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Thread: The modern world.

  1. #1 The modern world. 
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    It always annoys me when people say something along the lines of "That shouldn't be happening now, we live in the 21st century" I have always thought we are overestimating ourselves, that our modern world and global economy was part fact, part illusion. During the cold war many western studies massively overrated the Russian economy, the C.I.A just before communist Russia's collapse, predicted that it's GDP (gross national product) was 50% of the USA's after the collapse when the analysts were able to get all the information they needed, it showed that Russia's real GDP was actually 5% compared to the U.S.

    What I'm getting at is, do you think (like me) that we are deluding ourselves, much of the world lives in poverty, while at the same time we are thinking about utopias in the future like on star trek. In the past are economy's have been mostly self sufficient, today we are becoming more and more dependant on other nations for certain industry's, Asia and particularly China produces much of the worlds goods, high-tec industries are mostly based in western Europe and north America, oil and gas, Russia and the middle east, etc.

    Don't get me wrong i love living as i do now, two days off a week, a holiday every year and i can still live very comfortably. Everything i want i have, i wouldn't want to live in any other time in history. But it's not like that for most of the world. One major catastrophe in almost any region in the world could see the world economy collapse, throwing us (the more privileged parts of the world) back into the dark ages, maybe it would not even need that to happen, perhaps all it would need is for a truly global "great depression". What do you think ?


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    It's hard to say what will happen. Maybe later generations will look back on our time as the last frenzy of consumerism, the decadent end of the oil hype.

    I'm not a pessimist, but I do think people (at least in the richer part of the world) have become too comfortable and satisfied, while it's unclear if people in 50 or 100 years from now will be able to live as luxureous as we do. We've become used to economic growth (less than 2% annual growth allready worries us), but who says it can go on forever? Much of our economic growth has come from population growth / immigration, the rising share of potential female workers getting active on the labour market and the still plentiful availability of depletable resources. Each of these factors will come to an end some day.


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    well, put simply i couldn't be more optimistic on the future of mankind, particularly around the world. each generation will live better then the past and 100 years or two hundred year, most all people on the planet will have tripled at minimum what is now. the ones with the least now, many times that.

    the GDP of a nation, is only a general overview of activity. during the cold war, these figures were primarily estimates, even in the US. the USSR was then a combined group of economies, which had lost the will to compete for this union form of government. GDP or value of the nations goods and services will go down with lost will, but doubt national pride would. your getting into socialism verses capitalism, which has a track record long before that cold war.

    if this goes to the issues of socialism/capitalism, world trade/isolationism,
    government mandate/responsibility, you will answer your own questions.
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    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    your getting into socialism verses capitalism,
    What ?!?

    What I'm trying to get into is ......

    1) Are we overestimating our current economic system. The reason (i think) that the estimates of Russia's GDP were so over the top, was because her reputation (unintentionally) was also taken into account. Is it not possible that the people that advise governments and international organisations today maybe making the same mistakes.

    2) It looks like (by the end of this century) most country's will have adopted our western economic system. Is there not a danger in having all our eggs in one basket.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    your getting into socialism verses capitalism,
    What ?!?

    What I'm trying to get into is ......

    1) Are we overestimating our current economic system. The reason (i think) that the estimates of Russia's GDP were so over the top, was because her reputation (unintentionally) was also taken into account. Is it not possible that the people that advise governments and international organizations today maybe making the same mistakes.

    2) It looks like (by the end of this century) most country's will have adopted our western economic system. Is there not a danger in having all our eggs in one basket.
    your talking to an advocate of free enterprise and capitalism. i have only read of the alternatives, which for the most part failed. if this system is the best, which i feel it is, how could it be wrong for all to participate. in the US we do not all participate at 100 % and doubt every nation or certainly not all the individuals will do so. but the benefits of these principles will filter down to every one.

    i do agree, if government takes on an agenda, contrary to the original intent, mis represents the figures for this goal or tries to cook or over do the equality things, taking from motivation, you have a problem. but then its no longer free market and capitalism. this is exactly what happened in the USSR and may be happening in Russia today...
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Cat got a lot of optimism and faith in the capitalistic system. Somehow I don't think he is re-assured!

    I certainly am not re-assured. Perhaps he is worried that religious leaders in the US, Israel and Islam are driving such a wedge between our divided world that it is already proving that "democracy" leads only to American hedonism, drug war lords in Afghanistan and civil war in Iraq. In other words, the only thing holding the global economy together, faith in our democratic secular system, is been trashed right before our eyes, and people don't even realize it.

    Also, there is all this faith that we can continue indefinity mass propagating ourselves without crowding our environment and finally paying for it, as we have already been doing. It seems ok to run out of oil, but not people!

