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wdprice3
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Quote :
"They kinda do. Lots of cities are contracting out various functions, from education to fire services. If they don't perform, they get fired. "


And two of the biggest: prisons and charter schools, are notorious for poor management, fraud, deception, illegal practices, and the list goes on. Not saying government run entities don't / can't have these issues, but entities turned over to private corporations are often sheltered from public scrutiny and oversight, even though public money is funneled into them. It's not a good mix.

9/23/2016 12:48:00 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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yes, government contractors fuck up just as bad as the government

9/23/2016 2:06:51 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"And two of the biggest: prisons and charter schools, are notorious for poor management, fraud, deception, illegal practices, and the list goes on."

Difference being, of course, government contractors which go bad get shut down and driven out of business. Government agencies which go bad wind up being rewarded with even larger budgets.

9/24/2016 3:05:39 PM

dtownral
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Nah

9/24/2016 3:08:09 PM

The E Man
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Quote :
"But Singapore is ranked as the second free-est economy on the planet. Relatively free enterprise, lenient trade policies, and relatively free labor markets make the population rich compared to us comparatively heavily regulated Westerners."

They have a great recipe. Free economy and providing the most important thing people need in order to succeed. The two help sustain each other because it turns out, once people have home security, they can thrive and move forward to bigger things.

Quote :
"
Maybe you missed the part of the wikipedia page that explains how the American government does the exact same damn thing through section 8 housing allowances. So what? That the government helps you afford the resultant absurdly high prices does not excuse the artificially created supply restrictions that caused the high prices."

I think you may be missing part of the picture. The government in Singapore FLOODS the market with supply and gives "section 8" to EVERYONE.

Quote :
"I wanted to discuss this subject, but you insisted on limiting the discussion of this subject to one country. This capability is what the internet is for, after-all. "

Fair enough. My main point was that Singapore is much more comparable to what socialism would look like in the U.S. than Venezuela.

9/27/2016 11:41:07 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"The government in Singapore FLOODS the market with supply"

It clearly builds a lot, but it clearly does not build enough, or nearly as much as an unfettered market would build, or prices would not be so high. If they provided sufficient housing, then they wouldn't need to subsidize it nearly as much, since it would simply be cheaper to start with. An internet search seems to show rent is very high in Singapore, so unless you're ready to buy and qualify for the cheap housing, then your rent is very high.

Quote :
"gives "section 8" to EVERYONE"

Don't be silly. Not everyone qualifies and the supply is not large enough to satisfy everyone that does qualify. The government sells them and people must pay the money demanded or go find a rental for around $2,000 (US PPP) a month. Such is rather reasonable rent for a big city, but it certainly is higher than the costs of construction would dictate. And, again, way higher than what would result from an unfettered market.

That said, I don't know what Singapore would have without their current setup, but I accept "an unfettered market" it probably wouldn't be.

[Edited on September 28, 2016 at 1:02 AM. Reason : .,.]

9/28/2016 12:59:47 AM

Dentaldamn
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It would be sweet if the government gave everyone $500 bucks for rent.

9/28/2016 7:52:43 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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The government does not give. It only redistributes.

9/28/2016 9:04:47 AM

The E Man
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Quote :
"Don't be silly. Not everyone qualifies and the supply is not large enough to satisfy everyone that does qualify. "

85% live in it

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-03/singapore-home-prices-have-biggest-drop-in-more-than-seven-years

look housing prices continue to drop

10/3/2016 7:56:09 PM

LoneSnark
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Dropped, but still high. And that prices have dropped means that demand outstripped supply prior to now. A well supplied market does not suffer dramatic price rises and drops. House prices collapsing by 80% in some California markets in 2008 were not a sign of historically plentiful housing.

10/8/2016 11:50:12 PM

LoneSnark
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http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article108074037.html
LoL. The Socialist Creedo: One man, one vote, one time. It is inevitable: Democracy cannot survive socialism (state ownership of the means of production).

10/16/2016 12:10:08 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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the place is burning to the ground and receives no mainstream news coverage

6/13/2017 7:55:54 PM

JCE2011
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"But thats just because they didn't try _____ socialism" - socialist bernie bots

6/13/2017 8:47:53 PM

0EPII1
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Teenage white girls >>>>>>> brown continents

6/13/2017 10:58:08 PM

tulsigabbard
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is it burning like Furgeson or is it burning like tottenham?

Does anything receive mainstream coverage anymore besides the Russia investigation?

