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"My Socialist Hell: 20 Years of Decay in Venezuela" - First hand account.


"ARACAS – Venezuela, my home country, has it all: beautiful and breathtaking landscapes, abundant resources, even unique wonders of nature like the Angel Falls or the Catatumbo Lightning.

Yet if you’ve heard our name in the news recently, it’s as the subject of tragedy: toilet paper shortages, desperate people scavenging through garbage to find food for their families, bread lines, a systemic failure of our public utilities, dogs flayed in broad daylight for meat, corruption, lack of proper medicine and health access, weighing stacks of cash, and so much more.

It saddens me to say that it’s true, all of it, a product of 20 years of socialism.

I was barely eleven years old when Hugo Chávez began his first term in 1999. When this “Bolivarian Revolution” started to change the constitution and morph our laws I was just an introverted child that had just moved to the capital of the country, fascinated by video games, cartoons, and Power Rangers and with an overactive imagination.

This perpetual revolution has laid down a status quo in the country that often forces you to lose your personal aspirations, to cast away your future, hopes, and dreams; it changes you in many ways until you’re no longer a citizen — you’re merely a survivor.

Today, here I stand, more or less that same introverted kid — but with 20 years of ever-increasing hardships upon my shoulders; a lesser version of what I could’ve been, clinging to those memories where everything was simpler and all of it made sense.

This is a personal account of what has my life become after twenty years of Bolivarian Revolution— 20 years that comprise two-thirds of my life.

I’ve done so many bread lines that I’ve lost count, I’ve engaged in bartering of food and medicine, I’m actively taking expired meds because it’s simply better than nothing, and I’ve adapted every aspect of my livelihood around the tribulations inherent to living in Socialist Venezuela while taking care of my younger brother who can’t fend for himself given his mental condition. It hasn’t been easy since we’re two socially inept siblings, but we keep going no matter what.

Socialism has slowly eroded the functional existence of every aspect of our lives, from our freedom of speech to our economic liberties, our access to healthcare and personal documents to our water supply. Each of these structural collapses – the absence of healthcare, the worthlessness of our currency, systemic corruption in the government and military, and widespread censorship – have affected me personally.

Socialism is a trendy topic in the United States at the moment, which means my story is relevant beyond Venezuela’s borders. Over the course of this series, I hope to inform American readers about the realities of existence – and survival – in a socialist country. And I hope that by reading my stories, Americans will be forewarned enough that they remain distant stories, rather than firsthand experiences."

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/10/13/my-socialist-hell-20-years-of-decay-in-venezuela/#

The whole piece is worth reading. It's part 1 of a new forthcoming series.

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Venezuela didn't do it correctly.

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No one has done it "correctly" because socialism is inherently flawed.

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Then why is Venezuela the only country that people keep bringing up that has failed?

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It's not. It's a visible, ongoing example and a particularly tragic story since the country was so wealthy just a couple of decades ago and should be still. But people also discuss North Korea, the Islamic world (virtually every nation is heavily socialist), and even Europe, though European nations are mostly capitalist and only tend to lean more socialist compared to the US.

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It all depends on how you do it. Complete socialism makes no sense.

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Or better yet you can not do it.

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Nobody is really asking for capital S socialism in the US. We just want basic shit the rest of the developed world take for granted.

The bigger issue is you are happy spreading propaganda. You have no idea who wrote it. I looked the name up, there's nothing.

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The writer is presented as a regular person, not an author, and typical Venezuelans don't exactly have a big social media presence.

The rest of the world sucks compared to the US which is why America is by far the world's #1 desired immigration destination.

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I'm a regular person living in the US, which makes me qualified to tell you capitalism sucks. How do I sell my article to a foreign propaganda outlet?

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Those articles are already a dime a dozen due to our free speech. But I think people vote more honestly with their feet than their rhetoric. Again, America is the world's #1 immigration destination, desired and realized, and there's certainly no wall keeping you in....

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Mostly because of Mexicans, but more of them are leaving the country than are entering now! Maybe they like it there more?

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No, around the world.

"People’s desire around the world to permanently migrate to another country has been increasing since 2010 and the preferred destination overwhelmingly remains the United States of America, a Gallup World poll revealed Monday.....21 percent, or 158 million adults, saying they’d like to move to the U.S."

https://dailycaller.com/2018/12/10/migration-us-immigration-gallup/

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Let's hope for their sake they are rich.

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Most aren't, but they're much better off when they get to the US. That wouldn't surprise you if you knew more about the rest of the world.

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Then move to a socialist country. None of the evil capitalists are keeping you here.

I like the concept of being rewarded for hard work. Socialism doesn't follow that concept. Therefore, fuck socialism.