    But we are told we can rely upon science and the capitalistic system to keep bailing us out. How do we rely on science if people go back to the old religions? How can capitalism save us if the people who run it want more customers and, hence, more people and who balk at environmental solutions because they impact the quartlery profit statements?


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    i guess we can blame motherhood on GW, but at some point your going to hit a limit to its effects.

    yes, religion is a factor, needing to be dealt with. actually in the US, its tolerance for cultural or traditional practices and in most Muslim nations it tolerance of any kind. some even require forms or sects of Muslims. when three interpretations of the same basic religions cannot cope, others not permitted to exist then how can there be free anything else. it would seem some basic human elements should be imposed on all religions, but this is a long ways off...

    science of many fields, have given abilities to do what we can. if needed we can produce quantities of food (meat or vegetables) to near any degree we want. harvest of field today are ten times per acre what they were 50 years ago and we can feed a a million chickens turkeys or pigs in spaces a thousand time less than 50 years ago. we don't worry about top soil and if wanted could produce material to grow anything. we get oil from places unimaginable by our ancestors and if need be can produce synthetic anything. your car probably runs on this oil now. science will be there and the driving force, those profits and quarterly reports will drive it. your not going to get up, go to work or even follow all the rules w/o motivation. take this away from capitalist and fund all this with desire will not get your job or the capitalist motives accomplished.

    by the way some of my investments are in Solar energy. also some in Nanotech and other currently non-productive operation. they make no money, do report losses quarterly but offer a future for which you TALK about...
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    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    I too am a believer in the capitalist system (not neo-capitalism) although was brought up in a pro-communist house hold, it's just the more i look at how it works the more i see that it needs to to be ever expanding, this is obviously not possible and its that, that worries me. Your right though at the moment there is no alternative and the benefits for the countries adopting this system will be huge.

    by the way some of my investments are in Solar energy
    Nice to know your doing your bit.

    I also agree with this....
    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    How can capitalism save us if the people who run it want more customers and, hence, more people and who balk at environmental solutions because they impact the quartlery profit statements?
    Thank you all for your replies, i guess i need to try and dig a bit deeper and try and find an alternative.
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  10. #9  
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    Well, pure capitalism is just as insane as pure communism. We're not as extreme in our capitalism as the Soviets were in their communism. You just have to give government the roles government is suited for, and private industry the roles private industry is suited for.




    As far as the estimates that Russia's GDP was 50% of ours in the cold war. You must understand, the Soviets spared no effort to make themselves look better than they were. If you went off their numbers, they probably claimed they were producing 300% what we were.
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    government intervention is the enemy of capitalism. Taiwan is the purest form of this in the world. i am not up on the current conditions, but last i heard the total involvement was a 25.00 permit to go into business. everything else was driven by supply/demand and the desire of the human spirit for success. the results are well worth some time in reading up on what this tiny nation had accomplished during a reasonably small time and very poor world location. IMO, their results had a great influence on why, China has done an about face on accepting at least the principles of controlled capitalism...
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    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Well, pure capitalism is just as insane as pure communism. We're not as extreme in our capitalism as the Soviets were in their communism. You just have to give government the roles government is suited for, and private industry the roles private industry is suited for.
    I agree, and if we did live in a neo-capitalism society i doubt that many of us here would have had an education good enough to allow us time, money and the ability to talk here.

    As far as the estimates that Russia's GDP was 50% of ours in the cold war. You must understand, the Soviets spared no effort to make themselves look better than they were. If you went off their numbers, they probably claimed they were producing 300% what we were.
    I understand that, but it was the CIA who made that guess, it was their job to look beyond all the propaganda. My point was that the people who are looking at our economy's and making the choices at the moment are all on £100,000 + with a very nice house, car etc etc, you cant tell me that they are not looking at the current system with rose tinted glasses.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    government intervention is the enemy of capitalism. Taiwan is the purest form of this in the world. i am not up on the current conditions, but last i heard the total involvement was a 25.00 permit to go into business. everything else was driven by supply/demand and the desire of the human spirit for success. the results are well worth some time in reading up on what this tiny nation had accomplished during a reasonably small time and very poor world location. IMO, their results had a great influence on why, China has done an about face on accepting at least the principles of controlled capitalism...
    Small island nations tend to be different than the rest. They primarily sell their production to foriegn markets, and can so easily import and export that they don't need to worry about overproducing or underproducing anything.

    So, yeah. They don't need regulation the same as a country like the USA does, where it actually matters whether your workers can afford to buy the things they're making.