6/14/2017 12:39:15 AM

JCE2011
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How would coverage of Venezuela help the DNC?

6/14/2017 10:32:28 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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You bring nothing to the conversation and should be suspended

6/14/2017 10:36:47 AM

JCE2011
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I am enthralled by your evaluation of my posts. Please, continue.

6/14/2017 11:21:09 AM

dtownral
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you just need better news sources if yours isn't covering this, i've heard about it on BBC and NPR frequently in the past few days

6/14/2017 11:58:26 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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Ok nevermind then

6/14/2017 12:12:48 PM

tulsigabbard
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http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Blaming-Socialism-US-Media-Distorts-Venezuelas-Food-Crisis-20170223-0053.html

Quote :
"Since the early 2000s, supermarket owners affiliated with Venezuela’s opposition have been purposefully hoarding food products so they can resell them at higher prices and make large profits. Food importing companies owned by the country’s wealthy right-wing elite are also manipulating import figures to raise prices.


In 2013, former Venezuelan Central Bank chief Edmee Betancourt reported that the country lost between US$15 and $20 billion dollars the previous year through such fraudulent import deals.

It doesn’t stop there.

Last year, over 750 opposition-controlled offshore companies linked to the Panama Papers scandal were accused of purposely redirecting Venezuelan imports of raw food materials from the government to the private sector. Many of these companies sell their products to private companies in Colombia, which resell them to Venezuelans living close to Colombia.
“Selling contraband is a serious problem. People here are taking large quantities of products meant for Venezuelans and selling them in Colombia,” Valencia resident Francisco Luzon told Al Jazeera in a 2014 interview.

Reuters admitted in 2014 that Venezuelan opposition members living in border states are shipping low-cost foodstuffs provided by the Venezuelan government into Colombia for profit.

Overall, Venezuela’s millionaire opposition are profiting handsomely from the country’s food crisis while blaming it on the socialist government that’s trying to eliminate it."

6/16/2017 11:52:52 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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they can hunt down and kill or jail all these evil capitalists or drive them from their country, but socialism will still fail as it always does

6/17/2017 12:12:02 AM

tulsigabbard
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Quote :
"socialism will still fail get destroyed as it always does"

6/17/2017 12:27:47 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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ok that's cool too

6/17/2017 12:35:39 AM

tulsigabbard
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Show me "failed" "socialism" and I'll show you capital flight, American interference, and rampant capitalist financial sabotage.

6/17/2017 1:30:11 PM

BanjoMan
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I love how Germany only counts as Socialism to the conservatives when it comes to health care and taxes.

6/17/2017 1:54:15 PM

TerdFerguson
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I'd argue this is less about capitalism/socialism and more about an economy that wasn't allowed to diversify due to both poor planning and economic sanctions/distrust of the US.

It doesn't matter how you organize your economy, if it's dependent on producing a single commoditiy which then craters in price, you are gonna have budget problems. Russia, Saudi Arabia (and other Arab oil producers) and to a lesser extent Norway, have all been running deficits or otherwise trying to plug up their budgets for like the last 5 years. So long as Oil remains under $75 a barrel (or under $50 as it has for significant parts of the last 5 years), I imagine all of these countries will continue to find it hard to make ends meet.

Now, why is Venezuela a Petro-state? I'm not sure I'm the best to answer that, but here are my hunches:
-strongmen/dictators/pseudo-democratic leaders, however you qualify Chavez/Maduro. These people like to consolidate both political and economic power so that the country is easier to "manage" (i.e. Keep themselves in power). So they had an active interest in keeping other parts of the economy weak. Seizing companies that don't align with you politically also has the effect of scaring away international companies.
-throughout the 90s as the IMF was basically dictating to the country how it should organize itself economically, the IMF was basically promoting extractive industries that could pay back creditors quickly. What was left out was laying out a ground work of education (and other well being initiatives) that might have contributed to a more diversified economy.
- US tampering with politics here and in Bolivia created a deep distrust of the US. Not openly trading and interacting with the biggest economy in your region has the effect of withering your economy.
- Some Drug war bullshit spilling over into Venezuela from Colombia discouraged international companies.


I'm sure I'm missing some contributors as well. The point stands, trying to simplify this to socialists vs capitalists misses all the nuance where actual, empirical lessons can be learned.

6/17/2017 2:09:46 PM

LoneSnark
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Venezuela had a diversified economy. It was still south America, so the laws were still very kleptocratic and corrupt, but for a third world country, capitalism kinda existed, and it allowed farming, mining, and manufacturing to do pretty well in Venezuela.

