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Thread: Socialism less of a dirty word in the US?

  1. Top | #161
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dismal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    You surely meant to say "increased" and not "decreased"? What I'm hearing is that the price of oil, Venezuela's main export, correlates closely with the health of its overall economy.
    Yes, correct. The math works like this: sell 3 barrels at $10 you get $30. Sell 2 barrels at $100 you get $200. Your revenues are up almost seven fold but you aren't better at producing things. You've already begun to destroy the ability to produce things.

    Then oil price goes down to say, $60 like it is now. It's six times as high as when you took over, but since you've destroyed the ability to produce things, the economy can't take it.
    If you want to stick with that explanation despite the other factors you keep snipping out of the quote tags, fine by me. We can argue about Venezuela all day and still not come to any conclusions about socialism in the United States, which would have virtually none of the obstacles that Venezuela, Russia, China, Cuba, or the other countries that instituted some version of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism faced (other than the reactionaries that would plague any transition toward socialism). We have nobody to catch up to, no dictators to overthrow, an existing infrastructure badly in need of renovation, and ridiculous levels of concentrated wealth. Capitalism elevates the technological development of every society it touches until the labor pool reaches a certain price ceiling, at which point it moves onto cheaper, less developed pastures. The United States reached that point in the 1970's.

    Since then, our economy has been a long process of capitalism saying goodbye to its former stomping grounds, the Detroits and Philadelphias and Clevelands, and heading for what remains of the hinterlands in the global south. Manufacturing is never coming back. If you want to talk about an economy in danger of losing its ability to produce things, roll the clock forward a couple of decades and look in your backyard. When production is driven by the market and the market is global, production will always occur where it's cheapest. When production is driven by the wants and needs of humans collectively deciding how to allocate their energies and creativity, not within the context of simply getting to the next paycheck or adding another zero to an offshore bank account, the possibility of taking care of everyone and simultaneously working less, producing less, and consuming less is suddenly within reach. Climate scientists and their related disciplines the world over say we have a little more than a decade to figure that out. The barrier between here and there is late capitalism and its defenders.

  2. Top | #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dismal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    You surely meant to say "increased" and not "decreased"? What I'm hearing is that the price of oil, Venezuela's main export, correlates closely with the health of its overall economy.
    Yes, correct. The math works like this: sell 3 barrels at $10 you get $30. Sell 2 barrels at $100 you get $200. Your revenues are up almost seven fold but you aren't better at producing things. You've already begun to destroy the ability to produce things.

    Then oil price goes down to say, $60 like it is now. It's six times as high as when you took over, but since you've destroyed the ability to produce things, the economy can't take it.
    If you want to stick with that explanation despite the other factors you keep snipping out of the quote tags, fine by me. We can argue about Venezuela all day and still not come to any conclusions about socialism in the United States, which would have virtually none of the obstacles that Venezuela, Russia, China, Cuba, or the other countries that instituted some version of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism faced (other than the reactionaries that would plague any transition toward socialism). We have nobody to catch up to, no dictators to overthrow, an existing infrastructure badly in need of renovation, and ridiculous levels of concentrated wealth. Capitalism elevates the technological development of every society it touches until the labor pool reaches a certain price ceiling, at which point it moves onto cheaper, less developed pastures. The United States reached that point in the 1970's.

    Since then, our economy has been a long process of capitalism saying goodbye to its former stomping grounds, the Detroits and Philadelphias and Clevelands, and heading for what remains of the hinterlands in the global south. Manufacturing is never coming back. If you want to talk about an economy in danger of losing its ability to produce things, roll the clock forward a couple of decades and look in your backyard. When production is driven by the market and the market is global, production will always occur where it's cheapest. When production is driven by the wants and needs of humans collectively deciding how to allocate their energies and creativity, not within the context of simply getting to the next paycheck or adding another zero to an offshore bank account, the possibility of taking care of everyone and simultaneously working less, producing less, and consuming less is suddenly within reach. Climate scientists and their related disciplines the world over say we have a little more than a decade to figure that out. The barrier between here and there is late capitalism and its defenders.
    What "obstacles" does Venezuela have to growing the production of things? (Other than Chavez/Maduro, of course.)

    It's a fertile land with lakes, rivers, oceanfront and craptons of energy.

    They certainly seemed far more capable of producing things before Chavez than after.

    By 2010, the government had seized 20% of the agricultural land in Venezuela. The remaining private farmers do not invest in their farms for fear of expropriation.

    These expropriations destroyed Venezuela’s agricultural capacity. According to the National Confederacy of Agriculture and Livestock Associations, agricultural productivity dropped sharply from 2007 to 2011. Maize production fell by 40.3%; rice by 38.9%; sugar by 33.6%; coffee by 46.5%; potatoes by 63.5%; tomatoes by 31.0%; and onions by 24.6%. Livestock farming was also devastated. Beef and veal production have dropped by 75% between 1998 and 2014.

    Nationalisation also affected Venezuela’s food processors. The government expropriated 18 of the 27 plants producing the staple corn flour. All are now making a loss and are in various stages of collapse. One of the most egregious nationalisation cases is the Cariaco Sugar Plant: within two years of being nationalised it was only producing at 11% of its previous production levels. The Ezequiel Zamora Sugar Plant, started in 2002 as a new state enterprise by Chavez in his home state, has cost a huge amount but is largely in ruins and barely producing any sugar.

    https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/venezuela-food

  3. Top | #163
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dismal View Post
    What "obstacles" does Venezuela have to growing the production of things? (Other than Chavez/Maduro, of course.)

    It's a fertile land with lakes, rivers, oceanfront and craptons of energy.

    They certainly seemed far more capable of producing things before Chavez than after.

