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Thread: Having to Deal With Only 1 Superpower

  1. #1 Having to Deal With Only 1 Superpower 
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    It occurred to me on the Nationalism and Illusion of Unity thread, that the status or importance of a third world country during the Cold War vs. the present would probably be radically different.

    During the Cold War, the USA actually had good reason to care what a third world country wanted, because they could potentially shift sides and align with the Communists. On the one hand, that often meant we'd do underhanded things, like installing dictators or otherwise subverting their governments. On the other hand, at least we were taking them seriously as meaningful players in the World.

    Why would we care now whether a country like Vietnam decides to go Communist, or the President of say... Nicaragua gets mad over some kind of an unfair trade arrangement. I mean, I'm sure they can embargo us or something... but it just doesn't seem to carry the same weight. They're all more irrelevant than they used to be.

    So, does that mean that the third world is just going to continue to get worse, because industrialized nations have less and less reason to want to go to the trouble of dealing with them? Or is this an opportunity for them to prosper, while they're not getting tossed around as political gambits? (At least not as much)


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    Ouch, "third world" is such a harsh term. "Developing nation" is the politically correct term.

    Which brings me to my point, you're right. They don't mean as much because they're "developing." Pfft, as if they'll actually improve. But this drives the world's economy; some people have to suffer in order for some to prosper.


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    Developing countries' GDP grows much faster than developed countries. Brazil, for instance, grows at 5.5%. China is close to 10%. Check out this.

    Which means two things: first, there's money to be made! A smart investment in Brazil can get a much higher return than in America or Europe. As long as the developing country remains politically stable and capitalist, the developed world (or at least Wall Street) will pay special attention to developing countries.

    Second, even if you ignore them, they're catching up with us. It's a smart move to make friends while it's cheap to do so. Send over a few billion in foreign aide and you're BFF. Wait a hundred years and it'll be too late.

    It's tempting to think that developed countries are some how "robbing" developing countries of resources and keeping them dependent. Well, they are doing that, but the knife cuts both ways (ie: we're dependent on them, too). That's what trade is after all.

    Basically, if we're keeping them down, we're doing a terrible job of it.
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    We nave a problem right here in our own country (USA) that has created a 3rd world economy for the majority of our workers now.
    Since people are living in the parks now (tent cities), and workers are sacrificing wages and pensions, How many more problems have to happen to sink us to a still lower level?

    Even the corporations are struggling to survive.
    This dollar stuffing addiction is the major problem. Those dollars are piling up in the billionaire accounts and are just sitting there doing nothing,

    So my solution is TAX those STAGNANT DOLLARS that can then create jobs to add stimulous to our economy.

    This is one way to SHARE THE WEALTH so we can get moving again.

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    Once again Cosmo, dollars that the rich have are not stagnant. They're generally invested in businesses to get more money. That investment allows businesses to grow and increase capacity. Which lowers the marginal cost of goods and means that we all get richer.

    Second, while the US is going through a hard economic time, it's a short term trend. Even the most pessimistic forecasts predict a recovering US economy by late 2010. More optimistic estimates predict late 2009. It is not a long term trend.
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  7. #6 Re: Having to Deal With Only 1 Superpower 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It occurred to me on the Nationalism and Illusion of Unity thread, that the status or importance of a third world country during the Cold War vs. the present would probably be radically different.

    During the Cold War, the USA actually had good reason to care what a third world country wanted, because they could potentially shift sides and align with the Communists. On the one hand, that often meant we'd do underhanded things, like installing dictators or otherwise subverting their governments. On the other hand, at least we were taking them seriously as meaningful players in the World.

    Why would we care now whether a country like Vietnam decides to go Communist, or the President of say... Nicaragua gets mad over some kind of an unfair trade arrangement. I mean, I'm sure they can embargo us or something... but it just doesn't seem to carry the same weight. They're all more irrelevant than they used to be.

    So, does that mean that the third world is just going to continue to get worse, because industrialized nations have less and less reason to want to go to the trouble of dealing with them? Or is this an opportunity for them to prosper, while they're not getting tossed around as political gambits? (At least not as much)
    Having to deal with one super power is not our problem today. Although we are at war with Islam, our problem is much greater since Russia is not our friend and China is also not that friendly towards us.
    THe European Union is also at odds with our business(?) tactics.

    So we should quit acting like World Cop and let the United Nations do that.

    The UN should be given this power with every nation contributing a share of money to have them create a standing army of about 100,000 expert volenteer troops to act as a WC with backing by the nations. My opinion.

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    Even the most pessimistic forecasts predict a recovering US economy by late 2010
    You call a "recovery" by 2010 pessimistic?