You get K-12 for free. Pay for your own damn college, and quit picking majors that don't pay anything. You'll be fine.

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I like the concept of just being born rich and never having to worry about basic needs or career access. "Hard work" is in no way desirable, nor is it necessarily contributing anything, nor is it automatically rewarded, in and of itself. It only becomes a moral value when there's no other choice, and especially when you aren't the one doing the hard work.

I would say our well-being matters whether we work hard or not. I can imagine a future where robots do all the work, and even the maintenance guy who keeps the repair bots running is a robot. I guess some would say, "Wow, every technological advancement of the last four centuries was invented by teams of bots. They really need to exterminate us leeches who contribute nothing!"

Let's just hope if AI is ever created that it never turns libertarian.

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Wow. Solid rambling.

Have a good night socialist. Everyone else will wake up and work hard tomorrow to earn their pay so you can leech off it.

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Some will work hard to earn their pay, some will work hard and lose money, some will work hard to rip off others, some will work hard to resist suicide. Some will just sit back getting easy money, regardless if they work at all. Me, I will probably be relaxing and watching Netflix until my mom yells at me to finish mowing the lawn.

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Libertarians aren't about exterminating people. That's a socialist thing.

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That's not actually socialism, that's collectivism. In collectivism, people who can't work are considered as useless eaters. Fun stuff!

And no, libertarians aren't necessarily for exterminating "leeches", but the result is still that they die a horrible death or "work hard" to barely meet their basic survival needs.

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Nah, Christian libertarians at least are the most charitable people in the world. The sanctity of human life is at the core of their philosophy. They just don't believe that government should be the primary medium of cultural interaction.

Collectivism is an aspect of socialism. Socialist regimes tend to abuse, imprison, and/or kill people for political or other illegitimate reasons because socialism inherently obliterates individual liberty.

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Correct. When Bernie is POTUS we're going to round up all you people and put you in camps...I know some that will be vacant! 😃

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Nice try, but it's hard to parody these people or troll conservatives given realities like San Francisco already officially declaring the NRA a "terrorist organization"....

https://moviechat.org/bd0000082/Politics/5d7a7e5035f83d226353048f/San-Francisco-labels-the-NRA-a-domestic-terrorist-group

...and NYC recently criminalizing use of the phrase "illegal alien".

https://moviechat.org/bd0000082/Politics/5d8fe8d4168d9820cc9f6b73/NYC-bans-calling-someone-an-illegal-alien-out-of-hate-Up-to-dollar250000-fines-per-offense

Many leftists really are chomping at the bit to imprison or kill their political opponents. It's happened around the world at various points in history. Why not North America?

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fake news MAGA 2020

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breitbart? LOL.

"Overall, we rate Breitbart Questionable based on extreme right wing bias, publication of conspiracy theories and propaganda as well as numerous false claims.
Reasoning: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy, Failed Fact Checks"
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/breitbart/

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LOL! It's a first person account from a Venezuelan and it largely just puts a personal human touch on facts that have been widely reported and verified anyway. It doesn't matter where it's being published, even if your little website wasn't hopelessly biased partisan nonsense itself as I've pointed out before. Go ahead and close your eyes and cover your ears while chanting though.

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You could go back and find some of these ding-a-ling's own quotes and present them as coming from a conservative and they'd trash them to no end. It doesn't matter what is being said, to them. It only matters who's saying it. Just like those dimwits that were interviewed on college campuses. They were told a bunch of quotes were Hillary's and they loved them, then the interviewer revealed they were actually Trump quotes. A few (not many) of them actually conceded that they maybe should do a little research before jumping to conclusions about the election.

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Ha Ha, that's so true.

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The issue is with your lack of knowledge re: the origin of Venezuela's recession. Your Breitbart is lying about the cause.

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Your post didn't demonstrate any knowledge, contain any facts, or include a cogent argument. That was weak even by your standards. Of course I have plenty of knowledge about Venezuela gained over the years, mostly not from Breitbart, not that there's anything wrong with that source.

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Ditto about your comment. No information.

I've already discussed this topic in detail so I'll make it brief. The U.S. and other western countries were kicked out by Chavez who nationalized the oil and gave profits to the people. The U. S. & Co. have destabilized the economy with sanctions and other activity in an attempt to reclaim the oil fields. They thought it would be easy since Duarte doesn't have Chavez's popularity. Obviously, they were wrong and now Putin is helping Duarte.

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You're blaming "sanctions" and undefined "other activity" by the US for Venezuela being so run into the ground that its currency has seen 53,000,000% inflation since 2016, 3 million people have fled, the GDP has contracted by double digits for years, the murder rate has surged to among the world's highest, and there's such a lack of basic goods from toilet paper to food that the government recently suggested people survive by eating their pet rabbits.

