Venezuela

Venezuelan Socialism Still a Complete Disaster

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As the United States faces the not-impossible prospect of an openly socialist president, Sen. Bernie Sanders, it is worth a quick revisit, from The Washington Post today, to how Venezuela's socialist government is doing.

It ain't pretty, though wonk Matt O'Brien isn't too quick to blame socialism or its goals per se:

[Venezuela's] economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It's no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

That's not an easy thing to do when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it. How? Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. The first step was when Hugo Chávez's socialist government started spending more money on the poor, with everything fromtwo-cent gasoline to free housing. Now, there's nothing wrong with that — in fact, it's a good idea in general — but only as long as you actually, well, have the money to spend. And by 2005 or so, Venezuela didn't.

Why not? The answer is that Chávez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime, and profits came out but new investment didn't go in. That last part was particularly bad, because Venezuela's extra-heavy crude needs to beblended or refined — neither of which is cheap — before it can be sold. So Venezuela just hasn't been able to churn out as much oil as it used to without upgraded or even maintained infrastructure. Specifically, oil production fell 25 percent between 1999 and 2013.

Like state's do, they resorted to just making more money when they needed it and thus "Venezuela's currency has, by black market rates, lost 93 percent of its value in the past two years."

Which predictably lead to government attempts to rein in its own inflationary monster with price controls. Then no one can keep their own heads above water selling goods legally. And:

That's left Venezuela's supermarkets without enough food, its breweries without enough hops to make beer, and its factories without enough pulp to produce toilet paper. The only thing Venezuela iswell-supplied with are lines.

Although the government has even started rationing those, kicking people out of line based on the last digit of their national ID card.

People who have read the work of that objectively insane and worthless enemy of humanity Ayn Rand and her Atlas Shrugged, who appeals only to idiot children, will weirdly understand a bit of what comes next with more clarity and predictability than their intellectual and spiritual betters who understand how great socialism is:

Socialist president Nicolás Maduro has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can't remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Not only that, but Maduro has picked someone who doesn't even believe there's such a thing as inflation to be the country's economic czar. "When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up," the new minister wrote, "they are not in the presence of 'inflation,' " but rather "parasitic" businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible. According to this — let me be clear — "theory," printing too much money never causes inflation. And so Venezuela will continue to do so. If past hyperinflations are any guide, this will keep going until Venezuela can't even afford to run its printing presses anymore — unless Maduro gets kicked out first.

But for now, at least, a specter is haunting Venezuela — the specter of failed economic policies.

You can call it "socialism" Mr. O'Brien. Bernie isn't the Democratic candidate yet.

My last visit to the rubble socialism is creating down South American way, from back in August

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  1. “Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. ”

    Bad luck.

    Always the excuse of the stupid.

    1. Something, something, Heinlein quote.

      1. Something about predictable outcomes being a complete surprise?

        Something about it will be different this time because magic?

        I got nothing.

        1. “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded ? here and there, now and then ? are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

          This is known as “bad luck.”

          1. Heh. Yeah, that’s a good quote. I was trying to be witty.

            1. Well, at least if ye are a dirt-poor, mud-eating savage, and ***NOT*** eating mud decorated with fancier worms than I can afford, then at least we will be EQUAL savages, and ye won’t be ABUSING poor widdle old me, and THAT is what it is all about! EQUALITY rules; standard of living drools!!!

          2. +1 , Robert Heinlein

          3. Thomas Sowell friggin rocks.

            1. Paul Johnson: “Thomas Sowell is, in my opinion, the most original and interesting philosopher at work in America. I have learned a great deal from him.”

    2. These people really are stupid.

      Someone with half a brain and some slight understanding of economics could run a socialist perry country and, while it would still suck, it wouldn’t collapse out from under you, and you could enjoy being the little head of your banana petrol republic.

      It’s like both Chavez and Maduro has only one idea, and it required a stupidity/suicide pact with their own moronic followers.

      I feel sorry for the smarties who got lumped in, but I do hope the Venezuelan socialist really enjoys it down there, winning for the people.

      1. Someone with half a brain and some slight understanding of economics could run a socialist perry country and, while it would still suck, it wouldn’t collapse out from under you, and you could enjoy being the little head of your banana petrol republic.

        And that’s why Tropico is the best sim game ever.

        1. It’s OK, the limited land expansion areas, make it kind of annoying to play sometimes.

        2. Tropics is an interesting study of what a mercantilism paradise would be like.

          You can export a variety if goods, but cannot import anything, excepting labor. This means you cannot have your island’s workforce focus solely on making cigars or rum, and trade for corn, pineapples, etc. You must devote a portion of your labor force to growing food, which is a waste of opportunity forced onto you.

          I’m speaking in reference to the original game, of course. Later versions have included imports.

          The music, though, is the best part of the game. I even made a playlist

      2. I’d be curious to know if Venezuela’s “revolution” came about the same way Iran’s did back in the 70s.

        1. I just hope that the number of people who had to die so that Venezuela could flush itself down the toilet was relatively low.

          1. I mean, I know there wasn’t a revolutionary war, but God knows who needed to go away for all of this to come to be.

        2. Sort of. I had a buddy back in the 90s who graduated with a petroleum engineering degree, and was offered a 7 figure job straight out of college with almost no practical experience to go manage some Venezuelan oil wells. He turned it down in favor of going to work in some more stable country like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.

          The Chavistas were known for kidnapping and extortion, so anybody with any lick of sense stayed the hell away from Venezuela for the past 20 years.

          1. Smart move. Even if your buddy had taken the Venezuelan job and miraculously avoided getting kidnapped or killed, he’d only be paid 7 figures in today’s Venezuela, which is worth about one square of toilet paper.

      3. Someone with half a brain and some slight understanding of economics could run a socialist perry country and, while it would still suck, it wouldn’t collapse out from under you, and you could enjoy being the little head of your banana petrol republic.”

        see?/ there ya go.

        Whi says socialism doesn’t work ?

        Socialism always works. it’s a grreat way to be in charge of a country. Socialism always works for those at the top. it for the rest of the people that socialism is a faliure, if they live long enough to see it through.

        Perhaps maduro should start up some reeducation camps as an economic stimilus program ?

    3. Yeah, that really jumped out at me. What a fuckwit. That is as good as the time Obumbles blamed his faltering economy on ‘bad luck’.

      “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded ? here and there, now and then ? are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

      This is known as “bad luck.”

      Also, they are not on the verge of collapse. Nor are they nearly bankrupt. Nice try Matt.

      *headslaps idiot pinko Matt*

  2. Why not? The answer is that Ch?vez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime

    maybe the right people is joe

    1. 1-800-JOE-FOR-OIL!!!

  3. That’s not an easy thing to do when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it. How? Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. The first step was when Hugo Ch?vez’s socialist government started spending more money on the poor, with everything fromtwo-cent gasoline to free housing. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that ? in fact, it’s a good idea in general ? but only as long as you actually, well, have the money to spend.

    So is the “bad luck” the part where you spend money like a drunken sailor and then – unfortunately – run out of money? Spending money like a drunken sailor is a good idea as long as you’re lucky enough to have an unlimited supply of money, though?

    1. This guy thinks buying loyalty with free shit is “a good idea in general”. But only if you can afford it!

      *facepalm*

      1. Yeah, I like the signaling he seems compelled to do about everything being free is a great idea, but it’s unfortunate that when back luck occurs, you might not be able to do that.

        No understanding of making your own bad luck.

        1. It that he understands * some * of the most obviously disastrous bad ideas, but is incapable of realizing that most of his ideology is a bad idea, despite cherry picking through it and finding some of it responsible bad outcomes.

          “OK, fine, the first twenty apples I pulled out of the barrel were all bad. But I bet the rest are still good, because I’m
          invested in the notion that these are, overall, great apples!”

          1. Can one turn a barrel of bad apples into hard cider?

            1. i think thats basically how you do it

    2. In the book “The Sociopath Next Door,” the author notes that one can identify sociopaths by observing that sociopaths routinely blame their troubles on bad luck in a bid for pity. It’s never the sociopath’s own fault–always someone or something else to blame.

