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(NPR)   Cool: Venezuela makes food nearly free. Not so cool: people cart it off to sell in Colombia, causing massive shortages   (npr.org) divider line 87
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4284 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Aug 2014 at 1:43 AM (16 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-22 11:47:51 PM  
Capitalism in action!
 
2014-08-23 12:36:46 AM  
Ah, socialism built on oil dollars. These guys are in for a surprise when the wells run dry.
 
2014-08-23 01:44:58 AM  

wildcardjack: Ah, socialism built on oil dollars. These guys are in for a surprise when the wells run dry.


The wells have been running dry.  Actually, the equipment for getting the oil is breaking down because the government doesn't budget for normal maintenance.
 
2014-08-23 01:50:03 AM  
Someone didn't think their cunning plan all the way through.
 
2014-08-23 01:50:42 AM  
There should be some entertaining excuses offered up in this thread.
 
2014-08-23 01:51:01 AM  
Human nature, she's a cruel mistress.
 
2014-08-23 01:51:35 AM  
Yea fark them, fark them all
 
2014-08-23 01:59:44 AM  
so, fingerprinting is supposed to help ration and limit food to consumers?  because everybody needs to eat?
what if some want to eat more than others?
 
2014-08-23 01:59:48 AM  
You arepa what you sow.
 
2014-08-23 02:02:00 AM  
This is pretty much always what happens with subsidies in small countries (or border regions). You want to make it easier for poor people to get something, send them cash or vouchers. Enforcing a price quota supports the upper class who need it least (especially applicable to fuel subsidies) and leads to arbitrage scams like this.
 
2014-08-23 02:03:23 AM  
How does one say "Tnstaafl" en espanol?

No, seriously. I want to hire some guys from the Home Depot parking lot to weed my yard and need to make it clear compensation is limited to a reasonable hourly wage.
 
2014-08-23 02:03:38 AM  
This sounds like the sort of thing that would really really easy to predict. Yet they did it anyway.
 
2014-08-23 02:04:04 AM  

real_headhoncho: Capitalism in action!


Treason, in this case. "Up against the wall, profiteer pig!" Seriously.
 
2014-08-23 02:04:55 AM  

Thats_right_ALL_the_tea: This is pretty much always what happens with subsidies in small countries (or border regions). You want to make it easier for poor people to get something, send them cash or vouchers. Enforcing a price quota supports the upper class who need it least (especially applicable to fuel subsidies) and leads to arbitrage scams like this.


Also, the price quotas were below cost.  Small shop owners, not exactly the rich elite by any definition, couldn't stay in business.  This resulted in the government accusing them of hoarding.
 
2014-08-23 02:07:39 AM  

real_headhoncho: Capitalism in action!


Exactly! Q4 will take care of itself.
 
2014-08-23 02:09:05 AM  
"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher
 
2014-08-23 02:18:19 AM  
That's arbitrage for you.
 
2014-08-23 02:20:28 AM  

Antilope: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher


Opm great movie
 
2014-08-23 02:23:22 AM  
Well, gee, when you fix prices on certain goods so low that there's no profit in actually making it, the supply dries up because the producers can't stay in business. This is the same kind of command economy BS that simply doesn't work.
 
2014-08-23 02:26:30 AM  

Antilope: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher


Thatcher was an idiot.
 
2014-08-23 02:34:08 AM  

Tor_Eckman: Antilope: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher was an idiot.


"I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left." - Margaret Thatcher
 
2014-08-23 02:38:27 AM  
Hey I know, maybe they should just start printing more money and giving that away so people can buy the food.

You're welcome.
 
2014-08-23 02:41:43 AM  
Venezuela Fresh.
 
2014-08-23 02:44:19 AM  

Tor_Eckman: Antilope: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher was an idiot.


Mostly agreed, aside from the Falklands War. Maggie was ultraconservative during a period when a great deal of Britain simply couldn't handle it well. They were just coming out of the near-socialism of the 60's and 70's, but you had this almost Reaganesque figure in 10 Downing Street letting everything go.

Don't get me wrong--Britain turned out great, but in the 80's Britain's political leadership was just...whack.
 
2014-08-23 02:47:32 AM  

Antilope: Tor_Eckman: Antilope: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher was an idiot.

"I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left." - Margaret Thatcher


You covered that nicely.  Thatcher was definitely not an idiot.  She did what no one else in the UK had the balls to do.  The government's economic and tax policies had already completely destroyed the UK's ship building industry, which was the envy of the world at one time, and was poised to take down what industry was left.
 
