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Thread: Maybe some cultures are just incompatible with Capitalism

  1. #1 Maybe some cultures are just incompatible with Capitalism 
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    I'm beginning to realize that, most of the time, if I have a problem with a culture, it is simply based on its incompatibility with capitalism. I guess that's a problem of judging another culture by the standards of your own, but it's also a deeper problem.

    I think, as Americans, we like to feel like we're doing the world a favor when we make them into capitalists. If the process fails, or goes poorly for them, we point out all the "flaws" in their culture that made it so. And.... we would be right, if capitalism where the only way to go. Clearly, if there is only one path to greatness, and your culture can't follow it, that would mean your culture was pathetic. But, is there only one path?

    I've noticed in dealing with Ukrainian culture, which I'm starting to gain more and more interest in, it has a lot of virtues. The people are very industrious, and value a lot of the same things as Americans do, but .... they use a kind of sliding scale when charging for services. If a person thinks you have more money, then they expect you to pay them more for the same service they might sell cheaper to a poorer person. Government officials at nearly every level demand to be bribed, depending on whether they think you have enough money to pay one. It's a mess because there is no uniformity. If you never know how much things are going to cost then you can't plan ahead, but under communism most people probably had the same amount of money.

    I would say the same things about Mexico. However, my point is, maybe that just means capitalism will never work out for these countries. Either they would have to change a fundamental aspect of their culture's ethical system, or wallow in poverty forever. Or just quit trying to be capitalists and try another system. Perhaps a system that directs those ethics in a constructive direction, instead of a destructive one.


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  3. #2  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    But even us in the US are a mixed economy, not solely capitalist. I fear you are yet again arguing based on an idealized and inaccurate premise.


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    Free Market Capitalism, naturally breeds socialism, but I doubt the US is as mixed as you think. Providing a service, even under the expectation for making a profit, in the US is totally dependent on the governed or mandated services listed in the Constitution, as the USPS. Capitalism, while providing a service or producing products is strictly consumer driven, with success driven by competition...

    kojax: Where ever tried, Capitalism works, the culture, traditions, religious conscience or even the form of Government can use the system to an advantage. However the primary difference in the US Representative Republic, a union of today 50 States, is that a Central/Federal Government is limited to where it intervenes in the commercial world and many Countries such as Mexico, the people are dependent on that single central government from the start. That is, by nature it's difficult for a business, designed to show profit to compete with a government.

    China, India, many others, including the US, increasingly control both Capitalism and free market trade via, legislation or law. China and India, decreasing the regulation, the US and most the industrialized world, increasing...
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    Doubt all you'd like. My assertion that the US is a mixed economy and not solely capitalist remains valid.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Where ever tried, Capitalism works...
    Depends how that success is measured. If global warming does lead to the disastrous outcomes predicted, it could be argued to be the least successful. This would only be true if capitalist governance was found to contribute to global warming.
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    A lot of people think there can only be one kind of capitalism - the kind Americans have. Not true.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

    I quote :

    "There is no consensus on the precise definition of capitalism, nor how the term should be used as an analytical category. There is, however, little controversy that private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit in a market, and prices and wages are elements of capitalism"

    The paleolithic craftsman who made a stone axe and swapped it for a freshly killed deer was engaging in capitalism.

    I think, myself, that capitalism in its basic form is deeply ingrained in the human psyche, and will appear in simple form even in the most communist society.
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    Prom; Capitalism is an economic system, not a form of governance. Whether or not AGW is a valid issue, Capitalism is and will continue to produce alternative energies, the market is there, just not yet practical over fossil fuels. Speaking of Governance, do you know the petrol your buying for about 9US$ for a converted gallon, cost the distributor about 3.10$/G. That 6$ or 2/3rds is all government.


    inow; You also know there isn't pure, any form of an economy...
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    Jackson: Yeah, maybe you're right. My knowledge of politics/economics is abysmal (but my opinions on it just as valid as anyone else's?).

    But just as skeptic reminded us that capitalism is a heterogeneous term, so too definitions of 'what works' are varied.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Prom; Capitalism is an economic system, not a form of governance. Whether or not AGW is a valid issue, Capitalism is and will continue to produce alternative energies, the market is there, just not yet practical over fossil fuels. Speaking of Governance, do you know the petrol your buying for about 9US$ for a converted gallon, cost the distributor about 3.10$/G. That 6$ or 2/3rds is all government.


    inow; You also know there isn't pure, any form of an economy...
    Oil/gas prices around not a good example. Most of the resources are owned and controlled by governments via government owned companies(Saudi, Kuwait, Russia, Iraq, Libya, Iran etc) , who can turn off the pump to rake in tons of cast and then turn off the pumps anytime it appears there's interesting in alternatives--they've been doing exactly that since at least the 70s crisis. Furthermore the cost to American businesses and individual consumers is heavily masked via subsidizes and in our enormous military capability that somehow coincidently usually gets tied up in oil rich country's disrupts (and doing so right now).
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    Jackson: Yeah, maybe you're right. My knowledge of politics/economics is abysmal (but my opinions on it just as valid as anyone else's?).

    But just as skeptic reminded us that capitalism is a heterogeneous term, so too definitions of 'what works' are varied.
    Prom; Capitalism really has only one meaning, noting not any Government applies 100% leniency or has no regulation/laws for restricting. I do agree however what works in one society, may not work for another.

    Noun: capitalism 'ka-pi-tu,li-zum

    An economic system based on private ownership of capital
    - capitalist economy
    http://www.wordwebonline.com/search.pl?w=capitalism



    Oil/gas prices around not a good example. Most of the resources are owned and controlled by governments via government owned companies(Saudi, Kuwait, Russia, Iraq, Libya, Iran etc) , who can turn off the pump to rake in tons of cast and then turn off the pumps anytime it appears there's interesting in alternatives--they've been doing exactly that since at least the 70s crisis. Furthermore the cost to American businesses and individual consumers is heavily masked via subsidizes and in our enormous military capability that somehow coincidently usually gets tied up in oil rich country's disrupts (and doing so right now).
    Yes LF, Government owned Oil Companies can shut down, pretty much on demand, just as any Government with totally private control, but regulated could do. The vast majority however, are dependent on the private sector for everything from exploration to selling on the futures exchange and selling their products.
    OPEC, which did try an embargo in the 70's, learned a lesson, in that prices too high will encourage other forms of energy (then natural gas/coal/geothermal) and have tried to maintain a steady market flow since.