      Socialist gov’t = sociopathic gov’t? It seems self-evident when one looks back in history.

    3. +1 bottle imp

  4. NEEDS MOAR STIMULUS MAKE DEMAND GO UP BOOM BOOM!

    1. Ok, this made me laugh. +1.5 fiscal multiplier

  5. Socialism means, among other things, the absence of competition. When you allow no competing voice and your ideas go unchallenged, bad things happen. Always. Anyone who comes up with good ideas doesn’t mind them being checked.

    1. It also means a high degree of nepotism?

  6. NPR tells me, repeatedly, again and again, over and over that low oil prices are singularly the fault of Venezuela’s dim economic outlook.

    1. Paul if you don’t stop listening to that stuff, you’re going to contract retardation. I mean, worse than you already have it, of course.

      1. I did, but sadly, I’ve been listening lately for longer stretches. I need to stop again.

        If something gives you heartburn, don’t eat it.
        If something gives you heartburn, don’t eat it.
        If something gives you heartburn, don’t eat it.

        Stop hitting yourself…

    2. NPR is auditory and psychological rape. Don’t do it anymore. Seriously. It’ll shorten your lifespan substantially.

      1. My listening to NPR has plummeted, though I still listen from time to time. The latest prog derp I heard was some proggy lady decrying the Koch brothers for their extremist Libertarian views. I also got in an accident (I was driving.) Glad I never gave those commie pinkos a dime!!!

    3. Whut? That makes no sense whatsoever.

    4. NPR reminds me of why I’m a libertarian.

        1. Yet I’m always stunned by how many people, thinking they sound smart or perhaps will impress people, begin sentences with,

          “You know, I heard on NPR today…..”

          1. just obvious social signalling.

            Blind pack animals needing to know if they are surrounded by the herd while signaling the heard they are one with the herd.

          2. I occasionally say something similar, but slightly different, more along the lines of, “Holy fuck. C was carrying me downtown and he was listening to the stupidest fucking thing on the radio. I think it was NPR…”.

      1. I listen to NPR because when talking with SJWs one can spout. “I heard it on npr” at them to shut them up. Nor has occasional useful arguments.

    5. I wonder if they can explain why Norway and the UAE haven’t become dystopian hell-holes yet?

      1. Oil money. That gravy train will end soon enough.

        1. Yeah – That’s sort of the point. Why does NPR blame oil (rather than socialism) for Venezuela tanking, when there are plenty of other oil-dependent states that aren’t doing nearly as bad?

            1. Yep like Texas. They can actually buy toliet paper there and the entire state isn’t living in abject poverty while surrounded by violence and misery.

        2. And Norway, which stole their nationalized oil wealth after wwII rather than return it to it’s pre WWII owners after Nazi confiscation, still requires capitalist companies to get it out of the ground and to market for them.

          You do have to give them some credit for that. They haven’t tried, or if they once did they quit, to bring their oil to market using socialist management techniques.

          Norway subs out its technical and production work to capitialists and just converts that capitalist produced product to socialist uses

          brilliant !!

          1. Norway – like the rest of the Nordic ‘socialist’ countries isn’t really socialist.

            They’re certainly *fascist* but ownership of almost everything is private, regulation is light – they just layer on an extremely (punitively) high tax rate and then redistribute *that*.

            They’re smart enough to know that the people in their government aren’t smart enough to manage the details of their economy.

            1. They’re certainly *fascist* but ownership of almost everything is private, regulation is light – they just layer on an extremely (punitively) high tax rate and then redistribute *that*.

              That’s what fascism means: private ownership of the means of production with government-directed redistribution and licensing.

              1. That’s economic fascism. Lefties don’t like that definition. They like to say it is a “right wing”, often racist type of government. NPR would probably like this list of defining characteristics. http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm

            2. Go to vinmonopolet.no and look at the booze prices.

              The cheapest 1l bottle of vodka is about $43 at current exchange rates.

            3. fuck, the Nordies invented fascism. The boilerplate nationalisation of property practiced by every European country in modern times is a direct outgrowth of the ancient landnaaming cult, propagated by the institutionalised thievery of viking crusaders.

      2. “I wonder if they can explain why Norway and the UAE haven’t become dystopian hell-holes yet?”

        Racism, duh!

        1. The UAE seems to be there. And Norway isn’t quite as nice as Americans imagine it to be either.

          1. They do have a higher GDP/capita than the US. But other than that I don’t know much about the quality of life there.

            1. Norway has a population of 5 million people sitting on 7 billion barrels of oil. They are the Beverly Hillbillies of nations.

              1. That is only 1400 bbls per person, or about $50k each. Not exactly life changing.

                1. “That is only 1400 bbls per person, or about $50k each. Not exactly life changing.”

                  Those are proven reserves and they get added to each year as old reserves are depleted. They produde about 2 million barrels a day. That is 700 million per year or about 20 billion dollars even at today’s low prices.

                  That is $4000 per person per year or another $16,000 per family of 4. Add $16,000 per year to every American family and for many it is indeed life changing. Set the price of oil higher at say 60 a barrel and you are talking about $32,000 per family of 4.

                  If you had that in the US you could give every family enough money to live at 150% of the poverty line and do literally nothing all day.

              2. And before oil, they had iron. And they’ll always have whales.

            2. They are both stiflingly conformist and insular. It’s what happens when the state hands out all the goodies. People also aren’t doing so well when you take purchasing power and taxes into account.

              http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/income/

              Proximity to Europe, protestantism, and self-loathing over widespread support for the Nazis probably make Norway a nicer place for anybody, compared to the UAE. But historically, the Nordic countries were neither tolerant nor peaceful

              1. Cool info, thanks for the link. I’ve been looking for actual numbers on stuff like this.

              2. “self-loathing over widespread support for the Nazis” doesn’t make much sense, considering their vigorous resistance and unwillingness to compromise. The only reason the quislings got any traction was because the country got caught between the Allies and the Axis and got fucking conquered. Even then, their resistance was very strong and it is unlikely the Germans could’ve held the country any longer even if the Allies hadn’t moved forward on it at the end. Furthermore, harf my family was from Norway, and I’ve never detected any self-loathing of that sort, and while they tend to be xenophobic and racially narcissistic none of them go for the Nazi ideology the same way the Swedes seem to have done (and a significant subset continue to do). As for protestantism, it’s the thinnest flipping veneer of protestantism I’ve met amongst anyone, even members of the High Church of England.

  7. One more of Sean Pean’s broken toys.

  8. The paragraph about Ayn Rand is some of the best tongue in cheek I’ve perused lately. However, Matt O’Brien is about two years late with the “two-cent” per gallon gasoline. Inflation has now lowered the price, measured in American pennies, to two-tenths of a cent per gallon. That’s right, you can fill up the twenty gallon gas tank on your SUV for a mere US$0.04. Venezuelans need it so that they can drive to nearest border, sell some of the gasoline and buy the TP they need and — of course — a copy of “Atlas Shrugged,” before driving back home to take a dump in comfort.

    Go figure. Who’s John Galt?

    1. Venezuelans need it so that they can drive to nearest border, sell some of the gasoline and buy the TP they need

      See? Markets work.

      1. Right you are, Diane. Even when they work inefficiently ?. they work. I imagine there aren’t many gasoline stations along the border between Venezuela and Columbia. Furthermore, I’ll bet they fill up more than just the built in gas tank before they make the run to the border. Black markets work!

        1. That should read: “there aren’t many gasoline stations along (the Columbian side of) the border between Venezuela and Columbia.”

  9. Everybody’s incredible reluctance to openly admit the cause of this hellish debacle — socialism — never ceases to amaze me. These retards will be wiping their asses with rusted Soviet bayonets before the realization hits them.

    1. Socialism inevitably runs out of other peoples’ money, but it can always find someone else to blame.

    2. ” These retards will be wiping their asses with rusted Soviet bayonets before the realization hits them.”