You don't blame the nation's own socialist regime, which has violently suppressed opposition, seized control of the media and silenced dissent, imprisoned or murdered political dissidents, and flipped the economy over with property redistribution schemes and nationalizations that have resulted in predictable consequences roughly typical of aggressive socialist programs in other nations.

I disagree.

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Oversimplify much?

If you want to discuss Venezuelan history in detail and breakdown the multiple causes for the present situation then I'm willing. Otherwise, I have no interest in propaganda.

We can start the discussion with the first democratically-elected Venezuelan president Romulo Gallegos. Do you know what happened to him in 1948 and why?

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LOL! You're delusionally swallowing any bit of propaganda spin from a repressive socialist regime, no matter how insipid, even absurdly blaming all its problems on external US "activity", and you actually reply to my fact-based post with "oversimplify much"? Nope.

Your support for Antifa below is arguably more important, though it dovetails with your defense of the socialist Venezuela regime. Antifa is a radical domestic terrorist organization, founded by the German communist party and imported into the US in recent years, that orchestrates violent mob actions against innocent people. Because they're leftist totalitarians you support them. Thank you, Keelai, for exposing what you are.

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Your noise doesn't hide the fact that you know nothing about Venezuelan former president Romulo Gallegos. If you don't know its history, then you can't intelligently discuss its present political situation.

Once again, do you know what happened to him in 1948 and why?

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I just demonstrated more knowledge about Venezuela than you have, you bleating socialist halfwit. I have zero interest in jumping through random diversionary hoops you raise. You can't even articulate a point.

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You know nothing except propaganda you read on Breitbart.

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You literally can't absorb information put right in front of you here. Not only are you ignorant of Venezuela, you're ignorant of America as the exchange below evidences.

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Do you understand petrodollars and how they work? Do you know anything about the policy change that Maduro advocated which was similar to Libya's Khaddafi and Iraq's Hussein? Can you give the classic definition of hyperinflation and what would cause it? Do you know anything about the investors who supported regime change n Venezuela? BTW, Trump said he wouldn't pursue this so he's a liar - once again. Do you know anything about Chavez' policies and what happened in Venezuela prior to and after those policies?

Like I said, I'm prepared to discuss Venezuela. You obviously know nothing about Venezuela except for a sound bite you heard on Fox that you mindlessly repeat.

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Do you understand petrodollars and how they work?

Almost infinitely more than you do. Mindlessly tossing out vague questions instead of making any actual points isn't an effective debate strategy this far into an exchange, but I appreciate the thread bumps.

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Your problem is that you mindlessly regurgitate Fox or Breitbart's soundbites like "Socialism wrecked Venezuela's economy." Those propaganda sources assume their audience are idiots so they never explain anything. Most are lies anyway but they know their audience lacks critical thinking skills and won't research or fact check anything.

Then you come on this site and you repeat the soundbite, "Socialism wrecked Venezuela's economy". When I ask you to back it up with further information, you can't because you only know the soundbite. You haven't done any critical thinking or further research to verify it.

If you want me to explain my position, I will in detail. But, be prepared for a Venezuelan history lesson. I was trying to avoid this since I already discussed this topic elsewhere.

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Actually you've been tossing out random questions while failing to make a point, as if I'm here to jump through meaningless hoops at your whim. You haven't demonstrated any knowledge and you could have saved us both time if you had long ago just skipped to regurgitating whatever socialist propaganda spiel defending Venezuela's regime and blaming the country's implosion on the USA that you were spoonfed by a low rent blog, so I could refute it.

Chavez and Maduro ran the nation into the ground as socialists have invariably done, from Allende's Chile to Mosaddegh's Iran to Castro's Cuba to Mengistu Haile Mariam's Ethiopia to the Soviet Union and North Korea.

Destroying industry through nationalization and redistributive schemes, creating goods shortages, trying to make up for shortfalls with massive money printing, destroying your credit, and repressing opposition tend to do that.

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You're very ignorant about how the U.S. negatively interferes and destabilizes foreign countries by overthrowing its democratically-elected leaders (ex. Romulo Gallegos), introduces sanctions to wreck their economy and if all else fails, goes to war.

I'm no fan of autocrat Maduro, but I know what is happening in Venezuela is much more complicated than your simplistic "socialism" trope.

The U.S. and European allies are trying to force Maduro out by wrecking its economy in order to get their oil fields back in private investors hands.

Of course, American sanctions against buying their oil, selling goods and medicine, and removing oil production equipment will help cripple their economy.