But, Chavismo came and much of the business class became his enemy. Businesses that did not actively support his rule were punished, driven out of business, short sold to Chavez supporters, even nationalized. In a very real sense, Chavez's war on capitalism was a war on Venezuela's entire non-oil economy, because as the capitalist economy liquidated, the socialist economy never took its place. State owned businesses ran up huge losses and suffered incessant strikes from unions with chronic production shortfalls. While the capitalist economy shed its workforce, the state-run socialist economy never grew, even itself shedding workers. After-all, if socialism worked, then it shouldn't be a problem for the powers that be to persecute the capitalist economy: as capitalist businesses close, state-run enterprises should rise to take their place. After-all, state-run enterprises were not being persecuted by Chavez.

So, yes, Venezuela is overly dependent upon oil for current economic activity. But it is Radical Socialism which brought them to such an extreme dependence.

[Edited on June 19, 2017 at 12:05 AM. Reason : .,.]

6/18/2017 11:52:35 PM

tulsigabbard
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Where did you get that propaganda?

State run enterprises have trouble in a smallish country like Venezuela because they don't have acess to supply markets or have to recreate their own from scratch.

Just because the government is socialist, doesn't mean the capitalist oligarchs join in and participate. In this and most cases, they actively undermine the government from at home or abroad. Its not just Venezuelan capitalists, but anyone who wanted to extract profit or resources from the country has an interest in disturbing supply chains. Creating chaos in Venezuela is a high return low-risk investment to them. Allowing socialism to work would be the biggest risk for all of them because it would prevent them from extracting resources going forward.

If you look at history, especially during the cold war, you can see the same story play out over and over. Socialism works and is great for the masses which is exactly why capitalists see and treat it as such a threat. If it didn't work, there would be no need to attack it aggressively wherever it pops up in the world.

6/19/2017 3:02:51 AM

TerdFerguson
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Quote :
"But it is Radical Socialism which brought them to such an extreme dependence.
"


Just like Pinochet's radical capitalism in Chile made that country totally reliant on copper mining? Again, it's not how you organize the economy (in these cases), it's strongmen consolidating power and promoting extractive industries because they make bank and they're easy to control.

6/19/2017 8:29:22 AM

JCE2011
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Quote :
"If you look at history, especially during the cold war, you can see the same story play out over and over. Socialism works and is great for the masses which is exactly why capitalists see and treat it as such a threat. If it didn't work, there would be no need to attack it aggressively wherever it pops up in the world."


LOL

Nobody is attacking Venezuela. We are just watching it collapse, and then watching comrades perform mental gymnastics to try and act as if Karl Marx was right.

6/19/2017 10:35:13 AM

tulsigabbard
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Economic warfare is very powerful. Venezuela isn't in a vacuum. The global economy affects it.

If we go back to the pizza as resources analogy, this is like trying to divide the last slice after one person has taken out seven slices and left the party. Its hard when there isn't a large socialist country to trade with. If you look at Cuba, they were doing just fine until the Soviet Union collapsed. Then, things became tough.

You have to start with a whole pizza if you're going to try and divide it. You can't have some people take as many slices as they want then divide the rest after the fact.

6/19/2017 11:17:59 AM

dtownral
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none of this would even be an issue if the west hadn't imposed austerity on venezuela via the IMF

6/19/2017 11:51:10 AM

JCE2011
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Quote :
"and then watching comrades perform mental gymnastics to try and act as if Karl Marx was right"

6/19/2017 1:01:21 PM

Bullet
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Did you say "Marx"?

BINGO!!!!

6/19/2017 1:16:18 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"Economic warfare is very powerful. Venezuela isn't in a vacuum. The global economy affects it."

It could be, but you saying it doesn't make it so. Which nation is currently blockading Venezuela? None that I know of. It seems plausible that Venezuela is being left out of some favorable trade agreements, but I wouldn't accept that as a form of Economic warfare. After-all, Venezuela was free to eliminate its own tariffs if it was starving for trade.

Quote :
"If you look at Cuba, they were doing just fine until the Soviet Union collapsed. Then, things became tough. "

No they weren't. Worker productivity and quality was atrocious. Cuba did okay only because the Soviet Union paid above market prices for what Cuba produced.

Quote :
"none of this would even be an issue if the west hadn't imposed austerity on venezuela via the IMF"

Perhaps. Seems plausible. Without it, maybe Chavez wouldn't have come to power in a coup...I'm not quite convinced, though..

