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The dark side of [Dubai]

124

Posts

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    TheOrange wrote: »
    Humanity got to the moon (more than 40 years ago) I can't believe we're still arguing between capitalism and socialism, why isn't a third super ideology been developed yet?

    Fascism advertised itself as such, but it had an annoying habit (with a few exceptions) of requiring warfare against a society--either itself, or another. It was not long for this world.

    Your dismay is valid. So far, compromise seems to be the name of the game--the exact mixture of which is determined by what it is you (or rather, the people with the reins of government) want.

    It seems most of the alternatives either require people to act in completely inhuman ways to work (Libertarianism, Communism, the many variants of Anarchism, etc), or rely on everyone buying into some religious/ethnic/nationalist cult of the state (fascism, theocracy). Or are just reinventions of the old medieval caste systems, with their inherant problems.

    The main reason you end up with socialism vs capitalism, is that when you start talking about an ideology, you have to start with the questions of are you going to have a government, and are you going to have an organized economy with things like state issued currency, state regulated markets, state approved contract enforcement etc. If you don't answer yes to these two questions, historically you pretty much fail by default. If you do, and you dont' want to run some massive medieval style serfdom or soviet style totalitarian state, then you pretty much have socialism, capitalism, or some compromise as your only options.


    I don't see this changing unless we reach post-scarcity. At which point people will stop giving a shit because they'll be too busy driving around their matter-replicated ferarris and snorting genetically-engineered-not to kill you cocaine off their 6-from-bsg-robot-hookers ass to care.

    Jealous Deva on
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The world is naturally unfair. The only way to have a system where everyone has the same thing is to take everything away from everyone and destroy it.

    Capitalism is far from perfect, but it is the best system at giving people a chance to have what they want. Many are at a natural disadvantage, sure, but the oprtunity still exists for them.

    A pure socialism falls victim to the fact that for it to true work, you need to cap what people are allowed to have. Also, it it requires much more involved regulation, so the risk for human corruption to fuck shit up is greater.



    Capitalism with regulations designed to keep markets competative, and socialized programs centered are human neccesities, is the best system there is. it is FAR from perfect, but there is no other way to better ballance equity and efficieny.

    Evander on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    TheOrange wrote: »
    Humanity got to the moon (more than 40 years ago) I can't believe we're still arguing between capitalism and socialism, why isn't a third super ideology been developed yet?

    Fascism advertised itself as such, but it had an annoying habit (with a few exceptions) of requiring warfare against a society--either itself, or another. It was not long for this world.

    Your dismay is valid. So far, compromise seems to be the name of the game--the exact mixture of which is determined by what it is you (or rather, the people with the reins of government) want.

    It seems most of the alternatives either require people to act in completely inhuman ways to work (Libertarianism, Communism, the many variants of Anarchism, etc), or rely on everyone buying into some religious/ethnic/nationalist cult of the state (fascism, theocracy). Or are just reinventions of the old medieval caste systems, with their inherant problems.

    Oh, no, that's not true.

    Fascism and theocracies also require people act in violent, inhuman manners. Just ask the communists, Marxists, and trade unionists the Brownshirts used as punching bags. Or rather, you could if they weren't all dead by 1939.

    More seriously, one thing I find intensely disappointing is that people seem to still be searching for a magical universal standard, as though economic systems can be treated like a unit of measurement, and work for everyone. As Evander pointed out, on this forum, you'll hear people say "Capitalism, while imperfect, is still the most fair system of management etc. etc."

    Which is all well and good. Except when people go into the area of, "This is true everywhere." Which they inevitably do. Apparently, it's very hard to talk about economics without saying, "Here's what I think would work for everyone, everywhere." Economics is not gravity, we can't apply it uniformly to the entire universe (we can't even do that for gravity, come to think of it...).

    At the risk of falling into a tired rant, I don't understand why it's so hard for people to accept that different systems might be better suited for different circumstances. We're not going to turn the whole world into USA 2.0, complete with free markets, campaign financing by the Fortune 500, and call-in television contests. Nor should we want to. The world isn't, obviously, industrialized to the same extent. It probably will never be. American-style Capitalism probably works awesome in plenty of places. Just not everywhere. Like where I was born.

