Socialist Venezuela prioritizes 'happiness' in budget; Paratroopers deployed against protesters

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    Oct 30, 2012 2:57 PM GMT
    Er, best of luck with that one.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2012/1029/Venezuela-prioritizes-happiness-in-its-national-budget

    President Chávez's administration announced its budget last week, allocating nearly 40 percent of funds for 'supreme happiness.' The budget's ambiguous nature, however, has made some distinctly unhappy.

    At 38 percent of the current budget, spending on what the government refers to as "supreme happiness" has taken precedence over everything including military and energy spending for Hugo Chávez's fourth term as president.

    It seems that Venezuela is just as wrapped up in attaining this elusive emotional state as the rest of the Western world, which dedicates billions of dollars to everything from self-help books to vitamin supplements to serious research on happiness. There have been a number of recent studies ranking countries by happiness level – with one called the Happy Planet Index placing Venezuela 9th in terms of happiness out of 151 countries. (Nearby Central America was ranked one of the happiest regions on earth.)

    But Chavez’s focus on national bliss hasn’t necessarily made a lot of people “happy.”

    The new $92 billion budget, announced by Finance Minister Jorge Giordani last week, has drawn widespread criticism for its vague language and alarmingly low estimates of inflation and oil prices. Meanwhile, expenditure on "happiness" has increased since last year and continues to be the budgetary centerpiece.
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    Oct 30, 2012 4:36 PM GMT
    Haha what a joke.
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    Jan 24, 2014 7:08 PM GMT
    http://world.time.com/2014/01/23/venezuelas-currency-controls-propels-those-with-connections/

    The socialist Venezuela propels those with contacts and currency to the one-percent

    Vinny is in the middle of a whirlwind trip. He began in Caracas ten days ago, has already passed through New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, Indianapolis and Los Angeles and is about to board a flight from Miami to Milan and onto Madrid. The 28-year-old personal trainer will be there for around 36 hours before continuing his journey on to London, Johannesburg, Doha, Tokyo, Dallas, Lima and finally Caracas again in just over a week’s time. The entire trip — all 16 flights — cost him just $600.

    “This is the holy grail,” Vinny says as he boards the flight to Milan. The journey will earn him some 100,000 air miles and help re-qualify him for American Airlines’ highest frequent-flier tier. When using money obtained on the black market, the cost of flights out of Venezuela can be up to ten times less than normal market prices. A return flight from Caracas to New York can effectively cost $150; to London, $300; and to Dubai, $500.

    The reason: currency controls, brought in by Hugo Chávez in 2003, which severely limit the amount of foreign currency that Venezuelans are legally able to purchase from the government. Under the official exchange rate, one dollar buys 6.3 Bolívares, the local currency here named for Latin American independence hero Simón Bolívar. But the controls have created a black market on which greenbacks sell for more than 10 times as much. This week, authorities brought in a second exchange rate (essentially, a devaluation of just over 40 percent, though the government calls use of the d-word “enemy spin”) in an attempt to curb economic distortions. But economists are doubtful that the move will satiate the high demand for dollars.
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    Jan 24, 2014 7:12 PM GMT
    We're talking about a president who 'moved' Christmas in October to give early 'happiness' to the people there...
  • PolitiMAC

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    Jan 25, 2014 12:33 AM GMT
    Socialists can never run a country properly icon_razz.gif This is blatant insanity and stupidity.

    I wonder if any Leftists on this site will condemn this stupidity, or will they just conveniently ignore it?
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    Jan 26, 2014 5:03 PM GMT

    NO MATTER HOW BAD THINGS GET - THEY CAN ALWAYS GET WORSE

    http://moneytalks.net/topics/timing/11502-no-matter-how-bad-things-get-they-can-always-get-worse.html

    Especially when dealing with leftist dictators and hyperinflation setups.

    Venezuela Enacts "Law of Fair Prices" Banning Profits Over 30%, with 10-Year Imprisonment for Hoarding
    Via translation from El Economista:

    The Fair Prices Act, an instrument with which the Government of Nicolas Maduro intends to control prices and eliminate shortages, includes a ban on profit margins over 30%, with penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment for hoarders.

    The law passed in November, and the Supreme Court ratified the law yesterday.

    The law, published in Official Gazette, states that the profit margin will be established annually "addressing scientific criteria" by the National Superintendency for the Protection of Socio-Economic Rights (SUNDDE).

