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NeuseRvrRat
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Since Bernie wouldn't answer the question, do any of our TSB socialists care to answer the question of why socialism has failed in Venezuela?



Where did Venezuela go wrong in implementing socialism? How would we implement socialism in the US and avoid these problems?

[Edited on September 3, 2016 at 11:15 PM. Reason : thought it was a good topic for Labor Day weekend ]

9/3/2016 11:12:25 PM

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Quote :
" How would we implement socialism in the US and avoid these problems?"


We've already implemented socialism in this country, and I'm unconvinced socialism to blame for Venezuela's economic problems. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/04/07/venezuelas-not-suffering-from-socialism-but-from-anti-marketism/#2fbfcbb62b53

http://www.inquisitr.com/3125414/dont-blame-socialism-for-collapse-in-venezuela-blame-its-dictator/

Also if socialism is the disease, how has (most of) Europe not only survived, but prospered? Democracy.

9/4/2016 12:08:37 AM

The E Man
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Quote :
"do any of our TSB socialists care to answer the question of why socialism has failed in Venezuela?"

The premise of your question is off base. Venezuela's economy has failed for three main reasons.

1. Their economy is ~%50 oil
Oil prices have collapsed and they don't really export anything else. The US, Canada, and Saudi Arabia have flooded the markets with supply to drive the price down and also doing more behind the scenes to destroy the government. As a small country without a diversity of resources, the collapse of oil prices has been a death blow to the economy. Private or public, there is not much that can go well when 50% of your economy collapses.
2. Extreme drought due to climate change
This drought has also caused an energy crisis because they rely heavily on hydroelectric power. Everyone knows economic production is correlated to energy availability. Climate change is affecting some countries in an extremely negative way. Most of the unstable countries around the world today are dealing with extreme drought. You also lose agricultural production in a drought which exacerbates the entire situation economically and politically.
3. External Influence
It is especially difficult to succeed when you are isolated politically. They don't have the advantageous trade deals to help keep them on their feet. In fact, they have the US doing everything possible to make sure they fail. Cuba wasn't in a crisis until they lost a strong soviet union to help them. When the most powerful nation in the world is trying to topple you, you are probably going to topple. Investors are not going to touch anything with that sort of instability. They become shutoff from the global banking system.

Socialism has been successful for venezuela in some ways.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/INE_Venezuela_poverty_rate_1990_to_2013.png
poverty down big time


gdp per capita way up

I'm sad that you would get caught up in this cherry picking propaganda which is so typical of the right. It chooses to ignore the most successful countries in the world which all have democratic socialist societies but chooses to highlight the handful of poor socialist countries. You even ignore Ecuador and Bolivia who are growing quite well under socialist leaders. Its amazing how the 1% have convinced the 99% to fight like hell for them.

You will never hear Bolivia or Eva Morales mentioned in any msm article or piece. They might as well not even be on earth.
Quote :
"Where did Venezuela go wrong in implementing socialism?"

The only fair critique is that they should have used oil windfalls to diversify the economy and energy system but that's not very fair considering the consensus was peak oil back then and that oil prices would only go up and up in the future.
Quote :
"How would we implement socialism in the US and avoid these problems?"

We are democratic socialists for one so the government wouldn't take the means of production but the US is the most diverse economy so there is no one commodity that could tank our whole economy. I think you should look at Denmark, Norway, and Sweden to better answer your question. Our wealth is much greater than Venezuela's has ever been. Post-industrial nations are much more equipped to move into a welfare model. Please compare us to other wealthy nations.

[Edited on September 4, 2016 at 12:49 AM. Reason : keep em honest]

9/4/2016 12:48:29 AM

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As much as I hate to agree with Earl, this one is clearly "cherry picking propaganda," which the left and right are both guilty of, though it's pretty wild he posted all those words without any of them being "currency/price controls," which most economists blame for the shortages Venezuela is dealing with (aka "not Socialism")

[Edited on September 4, 2016 at 2:27 AM. Reason : I don't think NRR is actually blaming socialism due to his use of the z]

9/4/2016 2:21:54 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
" ignore the most successful countries in the world which all have democratic socialist societies"

By what definition is a free market economy with high tax rates considered socialism? Do words not have meanings any more? So, all socialism means is having a generous welfare state now? So America is a socialist country now? The communists won, I guess, merely by moving the goal posts!