    Really? What about the collosal deficit and gargantuan debt? The US must borrow billions on a continual basis just to keep afloat. Wall Street was able to pull a racketteering stunt on the world and plunder the US out of trillions in the process, but now people around the world know they are double-dealing crooks. Who will finance the US Imperial expenditures? China, Russia, India, Brazil and others are currently negociating mechanisms for trading without financing the US Imperium through its $ currency and Petro$ racket. A lot of common use goods are now produced abroad, while GM is getting bailout billions its closing factories in the US and opening new ones in India etc, so US tax payers are financing their own pillaging. The Imperium retains its Warmongering death production capacy though, but even if the US went to yet another war to keep the economy rolling by killing even more men, women and children, the standard of living or quality of life would still most likley decline in a fashion that is not unlike the collapse of the USSR.

    Although we are at war with Islam
    There is no War on Terror or War on Islam, its a scam, its Propaganda to justify and deploy an orwellian Police State apparatus designed to monitor the US Population. If the fact that the Anthrax intimidation attack on Congress and the Media being of a US military strain wasnt a clue, Police infiltration of Peace activists and NSA spying on the US public and journalists should be.

    AlQuaeda and Radical Islamists are actually for the most part cannon fodder to use against Russia and China, and as scarecrows to justify the police state at home.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Really? What about the collosal deficit and gargantuan debt? The US must borrow billions on a continual basis just to keep afloat.
    Yes, but what sort of currency are we borrowing? USD. Something we have a monopoly on producing. In the event of catastrophic economic meltdown, we can always just print lots of money to pay all our debts. The USD will become worthless (hyper inflation), of course, and the world economy would probably collapse. But it's always an option.

    Most other countries can't do that, because a lot of their debt is in other currencies (USD mostly, probably some Pounds in there too).

    Wall Street was able to pull a racketteering stunt on the world and plunder the US out of trillions in the process, but now people around the world know they are double-dealing crooks. Who will finance the US Imperial expenditures?
    America is still a huge economy. With a stable political situation in which business thrives. And reasonable GDP growth. Foreign investors view investing in American businesses as a safe bet (which has a good place in any portfolio). Even with our recent economic problems, foreign investors still view the US as a good investment, because other countries are just as bad off.

    China, Russia, India, Brazil and others are currently negociating mechanisms for trading without financing the US Imperium through its $ currency and Petro$ racket.
    Yes, the recent talks on an international currency for trade, right? While such a thing would be great for the rest of the world, I don't think it's happening anytime soon. At the end of the day, you have to decide who gets to produce it. Or if it's a fixed quantity (like gold), then it can't grow and shrink with the world economy and won't function well.

    But it has nothing to do with "financing the US Imperium", and more to do giving other countries (China, Russia in particular) wanting better economic leverage against America. No matter what you do, America is a rich nation with 25% of the world's GDP.

    And as far as empirialistic tendencies, the US military is as strong as the rest of the world put together (or at least military spending is). We could literally take on any country in the world (As Iraq showed, we're great at breaking other countries ). That we've shown the restraint we have, entirely uncommon among all empires in history, is to our credit. Switching to another currency for international trade would in now way make our military any less huge.

    A lot of common use goods are now produced abroad, while GM is getting bailout billions its closing factories in the US and opening new ones in India etc, so US tax payers are financing their own pillaging. The Imperium retains its Warmongering death production capacy though, but even if the US went to yet another war to keep the economy rolling by killing even more men, women and children, the standard of living or quality of life would still most likley decline in a fashion that is not unlike the collapse of the USSR.
    American industry is a minority of our GDP anyway. Post WW2, we began a demographic shift to increasingly high numbers of skilled laborers. The American economy today is like 75% the service economy. We're a nation of managers. The death throes of the car industry just reflect that reality.

    Be careful that you don't allow self righteous indignation to blind you to the rather complex nature of America. We're a nation of idealistic middle managers with illusions of war glory left over from WW2. We don't want to conquer the world. We want to be the lauded heroes of the world. We're sort of GI Joes looking for Cobra, but finding only petty crooks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Developing countries' GDP grows much faster than developed countries. Brazil, for instance, grows at 5.5%. China is close to 10%. Check out this.

    Which means two things: first, there's money to be made! A smart investment in Brazil can get a much higher return than in America or Europe. As long as the developing country remains politically stable and capitalist, the developed world (or at least Wall Street) will pay special attention to developing countries.
    True, but it has to be a very smart investment. When you go to a "developing" country, you're dealing with a less stable system, and usually a more corrupt government, so you have to take precautions against the police showing up one day at your shop and soliciting bribes to leave you alone.

    Plus, most developing nation's currencies are in a constant rate of rapid inflation, so you have to turn your investments into physical property very fast or you'll basically lose the principal you're putting in.


    Second, even if you ignore them, they're catching up with us. It's a smart move to make friends while it's cheap to do so. Send over a few billion in foreign aide and you're BFF. Wait a hundred years and it'll be too late.

    It's tempting to think that developed countries are some how "robbing" developing countries of resources and keeping them dependent. Well, they are doing that, but the knife cuts both ways (ie: we're dependent on them, too). That's what trade is after all.

    Basically, if we're keeping them down, we're doing a terrible job of it.
    Very good points, especially that last one. I love it.