      Well, look at the optimist over there.

      1. I really liked that actually

  10. kicking people out of line based on the last digit of their national ID card.

    Now you obstructionist glibertarians know why we need a national ID card!

    1. Unfailingly and permanently, by nature.

  11. It seems Venezuela nationalized the oil industry in 1976. Chavez seems to have added some extra retardation.

    1. PdVSA had a bunch of joint ventures with international oil companies until Chavez kicked them out. Capital dried up, technology transfers stopped, and supply and marketing arrangements were terminated. PdVSA management were overwhelmingly anti-Chavez, and they were fired and replaced by military officers who knew nothing about the oil industry. With $100+ oil, this team of idiots could get away with gross mismanagement that squandered the nation’s natural resources. Now, not so much.

      1. I’m doing some investigation of a very sketchy character who worked for an oil company in Venezuela pre-nationalization. Stay tuned…

    2. With every nationalized company, sooner or later, some politician sees the company as more of a cash cow rather than a business and starts to bleed it dry through forced distributions to the state and/or puts cronies instead of professionals in charge. Then the jewel of the state becomes a piece of coal. Chavez took that to the extreme in a blindingly fast period of time.

  12. As the United States faces the not-impossible prospect of an openly socialist president, Sen. Bernie Sanders,

    Openly socialist but with a plan to corporatize (in the 1930s sense) the Federal Reserve.

    1. Compare his plan with chapter 1 of The Coming Corporate State.

    2. America: *Yawn*, Federal Reserve reform is boring.

  13. The reason socialism didn’t work in Venezuela is two fold:

    1) They didn’t have the right people in charge.

    If it had been Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama or Oprah, it would have been different because they care about us.

    2) What the Venezuelans were doing wasn’t truly socialism.

    They still had some vestiges of capitalism, and as long they did, it wasn’t really socialism–so socialism didn’t fail.

    P.S. You’re all a bunch of racist homophobes.

    1. 1b) They didn’t have computers to replace market-based price calculations.

      3) The US undermined the great Venezuelan socialist experiment.

      1. +1 Cybersyn

    2. You forgot the wreckers. Oh, and the CIA cancer rays.

    3. “1) They didn’t have the right people in charge.
      If it had been Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama or Oprah, it would have been different because they care about us.”

      Ah, but they did!! I have it on good authority (friends who’ve left Venezuela) that Chavez has been semi-deified. There are actual portraits of him in public places where he is shown with a halo! Also, Maduro regularly claims to confer with his mentor’s ghost (the holy ghost?) in order to get his wise counsel on matters economic and political. I guess that makes Chavez a sort of socialist Obi-Wan Kenobi to Maduro’s Luke.

      Now, even Barack and Bernie and Oprah don’t have halos in pictures…at least not yet.

      1. Where have you been?

        http://www.centerforinquiry.ne…..read/4096/

        You can’t have a proper cult of personality without halos. Everybody knows this.

        1. That one Time cover of the back of Obama’s head makes it look like his ears are farting.

            1. i remember (from reading “waiting for the rain” in high school, well, more accurately, having class with people who read it) that “dumkompf” means “dumbhead”

  14. I did a search on Venezuela/Protests to see if I could see how the press is treating the protests. I saw this one because it seemed like it would give some insight into the underlying issues:

    What lies behind the protests in Venezuela?

    It starts with basic description, treating the issue of the economy and severe shortages in passing:

    The protests began in early February in the western states of Tachira and Merida when students demanded increased security after a female student alleged she had been the victim of an attempted rape. Venezuela has the fifth highest murder rate in the world, and crime is rife in many urban centres.
    The students also complained about record inflation (official figures suggest yearly inflation in December 2013 stood at 56.2%) and shortages of basic food items.

    It makes sure to get Maduro’s side of the story:

    The government accuses the opposition of trying to stage a coup with backing from the United States and has arrested a number of opposition leaders on charges of inciting violence.
    It has drawn parallels between the protests and a brief coup that took place against Hugo Chavez in 2002. President Maduro has called the protesters “fascists”.

    1. Then follows up with incidents of violence from both sides:

      Both protesters and members of the security forces have died in the violence which has marred some of the protests.
      The opposition has accused pro-government motorcycle gangs, as well as the security forces, of shooting live rounds into opposition crowds.
      The government says “fascists” are behind the violence, instigating riots and encouraging people to erect barricades. A number of motorcyclists have been decapitated by barbed wire strung across residential streets to hinder the security forces.

      Then journo-splains that the protest is confined to one corner of the population, but the government remains popular:

      However, so far they seem confined mainly, though not exclusively, to the middle class. The government’s popularity remains high amid its working-class voters, who gave it a further boost in local elections in December.

      This is accompanied by a photograph which shows a protest larger than the one on the Mall in 1963.

      Imagine a protest of that size getting this type of one-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand type of treatment if it occurred in this country? Especially considering a protest of that size would be a smaller percentage of the population.

      And also, note the fact (if you click through to the link) that the story actually covers VERY LITTLE of what underlies the protests.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-…..a-26335287

    2. I like this caption: Dozens of people have been killed in protest-related violence

      Very passive voice.

      “At Kent State University today, some people were killed in protest-related violence.”

  15. Still?

    Always.

  16. Home style night. Hot dog bun splayed open on a plate with mayo, mustard, very hot home made jalepeno relish, a jumbo Nathan’s hot dog, a cup of home made chili (no beans) drowning the lot and then generous shredded extra sharp cheddar melted over it.

    Yum. I just finished. It was very satisfying.

    Also, for desert I am having Hillarian schadenfreude.

    *Big smile*

    1. You haven’t discovered Costco’s beef polish yet?
      Shame.

      1. I live in the middle of nowhere. There is no costco within a two hour drive, and I don’t get out much except for the woods.

        I have a sad.

        1. It is the best hotdog available commercially. 1/3 lb, juicy, and perfectly seasoned. I’m having one (or more) tonight.

          If you get a chance to try it, and it’s not the best store bought hotdog you’ve ever had, I’ll let you kick me in the crotch.

          Only store bought though; Top Dog in Berkeley has some better stuff.

          1. Sometime in the next month or so I will go to Baton Rouge. There is a Costco there and I will give them a try. Thank you.

            1. My 17 month old just killed a 1/3 pounder, and he’s asking for more.

              1. Are you sure that isn’t some sort of Warty offspring?!?!

                1. My baby is bigger than his. For now.

                  1. *shudders, recites Lord’s Prayer…then seeks wine bottle or whisky bottle…whichever gets within reach first*

      2. Nathan’s are good, though.

      3. Yeah, Costco’s stuff is the best for polishing beef.

    2. Oh man. Last night I was babysitting at my niece’s and on her way back she said she was stopping by some burger place, (we’ve still got a couple of the old ’50’s style burger, fries and a shake places around here that still make the real deal fast food) wanted to know if I wanted anything, mentioned they had chili dogs so I asked her to pick me up a couple. I go to Krystal’s a couple times a year when I get a hankering for some nasty delicious chili dogs so that’s what I’m thinking of. She shows up with two of these monster chili cheese dogs, like 4 ounce foot-longs on a hoagie roll, – I managed to get both of ’em down but I think that’s my chili dog ration for the year.

      1. I made meatballs. There was also spaghetti, garlic bread, green salad and all of that other stuff, but the important part is that there were meatballs.

        1. It’s important to pay attention to the balls.

          1. It is important to pay attention to the *narrowed gaze*

            1. It’s hard to see the balls in dim lighting.

          2. My lovely brown balls bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right.

            1. My wife made khao man gai tonight. It hit the spot quite nicely.

              1. And bat jam gai has become so popular lately, too.

                But enough about that. What did you have for supper?

                1. I had the khao man gai with the accompanying soup too.

                  1. Dammit, if you don’t get my obscure jokes about pussy, then no one will. Curses upon my former Thai boss for teaching me phrases I am doomed to giggle over alone.