    On subsidies, it cost a great deal of money to produce SOME producing rigs, for instance 70$/B in deep off shore wells (Jack 2 G of M), opposed to 20/30$/B for West Texas Sweet. Some of those designed platforms can cost 300-400K$/ day. While subsidies do encourage some exploration, where it's impractical, it's not essential to the Companies themselves or would any major, miss them.

    To my knowledge, Afghanistan has NO oil, GW 1, was to protect Kuwait where it was feared Hussein's next target might be Saudi Arabia and when Gulf 2 began, we had no idea what their reserves were, #2 in the world. If your picking on American Policy (all parties) for protecting the engine that drives the worlds economy, yes they do exactly that and it's not coincidental.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33

    kojax: Where ever tried, Capitalism works, the culture, traditions, religious conscience or even the form of Government can use the system to an advantage. However the primary difference in the US Representative Republic, a union of today 50 States, is that a Central/Federal Government is limited to where it intervenes in the commercial world and many Countries such as Mexico, the people are dependent on that single central government from the start. That is, by nature it's difficult for a business, designed to show profit to compete with a government.
    I'm starting to realize that "capitalism" isn't the term I should have used. "Free Market" or "Free Market Capitalism" would have been better.

    Some cultures can't practice a free market. They can be "capitalist" in some senses of the word, but their markets always get messed up by someone tampering in them. Either government, or just individuals using variable prices for different customers, or corrupt officials.


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    But even us in the US are a mixed economy, not solely capitalist. I fear you are yet again arguing based on an idealized and inaccurate premise.

    Every economy is mixed to some degree. You're right that there are no perfect ideals. Even at the height of the USSR, it would not have been accurate to say that their system was purely Communist. There was a lot of free market stuff happening there.

    It's still accurate to describe some economies as being predominantly one system rather than another, though.
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  13. #12 Re: Maybe some cultures are just incompatible with Capitalis 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Every economy is mixed to some degree. You're right that there are no perfect ideals. <...> It's still accurate to describe some economies as being predominantly one system rather than another, though.
    So, where is the dividing line you use when deciding that you do not like a culture or that you do like it? If every economy is mixed to some degree (your own words), how mixed can it be before you realize you don't like that culture anymore? How "compatible" with capitalism must it be for you to no longer have a problem with it, and how are you measuring this (or is it, as I suspect, largely arbitrary and based on cherry picking of data)?


    From the OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm beginning to realize that, most of the time, if I have a problem with a culture, it is simply based on its incompatibility with capitalism.
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  14. #13 Re: Maybe some cultures are just incompatible with Capitalis 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    So, where is the dividing line you use when deciding that you do not like a culture or that you do like it? If every economy is mixed to some degree (your own words), how mixed can it be before you realize you don't like that culture anymore? How "compatible" with capitalism must it be for you to no longer have a problem with it, and how are you measuring this (or is it, as I suspect, largely arbitrary and based on cherry picking of data)?

    I'm mostly commenting on my own American centric view of the world. I'm trying to suggest that maybe compatibility/incompatibility with a free market isn't a good reason to like or dislike a culture.


    I noticed that I was judging cultures like Mexican culture, badly if their economy suffered because of a trait that they had or didn't have. (Such as an ethical outlook that excuses police taking bribes, or merchants that charge different prices to different customers based on their "ability to pay".) But, maybe the only reason these practices hurt their economies is because their economic system is not set up in a way that would make those traits valuable, instead of detrimental.

    You're getting caught up in the labels. I only used labels because I had to name a few systems. There doesn't exist a word for every possible economic configuration, sadly.
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  15. #14 Re: Maybe some cultures are just incompatible with Capitalis 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm mostly commenting on my own American centric view of the world. I'm trying to suggest that maybe compatibility/incompatibility with a free market isn't a good reason to like or dislike a culture.
    I definitely missed this and had a very different interpretation of your post. Thank you for clarifying.
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    This is true. Some cultures are not really rejecting capitalism and "free market" but there is a kind of incompatibility.

    I live in Africa as expatriate. I have been living there for more than 30 years, I can pretend to know pretty well subsaharian east and mainly west Africa. Africa is not monolithic as some would like to see it but in fact more diverse even than Europe. Cultures are completly changing on a matter of few 10th of km. However, often, traditional african cultures are impervious to capitalism.

    Ok, let me take an example of totally anticapitalistic african approach. I have one guy who is servicing my electric generator. He is good. He knows very well his job. Usually, he comes in the morning, and before noon, all is done. 2 weeks ago, he didn't come but in the afternoon, his brother/cousin came and did a terrible job. I called my guy and complained. He came back, corrected the mess of his brother/cousin. When I asked him why he allowed his brother/cousin to work, he told me "I work in the morning, he does the afternoon"
    "But Lukman, why ? You could work 100% of the day and you will make much more money and you won't have to correct the mess of your cousin"
    "Yes sir, but he would not work. So who will take care of him ? He is my family"

    This is sometimes difficult for westerners, especially untrained, to appreciate this point of view. I do mean "APPRECIATE" in the full sense of it, understand it and like it.
    It does not mean there is no race for profit in Africa, there is. The problem is that capitalism is like sugar. It is sweet, provides a relief to hunger, but the evil is coming with abuse and time. So, like every where, africans are getting obese because of sugary food and capitalism. But in many regions of Africa, this 'capitalism' is so mixed that you cannot call it anymore capitalism.

