Another Explanation for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

It’s Chile 1973 all over again.

Are you familiar with what the US and the Chilean Right did in Chile in 1973 to get rid of Allende? Remember Kissinger said, “We are going to make the Chilean economy scream”? They created economic chaos, then used that as a pretext for riots and violence, and then amidst all the chaos, they started loudly screaming that a coup was necessary to restore order. Then a couple of coup attempts followed which did not work. Then they activated death squads and started assassinating Allendists. The Chief of Staff of the Chilean Army was assassinated.

A fascist guerrilla movement was activated by the CIA which ran around starting riots everywhere and setting off bombs at government and opposition locales.

Furthermore, there was a media war in the West of hysterical near-continuous lies. Time Magazine was one of the worst actors in that regard. The Western media printed stories that said that Soviet Navy vessels were off the coast of Chile and that Soviet troops had entered the country and were training at bases Allende had set up. All of these hysterical stories were complete lies, and they were all planted by the CIA. Nevertheless, the entire Western media printed them without even bothering to figure out if they were true or not.

There was a huge trucker’s strike which ruined the economy because the trucks were used in the transportation network that distributed goods to stores. The truckers were paid huge sums by the CIA and the opposition to go on strike.

Finally there was an actual coup supported by the CIA. During this coup, the Chilean Air Force attacked the Presidential Palace where Allende resided. That would be like if the US Air Force started strafing and bombing the White House trying to kill the US President. Can you imagine how outrageous that would be? President Allende picked up a large machine gun and ran to a window on an upper floor of the palace and started shooting at the planes. While he was doing this, he was killed by the strafing and bombing of the Air Force. So the Chilean military assassinated the President of Chile!

All of these things are exactly what is happening in Venezuela right now, down to the letter.

It is literally Chile 1973 down to the exact last tiny detail.

The US has has done this exact model in many other places, especially with Aristide in Haiti.

Here it is, 43 years after the 1973 coup, and the US is doing the same thing all over again. That shows that in 43 years, US foreign policy has not changed one iota. Our foreign policy now is exactly the same as it was back then.

US foreign policy is the same under both Republican and Democratic Presidents. Barack Obama is Richard Nixon. The former is a “liberal,” and the latter was a “conservative.” John Kerry is Henry Kissinger. The former is a “liberal,” and the latter is a “conservative,” but none of that matters in US foreign policy, as it is always the same under “Democrats” as well as “Republicans” and “conservatives” as well as “liberals.”

This is known as “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus” and one of the fears of the people who run this country was that the Vietnam War destroyed this cooperation pact between the two parties on foreign policy. But the breaking of that pact, if it took place at all, did not last long, as the Allende coup happened during what was supposedly the height of this split in the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.

It truly is one party: The Republicrat Party.

I think the Alternative Left should on principle oppose all coups and regime change efforts, as they are all from the Right anyway. Why should we support rightwing and pro-US coups? Why should we support rightwing and pro-US regime change? The Hell with that.

That ought to be a dealkiller for joining the Alt Left too. If you support rightwing and pro-US coups and regime changes, you are out of the Alt Left just like that. We should not tolerate anyone who thinks like that.

Another Explanation for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

Peter Bolton – COHA

March 28th 2016

Reports in the English-language press last week highlighted a series of small-scale street protests in Venezuela that bemoaned the scarcity of certain basic products, chronic shortages of medical supplies, and continued power and water outages throughout the country.

According to Reuters, for instance, more than a thousand such protests occurred in January and February and, taken together, “show the depth of public anger” and “could become a catalyst for wider unrest.”[1] News accounts proclaiming Venezuela’s state of emergency are not new but in recent weeks have reached hysterical levels, with the Boston-based Global Post claiming that Venezuela’s economic situation is now “worse than 1960s Cuba.”[2]

The mainstream narrative explanation is that the crisis is the result of economic mismanagement and the ideological rigidity of the country’s “authoritarian” Chavista led-government.

For instance, Andreas E. Feldmann, Federico Merke, and Oliver Stuenkel, writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote last November that “Venezuela’s steep recession has been worsened by economic mismanagement leading to mounting inflation, a widening fiscal deficit, and growing shortages of essential goods including food, soap, and diapers.”[3]  Similarly, Arlecchino Gomez at The Daily Signal, wrote, also last November, that Venezuela’s recession “was largely due to government incompetence and mismanagement.”[4]

The Workings of the “Free” Market

These sentiments are strongly predicated on the standard line of economic thought prevailing in the Western media and political class: that stringent price and currency controls are distorting the mechanisms of the “free” market and have led to stagnant production, soaring inflation and a burgeoning black market in U.S. dollars and consumer goods.

