Socialism Rules the Planet

Uncle Milton, as typical of his contrary nature, disputes my contention that most nations on Earth are run by social democratic parties or are social democracies.

The US, the Baltics, Colombia, the Philippines, the UK and Chile are exceptions.
May I ask how do you define Social Democracy…? Almost every Latin America country (Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela for example..) has a higher (worse – less egalitarian) Gini index than not only the US and UK but also the Philippines. Nicaragua (43.1) is the exception but is quite close to the PI (44.5).
The UK’s Gini index is better than New Zealand’s and matches Italy while it only a smidgen about Australia and Ireland.
As for the Baltics, Latvia and Estonia are at the same level as Italy.
(By the way I do understand these figures are subject to question..in the examples above I am using the UN’s estimates.. the CIA estimates place the UK at the same level as Switzerland)
I would think that income equality would be a pretty important (but not the solely import…) measure of a Social Democracy.

I said most countries on Earth are run by socialist or populist parties. I only list those countries – The US, the Baltics, the UK, Colombia, Chile, the Philippines and Somalia – that are run by parties that are explicitly hostile to socialism and are open advocates of neoclassical economics. If you can find anymore, let me know. Liberal, socialist, Communist, progressive and populist parties run the planet! Rightwing parties hostile to socialism which promote neoclassical economics are a tiny minority. Socialism rules the Earth!
Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua are run by socialist parties. They have made efforts to reduce the Gini coefficient of course, but their efforts are attacked in the US, and there are usually assassination attempts and coup attempts against them in their countries.
I don’t give a fuck about Gini coefficient. The US’ social democracy is anemic compared to that of the New Zealand and Italy. What matters are the benefits afforded to the people. They are excellent in New Zealand and Italy and anemic in the US. Income distribution ain’t everything. Gini coefficient is not that important in a state that provides no benefits.
The Baltic states are some of the few states on Earth run by conservatives that are openly hostile to all forms of socialism and are open advocates of neoclassical economics.

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11 thoughts on “Socialism Rules the Planet”

      1. That’s got to be bullshit they haven’t had a functioning government since 91 except Somaliland which no one recognises.
        Now it is back in a state of civil war.

        1. Somalia???!!! Really??!! You guys are caricature proof. I think we can all scrape together enough money to get you a ticket to your new homeland!

  1. All these things are evolutionary. The illusions of religion stopped us being savages, the illusions of democracy made us believe we all have an equal say, and the illusions of social democracy make us believe we all deserve an equal life quality. Thank God that we are imaginative enough to believe in illusions.
    We just have to imagine the world we want and it will be so.

  2. To Rob:
    Uncle Milton, as typical of his contrary nature, disputes my contention that most nations on Earth are run by social democratic parties or are social democracies.
    No Rob… I simply asked you to define what you thought a Social Democracy was and I wondered why you thought Brazil was a Social Democracy but the UK, , the US, and the Philippines were not when the latter three have a lower Gini index. The UK most assuredly has Nationalized healthcare and retirement so I have no idea why you would include that country. Certainly the US has public retirement for anyone who contributed to Social Security (which is practically everyone who worked and even people who didn’t…) and socialized medicine for the poor and the elderly. And overall I doubt the social services in any Latin American country match up to the US… of course compare the US to Western Europe and you have a different story.

    1. I didn’t say that.
      I was noting that the world is ruled by socialist parties.
      US and UK and not ruled by socialist parties. They are ruled by rightwing parties or at best mushy liberal parties.
      Brazil is ruled by a socialist party.
      Now if you want to discuss which countries are actual social democracies, you will have a harder time. It’s hard for the Left to put even a modest social democracy in, because when they try, someone murders them or there’s a coup. Usually with US/CIA involvement.
      Cuba’s social services are most surely better than the US. That’s obvious.

  3. To Rob:
    I was noting that the world is ruled by socialist parties. US and UK and not ruled by socialist parties. Brazil is ruled by a socialist party.
    Well the poor are better off in the US and the UK than Brazil.. so that’s my metric same with all the Latin American countries I have been to… as for Cuba .. I have never been there.
    Cuba’s social services are most surely better than the US.
    If true I wonder if that will remain so:
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2019225,00.html
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68D0FG20100914

    1. I would give more credibility to the Reuters story you linked than the Time one – which puts a much more negative spin on the story.
      The Time story claims that what’s to happen to the 500,000 laid off Cuban workers is completely unknown, and that whether existing small businesses will be allowed to hire them is also unknown.
      Checking the Reuters story (which was probably used as a source for the Time one anyway), they’re issuing 250,000 small business licenses + creating 200,000 other jobs, which specifically is stated to include those hired by small businesses (so the question of whether small business is allowed to hire people is already answered).
      Here’s a quote (Reuters) “Peters said the half million workers will not find themselves suddenly on the streets of Cuba because their workplaces will likely be converted gradually into cooperatives driven by private initiative.”
      So, they’re actually privatising entire state-run businesses’ to be worker-owned cooperatives. Cooperative is a dirty-word to the right-wing, hence the ommision from Time of the very Term.
      Another media ommision – the creation of the new Bloc the Union of South America Republics : “UNASUR” never gets mentioned in any private US Media, despite being just about the biggest political development in the Hemisphere in decades (it doesn’t suit US Foreign Policy for Americans to be aware of this organisation)

  4. Robert,
    you may be interested to know that the Chief Editor of The Australian newspaper (or as we on the left call it…”The American”) is a virulent Right Winger whose mother is from one of the Baltic states.
    The Australian (owned by Murdoch) likes to think of itself as the most high-brow newspaper in Australia. But since 2001, and especialy since the election of the ALP (nominally left wing) in 2007, it has lurched to the right (so much for left wing bias in the media).
    Also in the past, it never bothered with Latin America, but now with Leftist’s taking over this region, it has decided to print articles from a right wing Latin. Shameless.

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