In an ongoing discussion I've had with Mr Anthony, I used Venezuela as concrete examples of nationalisation of international companies, and reducing the working week without impacting production or pay.
5. I wonder about your Venezuela example. It is true they nationalized the petrolium industry. But Citgo functions worldwide. And even though it makes up 80% of the governments revenue has it really changed the country.
I was actually referring to Venezuela taking majority ownership of Chevron, Exxon Mobil and BP property within Venezuela.
but when you read their statistics you are left lacking:
Infant Mortality 21.54 to every 1000. Child malnutrition is 17%. In the Amacuro Delta it is 30%. 32% without addequet sanitation. 5,000,000 without drinking water. 37% poverty rate. It ranks poorest of all South American Nations. (And its Socialist). The list goes on and on.
Well let's clarify the socialist thing first Venezuela is not a socialist country, the vast majority of the economy is a market, with capitalists, capitalism and the usual. Some members of the Venezuelan government are socialists, and have been carrying out fairly progressive reforms and social-programmes to aid the people of Venezuela. The capitalists are however the ruling class in Venezuela and still own the vast majority of productive property and the wealth in the society. I would only begin to consider calling it a socialist country when the working class have taken political power, when capitalist property has become the public property under the control of the workers and when the revolution is spreading across the globe. I think most people would agree with that definition.
Well let's get onto the statistics. Statistics are good, I like statistics, but on their own they don't really tell you a lot.
"Infant Mortality 21.54 to every 1000".
"37% poverty rate".
"Child malnutrition is 17%".
Well two of those are actually true. I dispute the last one and have data that contradicts it. I can't find sources for Anthony's remaining figures.
OK so infant (defined as under 5) mortality sure that's bad. So let's now bring in more statistics so we can actually compare it to something.
The current government in Venezuela was elected into power in 1998. So perhaps comparing before and after figures would be a good way to judge if things have improved or not, figures from UNICEF.
Under-5 mortality rate in 1990: 33 per 1000.
Under-5 mortality rate in 2005: 21 per 1000.
So under the present government we've likely seen most of the 33% improvement.
Let's compare that to some of Venezuela's neighbouring countries, countries that do not have governments implementing such progressive social-programmes.
Mexico under-5 mortality rate in 2005: 27 per 1000.
Brazil under-5 mortality rate in 2005: 31 per 1000.
Guyana under-5 mortality rate in 2005: 63 per 1000.
Venezuela, thanks to its social-programmes is leading the way.
Anthony's 37% poverty refers to the number of households in poverty. So let's compare these figures with some pre-Chavez figures from UNICEF.
Households in poverty, first half of 1997: 55.6%.
Households in poverty, second half of 2005: 37.9%.
Under the Chavez government things have improved again about a third.
The figures I've found for child malnutrition are quite different than those Anthony provided, I can't find any figures over a period of several years so instead I'll compare Venezuela with the Latin American average. Figures from the INE.
Child malnutrition: 4.7% (of which 0.7% is severe).
Latin American average: 8% (of which 1% is severe).
Again Venezuela is above average.
So the figures that are thrown out there by the imperialists to try and discredit the Venezuelan government and its social-programmes, to assist them in their quest to overthrow the government and its social-programmes so they can increase "profitability", are nonsense. When you compare the figures to Venezuela's neighbouring countries, and to Venezuela before the current government came to power things have quite dramatically improved for the people of Venezuela.
Statistics in a vacuum are fairly useless, without having a point of reference; something to compare them against you can't make any judgements.
Thank you Anthony for putting these numbers out there to help me prove my point that capitalism doesn't work, and the market doesn't solve anybody's problems, only social-programmes, like a higher minimum wage, free health care stand a chance, and only the socialist revolution can secure those gains.