The explicit or strongly implied conclusion is that the crisis proves beyond doubt that socialism “doesn’t work” and that the solution to Venezuela’s ills is a return with gusto to Chicago School economic policy and hence a restoration of the unimpeded mechanisms of the market. Making this point in Forbes magazine, Tim Walstall goes so far as to compare the situation in Venezuela with the collapse of the Soviet Union; he argues that the solution “is to do as Russia did at the end of their socialist nightmare… [and implement] an immediate move to full blown free marketry [sic].”[5]

To achieve this, “regime change” is presented as an imperative prerequisite and the only viable way for things to improve. Michael Shifter, writing in Foreign Affairs, says that even though many on the Latin American left initially found Chavismo an “appealing alternative to market-based approaches,” these days “few dispute that it has failed.”[6]

The Alternative Thesis

Within Venezuela itself, however, this analysis is just one of two competing narratives, both of which are discussed and taken seriously in discussions of policy, governance, and economic dynamics. The economic mismanagement thesis is the natural position taken by the Venezuelan opposition and its allies.

But the fact that it is practically the only narrative reported in the English-language press misrepresents the intricacies of Venezuela’s economic problems while revealing how Western media heavily favor the opposition’s analysis, often by its own admission. (Rory Carroll of The Guardian, for instance, boasted that he moved almost exclusively in opposition elite circles while based in Caracas as the paper’s Latin America editor.)

But there is another narrative, favored by the government and the pro-Chavista social movements and civil society sectors, which, it is important to stress, are independent of the government. This perspective can loosely be called the economic war thesis. It explains the crisis in terms of the economic and social dynamics at play outside policy and governmental action.

It holds that business sectors friendly to the opposition are waging an aggressive and protracted campaign of economic sabotage to deliberately stir up social unrest to destabilize and discredit the governing Chavista bloc and in the ensuing chaos bring about an end to the PSUV government and the installation of a new one made up of opposition parties. The central pillars of the economic war thesis are that these hostile sectors have been engaging in acts such as hoarding and price speculation and have purposely generated scarcity in pursuit of calculated chaos.

Naturally, all of the allegations that make up this narrative are dismissed out of hand by the opposition, which argues that they amount to a desperate propaganda stunt to shift blame from the government’s own incompetence onto its political opponents. President Nicolás Maduro’s use of the term “bourgeois parasites” in particular has been seized on by opposition commentators to portray him as a hopeless buffoon desperately holding onto to power and flailingly seeking to prop up a failed political project.

Friendly commentators in the Western press are equally disparaging, with the aforementioned Michael Shifter, for instance, claiming that these accusations “have no merit,” but do serve to “show that any semblance of cooperation between the executive and the assembly to alleviate the country’s economic collapse is, at least for now, far-fetched.”[7] Similarly, Jeffrey Taylor writes in Foreign Policy, “Maduro’s response [to shortages and currency crises] has been to blame everything on scheming “Yanquis,” Venezuela’s “far-right elite,” the “parasitic bourgeois,” and, of course, the opposition, “even though he has effectively neutralized its leadership.”[8]

But though more scholarly research is necessary for a detailed and considered analysis of the myriad factors contributing to Venezuela’s economic situation, it is worth giving the claims of Chavismo a fair hearing. A fuller picture shows that this alternate thesis should not be so glibly dismissed.

Take hoarding, for instance. Before Hugo Chávez was elected president in 1998, the economic levers of society were near-exclusively in the hands of a social elite of overwhelmingly light-skinned Venezuelans: the inhabitants of the wealthy neighborhoods of Venezuela’s urban centers and wealthy landowners of the campo.

Not only were they in charge of importation, distribution and wholesaling of all manner of goods for the Venezuelan markets, but they also had a stranglehold over the state apparatus needed to profiteer from effective importation in the first place. A central goal of Chavismo was to wrest control of the economic levers from this elite and more evenly disperse it throughout society. The Chávez and Maduro administrations have sought to democratize economic decision-making and predicate it on serving the public interest rather than the pursuit of private profit.