    It's just a pet peeve of mine. I'm tired of Francis Fukuyama, "Western Liberalism is the final and greatest system of government people have ever had or will ever have," (he literally says this, in different words). To try and tie the rest of my exasperated rant to the subject at hand, just look at Dubai--modeling their economic practices after the United States might certainly be a huge improvement, but it might not be the best solution. Only a heavy examination of all options available will tell. Maybe.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Muse Among MenMuse Among Men Suburban Bunny Princess? Its time for a new shtick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Dubai sounds like some sort of nightmarish city from a science-fiction novel. The only useful purpose is serves is as a colorful setting for entertainment (of which I wonder why there isn't more) because it is so monumentally artificial.

    I have to ask, are there any documentaries about Dubai? Call me awful, but Dubai piques the curiosity in a way few cities do.

    Muse Among Men on
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    I don't understand why it's so hard for people to accept that different systems might be better suited for different circumstances.

    Which other systems allow individuals the same amount of freedom?

    adytum on
    etxvv5.jpg
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    I don't understand why it's so hard for people to accept that different systems might be better suited for different circumstances.

    Which other systems allow individuals the same amount of freedom?

    That depends. Seeing how no one is truly free, what freedoms are people willing to diminish as part of their social contract? I could be wrong here, but I don't think that there's a universal constant of "I'm willing to put up with X so long as it guarantees Y."

    What freedoms are people most concerned about? What do they consider freedom? More important, what do they consider instrumental to their well-being and that of those around them? And in a world of scarcity, if only so much freedom exists to go around, which freedoms are they willing to do without?

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    TheOrange wrote: »
    Humanity got to the moon (more than 40 years ago) I can't believe we're still arguing between capitalism and socialism, why isn't a third super ideology been developed yet?

    Fascism advertised itself as such, but it had an annoying habit (with a few exceptions) of requiring warfare against a society--either itself, or another. It was not long for this world.

    Your dismay is valid. So far, compromise seems to be the name of the game--the exact mixture of which is determined by what it is you (or rather, the people with the reins of government) want.

    It seems most of the alternatives either require people to act in completely inhuman ways to work (Libertarianism, Communism, the many variants of Anarchism, etc), or rely on everyone buying into some religious/ethnic/nationalist cult of the state (fascism, theocracy). Or are just reinventions of the old medieval caste systems, with their inherant problems.

    Oh, no, that's not true.

    Fascism and theocracies also require people act in violent, inhuman manners. Just ask the communists, Marxists, and trade unionists the Brownshirts used as punching bags. Or rather, you could if they weren't all dead by 1939.

    Oh I didn't mean inhuman as in mean, I meant inhuman as in not human.

    As in for example a society based on having giant orgies all the time works well for bonobos, because they are not human. However such a society in humans would invariably result in a clusterfuck (or I guess in this particular case not result in a clusterfuck) due to human nature.

    Jealous Deva on
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    Midshipman wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    One problem is that they don't have sewers. Of course the government fines the truckers who dump the human waste in the ocean, but..

    Not to mention that they don't have fresh water supplies to support their population, so their water is mostly desalinized and heavily treated. Fun side effects? Hair loss, among other things.

    Whoa, what are they treating the water with? Desal is just reverse osmosis; that shouldn't be causing a problem on its own.

    Desalinization can be done a couple of ways. The two most common are distillation (boiling/condensing) and reverse osmosis. Distillation is the most effective way, and can remove practically everything from water if done right. However, it is very expensive. You can cheapen it a bit by doing it under low pressure to save heating costs, but then you don't kill all the biological contaminants in the process, necessitating steps like uv treatment or bromination of the water.

    Reverse osmosis is relatively cheap, but doesn't remove most biological or chemical contaminants. This isn't a big deal in the open ocean or along uncontaminated coastline, but when you are basically trying to desalinate septic water, you have to get much more aggressive with chemical treatment to kill any biologicals, and you still get left with whatever chemical contaminant is already present. With the water from the coast of Dubai, you probably end up with a very mild form of chemotherapy. Your hair cells are some of the fastest multiplying cells in your body, and get hit the hardest from that style of attack.
    Wow. Good to know, since my state government is trying real hard to sell the concept here. Thanks!

    The really fancy reverse osmosis stuff keeps bacteria out, because the pores are simply too small for them to fit through. Doesn't work with chemical contaminants though, obviously.