    In Africa, family is often at the center, before the individual, then comes the village, then comes the lineage, then comes the tribe. So a man "getting rich" will have to make it benefits to these concentric circle if he wants to be considered. Because being considered is often more important than being rich, because being considered is being powerful. As an example, igbos people have the reputation of being the capitalist of Nigeria. But while living in a slum house in Lagos for the whole year, selling car spare parts, the igbo business man will come back to the village for Christmas and New Year. And then he will have to show "he has achieved". In 1-2 weeks, he might spend 25% of what he got in a year, giving to the villagers, to traditionnal chiefs, to the family etc... Same occurs for marriage, for burial. My former boss marriage costs his family, the family of the bride some 200 000 $. It is common to see burial ceremony costing more than 50 000 $, without building any monument.
    This is totally anticapitalistic attitude and I don't think it is ready to change...
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    I read somewhere that this family awareness is actually one of the problems, leading to corruption in high places. Because African people are so often strongly loyal to their family, when a person is elected President (or other high office) he immediately appoints members of his family into jobs that are lucrative, whether or not those family members are competent. The very incompetent ones then cause genuine problems within the country concerned.

    Is this correct?
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    It is correct.
    Too much of good is bad.
    On the good side, they do not abandon their elders to rotten in group in collective house.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makandal
    It is correct.
    Too much of good is bad.
    On the good side, they do not abandon their elders to rotten in group in collective house.
    That is one of the best criticisms of American culture. We're not nepotists, but that means we don't value family both for better and for worse.

    So the question is: how can a country have a good economy and value its family connections both at the same time? Free market capitalism can't do that in its current form, because people are motivated too strongly to deviate from its expectations. (Mandakal's examples illustrate that pretty well.)

    Communism always had the same problem. People would get into positions of power within the communist government by marrying a powerful person's daughter, or doing some kind of favors for people they wanted to get in good with, and pretty much nothing was happening like it was supposed to, because people didn't really adhere to the rules.

    Is it possible to construct a family-based economic system?
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    First of all, the opposite of capitalism is not communism. On a period, very short, of the human history, both have been in opposition. But this was rather the opposition of 2 countries, USA and USSR. The opposite of capitalism could have turned out to be fascim and nazism.

    Actually, capitalism is not only about making money. Rather, it puts the good of the individual above the good of the group. It's archetype enemiES are doing exactly the opposite. It might be communism, islam, nazism etc...

    Why do you think the family will be a better base unit than the individual ?
    I gave the example of West Africa without trying to put a value judgement. I have my own opinion on it, I don't believe most modern african choice of society are viable. I will be even more pessimistic: I think that human being is not made for a large society, we are wired for communities around 50-100 individuals. These are the group we have been with during the first 200 000 years of Homo Sapiens. Towns are less than 10 000 years old. Cooping with larger groups is impossible and leads to unstable, unadapted and inequitable forms of governements. The larger the group of human one tries to lead, the more unfair form of governement it will be.

    Could we build a society based on smaller group ? Maybe. Maybe with the communication, we could create micro-community which we will truly chose to belong, which we will be commited to and which we will report to larger entities. These entities and communities will be transnational and not specially based on ethnicity but maybe on interest. Maybe we could even belong to multiple groups of interests, a bit like I belong to Science Forum, Geology Forum, Powder Toy Forum etc...

    I frankly don't know. But what I am sure is that large organizations of societies are doomed to fail.
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  21. #20  
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    (Allow me to throw some humor in the soup). :wink:
    (Such as an ethical outlook that excuses police taking bribes, or merchants that charge different prices to different customers based on their "ability to pay".)
    But isnt this even more free market? The police say "hey its a free market, you're ~free to choose~ to give me money and Im ~free to choose~ to accept it, Im in it for the money and my very own personal ~rational~ self-interest, not for the common good, if you want me to chase this murderer away instead of giving you a ticket for jaywalking you have to pay top dollars, you are ~free to choose~ between paying and dying". Same thing for the crooked merchant, he has the freedom to profiteer, abuse the situation and collude with other merchants if its more profitable to do so, he's in it for the money (its not a cooperative or something).

    Brought to you by ~Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Post-Apocalyptic Free-For-All Corleone Somalian Freedom Cookies~ tm "only made from wholesome ingredients" because we say so (we'e ~free to choose~ tell you theyre "only made from wholesome ingredients" and not to discolse the proprietary secret frankengene-chemical-byproduct-waste ingredients, what do we look like, some sort of transparent open coop or something? and we're free to sue if you reveal these propretary secret ingredients)


    "we are wired for communities around 50-100 individuals"
    Potentially, great achievements and productivity can be reached by larger groups, because they allow greater specialization and cooperation between many people, the hammish village or smallville have little chance of achieving a space program.


    I think and hope a better system can yet be devised, one that is based on a distributed network of transparent democratic communities based on open cooperatives instead of hierarchy/secrecy/institutional-bureaucracy/violence/profit-market-property[in the unnecessary hoading of unsued ressources/speculation sense].

    I also like the idea of a generally speaking moneyless society such as depicted in Star Trek, a culture thats moved beyond Capitalism :wink:
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makandal

    Why do you think the family will be a better base unit than the individual ?
    I gave the example of West Africa without trying to put a value judgement. I have my own opinion on it, I don't believe most modern african choice of society are viable. I will be even more pessimistic: I think that human being is not made for a large society, we are wired for communities around 50-100 individuals. These are the group we have been with during the first 200 000 years of Homo Sapiens. Towns are less than 10 000 years old. Cooping with larger groups is impossible and leads to unstable, unadapted and inequitable forms of governements. The larger the group of human one tries to lead, the more unfair form of governement it will be.
    I'm thinking that so many cultures are set up the way you described, where family is first priority, then lineage, then tribe. They're probably not going to change their mind about being that way. People will (foolishly) insist on putting their cultural values before their economic benefit.

    So, since we know that's how it will play out, maybe we should look into trying to build a system around the society that exists, instead of trying to make society change to fit our system. Mohammad won't go to the mountain, so we've got to bring the mountain to him.



    Could we build a society based on smaller group ? Maybe. Maybe with the communication, we could create micro-community which we will truly chose to belong, which we will be commited to and which we will report to larger entities. These entities and communities will be transnational and not specially based on ethnicity but maybe on interest. Maybe we could even belong to multiple groups of interests, a bit like I belong to Science Forum, Geology Forum, Powder Toy Forum etc...

