Originally Posted by conan the librarian
What do you think of the Venezuela socialism ideas that have been used recently by conservative punditry?
I think like so many other words that have lost their meaning "socialism" is a great example. It is used by its adherents and detractors to mean whatever they want it to mean. To adherents it is dream of "equality" and "benefits" for all especially the classes who have been given a small share of the pie so far. To detractors it is a label for the failed attempt at creating some form of equality - remember we spent MANY years after the founding without true equality except in name only. Most "socialist" countries including Venezuela are simply power grabs by some opportunistic group who claims one thing and delivers another. The failure of a rich country like Venezuela is not a moment to gloat but rather a time to reflect on how we could help the citizens (common people) regain a government from corruption and greed and build a stable society.
My bottom line is that most countries are neither capitalist or socialist, but rather a mixture of several forms of societal organization. The only true socialists I see are so called "primitive" societies where everyone in the tribe is supported to some degree or another. There is of course hierarchy but no one is left to starve and everyone looks out for the benefit of the collective. The same thing occurs in segments of our society; the Mormons and Quakers come to mind as groups which consider the "collective good" more important than the "individual right". What is great about America is that you can choose that for yourself if so inclined. The down side of "capitalism" is that even in a computer model of random investment and random return/loss it has been shown that a pattern emerges of a few winners and a large number of losers. As the simulation goes on the rich get richer and the losers fall out (have no money left and are eliminated). Again this is not to say that skill is not involved, but luck is way underrated
. EVERYONE claims they have skill, few admit that a mediocre jockey can win a large amount of the time if riding the fastest horse. I used to say that success was 50% skill and 50% luck; and 50% of the skill was CLAIMING the 50% which was luck was ALSO SKILL!!!
I have meet many people in business who were thought to have skill but in reality just happened to be in the right place at the right time and caught a big wave (drew a fast horse).