    L|ama on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    TheOrange wrote: »
    Humanity got to the moon (more than 40 years ago) I can't believe we're still arguing between capitalism and socialism, why isn't a third super ideology been developed yet?

    Fascism advertised itself as such, but it had an annoying habit (with a few exceptions) of requiring warfare against a society--either itself, or another. It was not long for this world.

    Your dismay is valid. So far, compromise seems to be the name of the game--the exact mixture of which is determined by what it is you (or rather, the people with the reins of government) want.

    It seems most of the alternatives either require people to act in completely inhuman ways to work (Libertarianism, Communism, the many variants of Anarchism, etc), or rely on everyone buying into some religious/ethnic/nationalist cult of the state (fascism, theocracy). Or are just reinventions of the old medieval caste systems, with their inherant problems.

    Oh, no, that's not true.

    Fascism and theocracies also require people act in violent, inhuman manners. Just ask the communists, Marxists, and trade unionists the Brownshirts used as punching bags. Or rather, you could if they weren't all dead by 1939.

    Oh I didn't mean inhuman as in mean, I meant inhuman as in not human.

    As in for example a society based on having giant orgies all the time works well for bonobos, because they are not human. However such a society in humans would invariably result in a clusterfuck due to human nature.

    Oh.

    Well, that's an important distinction to make.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis, the problem with the multi-culturalist argument is when it's turned on it's head. Yes, the place where you're coming from is a good place, a humanitarian place.

    However, I doubt you would be fine with it if the leaders of Dubai were saying "hey, this is a part of our culture, this is the system our culture works best with and you don't understand our culture". And this is generally the way that those arguments go. You need to apply a universal standard because that's the only way that you can stop things like female genital mutilation from happening.

    Ethan Smith on
    I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks..
  • Wandering IdiotWandering Idiot Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If Dubai is headed for some severe economic downturn, it isn’t too surprising, as it’s been exhibiting a lot of behaviors of classic bubble economies. I’m still a bit confused as to the source of the government’s revenue, as oil is apparently a small part and they keep taxes low to promote foreign investment, and to what extent these mega-construction projects are being financed by the government vs. foreign corporations, but in any case it doesn’t seem like a particularly sustainable system.

    The thing I found most interesting reading the original article, which I was glad to see the author acknowledge by the end, is that Dubai functions as a microcosm of industrial society in general, just more stark. In the US we like to keep our pseudo-slave labor mostly overseas, but that doesn’t mean many of the products we buy aren’t made by people in similar situations to the imported workers in Dubai. Not to mention all the cheap illegal immigrant labor we use here, which as far as I can tell the government, rhetoric aside, more or less turns a blind eye to for the economic benefits. Although if worst comes to worst at least an illegal Mexican immigrant can try to get back over the border and isn’t stuck halfway across the world with no passport.

    What really bothers me is the question of to what extent modern industrial standards of living require a large underclass, however geographically separated, although in any case I don’t see why it can’t be made more humane through universal regulation, even if it cuts into profit margins a bit. At the risk of being labeled a technological determinist, I don’t think the situation is likely to change significantly until technological development makes underclass labor economically unnecessary, and provides enough economic multipliers that a relatively small amount of philanthropic intent can ensure a decent quality of living for everyone. I’m not describing a perfect utopia here (if nothing else the 2nd law of thermodynamics would seem to preclude that for the foreseeable future), but it would at least shift our problems to other, less distressing varieties.


    Also, although the factual corrections are welcome, that “rebuttal” seemed mostly like defensive handwaving along the lines of “well, I’ve never seen them personally, so I’m sure such abuses don’t exist”.


    EDIT:
    TheOrange wrote: »
    I can't believe we're still arguing between capitalism and socialism, why isn't a third super ideology been developed yet?
    The thing is, pretty much all economies are de facto mixed economies (you’re always going to have a capitalistic black market even in the most communist system, and there’s always going to be some effect on the economy from even the most laissez-faire government), but I think it works better if you admit the fact. It’s always easier to manage reality if you’re actually managing it and not nonexistent fantasies. Fascism is just another fantasy that everyone universally loooooves the state and can’t wait to die for it, rather than being kept in line mostly by fear.