2014-08-23 02:59:34 AM  

Ow! That was my feelings!: There should be some entertaining excuses offered up in this thread.


For what? The government tried a socialist idea forgetting that individualism and greed are still common human traits.

Socialism is a wonderful idea that completely fails to account for human nature. I think most Farkers recognize this.
 
2014-08-23 03:04:45 AM  

OgreMagi: wildcardjack: Ah, socialism built on oil dollars. These guys are in for a surprise when the wells run dry.

The wells have been running dry.  Actually, the equipment for getting the oil is breaking down because the government doesn't budget for normal maintenance.


It sort of resembles something from the first half of Atlas Shrugged. You know, the part sane people read before they get bored with the whole thing.
 
2014-08-23 03:08:17 AM  

brimed03: Ow! That was my feelings!: There should be some entertaining excuses offered up in this thread.

For what? The government tried a socialist idea forgetting that individualism and greed are still common human traits.

Socialism is a wonderful idea that completely fails to account for human nature. I think most Farkers recognize this.


Yup. I was drunkenly arguing politics and economics with a friends' friend when he said "Communism is a perfect system," pause for effect "but people aren't perfect".

I replied with "If it was a perfect system, it would take people's imperfections into account"

He got grumpy and walked away.
 
2014-08-23 03:08:38 AM  

brimed03: Ow! That was my feelings!: There should be some entertaining excuses offered up in this thread.

For what? The government tried a socialist idea forgetting that individualism and greed are still common human traits.

Socialism is a wonderful idea that completely fails to account for human nature. I think most Farkers recognize this.


More like they forgot/ignored that basic laws of economics even apply to important things like food. They want to keep prices low for people. Okay. But when you do that, you create a situation like this.
 
2014-08-23 03:21:26 AM  
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why total institutionalized socialism will never work. It's a good idea. I mean, who wouldn't want to feed all of the hungry children? But, the whole system falls apart when people are greedy. Which is all the time.

/ reading Rainbow 6 right now
 
2014-08-23 03:22:56 AM  
step 3 achieved
 
2014-08-23 03:24:38 AM  

iheartscotch: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why total institutionalized socialism will never work. It's a good idea. I mean, who wouldn't want to feed all of the hungry children? But, the whole system falls apart when people are greedy. Which is all the time.

/ reading Rainbow 6 right now


Goddamn that was a good novel. Just...hope you don't get squeamish about testicular torture.

/The guy who played Ding Chavez in Clear and Present Danger...
//Now plays Detective Julio Sanchez on Major Crimes
///And he got a bit fatter
 
2014-08-23 03:26:18 AM  

iheartscotch: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why total institutionalized socialism will never work. It's a good idea. I mean, who wouldn't want to feed all of the hungry children? But, the whole system falls apart when people are greedy. Which is all the time.

/ reading Rainbow 6 right now


www.sidequesting.com
 
2014-08-23 03:27:34 AM  
This just proves the underlying greed of human nature. Give them stuff for free and they'll take advantage of it to make money elsewhere, undermining the original effort to help them out.

There was a guy ages ago, who developed a theory of human altruism, feeling that people were generally good inside. So, he started giving away his stuff to the poor, housing the homeless and trying to help them out. Within a short time, he was robbed blind, his house became a campground for bums, necessities he gave the needy were sold for cash to buy booze and drugs and he wound up living in a tent on the streets. His theory disproved, he suicided.

Ages ago, I had similar, but more restrictive opinions and wound up giving people I rented rooms to a chance. They stole from me -- and I put one in jail. Another I had to chase down through several cities to bring her to justice and force her to pay for two rifles of mine she stole and hocked. The cops dragged their arses in trying to find her for so long that I did it myself. One tenant, a drunk, offered me his van for back rent because he couldn't stop drinking up his rent -- and after the third or fourth time I sent him to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, he drove off in his van while I was at work, owing me a couple of hundred in rent, plus I had basically sterilize his room. One roommate drank booze I had on reserve for a girl friend (I had stopped drinking) and diluted it with water.

I set up a phone line for a female acquaintance who couldn't afford one and put a long distance block on it. It was in her house and this black rapper dropped in whom she knew and after she went to bed, he called Jamaica. Turns out operated assisted calls got through the block. I wound up with a $2000 bill and the guy had slipped away the next day, not even offering to pay anything. (I got the phone company to drop the charges since they had not warned me the block could easily be circumvented. Then I took out the phone.) If I find him even today, I'm going to take a baseball bat to his head.