    The combination of easy shipping/access, and the unregulated markets makes it easy to convince international corporations to set up shop, which pours capital into the region, but if every country was unregulated this wouldn't happen for everyone. They're not creating that capital, just attracting it.
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    i do understand what you say, but do disagree...

    government mandates have added cost to to the services or products produced by any business enterprise. supply/demand/public opinion do more to determine the direction of a business than any mandated program.

    in the US, we have hundred of regulations giving limits or demands on industry in nearly every department of any company, who hires 20-50 or 100 people or more. if it were not for our extreme productivity rating we could not compete with those companies with less than 100 employees, much less overseas competition.

    since you mention wage laws, i might suggest there is no industry paying minimum wages in the US. this is pure a political tool you can find. crop pickers in California pay on average 11-12.00 per hour, Wal Mart w/o benefits including part timers pays about 12.-13.00 per hour and even MacDonald's pays over 8.00 per hour for entry level part time workers.

    the real problems come from social issue mandates and requirements for terminations. every median size company has on staff attorneys to deal with these issues solely. its not so much the idea of the mandates as the reality of those available to fill or allow conformance to them. many companies hire folks with pay and benefits, to meet these requirements, but the workers are either given lessor duties or frankly just fill space.
    most companies outsource menial labor for just this reason. they hire
    other companies to clean, restock, even warehousing and distribution of there products. others have part made overseas or even locally again just to keep pace with mandates. all of these duties were until mandates performed by themselves, in some cases at much reduced cost.

    with regards to cooperate responsibility; there is none due and people have the choice NOT to work for anybody for whatever reason, just as the company should have the same right. here however is where image or public opinion plays a role. again many companies will hire folks knowing they are feeding someones future unemployment checks, as much of that 4.3% unemployed have made the system a virtual profession.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson33
    government mandates have added cost to to the services or products produced by any business enterprise. supply/demand/public opinion do more to determine the direction of a business than any mandated program.
    I have to agree that it can be overdone, and the governmental process inherently allows a certain amount of corruption/pork barrel/greasing of the wheels.

    with regards to cooperate responsibility; there is none due and people have the choice NOT to work for anybody for whatever reason, just as the company should have the same right.
    Really? They have the choice not to work for anybody? Wouldn't that kind of land them on the street?

    This is a question of leverage, by which I mean how much harm one can do to the other, and how much fear is instilled by the threat of terminating an arrangment. A large company is not substantially threatened by the loss of any one employee. The reverse is not true.

    in the US, we have hundred of regulations giving limits or demands on industry in nearly every department of any company, who hires 20-50 or 100 people or more. if it were not for our extreme productivity rating we could not compete with those companies with less than 100 employees, much less overseas competition.
    That's a lot of why we have such a high productivity rating. A business is only going to buy a machine that saves 20 man hours of work a week if 20 man hours of work is enough money to justify that cost. Lower the cost of labour, and you take away the incentive for that labour to be used efficiently.

    Basically, a lot of things look really bad if you only look at one side of the coin. On the other side, there may be things you're not factoring in which kind of ballance or offset the question a little. Both sides have their pro's and con's, which is why it's essential to find ballance.
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    many people do end up in menial jobs or on the streets, for personal convictions. the vast majority however that find working for some one else unpleasant, go into some business for themselves. the choice however is the issue and the reason i oppose mandates. mandates trend to grow with a never ending process to include far more than designed for...leverage should be the employers tool, not the employee.

    competition breeds productivity. Wal Mart, has used the pyramid system well to gain this effect. they own many of there suppliers, there trucking company and the latest replenishment system. all computerized, they have daily sales records, maintain current levels, project sales and trends in each store, ship from 15-20 major warehouses to each of there stores, 2-5 times per week. this process did replace about 100,000 workers which has saved there customers 2-8K dollars per year.

    the trouble with the "coin" capitalism, on the reverse side is socialism. since i do agree, that some standards should be required, i feel very strongly once inserted, that standard be left alone. once the mandate is implemented, which is timely process, only a modification is required to make a simple program a very major problem....our federal welfare system, social security, income tax and equal rights programs, Medicaid/Medicare, just a few of the obvious government blunders.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    I share Cat's concern. I am closely watching the Shanghi stock averages every week. What I see is the same sort of speculative bubble forming that crashed the Japanese and what we endured in 1929. This is going to be something real big when it happens and it should happen before the end of next year.

    Have you all thought of the consequences? Keep in mind that the East Asian Marxist system has no moral system like all the other religions. It is no wonder that the upper crust is so corrupt. They are building a legal system, but that does not build a conscience in people.

    The system favors the factory laborer but most Chinese work on farms and are very poor. They have a long history of rebellion. One such rebellion in the 19th century I think, resulted in a 50% collapse of the population of all of China. Hundreds of cities were torn up. The worst rebellion in human history. The system is not stable.