Confronting Entrenched Privilege

Political psychology provides important insights into the socio-economic dynamics of Venezuelan society. In his book, Angry White Men, sociologist Michael Kimmel argues that much of white men’s rage in the United States is the result of privileges that were historically bestowed on them gradually becoming less automatic. As historically disadvantaged sectors gain more opportunities and influence, the change appears to the previously favored group as a great injustice.[9]

The same dynamic is evident in Venezuela: an unaccountable elite of overwhelmingly white, Euro-descent Venezuelans hold positions of influence and has had control of many of the important economic decisions. In great part the Chavista movement was based on giving voice to the country’s poor majority, which incidentally is overwhelmingly black, brown, indigenous, and/or mixed race.

Hugo Chávez was himself of mixed-race heritage, with European, native Venezuelan, and African ancestry. The mere idea that such a person (or mono, meaning monkey, as the opposition frequently called him) could be president and give voice to the dark-skinned chusma was seen as a veritable insult to the Venezuelan elite.

The Chávez and Maduro governments have attempted to transition Venezuela away from a society that has been not only inherently racist and classist, but also highly rigid, stratified and oligarchic. Problems inevitably arise because this elite already holds the reins and can aggressively resist a recalibration of economic and social power. In 1998, the highly corrupt business class controlled almost every economic structure imaginable from distribution of food and production of oil to systems for obtaining dollars and importing consumer goods.

As James Petras and Henry Veitmeyer argue in their 2013 book What’s Left in Latin America? Regime Change in New Times, “The government’s socialist project depends on mass social organizations capable of advancing on the economic elite and cleaning the neighborhoods of rightwing thugs, gangsters and paramilitary agents of the Venezuelan oligarchs and [Colombia’s] Uribe regime.”[10]

Since these are the people who were already in positions of economic power and influence when the Bolivarian process began, their ability to throw a wrench in the government’s efforts for reform has been formidable. Ryan Mallet-Outtrim, writing in Venezuela Analysis, points out that “Venezuela’s private sector has long attacked the socialist government.” So much so, he adds, “that for years Venezuelans have acknowledged that scarcity of basic consumer goods spikes around important elections, as businesses seek to pressure voters into turning against Chavismo.”[11]

Evidence of such efforts by pro-opposition sectors has not been lacking. Immediately following the opposition victory in the 2015 National Assembly elections, for instance, social media commentators indicated that staple goods miraculously began to reappear on shelves throughout the country.[12] Tellingly, some of the products had expiration dates that suggested that the problem was not with production but rather with distribution, which is largely controlled by the right-wing business elite. By creating this kind of scarcity, the elite were essentially trying to starve the public into rejecting the revolution, a tactic influenced by the United States’ economic blockade against Cuba.

When these dynamics are taken in the wider context of Venezuelan politics over the last two decades, they begin to seem less and less ridiculous and more and more plausible. Throughout the period of Chavismo there have been times when these aggressive tactics of economic sabotage have been too obvious to allow for the opposition’s usual equivocation.

During the so-called oil strike, for example, opposition forces led by Venezuela’s largest business association, Fedecamaras, orchestrated a nationwide disruption of oil production in hopes that the ensuing economic chaos would destabilize the government and precipitate a coup.[13]Taken in the context of this history of instigated pandemonium, the economic war thesis emerges as at least equally worthy of consideration as its major competitor.

Internal and External Challenges to the Revolution

None of this is to say, of course, that there are no legitimate criticisms of the central government, far less that the opposition’s explanation for the economic crisis should be dismissed as casually as it dismisses the government’s. Yet there are mitigating factors that must be raised in the government’s defense. The Bolivarian process has attempted not just to pay the social debt that was owed the country’s poor majority, but also to radically transform society by offering an alternative development model to the neoliberal consensus of the 1980s and 1990s that plunged the entire region into disarray.

The Chávez and Maduro administrations have attempted this task while facing constant hostility not only from an aggressive internal political opposition that has often resorted to violence, but also from the hemisphere’s hegemon, the United States. Washington, which almost instinctively has been opposed to Chavismo from day one, has consistently interfered in Venezuela’s internal affairs in the hope of crushing the Bolivarian process.

From a Bush administration-backed[14] and CIA-aided[15] coup in 2002, in which then-President Chavez was nearly removed from power by force, to refusals to recognize Chavista electoral victories, threats of sanctions, and covert funding for opposition candidates, the United States had been determined to do everything possible to ensure that it would fail. The United States has viciously opposed anything that threatens the dominance of the unfettered neoliberal capitalist vision that it has sought to defend, and then spread, throughout the world.