                    He did teach me about the history of mai ploy, which is good even if I personally think it’s horrible for dipping. So… there’s that?

                    1. *edits*

                      Thai former boss. While no longer my boss, I’m quite certain he is still from Thailand.

                    2. “Papers, please”

                      We will determine if he is still Thai…

                      /G

                    3. Better you than me. I’ve seen him with a knife.

                    4. If it ain’t some Dago like Epi, or a Ghurkha….knives don’t scare me!

                2. bat jam gai

                  +1 Noble House

                  … Hobbit

              2. my wife’s khao man gai brings all the boys to the yard?

      2. I think that’s my chili dog ration for the year

        I like them “all the way” where that means an all meat chili, mustard and onions.

    3. You should be in prison for what you did to that hot dog.

      A Nathan’s dog, nonetheless. May God have mercy on your soul.

      1. “May God have mercy on your soul, for I shall have none!”

        *HM picks up tongs and advances menacingly upon J’s kids…*

    4. I love a good chili dog. I like a sprinkling of raw onion between the chili and the cheese as well (in addition to the cooked onion from the chili). Never tried mayo on a chili dog. Might have to make some chili tomorrow.

      1. – onion.

        The onion is the Devil’s Weed.

        What do you call a preacher’s sermon threatening Hellfire? Fire and BRIMSTONE.

        What is Brimstone? Sulfur.

        What gives onion its distinctive horrid odor? Sulfur.

        QED the onion is TEH DEVIL’S WEED!

        /resumes drinking quasi-heavily

  17. You know who else managed to simultaneously out of toilet paper and breast implants?

    1. Caitlyn Jenner?

    2. The Lizard King?

    3. Mrs. Whipple?

    4. North Korea?

  18. Eh. The thing is, most liberals/lefties don’t really want socialism. They just want a big welfare state and high taxes to pay for it. That gets confused with socialism, even though socialism really entails the government taking over the means of production, which ultimately ends up in there not being enough taxes to pay for anything.

    1. It’s socialish.

    2. In the last year I have heard calls to nationalize or state control of; Facebook, oil companies, the internet, Walmart and/or all big box stores, airlines, food production, all real estate, etc.

      Of course the pretense for all of them is that people want free shit.

      I wouldn’t call it socialism as much as fascism.

      1. “We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.”

      2. I wouldn’t call it socialism as much as fascism.

        I wouldn’t call it fascism? read (it’s real short!) The Coming Corporate State for more details.

        There should be a format in there you can read.

        It really opened my eyes as to what the fascists were thinking and why they were popular? and puts the lie to popular presentations of fascism (especially the fake Mussolini quote).

        1. “especially the fake Mussolini quote”

          Most quotes attributed to me on the internet are fake.

          /Benito Mussolini

          1. I didn’t say half the things I said.

            – Benito Mussolini

    3. socialism really entails the government taking over the means of production,

      The fascists solved that problem.

  19. OT: Someone watch this and tell me how it is: The Nightmare Words of H.G. Wells

    Thanks.

    1. It needs a few more people looking seriously at the camera and then grinning.

      1. Don’t mess this one up – I think I saw scenes from the Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham.

        Weird, wild, stuff.

  20. Because of capitalists socialists cannot create enough socialism to go around.

  21. People who have read the work of that objectively insane and worthless enemy of humanity Ayn Rand and her Atlas Shrugged, who appeals only to idiot children, will weirdly understand a bit of what comes next with more clarity and predictability than their intellectual and spiritual betters who understand how great socialism is …

    You can call it “socialism” Mr. O’Brien. Bernie isn’t the Democratic candidate yet.

    *rapturous applause*

  22. “If the government have the money, then it can spend it on free housing and 2 cent gasoline!”

    But if you spend money on those things, you’ll run out of money.

    Libs don’t get this, though. That’s why they insist companies that churn out “record profit” can afford to pay living wages and everyone’s healthcare.

    1. I heard they were also going to cover up the Christian statues in Vatican City, but the Swiss Guard was having none of it.

    2. When Trump is president there will be dancing showgirls in the room during every negotiation with Iran. #AmericaFuckYeah

      1. As Cherry Pie blares from Peavey stack, the blond one named Mustang will g-string herself with the towel right off Ayatollah’s head, as he awkwardly tries staring straight at wall.

        1. I may have laughed at this… a lot.

        2. You win the Sugarfree award for excellence.

          1. I…I…don’t want to know what the statuette looks like for that one.

            1. You already know what it looks like.

                1. Barbed penis on a pie, with little hooked feet.

  23. Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies.

    Well, a lotta guys might consider socialism a “policy”.

  24. The same thing happened to Iran

    http://powerandcontrol.blogspo…..tlook.html

  25. How long until there is a military coup in Venezuela? By year end maybe?

  26. . . .Venezuela has managed it. How? Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. The first step was when Hugo Ch?vez’s socialist government started spending more money on the poor, with everything fromtwo-cent gasoline to free housing. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that ? in fact, it’s a good idea in general ? but only as long as you actually, well, have the money to spend. And by 2005 or so, Venezuela didn’t.

    What a moron.

    “Hey, I shredded all my money, flushed it down the toilet. Then the toilet backed up so I lit the house on fire to dry up the water. I’m broke now due to all this darn bad luck.”

    1. Margaret Thatcher remarked on how Socialism eventually runs out of other people’s money.

      1. And socialists repeat that as supposed irony.

  27. Wow thats really messed up man, iously.

    http://www.Full-VPN.tk

  28. i would appreciate it if someone could inform the masses of social-media millenial morons that “European Social-Welfare States” are not “Socialism”.

    “High-taxes” and lavish benefits aren’t Socialist. They’re simply a parasitic drain on a capitalist system that gradually and eventually drive it to fiscal crisis.

    1. Soi-disant “Social Democracy” was originally seen as an intermediary step between capitalism and communism, as Marx envisioned. I don’t think it’s that big of a sin to call SD a species of Socialism.

      1. I read marx. I’ve never thought his ideas were at all useful at describing any plausible model of economic-progress.

        As far as i’m concerned, a capitalist system taxed to the absolute limit is NOT a ‘stepping stone’ to anything but inevitable fiscal meltdown… at which point the capitalist parts would be reinvigorated out of necessity. and the whole ballgame would begin anew.

        1. What is it about reading Marx that turns people into prophets–even the ones who ought to know history?

        2. I never understood how anyone could take the labor theory of value seriously. So if I labor for a year on a painting, it’s got to be worth a lot more than a sketch Picasso made in a minute? WTF?

          1. I think I believed that when I was about six.

  29. I’m such a sucker. I followed the link and read the whole article because I just couldn’t believe the writer said “bad luck” and then didn’t reference anything that looked like bad luck. But, well, that’s what he did.

    1. I think the bad luck is the drop in oil prices.

      1. Cause, well, oil’s never been below $40 a barrel in the history of mankind, well, except for from about 1985 to 2004…

        1. …and basically all of history before 1985…

  30. It’s going to work this time!

    1. Bullwinkle: Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
      Rocky: Again?
      Bullwinkle: (tears off a shirt sleeve) Nothing up my sleeve. Presto!
      (reaches hand into hat and pulls out the head of a lion)
      Bullwinkle: No doubt about it, I gotta get another hat.

  31. “When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up,” the new minister wrote, “they are not in the presence of ‘inflation,’ ” but rather “parasitic” businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible. According to this ? let me be clear ? “theory,” printing too much money never causes inflation.”

    You know who else peppered his speeches with the phrase “let me be clear”?

    1. “You know who else peppered his speeches with the phrase “let me be clear”?”

      Someone with an equally valid claim to “honesty”?

  32. *pours another glass of adult beverage and smiles*

    I had my greatest German-Language nerd experience…ever.

    For certain reasons, the boss had me translating some Swiss financial regulation-guidelines from German into English….I found a typo in the original German. I almost yodeled on the spot. I GOT YOU, FINMA, OH YEAH!