    The law provides for the application of preventive measures and sanctions such as confiscation, temporary occupation of premises or property, the temporary closure of an establishment or suspension of licenses and the "immediate adjustment" price.

    In the section of the law regarding hoarding, those who "restrict supply, circulation or distribution of regulated goods or cause distortions in prices, shall be punished with imprisonment judicially 8 to 10 years."

    The law also provides for fines ranging from 107,000 bolivars ($17,000) to 5.3 million bolivars ($850,000).

    SUNDDE will "fix maximum prices for the production or importation, distribution and consumption according to their importance and strategic nature for the benefit of the population as well as the technical criteria for assessing the levels of exchange equitable and fair of goods and services."

    Under this preposterous measure, no companies will be able to import and sell goods at anything but a loss. Expect all goods and services to vanish soon.
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    Jan 26, 2014 5:04 PM GMT
    I wonder how happy they are now...
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    Feb 16, 2014 6:20 PM GMT
    Police seek Venezuela opposition leader as he tweets defiance

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/16/us-venezuela-protests-idUSBREA1F0GJ20140216?feedType=RSS
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    Feb 18, 2014 12:19 AM GMT
    Cuba Training Venezuelan Armed Groups

    http://babalublog.com/2014/02/16/cuba-training-armed-government-groups-attacking-and-killing-protestors-in-venezuela/
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    Feb 18, 2014 12:21 AM GMT
    The bizarre lack of coverage is likely do to the embarrassment much of the left has in sympathizing with the goals of the thuggish government.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-16/whats-going-venezuela-nutshell

    Protests in Venezuela continue (despite President Maduro's proclamation that the nation is in "absolute calm"), with both the government and the opposition holding rallies, leaving several streets and subway stations in Caracas closed. 10 students who were arrested amid violent protests last week have been released, though 6 students remain in custody. Demonstrators do not yet have the numbers or support base to unseat President Nicolas Maduro's administration, but as Stratfor notes, these protests could mark a turning point as the economic situation deteriorates there is a chance that protests like this could begin to generate additional social momentum in rejection of the status quo.
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    Feb 18, 2014 2:31 AM GMT
    PolitiNerd saidSocialists can never run a country properly icon_razz.gif This is blatant insanity and stupidity.

    I wonder if any Leftists on this site will condemn this stupidity, or will they just conveniently ignore it?

    They have a better track record than rightists. Last I looked, Venezuela wasn't shoving Jews into ovens.
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    Feb 18, 2014 8:11 AM GMT
    Personally, I find it fascinating that so many members of a message board dedicated to homosexuals can so passionately support the political side that wants to see them all burn in hell for eternity. US conservatives are only interested in "small government" when it comes to economic issues, but they're all about big government when it comes to social concerns.
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    Feb 18, 2014 11:27 AM GMT
    Meicyn saidPersonally, I find it fascinating that so many members of a message board dedicated to homosexuals can so passionately support the political side that wants to see them all burn in hell for eternity. US conservatives are only interested in "small government" when it comes to economic issues, but they're all about big government when it comes to social concerns.


    Really? It's too bad you really don't even bother attempting to understand those you disagree with. Personally, I strongly believe that government should not concern itself with what happens in the bedroom either - and this belief is shared by most here who you seem to also lack an understanding of but are apparently fascinated by. I personally find it fascinating that so many like yourself lack the imagination and tolerance to bother considering views that differ from your own.

    You also seem to lack an understanding of history where communists and socialists have often had a very intolerant view of homosexuals. Che Guevera admired by many liberals here, hated and killed men for being gay. The national socialists in Germany were also not known to be particularly tolerant of gays.
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    Feb 18, 2014 12:43 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Meicyn saidPersonally, I find it fascinating that so many members of a message board dedicated to homosexuals can so passionately support the political side that wants to see them all burn in hell for eternity. US conservatives are only interested in "small government" when it comes to economic issues, but they're all about big government when it comes to social concerns.


    Really? It's too bad you really don't even bother attempting to understand those you disagree with.

    Bullshit. On more than one occasion you have made claims, and I asked for evidence or examples so I could understand where you are coming from. You never respond. Most recent example:

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/3671930

    riddler78 saidI personally find it fascinating that so many like yourself lack the imagination and tolerance to bother considering views that differ from your own.