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No, you've swallowed the Venezuelan regime's inane "Blame America!" propaganda line hook and sinker. You're ignorant of economics, history, and how the world works, as we've established elsewhere on this thread and all over this board. Your limited knowledge base and weak critical thinking ability make you a vulnerable mark, easily manipulated by propaganda. Marxists have stayed in business for over a century by lying to gullible people like you. Playing on your weakness.

No, the US didn't overthrow Gallegos. A cadre of Venezuelan officers did in a domestic coup. The US has been falsely blamed for countless coups and actions around the world, especially in Latin America, like the aforementioned Allende's. The US didn't even really oust Iran's Mossadegh as is routinely claimed in over simplified soundbites (nor is it honest to simply describe the dictatorial Marxist thug as a "democratically elected leader" as outlets usually do), though in that case at least the CIA really did have a program that was trying to help push him out of power.

Gallegos' 1948 ouster isn't why Venezuela, prosperous before Chavez took over, has imploded since. Nor do the limited US sanctions come close to accounting for 50 million% inflation, goods shortages, or 3 million refugees fleeing. That's about domestic policy.

If you were properly educated and had sound perspective you could see through the simplistic and wrong "the US is behind it all!" diversionary conspiracy theory BS. Few take that garbage seriously outside of hardcore anti-American/Marxist circles. Despite the oppressive regime firmly controlling the media, even most Venezuelans don't seem to buy it. If it wasn't for the Russian/Cuban military presence and financial support backing the regime (real foreign intervention), it would have already collapsed.





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You've been brainwashed. Next you'll say that Bush didn't lie about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" to control their oil.

It's not a coincidence that there was regime change in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, and an attempt in Venezuela.

Everyone is forced to buy oil in U.S. dollars aka petrodollars. The dollar's value is tied to oil. Originally, this deal was perfect for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Our dollar retains value and the Saudis get arms and protection from us.

Other oil rich countries weren't happy and wanted to move away from the petrodollar. When Hussein mentioned euros instead of petrodollars he was removed. Khadafi wanted to introduce a gold-backed African currency. France controls Africa financially with the CFA franc. Notice how it was the French who were mainly involved in Khadafi's overthrow.

Iran's Mosaddegh nationalized the oil and he was overthrown with the Brits and CIA help.

Venezuela kicked out Conico, Exxon and Total to nationalize the oil. Some profits went to the people instead of a few foreign rich men. Poverty was down 20% and literacy and lifespan up. They repaid debts 5 years ahead of schedule. Venezuela wanted the euro instead of petrodollars. Sanctions started. Withholding food and medicine isn't a little sanction". One cannot refine oil without the refinery equipment which was removed making the oil useless.

BTW, the price of oil dropped at one point and that also hurt Venezuela. I'm sure there was some mismanagement too. But there is an obvious attempt at regime change by Americans and Europeans with investors waiting in the wings.

It's always about money. Only money. Notice how the U.S. left our allies the Kurds and is instead defending oil fields. Are you in denial about that too?

Only thing we agree is Putin's support of Venezuela. Putin is making allies all over the world while the U.S. is destroying its alliances. Not good for the U.S..

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No, you've been brainwashed. If the US invaded to "control" Iraq's oil then we probably would have taken control of Iraq's oil. We haven't. We also probably wouldn't have put sanctions on Iraq that restricted their ability to sell oil for years. Seriously, you repeat the oldest, dumbest, long debunked anti-American propaganda talking points. Since you failed to develop any points, and space here is limited, I'll respond appropriately.

Hussein was removed because the status quo was collapsing, his forces were shooting at US forces on a regular basis and openly funding anti-Israeli terrorism, every major world intelligence agency and his own generals believed he had large WMD stockpiles, and his nation had become a terrorist stew.

Mosaddegh was overthrown by the Iranian people because he ran his country into the ground as Marxist thugs tend to do. The Brits may have been concerned about the oil, but the US helped because it was concerned about communism.

Chavez and Maduro ran Venezuela into the ground by destroying business in the country, as socialism tends to do. US sanctions don't have the power to do what you claim, especially the fairly limited ones used there.

I'm sure there was some mismanagement too.

LOL! Ya think? That's big of you to admit.
Notice how the U.S. left our allies the Kurds and is instead defending oil fields.

Those fields are a strategic asset and they're denying them to terrorists. The US isn't stealing the oil. And we didn't "leave" the Kurds until after we spent blood and treasure saving them for no payment or oil in return.
Putin is making allies all over the world while the U.S. is destroying its alliances. Not good for the U.S.

That describes Obama's foreign policy. Trump has been much better for US allies. Even the Kurds are better off than when he took office. Of course you hate the US anyway, which is the real reason you despise Trump.



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Let me guess? Breitbart?