    A lot of common use goods are now produced abroad, while GM is getting bailout billions its closing factories in the US and opening new ones in India etc, so US tax payers are financing their own pillaging. The Imperium retains its Warmongering death production capacy though, but even if the US went to yet another war to keep the economy rolling by killing even more men, women and children, the standard of living or quality of life would still most likley decline in a fashion that is not unlike the collapse of the USSR.
    American industry is a minority of our GDP anyway. Post WW2, we began a demographic shift to increasingly high numbers of skilled laborers. The American economy today is like 75% the service economy. We're a nation of managers. The death throes of the car industry just reflect that reality.

    Be careful that you don't allow self righteous indignation to blind you to the rather complex nature of America. We're a nation of idealistic middle managers with illusions of war glory left over from WW2. We don't want to conquer the world. We want to be the lauded heroes of the world. We're sort of GI Joes looking for Cobra, but finding only petty crooks.
    The trouble with a service driven economy is that goods are the foundation. Most services are just niceties that people could easily forgo if they were worried about their financial position.

    You can't build an economy just by issuing everybody a back scratcher and coordinating them all so that everybody has a back to scratch. Tangible goods have to be involved in that picture somewhere. (However it's fully possible to construct a working economy that has no services in it, except police.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Developing countries' GDP grows much faster than developed countries. Brazil, for instance, grows at 5.5%. China is close to 10%. Check out this.

    Which means two things: first, there's money to be made! A smart investment in Brazil can get a much higher return than in America or Europe. As long as the developing country remains politically stable and capitalist, the developed world (or at least Wall Street) will pay special attention to developing countries.
    True, but it has to be a very smart investment. When you go to a "developing" country, you're dealing with a less stable system, and usually a more corrupt government, so you have to take precautions against the police showing up one day at your shop and soliciting bribes to leave you alone.
    Exactly. It's that old dualism between risk and return.

    Plus, most developing nation's currencies are in a constant rate of rapid inflation, so you have to turn your investments into physical property very fast or you'll basically lose the principal you're putting in.
    Which country are you talking about? The vast majority of countries have very stable currencies with historically low inflation rates. Check out this week's Newsweek's cover story.

    You can't build an economy just by issuing everybody a back scratcher and coordinating them all so that everybody has a back to scratch. Tangible goods have to be involved in that picture somewhere. (However it's fully possible to construct a working economy that has no services in it, except police.)
    Sure you can. Especially if scratching someone else's back is easier than scratching your own back. (Think masterbation vs. 69 oral sex). There's nothing magical about goods over services. Having someone play your favorite song (a service) can be just as valued as a favorite meal (a good).

    It relates to that wellness pyramid. At the bottom is basic needs like not getting killed. Then on to food and water, etc. Then on to emotional well being (feeling valued, etc.). Then on to luxury and self fulfillment. As long as the base of the pyramid is well maintained (people don't fear for their lives, have enough food, etc.) satisfying higher needs is just as lucrative and meaningful.
    "A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire
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    Be careful that you don't allow self righteous indignation to blind you to the rather complex nature of America
    fair point :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Developing countries' GDP grows much faster than developed countries. Brazil, for instance, grows at 5.5%. China is close to 10%. Check out this.

    Which means two things: first, there's money to be made! A smart investment in Brazil can get a much higher return than in America or Europe. As long as the developing country remains politically stable and capitalist, the developed world (or at least Wall Street) will pay special attention to developing countries.
    True, but it has to be a very smart investment. When you go to a "developing" country, you're dealing with a less stable system, and usually a more corrupt government, so you have to take precautions against the police showing up one day at your shop and soliciting bribes to leave you alone.
    Exactly. It's that old dualism between risk and return.

    Plus, most developing nation's currencies are in a constant rate of rapid inflation, so you have to turn your investments into physical property very fast or you'll basically lose the principal you're putting in.
    Which country are you talking about? The vast majority of countries have very stable currencies with historically low inflation rates. Check out this week's Newsweek's cover story.
    It's just something my macro-econ teacher spoke about. Maybe it's only some of them? Or maybe you're looking at larger 3rd world countries instead of smaller ones? I was hesitant to say it since I've never double checked.

    He was from India, and he was talking about how in a lot of countries, the borrowing interest rates can easily exceed 100%, simply because the currency keeps inflating, so the lenders need an insanely high rate in order to break even.


    You can't build an economy just by issuing everybody a back scratcher and coordinating them all so that everybody has a back to scratch. Tangible goods have to be involved in that picture somewhere. (However it's fully possible to construct a working economy that has no services in it, except police.)
    Sure you can. Especially if scratching someone else's back is easier than scratching your own back. (Think masterbation vs. 69 oral sex). There's nothing magical about goods over services. Having someone play your favorite song (a service) can be just as valued as a favorite meal (a good).