    /nerd

    1. It’s so satisfying when that happens.

      1. Why can’t you just take a satisfying dump like the rest of us?

          1. Oh man. Condolences. Maybe by Monday.

    2. Yodeling is not healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

      1. Oh yes it is. That’s what people used to do on chairlifts before the smartphone era.

        1. I’ve been on many a chairlift, never heard any yodeling.

          1. Be at Mammoth next month. You’ll hear it.

          2. Be near my cubicle near the fondue mines.

    3. Wie sagt man “seppuku” auf deutsch?

      1. “Rituellen Selbstmord” is a s close as I can figure.

        /wanders off to find wine bottle

        1. *locates whisky bottle instead, cunning smile crosses face*

        1. Winner.

      2. Energiewende.

        1. *slow clap*

        2. *furiously applauds and looks for large bier stein to award NAS*

        3. Lolz!

      3. “Merkel”?

        1. Ja, ist gebongt. Ich glaube nicht, das ist was wollen Sie. Crusty nicht selbst mochten.

    4. Did someone forget an umlaut?

      Write Stra?e instead of Strasse?

      Duzen instead of Siezen?

      1. Stra?e is correct; it’s the Swiss who are wrong for not using the ?.

        Of course, they really don’t speak German….

        1. Maybe it was “da?” instead of that new-fangled “dass” abomination.

    5. You know, Swiss bureaucrats have to commit ritual suicide when they make typos? It is gruesome, I tell you.

  33. “Japan going with Neg int rates starting Feb 16.” This morning’s headline from the Yomiuri.

    1. “Japan adopts Islamic banking practices….this should work out fine!”

  34. Venezuela, like Brazil, allows no libertarian party. But I do believe their central banker was a castaway guest on the Gilligan’s Island episode titled “The Little Dictator,” explaining to Mr Howell how een my cow-in-tree we don need no steenkin backing for money… just ink and paper!

  35. Why do I visit Reason on a Friday evening? I’m doing fine, got the sick kid to bed, poured a glass of bourbon, try to relax a bit… and I read this story and the LAPD story.

    ::pours another glass::

    1. You’re the same as the cops.

      “Just gimme a reason!!!!”

      ::pours another glass, doesn’t need a reason::

    2. Y’all are killing me. I am having to lay off the juice for a while, dammit.

      1. *pours out libation for Suthen*

      2. You picked the wrong week to quit drinking.

    3. “I like the stuff
      But its just enough
      to hold back the tears
      ’til its closing time…
      Another night I fought the good fight
      But I’m getting close to the borderline…”

    1. Digg still exists?

      1. You’re missin’ out. Seriously, tarran might be onto something.

        1. Tarran is just jealous that he didn’t get the kill shot.

          1. I’m jealous of you both. I can’t make it here regularly now that school has started back up. I’m taking partnership taxation and it is a See You In Tea.

            1. It is. My wife just made partner. FY ’16 is going to be a bitch.

              1. Time…it just vanished from your family.

                Teach your kids to scavenge and fend for themselves…

                I am toiling at Weltkrisis rates for my Swiss Masters…but the wife can manage the fort with only part time hours.

        2. *smashes empty whisky bottle over head*

          WHY DID I CLICK THAT?!??!

          1. I’ve never heard capitalism described as “property rights for everyone,” but that’s pretty apt, doncha think?

            1. Yeah, but not as described “by Marx”.

              *gouges own eyes*

      2. It’s funny.

  36. Where’s AMSOC to tell us how wrong Libertarians are ?

    1. Commiserating with Joe in Lowell about how the wreckers and kulaks and hoarders ruined another chance for Socialism?

    2. He’s in the video I linked.

      1. *snorts*

        /returns to overly full whisky glass

    1. Going by the picture, no. But then, would.

      1. Meh. I’d give her a six.

          1. Maybe. She’s hiding behind the sign.

        1. I wouldn’t even give her 4.

      2. Probably.

          1. I know. I’m a bad man.

      3. Oh, Quincy. You can do better.

    2. I laughed.

      She should be trading for guns.

  37. “Venezuela’s currency has, by black market rates, lost 93 percent of its value in the past two years.”

    It took the US fifty times longer, a hundred years, to do that to the dollar.

    1. We are the 93%!

    2. Was the quality the same?

      How much did a computer cost in 1900? A flight from New York to Frisco?

      1. OK more realistically. How much would it have cost to so a billion calculations a second for an hour in 1900?

        We can make that easy. You have a year to do it.

  38. Goddamit.

    Drama in the “Metal Community” over Phil Anselmo.

    Robb Flynn of Machine Head was there and weighs in.

    This has a ‘gamergate’ feel for metal that’s been brewing for a while.

    Should get really stupid. I’ll end up hating everyone involved even more than I already do.

    1. I think its like really important that Metal recognize that its long been a place where certain people have been made to feel uncomfortable. Like, Ravers, for instance, and polka dancers. This idea that people need to wear black is also very colorist. And why is there so little harmonica in Metal?

      1. And accordion. We demand death-metal accordion with harmonica.
        And ukulele.

    2. A couple of years back Radio Sweden had a piece about Jamaican singers with their anti-gay lyrics performing in Sweden. It was hilarious listening to Swedish gays tie themselves in knots trying to blame it on whitey.

    3. There is very little mention of potato chip farts and Mountain Dew. I dispute this as a real metal controversy.

  39. *quaffs last of whisky, salutes commentariat, crawls toward bed*

    1. Lame. Even with the East Coast timestamp

    2. Sweet dreams. Imagine you’re a mechanical bull and Hillary is your saddle.

  40. Asians get tips to fight their anti black racism. The solution? Blame whitey.
    http://everydayfeminism.com/20…..ck-racism/

    1. “Within the specific context of Ferguson, we wondered how we could shift the “vandalism” or “looting” narratives popular in news coverage.’

      I note that none of the recommendations included “Stop looting and vandalizing the town”

      1. We as Asian Americans need to come to grips with the fact that a lot of our privileges as residents and citizens of this country come at the expense of Black folks.

        Pleeease take that route. I’m sure that will go over well.

        1. So, “privileges” are zero-sum…?

          1. I read a whine recently that up-scale eateries are offering ‘breakfast sandwiches’ now, and there are a couple of local places that have them on the brunch menus; they *ain’t* McMuffins.
            But the gripe centered on how up-scale sandies are not available to ‘the poor’. Well, who can deny that? Last time I had dinner at Gary Danko’s, I noticed very few poor had access to that menu, either.

            1. I was talking to an old timer native of SF today and the one takeaway was “people have so much more these days. I remember when having one car for a family was a luxury.”

  41. “Covered California extends open enrollment deadline”
    […]
    “Through Tuesday, Covered California saw more than 329,000 new enrollees during this open-enrollment period, which began Nov. 1.
    […]
    Nearly 9 of 10 people who enroll in Covered California receive federal subsidies to lower their share of the cost.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..793862.php

    Free shit, and they *still* have to extend the deadline to get them (supposedly) contracted.
    Rats stink, and I’m pretty sure there’s more than one in there.

    1. The good news is even Wapo has ripped into The Bern’s free shit model.

    2. “New enrollees” = People who lost their old coverage.

      1. Or. “New enrollees” = those that noticed the IRS tax and hoped getting their name on the list was sufficient; stated preference.
        The local news sources have been flogging the non-participation tax pretty heavily.

  42. Bernie isn’t a socialist, he’s a fascist. Which you prefer depends on whether you prefer starvation or getting shot by jackbooted thugs.

    1. Uh, Socialism has *both*. So does fascism come to think of it.

  43. If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists

    FA Hayek

  44. We used to have a private policy through Kaiser as I am self employed. After Obummercare it got canceled and we were informed that we had to apply by Covered California.The whole switchover was a big clusterfuck. The price was going to be a couple hundred less per month. Where is the catch? The deductible more than doubled and copays for visits and prescriptions tripled. It seems that the costs of this whole crappy gub overreach were hidden much more from those that had existing policies through their companies. I don’t hear nearly the same amount of complaints from them. I imagine it is like taxes, where the costs are passed to employers who then just take it out of potential wages.