Well, Venezuela tried to implement the old definition: state control of the means of production. So, it seems the problem with Venezuela is their dictionaries are too old?

9/4/2016 6:37:45 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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I just pulled into Darlington for the race. Hope to have some interesting reading here when I return.

9/4/2016 8:58:18 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"Oil prices have collapsed and they don't really export anything else."

But such was not always the case. Back in 2002, Venezuela had a heavily diversified economy exporting both cars and food and oil was only . Now that oil has collapsed, these industries are no where to be seen. What changed between 2003 and today? Well, 13 years of socialism occurred in there somewhere.

9/5/2016 3:29:35 PM

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Cool corelation.

[Edited on September 5, 2016 at 4:28 PM. Reason : Right after discussing oil]

9/5/2016 4:27:04 PM

LoneSnark
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Back in 2002, when oil was about what it is today, Venezuela had a heavily diversified economy exporting cars, food, and manufactured goods (see chart). Now that oil has collapsed, these industries are no where to be seen. What changed between 2003 and today? Well, 13 years of socialism occurred in there somewhere.


This collapse of non-oil exports is a sign of the collapse of the non-oil sector starting way back in 2005. Another way to view it, also from wikipedia:
Quote :
"Under the tenures of Hugo Chávez and his successor Nicolás Maduro, many businesses abandoned Venezuela. In 1999, there were 13,000 companies in the country. By 2016, less than a third of companies remained in Venezuela with only 4,000 companies operating in the nation."

Just, ouch.

9/5/2016 8:51:54 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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Quote :
"It is especially difficult to succeed when you are isolated politically. They don't have the advantageous trade deals to help keep them on their feet. In fact, they have the US doing everything possible to make sure they fail. Cuba wasn't in a crisis until they lost a strong soviet union to help them. When the most powerful nation in the world is trying to topple you, you are probably going to topple. Investors are not going to touch anything with that sort of instability. They become shutoff from the global banking system. "


I agree. The US govt shouldn't be choosing which countries win and lose. Americans should be free to trade with any country they want regardless of political BS. Economic sanctions, tariffs, etc. are not good for anyone.

9/5/2016 9:16:58 PM

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^^ Cool corelation.

[Edited on September 5, 2016 at 9:18 PM. Reason : ^^]

9/5/2016 9:17:19 PM

Shrike
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Quote :
"So America is a socialist country now?"


Yes. /thread

9/5/2016 9:43:57 PM

The E Man
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Quote :
""Under the tenures of Hugo Chávez and his successor Nicolás Maduro, many businesses abandoned Venezuela. In 1999, there were 13,000 companies in the country. By 2016, less than a third of companies remained in Venezuela with only 4,000 companies operating in the nation.""

Do not act like socialism caused them to have one export. We know that's not true.

Its not because of socialism. I already addressed investors leaving in bold point #3. We can talk about why they leave all day but we know American meddling increases the risk of political instability which is a big turnoff for private investment.

9/5/2016 10:10:18 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"Do not act like socialism caused them to have one export. We know that's not true. "

Actually, I just posted the graph showing that to be exactly true. Venezuela used to export manufactured goods and agricultural products. No embargoes were imposed or exist against Venezuela, so you can't blame foreigners.

The only foreign "interference" with Venezuela that actually mattered was imposed by foreign courts seizing assets as compensation for assets illegally seized through failed attempts at nationalization. But, these seizures have been tiny compared to the crushing currency controls imposed by Chavez himself to prevent the capital flight of his own people.

Quote :
"This drought has also caused an energy crisis because they rely heavily on hydroelectric power. Everyone knows economic production is correlated to energy availability."

LoL. At a time when energy is cheaper than it has been for over a decade, they just can't afford the energy to keep the lights on...bullshit. The Venezuelan government could have kept the lights on, it had months of warning and lots of mothballed power plants previous administrations used to survive droughts. But, the regime chose to shut them down for scrap and spend the money on other things, such as Chavista Gangs to prawl the streets assaulting and murdering dissenters. And making Chavez's daughter a billionaire. etc. etc.

Quote :
" the risk of political instability which is a big turnoff for private investment."

I'm sure the blatant and public theft of private property continuously over the past decade has been far more of a turnoff than anything Bush or Obama has said. Especially since Obama seemed to like Chavez and his ilk.

9/6/2016 10:00:55 AM

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Quote :
"Do not act like socialism caused them to have one export. We know that's not true"

Quote :
"Actually, I just posted the graph showing that to be exactly true. "


Holy shit you actually believe that?

