Sunday, May 12, 2019

Diagnosing a name

Measles is not an adequate name. It should be called Stupid Parent Disease.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, the Gilded Age was just wonderful for everybody. Good thing we turned back Socialist ideas to keep it. Sheesh.

    2. "But Venezuela, at one point Latin America’s wealthiest country, has not been shattered by armed conflict. Instead, economists say, the poor governance, corruption and misguided policies of President Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, have fueled runaway inflation, shuttered businesses and brought the country to its knees. And in recent months, the Trump administration has imposed stiff sanctions to try to cripple it further."

      Apparently, if socialism does the starving, that's very bad, but if your govt helps up with the starving, you are fine with it... Go figure.

    3. Clovis: Apparently, if socialism does the starving, that's very bad, but if your govt helps up with the starving, you are fine with it... Go figure.

      If memory serves, the Maduro government is stopping food aid from getting into the country.

      What's your point?

    4. M: Yes, the Gilded Age was just wonderful for everybody. Good thing we turned back Socialist ideas to keep it. Sheesh.

      Not sure what your point is here. That we should be more like Venezuela? That capitalism made things worse since the Gilded Age?

      You badly need to read Pinker's "Enlightenment Now".

    5. Skipper,

      The US implemented sanctions against Venezuela that directly impact their populations, even in terms of access to food. And on purporse, in order to create more pressure against the regime.

      The same moral standard that condemns the disaster that Venezuelan policies created, should also comdemn US sanctions at this point.

      Not that I expect any self-consistency from you, though, so feel relieved at that.

    6. The US implemented sanctions against Venezuela that directly impact their populations ...

      Given that Venezuela is a humanitarian disaster, and that disaster won't end until the Maduro government gets relegated to the ash-heap of history, then putting pressure on the regime is intended to minimize the amount of suffering over the long run.

      International relations almost always consists of choosing the least awful alternative.

      However, since you are such a genius, I am sure you have better alternate approach.

      Please bestow your brilliance upon us.

    7. I am not a genius, Skipper, I am only a bit less of an awful person than you. Only a bit, though, for we all truly suck.

    8. Clovis, that is as good an example as I've ever seen of a completely empty response.

      Sanctions against North Korea undoubtedly increase suffering for North Koreans. But what if they had been pursued more stringently during the Bush administration?

      If you can't provide a better alternative, nor recognize that trading short term relief for long term misery is a fool's bargain, then you need to reconsider your virtue.

    9. Skipper,

      It is not an empty response, it is a recognition that the argument is ultimately moral, and therein rests your failure (IMO).

      Conflating Venezuela with NK is revealing of your moral confusion. North Korea is a threat to other countries and peoples - hence the moral case for sanctions.

      Venezuela is so far a threat only to itself, and to sanction it is akin to bullying a suicidal person suffering an episode of severe depression.

      To wit, the sanctions only produced more misery so far, and if anything, reinforced Maduro's hold. It turns out that immoral actions at international level tend to be ineffective too at producing the greater good - who would guess?

    10. It is not an empty response, it is a recognition that the argument is ultimately moral, and therein rests your failure (IMO).

      Then if the argument is moral, and my position is that sanctions are the least worst option, then you are pushing a conclusion -- I am suffering moral failure -- without an argument. That is Harry's superpower.

      SFAIK, Maduro is in power due to completely perverting the last election (never mind all the rest since Chavez came into power).

      Further, it seems that person who would be leading Venezuela now, Guaido, has advocated more stringent sanctions.

      Perhaps you should charge him with being immoral.

      Or, instead, offer a better solution.

    11. Skipper,

      Yes, Guaido is immoral too: his group attacked one of the last aid convoys in order to blame it on Maduro's.

      As moral arguments will fail with immoral people, I will be obviously the idiot one in trying it on you - and that's why I won't argue further.

      You want to punish poor people in famine because they have a government you don't approve of. And at the same time you play it as if you are the one suffering for making this 'least worst option', in place of those you are punishing. It is rich.

    12. Clovis, you are the perfect progressive.

      All name calling, no argument, with a giant dollop of conspiracy theory thrown in.

      Pro-tip: the poor people are in famine because of the government with which they are afflicted, not because we disapprove of it.

      No wonder you can't construct a coherent argument, you can't even get simple cause and effect straight.

    13. Skipper,

      Conspiracy theory?

      You are often misinformed, but at the very root of your worldview, the real problem is a moral one.

    14. [Clovis:] Skipper,

      Conspiracy theory?

      You are often misinformed …

      I'm looking hard for the link in your 27 May/0737 comment. Still can't find it. Why?

      Perhaps because if you had included it, and supplied quotes, it would have been clear that the story is far more murky than a straight-forward conclusion of "false flag" suggests (read the readers' comments for more reasons as to why that is). l

      And, had you done so, it would also have raised this question: why was the convoy stalled there in the first place?