    It relates to that wellness pyramid. At the bottom is basic needs like not getting killed. Then on to food and water, etc. Then on to emotional well being (feeling valued, etc.). Then on to luxury and self fulfillment. As long as the base of the pyramid is well maintained (people don't fear for their lives, have enough food, etc.) satisfying higher needs is just as lucrative and meaningful.
    I suppose my counter concern is that a sufficiently foolish society might neglect to perform maintenance on the lower parts of that pyramid. There's a time delay between the moment you kill the goose that lays golden eggs and the moment when you start to run short of those eggs. If our priorities are moving far enough away from basic necessities, then we might accidentally cripple our ability to produce them properly.

    I see a lot of urban sprawl in the area where I live. People from the cities want to move out into the country side and have a place to themselves. Most of the good development real estate places are currently farms. I know farmers who every year consider the question of whether they should sell this land that's getting to be very valuable, or go on farming. Trouble is, that switch is usually a permanent switch if it happens. (Of course, it's a less tempting prospect at the current moment, with real estate prices kind of in flux).
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Plus, most developing nation's currencies are in a constant rate of rapid inflation, so you have to turn your investments into physical property very fast or you'll basically lose the principal you're putting in.
    Which country are you talking about? The vast majority of countries have very stable currencies with historically low inflation rates. Check out this week's Newsweek's cover story.
    It's just something my macro-econ teacher spoke about. Maybe it's only some of them? Or maybe you're looking at larger 3rd world countries instead of smaller ones? I was hesitant to say it since I've never double checked.

    He was from India, and he was talking about how in a lot of countries, the borrowing interest rates can easily exceed 100%, simply because the currency keeps inflating, so the lenders need an insanely high rate in order to break even.
    Suppose it depends on what you consider "high". In the developing world, it's 5-20% generally. Which isn't low, of course, but I wouldn't call it a rapid either.

    The sole exception to that is Zimbabwe. Which has 11200000% inflation. Check out clicky.

    You can't build an economy just by issuing everybody a back scratcher and coordinating them all so that everybody has a back to scratch. Tangible goods have to be involved in that picture somewhere. (However it's fully possible to construct a working economy that has no services in it, except police.)
    Sure you can. Especially if scratching someone else's back is easier than scratching your own back. (Think masterbation vs. 69 oral sex). There's nothing magical about goods over services. Having someone play your favorite song (a service) can be just as valued as a favorite meal (a good).

    It relates to that wellness pyramid. At the bottom is basic needs like not getting killed. Then on to food and water, etc. Then on to emotional well being (feeling valued, etc.). Then on to luxury and self fulfillment. As long as the base of the pyramid is well maintained (people don't fear for their lives, have enough food, etc.) satisfying higher needs is just as lucrative and meaningful.
    I suppose my counter concern is that a sufficiently foolish society might neglect to perform maintenance on the lower parts of that pyramid. There's a time delay between the moment you kill the goose that lays golden eggs and the moment when you start to run short of those eggs. If our priorities are moving far enough away from basic necessities, then we might accidentally cripple our ability to produce them properly.

    I see a lot of urban sprawl in the area where I live. People from the cities want to move out into the country side and have a place to themselves. Most of the good development real estate places are currently farms. I know farmers who every year consider the question of whether they should sell this land that's getting to be very valuable, or go on farming. Trouble is, that switch is usually a permanent switch if it happens. (Of course, it's a less tempting prospect at the current moment, with real estate prices kind of in flux).
    You'd be surprised how tiny urban sprawl is compared to the total arable land. Drive through Kansas some time to get perspective. Heck, drive through Kentucky to see hundreds of square miles of raw forests (and one nuclear plant).

    Generally speaking free markets are really quite good at balancing the competing needs of food vs. shelter. Really anything vs. anything. As the lower parts of the pyramid degrade, demand for the upper bits entirely disappear. Only if we breed out our self preservation instinct could we self destruct like that.
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    The Free Market does not consider what is good or even logical in the long run for society as a whole, it focuses on short term profit and externalizes costs that are are detrimental to society at large or humanity.

    International waters are being fished out without any regard for for fish to regenerate. Fish industry in one location is decimating itself as fishermen fish not to a level thats gradually sustainable, but as much as they can.

    Pollution, there is a cost to society and the environment for polluting, that cost is not integrated in the producers product cost or the products price, so it is dumped on the rest of society.

    Also, generally speaking, capitalism tends to thrive on need, the good part that a need may be met, the bad part is that it favors dependancy and scarcity as opposed to autonomy. Fixing a problem for the long term puts you out of business, if cars were build to last the indusrty would have to shut down.

    And theres little incentive to prevent problems from occuring, theres more profit to be made by letting the problem appear so you can provide the solution.
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    [quote="Numsgil"][quote]


    I see a lot of urban sprawl in the area where I live. People from the cities want to move out into the country side and have a place to themselves. Most of the good development real estate places are currently farms. I know farmers who every year consider the question of whether they should sell this land that's getting to be very valuable, or go on farming. Trouble is, that switch is usually a permanent switch if it happens. (Of course, it's a less tempting prospect at the current moment, with real estate prices kind of in flux).
    You'd be surprised how tiny urban sprawl is compared to the total arable land. Drive through Kansas some time to get perspective. Heck, drive through Kentucky to see hundreds of square miles of raw forests (and one nuclear plant).