    Wandering Idiot on
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    an underclass IS required

    globalization is trending positively, though. essentially, farming our labor to the third world spreads wealth over there, and over time raises them up.

    ideally, by the time that there is no one left to be the underclass, we will have robots for that

    Evander on
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm sure the Ethiopians are fucking ecstatic that their great great great grandchildren will get to make our pool noodles in 50 years.

    L|ama on
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    I'm sure the Ethiopians are fucking ecstatic that their great great great grandchildren will get to make our pool noodles in 50 years.

    do you have a better solution which will hold up over time?

    we are not going to have global justice tomorrow. it would be lovely, but I've got an early edition of the paper, and it just isn't in there.

    What exactly would you prefer? take wealth away from people who have earned it and hand it to people who have no idea what to do with it?

    Capitalism does not preclude relief programs to those who are suffering. I'm not saying "don't do anything to help them, because their great^3 grandkids will be fine". What I'm saying is that we're moving towards something better right now, and that's really the best we can hope for.

    If you have a better idea, though, I'd love to hear it.

    Evander on
  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Except y'know, the likelyhood is the richer and the well privelaged will continue to get richer, while the guy in the dirt will continue to wallow in the dirt.

    The class divide will continue and become greater. There will not be a time in the future when everyone on the world is well off. There will always be the dirt.

    WMain00 on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    L|ama wrote: »

    The really fancy reverse osmosis stuff keeps bacteria out, because the pores are simply too small for them to fit through. Doesn't work with chemical contaminants though, obviously.
    Yeah... I'm pretty sure they've installed the good stuff, but the plant itself keeps breaking due to the fact that they stinged on parts and built in a really silly location, so my confidence is somewhat shaken :P

    but anyway back to the topic. The corruption, it is very bad. But libertarians are still stupid.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Except y'know, the likelyhood is the richer and the well privelaged will continue to get richer, while the guy in the dirt will continue to wallow in the dirt.

    The class divide will continue and become greater. There will not be a time in the future when everyone on the world is well off. There will always be the dirt.

    so long as there are scarce resources, yes. If we move beyond scarce resources, no. Things like switching to renewable energy sources bring us closer.

    Capitalism is the one system which allows the poor a chance to get richer. It's not ideal, but it's better than the rest.

    Evander on
  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Except y'know, the likelyhood is the richer and the well privelaged will continue to get richer, while the guy in the dirt will continue to wallow in the dirt.

    The class divide will continue and become greater. There will not be a time in the future when everyone on the world is well off. There will always be the dirt.

    so long as there are scarce resources, yes. If we move beyond scarce resources, no. Things like switching to renewable energy sources bring us closer.

    Capitalism is the one system which allows the poor a chance to get richer. It's not ideal, but it's better than the rest.

    But the likelyhood is we are going to be feeding off scarce resources (let's just say oil!) for at least another 50 to 100 years, and if we're lucky (and we don't blow each other up in an infinite war for the last resource) we may move on to renewable energy. But what makes you think renewables won't be sold off at high prices either? These resources will be limited to areas that can gather it easily.

    In the end capatilism is going to lead us down a slow path to oblivion.

    WMain00 on
  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I don't think capitalism will lead us down a slow path to oblivion.

    You haven't yet, as Evander pointed out, proposed a better way to arrange things while avoiding the necessary evils of capitalism.

    Solvent on
    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.

    http://newnations.bandcamp.com
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    Capitalism is the one system which allows the poor a chance to get richer. It's not ideal, but it's better than the rest.

    This is getting a fair bit off topic, but really? Even when redistribution of wealth is one of the basic tenets of socialism, nope because that's not fair to the oppressors.

    Aid programs in a largely capitalist structure are useless, if they're enough to help then chances are the area will grow to depend on them, if they aren't they don't really do much to help. There's also the problem of the IMF and world bank being terrible.

    L|ama on
  • TheOrangeTheOrange Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well, is the world bank and the IMF intentonaly terrible, as in, they are evil gooses, or is it just that they don't do much good in the grand scale?

    Although the world bank probably needs a thread of its own, making their information and data public is hardly the sign of an evil entity.

    TheOrange on
  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Solvent wrote: »
    I don't think capitalism will lead us down a slow path to oblivion.

    You haven't yet, as Evander pointed out, proposed a better way to arrange things while avoiding the necessary evils of capitalism.

    COMMUNISM!!