    I frankly don't know. But what I am sure is that large organizations of societies are doomed to fail.
    My experience living both in cities and small rural areas (of the USA, at least) is that different personality types choose to live in different environments based on what appeals to them. Those who's minds are wired toward small groups choose to live in small groups, but there are also a lot of people who's minds are wired toward large groups.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People will (foolishly) insist on putting their cultural values before their economic benefit. .
    How many widescreen TVs per household will satisfy you?
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    People will (foolishly) insist on putting their cultural values before their economic benefit. .
    How many widescreen TVs per household will satisfy you?
    That's exactly the problem. Everyone thinks it's about wide screen TV's instead of making sure incomes match food prices.

    If an economy like the USA enters a recession, then sure, it's just going to mean fewer electronic toys for all. But what if a country like Haiti or Zimbabwe goes into a recession? Likely as not a brutal dictator would take over and start trying to isolate one group from the hunger at the expense of another.
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    Well, I like to say, I think dealing with capitalism in general, needs to be rethought. This term (capitalism), for the most part, was coined by socialists like Karl Marx. If he not has contributed the largest portion to coin this term, capitalism. Or he might have named this term naming an era (his era) himself.

    But, what I understood, he made a huge mistake which was leading to the disacknowledge specifically of craftsmanship(s).

    He disregards craftsman and their crafts to degrade them to workers, who only work. The class of workers but does not practically exist, since, when you, as a person, would start to be dealing with something it will be something specific. Therefore, you will regard yourself as a craftsman, scientist, artist, musician, what so ever. This is even the way other do see you on a daily basis. I for my part do need to discuss anything about this. Not about twenty or twenty one years beyond that it is being proven. Well, I don't know how you guys feel about it.

    I think this is being mainly because of the fact we need to differ between crafts and craftsmanships and the industry, rather new while his live time.

    This talk of socialism and communism later on made folks think, often times, there they would get something for doing nothing. In practise, it was being the attempt to live upon the expenses of younger generations, which, therefore, had to fail, miserably. By today, I could say that this was precisely what still was being practised by them who lost power, officially. They dont change their attitude. While they werent the poor whom were done something bad to. They are still being those who cause this chaos.

    They set forth the bad times they used to start off themselves. They are being aware off this bad times and do also know they caused them. But, they carry on. The difficulties, to get to the end, that they run into are being, should we kill human mankind first and then steel from them, or do we need to steel first killing them later on. This is being exactly where they do not find a clue. For sure, this can be of non success. How could you go to do harm to the once that feed you?

    What I love to say, one really should distinguish between the capitalism that Karl Marx invented, and the real world capitalism which relies on the freedom of the individual person.

    I think, the capitalism that I got to know isnt being the same that socialists talk of. It is not that you are being rich and that you own, lets say, a business and others do work for you. But rather, there are being folks who do make it. Who have the talents and the abilities, what else, to know what to do. Who manage to get things done. Who know what is necessary to be done on every job position in an enterprise like a fast food chain. They started such businesses working night and day, while others where sunbathing (not wrong either ).

    Dont get me wrong. This is not about to be working only. But about to be willing to invest your live time in the attempt to fulfil your dreams, I would say. And, everyone really everyone who does get his a** off the sofa can do it, making things possible which you can not copy nowhere, but that you yourself have to come up with.

    As well, by today I understand the importance of the underlying often called political system as to be very relevant. Probably, specifically by now, as human mankind is being
    more and more connected, irresolvable discrepancies between what we see could be done with the help of technology, and what was missing on sides of the government, in most of the countries, was becoming prevalent. You should not expect things to run as smoothly as you might be used to in the USA. Other nations dont have this same great past and are of a compleat other approach to what might be an end to get to. See above. The latest crisis in North Africa is being an indication.

    And be aware, this will be worse.

    The economic crisis for instance has not been triggered by Wall Street, I think. Rather by the European Union that compounds 27 formerly independent nations in Europe.

    Since the laws of the UN can not be circumvent at some point after they are taking effect.

    The implementation of the Euro currency among member states gives a sufficient sample. The process was an other one, in several nations, but had to be same therefore true progress could be made.

    Businesses just like drilling oil, shipping to refine the crude to sell the product as gas later on are being effected at the first place. With unclear laws set, which you can not comply with, but being in need to keep your business afloat, as must be, additional costs (storage I assume first of all ) accrue. The price of gas will increase. As we had seen. Then, as folks can not commute and travel as they have to, the so said housing bubble bursts.


    kojax,

    I knew people in times of communism who had not the same amount of money (as others ).

    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makandal

    This is sometimes difficult for westerners, especially untrained, to appreciate this point of view. I do mean "APPRECIATE" in the full sense of it, understand it and like it.
    It does not mean there is no race for profit in Africa, there is. The problem is that capitalism is like sugar. It is sweet, provides a relief to hunger, but the evil is coming with abuse and time. So, like every where, africans are getting obese because of sugary food and capitalism. But in many regions of Africa, this 'capitalism' is so mixed that you cannot call it anymore capitalism.

    In Africa, family is often at the center, before the individual, then comes the village, then comes the lineage, then comes the tribe. So a man "getting rich" will have to make it benefits to these concentric circle if he wants to be considered. Because being considered is often more important than being rich, because being considered is being powerful. As an example, igbos people have the reputation of being the capitalist of Nigeria. But while living in a slum house in Lagos for the whole year, selling car spare parts, the igbo business man will come back to the village for Christmas and New Year. And then he will have to show "he has achieved". In 1-2 weeks, he might spend 25% of what he got in a year, giving to the villagers, to traditionnal chiefs, to the family etc... Same occurs for marriage, for burial. My former boss marriage costs his family, the family of the bride some 200 000 $. It is common to see burial ceremony costing more than 50 000 $, without building any monument.
    This is totally anticapitalistic attitude and I don't think it is ready to change...
    I think this is the core of why America is so successful then. We're a country full of people who all agreed to disavow their tribes. At the time when most immigrants came over, Europe was a lot of different cultures and countries. I guess it still is, but America isn't.