    1. Employers bend over and take it. But I got to see it firsthand through CalCobra. The premiums increased by 700 bucks over the course of 2 years, and the coverage got shittier.

      1. California is very effective at vacuuming dollars out of your pocket. A woman came up to me today and asked if I had a tool to remove a stuck screw from her license plate holder that had Washington plates. As I was taking it out I told her she should have just kept the plates. She replied that when she found out at the DMV about the reg costs she was shocked. Parking tickets are now 72 bucks in this friggin town.

        1. Gotta pay the pensions for those retired city workers! What’s that now, a third of the budget? Plus $150 million a year for the homeless.

          1. I believe it might be 250 million a year for homeless here.

            Btw, I will send you over my contact details for any meetup. I still want that bet too.

        2. +1 Receipts Tax

        3. As I was taking it out I told her she should have just kept the plates.

          I tried that when I moved from Hawaii to the Mainland — got away with it for about two and a half years before got pulled over by Travis County sheriff’s deputies and was told to pay up — or else.

          I was polite to them and didn’t get shot. Telling them what I really thought of this literal highway robbery would have gone badly.

          1. “I drove here from Hawaii”

  45. Well, the world just got a bit brighter:
    “US declares 22 Clinton emails ‘top secret'”
    […]
    “The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton’s unsecured home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails with material requiring one of the highest levels of classification.”
    http://www.uticaod.com/article…../160129354

    The link claims this was ‘news’ late afternoon; I just saw it, and it is certainly the habit of that piece of shit in the WH to release such stuff after people are otherwise engaged (asleep) in the hopes the news cycle will have a new headline in the morning.
    Nixon had a higher level of ethics, for pete’s sake.

    1. I saw that come through. Late nite Friday. I will be astonished if it somehow brings her down, but anyone else would be toast by now. Teflon does not even come close.

      1. Unless Putin nukes Poland or some muzzy-fundie knocks off a couple of hundred, I think they don’t have a chance of hiding it this time.
        Dunno if you get the Chron, but it will be interesting to see how that rag tries to handle it; maybe under Super Bowl headlines? I’m sure they tried to keep it buried until the Friday before the SB, but it was gonna leak.

      2. BTW, I think she’s in town with tin cup in hand this week; we’ll see.

        1. Nary a mention on SFGate,but I would not expect them to carry it. Just what we need for traffic with all the Super Bowl bs goIng on.

          1. On whim I went to nytimes frontpage and searched for ‘Hillary.’ Three articles – One was op-ed about the women who should be liking Hillary, another was about Iowans surprised at Hillary’s ‘ease’ with faith, and a third about Hillary and a giant 3D printer(?).

            Searching for ‘Clinton’ one finds a few more – all repetitions of the other three – except a little-font title regarding 22 emails that should drop off the list by tomorrow AM. Obviously no problems for Hillary over there.

            1. Zip in the paper version.
              The Obo admin knows the news business quite well, I see.

    2. I won’t be surprised to see the MSM report this as “22 emails the FBI was investigating found to be neither ‘confidential’ nor ‘secret’.”

    3. I read somewhere her campaign is claiming those emails are not really classified. Rather convenient that since the emails are classified they can’t be released to contradict her.

  46. So here’s the fuckin deal… fucking spotify is sweet but this bitch needs fucking his 14 year old pandora account like a sweet aunt prancing on the edge of the pool with her sweet monster melons praying to jesus.

  47. Can’t fucking find that old nigger superman from the FUCKING wine ass prohibition shit age and his tornado songs and fuck what but I peeled back the goddamn crusty omelettes of time and the bitch popped out and melted my entire body into a puddle of human flesh and i only lived because I thought to frack a brick with my brain wave. so it rogues.

    1. You need to turn on to somafm on the Internet and check it out. It is the best radio ever. I highly recommend Secret Agent, but there are too many other good options there.

      1. gonna pound a pants lightning into that sticky hole, mr Swell… gonna piano that FUCKING sticky icky weedy holewhale ass puke fucking downtone. screeping preppa waka likia scrticha so we follow the tones across the shock town into the fuckin ally under the low down behing the wings where the building scratch acron the doors painted with tah shitty pink neon eye grape and fall down behing the cruz by the lights when the concretes
        crack and when the river fulls down becraft de irons and dust of teh boots ranging down betimes the river yaks
        and the candles black and blat and blit and bling like a ma hell with her singing fucking old downbulbs
        where the wooden doors drip with letters sprayed and compton is in every small town
        nigga like bring in all the fisherman and gangstaman and find le bass pussies
        and underneath the gangsta braids and bridges be all up in the old school fuckin plains
        rivulets and under the rides of strokes of fuckery of tones spilling from the angry sun and her fall downs
        and shit and all the fucking tall buildings on the sides of the tall deep muds where the bulldown fishies G like pumping
        motherfucking swim dogs but catch that smack bitch with a leash reel bring tons of tho fucker ton of up and
        rip the skins off and melt the flesh of old mud dogs and shits and eat so goddamn well in the painted alleys

        1. I would expect nothing less.

  48. if your dick wants to spit wine and rockets spill that dream into the fucking rectangle of the fucking bitch pandoranga babble twisty wisty old clods rolling down the fucking muddy slides into all the fucking old rickety towns and shit…fuck

    All the angels got dancy wincey and all the ribbings and strummings lived and pulled out tons of babies from the muddy slides when the sun playad her sweet ray tones calming the quakes and she strode out and killed a 40 foot wave with one punch, bitches

  49. In a relatively short amount of time the Chavistas have turned Venezuela into the Zimbabwe of South America.

    1. They sure have, it’s sad.

  50. Scenario I wonder is if Maduro finds himself so broke China comes along and bails him out – and in the process rents themselves new strategic bitches and a navy base kicking it on Caribbean to enable them getting up in USA’s grill from the east-side if they want. Turnabout is fair play.

    1. You bring up a very good point,
      Hey fair is fair, the U.S. has its bases over there breathing down their necks.

      1. It would put us in a veeeeeeeery bad position.

        Ever since the Monroe Doctrine we’ve been pissy about anyone messing about in our backyard (never mind all that shit we do overseas – that’s different of course).

        That could (with the right/wrong president) turn into another Cuban Missile Crisis.

    2. Tell me more about these strategic bitches.

  51. jank the fucking dream town brains melts swank bunch punch ump lump imk wink
    dang wang land tang jang wang
    bro the train is smashing into us tonight the night
    and our chests will be nucked this nite
    if you hanging with agile 2nite
    you might die
    because hell is on heat seeking killzone
    and this thread is akill thread because
    massive cool powers attract tons of massively armd aliens who want to kill
    super massive awesome humanities
    so space has the humble numbers of bassy grassy weedy cocaine poem fucks
    littered across these reason pits and trash heaps where you all hang out along with
    agile c ass motherfucker so we about to get turned into nuclear sand because you all
    are awesome but I won’t let that happen because I just killed the assassin of ya’ll…
    I stuck a spoon in her neck and know that the CIA sucks at killing awesome people

    Because your bureacratic bullshit might throb its cock on Saudi Arabia’s head removing bullshit and
    those dummies armed on the fields on the plains can’t compare to this
    lines, man.

    1. You want to operate here, nigga? Get right. Learn your fucking Bentham, Russell, Mill, or be voted out and guess
      what a REAL revolution is? Not cowboys desparate and not thinking but deep town real substance shit your bureaucratic asses never considered once. WHY? Because humans love to be free and ya’ll need to stop being all
      socialistic motherfuckers on people trying to live for real and love their country. Fucking country and its arms and stiffs
      need to chill a bit and step back and let us all figure out how to be fucking goddamn sweet and free

  52. A couple of obvious, non-hallucinatory comments/questions…

    1. What is the price of oil right now and might an economy dependent on petroleum exports be susceptible to this?
    2. What was the inflation rate and economic growth rate in Venezuela before Chavez was in office?
    3. There are plenty of examples in first world countries of where socialism has worked to create extremely high standards of living. Is it more instructive to learn from the examples set by Other 1st world countries than to rotten cherry pick examples of what happens when strongmen come to power in South America?