After NO got wiped out, a church in Florida gave a family a new home -- which they promptly sold, claiming they didn't like the neighborhood and bought another. Naturally, when inquiries were made about why they didn't just give the home back to the church -- they got all hostile, pulled the race card, hopped into their new van and drove off.

More NO survivors were given shelter in a brand new unopened hotel and promptly turned it into a drug nest, wrecked most of the rooms, stood on their rights to do so and had to be forcibly removed. The hotel had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars repairing the damage.

A huge amount of low income folks will find ways to profit off things given to then for free. Like the thriving underground in selling food stamps for cash.

Local farmers used to open their fields after the harvest to allow folks to go in and get the unpicked 'seconds', often for free, until the people started damaging the crops, wasting the food and selling as much of it as they could elsewhere.

Local farmers don't do that anymore. If they do let you in, you pay for the privilege and farm workers are in the area to keep you from loading up a truck with the stuff to sell somewhere else.

Their idea was to give you fresh food for your own consumption for free. That didn't work out too well.

People below a certain income and educational level just basically suck, tend to be highly selfish and predatory. Like the chicks I watched going into the local Public Health Center for free medical care. They'd hide their nearly new cars in the back parking lot, get out dressed like bums, yammer on their new high end cell phones -- which they shut off and hid in their purses before going inside.

So, the article doesn't surprise me.
 
2014-08-23 03:53:12 AM  

maram500: iheartscotch: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why total institutionalized socialism will never work. It's a good idea. I mean, who wouldn't want to feed all of the hungry children? But, the whole system falls apart when people are greedy. Which is all the time.

/ reading Rainbow 6 right now

Goddamn that was a good novel. Just...hope you don't get squeamish about testicular torture.

/The guy who played Ding Chavez in Clear and Present Danger...
//Now plays Detective Julio Sanchez on Major Crimes
///And he got a bit fatter


Spoilers ahoy !

I'm at the part where Popov got the IRA guys to start planning the op where they kidnap Sandy and Patsy(Clark and Ding's wives). It's got to go pear-shaped for Rainbow pretty soon. They've had 3 very good ops so far, 4 if you count the airplane, it can't last forever. But, with about 40% of the book left; I bet nobody major dies.
 
2014-08-23 03:53:51 AM  

jsmilky: so, fingerprinting is supposed to help ration and limit food to consumers?  because everybody needs to eat?
what if some want to eat more than others?


See what socialism gets you? Something as simple as "free food" becomes fingerprinting to get food and government bureaucrats deciding how much food you get to eat and all the headaches and revisions and endless bureaucracy that comes with every change and exception, to say nothing of what happens when the magical source of food runs out. There's nothing wrong with socialism... after human nature is made completely irrelevant by the elimination of scarcity across our entire species. Here's hoping that's within my lifetime. Until then, however, socialism is a farking stupid idea given how human beings work. Using humans for socialism is like using giraffes for limbo or dingoes as babysitters or Michael J Fox as a neurosurgeon.
 
2014-08-23 04:04:21 AM  

OgreMagi: You covered that nicely. Thatcher was definitely not an idiot. She did what no one else in the UK had the balls to do. The government's economic and tax policies had already completely destroyed the UK's ship building industry, which was the envy of the world at one time, and was poised to take down what industry was left.


This is kind of a stupid claim to make. Nothing unpredictable or unexpected happened to the ship building industry in the UK that didn't happen to the automotive industry in the US.

Labor overseas is always cheaper than labor at home and free trade policies pursued by conservative governments merely helped speed along the flight of skilled labor jobs abroad. There is no way that implementing anti-union policies or lowering/containing wages and benefits in a first world nation is ever going to compete with paying some guy in India or Singapore to do the same job - these two pay scales are so far apart that if you were to offer similar compensation to some fellow in Liverpool or Dearborn he'd either think you were joking or likely punch you for being an ass.

I know people like to point and laugh at the socialists, but they're the only ones attempting to confront the fact that eventually we will all be facing a world where technology has made nearly all forms of labor obsolete, yet we will have billions and billions of people who need resources in order to live and no way of gaining capital to acquire them since their one asset, their labor, is worth essentially nothing.

Don't get me wrong here - capitalism was a fine system for the 20th century and it certainly lifted a lot of people out of poverty, but you can certainly have too much of a good thing and I'm fearful that we've passed the tipping point without realizing it.