    Those cultures and tribes intermarried to the point where very very few Americans can trace a pure lineage back to any specific European country. We're all mixed blood. With no culture to take pride in other than just being "American" and lacking a tribe, most people look for their place to belong in the community instead.
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    I'd love to add one interesting aspect here, which for I think communism never will be practically to enforce.

    And this aspect was nature itself. In very early times, when the wheel was invented, the Saxons discovered for themselves how to travel.

    Traveling Saxons made folks to inhabit the British isles (Well, it took the Saxons a while to get things done rightly). Folks simply could no longer be listening to what and how Saxons talked and what they said and, therefore, decided for themselves to move on. Living on the British isle but forces you into being seafaring, sheerly. This still was better that to have the Saxons around all day long.

    This need for maritime life (Britain has having very rough climate conditions as well, unlike Cuba for instance ) don't let folks talk foolish all day not coming to terms with something valuable which is adding to some true improvement of anything ships at the end, since, you, by no means, have that much time to waste. Folks won't listen. It's uninteresting. Not let them survive the natural conditions they face. But, if they would have the time to listen to nonsense all day long, they had to surrender to this, 'their' nature.

    This but was what communism, as an attempt for everyone to be a dictator (it was being openly spoken about the dictatorship of the proletariat ), did. Stealing the life time of them who could be talked into this nonsense.

    Dictatorship of the proletariat is being one sort of dictatorship that does the same horrendous mistake. It treats a sum of those, who let this be done to themselves, as if they were one single living organism. And therefore, to be seafaring won't work no longer. It's being quite different to talk in one direction and to act to the other, or, to do as you say, with the second option being the only one, I think, which yields in some true outcome and not ruin the nation.

    This ever has been the thing about Germany. It is being positioned in the very middle of Europe. this territorial position on the world prohibit the majority of people to come to 'the' common, proper clue.

    This clue was, which way at best to go to the open waters to truly act as a community. Was it best to get on a river first to sail north? Or to go south by all means. Should we conquer France, firstly?

    All sorts of questions.

    Since this was what the Blues was telling. As human mankind, and other species perhaps, you need to build ships to sail to the Hawaiian islands. to set foot on Hawaiian land being cool. You can not get to Hawaii by airplane and be cool the same time.

    This was what this was all about. The Blues is telling you.

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    take a look to romania... you will see the pure example of anti-capitalism ... a country that have enough resources to live in happyness and joy but people are starving ...a weird fact
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    Government officials at nearly every level demand to be bribed, depending on whether they think you have enough money to pay one.
    I don`t see how one could make conclusions that widespread bribery proves incompatibility of culture with capitalizm...

    If we talk about relation of different nations to capitalizm you have to note that socializm and communizm in its ``scientific`` and political form originated in Western rather than Eastern Europe.Karl Marx and Engels were from Germany.France in 19-th century experienced nearly 5 comunistic uprisings and revolutions.Paris was rulled by the ``Communa`` for some periods of time.Mitterrand was a socialist.Socialist parties where rulling in France,Spain,Portugal,Greece.Social-Democrats in Sweden and Germany.In constitution of Portugal there is reference to Portugal as a socialist country.

    Currently Ukraine and especially Russia are much less socialist then Western Europe.In Russia nearly all industry and mineral resource are privatized.There is flat 13% tax rate in Russia for a while! Compare this to Norway which has highest income per capita in the World and in the same time probably highest share of public enerprises in the Western World.Nearly all mineral resources in Norway as well as energy industry is nationalized.People are enjoing impressive goverment benefits.So we also need to talk about compatibility of national cultures with socialism too.Unfortunately Russia was not able to build a humanistic form of socialism in comparison to Norway or Sweden.
    The problem of Russia and Ukraine is not only bribery,which of course impressive.I suggest that the greatest economic problem is undesirablity of capital-holders to invest in Russian economy and create working places.E.g. to create workforce intensive manufacturing.The reasons for this problems could be simple and stupid.For example capital-holders see some more attractive places for money investment in the world and capitals just leave Russia or Ukraine.Take in account that U.S. also lost much of its industry to other countries and now even automotive industry is under threat.And everything this is regardles to the perfect capitalist culture as you believe.

    As I know, not too long ago by hystorical mesures, U.S. lived almost under comunusm.The tax rates for the richest where 94% in 1944-1945 and 91% in 1945-1963.
    In 1963-1980 it was closer to 70%.So, modern financial capitalism with its low taxes is quite new invention and was introduced by Reagan.We will see what will ultimately happen to this.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    Government officials at nearly every level demand to be bribed, depending on whether they think you have enough money to pay one.


    The problem of Russia and Ukraine is not only bribery,which of course impressive.I suggest that the greatest economic problem is undesirablity of capital-holders to invest in Russian economy and create working places.E.g. to create workforce intensive manufacturing.The reasons for this problems could be simple and stupid.For example capital-holders see some more attractive places for money investment in the world and capitals just leave Russia or Ukraine.Take in account that U.S. also lost much of its industry to other countries and now even automotive industry is under threat.And everything this is regardles to the perfect capitalist culture as you believe.

    .
    Those are one and the same problem. You can't run a successful business in Ukraine unless you either bribe every official who asks you to bribe them, or form an alliance with the Mafia. The officials aren't going to just ask nicely for a bribe. They'll threaten you in lieu of denying permits, or access to public services that are necessary to your production process... etc..... things that hurt your profitability.

    If you pay them, then you're at a competitive disadvantage to companies that set up in bribe-free environments, because those bribes increase your overhead costs. The only people who don't have to do that are the ones who are "connected" at a high level with lots of very important players. If you're not one of those people and you don't pay bribes, then the officials who asked for those bribes will do things that hurt your production costs more deliberately. Either whether you pay or not, you're still at a competitive disadvantage.

