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Development & Aid

245

Posts

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Table 5.7. HIV Prevalence and Life Expectancy at Birth, 2003
    	HIV prevalence 
    aged 15-49 	Life Expectancy without AIDS 	Life Expectancy with AIDS 
    Botswana 	37.3 	68.7 	36.6 
    Mozambique 	12.2 	52.6 	41.9 
    South Africa 	21.5 	67.0 	49.0 
    Swaziland 	38.8 	63.6 	32.9 
    Zambia 	16.5 	54.3 	37.4 
    Zimbabwe 	24.6 	63.5 	37.2 
    Source: UNAIDS (2004)
    
    Table 5.8. Medium Term Impact of HIV/AIDS on Income Levels and Economic Welfare (%)
    	TFP	HK 	K/L 	Y/P 	Welfare 
    Botswana 	1.8 	5.4 	3.1 	10.3 	84.1 
    Mozambique 	0.7 	2.1 	1.2 	4.0 	59.5 
    South Africa 	1.0 	3.1 	1.8 	5.9 	56.6 
    Swaziland 	1.3 	3.8 	2.2 	7.3 	74.8 
    Zambia 	1.0 	3.1 	1.7 	5.8 	73.4 
    Zimbabwe 	1.3 	3.9 	2.2 	7.4 	76.0 
    Source : Haacker (2002); Crafts and Haacker (2003)
    

    Yes the numbers are exactly that horrific - life expectancy halved in Botswana, reduced by a third in South Africa. You want to see a plague? Here it is.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    So, we should maybe lower our standard of living? Maybe they don't want hamburgers?
    That's a non-starter, especially in countries with democratic governments. The industrialized countries, especially the Western ones, have figured out how to create prosperous, stable and fairly peaceful societies. Let's not mess with a working system, but rather try and figure out how to get the rest of the world out of the mud.

    this makes the assumption that the prosperity found in the developed world isn't found at the cost of the exploited third world. I am not prepared to jump to the conclusion that industrialized nations' success is endothermic.
    There's a relatively small handful of nations with a colonial history. Who did Finland exploit? Or Switzerland? And, keep in mind, some of the more succesful recently-developed places, such as South Korea, Singapore and Hong King were colonized for a longer period and much more thoroughly than more screwed up places like Africa.

    finland: expoits environment, and outsources much of its electronics (and other) industries. also dicks to the laplanders, i believe
    CH: banking and finance, not gonna bother with how this might be shady. but i'll note their supply of cheap eastern and southern european labor.
    and the asian tigers? christ. now you're just being silly.
    You wrote the bolded. You're moving the goalposts if you want to talk about exploitation of the environment, outsourcing of industry (which seems like the opposite of exploitation, since it creates jobs), less-than-perfect treatment of certain minority groups, banking and finance ethics and voluntary immigration as a source of labor.
    your thinking on colonialism is uptight and old fashioned, maaannn
    How would you define colonialism, then?

    i am perfectly happy to include all of the above in my notion of colonialism. we should find a neo word for it. lets call them exploitative business practices.

    thisisntwally on
    #someshit
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    One thing we could do: cut farm subsidies in the US

    We have flooded the market with dirt cheap wheat, grain and corn to the point that nobody else in the world can make a dime growing staple crops. one significant reason that we have so many farmers coming over the border in our corn subsidies bankrupted huge portions of Mexico's agriculture industry.

    :^:

    Farm subsidies in the US and the European Union, coupled with the food aid that inevitably results, are both huge issues.

    I've always been leery of this argument. We spent 1,173 million dollars on wheat subsides in 04, and we produced 58.7 million metric tons of wheat. $20 per metric ton doesn't seem like it would be enough to offset the cost of shipping the grain to Africa. To me it seems more likely that the scale of US grain production is depressing the price below what makes it profitable for non-mechanized production. Especially consider how prices have been trending up since we got on the bio-fuel bandwagon, while subsides have not.

    You're not factoring in exactly how cheap international container shipping is these days. The container shipping industry shit the bed in 2008 due to overcapacity and a downturn in world trade, and freight prices are just starting to recover.