[Edited on June 19, 2017 at 7:00 PM. Reason : .,.]

6/19/2017 6:59:40 PM

tulsigabbard
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http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/03/hoarding-causing-venezuela-food-shortages-20143210236836920.html
Have a read.

Quote :
"there seem to be four key factors driving shortages: the lack of US dollars and other currency quagmires, price controls, food being moved abroad where it can be sold for higher prices, and problems in the supply chain."



Quote :
""Distributors buy large quantities of products here and sell them in Colombia," said Luzon, who runs a business producing iron gates for houses. "Selling contraband is a serious problem. People here are taking large quantities of products meant for Venezuelans and selling them in Colombia.""

Quote :
"The caloric intake of the average Venezuelan rose by 50 percent during the first 12 years of socialist governance, according to the National Nutrition Institute."
Quote :
"Now they say that 40 percent of the food is disappearing from shelves because of bootlegging and sending it illegally to Colombia.""
Quote :
"Monaca, a large firm producing corn flour, for example, has said prices are too low to make a profit. "

Quote :
"Neighbouring Colombia and Brazil, which should be far-poorer countries per capita than Venezuela, do not have supply problems. But significant portions of both populations can't afford much of what's on the shelves"

6/19/2017 10:21:55 PM

JCE2011
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6/20/2017 3:55:57 PM

TerdFerguson
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#fakenews

That's not Caracas, that's the local Food Lion after the weatherman predicts a 1" snow event.

6/20/2017 4:02:45 PM

tulsigabbard
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Yeah I was just in Vietnam and you could eat a nice restaurant meal for 2 dollars. Markets are packed and homelessness is rare.

Meanwhile in the US


[Edited on June 20, 2017 at 4:06 PM. Reason : k]

6/20/2017 4:05:16 PM

BEU
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Chavez ran the country into the ground by forcing the country onto an oil economy that cant handle low prices.

Corruption abound!

And 1 US dollar = 22727 Vietnamese dong.

soooo, yea of course its crazy cheap

Blindly ignoring a policies potential because it might be something you're not used to without consideration of its benefits is just putting on a blindfold.

I am really starting to lean towards technocratic solutions to problems that are just math.

6/20/2017 4:20:19 PM

Dentaldamn
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Somerville Massachusetts!!????

I thought that place was filled with abunch of commies????

6/20/2017 6:25:55 PM

JCE2011
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^^^ Wow, that is so unfair that there are homeless people in the United States!

Maybe if we made EVERYONE just as poor, it would be more fair, comrade? Like in Venezuela

6/21/2017 10:42:47 AM

tulsigabbard
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The wealthy are doing just fine in Venezuela too

6/21/2017 2:00:05 PM

0EPII1
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/27/americas/venezuela-supreme-court-helicopter-grenade-attack/index.html



Military officer attacks Supreme Court with helicopter

6/28/2017 9:50:09 AM

tulsigabbard
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Whats going to happen here? Is a civil war possible or will this government just be overthrown without much more violence? Is there a country other than the US that would get involved?

6/28/2017 5:29:55 PM

Exiled
Eyes up here ^^
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There's some suspicion that this was some kind of elaborate hoax by the establishment.

6/29/2017 8:12:16 AM

tulsigabbard
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di-i9dlWjX0&feature=youtu.be

Stay woke

8/29/2017 7:13:13 PM

tulsigabbard
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Despite sanctions, the Venezuelan government is still able to distinguish between victims of the American system, and the evil government imposing the sanctions. They are being the bigger person and sending help as a gesture of solidarity
Quote :
"Venezuela has extended its solidarity to the victims of Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.
Venezuela has announced that it will be donating US$5 million to help with recovery efforts in areas devastated by Harvey, particularly Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, according to Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

RELATED:
Venezuelan Constituent Assembly Passes Decree Against US Sanctions

"Let's not allow war or threats to be imposed, but instead let's impose solidarity. We will always be with the people of the United States and the peoples of the world in difficult times," Arreaza said.

He explained that President Nicolas Maduro has approved a special program to help the victims in the states of Louisiana and Texas."


Venezuela government had to go because, over the years, they slowly started to cross the line and help poor Americans. Helping the poor is a threat to our way of life and thats why the series of events leading to the current crisis were set into motion.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/citgo-1-25-million-gift-bronx-article-1.1946099

9/2/2017 8:15:50 AM

dtownral
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oh jesus christ

9/2/2017 11:23:47 AM

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