    Even if a country like Ukraine set up huge protective tariffs, so you only had to compete for the local market with other businesses that were in your same situation, it would always be a lean market, because those overhead costs from the bribes get pushed onto the workers, and if all the workers in the country are making slim wages (which means the majority of the population is extremely poor), then they can't afford to buy very much of your product, can they?
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    If you pay them, then you're at a competitive disadvantage to companies that set up in bribe-free environments, because those bribes increase your overhead costs.
    How large percentage of his income a buisenessman should pay as bribes in Ukraine you think? I know that some western companies such as Toyota, GM, Ford and BMW and possibly many more companies having plants operating in Russia
    http://www.insideline.com/toyota/cam...sia-plant.htmlhttp://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...ly-plant_N.htmhttp://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-add...ian-plant.htmlhttp://www.insideline.com/bmw/x1/bmw...in-russia.html I think it proves that dealing business in Russia is not competely improfitable because of bribery.I guess you don`t think that they open plants in Russia just because of humanitarian considerations.The problem is also that currently in the world not nearly all countries prosper because of their own manufacturing production.For example U.S. people are wearing mostly Chinese and Pakistani cloth and shoes,use computers and TVs which produced mostly in South East Asia,drive Japanese cars.In the same time each family in U.S. has debt of $675.000 in average and only $6600 of savings.http://www.usdebtclock.org/
    I think that U.S. could claim only success in creating of ``virtual economy``.
    In the same time the country which produce most of cars per capita in the world is Slovakia
    (still relatively poor country ridden with unemployment).Neibour of Ukraine by the way.Malaysia which produces nearly half of world electronics is also poor and not approaching rank of a ``developed country``. Russia currenly takes second place in the world in Aluminum production (after China),first place in oil production,second place in weapon sales and one of the first places in commercial space launches.I thik it proves that you need to have a cirtain ``priviligies`` in this world to prosper and simply harworking is not enough.
    it would always be a lean market, because those overhead costs from the bribes get pushed onto the workers, and if all the workers in the country are making slim wages (which means the majority of the population is extremely poor), then they can't afford to buy very much of your product, can they?
    That`s an interesting question, but for now I don`t see how profits of companies depend on prosperity of ``common people``.The dependance here seems to be opposite: the less you pay to workers the more you keep as profit.If you disagree, I would be glad to get detailed contr-argument.
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    If you pay them, then you're at a competitive disadvantage to companies that set up in bribe-free environments, because those bribes increase your overhead costs.
    How large percentage of his income a buisenessman should pay as bribes in Ukraine you think?
    That's the worst part. There is no way to calculate it. There's no "going rate". Investors naturally hate going into situations that don't allow reliable predictions.


    I know that some western companies such as Toyota, GM, Ford and BMW and possibly many more companies having plants operating in Russia
    http://www.insideline.com/toyota/cam...sia-plant.htmlhttp://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...ly-plant_N.htmhttp://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-add...ian-plant.htmlhttp://www.insideline.com/bmw/x1/bmw...in-russia.html I think it proves that dealing business in Russia is not competely improfitable because of bribery.I guess you don`t think that they open plants in Russia just because of humanitarian considerations.The problem is also that currently in the world not nearly all countries prosper because of their own manufacturing production.For example U.S. people are wearing mostly Chinese and Pakistani cloth and shoes,use computers and TVs which produced mostly in South East Asia,drive Japanese cars.In the same time each family in U.S. has debt of $675.000 in average and only $6600 of savings.http://www.usdebtclock.org/
    I think that U.S. could claim only success in creating of ``virtual economy``.
    In the same time the country which produce most of cars per capita in the world is Slovakia
    (still relatively poor country ridden with unemployment).Neibour of Ukraine by the way.Malaysia which produces nearly half of world electronics is also poor and not approaching rank of a ``developed country``. Russia currenly takes second place in the world in Aluminum production (after China),first place in oil production,second place in weapon sales and one of the first places in commercial space launches.I thik it proves that you need to have a cirtain ``priviligies`` in this world to prosper and simply harworking is not enough.
    I think Russia and China have the advantage of a strong central government. You at least know who you're going to have to bribe. And it's not always a money thing, as such. Maybe instead of an outright bribe, they expect you to buy all your iron from a certain company that's going to over charge you, or you have to hire their incompetent nephew and pay him about three times what you'd pay a well trained employee. It's stuff like that. Everything is personal and specific to the individual you're dealing with. Different people will handle it different ways, and most of them aren't going to be very direct about it.

    At least with a strong central government you can negotiate that stuff out with one or a few upper leaders, and they'll ensure all the lower ones stay out of your way. In Ukraine, the central government isn't very strong, so you could end up having to negotiate lots of different arrangements with lots of different people at a lot of different levels.

    Russia currenly takes ...,first place in oil production,
    That's because Russia is the only major oil exporter that isn't a member of OPEC. Whenever they take first place in oil production, it's because OPEC is trying to deliberately force the price below market by requiring its members to lower their production quotas.

    For the Russians, that's just wonderful.


    it would always be a lean market, because those overhead costs from the bribes get pushed onto the workers, and if all the workers in the country are making slim wages (which means the majority of the population is extremely poor), then they can't afford to buy very much of your product, can they?

    That`s an interesting question, but for now I don`t see how profits of companies depend on prosperity of ``common people``.The dependance here seems to be opposite: the less you pay to workers the more you keep as profit.If you disagree, I would be glad to get detailed contr-argument.
    It does if those people are your market. That's why I only said it in the context of selling to the local population. If your market lives in another country, then poverty of the local people has absolute zero effect on your ability to make sales.