    Generally speaking free markets are really quite good at balancing the competing needs of food vs. shelter. Really anything vs. anything. As the lower parts of the pyramid degrade, demand for the upper bits entirely disappear. Only if we breed out our self preservation instinct could we self destruct like that.
    The fundamental problem with any experience based system is that, while experience is the most accurate of all directing tools, they're only accurate to a previous moment in time, never a future moment. The only way to use them as a predictive tool to guess future events is to hope that the conditions that were in place a moment ago aren't going to change.

    In cases where feedback is extremely rapid, you're usually fine, but there are counter examples in history, such as American farmers in the great depression, where most farmers were looking at last year's prices, and trying to grow whatever crop was selling for the most last year. Then they weren't comparing notes with each other, and it would turn out that most farmers had chosen to grow the same thing, which lead to oversupply and bottomed out the price. In that case, the delay between decision and result is around a year (or one crop cycle, anyway).

    In recent years, I think real estate has suffered a similar effect. Basically people heard the economy was in trouble, they knew that real estate is good at weathering those storms, they knew they could get a loan at very low interest, .... trouble is nobody stopped to think about how that strategy would work if the whole mob tries to do it at the same time.

    The market's problem is that people don't always coordinate with each other very well. Once any trend begins, so many people jump on that band wagon that it gets filled to overcapacity and the wheels start to break off. Then it's like you're in this car that's skidding out of control, and the driver just keeps over correcting, and the skid gets worse and worse.
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    Yes, but that's a short term fluctuation. That problem does not exist when you have a larger time span you're considering.

    Also, that's what modern derivatives, like futures trading, are all about. A farmer can get a contract with a buyer where the farmer and buyer agree on a certain price before the food is even grown. The risk of the price changing is taken out of the equation for the farmer and the buyer. It doesn't really disappear, though. Usually some futures trader somewhere on Wallstreet shoulders that risk (and the associated potential profits/losses).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Yes, but that's a short term fluctuation. That problem does not exist when you have a larger time span you're considering.

    Also, that's what modern derivatives, like futures trading, are all about. A farmer can get a contract with a buyer where the farmer and buyer agree on a certain price before the food is even grown. The risk of the price changing is taken out of the equation for the farmer and the buyer. It doesn't really disappear, though. Usually some futures trader somewhere on Wallstreet shoulders that risk (and the associated potential profits/losses).
    Ah. That's where predictive and experience based methods cross over. I like it. However still a problem: What if all of the wall street risk guarantors forget to compare notes with each other, and all guarantee the same, foolish, decision?

    Then they'll all go under at once, and the overall economy won't be able to shoulder the loss, because it will be too much all at once. I think that's what we mean when we talk about a bubble bursting. Too many people all placed their bets on the same horse, because they thought it would win.

    In command economy, where there's one entity making all of the decisions, that entity can ensure that all your eggs never end up in just one basket. Wall Street can't really do that, because each investor is trying to keep his/her investment strategy secret from all of the others. You end up in situations where they each believed that they were the only one who had thought to bet on that particular horse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    Yes, but that's a short term fluctuation. That problem does not exist when you have a larger time span you're considering.

    Also, that's what modern derivatives, like futures trading, are all about. A farmer can get a contract with a buyer where the farmer and buyer agree on a certain price before the food is even grown. The risk of the price changing is taken out of the equation for the farmer and the buyer. It doesn't really disappear, though. Usually some futures trader somewhere on Wallstreet shoulders that risk (and the associated potential profits/losses).
    Ah. That's where predictive and experience based methods cross over. I like it. However still a problem: What if all of the wall street risk guarantors forget to compare notes with each other, and all guarantee the same, foolish, decision?
    The futures market, like the stock market, is real time traded. As the risk increases/decreases (from weather forecasts, etc.), the prices change to reflect that in real time. The only danger is if futures traders all have a mass delusion about what the real price should be, instead of what it is. Ala the housing market, dot com stocks, etc.

    There was a crash in the 80s caused by this, IIRC. Something about computer trading with derivatives, and all the computers sold at once. Obviously we managed to recover. The economy tends to correct instabilities explosively and relatively quickly.

    In command economy, where there's one entity making all of the decisions, that entity can ensure that all your eggs never end up in just one basket. Wall Street can't really do that, because each investor is trying to keep his/her investment strategy secret from all of the others. You end up in situations where they each believed that they were the only one who had thought to bet on that particular horse.
    Yes, but on the other side of that, command economies are run by experts who, as a group, are notoriously bad at adapting to new technology and methods and markets. That's ultimately what killed the soviet economy. They were notorious for overproducing or underproducing all sorts of goods (the infamous bread line).