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LOL! No, a lifetime of paying attention and analyzing the world with a critical eye. You shouldn't pull all your "thoughts" from a blog.

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Hey Keelai!!!

Is ANTIFA Russian propaganda?

And if they are NOT, do you denounce ANTIFA?

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Anti-ANTIFA is alt-right propaganda. I denounce alt-right propaganda.

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Hogwash. Here's a small sample of the countless Antifa crimes caught on video and none of this has anything to do with the "alt right".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q6W4nbVmiM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzXvRx_uzaQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnXcupWXaAc

After an Antifa member was killed recently while attacking an ICE facility with a rifle and firebombs, the Seattle Antifa group put out an ominous statement calling him a "martyr" and closing their eulogy with, "May his death serve as a call to protest and direct action."

https://www.theblaze.com/news/antifa-praises-man-who-firebombed-tacoma-ice-facility

Antifa is a radical group founded by the German communist party that openly calls for "revolution" against the United States in its rhetoric.

That you support them, Keelai, says all anyone needs to know about you.

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antifa:
a political protest movement comprising autonomous groups affiliated by their militant opposition to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology.

Why do you support fascism and other forms of right-wing ideology?

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LOL. Your definition is incorrect as I just proved with direct video evidence of them brutally attacking innocent, peaceful people who are the opposite of fascists. Here's some actual historical information in a piece that includes quotes from longtime major Antifa leader and historian Bernd Langer.

"The organization was initially part of the Soviet Union’s front operations to bring about communist dictatorship in Germany, and it worked to label all rival parties as “fascist.”..

The KPD
(German communist party) decided to use the banner of anti-fascism to form a movement. Langer notes, though, that to the KPD, the ideas of “fascism” and “anti-fascism” were “undifferentiated,” and the term “fascism” served merely as rhetoric meant to support their aggressive opposition....

The 2016 annual report by Germany’s domestic intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), notes the same point: From the viewpoint of the “left-wing extremist,” the label of “fascism” as pushed by Antifa often does not refer to actual fascism, but is merely a label assigned to “capitalism.”...

Langer notes that historically, by labeling the anti-capitalist interests of the communist movement as “anti-fascism,” the KPD was able to use this rhetoric to label all other political parties as fascist. Langer states, “According to this, the other parties opposed to the KPD were fascist, especially the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany].”

Thus, in what would today be considered ironic, the group that the communist “anti-fascists” most heavily targeted under their new label of “fascism” was the social democrats.

On Aug. 23, 1923, the Politburo of the Communist Party of Russia held a secret meeting, and according to Langer, “all the important officials spoke out for an armed insurrection in Germany.”

The KPD was at the front of this call, launching a movement under the banner of United Front Action and branding its armed “anti-fascist” wing under the name Antifaschistische Aktion (“Antifascist Action”), which Antifa still carries in Germany, and from which the Antifa organizations in other countries are rooted….


Leaders of the KPD, with Antifa as their on-the-ground movement for violence and intimidation of rival political parties, fell under the command of the Soviet apparatus. Many KPD leaders would later become leaders in the communist German Democratic Republic, including of its infamous Ministry for State Security, the Stasi.

As Langer states, “anti-fascism is a strategy rather than an ideology.”

“It was brought into play in Germany in the 1920s by the KPD”, not as a legitimate movement against the fascism that would later arise in Germany, but instead “as an anti-capitalist concept of struggle,”
he writes.
"

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-communist-origins-of-the-antifa-extremist-group_2282816.html

As a libertarian I oppose both fascism and communism. Why do you support communist totalitarianism?

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Alt-Right propaganda.

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Langer is literally a high profile Antifa member who's served multiple jail stints for his cause, nor is any of the other information presented, including the quotes from the German government, "alt right propaganda". You're either a terrible troll or a drooling moron.

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Alt-Right propaganda. Still.

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LOL, maybe you're both.

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"Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money."


--Margaret Thatcher

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Chicago is a great place to live says Obama. Meanwhile B and M currently reside in a gated community in Marthas Vineyard.

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Bernie says our country is run by rich, corrupt people, and yet, despite his claim to being a socialist, he has not one, but two mansions and a private jet. Isn't that a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

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Bernie's houses aren't mansions and he has no private jet. But who needs the truth when fiction feels so much better, right?

Also, he describes himself as a democratic socialist which includes capitalism. But again... fantasy over reality is the Trumper way.

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He's a millionaire with three houses, at least two of which were bought for over half a million dollars each (he spent a lot of money upgrading and expanding the third), and he's spent a lot of money flying on private jets.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-socialist-bernie-sanders-has-3-houses-makes-millions

"Sanders has been impatient to the point of churlish when pressed about this. “I wrote a best-selling book,” he told the New York Times after he releasing the last 10 years of his tax returns. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.” Asked on Fox News if this sort of success was “the definition of capitalism,” he bristled. “You know, I have a college degree,” he said."