    The USA is acting as everyone's market right now (leading to those massive debts we probably won't pay). We're not their whole market, of course, but we gobble up much more than we ought to, when we should be using tariffs to ensure that consumption is being produced here instead of somewhere else. It's easy to argue the profits, but it's not sustainable. (Whereas if a similar level of consumption were directed toward products made domestically that would be quite sustainable.)
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    It does if those people are your market.
    Not necessarly.I think in the following way: 1)Every buisnessman keeps company only to make profits (I don`t regard charity considerations here).2)Buisnessmen use profits made to purchase luxury goods for its own use (big houses,yahts,personal planes etc.).3)Every goods produced on factories could be devided into two virtual groups: luxury good consumed by businessmen and common goods consumed by workers.4)It`s quite obvious
    that the more time workers have to spend producing luxury goods the less time remains to them to producing common goods.Take in account that markets could grow for account of luxury goods rather than common goods.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    It does if those people are your market.
    Not necessarly.I think in the following way: 1)Every buisnessman keeps company only to make profits (I don`t regard charity considerations here).2)Buisnessmen use profits made to purchase luxury goods for its own use (big houses,yahts,personal planes etc.).3)Every goods produced on factories could be devided into two virtual groups: luxury good consumed by businessmen and common goods consumed by workers.4)It`s quite obvious
    that the more time workers have to spend producing luxury goods the less time remains to them to producing common goods.Take in account that markets could grow for account of luxury goods rather than common goods.
    That is a good point for the perspective of an investor looking to enter that type of market. However, production of luxury goods for a few rich people makes for a very horrible economy, because there's no economy of scale in the production process. Rich people prefer to buy stuff that's hand made, rather than rolling off of an assembly line.

    The optimum modern industrial economy is one where quantity dominates rather than quality. Ideally a bit of both, but quantity allows the high overhead costs associated with building new infrastructure to be absorbed more easily.
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    However, production of luxury goods for a few rich people makes for a very horrible economy, because there's no economy of scale in the production process. Rich people prefer to buy stuff that's hand made, rather than rolling off of an assembly line.
    This is one of the reasons why most of countries live so poorly.Though I`m not still sure about you remark about hand made things that rich like to purchase.I could hardly imagine
    hand made computer or plasma TV (especially internal components).I don`t think that hand made luxury cars are also priority for modern rich.Sill I believe that from standard point of profits there is no sense for a buisenessmen to increase size of common goods productions.
    More profits=more self cosumption=more luxury goods produced.This is simple math,you can`t change it.To change this situation you need ONLY inmplement some socialist mesures.
    And in some countries (from what I know) they been implemented.For example in Danemark minimal salary istalled by goverment is approximately $20 per hour.I guess you will agree that situation when businessmen can`t decide how much thay will pay to workers and instead it`s decided by government is not quite capitalism already.Another possibility is to build ``virtual economy``.But in last case I still don`t understand why you need to depict in virtual reality a capitalism.With the same success it could be a socilism and it will perfectly work! 8)
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    Have either of you ever actually worked within a business? Most of this thread is ridiculous, and borderline delusional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    However, production of luxury goods for a few rich people makes for a very horrible economy, because there's no economy of scale in the production process. Rich people prefer to buy stuff that's hand made, rather than rolling off of an assembly line.
    This is one of the reasons why most of countries live so poorly.Though I`m not still sure about you remark about hand made things that rich like to purchase.I could hardly imagine
    hand made computer or plasma TV (especially internal components).
    I don`t think that hand made luxury cars are also priority for modern rich.
    Companies like Porsch, Lamborghini and Ferrari do use an assembly line but it's not nearly as advanced as Ford, GM, or Toyota. Luxury goods won't be fully hand made, because of the specialized tools needed to work the steel, but the degree of automation certainly varies between low and high volumes.

    That's really what I mean when I say "hand made". I mean it shifts in that direction. It doesn't perfectly arrive there. (Few things in economics perfectly do anything.)


    And in some countries (from what I know) they been implemented.For example in Danemark minimal salary istalled by goverment is approximately $20 per hour.I guess you will agree that situation when businessmen can`t decide how much thay will pay to workers and instead it`s decided by government is not quite capitalism already.Another possibility is to build ``virtual economy``.But in last case I still don`t understand why you need to depict in virtual reality a capitalism.With the same success it could be a socilism and it will perfectly work! 8)
    There are a lot of reasons why poorer people make better consumers. The first is as I've been mentioning, the degree of automation that comes with large volumes of orders, but there's also the simple fact that poor people are more frugal in their purchase choices, which forces companies to streamline their production process in order to remain competitive.

    A rich guy might be willing to pay 20 dollars for a bag of chips, because that amount of money is almost nothing to him. There would be very little pressure on the company that makes his food to do anything to maximize their efficiency.
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    There are a lot of reasons why poorer people make better consumers. The first is as I've been mentioning, the degree of automation that comes with large volumes of orders, but there's also the simple fact that poor people are more frugal in their purchase choices, which forces companies to streamline their production process in order to remain competitive.
    Unfortunately,for a businessman producing more common goods is just waste of time and factory reserves.More common goods=less luxury goods=less profits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    More common goods=less luxury goods=less profits.
    It's that simple, eh? Golly. Who cares about demand and market niche and cost of materials and margins and throughput and overhead costs, and ad infinitum. All those business schools taking thousands of peoples dollars when they could have learned all they need to know about business in kindergarten.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    There are a lot of reasons why poorer people make better consumers. The first is as I've been mentioning, the degree of automation that comes with large volumes of orders, but there's also the simple fact that poor people are more frugal in their purchase choices, which forces companies to streamline their production process in order to remain competitive.
    Unfortunately,for a businessman producing more common goods is just waste of time and factory reserves.More common goods=less luxury goods=less profits.
    Yeah. Luxury gives you the best markup, but also small markets with established competitors vending their name brand merchandise. Try setting up a factory to produce a new line of sports cars that competes with Lamborghini. Even if you manage to make a car that is very fast, you've also got to get accepted into the whole "status symbol" mystique. Luxury goods are not just about comfort. They're about prestige, and by definition prestige cannot ever be common thing to have. Otherwise it would not be prestigious anymore.

