Third World. So, I am not sure how you can then say Capitalism has worked all around the world.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 21:17:17

Onlooker, understand this. There is no worldwide economic system, there are only individual countries. NOTHING WHATSOEVER IS EVER DONE FOR EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD. This never has happened, and almost certainly never will. There are 195 countries in the world, with 195 different economic systems. Broad generalizations about economic systems are typically mistakenly made, aside from narrowly focussed comments, such as when talking about social customs and cultures like official corruption in Latin countries.

You as an individual probably are born in and live your whole life in one country, like most people. I believe that both of us were fortunate to be born in the USA, which is not the largest country or the most populated, not the one with the most per capita income, and not the one with the richest person (because the royal family in the UK owns more than Bill Gates). The USA is however the large country with the largest Middle Class. It has more people with more total money than anywhere else, and each and every American - even if on Welfare with $0 actual earnings - is among the richest 10% in the World, including YOU.

I know how much Bill Gates has done in the way of charity for others, he publicizes it, as does Warren Buffet and most wealthy people. I know how much I do for others as charity and even how much the UK royals give to the poor, because I get a begging letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury each year to keep me informed of their charitable activities. I know lots of Mormons here in Silicon Valley and I know each of them gives 10% of their income to their church and I can go online and see how that gets spent.

You spend an awful lot of time grousing about the unfairness of the world. I don't know what you are DOING aside from COMPLAINING, and I'm not asking, and I don't want to know. But I would like you to ask yourself how much you personally are doing to alleviate the suffering of the world's poor, given your priviledged position in the world's richest 10%.

Having thought that through, I'd like you to give thought to what anybody can do to alleviate suffering beyond the borders of the country they live in. My impression is that 90% or better of the funds in International charities including the UN, are sent down a rathole and wasted and stolen without doing much to help the disadvantaged. In the case of the USA, whenever we do much to change that, people like you cry about how we are exploiting the poor. As if giving them jobs and buying the fruits of their labor was taking advantage of them.

Hugo Chavez victimized the Venezuelans, not anybody in the USA. Chavez the Marxist, who said he was doing it for them, did it to them.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 21:38:16

Kub, first thank you for your objective approach. I will concede 3 things. First, corruption and the human element within the Govt. have been a factor in Venezuelas downfall. Second, the Oil Price certainly has had a big impact on the Economic situation there throughout time. And third at some point a bad momentum has taken over and self interest and desperation have fueled this downward spiral. But make no mistake about it the Economic warfare has been all out against Venezuela and surprisingly from within. From the high-upper class in Venezuela. Check out this The Great Import Scam from this link https://www.telesurtv.net/english/analy ... -0035.html
Also, check this out Cyber and Currency Manipulation out of Miami -- http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom ... socialism/
And consider if you are willing too Kub, that this is a worldwide system and that the dictates of this system require collective action against any Actor ie. Country that defies the iron grip of Capitalism and the Debt based system. So, the World Trade Council determines that a country is not engaging in fair trade practices and sanctions are imposed and loans are withheld etc. This is not some secret but openly and publicly known now as part of Globalization and Free Trade. "That sabotage by the private sector has taken the form of hoarding of selected items, price speculation, keeping supermarket shelves empty, sending food shipments to neighbouring countries, even setting food warehouse stockpiles on fire. This purposely-generated scarcity creates chaos and discontent, further undermining the government" The above passage from this link about the sabotage by private Corporations " http://www.herald.co.zw/venezuela-targe ... c-warfare/
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 22:47:45

Onlooker I would like you to respond in kind and use objective sources. telesurtv.net is not an objective source. It is a propaganda source:

Bolivarian propaganda is a form of South American nationalist propaganda, especially in Venezuela, that utilizes the ideals espoused by Simón Bolívar, who helped lead Venezuela and other Latin American countries to independence from Spain, to exploit populist sentiments in support of local leaders. This type of propaganda has been particularly associated with Hugo Chávez's Bolivarian Revolution, which used emotional arguments to gain attention, exploit the fears (either real or imagined) of the population, create external enemies for scapegoat purposes, and produce nationalism within the population, causing feelings of betrayal for support of the opposition. The World Politics Review stated that as Chávez began "transforming Venezuela into a socialist state" that propaganda was "an important role in maintaining and mobilizing government supporters". The image of Chávez is seen on sides of buildings, on T-shirts, on ambulances, on official Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) billboards, and as action figures throughout Venezuela. A 2011 article by The New York Times says Venezuela has an "expanding state propaganda complex" while The Boston Globe described Chávez as "a media savvy, forward-thinking propagandist" and that he had "the oil wealth to influence public opinion"

TeleSUR
In 2005 after teleSUR was founded, it was described as being a network showing the diversity of Latin America. After 2007 however, some began to believe that teleSUR appeared to be a propaganda tool for Hugo Chávez and his Bolivarian Revolution, with the network being described as "a mouthpiece for Chávez after Andres Izarra became head of the network. The Boston Globe stated that Chávez's government was able to fund 70% of TeleSUR's functions while also providing broadcasting facilities, with other leftist governments supporting the network as well, advertising it "as a Latin socialist answer to CNN". Joel D. Hirst, a former International Affairs Fellow in Residence of the Council on Foreign Relations, stated that the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), knowing the importance of propaganda, "embarked upon an ambitious plan to control information across the hemisphere" and began their plan with the creation of teleSUR in 2005. TeleSUR changed from a "modest attempt to pluralize media" to an organization that tries "to promote the charismatic presence of Hugo Chávez as an international figure".