    So, what happens when the stock market does collapse, probably next year? Of course, the Marxist government would blame it all on us, on themselves adopting capitalistic ways. They would try to turn back and re-collectivize the economy, making things even worse.

    They would also sell vast amounts of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes they have collected, thus collapsing the value of the dollar and leading to hyperinflation here in the U.S. The people here would get up in arms like they do when gasoline prices rise. When prices rise, they don't give a damned about the the theory of capitalism, they want the price controlled. So the politicians will set up a big rationing bureauacray loaded with their friends and it will be expensive, corrupt and prices will rise anyway. It won't even slow them down.

    What do you all say about such a picture?

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    Asian market values are extremely over valued. the worlds investor is placing to much faith in the ability of a forming business to maintain very high annual increases in sales/profits for years to come. on the other hand the potential is undeniable.

    in the US we have many stocks in the same position, for potential growth. Medical, pharma, alternative energy and nanotechnology the worst. most of these companies make no money, never have and may not, but the investor keeps these values high in hopes of that one break through. we also have a very large number of penny stocks, listed under pink sheets of Nasd secondary which are upcoming ventures or failed companies from the major index.

    for a reverse view, look at the 20 year history of non-precious and precious metal, mining and manufactures. many have increases in the thousands of percentage points over short periods and are showing no sign of heading down.

    try to understand what it would take to give the markets another look at 1929, remembering the tech bubble pop of 2000 or the 9-11 effects. neither was lasting nor did the economy go bust.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    I was in Asia when the 1997 stock market and financial crisis occurred. I also remember what happened to the Japanese Stock market when it crashed. The situation I see building up looks to me worse then then. I think the Marxist Chinese regime will react quite differently than we would expect because they have departed from their ideology in order to draw in Western investments and build up the country. When they experience a stock market crash and financial crisis, I think they will blame it on experiencing capitalism and swing out of the global economy. They could crash the value of the dollar as they go by selling a large part of their dollar denominated U.S. debt obligations. That would hurt us and, in turn, what hit us would empact everyone in the Global Economy.

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    while agreeing capitalism, under any socialistic government at best requires caution, the people of China are getting to much a taste for the idea. if the current programs continue for say ten years, turning the clock back would be next to impossible. remember a robust growth in GDP is as bad as a minus growth or recession. China and the Asian markets suffer occasionally today, for this robust increase, not the shrinking.

    China has a good many investments in the US, far out pacing the held debt of the US government. (trade deficit) the hurt would be to individual industry, such as Wal-Mart, the Gaming Industry, Ford, GM, mining and so on who are invested in a future market and yes the investor. however this is true in many places where stability of a government is questionable.
    IMO; the folks that run these companies, the investors are doing so based on evidence and reason which gives an understanding of a future stable government and continued acceptance by both the government and the people.

    Japan, was hit by inflation, which literally stop the public participation or buying. the chain reaction on there yen, corporate values, stocks are still present today, although there Banking interest rates remain near 1-2%.
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  21. #20  
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    I think this looks like an extension of the problem many venture capitalists are having in the USA right now. They've got capital that's going to waste because they can't find anywhere good to invest it.
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    Interest rates dictate, where money flows and this is dictated by inflation.
    in reality, CD's, most bonds and many of the average persons moneys saving are in places where the value will decrease or go sideways. major corporations, have been buying up shares of there own company to increase the value of the remaining. there money setting in banks, even at 5%, is not productive, as that 5% is taxable income usually at 35% and inflation nears 3%, with an end result of a lost 1-2% in value.
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    I think the world would be better off if everyone lived in huts in tree's, and made monkey sounds instead of exact speech. The modern world ain't nothing but trouble. The anxiety and madness people go through are probably the same things a monkey would eventually go through, if we stuck him in an office and starved him if he didn't do everything perfectly. We are these monkey's, and we are supposed to be wild and free, not pent up in some office all day making someone money. True happiness will only come at the fall of civilization.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaya
    True happiness will only come at the fall of civilization.
    If civilisation falls I shall be dead within one year. This will not make me happy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaya
    I think the world would be better off if everyone lived in huts in tree's, and made monkey sounds instead of exact speech. The modern world ain't nothing but trouble. The anxiety and madness people go through are probably the same things a monkey would eventually go through, if we stuck him in an office and starved him if he didn't do everything perfectly. We are these monkey's, and we are supposed to be wild and free, not pent up in some office all day making someone money. True happiness will only come at the fall of civilization.
    If living in the tree was all we needed to make us happy, we'd never have climbed down.
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