    I don't have a solution. I just don't think capitalism is the wonder kid of the block and i'm hopeful we'll eventually push out of it into a better system.

    Monotheisticpseudocapataloidism.

    :winky:

    WMain00 on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    TheOrange wrote: »
    Well, is the world bank and the IMF intentonaly terrible, as in, they are evil gooses, or is it just that they don't do much good in the grand scale?

    Although the world bank probably needs a thread of its own, making their information and data public is hardly the sign of an evil entity.

    They used to be - look up the saga of their attempt to privatise water in Bolivia for a quick example, but as a broader description they used to come in and basically gut a debtor country's economy in order to pay its national debt - strip all the health and education funding and redirect it, sort of thing. Which as you can imagine didn't work out too well for anyone in the long term - the cash wasn't enough to even touch the principle loan sums, and a country's ability to grow economically was ruined. And did I mention they brokered a lot of the original loans programs with the knowledge that the countries they were loaning to maybe wouldn't be capable of meeting the payments?

    They've apparently cleaned up their act in recent years, but they caused a lot of damage while acting as a combination of the first world's loansharks and repo men.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Except y'know, the likelyhood is the richer and the well privelaged will continue to get richer, while the guy in the dirt will continue to wallow in the dirt.

    The class divide will continue and become greater. There will not be a time in the future when everyone on the world is well off. There will always be the dirt.

    Tell that to Singapore, or South Korea, or Hong Kong, or China. Export led development is the best path to prosperity we currently know of to pull a country from abject poverty to developed status.
    What really bothers me is the question of to what extent modern industrial standards of living require a large underclass, however geographically separated, although in any case I don’t see why it can’t be made more humane through universal regulation, even if it cuts into profit margins a bit.

    If you really care about their living standards you would just advocate for unfettered democracy and not some sort of 'universal regulation' model. That way those effected can simply vote themselves whatever quality of life regulations they want. It is an act of supreme arrogance to think we have the right to tell say Peru what their optimal regulatory policies are. The only place where you maybe have a case for global regulation is pollution.

    Saammiel on
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Saammiel wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Except y'know, the likelyhood is the richer and the well privelaged will continue to get richer, while the guy in the dirt will continue to wallow in the dirt.

    The class divide will continue and become greater. There will not be a time in the future when everyone on the world is well off. There will always be the dirt.

    Tell that to Singapore, or South Korea, or Hong Kong, or China. Export led development is the best path to prosperity we currently know of to pull a country from abject poverty to developed status.

    He was talking about people, not the countries themselves.

    While the poverty percentage has dropped dramatically over 20 years or so in China, income disparity has grown. Which is exactly what he was talking about.

    Wassermelone on
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Saammiel wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Except y'know, the likelyhood is the richer and the well privelaged will continue to get richer, while the guy in the dirt will continue to wallow in the dirt.

    The class divide will continue and become greater. There will not be a time in the future when everyone on the world is well off. There will always be the dirt.

    Tell that to Singapore, or South Korea, or Hong Kong, or China. Export led development is the best path to prosperity we currently know of to pull a country from abject poverty to developed status.

    He was talking about people, not the countries themselves.

    While the poverty percentage has dropped dramatically over 20 years or so in China, income disparity has grown. Which is exactly what he was talking about.

    Except that is heavily dependant on culture. In Singapore and South Korea, both have stayed more or less the same, while their growth has been astronomical.

    Saammiel on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    While the poverty percentage has dropped dramatically over 20 years or so in China, income disparity has grown. Which is exactly what he was talking about.
    My response to that is, so what? If there are less and less people in China living under the poverty line, who cares about income disparity? The existence of rich people in Shanghai and Beijing doesn't take anything away from the poor peasant in Tibet.

    I've never really seen the problem with a high rate of income disparity, so long as the poor are getting richer.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I think the most important question is, has the total number of people worldwide, below the poverty line, been dropping? Or does it continue to increase, since the poorest countries tend to have the highest population growth? Any country can make itself look more prosperous if it's relying on cheap overseas labor.

    Pi-r8 on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    While the poverty percentage has dropped dramatically over 20 years or so in China, income disparity has grown. Which is exactly what he was talking about.
    My response to that is, so what? If there are less and less people in China living under the poverty line, who cares about income disparity? The existence of rich people in Shanghai and Beijing doesn't take anything away from the poor peasant in Tibet.