      … but at the very root of your worldview, the real problem is a moral one.

      Your real problem is endlessly dealing in pronunciamentos. Your saying something is moral, or immoral, isn't so merely on account of your spouting it. It isn't a good look on Harry, and it's no better on you.

      If you have an argument to make, then make it.

      That you have stooped to name calling instead strongly suggests you don't.

      Oh, and you still haven't gotten cause and effect straight. According to you, wet sidewalks must cause rain, too.

    15. Yes, Skipper, you got it right, I gave up making arguments to you.

      I am not trying to convince murderers in prison to mend their ways either, for the same reasons. They will care as much as you about my moral reservations.

    16. [Clovis:] I gave up making arguments to you.

      You can't give up that which you never started.

      Pronunciamentos are not arguments.

  2. Yeah, who in his right mind would rather be in Denmark than in . . .

  3. In the days when Venezuela had an uvber-capitalist government and resources that were the envy of Latin America, half its population lived on the edge (and often over the edge) of starvation, with no medical care, no education, no nothing. That was perfectly all right with the capitalists, of both Venezuela and the US, since the money that could have relieved the misery of the Venezuelans came int their pockets. To anyone who knows anything about it -- that would not include any of america's roghtwingers -- Venezuela is tge worst possible example to use of the deficincies of socialism.

  4. Harry, your hatred has derailed you.

    The opening paras from the article:

    Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s.

    The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all.

    Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.

    “It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war,” said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. “This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”

    Venezuela is the best example socialism's deficiencies, with the possible exception of all the others. This is where socialism always ends up.

    I have an idea. Rather than inundating us with your bloviation, how about providing us with some actual facts demonstrating how Venezuela isn't an example of socialism, or that Venezuela has ever been in remotely as bad shape as it is now.

  5. How about addressing Denmark. How soon can we expect its collapse? Or the United States, for that matter. The US has adopted such socialist policies as anti-child labor, 8-hour day, old age insurance.

  6. Harry, here is the definition of socialism:

    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
    • policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    • (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

    So how about addressing that Denmark is not socialist? And that anti-child labor, 8 hour days, or social security do not constitute collective ownership of the means of production?

    (Oh, and while you are at it, how about taking on board how extensive income redistribution doesn't reward vice and penalize virtue.)

    (And when you are done with avoiding that, discuss why throughout the Scandinavian countries, two burgers and a couple beers cost $60. Except where it costs more. Unlike you, I have extensive first hand experience.)

  7. In other words, do try to comprehend the difference between Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, et al on the one hand, and avowedly capitalist countries like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland on the other.

    That should -- but probably won't -- help you understand why the former are shitholes, and the latter aren't.

  8. So you admire the pre-Mugabe government of Zimbabwe. That's revealing.

    As for the differences between capitalist countries and N. Korea, a monarchy, that is the least socialist government in the world.

  9. So you admire the pre-Mugabe government of Zimbabwe. That's revealing.

    That you typed that sentence is very revealing -- you need to get back on your meds.

    As for the differences between capitalist countries and N. Korea ...

    You need to come to terms with the fact that you have no idea how to use "socialism" correctly.

  10. Here's yet another installment in the Stupid Progressives are Incapable of Learning from History Disease

    The central bank said private consumption was down 18.7% in the first nine months of last year, while public consumption fell 9%. It said the manufacturing sector contracted 22.5%, and retail fell 34.1% in the same period.

    The central bank said inflation totaled 130,060% in all of 2018, the highest in the world but far below figures from economists and the International Monetary Fund.

    In an April report, the IMF said that Venezuela’s economy fell 18% in 2018, while inflation totaled 929,790% last year—and is expected to reach a staggering 10 million percent in 2019. The IMF projected that growth would contract another 25% this year, as U.S. sanctions hit the oil sector following a collapse in production in recent years.

    Economists said the central bank’s data was recognition by the monetary authority that President Maduro and his late predecessor, Hugo Chávez, were responsible for driving Venezuela’s economy into the ground during their 20 years in power. The government often blames the U.S. and Venezuela’s opposition for the country’s economic troubles.

    “The [central bank] recognizes that Chavismo demolished the Venezuelan economy, annihilated our currency and left us an external fragility without precedent,” Venezuelan economist Gorka Lalaguna wrote on Twitter. “Brutal.”

  11. Makes no difference to the poor. They were alrady starving under the previous system. Bad for the kleptocracy, though.

  12. Makes no difference to the poor.

    Interesting calculus you have there. Almost as if it doesn't matter how many people socialism impoverishes.

    Oh, and I'm looking for some proof, some inkling, of any kind, that the poor were starving pre-Chavez.

    As opposed to the abundant proof that socialists the world over were on the Chavez bandwagon, until it arrived in the ditch, upside down.