    IMO, the economic system which will one day replace Capitalism will be computer based. A massive computer will take in all economic data from the computers of every company in the world, and issue out production and consumption orders.

    It won't be a law or anything, it's just that profits will be higher for this mega entity than for human run companies, because it's more adaptive to change than any human can be. So the transition will be natural.

    There was an Asimov story about this somewhere.
    "A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire
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    Just to be clear: I'm not for Communism either. I believe that the best result is obtained by allowing multiple competing methods/perspectives to approach the same issue, so that when one of them gives a bad prediction, the others can be turned to for guidance.

    If you've got 5 different methodologies all looking at a problem at the same time, then the odds that all 5 will simultaneously give a bad prediction are usually very poor. It's when one methodology is given too much preference over the others that catastrophes occur. It doesn't matter which one it is, market economics, command economics, witch doctors, .... none of them are infallible.
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    Numsgil

    Like I said, those stagnant dollars that you claim are invested has apparently been done in the current economy that has shrank from a plum to a prune.

    If the US taxed those stagnant dollars at a rate of about 95% for the highest earners and used those dollars to create government jobs and projects that are useful benefits, would have boosted our economy to a prosperous level instead of the current 'prune' economy .
    By the way, I like prunes, but to move the bowels.

    Our bought 'free market economy' can take the blame for this current trend of downsizing the workers wages to a world market level where they cannot NOW buy the cars and houses that they were able to do when workers were paid good wages that they really deserved to have.

    Only workers CREATE the real tangible wealth we all see and feel.

    Cosmo
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    If the US taxed those stagnant dollars at a rate of about 95% for the highest earners and used those dollars to create government jobs and projects that are useful benefits, would have boosted our economy to a prosperous level instead of the current 'prune' economy .
    There are many reasons why that's a very, very, bad idea.

    First, we're in a global economy. The US does not have a monopoly on good places to live and/or invest money. You tax the wealthy, and they're entirely willing and able to leave. Move their business to Bermuda or wherever.

    Second, large taxation really does reduce the incentive to work hard. There's always an argument as to whether the government could do more harm than good taxing and spending vs. not taxing and not spending, but taxing always has a distorting affect on the economy.

    Third, as Adam Smith said (I'm paraphrasing), government is always less efficient than private individuals, because government workers see the government's treasury as unlimited and will not then be as efficient.

    I understand your concern, and what you'd like to see. You want more equality among people. You don't want greed to be rewarded. BUT you can't just force the economy to be the way you want. Pick up a macroeconomic textbook sometime and read through it. Generally speaking if you try and force an economy to be more like your ideal version of the world, you'll only make things worse in surprising and unexpected ways.

    For example, let's say you think that gas is too high. So you enact a law that requires gas stations not to charge more than $2.50 for gas. Problem solved, right? Nope. The price is too low, so there will be a deficit of gas. You'll just cause long lines (peopel who can afford to wait can get gas) and shortages.

    It's very much like trying to hold sand. The tighter you grip the more you lose.

    Our bought 'free market economy' can take the blame for this current trend of downsizing the workers wages to a world market level where they cannot NOW buy the cars and houses that they were able to do when workers were paid good wages that they really deserved to have.
    I can demonstrate with real data that over the last 100 years Americans have gotten richer and richer and richer. Individual industries fail. Workers get laid off. But the loss of jobs in one sector is always offset by gains in others. That's the essence of trade: Asia makes cars cheaper than we can, and we provide Asia with goods and services they can't produce themselves (Coca Cola). By specializing, we can gain real wealth without more effort.

    Again, pick up a macroeconomic textbook some time. Economies are really quite fascinating, complex creatures. Often times by taking a step backwards you end up taking two steps forward.

    Only workers CREATE the real tangible wealth we all see and feel.
    So you don't consider service to produce real wealth? 75% of the American economy is service based. We represent 25% of the world economy. Other countries trade us tangible goods (cars, stereos, clothing) in exchange for our ability to manage (most world brands are American.)

    This increasing division of labor has created a world economy growing at something like 3-5%. China is profiting most of all, with its economy growing at 10%.

    In a very real sense wealth is simply commercialized time. Most of the cost of an iPhone (if you count the cost of the 2 year contract) is the effort in designing it. Not in the cost of the silicon and plastic.

    Likewise the cost of coal doesn't have anything to do with how much of it is in the ground (inaccessible), but how expensive it is to take out of the ground. Which is based on the availability of qualified labor, land grants, etc.
    "A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire
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    Numsgil

    These long replies are time consuming so I will just reply with this short cut.

    You mention above that raising taxes for the wealthy will cause 'dollar flight'.

    Heck, it is now happening with those corporate addresses fleeing to Costa Rica and other such places plus the incomes of some tax evaders to the Carribean banks that keep their accounts secret. The Swiss dropped their version of these secret accounts.