    I've never really seen the problem with a high rate of income disparity, so long as the poor are getting richer.

    Well in the US the poor have gotten richer but not at the rate of inflation or the rise of living costs. You can make more money and have less effective spending power. in fact it's a natural trend when money keeps concentrating more at the top.

    nexuscrawler on
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hey, facts here.

    China and the US currently have very similar income disparities.

    But don't let that get in the middle of your arguments everyone.

    adytum on
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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    I think the most important question is, has the total number of people worldwide, below the poverty line, been dropping? Or does it continue to increase, since the poorest countries tend to have the highest population growth? Any country can make itself look more prosperous if it's relying on cheap overseas labor.

    There are fewer poor countries, but the poorest aren't getting anywhere due to a lot of reasons.

    Please note: those reasons do not include "foreign capitalist meddling"

    adytum on
    etxvv5.jpg
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    While the poverty percentage has dropped dramatically over 20 years or so in China, income disparity has grown. Which is exactly what he was talking about.
    My response to that is, so what? If there are less and less people in China living under the poverty line, who cares about income disparity? The existence of rich people in Shanghai and Beijing doesn't take anything away from the poor peasant in Tibet.

    I've never really seen the problem with a high rate of income disparity, so long as the poor are getting richer.
    Oh look, someone who doesn't know anything about China! Or the economic and social impacts of income disparity. Here you go.

    The thing about the income disparity there is that its also very very urban/rural separated, to the point where just about everyone bails from their local community as soon as they're old enough to get a factory job in the nearest large town. Not much money makes it back. The cities pull money and resources away from the country, so the disparity does actually cause major problems.

    The rural social order is collapsing in a pile (highest suicide rate in the world, last I heard. Drinking pesticide is a popular choice), there's no funding for anything out there (you know, like roads and sewers and buildings that won't fall on your head in an earthquake), and there aren't many people left to do farming. Its not a sustainable situation. The one saving grace is that its probably also a relatively temporary situation. Just a few more decades...

    This is all ignoring the ethnic element, wherein the Han majority is doing a whole lot better than the several dozen other ethnicities in China. Like your Tibetan peasant.

    The US still has a bit of that divide, but its very much cushioned by an established modern infrastructure and a much more developed economy. And farm subsidies.

    The Cat on
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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    I think the most important question is, has the total number of people worldwide, below the poverty line, been dropping? Or does it continue to increase, since the poorest countries tend to have the highest population growth? Any country can make itself look more prosperous if it's relying on cheap overseas labor.

    There are fewer poor countries, but the poorest aren't getting anywhere due to a lot of reasons.

    Please note: those reasons do not include "foreign capitalist meddling"

    *coughTheCongocough*

    The Cat on
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  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    I think the most important question is, has the total number of people worldwide, below the poverty line, been dropping? Or does it continue to increase, since the poorest countries tend to have the highest population growth? Any country can make itself look more prosperous if it's relying on cheap overseas labor.

    There are fewer poor countries, but the poorest aren't getting anywhere due to a lot of reasons.

    Please note: those reasons do not include "foreign capitalist meddling"

    I don't think there's any sort of conspiracy by foreign companies to keep 3rd world nations poor, but they certainly enjoy the huge supply of cheap labor there. It's kind of hard to imagine how society would work if we had to pay everyone a decent wage.

    Pi-r8 on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    I think the most important question is, has the total number of people worldwide, below the poverty line, been dropping? Or does it continue to increase, since the poorest countries tend to have the highest population growth? Any country can make itself look more prosperous if it's relying on cheap overseas labor.

    There are fewer poor countries, but the poorest aren't getting anywhere due to a lot of reasons.

    Please note: those reasons do not include "foreign capitalist meddling"
    Well, in a lot of cases the poorest of the poor tend to live in countries that are so fucked up that they haven't really seen any significant economic growth. It's one thing to be poor in a country where you at least have the chance to better your lot by working in a sweatshop. It's a lot worse to be in a country where subsistence farming and reliance on international aid is the only means of survivial for 90%+ of the population, with the remaining 10% being the people in power and their lackeys.

    There are differences among poor countries, after all. Some are developing and some aren't (and some probably never will).

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis, the problem with the multi-culturalist argument is when it's turned on it's head. Yes, the place where you're coming from is a good place, a humanitarian place.