9/6/2016 11:01:15 AM

LoneSnark
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that non-oil exports fell because of the Bolivarian Revolution? Yes. Yes I do. It is usually what the business owners themselves said killed their businesses. So until we both have a different plausible cause and a reason why they would all lie about it, I'm gonna believe it.

So, I gotta know, do you not believe it? You keep saying cool correlation, as if somehow a different explanation was plausible? If the US Navy was blockading Venezuela, I'm sure I would have heard about it, so it isn't that. If God put up a wall around the country, again, I'm sure I would have heard about it. What I have heard about at length is the continuous assault upon businesses launched by the regime itself. A sizable percentage of the business class of Venezuela is in prison right now...and you don't think that could have had anything to do with a fall in production?

[Edited on September 6, 2016 at 2:39 PM. Reason : .,.]

9/6/2016 2:29:06 PM

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Quote :
"that non-oil exports fell because of the Bolivarian Revolution? "


Except that wasn't your claim.

Here, perhaps this will refresh your memory:

Quote :
"Do not act like socialism caused them to have one export. We know that's not true"

Quote :
"Actually, I just posted the graph showing that to be exactly true."


Perhaps I missed the section of that graph that dealt with causation...

[Edited on September 6, 2016 at 2:44 PM. Reason : and your claims have concerned Socialism as a whole, not the Bolivarian Revolution]

9/6/2016 2:39:40 PM

Kurtis636
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Yeah, I mean there was considerable flight of businesses from Venezuela once the revolution happened and shit started to get confiscated, err, nationalized. Don't really know how that's even arguable.

It may not be the entire reason that exports fell off, certainly embargoes and sanctions had an impact as well but I don't know how you don't lay a significant portion of the blame for Venezuela's collapse directly on the centralized economy run by Chavez and Maduro.

There are certainly examples of good socialism (scandinavian countries) and bad socialism/communism (cuba, venezuela, most of eastern europe). The difference seems to be how centralized/planned the economy is.

9/6/2016 2:43:01 PM

LoneSnark
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My claim was that socialism caused them to have only one export. This was an over-simplification, they still have other exports, only 95% is oil, so yes, my claim should have been less simplified.

Of course, state ownership of the means of production wasn't their only problem. It isn't only that nationalized businesses usually ceased production sometime after nationalization. No, most of the devastation was businesses that were killed by the government but not actually nationalized. So, pure political wrecking of the economy, not actually socialism. Very few of the 8,000 businesses that ceased to exist under the Bolivarian Revolution were actually nationalized, most were just killed off through regulation.

So, are price controls, currency controls, organized looting, and regulation to destruction elements of textbook socialism? I guess not. So, you have convinced me, allow to rephrase: "The Bolivarian Revolution has caused them to have overwhelmingly less non-oil exports than they otherwise would have had."

Regular oil exporting states, such as Texas, Norway, or Mexico etc are not facing economic collapse, currency collapse, and hunger due to lower oil prices. They are facing a recession, currency devaluation, and higher unemployment.

Quote :
"Perhaps I missed the section of that graph that dealt with causation..."

The graph shows correlation. The causation comes from the intellectual understanding of the possible and the plausible. That graph by itself may show nothing more than a major worldwide economic collapse, AKA the great depression...But we know no such occurred. It could also show nothing more than Venezuela being nuked from orbit by space aliens...but we know no such occurred. It could be due to a hostile navy embargoing the country, but we know no such occurred. Could be the drought and there was no slack supply of coal or fuel oil for electricity production, but the collapse pre-dates the drought, and trade-able fuel oil is plentiful, so we know no such occurred. It is also possible the oil industry grew sooo much that it gobbled up all the land, labor, and capital in the country, but statistics show no such occured.

Once you have eliminated all other plausible causes, what we are left with is CAUSATION.

[Edited on September 6, 2016 at 3:12 PM. Reason : .,.]

9/6/2016 3:01:09 PM

The E Man
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thats not how causation works my friend.

9/6/2016 3:48:34 PM

LoneSnark
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You said it was caused by your chosen three causes above...to hear you now belittling the concept of causation is funny.

Semantics are fun. synapse and you have no defense of your preferred causes, but wanna play semantics with what I say caused the situation. Oh well, when the facts and law are against you, pound the table.