As William Camacaro and COHA Senior Research Fellow Fred Mills wrote early last year in Counterpunch, “A great deal hangs in the balance with regard to the feasibility of advancing a democratic socialist project while under the continuous attack of a U.S.-backed opposition, elements of which are bent on restoring the neoliberal regime.”[16]

The U.S. mainstream media, overwhelmingly owned by large corporations and loyal to their interests, naturally reflects and promulgates the ideological contours of this worldview. Herein lies the explanation for why the debate has been so narrow, so inordinately skewed toward the opposition’s account of the situation, and so disregarding of the complexities and subtleties of the discourse regarding the admittedly tragic and desperate circumstances in which the Venezuelan people find themselves.

[1] “Small Protests Proliferate in Simmering Venezuela,” The New York Times, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/03/17/world/americas/17reuters-venez….

[2] “Venezuelans in the US Say Their Country Is Worse Than 1960s Cuba,” Global Post, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.globalpost.com/article/6749177/2016/03/21/venezuelans-us-say-….

[3] “Venezuela’s Political Crisis: Can Regional Actors Help?,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, accessed March 21, 2016, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/11/30/venezuela-s-political-crisis-can….

[4] “Venezuela’s Economic Crisis,” The Daily Signal, accessed March 21, 2016, http://dailysignal.com/2015/11/09/venezuelas-economic-crisis/.

[5] “Venezuela’s Economic Catastrophe Isn’t About To Happen, It Has Happened,” Forbes, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/02/07/venezuelas-economic-c….

[6] “Venezuela’s Meltdown Continues,” Foreign Affairs, accessed March 21, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/venezuela/2016-03-10/venezuelas-….

[7] Ibid.

[8] “Venezuela’s Last Hope,” Foreign Policy, accessed March 21, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/10/venezuelas-last-hope-leopoldo-lopez-….

[9] “Angry White Men: A Book Review,” Huffington Post, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tristan-bridges/a-review-of-angry-white-m_….

[10] James Petras and Henry Veitmeyer, What’s Left in Latin America?: Regime Change in New Times, Routledge (2016).

[11] “How Bad is Venezuela’s Economic Situation?,” Venezuela Analysis, accessed March 21, 2016, http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/11832.

[12] “Basic Goods ‘Suspiciously’ Begin to Appear in Venezuela Stores, TeleSur,” accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Basic-Goods-Suspiciously-Begin-to-…–20151214-0018.html.

[13] “Venezuelan General Strike Extended,” BBC News, accessed March 21, 2016, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1918189.stm.

[14] Venezuela Coup Linked to Bush Team,” The Guardian, accessed March 22, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/apr/21/usa.venezuela.

[15] “The CIA Was Involved in the Coup against Venezuela’s Chavez,” Venezuela Analysis, accessed March 22, 2016, http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/800.

[16] “Revolution, Counter Revolution and the Economic War in Venezuela,” Counterpunch, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/27/revolution-counter-revolution-and….

19 Comments

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19 responses to “Another Explanation for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

  1. Tulio

    Not convinced. I don’t think this is anything comparable to 1973 Chile. The USA is not responsible for the corruption and incompetence and low human capital that is really driving the problems in Venezuela.

  2. Tulio

    Also, you seem to be hell-bent on defending Venezuela’s leftist government at all cost. Dude, just let it go. Some leftist and socialist governments are failures. I think you defend them because you are leftist and socialist and view an attack against Venezuela’s government as an attack against the ideas of socialism.

    Socialism in and of itself isn’t bad, it seems to work fine in Scandinavia. But they are also High IQ countries with high levels of human capital and low corruption. Capitalism is also a failure in a place like India, doesn’t mean capitalism per se is bad, but any system is only as good as the people that run it.

    • It’s not a failure anymore than Allende’s regime was. The opposition and the US have been trying to take down the regime for 15 years now, and they are finally succeeding. Before the oil prices crashed, Venezuela had superb figures on all sorts of metrics compared to pre-Chavez. In other words, Chavez kicked ass. Now all of those figures have reversed in the three years since the oil price crash which coincided with the opposition and the US sabotaging the economy.

      Basically, the oil prices crashed and countries that depend on oil export have been getting badly screwed. Saudi Arabia and Russia are in very bad shape due to the oil prince crash.