    By 2010, the government had seized 20% of the agricultural land in Venezuela. The remaining private farmers do not invest in their farms for fear of expropriation.

    These expropriations destroyed Venezuela’s agricultural capacity. According to the National Confederacy of Agriculture and Livestock Associations, agricultural productivity dropped sharply from 2007 to 2011. Maize production fell by 40.3%; rice by 38.9%; sugar by 33.6%; coffee by 46.5%; potatoes by 63.5%; tomatoes by 31.0%; and onions by 24.6%. Livestock farming was also devastated. Beef and veal production have dropped by 75% between 1998 and 2014.
    Adam Smith dot org. lol

    Venezuela’s Agricultural Production Advances

    According to the Land and Agriculture Ministry statistics, the production of white corn in Venezuela has increased by 132% in the past eleven years.

    Arepas, the single most important staple food in the Venezuelan diet, are made with the flour derived from white corn.

    Loyo said that winter cycle of 2010 would see an estimated production of 1.5 million tons of the crop, an increase of 3.5% from last year.

    Soybean production, according to the ministry, has grown by 858% to 54,420 tons over the past decade.

    Rice production has risen by 84%, reaching nearly 1.3 million tons yearly while milk production has risen to 2.18 million tons, a 47% increase.

    Coffee has also seen an increase of 12% since 1998.

    Loyo attributes these advances to Venezuela’s Land Law, which serves to “strengthen national production in the countryside.”

    The Land and Agricultural Development Law, originally passed by presidential decree in 2001, implemented Venezuela’s new agrarian reform, creating the legal basis for the government to redistribute fallow and under-utilized farmlands to landless campesinos.

    Before the government of Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela, World Bank statistics had placed Venezuela as the country with the second worst land inequality in Latin America.

    A government agricultural census revealed that in 1998, 5% of the Venezuelan population owned 70% of the land.

    Over the past 6 years, more than 2.5 million hectares of land have been distributed to some 250,000 campesino families, according to government sources.
    Venezuela Edges Closer to Food Sovereignty by Increasing Milk Production by 50%

    The government increased domestic milk production by 50% over the last 11 years to 2.5 million litres in 2010 and beef production by 43% to 560,000 tons, according to the minister.

    “This is an effort that the government has carried out by giving land and finance to rural farmers, [the creation of] social production units, socialist units, milk plants, production networks, in other words, a satisfying development for all Venezuelans,” the minister said.
    This has not been without its consequences, among them the well-known problem of large private agribusiness firms destroying product, sabotaging other farms, assassinating competitors, leaving acres of land undeveloped, and so on. There is not just one side to the war for agriculture in Venezuela, and yet again, the narrative that Venezuelan farmers got lazy because they had no incentive to produce (as if national starvation was less motivating than profit!) ignores the more complicated reality, as well as the numerous other countries whose policies are no less socialist than Venezuela's without experiencing food shortages.

  4. Top | #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post

    Adam Smith dot org. lol

    Venezuela’s Agricultural Production Advances

    According to the Land and Agriculture Ministry statistics, the production of white corn in Venezuela has increased by 132% in the past eleven years.

    Arepas, the single most important staple food in the Venezuelan diet, are made with the flour derived from white corn.

    Loyo said that winter cycle of 2010 would see an estimated production of 1.5 million tons of the crop, an increase of 3.5% from last year.

    Soybean production, according to the ministry, has grown by 858% to 54,420 tons over the past decade.

    Rice production has risen by 84%, reaching nearly 1.3 million tons yearly while milk production has risen to 2.18 million tons, a 47% increase.

    Coffee has also seen an increase of 12% since 1998.

    Loyo attributes these advances to Venezuela’s Land Law, which serves to “strengthen national production in the countryside.”

    The Land and Agricultural Development Law, originally passed by presidential decree in 2001, implemented Venezuela’s new agrarian reform, creating the legal basis for the government to redistribute fallow and under-utilized farmlands to landless campesinos.

    Before the government of Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela, World Bank statistics had placed Venezuela as the country with the second worst land inequality in Latin America.

    A government agricultural census revealed that in 1998, 5% of the Venezuelan population owned 70% of the land.

    Over the past 6 years, more than 2.5 million hectares of land have been distributed to some 250,000 campesino families, according to government sources.
    Venezuela Edges Closer to Food Sovereignty by Increasing Milk Production by 50%

    The government increased domestic milk production by 50% over the last 11 years to 2.5 million litres in 2010 and beef production by 43% to 560,000 tons, according to the minister.

    “This is an effort that the government has carried out by giving land and finance to rural farmers, [the creation of] social production units, socialist units, milk plants, production networks, in other words, a satisfying development for all Venezuelans,” the minister said.
    This has not been without its consequences, among them the well-known problem of large private agribusiness firms destroying product, sabotaging other farms, assassinating competitors, leaving acres of land undeveloped, and so on. There is not just one side to the war for agriculture in Venezuela, and yet again, the narrative that Venezuelan farmers got lazy because they had no incentive to produce (as if national starvation was less motivating than profit!) ignores the more complicated reality, as well as the numerous other countries whose policies are no less socialist than Venezuela's without experiencing food shortages.
    Oh, well if partisan hack sites quoting government ministers are saying it, it must be true. Though it's weird that even on the partisan hack site you linked there's an article about Chavez combating food shortages in 2008 right there on the same page you linked.

    Weird. How there could be food shortages with all that food production growth.

    Weird also how right wing sites like "NPR" were talking about Chavez' programs being a miserable failure around that same time. Oh well, those NPR guys are shameless right wing hacks, eh?

    https://www.npr.org/templates/story/...ryId=106620230

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