[Edited on September 6, 2016 at 4:17 PM. Reason : .,.]

9/6/2016 4:15:47 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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what definition of socialism are we even using in this thread? govt ownership of the means of production or lots-o-welfare?

https://fee.org/articles/the-myth-of-scandinavian-socialism/

[Edited on September 6, 2016 at 5:52 PM. Reason : adfs]

9/6/2016 5:46:44 PM

The E Man
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Both because OP didn't seem to know there was a difference.

9/6/2016 7:08:47 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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not sure how you inferred that

9/6/2016 7:44:49 PM

Kurtis636
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Pj O'rourke wrote well about this very issue in Eat the Rich.

9/6/2016 8:11:50 PM

skokiaan
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Coworkers family works in the Venezuelan oil industry. Since it was nationalized, the company is run very poorly. No one running the place cares at all about efficiently doing their jobs. There's also all sorts of socialist obligations that disrupt the work day and kill productivity

9/7/2016 11:51:55 AM

skokiaan
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9/7/2016 11:58:13 AM

GrumpyGOP
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I just want to revisit something here. The E Man listed three reasons why the Venezuelan economy failed:

1) Their economy is ~50% oil
2) Extreme drought due to climate change
3) External Influence

I'm thinking that can't quite explain it, because the world has a country with three very similar characteristics, called Saudi Arabia. The Saudi population is comparable to that of Venezuela, and they're starting out with a lower baseline of pre-oil poverty and lack of development. And as to Earl's three reasons:

1) 55% of Saudi GDP comes from petroleum
2) It's a fucking desert
3) The entire world concerns itself with what happens in Saudi Arabia

And the Saudi economy has not imploded. So it's not that.

But the other side doesn't quite have it right, either. Nationalizing industry doesn't seem like a wholly sufficient explanation, not when we can once again look to the Saudis, who have owned Aramco since 1980 without collapsing. (If you want some variety, we could also look at Norway, which owns a controlling interest in Statoil and likes to dabble in socialism)

Though I generally feel that nationalized industries will be less efficient than private ones, it does not follow that nationalization will lead to disaster. As with many things in life and geopolitics, the answer is more nuanced. When done in a country saturated with corruption, without access to necessary technical skills, and for half-cocked populist/nationalist reasons, that disaster looks a lot more likely. We can, with benefit of this contextual view, look at Venezuela and any number of developing economies. On the other hand, when you have a longstanding relationship with the industry, access to skilled laborers, and cut the hands off of people who steal shit, you can take over a company without immediate economic collapse. (Admittedly, in the case of the Saudis, it also helps if a third of your population are basically indentured servants)

So basically my answer to the OP question, Venezuela's socialist experiment failed because:

It was implemented and directed by an idiot blowhard and his crew of idiot blowhards, in a country that did not have the economy, culture, or demographics to endure such a move. Furthermore, it was implemented at the worst possible time from an economic standpoint, in the middle of a global economic downturn and right before the collapse of oil prices.

---

Quote :
"Cuba wasn't in a crisis until they lost a strong soviet union to help them."


Hahaha, kind of passing the buck here, aren't we? Rather than admitting "Cuba failed because communism doesn't work," you're going with "Cuba failed because the Soviet Union failed...because communism doesn't work."

9/7/2016 2:09:16 PM

dtownral
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i'm hoping that someone has pointed out to NeuseRvrRat that the kind of "socialism" that sanders wants is still capitalism

[Edited on September 9, 2016 at 10:52 AM. Reason : but i don't feel like reading this thread]

9/9/2016 10:52:27 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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Either the state controls the means of production or they don't.

9/9/2016 1:43:24 PM

wdprice3
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So for Bernie, that's a no? I don't recall any of his policies calling for nationalizing private companies.

9/9/2016 1:47:36 PM

LoneSnark
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Sanders did call for socialism a lot...he has a newer dictionary it seems. I think we can all rest better at night knowing that state ownership of the means of production has been so thoroughly thrown upon the trash-heap of history that welfare state supporters feel safe taking over the name.

9/9/2016 1:56:55 PM

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Quote :
"do any of our TSB socialists care to answer the question of why socialism has failed in Venezuela?"

Quote :
"How would we implement socialism in the US and avoid these problems?"

Quote :
"Either the state controls the means of production or they don't."


So when you call for "TSB socialists" to comment, you're contending that there is a group of users on this site who support the government overtaking the means of production in this country? Which users were you thinking of when you posted that?