    That's interesting, seeing how I consider your views every time I attempt to have a dialogue with you, which at every turn, inevitably turns into you no longer responding after you've gone on some tirade about socialism or some other tangent which has nothing to do with what I'm saying. Case in point:

    riddler78 saidYou also seem to lack an understanding of history where communists and socialists have often had a very intolerant view of homosexuals. Che Guevera admired by many liberals here, hated and killed men for being gay. The national socialists in Germany were also not known to be particularly tolerant of gays.

    Who said I was a fan of Che Guevera, or full-time socialist nations in general?

    Just once, when attempting to address me specifically, it'd be nice if you'd talk to ME instead of some caricature of me that you've created in your mind. If you're going to argue against me, argue against my actual positions, not the ones you've assumed I have.
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    Feb 18, 2014 1:39 PM GMT
    Meicyn saidBullshit. On more than one occasion you have made claims, and I asked for evidence or examples so I could understand where you are coming from. You never respond. Most recent example:

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/3671930


    Do please list these other examples? I've always attempted to respond directly and clearly to specific comments when they're serious but given you responded so late, I didn't even see your comment. That being said, if you're actually serious about the question you asked in that thread, the examples are numerous given how as a starting point you can see how the environment has been treated in socialist vs democratic regimes. Second, you've never heard of the tragedy of the commons?

    Meicyn said
    riddler78 saidI personally find it fascinating that so many like yourself lack the imagination and tolerance to bother considering views that differ from your own.

    That's interesting, seeing how I consider your views every time I attempt to have a dialogue with you, which at every turn, inevitably turns into you no longer responding after you've gone on some tirade about socialism or some other tangent which has nothing to do with what I'm saying. Case in point:


    Um - let's review. You're the one who started out with the idiotic comment about being fascinated by conservatives on this site despite your obvious inability to recognize that there are many here who both disagree with heavy government interventions economically and socially.

    riddler78 saidYou also seem to lack an understanding of history where communists and socialists have often had a very intolerant view of homosexuals. Che Guevera admired by many liberals here, hated and killed men for being gay. The national socialists in Germany were also not known to be particularly tolerant of gays.

    Who said I was a fan of Che Guevera, or full-time socialist nations in general?[/quote]

    Meicyn saidJust once, when attempting to address me specifically, it'd be nice if you'd talk to ME instead of some caricature of me that you've created in your mind. If you're going to argue against me, argue against my actual positions, not the ones you've assumed I have.


    Now that's irony for you - do please consider your own request for yourself.
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    Feb 18, 2014 3:19 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidChe Guevera admired by many liberals here, hated and killed men for being gay. The national socialists in Germany were also not known to be particularly tolerant of gays.

    You moron, I defy you to name one person who "admires" Che Guevara. That other guy above is right, you argue against straw men all the time, since you have no arguments against the real points people make.

    Che Guevara. Really.
    You are the dumbest person in the solar system.
    Oh, and by the way, despite the Right's desperate attempts to claim otherwise, Hitler and the Nazis were on your team, not ours.
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    Feb 18, 2014 4:00 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    riddler78 saidChe Guevera admired by many liberals here, hated and killed men for being gay. The national socialists in Germany were also not known to be particularly tolerant of gays.

    You moron, I defy you to name one person who "admires" Che Guevara. That other guy above is right, you argue against straw men all the time, since you have no arguments against the real points people make.

    Che Guevara. Really.
    You are the dumbest person in the solar system.
    Oh, and by the way, despite the Right's desperate attempts to claim otherwise, Hitler and the Nazis were on your team, not ours.


    Pleasant and stupid as usual I see. Unfortunately for you and the liberals who have fought so hard to rewrite history, the facts show quite clearly Hitler and his national socialists were on your "team". Even worse were those like Polpot, Mao, and Stalin.

    The guy above oddly enough argues against his own strawman - but I mean you wouldn't really know because it's quite clear a moron like yourself has never had to struggle with cognitive dissonance in your life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2014 4:28 PM GMT
    Wow. I always knew you lived in a delusional bubble but I see clearly now the depth of your insanity.

    No, little one, Hitler was a right-wing fascist. The only people who want to believe otherwise are the tiny group of dedicated right-wing loonies like yourself.

    I suggest, for your amusement, that you conduct a random poll of historians and political scientists. Oh, wait. They are "elitists" and "socialists", so you'd disregard their responses as "propaganda".

    This is why the guillotine is really the only answer for people like you. You're completely lost to humanity.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2014 6:19 PM GMT
    Aristoshark saidWow. I always knew you lived in a delusional bubble but I see clearly now the depth of your insanity.