      The regime didn’t fail at all. The rightwing and the US destroyed the economy and that has ruined Venezuela. They are the cause of all of the problems down there. The Chavistas haven’t done anything wrong, or if they made mistakes, they made no more mistakes than any other average government anywhere on Earth.

      Also Venezuela isn’t even socialist. It’s no more socialist than Norway. They never had anything more than a social democracy down there. The entire consumer economy is run by the capitalist sector. When you go to the supermarket, every product you see in there was produced by the private sector, the capitalists of Venezuela.

      So if there are massive shortages of the products that are produced and imported by the Venezuelan private sector, what does that tell you? They are failing to import products and they are failing to manufacture products. Also they are engaging in mass hoarding and smuggling of consumer items to Colombia. 35% of all products produced or imported to Venezuela go straight out of the country as contraband, smuggled to Venezuela. There have been thousands of seizures of warehouses full of products that the business sector has been hoarding to produce artificial shortages.

      Given that all of the products in short supply are manufactured or imported by the business sector, whose fault is it if they are in short supply? It’s the business sector’s fault. They are refusing to import stuff, refusing to make stuff, and hoarding and smuggling out of the country anything they do produce or import. The purpose is to create artificial shortages, ruin the economy and then the people will blame the ruined economy on the government and force the Chavistas out of the government or there will be a coup.

      Also I must tell you Tulio, you are not allowed to attack the Chavista regime from the Right as you have been doing on here. You need to either support the Chavistas or attack them from the Left. And I will ban you if you keep attacking the Chavista government.

      Got it?

    • Jason Y

      Socialism in and of itself isn’t bad, it seems to work fine in Scandinavia. But they are also High IQ countries with high levels of human capital and low corruption. Capitalism is also a failure in a place like India, doesn’t mean capitalism per se is bad, but any system is only as good as the people that run it.

      Possibly socialism has failed in the USA for some people because it isn’t adapted to the people who receive it. For instance, the welfare money should be more directed toward making people self-supporting rather than just giving them free money.

      • Social liberalism and the welfare state hasn’t failed for anybody in the US. Not even for one person. All it does is keep people alive, barely, and it’s almost impossible for an able bodied person to survive on social programs anyway. They’re not even eligible for most of them. You can’t live off “welfare.” That’s what most people don’t get. Why don’t you tell me how an able bodied person gets free money in the US?

        • Jason Y

          That’s true, but then again a WN could just bring up massive crime and welfare babies. So welfare’s base structure had nothing to do with it?

          However, then again though, a lot of the poor work, and those people still have massive problems that plague the welfare seekers like drug use, one parent homes, crime etc…

        • Jason Y

          Actually, Iv’e not seen that anybody gets free money in the US aside from the retarded, or maybe mentally ill people. Of course, with the mentally ill they might as well get money cause they’ll get it anyway if they end up in prison.

          Mostly the charge of the right is against the working poor of the US. The possibly massively exxagerate the number of people on welfare to demonize the working poor.

  3. Another William Playfair Web

    Confronting Entrenched Privilege

    Political psychology provides………….. the Venezuelan elite.

    deliberate obstruction
    It’s a very common concept.
    Hell, weren’t the exiled American businessmen in Cuba/ the Cuban elites themselves deliberately obstructing the nation from 1962ish to 2014ish ?

  4. James Schipper

    Dear Robert

    I’m not opposed to all foreign military interventions, but it has to be multilateral, aimed at stopping massive human rights violations, and directed against countries with little military power. By multilateral I don’t mean a group of Western countries, but a group of countries of the same region plus perhaps some outsiders. Military intervention against a strong power would likely cause more harm than it eliminates.

    Suppose that China were not only to repress the Tibetans but to start killing them massively. That would still not justify a military intervention in China because the Chinese armed forces are so strong that military intervention, if anyone were willing to participate in it, would result in a military conflict that would likely kill far more people than the Chinese were killing in Tibet.

    Regards. James

  5. Jason Y

    Hugo Chávez was himself of mixed-race heritage, with European, native Venezuelan, and African ancestry. The mere idea that such a person (or mono, meaning monkey, as the opposition frequently called him) could be president and give voice to the dark-skinned chusma was seen as a veritable insult to the Venezuelan elite.