[Edited on September 9, 2016 at 2:23 PM. Reason : Hell do we even have A user who calls jhimself a socialist?]

9/9/2016 2:19:33 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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we have a lot of people who voted for a self-described socialist in the democratic primary

9/9/2016 2:47:35 PM

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and plenty of democrats vote for republicans and plenty of republicans vote for libertarians and so on and so on. they don't have to change their party to do so.

if you wanted to make a thread mocking Bernie for what you feel is his incorrect usage of the word socialism you should have done that.

[Edited on September 9, 2016 at 2:56 PM. Reason : I also love how GrumpyGOP addressed the OP's question at length, but obviously that's not what this thread is about as no one can or is responding to him ]

9/9/2016 2:53:01 PM

dtownral
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Quote :
"Either the state controls the means of production or they don't."

the "socialism" that sanders calls for still uses capitalism as the means of production

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy
other similar terms for you to learn
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_capitalism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_market_economy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_market_economy#Rhine_capitalism

economics and social/political systems are different things, one term does not necessarily describe both. "socialism" itself is an incredibly broad term that describes an entire range of economic and social policies, LoneShark might just need a better dictionary

[Edited on September 9, 2016 at 3:40 PM. Reason : : i've explained these things to you before, so its only your fault that you still don't know this]

9/9/2016 3:34:28 PM

OopsPowSrprs
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It's kinda like when Gary Johnson calls himself a libertarian but then throws a shit ton of people in jail on three-strikes sentencing policies and thinks it's ok to execute minors.

9/9/2016 3:45:01 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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haha yep

9/9/2016 3:49:39 PM

LoneSnark
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Excellent work dtownral. So it seems the United States has been a socialist state since its inception. Now, what is the word we should use for majority state ownership of the means of production? That is what we will soon find in Venezuela as the private sector continues to be destroyed by state policy, at some point the state owned oil sector will actually represent the majority of GDP.

9/10/2016 11:43:41 AM

dtownral
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Is it our fault that you don't know what words mean?

9/10/2016 8:27:41 PM

The E Man
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again, why define socialism by its failures and not its many successes?

Quote :
"Singapore is usually touted as the model student of free-market capitalism, given its free-trade policy and welcoming attitude towards multinational companies. Yet in other ways it is a very socialist country. All land is owned by the government, 85% of housing is supplied by the government-owned housing corporation, and a staggering 22% of national output is produced by state-owned enterprises. (The international average is around 10%.) "

I don't think anyone advocates government owning all means of production and planning the economy, but there are definitely certain sectors that do much better under government controls. most of these sectors deal with the basic needs of people. Everyone agrees on public ownership of roads, schools, and emergency response, but housing and healthcare are also very successful examples of socialism.


Singapore has done a great job using public housing system as the backbone for a society that integrates people from multiple, diverse backgrounds, without infighting or crime.

[Edited on September 10, 2016 at 11:07 PM. Reason : e]


this is how propoganda works


socialism


capitalism


[Edited on September 10, 2016 at 11:24 PM. Reason : k]

9/10/2016 11:05:54 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Singapore may be a good example of a state owned by private enterprise, rather than the other way around.

9/11/2016 9:52:43 AM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"Singapore is usually touted as the model student of free-market capitalism"

I suspect anyone that did so was probably thinking of Hong Kong. That said, Hong Kong has its state owned enterprises.

Quote :
"I don't think anyone advocates government owning all means of production and planning the economy"

Hugo Chavez sure did. Hence the Venezuela thread.

Quote :
"Everyone agrees on public ownership of roads, schools, and emergency response, but housing and healthcare are also very successful examples of socialism. "

No, schools, emergency response, housing, and healthcare should be privately run corporations. Take your socialist Singapore, for example, where both healthcare providers and healthcare insurers are private companies (although heavily regulated, as governments are prone to do).

There is plenty of room for government to subsidize everything through vouchers/etc. Consumer choice is too valuable to society for us to suffer any monopoly, government run or otherwise.

9/15/2016 1:48:59 AM

The E Man
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i was talking about the housing industry being socialist in singapore. not the whole country. and we've seen too many examples of socialism being a wild success when enacted on sectors that provide neccessities to the population. we don't want to rely on the market to determine if someone gets to have a life or not. Thats why every country has some sort of socialism. you just can't count on the market.

op suggested that we would try to implement venezuelan socilism but in reality we only want to socialize certain sectors.