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/24/bernie-sanders-millionaires-226982

"Ex-Clinton staffers slam Sanders over private jet flights
The Vermont senator’s 2016 travel as a Clinton surrogate became ‘a running joke in the office.’..

Sanders’ flights — usually on a Gulfstream plane — cost the Clinton-Kaine campaign at least $100,000 in total, according to three people familiar with the cost of the air travel.

“We would try to fight it as much as possible because of cost and availability of planes, but they would request [a jet] every time,” one of those sources said. “We would always try to push for commercial. ... At the campaign, you’re constantly trying to save like 25 cents.”...

In the two years following the presidential election, Sanders continued his frequent private jet travel, spending at least $342,000 on the flights."


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/17/joe-biden-spent-more-on-private-jets-in-3q-than-2020-democratic-rivals.html

He's a hypocrite both for the global warming stuff and because he's spent his career attacking rich people and "wealth inequality". Now he gets defensive as the quotes show and insists he's earned his wealth, but he fails to recognize that other people have earned their wealth too.

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You don't appear to understand the issue with wealth inequality. The problem isn't that there are rich people. The problem is that there are fewer opportunities for common folks to get good-paying jobs that gave them a middle-class lifestyle. Too many people are struggling financially and living paycheck to paycheck with no savings. It causes problems like political instability, crime, hopelessness, depression and suicides, etc.

There are reasons why this has happened. Manufacturing jobs used to provide good salaries and benefits, but most manufacturing jobs were lost.

Also, Reagan's huge tax cuts for the rich allowed them to keep more income and the common folks kept less. Bush and Trump continued the tax cuts for the rich. Now middle-income people pay more in taxes than billionaires which mean more struggling.

Senators need two residences. One in Washington and one in their home state. $2.5 million isn't really a lot esp. if you count real estate. It's from real estate, investments, government pensions and earnings from three books. I'm surprised he has so little money at his age.

He needs to fly in order to campaign. What does it matter if he uses a commercial jet or a private jet? Same difference.

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What a load of rationalizing, self-contradicting garbage that shows you don't understand the first thing about economics.

You don't appear to understand the issue with wealth inequality. The problem isn't that there are rich people. The problem is that there are fewer opportunities for common folks to get good-paying jobs that gave them a middle-class lifestyle....$2.5 million isn't really a lot esp. if you count real estate. It's from real estate, investments, government pensions and earnings from three books. I'm surprised he has so little money at his age.

LOL! Sander built his career railing against "millionaires". There is no "wealth equality" if millionaires exist. Most of the population will never be close to that level regardless of what system you have, especially if it's socialism, which destroys wealth. What makes his hypocrisy even worse is that he got rich almost entirely through a political career. From the Politico article above:

"Sanders also used his meager means to buttress his political aims, wielding it almost as a kind of authenticator for the crux of his lodestar view of the haves and have-nots. He lambasted “a United States Congress composed of millionaires.” He said again and again that it wasn’t right that their elected representatives appeared in his estimation to disproportionately serve “the interests of corporations and big business—their fellow millionaires.”...

“He became the very thing he criticized others for becoming and at the same time didn’t fix any of the problems he’s been railing about that got him to this point,” Boston-based Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh told me.

“He almost at times sounds like he thinks it’s inherently evil to be well-off,” veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum said in an interview."

Now he defensively says things like “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too” and “You know, I have a college degree,” that show how out of touch he is. That’s almost “Let them eat cake”ish; not like the real Marie Antoinette, but the propaganda caricature of her.
He needs to fly in order to campaign. What does it matter if he uses a commercial jet or a private jet? Same difference.

Wow. So much for that global warming crap, I guess. As I cited above, even other Democrats were grumbling about his excessive private jet use and trying to persuade him to fly commercial more often to no avail.
The problem is that there are fewer opportunities for common folks to get good-paying jobs that gave them a middle-class lifestyle. Too many people are struggling financially and living paycheck to paycheck with no savings. It causes problems like political instability, crime, hopelessness, depression and suicides, etc.

There are a lot more of those job opportunities in America than in socialist countries, which is why the USA is the world’s #1 desired immigration destination by far. There are also more opportunities to become rich in America like Bernie Sanders did. He ironically lived the American Dream he seeks to deny others.
Also, Reagan's huge tax cuts for the rich allowed them to keep more income and the common folks kept less. Bush and Trump continued the tax cuts for the rich. Now middle-income people pay more in taxes than billionaires which mean more struggling.