    I think there is a chance a change in the environment could put the non-white and mixed people on par with the elite. However, at the present time there are so many problems, some caused by moral faults in the non-white and mixed people themselves, that it could explain some of the failure, as Tulio seems to suggest.

    For instance, capitalism does seem to work in the USA for some average people, how can that be explained?

  6. Jason Y

    I’m always wondering if a more highly educated Latin America would even need Communism. Communism seems to be a vehicle to push it out of feudalism, but once it’s out of feudalism, then does it really need Communism? It’s kind of a case of dumping the boyfriend or girlfriend for something better.

    Yes, Latin America is trapped in feudalism, but is that the fault of capitalism? As Tulio said, mostly it’s a problem due to moral failure in the people. I’d say all Latin American social classes have serious negative faults.

    • Jason Y

      One thing is the lower classes are perhaps trapped in a cycle of laziness and moral degeneracy, and the rich classes are snobs that would even outdo the wicked step-sisters on Cinderella.

    • Venezuela is not a Communist country.

      There are no problems with the lower classes in Venezuela that caused any failure of any kind in the Chavista program. Nothing failed anyway. The rightwing sabotaged the economy and ruined the whole country. Venezuela is not a case of “NAM’s can’t do socialism because they are lousy human beings.” Anyway, NAM’s did socialism pretty well in Cuba, no?

      • Jason Y

        Yeah, socialism has done an awesome job of moving Cuba away from feudalism. It has raised the self esteem of the nation putting it on a progressive path with better education and healthcare for all. Unfortunately, some feudal nations have such massive battered wife syndrome problems that Communism is the only way to make progress.

        However, once education and healthcare is improved, then what use do they have of socialism then?

        Note Communism promoted a social revolution, but so did Hitler, at least for the majority group. Possibily social revolution is needed in areas, as I was saying, where the people are so beaten down with problems they need some kind of parental therapy from the state.

      • Jason Y

        The fact the right would sabatoge Venezuela is the main reason why Communist nations don’t have free elections. They can’t have them, and in general, the right has to be kept out of power because the right’s goal is to sabatoge the left using legal or illegal means.

        The western notion that communists are against freedom is sort of ridiculous. Sure people in Communist nations are not free, but only cause the government is under a terrorist threat.

        As for western nations, there are no real free elections even with Communist parties running because Communists don’t have the economic power to buy advertising.

        Communists can’t really influence anything, even though idiotic racists might try bring up conspiracy theories that Martin Luther King was a Communist, or the counterculture was a Communist plot etc…

  7. Jason Y

    Exactly, self esteem is the main problem NAMs in various nations including the US. That’s why they support left wing governments which attempt to raise it. Possibly a few NAMs (and also poor whites) could raise enough self esteem to go get an academic or vocational education, but most cannot.

    Generally, and this is true especially in India, the upper classes are so snobby and condescending that they alienate the poor who just want to give them the finger.

    Well, even in my own family in the US, the 200,000 a year brother gets massive resentment from the poor members of our family who have failed lives.

    • Jason Y

      Basically, and Iv’e noticed this at university, that the snobby successful types are more likely to criticize without any heart. For instance, they might say, “Why don’t you go get an education?” This basically implying that people who fail are lazy worms.

      In fact the whole attitude of professors at university, and this is true also in the army is, “I don’t care. I gave you work to do. You didn’t do it, so now you reap the consequences.”

      It’s debateable how true that is though. With such massive self esteem problems, I’m not sure if many people will react to tough love.

      • Jason Y

        My 200,000 brother’s atttude is TOTALLY like that. His family just doesn’t CARE. Bu that’s the attiude of college professors and those who are successful in university and go on to make money in the real world.

  8. William

    I suppose the “entrenched elites” use technology to manipulate stocks, so they/ other groups they are tied to, can “win” on the stock market (the computers can buy/sell many stocks in fractions of a second, and the faster the software, the more expensive it is).

    This makes it difficult for those without the software to compete.
    Oddly enough it is not “insider trading” although it has smacks at it. In Europe, they put a fee on stocks sold using this technology (making it more costly than beneficial), while in the U.S. nothing is done.

    On a side note, the reactions of Fiscal Rightist Racialists (namely, the Alt-Reich), to this is quite funny. It’s hailed as proof “Socialism doesn’t work”, despite the fact that half the time they ramble about how anywhere with an IQ below 95 is doomed to be third world savages (some Alt-Reichers didn’t get the message and exposed this inconsistency). Hilarious!

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