9/16/2016 1:16:15 AM

wdprice3
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^^Yes, because privately run corporation have such a great track record for doing government work.

9/16/2016 5:21:50 PM

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

Quote :
"i was talking about the housing industry being socialist in singapore."

But it ain't so. the vast majority of housing in Singapore is privately built, owned, and maintained. We have government sponsored housing here in Raleigh...do we have a socialist housing sector?

9/16/2016 11:05:04 PM

The E Man
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I can't figure out if you're being clever by arguing semantics or if you just don't have the facts straight.

Depending on where you get the information, 82-87% of Singapore lives in public housing. 95% of these people "own" their government home on the basis of a 99 year lease but there is no private ownership of land. The government owns all of the land.

I think its fair to say the government owns the means of production when they are responsible for over 80% of the market.

9/21/2016 8:48:29 PM

LoneSnark
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A case of me absolutely not having the facts straight. I didn't read deep enough into the wikipedia, only catching the 97% of all housing being privately owned, asterix asterix.

So, okay, I'll give you that it sure seems that Singapore's housing sector is predominantly a form of socialism. How is that working? Well, the usual judge of how a market is operating is based upon prevailing prices and quality, such as living space per person. As it happens, after a short time with google, it seems Singapore often rates as the most expensive city to live in on the planet. Which means, to put it another way, Singapore contains the least functional housing market on the planet which is chronically under-supplying housing to a far greater extent than anywhere else.

9/22/2016 6:56:14 PM

The E Man
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Quote :
"How is that working? Well, the usual judge of how a market is operating is based upon prevailing prices and quality, such as living space per person."

Thats a backwards way of judging a housing sector. Why not judge it by how many people are housed? You could have low prices, large amounts of foreign investment and hundreds of thousands of your citizens living on the streets because they still don't afford it.

Quote :
" it seems Singapore often rates as the most expensive city to live in on the planet."

it does have one of the highest standards of living and some of the highest income on the planet. it also has very little land. you are still wrong though.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/magazine/rent-too-damn-high-move-to-singapore.html?_r=0


Quote :
"Which means, to put it another way, Singapore contains the least functional housing market on the planet which is chronically under-supplying housing to a far greater extent than anywhere else.

"
Maybe you missed the part of the wikipedia page that explains how the government gives people a housing allowance based on their income to help them reach affordability. not only does it work. it is the gold standard of housing. They went from housing crisis to a state similar to today in about 10 years. NYC and SF are examples of housing markets that aren't very functional (see: working homeless)
http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/asia/singapore-public-housing/

Quote :
"I didn't read deep enough into the wikipedia. "
Quote :
"

after a short time with google,"

I don't get why you are trying to act like you know about this country for the sake of blindly putting down socialism.

9/22/2016 9:46:10 PM

LoneSnark
All American
12182 Posts
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Quote :
" You could have low prices, large amounts of foreign investment and hundreds of thousands of your citizens living on the streets because they still don't afford it. "

In a socialist kleptocracy such as Cuba or Venezuela, sure. If the people are desperately poor because the government insists on owning and therefore destroying the means of production, then they cannot even afford housing we'd call absurdly cheap. 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.

All this said, I do need to concede that it doesn't seem to be working as horribly as I would have predicted. Such a large government owned industry invariably gets captured by its own workforce, suppliers, and managers at the expense of society at large. Which means neither you nor I have the whole story here. I suspect strongly that the Singapore housing authority is contracting out to private enterprise much of the construction process, if not all of it. The government owns the land, probably has city planners lay out the design, then accepts construction bids for the actual construction work, just as is done for government construction in mainland China.

This is actually a system I could get behind in various American liberal cities where NIMBYism has rendered housing markets unworkable. It just makes no sense for land owners to accrue the financial benefits while government blocks all construction that does not directly benefit government. It may be the only way to get government to approve the construction of desperately needed housing is by giving it the direct financial rewards from its arrival on the market. But this is certainly inferior to removing government's veto power over construction, but such feels less likely.

Quote :
"Maybe you missed the part of the wikipedia page that explains how the government gives people a housing allowance based on their income to help them reach affordability. "

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.

Quote :
"I don't get why you are trying to act like you know about this country for the sake of blindly putting down socialism."

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.

9/23/2016 9:59:55 AM

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