    However, I doubt you would be fine with it if the leaders of Dubai were saying "hey, this is a part of our culture, this is the system our culture works best with and you don't understand our culture". And this is generally the way that those arguments go. You need to apply a universal standard because that's the only way that you can stop things like female genital mutilation from happening.

    Except we're not talking about mutilation here. We're not talking about, in effect, a Universal Declaration of Human Rights (an idea that, while flawed in areas, I still think is a pretty good idea). In fact, in practical reality, capitalism usually puts very specific issues like that on the back burner. We're talking about dictating another society's value because we like them, because we need to justify our way of life becoming their way of life. And, funny thing about that, some things we find mundane can be horrific to other groups of people. Saying "Our way is better, shut up and agree" frequently works, but it has the nasty side consequence of pissing people off.

    We're talking about implementing economic systems based primarily on the notion, "Hey, it worked for us! if it doesn't work for you, we're either overlooking something but, more likely, you're doing it wrong." Not all economists feel this way--but you can find plenty who do (or political theorists like Fukuyama). What makes it hilariously tragic is that we already know the world is full of incredibly disparities and difference circumstances, so we inevitably enter the area of "Make the whole of the world just like us, so it fits our economic system."

    The problem with the universal standard argument is that it, very quickly, enters the area of defending our choices simply on a matter of principle, rather than addressing reality. The reason is obvious: any universal standard argument will inevitably run into resistance when you implement it, because humans know other humans aren't omniscient. It literally becomes a matter of loosing face. "Capitalism--you must come to her defense!", because it's capitalism (just like any other popular ideology or philosophy). That is generally where those arguments go--it's not the fault of the system, it's the fault of the people, it's the fault of the environment, it's the fault of history, but above all it is not the fault of the system. It's not limited to capitalism by any means, and because we're so intimately familiar with our own economic system, we know what works, and it becomes the popular cause. It has to work. Any problems are inevitable, and they should learn to accept those problems like we do. All other concerns become irrelevant. So how far do we go in her defense?

    I'm not arguing against capitalism (unless being a capitalist requires that you think it works everywhere the best, including Mars). I'm arguing against the Fukuyama-esque notion that, in general, we're somehow bestowed with the knowledge of the best economic and political philosophies for all human circumstances forever (at least for groups of more than a dozen people).

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    I think the most important question is, has the total number of people worldwide, below the poverty line, been dropping? Or does it continue to increase, since the poorest countries tend to have the highest population growth? Any country can make itself look more prosperous if it's relying on cheap overseas labor.

    There are fewer poor countries, but the poorest aren't getting anywhere due to a lot of reasons.

    Please note: those reasons do not include "foreign capitalist meddling"

    *coughTheCongocough*

    I didn't say anything about private or corporate entities. Or what were you talking about?

    Nobody has clean hands. But as a whole it's not "the west" that's the problem.

    adytum on
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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    The rural social order is collapsing in a pile (highest suicide rate in the world, last I heard. Drinking pesticide is a popular choice), there's no funding for anything out there (you know, like roads and sewers and buildings that won't fall on your head in an earthquake), and there aren't many people left to do farming. Its not a sustainable situation. The one saving grace is that its probably also a relatively temporary situation. Just a few more decades...

    I confess I don't get why preserving a rural social order is a worthy goal; it doesn't seem like a particularly nice social order to begin with.

    To be sure, it would be nicer to dismantle it with less collateral damage along the way.

    ronya on
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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    The rural social order is collapsing in a pile (highest suicide rate in the world, last I heard. Drinking pesticide is a popular choice), there's no funding for anything out there (you know, like roads and sewers and buildings that won't fall on your head in an earthquake), and there aren't many people left to do farming. Its not a sustainable situation. The one saving grace is that its probably also a relatively temporary situation. Just a few more decades...

    I confess I don't get why preserving a rural social order is a worthy goal; it doesn't seem like a particularly nice social order to begin with.

    To be sure, it would be nicer to dismantle it with less collateral damage along the way.

    Gandhi thought it was a good idea. Guess how it turned out for India?

    Hint: poorly.

    adytum on
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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm writing up an OP about development, because it's an interesting subject close to my heart and this thread isn't really meant to discuss it.

    adytum on
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