    But, do you understand what I'm saying about the rest? At the end of the day, the financial picture is just an analogue for something physical that has to happen in real life. In real life, goods have to be produced in quantity, or the economy cannot be said to be a "good" economy.
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    In real life, goods have to be produced in quantity, or the economy cannot be said to be a "good" economy.
    Yeah,that`s true.Most of countries don`t have good economies.I hope you realize that what is businessmen are interested for is not even money (as a papers) but in what thay could purchase for their money.Luxury goods.Therefore growth of profits is directly proportional to luxury goods production.I think you understand that there can`t be situation when profits are growing and in the same time volume of luxury goods (absolutely or propotionally) is falling.That`s quite absurd situation,and even if it will exist it will end up in hyperinflation or deflation or some other bubble burst.
    What is concerning to commong goods production,their production isn`t accented on profits but rather is attempt to create a social peace.At least from global perspective.This situation is somewhat changed by intrusion of goverment which taxes the rich and pay those money to government workers who in turn purchase common goods.For example in Germany 55% of GDP fall under government spendings.In this situation there is a sense for a businessmen to open factory which produces commong goods and sell them to govenment workers who in tern pay money taken by goverment from the other rich.But not all countries have transparent tax systems and want to bother with social peace creation.
    What is concerning the farther fate of Eastern Europe I don`t know, but Europe seems was able to born most strange social systems in history.For example, take example of former Yugoslavia.It was quite different from USSR.Most of etrerprises in Yugoslavia offically were worker`s managed co-ops with elected managers.Any worker at any time had right to call for a strike and often they did.Yugoslavs enjoyed freedom of movement and many of them worked in Europe especially in Western Germany.This country even had simplified system of visas for them.Currently it`s difficult to find a true vitness of life in Yugoslavia, but most of people agree that level of life there was much better than in Soviet Union.Some even say - better than in Eastern Germany.I don`t know if it`s true, but if they would did live so bad I guess government would not allow to move them abrod so easily...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    In real life, goods have to be produced in quantity, or the economy cannot be said to be a "good" economy.
    Yeah,that`s true.Most of countries don`t have good economies.I hope you realize that what is businessmen are interested for is not even money (as a papers) but in what thay could purchase for their money.Luxury goods.Therefore growth of profits is directly proportional to luxury goods production.I think you understand that there can`t be situation when profits are growing and in the same time volume of luxury goods (absolutely or propotionally) is falling.That`s quite absurd situation,and even if it will exist it will end up in hyperinflation or deflation or some other bubble burst.
    That's true. There does have to be an incentive to continue making money even after a person has reached the point of financial security. In the USA lots of wealthy people save up and buy private jets, which would certainly not be a practical thing to own unless you were certain you would have enough money to keep a pilot on retainer and buy fuel for it.

    At the same time, those amounts of wealth don't emerge in a vacuum. The rich guys who buy luxury goods can't make all of their money from selling luxury goods, or it would feed back into itself. It would be like an animal eating its own body to survive.

    What is concerning to commong goods production,their production isn`t accented on profits but rather is attempt to create a social peace.At least from global perspective.This situation is somewhat changed by intrusion of goverment which taxes the rich and pay those money to government workers who in turn purchase common goods.For example in Germany 55% of GDP fall under government spendings.In this situation there is a sense for a businessmen to open factory which produces commong goods and sell them to govenment workers who in tern pay money taken by goverment from the other rich.But not all countries have transparent tax systems and want to bother with social peace creation.
    Sometimes it is done in the name of social peace, but I don't think social peace is the only benefit.

    In the first place, there needs to be upward mobility. A person at the bottom has to be able to accumulate enough wealth from where they are in order to move up to the next level. That's essential because your most talented people are not always born into wealthy families. An economy that isn't run by its most talented people quickly becomes a cesspool of incompetence.
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    An economy that isn't run by its most talented people quickly becomes a cesspool of incompetence.
    Then all social systems which are based on inheritance should be inefficient.Probably future belongs to democratically ruled co-ops...
    Antislavery
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  44. #43  
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    Oct 2010
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    Inheritage had a sense when people were dying at 40-50 years old and their children were still young and building the future. But now, people are dying at 80-90 years old, their "children are 60, already retired. What is the point of inheritage ?
    This is showing that "capitalism" (I think inheritage is a key point in capitalism) is not adapting so well to modern world. Capitalism is an inheritance of the agriculture revolution (the land), morphed into the industrial age (the money). But in our modern age, the inheritage should be knowledge. Helping my daughter to learn better (not more but better) is the way I make an inheritage.
    Legating knowledge is not really capitalistic approach but it is an interesting approach.
    "L, tout n'est qu'ordre et beaut,
    Luxe, calme et volupt."
    (Baudelaire, L'Invitation au Voyage)
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  45. #44  
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    It would be like an animal eating its own body to survive.
    Very good comparison to economies which exist in Tunisia,Lybia,Egypt,Yemen and many other countries...

    I think Russia and China have the advantage of a strong central government. You at least know who you're going to have to bribe. And it's not always a money thing, as such. Maybe instead of an outright bribe, they expect you to buy all your iron from a certain company that's going to over charge you, or you have to hire their incompetent nephew and pay him about three times what you'd pay a well trained employee. It's stuff like that. Everything is personal and specific to the individual you're dealing with. Different people will handle it different ways, and most of them aren't going to be very direct about it.

    At least with a strong central government you can negotiate that stuff out with one or a few upper leaders, and they'll ensure all the lower ones stay out of your way. In Ukraine, the central government isn't very strong, so you could end up having to negotiate lots of different arrangements with lots of different people at a lot of different levels.
    From what I know I`m not quite sure that Russia has mach more efficient manufacturing than Ukraine.GDP per capita in Russia officially is higher,but this is mostly acheived by selling extensive mineral resources or something that is energy intensive such as ammonia,aluminum,raw still and so on.
    Antislavery
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  46. #45  
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    I`ve looked at some Western statistics and was wondered to know that according to those statistics average purchasing power parity of Russians even under current hard conditions are roughly equal to half or even two thirds that of Italy!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...PP)_per_capita
    And equal or almost equal to that of Poland.There is some countries in Europian Union who are poorer then Russia.
    But largest problem of Russia seems to be not as much overal production as unequal income distribution.Biggest part of all those money flow to the secret accounts in Western countries.
    Antislavery
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