Thursday, January 24, 2008

Viva Chavez!!!

Oil is $100 a barrel and there are food shortages in Venezuela. That is all you really need to know about socialism.

"Zimbabwe On the Caribbean" indeed! (HT Instapundit)

11 comments:

Rodak said...

Food shortages are a problem of distribution, not of production. Oil is pumped in a few locations around the globe, and shipped everywhere. Food should be the same. If you have oil, you should never lack food. In that sense, you might just as well have written "Oil is $100 a barrel, and there are food shortages in Appalachia."

Oldsmoblogger said...

In the sense that enough food is produced globally to meet global demand, Rodak, that is true. However, in this particular instance the illegitimate Chavez regime is offering less than the cost of production to those who have food to sell in Venezuela.

(Found this at VodkaPundit, by the way, from a pointer at Geek With a .45).

Rodak said...

Oldsmoblogger--
The point I was trying to make is that the original statement is essentially a non sequitur. It appears to, but doesn't really, make a statement about "socialism."
Then, to the extent that it makes a statement about the Chavez regime, it makes that statement out of context.
Finally, if there is real hunger happening in Venezuela, food should be given gratis until the crisis can be corrected. I have been sickened throughout my life at seeing food withheld for the political purpose of discrediting unfriendly regimes.

Oldsmoblogger said...

How about food withheld on the principle of "the worker is worthy of his hire?" It goes as much for farmers as anyone else.

Rodak said...

How about food withheld on the principle of "the worker is worthy of his hire?" It goes as much for farmers as anyone else.

So you buy the food from the farmer at the market price and give it to the starving people gratis, because need creates obligation.
Nobody is asking the farmer to bear the burden.

Oldsmoblogger said...

So you buy the food from the farmer at the market price and give it to the starving people gratis, because need creates obligation.

Please amplify your last, if you wouldn't mind, because it can be taken two ways: Does need create obligation on the part of the recipient to the provider? Or is the have obligated to the have-not?

The former is a tactical calculation (and morally questionable), while in the latter case I agree there is a moral obligation, so long as there is no coercion. Where there is coercion, there is no charity; there is merely deciding who is owed a living, and who owes it them.

In any event, the illegitimate Chavez regime is pretty clearly doing nothing of the kind; the original article specifically mentions price controls on food.

Rodak said...

The have is obligated to the have-not. Nobody is owed a living. But any person who is hungry must be fed by him who has the means. And this is unconditional. The hungry man does not need to "deserve" to be fed.
As for Chavez, if he has hungry people on the one hand, and oil to sell to buy food, on the other, and he does not do so, then he is no socialist.
My point has never been a defense of Chavez.

Rodak said...

As I heard our Fearless Leader, Dubya, echo my proposal of January 28, 2008 3:43 AM (see above) in his State of the Union speech last night, I recognize that I must have been wrong; very, very wrong. Mea culpa. May I please be forgiven?

Oldsmoblogger said...

Happens to the best of us. ;-)

Anthony said...

My point Rodak is that Venezuela under Chavez claims to be a socialist country and to serve teh poor. And given teh amount of hard currency they are earning with oil at $100 a barrell, they could buy up the crops of entire rural states and dsitribute to the poor free if they had to.

But even with all this oil money flowing in, Venezuela is reporting food shortages.

Rodak said...

Anthony--
And my point is that Chavez, ergo, is not a socialist. So don't state that the Chavez regime tells me "everything I need to know about socialism." It doesn't.