    Also, it's not so much about shipping the grain to africa, as them growing and shipping it to us.

    adytum on
    etxvv5.jpg
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm still rooting for a comprehensive switch to technological & expertise transfer in efforts that include development aid, beyond simply constructing infrastructure (which is great, unless that's all you're doing) or focusing solely on monetary aid, on the part of states. Though I think the current trend is that these efforts are being undertaken alot more by civil society groups rather than state apparatuses which is a bit of a shame.

    Aegis on
    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yes the numbers are exactly that horrific - life expectancy halved in Botswana, reduced by a third in South Africa. You want to see a plague? Here it is.

    It makes it doubly sad that so much of it was preventable, and how much of it has been screwed up by idiots like Mbeki, Rath or the pope.

    EDIT: Although it's worth pointing out that the number of AIDS cases has not been increasing significantly in recent years, and it seems fairly stabilised.

    surrealitycheck on
    obF2Wuw.png
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited April 2010

    i am perfectly happy to include all of the above in my notion of colonialism. we should find a neo word for it. lets call them exploitative business practices.

    So, you want a world without exploitative business practices?
    ...
    How?
    The only way you can get rid of exploitative business practices is to get rid of business, entirely. People want to make money, and in this unbalanced world someone from an agrarian economy can get more money working in the factory then they can working in the fields.
    I understand that I'm being viciously end-minded, and I admit that people die from corporate abuse, but the money that is flowing into these countries is going to benefit future generations from their countries and humanity as a whole. I'm being brutal, but reasonable.

    You, however, appear to be living in fairyland.

    Picardathon on
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Yes the numbers are exactly that horrific - life expectancy halved in Botswana, reduced by a third in South Africa. You want to see a plague? Here it is.

    Perhaps one of the saddest parts is that Botswana was looking to be one of the few mostly unqualified success stories in Africa. Canny management of its natural resources, reasonably strong institutions, etc etc. Certainly had issues still, but good lord.

    Saammiel on
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Let's identify the root causes of the problems, and try to come up with effective strategic implementations!
    Doesn't this sound like a great idea? Well, it's harder than it sounds. Nobody has figured it out yet. But they're trying.
    Let's talk about effective strategic implementations!

    There are basically two schools of thought on how nations can drag themselves up out of the economic muck: Import Substitution Expansion/Industrialization (ISE) or Export-Led Growth (ELG.)

    Import-Substitution Expansion seeks to reduce dependency on foreign goods, instead making those goods at home. Methods to promote ISE include currency devaluation and trade barriers (tariffs and/or subsidies.) This is usually used to produce basic goods - textiles, furniture, processed food, that sort of stuff. Ideally, the country becomes relatively self-sufficient. Important to note is that imports never stop; as industrialization progresses, it's likely that importation of specialized machinery will be necessary, as will non-essential consumer goods at various stages.

    The downside is that eventually your currency gets all cocked up, and you end up paying a lot of money for things that would be comparatively cheap if your trade laws were more liberal. The WTO may (read: will, probably) also eventually get all up in your business and tell you to knock it the fuck off, and since the WTO represents the nations you need to buy that specialized machinery from, you're kinda up a creek if your timing isn't right. It's also politically difficult to end the subsidies, which will eventually end up costing you more than they're worth.

    This strategy is generally associated with socialism. ISE was heavily utilized by Latin America from the Great Depression up through Reagan, at which point (to vastly oversimplify) South America's currencies got cocked up.




    Export-Led Growth looks for something the nation has a particular knack at and throws itself towards that industry with fervor. This is generally a somewhat faster climb towards prosperity, since you're building off existing advantages instead of trying to game the system. The problem is that the strategy generally focuses around exploitation of natural resources, and eventually you hit diminishing returns. If your economy hasn't diversified by that point, you're screwed. It can also be difficult for countries to implement; a lot of poor nations have comparative advantage in agriculture, but US and EU farm subsidies fuck them.

    ELG is generally associated with capitalism. ELG's been used very successfully in Brazil since they called a do-over on their currency in the late eighties.