    These tactics are an example of the patriotism of the wealthy.
    They only believe in serving themselves and that includes 'bribery'.

    That is why I am promoting the PUBLIC FINANCING OF OUR ELECTIONS, so that this would direct the politicians to follow the guide lines of our US CONSTITUTION.

    Our current depressional slump is the product of the free market economy that the wealthy take advantage of.
    They need to know that our Constitution is the ultimate LAW of our country !

    Cosmo
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil

    Third, as Adam Smith said (I'm paraphrasing), government is always less efficient than private individuals, because government workers see the government's treasury as unlimited and will not then be as efficient.
    My problem with Adam Smith is that he seems to see efficiency as the one and only contributing factor to economic wealth. What if the thing you're doing very efficiently is a foolish thing to do? It's great that you're doing it very efficiently, I guess.... but it doesn't turn foolishness into wisdom.

    I think the government's perspective and economic motivations sometimes enable it to do smarter things, and in a smarter way than private business, even if it's not a more efficient way.

    Only workers CREATE the real tangible wealth we all see and feel.
    So you don't consider service to produce real wealth? 75% of the American economy is service based. We represent 25% of the world economy. Other countries trade us tangible goods (cars, stereos, clothing) in exchange for our ability to manage (most world brands are American.)

    This increasing division of labor has created a world economy growing at something like 3-5%. China is profiting most of all, with its economy growing at 10%.

    In a very real sense wealth is simply commercialized time. Most of the cost of an iPhone (if you count the cost of the 2 year contract) is the effort in designing it. Not in the cost of the silicon and plastic.
    Yeah, and we've been over this issue before, Cosmo. Increased efficiency multiplies the effectiveness of a worker's time. That means an organizer is contributing as much, or more, to the final effect as any given worker.

    Imagine a ditch digger toiling away to dig a ditch, and now imagine a second worker is bringing water to that ditch digger, so the ditch digger can keep on digging instead of having to go get water him/her self. By your definition, the person who brings the water is doing no work at all. All of the work is being done by the ditch digger. See a problem with that?


    Likewise the cost of coal doesn't have anything to do with how much of it is in the ground (inaccessible), but how expensive it is to take out of the ground. Which is based on the availability of qualified labor, land grants, etc.
    It also varies with the accessibility of the coal. After we've already excavated all the veins near the surface, we start having to dig deeper and deeper in order to get the same amount of coal. This is also true if you open too many mines at once. Not all of them can be assigned to mine easy veins, because there aren't an infinite supply of easy veins out there.
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    Let me be a looker.

    Here I have some questions.

    1.How do you think of economic globalization?
    2.The third world works, the developed pays. Is it fair in this "trade"?
    I mean do you think the third world have enough choice to make that fair?
    3.I saw some of you mentioned "Islam".
    So how do you tell a religion from a regime?
    PS:I don't think "Islam" is a problem. They are respectable. Of cause, I do not mean the ones who murder children and unarmed innocent people.
    4. The last one, just a survey. How many of you think "law"(or some other words, maybe "word of law" ?) is the fundamental point of international affair?
    If not, what shall people obey when they trade with people from another culture who don't understand each other's regular practice?

    Thank you. :-D
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangwy13
    Let me be a looker.

    Here I have some questions.

    1.How do you think of economic globalization?
    It makes regulation of trade almost impossible, since the World at large has no unified government to impose laws.

    If the USA outlaws child labor within its borders, but doesn't outlaw child labors within the borders of Bangladesh, nor impose any tariff on the goods produced by those child laborers, then market forces guarantee that more and more goods will simply be produced in Bangladesh by child laborers.

    So...it's impossible to outlaw child labor in a global economy.

    2.The third world works, the developed pays. Is it fair in this "trade"?
    I mean do you think the third world have enough choice to make that fair?
    I'd say the current arrangement neither hurts nor harms them, except that it makes it impossible for them to reform their governments without causing international diplomacy issues with their trade partners.

    They can't get ahead doing unskilled labor jobs, but they have no job skills, so you can't give them anything better even if you want to.

    3.I saw some of you mentioned "Islam".
    So how do you tell a religion from a regime?
    A theocratic regime is a little bit of both mixed together.

    PS:I don't think "Islam" is a problem. They are respectable. Of cause, I do not mean the ones who murder children and unarmed innocent people.
    The problem is that it gives people a cultural need to reject modern technology, because to accept it would require them to admit that infidels can come up with good ideas.

    4. The last one, just a survey. How many of you think "law"(or some other words, maybe "word of law" ?) is the fundamental point of international affair?
    If not, what shall people obey when they trade with people from another culture who don't understand each other's regular practice?

    Thank you. :-D
    That is the role of a tariff.

    Tariffs are a way of imposing your own society's laws on a foreign country that wants to trade with you. They have to option to reject your laws and not trade with you, or accept them and keep you as a customer. Or, they can compromise and keep trading with you at a reduced profit.