    No, little one, Hitler was a right-wing fascist. The only people who want to believe otherwise are the tiny group of dedicated right-wing loonies like yourself.

    I suggest, for your amusement, that you conduct a random poll of historians and political scientists. Oh, wait. They are "elitists" and "socialists", so you'd disregard their responses as "propaganda".

    This is why the guillotine is really the only answer for people like you. You're completely lost to humanity.


    Thank you for being the caricature you are. So far all you've done is prove you're far more like Hitler than I could ever be - so thank you for that. icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 18, 2014 6:24 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Aristoshark saidWow. I always knew you lived in a delusional bubble but I see clearly now the depth of your insanity.

    No, little one, Hitler was a right-wing fascist. The only people who want to believe otherwise are the tiny group of dedicated right-wing loonies like yourself.

    I suggest, for your amusement, that you conduct a random poll of historians and political scientists. Oh, wait. They are "elitists" and "socialists", so you'd disregard their responses as "propaganda".

    This is why the guillotine is really the only answer for people like you. You're completely lost to humanity.


    Thank you for being the caricature you are. So far all you've done is prove you're far more like Hitler than I could ever be - so thank you for that. icon_wink.gif

    You've invoked Godwin's law twice now.
    Loser.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2014 6:52 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    riddler78 said
    Aristoshark saidWow. I always knew you lived in a delusional bubble but I see clearly now the depth of your insanity.

    No, little one, Hitler was a right-wing fascist. The only people who want to believe otherwise are the tiny group of dedicated right-wing loonies like yourself.

    I suggest, for your amusement, that you conduct a random poll of historians and political scientists. Oh, wait. They are "elitists" and "socialists", so you'd disregard their responses as "propaganda".

    This is why the guillotine is really the only answer for people like you. You're completely lost to humanity.


    Thank you for being the caricature you are. So far all you've done is prove you're far more like Hitler than I could ever be - so thank you for that. icon_wink.gif

    You've invoked Godwin's law twice now.
    Loser.


    As noted, thank you for being the caricature you are sweetums. The loser is the man who can't argue points on their own merits but call instead for silencing or killing those who disagree with them. Because you don't really think so clearly anymore (presuming you thought clearly at one time or another), that'd be you. icon_wink.gif

    Oh and incidentally, do you suppose those groups are being trained by cuba to deal with the protesters through massage therapy or sing-a-long sessions?
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    Feb 18, 2014 7:17 PM GMT
    Projecting again, "sweetums"? You're the caricature and everyone here knows it.

    Why don't you go to some libertarian paradise like Somalia? I'm sure you'll love it and the collective IQ of Canada will rise by a great many points.
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    Feb 18, 2014 8:37 PM GMT
    Aristoshark saidProjecting again, "sweetums"? You're the caricature and everyone here knows it.

    Why don't you go to some libertarian paradise like Somalia? I'm sure you'll love it and the collective IQ of Canada will rise by a great many points.


    Lol - you're so insecure that you need to speak for "everyone". You have an inability to differentiate between anarchy and libertarianism, and you call other people stupid and hope they die. What a pleasant one you are sweetums. icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 19, 2014 3:49 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Aristoshark saidProjecting again, "sweetums"? You're the caricature and everyone here knows it.

    Why don't you go to some libertarian paradise like Somalia? I'm sure you'll love it and the collective IQ of Canada will rise by a great many points.


    Lol - you're so insecure that you need to speak for "everyone". You have an inability to differentiate between anarchy and libertarianism, and you call other people stupid and hope they die. What a pleasant one you are sweetums. icon_wink.gif

    I'm going to teach you a new word. It's "hyperbole". Look it up. It may help you to understand things which have previously been above your pay grade.
    Sweetums.
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    Feb 19, 2014 12:21 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    riddler78 said
    Aristoshark saidProjecting again, "sweetums"? You're the caricature and everyone here knows it.

    Why don't you go to some libertarian paradise like Somalia? I'm sure you'll love it and the collective IQ of Canada will rise by a great many points.


    Lol - you're so insecure that you need to speak for "everyone". You have an inability to differentiate between anarchy and libertarianism, and you call other people stupid and hope they die. What a pleasant one you are sweetums. icon_wink.gif

    I'm going to teach you a new word. It's "hyperbole". Look it up. It may help you to understand things which have previously been above your pay grade.
    Sweetums.


    Thank you again for proving my point sweetie icon_wink.gif