Anyway, what does this all have to do with Thatcher? Simple - her and people like her have contributed to the end of capitalism. They spent a significant amount of effort unfettering a system that is inclined to eat itself. It is no coincidence that income inequality accelerated and took off after the wave of 80's pro-free trade politicians across the globe and sadly they've neglected to understand all of the possible outcomes of their actions, primarily the fact that if you don't take care of the masses, then the masses will take care of you.

We're already seeing the containment activities happening - propaganda everywhere, unfettering capitalist money to control even more government functions, the militarization of police.

It's not going to be enough. But yeah, thanks Maggie. Thanks Ronnie. Good job guys.
 
2014-08-23 04:07:58 AM  
A government that has farked the people for ages ends up on the receiving end of being farked by those same people. If the government had spent the last few decades actually taking care of people, they wouldn't have this issue.
 
2014-08-23 04:13:11 AM  

Socialism is failed because humans are selfish.

Capitalism is failing because humans are selfish.

 
2014-08-23 04:17:05 AM  

Antilope: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher


Seems to me she had "tax the rich a bit more in a world where the rich get richer and the poor gets poorer" socialism confused with  "third-world dictator confiscating other's wealth to go pay for 50 feet solid gold statues of themselves" socialism. But seeing as she is a politician, she probably knew there is a difference between the two and only said it because she knew unenlightened dolts would go around quoting it as a good talking point.
 
2014-08-23 04:23:29 AM  

Prophet of Loss: Socialism is failed because humans are selfish.

Capitalism is failing because humans are selfish.


Capitalism isn't failing. We've just grown too big, too corrupt. Everyday, we look more and more like Ancient Rome. While the rich drink and fiddle; the lower classes burn with debt and despair. One of these days, the piper is going to stop piping and then all of our bills will come due; that day will probably signal a new Dark Ages.
 
2014-08-23 04:28:23 AM  

iheartscotch: Prophet of Loss: Socialism is failed because humans are selfish.

Capitalism is failing because humans are selfish.

Capitalism isn't failing. We've just grown too big, too corrupt. Everyday, we look more and more like Ancient Rome. While the rich drink and fiddle; the lower classes burn with debt and despair. One of these days, the piper is going to stop piping and then all of our bills will come due; that day will probably signal a new Dark Ages.


You've got to find a way to keep companies 'smallish'. That is to say, no company can grow bigger than a certain amount (which, in itself, can be still quite large), so it cannot over-run the state. It doesn't have to be punitive either, just an automatism: you grow bigger than x dollars revenue/turnover/employees/whatever, fine - just split up in two. You can choose how.
 
2014-08-23 04:34:37 AM  

Coming on a Bicycle: iheartscotch: Prophet of Loss: Socialism is failed because humans are selfish.

Capitalism is failing because humans are selfish.

Capitalism isn't failing. We've just grown too big, too corrupt. Everyday, we look more and more like Ancient Rome. While the rich drink and fiddle; the lower classes burn with debt and despair. One of these days, the piper is going to stop piping and then all of our bills will come due; that day will probably signal a new Dark Ages.

You've got to find a way to keep companies 'smallish'. That is to say, no company can grow bigger than a certain amount (which, in itself, can be still quite large), so it cannot over-run the state. It doesn't have to be punitive either, just an automatism: you grow bigger than x dollars revenue/turnover/employees/whatever, fine - just split up in two. You can choose how.


How would that work? What if they should split the company yet dual-employ the higher-ups, and split the stock for the stock holders? Would that be illegal too? What if they decided to just pack it up, cash out, and call it a day? Would that be illegal? Would it be illegal to ne more successful than the local goverment, so the gov is artificially more powerful?
 
2014-08-23 04:41:15 AM  

Coming on a Bicycle: iheartscotch: Prophet of Loss: Socialism is failed because humans are selfish.

Capitalism is failing because humans are selfish.

Capitalism isn't failing. We've just grown too big, too corrupt. Everyday, we look more and more like Ancient Rome. While the rich drink and fiddle; the lower classes burn with debt and despair. One of these days, the piper is going to stop piping and then all of our bills will come due; that day will probably signal a new Dark Ages.

You've got to find a way to keep companies 'smallish'. That is to say, no company can grow bigger than a certain amount (which, in itself, can be still quite large), so it cannot over-run the state. It doesn't have to be punitive either, just an automatism: you grow bigger than x dollars revenue/turnover/employees/whatever, fine - just split up in two. You can choose how.


So, enforce anti-trust laws? The hell you say? Lobbyists made anti-trust laws meaningless.

/ still don't know how something is too big to fail; yet hasn't run afoul of anti-trust laws
 
2014-08-23 05:19:26 AM  

robohobo: Coming on a Bicycle: iheartscotch: Prophet of Loss: Socialism is failed because humans are selfish.