The Legatum Institute states that TeleSUR "attempts to whitewash regime abuses and failures" and that "TeleSUR focuses on exaggerated coverage of negative events elsewhere ... and sets up false comparisons, such as equating Venezuelan supermarket queues and queues for the 'Black Friday' shopping holiday in the US".
Bolivarian propaganda

Your toolsforfreedom link just links back to a TeleSUR youtube video. And your Herald link is just as bad:
The Herald is a state-owned daily newspaper published in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. The Herald has for some time been noted for its completely one sided reporting for the government of President Robert Mugabe and the Zanu-PF party, and its demonisation of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). It often accuses the MDC of being agents of colonial powers. Many opposition media claim that the paper has evolved into an instrument of rather crude and aggressive propaganda. The paper makes no pretence of impartiality.
The Herald (Zimbabwe)

You need to stop linking to propaganda and link to objective sources to make your case. If you don't trust western media how about you take a look at aljazeera? They run articles on Venezuela without turning things into a mouthpiece for either neoliberal causes or the Venezuelan government.

Here's a few aljazeera articles on Venezuela to get you started:
Venezuela's worst economic crisis: What went wrong?

Don't blame socialism for Venezuela's woes

Venezuela's crisis explained from the beginning

Who is to blame for Venezuela’s economic collapse?
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 23:12:04

It could be he's a helpless case, Kub. He talks about "confirmation bias" and he blames Capitalism for every single problem everywhere, while sprinkling talk of class warfare in just about all his postings. It's all of it right out of Marx and Engels, and every personal conviction he expresses is Marxist, and yet he doesn't want to admit even to himself, that they were silly fools with zero true insights about human society.

Prejudice is rooted in "previous judgement" and he apparently made all his years ago, if not decades. Can't do much else if you're old and Red.
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Re: Oil Has Cursed Venezuela

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 12:59:10

Markets are great. Why don't oil producing countries put them to work in their best interests? And it's not just oil producers, but producers of all kinds of natural resources. Because the network of markets working within and without the industries those resources engender would have an economic impact far greater than the income derived from the mere one off sale of the resource to begin with.

There are a few reasons. The first has probably got to do with sharing power. Outright, one off resource sale favors an established or easy to recognize source of power. In the Middle East this is usually a monarchy derived from the time when Churchill helped break the region up into states, or some dictator who remains in power after some usurpation. When you don't have to compete for political power with powerful interests brought about by the diversification of the economy it's easier to stay in power.

The second is probably first world interests. The Export Land Model is all about how much less of a resource is available for sale to external markets when a resource producer uses more of it themselves. Many of the interventional and clandestine wars that were fought during the Twentieth Century were likely waged because of this. The US has always liked its strongman. This is for a reason. While they may not have always been too concerned about the competition the strongman faced politically, unless it was from the communists, they have always acted in a manner that has kept impoverished countries from developing complex economies that would compete with them over world market based resources, or over their own intrinsic resources. 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. One could argue that in Central America, at least, this was also the product of a narrow view on the part of the political elite in the US that held conservatism as the arbiter or gateway to capitalism, but certainly that dances around the issue of the Export Land Model.

There is also the structure of the international financial system. Since the 70's, when the US won the economic war with OPEC, the US has been the investment area of choice for the entire world. By demonstrating a willingness to crush their own economy in order to win the battle with OPEC, by instituting high interest rates, the US became the undisputed king. Now, every corrupt state invests in dollar denominated assets. Every corrupt politician anywhere in the world has hidden money in US dollars. In addition, the dollar being king, states have to endure meeting conditions when borrowing money internationally that satisfy the dollar hegemony. They aren't allowed to do many things that would bolster their own currencies against the dollar, like diversify their own economies in ways that would cause them to grow and compete either locally or internationally with the dollar so as to displace the importance of the dollar. The people who loan that money want to get paid back, and they want the relationship to continue. Globalization is far more important to the dollar hegemony than localization.

There are probably a bunch more reasons. I don't dispute the illogical approach of Marxism being at the heart of Venezuela's problems, but one shouldn't lose sight of Venezuela's historical role in OPEC either. They have always been ready to contend with OPEC's consumers. They have historically agitated for greater power on the part of OPEC. They took the risk a long time ago, basing their position on OPEC having more pricing power than it turned out to have in relation to the dollar hegemony. Even without Chavez, they might still be where they are today. There are some very long term trends working themselves out.
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