    If the USA told Bangladesh that they had to pay a high tariff on all manufactured goods they ship into our country, unless they pass child labor laws, I'm pretty sure Bangladeshi authorities would push to get those laws passed as quick as they could. If they didn't.... then USA companies would still be at no competitive disadvantage against them in selling to American markets.
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  27. #26  
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    Thank kojax for the ans.
    Now let me show my opinions.
    Slightly change the order.

    Q4
    That is the role of a tariff.
    This is really an unexpected answer to me. From this I found great different between us.
    Which I agree with you is that "...they can compromise and keep trading with you at a reduced profit".
    But just "they" get "a reduced profit"? I doubt that.
    I think tariff concerns too much about "we".
    Also use your example, child labors in Bangladesh. You might know that Bangladesh is very very poor and bothered by

    natural disasters year after year. Child in Bangladesh have to work to survive from starving to death.
    Truely it's cruel to let childs to work. Truely others like you and me do not like this. But if "we" just use

    tariff to force them stopping child labors, more children will die.
    So "we" need to compromise and not using tariff. I think a more appropriate method is to let the buyer have high

    priority, and both sides obey this.

    Q3
    A theocratic regime is a little bit of both mixed together.
    Right, I agree.
    The problem is that it gives people a cultural need to reject modern technology, because to accept it would

    require them to admit that infidels can come up with good ideas.
    As far as I know the reason you metioned can't be found in books of Islam.
    In my hometown, there are four religions live peacefully together. They are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and

    Taoism. I don't disclaim that now some of the Moslems have strong violent side. These days my motherland China is

    in that kind of trouble, you may know that already. The most important thing is why they do that, is it because of

    their religion? I think a better answer is the slefish of some politician make the conflict bigger and bigger.

    Moslems seldom live together with others, this make a lot of mistakes between they and others and Politician use

    them. The political policy of Soviet Union and USA on Afghanistan, for example. If people who are not Moslem want

    to figure the problem, one major job is to admit their fault.

    Q2

    The answer depends.
    You give a possible one.
    Another is that is not fair.
    I just want to say that developed can do better. Capitalism have got more than it give.

    Q1
    Everyone has individual answer.
    But the trend of economic globalization can't be stop now.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangwy13
    That is the role of a tariff.
    This is really an unexpected answer to me. From this I found great different between us.
    Which I agree with you is that "...they can compromise and keep trading with you at a reduced profit".
    But just "they" get "a reduced profit"? I doubt that.
    I think tariff concerns too much about "we".
    Also use your example, child labors in Bangladesh. You might know that Bangladesh is very very poor and bothered by

    natural disasters year after year. Child in Bangladesh have to work to survive from starving to death.
    Truely it's cruel to let childs to work. Truely others like you and me do not like this. But if "we" just use

    tariff to force them stopping child labors, more children will die.
    So "we" need to compromise and not using tariff. I think a more appropriate method is to let the buyer have high

    priority, and both sides obey this.

    Trouble with this is, maybe people in the USA consider not having our children work to be a kind of wealth.

    If we allow Bangladeshi manufacturers to compete in our domestic markets with no tariff, then market forces will guarantee that all manufacturing will happen in Bangladesh, and none of it will ever happen here in the USA. That small difference in consumer price isn't worth having hundreds of USA businesses fail or millions of Americans go without jobs.


    We end up with only 2 choices:

    1) - Change our laws so our children can work too. (In order to keep our manufacturing competitive with Bangladesh)

    or

    2) - Let Bangladeshi manufacturing businesses totally wipe out all of our own manufacturing businesses, so we never manufacture anything in our own country.
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    If we allow Bangladeshi manufacturers to compete in our domestic markets with no tariff, then market forces will guarantee that all manufacturing will happen in Bangladesh, and none of it will ever happen here in the USA. That small difference in consumer price isn't worth having hundreds of USA businesses fail or millions of Americans go without jobs.
    Developing needs time.
    Everything in USA is best now and future, the advances in science and technology will never be outstripped.
    Bangladesh will never catch up with USA.
    This example has so many trouble because it is asymmetry, the best vs the worst.
    And, difference in consumer price is small, but large in total value.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangwy13
    Bangladesh will never catch up with USA.
    In terms of how much manufacturing is done in their country, they could easily get ahead of the USA. It will be American corporations that own those factories, but not American workers doing the work.

    The fat consumer market is made up of workers, not Corporate CEO's. When that consumer market stops having money, then those factories in Bangladesh will have no customers, and they'll be unemployed again.

    From what I understand, it's actually happening in China right now. With USA's recession many Chinese factories are not getting orders for them to make anything. There aren't as many buyers because of all the unemployment in the USA.

    This example has so many trouble because it is asymmetry, the best vs the worst.
    And, difference in consumer price is small, but large in total value.
    The thing about capitalism is that even a very small difference in price can lead all the consumers to buy from one company and ignore another. That's why I recommend tariffs (small tariffs). They ensure that the tiny difference in price always favors domestic businesses.
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