    1. Socialism has never ‘created’ anything.

      1. poverty and misery doesn’t count.

        1. You mean like the poverty and misery in Copenhagen. I travel there once or twice a year and I haven’t located the Gulags. Are they in Christiania? I’m just wondering why the need to travel to a far-flung third world petrol state to find out about the dangers of socialism. Why not point out all the obvious places it’s failed in Postwar Western Europe?

          1. Compared to the United States Denmark isn’t a country but a county. Why do people pretend otherwise in making these facile comparisons? Because they’re both in club UN? Look at a fucking map.

            Compared to Malibu, Denmark sucks. Makes about as much sense for a comparison.

            1. Plus, it’s not actually socialist.

          2. Greece and Spain.

          3. Also, the question isn’t “is Denmark a nice enough country?” The question is “how would people choose to live if given the choice?”. In Denmark a lot of people might choose their brand of socialism (or whatever you want to call it) even if it weren’t chosen for them by some majority of their neighbors and enforced by government. And that’s fine, if that’s what they want.

            I would not choose that.

          4. Denmark isn’t a socialist country. They’ve been trying to get that point across to Bernie Sanders supporters for some time now. It is a capitalist country with a large wealthfare state, but it is not socialist.

            1. That’s part of the con.

              The people who love Bernie don’t love socialism. They love welfare.

              If they actually tried socialism, they’d find that they couldn’t afford the level of welfare they want. You can always get more taxing a capitalist system than you can through central planning.

              Still, feigning some philosophical bent like socialism comes across much better than begging for welfare benefits. So we have Sanders the “socialist”, who really just wants free shit.

              1. “The people who love Bernie don’t love socialism. They love welfare.”

                Exactly.

                Socialism removes capitalism and the profit motive. Welfare states NEED capitalism because welfare-states are merely a parasitic attachment to capitalism.

                1. I agree but i think the bernie-bots would be too stupid to realize this and i suspect they want actual socialism as well. They hate profits and capitalism.

                  They just dont understand what you have pointed out is actually the case in reality

          5. Denmark didn’t always have socialist policies. That only started in the 60s. Before that it was a very prosperous country. Living standards plummeted after the implementation of those policies, so much so that they rescinded many of those policies in the 80s. Additionally, the country has much less economic regulation than the US, which allows businesses to produce more wealth (for the government to steal).

            Socialism doesn’t create high standards of living. Quite the opposite. Socialism is something that is only implemented after capitalism has created high standards of living, and then it serves only to destroy those high living standards.

            But I know I have told you this before, which only means that you are dishonest, stupid, or most likely both.

          6. Oh no you d’int, racist. HolgerDanske attack!

          7. “”Postwar Western Europe?””

            Those are capitalist welfare states. Redistributive tax systems are not ‘socialist’, which requires collective ownership of the means of production. How ignorant are you of your own chosen handle? You’d think you’d at least maintain some dictionary reference.

          8. Copenhagen, like all of Europe, has inferior standards of living compared to America.

          9. Denmark was a rich country before developing into a semi-socialist state. Since then it has stagnated.

    2. Let’s choose data from 1st world countries that haven’t been destroyed by socialism. YET.

    3. You are an idiot, it’s not fucking “cherry picking ” because the facts support the universal knowledge that socialist policies do not work no matter if it’s South America or Europe or fucking Mars.

    4. american socialist|1.30.16 @ 2:43AM|#
      “A couple of obvious, non-hallucinatory comments/questions…”

      How much does cherry picking pay these days, shitbag.

    5. 3. That’s not “real” socialism. It’s not pure, so it doesn’t count.

      You know: like Russia and China were never really communist.

    6. 1. Venezuela is no more dependent upon oil than Saudi Arabia or the UAE – and they’re doing fine.

      2. Rate of inflation 1976 – 2015. http://www.tradingeconomics.co…..lation-cpi

      27% from 1973 until 2015. Now its spiked to 115%

      3. There are no examples of a first world country where socialism has worked to create extremely high standards of living. There are several examples of socialist first world countries that have mediocre standards of living (italy, Greece) and a few first world countries that aren’t socialist but have a huge welfare state that are still able to cling onto mediocre living standards.

      1. The Saudis have money in the bank. It is running out.

        1. The Saudis haven’t politicized their means of production either.

    7. 3. I was just reading this superb libertarian analysis focused exclusively on Somalia.

      What? Someone’s examining socialism in Venezuela? Why, how unfair to socialism can you be?

      1. WTF kind of non-sequitor is this?

    8. 3. Name one. I dare you.

    9. “Only (some) 1st world countries have the right Top Men for utopia!” ~ AmSoc

    10. As someone pointed out above, when business is good (ie oil $100/bbl) you can weather inefficiencies.

      Oil at $29/bbl will not let Venezuela hide their incompetence. What may have been hidden before is out in the open now. An intelligent, diversified economy with money in the bank can outlast this. Even Russia, who started the devaluation in an attempt to crush US fracking, may not survive.

  53. “Concentration of wealth is a natural result of concentration of ability, and recurs in history. The rate of concentration varies (other factors being equal) with the economic freedom permitted by morals and the law… democracy, allowing the most liberty, accelerates it. — Will and Ariel Durant

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.- Winston Churchill

    1. Venezuela chose equality. They got misery.

      1. They chose… poorly.

    2. Inequality is no vice — Hyperbolical

    3. Equality is the lowest common denominator.

      -me

      1. Equality above all, for its own sake.

        /Justin Trudeau

        1. Better to be equally poor than unequally rich.

  54. Bernie Sanders uses the word “socialist” to mean social democrat — basically taxpayer-funded healthcare and education for everyone, and a lot of restrictions on employment.

    If he keeps doing well, he will soon change his language: “When I said socialist, I really meant social democrat.”

    I haven’t heard him say “This country needs to be run like Venezuela.”

    1. I agree but that doesnt change that he is an economic creationist and doesnt really understand reality

    2. Bernie Sanders uses the word “socialist” to mean social democrat — basically taxpayer-funded healthcare and education for everyone, and a lot of restrictions on employment.

      That’s where it starts.

      I haven’t heard him say “This country needs to be run like Venezuela.”

      That’s where it leads.

    3. eyeroller|1.30.16 @ 9:04AM|#
      “– basically taxpayer-funded healthcare and education for everyone, and a lot of restrictions on employment.”

      So we’ll run out of healthcare before we run out of toilet paper?

  55. Hacker attacks country’s largest police union.

    But what’s important to Yahoo is:

    What the hackers found: According to the Guardian, the leaked forum threads are unflattering. They expose police officers speaking ill of President Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and “illegals.”

    Guardian coverage.

    Canterbury blamed “anti-police rhetoric” for the hack. “This is just a group that is negative towards law enforcement,” he said.

    Hundreds of contracts between regional authorities and local fraternal order of police lodges across the country were posted online as part of the hack. Some such deals have been sharply criticised as shielding police officers from prosecution or disciplinary action following the excessive use of force.

    “Police associations, they’re certainly not very transparent,” said Vitale. “No one really knows what is going on inside police unions. The most troubling thing is that they have been able to work out disciplinary procedures that shield them from oversight, as in what steps that the employer has to go to discipline or terminate someone.”

    1. The Guardian is union busting? Say it ain’t so.

  56. Well I’m stocking up on toilet paper in case Bernie Sanders gets elected.

    1. +1 BM for the thought. +1,000 for the ass wipes.

  57. I see we still have apologists for socialism.

    Must be bad luck, that’s all.