That’s insanely wrong and makes no logical sense. First, middle class people don’t pay anywhere near the tax rate that high income people do. US taxation is so progressive that the top 10% of earners pay most federal income taxes, way more than their income share. The bottom 50% of earners pay almost none of the revenue pie. Second, Reagan and Trump both cut taxes across the board. Reagan even ended inflationary bracket creep that had been acting as an automatic tax hike for middle class families for years, tying the tax brackets to inflation for the first time. Both presidents’ policies, especially Reagan’s, facilitated strong economic growth. The 1980s Reagan boom featured explosive GDP growth hitting 8% and over a million net jobs created in one month alone in September 1983. Jobs were created so fast those years that the high unemployment rate he inherited sank fast despite millions of new people entering the work force. A majority of women became employed for the first in history in the 80s. The US middle class saw a huge improvement in standard of living, including in those well compensated jobs you were talking about.

Socialism doesn’t do that. Freedom does.





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Look up the definition of wealth inequality (not equality). It basically means that the rich are controlling a greater percentage of society's wealth. The top 1% has 90% of U.S. wealth which has created the Second Gilded Age. That leads to anger because everyone else becomes poorer and struggles financially leading to political instability. Similar situation is happening in countries around the world which is why there are mass demonstrations in the street and populist leaders taking advantage of the anger and resentment.

Growing inequality chart
https://2oqz471sa19h3vbwa53m33yj-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/us-wealth-inequality-chart.jpg

There are many reasons for this. Reagan's tax cuts for the rich is one. He bragged about lowering Federal taxes, but states and localities had to raise their taxes since less federal dollars were coming in therefore the middle-class paid the same. He also introduced the sin tax which was more taxes for the middle-class. Quality of life went down because of closings and fewer services. My mother was laid-off and I know children died in my area because of his policies. When he was shot, people in my area cheered because of the harm he did.

Top 1% control 90% of wealth but pay only 37.3% percentage of taxes which means they're not paying their fair share. The rich tax rate went from 90% in the 1950s to 37% now, but they pay much less (even none) since their income isn't from a salary.

There's nothing wrong with making money. Just pay your fair share of taxes and don't exploit your employees.

"There are a lot more of those job opportunities in America than in socialist countries, which is why the USA is the world’s #1 desired immigration destination by far."

Non sequitor. The reality is that many Americans are struggling with debt, housing payments and health costs as well as working two or three low-paying jobs. My coworker is working two full-time jobs. That's insanity!

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I find it odd that conservatives are anti-education and science. Rep. Governors like Scott Walker have defunded schools which destroy opportunities for children to find good-paying jobs.

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Look up the definition of wealth inequality (not equality). It basically means that the rich are controlling a greater percentage of society's wealth. The top 1% has 90% of U.S. wealth which has created the Second Gilded Age.

I said "wealth equality" on purpose which is obvious from the context of my sentence, even the first "Gilded Age" was a propagandistic misnomer, and it's getting old to be repeatedly told I somehow don't "understand" this or need to "look up" that by someone with a double digit IQ who clearly has no grasp of any of these issues. Just make your damn argument if you can find one.
That leads to anger because everyone else becomes poorer and struggles financially leading to political instability. Similar situation is happening in countries around the world which is why there are mass demonstrations in the street and populist leaders taking advantage of the anger and resentment.

Hogwash. Economics isn't a zero sum game. Just because some become rich doesn't mean others become poorer. In fact in free countries it tends to be the opposite. Usually economic booms see an increase in inequality. As long as all segments are going up that's a good thing. Sometimes you also see growing inequality in economic downturns though.

Your chart compares 1998, the height of a boom, to 2013, the middle of the Obama stagnation. Inequality increased under Obama for the wrong reasons, because his fed artificially propped up the stock market (causing the top 1%'s wealth to surge) while his leftist policies hurt overall economic growth and depressed median income.

Populist unrest is due to a combination of factors, but mostly excessive immigration and globalization, not economic inequality per se. People like living in countries with distinct cultures and identities.

They see an out of touch ruling establishment class that decided to radically change the world without asking them and that disregards their interests. While economic unrest plays a part, because the middle class feels squeezed, they’ve also seen the failures of socialism, which is why right leaning populism has more traction than left leaning populism.

That’s especially true in countries like the US and UK, where modern leftists have also taken to catering to boutique fringe PC interests like gay/transgendered stuff or “climate change” while routinely attacking the bulk of regular people in the heart of the middle class as “racist” when they’re not and making their day to day lives worse with their policies. They’re sick of it. Trump won where Bernie lost, and Brits moved to the right of the Conservative Party on some issues like Brexit, leaving the Labour Party a shrinking afterthought.
There are many reasons for this. Reagan's tax cuts for the rich is one. He bragged about lowering Federal taxes, but states and localities had to raise their taxes since less federal dollars were coming in therefore the middle-class paid the same.

