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THE Venezuela Thread pt 5 (merged)

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THE Venezuela Thread pt 5 (merged)

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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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
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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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
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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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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Venezuela oil production is plummeting

Unread postby AdamB » Wed 14 Feb 2018, 11:23:38


Venezuela's main source of cash is dwindling at a breathtaking pace. The country's oil output in January fell to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, not including a brief oil strike in 2003, according to S&P Global Platts. A monthly OPEC report published Monday revealed Venezuela pumped 1.6 million barrels of oil per day last month. Production in January was down 20% from a year ago. The staggering decline is another sign of Venezuela's economic and political crisis. The country is heading toward a presidential election in April that international critics are already labeling fraudulent. Venezuela has more crude oil than any other country in the world and it heavily depends on the commodity to power its economy. Crude oil makes up about 95% of Venezuela's exports. The country has no other source of foreign income. Yet the government-owned oil company, PDVSA, has pumped


Venezuela oil production is plummeting
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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