    “…a different way to squander Venezuela’s great oil wealth. Wiser men would have created a mechanism by which the people of Venezuela could leverage oil wealth to finance investment and capital formation (like, say, Norway). Instead they’ve simply given it all away.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ch…..f55edc7980

    There is just no other way to explain it. It is a mystery. No one can explain it.

    http://www.theguardian.com/glo…..ountry-cia

    1. I love the old Russian joke “If socialism comes to north Africa within a year there will be a shortage of sand”:

      http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06…..ant-water/

      1. At least their right to health care is guaranteed:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..plies.html

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-…..a-34983075

        Every time Venezuela is brought up as an example of socialisms inherent flaws the scandanavian countries are thrown up as counter examples. All of these socialist utopias have outside sources of wealth that prop up their dysfunctional economies, but Venezuela has wildly mismanaged theirs. When those sources dry up, which they inevitably will, they will all crash and burn. What we are seeing in Venezuela is the end of the socialist road. No matter how many times it is taken, no matter how much resources are available, inevitably that is where it goes.

        How stupid or delusional does one have to be to be a socialist?

        1. How stupid or delusional does one have to be to be a socialist?

          You don’t support socialism? Then you support inequality! You support unfairness! You want the super-rich to steal food from the mouths of starving children! There is only so much wealth to go around, and when it accumulates at the top as it does in capitalism, then there is that much less for the poor! You are licking the corporate boot that holds you down! You’re the one who is stupid and delusional! You are apologizing for the rich! The very rich that keep you poor! With socialism you can take what you deserve from the rich! We can rise up against the rich and steal everything they own! We can put them in prisons where they belong! Kill the rich! Kill the rich! Make life fair! Make life fair!

          1. Don’t tell anyone but the banks are only open until noon so I am off to cash my shillbucks check from the Koch brothers. I will be back later.

            1. It’s all about intentions.

              Socialists have wonderful intentions. They want everyone to be equal. They want life to be fair. That makes them wonderful people because they have wonderful intentions.

              Capitalists have bad intentions. They just want to get rich, and fuck everyone else. They don’t care at all about equality or fairness. That makes them terrible people because they have selfish intentions.

              Thus socialism is superior to capitalism, because of the intentions of the supporters.

              Results be damned.

  58. So, in case like my local rag, you got no notice of it, the Obo admin, late last night, buried an admission that Hillary handed top secret data to any intel agency with a 12YO kid on board:

    “APNewsBreak: US Declares 22 Clinton Emails ‘Top Secret'”
    […]
    “The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton’s home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails that contained material requiring one of the highest levels of classification.”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics…..s-36603441

    In a spin that would make commie-kid proud, the NYT headlines:
    “22 Clinton Emails Deemed Too Classified to Be Made Public”
    Hmm, yeah, just not something they want to share with hoi poloi…

    1. NY Times Editorial board endorsed Shrillary this morning. Much louder font than the missing 22 email shenanigans.

      1. I guess the fact that it is now completely indisputable that she had top secret emails on her home server was the final push the the NYT needed to give her that endorsement.

        1. She can’t very well be expected to trust the governnent to safeguard sensitive information.

          1. I really hope Bernie can take Iowa and NH. He is not going to win the nom but hope he can drag it out for as long as possible. I look forward to never hearing about HRC again. That day cannot come soon enough.

          2. If she strolled down Wisconsin Ave and handed over the package to the receptionist at the Russian embassy, would the NYT take notice? Because she didn’t do much different.

            1. What do you think the odds are that the Russians have those emails? What do you think the chances are that Putin would have those leaked, say by some fake hacker group, at some point before or after the elections. It seems to me he would take great pleasure in knocking out Clinton.

              1. Suell|1.30.16 @ 2:14PM|#
                “What do you think the odds are that the Russians have those emails?”
                100%.
                There will be an IT nerd in Intel (whatever they call the KGB now) who is charged with tracking every email sent by the US SoS. And that hag put them in a non-secure server.
                There is no way, outside of gross incompetence on their part that they don’t have them, and they are NOT Hillary.
                Ditto PRC, France, England, RoC, So Korea, Israel, Germany, Poland, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, so on and so on and so on. That sort of stupidity is just tossing fish into the boat over the transom for those outfits. Again, she might as well have had them printed on, oh, page two of the WaPo.

                “What do you think the chances are that Putin would have those leaked, say by some fake hacker group, at some point before or after the elections. It seems to me he would take great pleasure in knocking out Clinton.”
                Personal opinion only: I don’t think he’d risk making it obvious they hacked the server. Why would he?

                1. It seems he could find a way to release them just so everyone knows that they were hacked and not necessarily by Russian intelligence services. But then again that would be assuming that he would want to sink her candidacy and open her up for almost certain prosecution. There are a few reasons why I could see him wanting to do so, but then again he might actually want a Clinton presidency, especially if he has the dirt on her.

                  1. To do so would make no sense except for bragging rights, and Putin is ex-KGB. He wouldn’t have survived if he was the espionage business’ equivalent of Donald Trump. I don’t rule out some other foreign power bragging about it though.

                    Leaving the US wondering not *what* the Russian Intel Services saw, but if they saw *anything* at all is far more valuable for leverage. Plus, from the point of view of diplomatic leverage, having a compromised, weakened rival who doesn’t actually know what cards you’re holding is far more effective than some guy whose incompetence you have not yet determined.

                    Not to mention all the secrets passed from US ‘allies’ (not that the US has many left in the Intel community) to Clinton during her tenure. The value doesn’t lie in knowing ‘dirt’ on Clinton, it’s on her fears of what he knows.

                    Classic Sun Tzu. Never let your enemies know what you know.

                    I would expect that over the next year or so, all the counterparties of the US State Department “Special Access Programs” will be dead or disappeared. This will impact US Intel Services for a generation.

                    1. “Leaving the US wondering not *what* the Russian Intel Services saw, but if they saw *anything* at all is far more valuable for leverage”

                      True enough, but the US intel isn’t totally incompetent and they know full well that whatever was on that server is in the possession of most other intel services world-wide.
                      Now that they know TS stuff was on that server, there’ll be a pretty thorough examination of it to determine what has been handed over.

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  60. Just refuted this article. Venezuela is decidedly not socialist and Reason doesn’t understand socialism.

    http://answeringtheright.com/2…..eason-com/

    1. “Perusing the economic and political history of Venezuela, one comes up nearly empty-handed searching for institutions where workers coordinate production or express their material desires. What one finds instead is an economy of nationalized resources and a republican political structure. Ideally, a democratic government combined with nationalization of resources should provide something resembling a worker-run economy. Reality has proven differently, with Venezuela putting price-ceilings in response to inflation and opposition by business owners. But where’s socialism when for-profit enterprises exist that are run by owners rather than workers? Where’s socialism when many economic decisions are made with or without the approval of much of the working class?

      In fact, worker cooperatives and councils were encouraged for a time, but they faced numerous problems both in and outside of the state. Capitalist enterprise was never done away with in Venezuela and this meant an environment full of contradictions and problems. Sometimes state bureaucrats preferred private contracts, many businesses only pretended to be cooperatives to receive state help, the state was skeptical of allowing certain key industries to be run by workers, and so on.”

      Socialism gets tossed around a bit too loosely. What you have described is fascism, govt control of privately held businesses and lots of nationalized industries.

      1. What is a republican political structure?

        1. FWIW i mean to guy who wrote that..not you

    2. Right, like we’re going to give you page hits.

      “Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of meaning of the words by which the ideals of the new regimes are expressed.” – FA Hayek

    3. Ah another socialist trying to justify the failures of socialism…shocking! Can you please tell us what socialism is??

    4. TheLivelyLeftist|1.30.16 @ 5:09PM|#
      “Just refuted this article.”

      I’m sure several other lefty imbeciles agree with you.

      1. Got to love socialists….well that isn’t socialism it is really capitalism as i argue for state top down control and nationalization.

        1. Yeah,
          ‘On reading the article, I notice that the subject doesn’t really qualify for the term “socialism” as only 49% of….’
          Tiresome crap.

  61. any time someone says they refuted something === they have not

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