False. Overall taxation declined under Reagan, and state/local taxes varied widely as they do now, with many states (like Texas) not even having an income tax. The middle class improved mightily under Reagan.
I know children died in my area because of his policies. When he was shot, people in my area cheered because of the harm he did.

Reagan was shot in 1981 and his economic policies hadn’t even had time to have much effect. Complete BS on the children dying because of his policies lie. If people in your neighborhood really did cheer him being shot, that’s disgusting and says far more about them than Reagan.

Fortunately almost everyone else in the country disagreed, since Reagan won the biggest landslide in modern history in his 1984 reelection, taking 49 states and almost winning his opponent’s home state of Minnesota.

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Top 1% control 90% of wealth but pay only 37.3% percentage of taxes which means they're not paying their fair share. The rich tax rate went from 90% in the 1950s to 37% now, but they pay much less (even none) since their income isn't from a salary.

Category error. You’re equating wealth with income, not the same thing. We don’t have a “wealth tax” in this country. We tax things like income.

2016, IRS

Top 1%
Share of Adjusted Gross Income – 19.72%
Share of Federal Income Taxes – 37.32%

Top 10%
Share of Adjusted Gross Income – 46.56%
Share of Federal Income Taxes – 69.47%

Bottom 50%
Share of Adjusted Gross Income – 11.59%
Share of Federal Income Taxes – 3.04%

https://files.taxfoundation.org/20181113134559/Summary-of-the-Latest-Federal-Income-Tax-Data-2018-Update-FF-622.pdf

Inequality isn’t caused by the US tax structure, which is among the most progressive in the developed world with the top 10% paying 70% of the federal income tax burden. Unless you argue that the inefficiency caused by that progressive structure has hurt the economy which hurts low income people the most. A truly fair tax system would be flat, with everyone charged the same rate. Fortunately the US tax burden is light enough compared to other countries’ that it mitigates the damage of its progressive nature.

And virtually no one paid the 90% rate in the 1950s because it only applied to a tiny percentage and there were so many deductions even most of them could avoid it. But with the aforementioned bracket creep it was imposing a heavy burden on the economy by the early 1960s because it punished and disincentivized success, so JFK enacted proto-supply side tax cuts, taking the top marginal rate down to 70%, defending the cuts against liberal critics with his “a rising tide floats all boats” speech, and the economy boomed that decade. But the TMR was still high and becoming an increasing drag on the economy by the late 1970s, contributing to Carter era “malaise”. Because of that, exploding regulatory burdens, and bad Keynesian monetary policy, America was becoming stifled and felt less free. Reagan changed that and saved the US economy.

Nobody should have to pay 90%(!) of what they earn to the government. That’s unfair and un-American.
"There are a lot more of those job opportunities in America than in socialist countries, which is why the USA is the world’s #1 desired immigration destination by far."

Non sequitor.

No it’s not. Greater American freedom and opportunity is why people flee more socialist countries to get there. The US has problems, but they aren't going to be solved by ignoring global and historical empirical evidence and making things worse.
The reality is that many Americans are struggling with debt, housing payments and health costs as well as working two or three low-paying jobs. My coworker is working two full-time jobs.

Explain how crippling the economy by taxing employers more will improve rather than worsen your alleged friend's life. Right now, for the first time on record, there are more job openings than Americans looking for employment. It’s a worker’s market. Wages are growing faster than they have in over a decade.
I find it odd that conservatives are anti-education and science. Rep. Governors like Scott Walker have defunded schools which destroy opportunities for children to find good-paying jobs.

More hogwash. Liberals are “anti-science” if either side is. They reject biological gender realities, they’re often Luddites fearful of technology who oppose things like fracking and nuclear power, some openly want to rollback or end human civilization to appease their earth worship cult, and they’re far less supportive of the space program than conservatives are, as we’ve even seen on this board.

The left is also anti-education in that leftists have wrecked the education system. They viewed it as a weapon they could use to brainwash children so they seized control of it from the moderates and conservatives who mostly ran it back when it worked. While many private schools are high quality, K-12 government schools rank low among developed nations in part because of the corrupt stranglehold the teachers’ unions have, and their power to block needed reforms. Walker defeated those unions in part to help improve education quality. Schools should exist for the sake of students, not teachers. And we've seen what a sad scam the university system has become, from snowflakes to entrenching identity politics (including racial bigotry) to spiraling tuition due to government involvement. It's about ideological indoctrination now more than true education.




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