Capitalism is failing because humans are selfish.

Capitalism isn't failing. We've just grown too big, too corrupt. Everyday, we look more and more like Ancient Rome. While the rich drink and fiddle; the lower classes burn with debt and despair. One of these days, the piper is going to stop piping and then all of our bills will come due; that day will probably signal a new Dark Ages.

You've got to find a way to keep companies 'smallish'. That is to say, no company can grow bigger than a certain amount (which, in itself, can be still quite large), so it cannot over-run the state. It doesn't have to be punitive either, just an automatism: you grow bigger than x dollars revenue/turnover/employees/whatever, fine - just split up in two. You can choose how.

How would that work?


They did it with the Bells, didn't they? Far easier if you can see it coming, and the rules are the same for everybody.

What if they should split the company yet dual-employ the higher-ups,

That's unreasonable. People just don't do that sort of thing - there are only 24 hours in the day, and obligation towards stakeholders exists.

and split the stock for the stock holders?

That would make sense.

Would that be illegal too? What if they decided to just pack it up, cash out, and call it a day?

That's not illegal now. It happens all the time.

Would that be illegal? Would it be illegal to ne more successful than the local goverment, so the gov is artificially more powerful?

They go screeming to their government for help when times are rough. Why not demand that they at least be smaller, so that the government is at least capable of helping?
 
2014-08-23 05:55:17 AM  

Rik01: This just proves the underlying greed of human nature. Give them stuff for free and they'll take advantage of it to make money elsewhere, undermining the original effort to help them out.

There was a guy ages ago, who developed a theory of human altruism, feeling that people were generally good inside. So, he started giving away his stuff to the poor, housing the homeless and trying to help them out. Within a short time, he was robbed blind, his house became a campground for bums, necessities he gave the needy were sold for cash to buy booze and drugs and he wound up living in a tent on the streets. His theory disproved, he suicided.

Ages ago, I had similar, but more restrictive opinions and wound up giving people I rented rooms to a chance. They stole from me -- and I put one in jail. Another I had to chase down through several cities to bring her to justice and force her to pay for two rifles of mine she stole and hocked. The cops dragged their arses in trying to find her for so long that I did it myself. One tenant, a drunk, offered me his van for back rent because he couldn't stop drinking up his rent -- and after the third or fourth time I sent him to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, he drove off in his van while I was at work, owing me a couple of hundred in rent, plus I had basically sterilize his room. One roommate drank booze I had on reserve for a girl friend (I had stopped drinking) and diluted it with water.

I set up a phone line for a female acquaintance who couldn't afford one and put a long distance block on it. It was in her house and this black rapper dropped in whom she knew and after she went to bed, he called Jamaica. Turns out operated assisted calls got through the block. I wound up with a $2000 bill and the guy had slipped away the next day, not even offering to pay anything. (I got the phone company to drop the charges since they had not warned me the block could easily be circumvented. Then I took out the phone.) If I find him even tod ...


Similar experience here -- took two homeless people in, taught them a trade (electronics assembly/repair work), gave them prescription glasses and laptops... didn't help much. A problem is that both of them insisted that their drug use was religious in nature and they had the constitutional right to practice their religion in my house. Took me a year to get rid of them.
 
2014-08-23 06:14:24 AM  
This is why we can't have nice onion rings.
 
2014-08-23 06:38:21 AM  
Good luck enforcing that, considering Caracas has the murders of any city on earth (that isn't at war). I think whatever police force they have there are just a little busy with that.
 
2014-08-23 06:39:08 AM  
has the most murders*

/typo
 
2014-08-23 06:46:34 AM  

iheartscotch: Prophet of Loss: Socialism is failed because humans are selfish.

Capitalism is failing because humans are selfish.

Capitalism isn't failing. We've just grown too big, too corrupt. Everyday, we look more and more like Ancient Rome. While the rich drink and fiddle; the lower classes burn with debt and despair. One of these days, the piper is going to stop piping and then all of our bills will come due; that day will probably signal a new Dark Ages.


hyperbole.  Shiat ain't perfect, but I'm not rich and I'm happy with where my life is headed.  I'm not burning with debt or despair.  I don't feel like I'm that far off from my peers.  The primary problem I see with people is a lack of restraint and accountability for poor spending/savings habits.  That said, there are real issues that need to be addressed (cost of housing is a problem in many areas and job portability is low right now, which results in a decision to either overpay for housing or risk employment moving to a cheaper area).
 
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