    Salvation122 on
    sig.png
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    One thing we could do: cut farm subsidies in the US

    We have flooded the market with dirt cheap wheat, grain and corn to the point that nobody else in the world can make a dime growing staple crops. one significant reason that we have so many farmers coming over the border in our corn subsidies bankrupted huge portions of Mexico's agriculture industry.

    :^:

    Farm subsidies in the US and the European Union, coupled with the food aid that inevitably results, are both huge issues.

    I've always been leery of this argument. We spent 1,173 million dollars on wheat subsides in 04, and we produced 58.7 million metric tons of wheat. $20 per metric ton doesn't seem like it would be enough to offset the cost of shipping the grain to Africa. To me it seems more likely that the scale of US grain production is depressing the price below what makes it profitable for non-mechanized production. Especially consider how prices have been trending up since we got on the bio-fuel bandwagon, while subsides have not.

    You're not factoring in exactly how cheap international container shipping is these days. The container shipping industry shit the bed in 2008 due to overcapacity and a downturn in world trade, and freight prices are just starting to recover.

    Also, it's not so much about shipping the grain to africa, as them growing and shipping it to us.

    That is a good thought, but industrialized countries would get very nervous if they had to rely on others for food, a worry that would probably eclipse the current insanity regarding farm subsidies.

    In addition, food aid gets a bad rap, but it is allowing Africa to industrialize faster than they would if they had to feed themselves first. Low grain prices throughout the fifties and sixties fueled the growth of "free" Africa during that time.

    Picardathon on
  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited April 2010

    i am perfectly happy to include all of the above in my notion of colonialism. we should find a neo word for it. lets call them exploitative business practices.

    So, you want a world without exploitative business practices?
    ...
    How?
    The only way you can get rid of exploitative business practices is to get rid of business, entirely. People want to make money, and in this unbalanced world someone from an agrarian economy can get more money working in the factory then they can working in the fields.
    I understand that I'm being viciously end-minded, and I admit that people die from corporate abuse, but the money that is flowing into these countries is going to benefit future generations from their countries and humanity as a whole. I'm being brutal, but reasonable.

    You, however, appear to be living in fairyland.

    your fatalistic resignation to complacancy can be a shining beacon of hope to us all. i have faith it will overcome my propaganda and hyperbole to leave the world a better place to do business.

    i salute you, good sir.

    thisisntwally on
    #someshit
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    So, we should maybe lower our standard of living? Maybe they don't want hamburgers?
    That's a non-starter, especially in countries with democratic governments. The industrialized countries, especially the Western ones, have figured out how to create prosperous, stable and fairly peaceful societies. Let's not mess with a working system, but rather try and figure out how to get the rest of the world out of the mud.

    this makes the assumption that the prosperity found in the developed world isn't found at the cost of the exploited third world. I am not prepared to jump to the conclusion that industrialized nations' success is endothermic.

    I don't have the literature handy now but FWIW the academic consensus has already conclusively discredited this idea; if anything what you see is a ruling elite in Victorian-era Britain busy brutalizing its own domestic lower classes to fund oppression overseas (i.e., the lower classes died to seize colonies whose returns largely go to a domestic upper class). But the numbers strongly imply that colonization was not, on net, profitable to colonization nations as a whole.

    If you want I can dig the numbers up but such as it is. Incidentally, any argument along exploitation lines also has to explain how East Asia managed to get so rich despite said exploitation.

    Personally I am sceptical about any argument built on colonial history (and yes that includes the sophisticated institutional or geobiological malarial arguments forwarded in academe). Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch, Malaysia largely by the British, and Thailand never colonized. Yet their postwar development trajectories are astonishingly similar. I am much more inclined to blame the vagaries of luck in how the personalities of postwar politicians played out.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The problem is that the strategy generally focuses around exploitation of natural resources, and eventually you hit diminishing returns. If your economy hasn't diversified by that point, you're screwed.

    This pretty much needs to be paired with institutional capacity-building, since the lack of this will likely result in an African situation where it never gets past the point natural resource extraction (in a number of countries) because of rent-seeking that develops.

    Aegis on
    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya from what I recall of a recent study the implication was that what we plundered from the various colonies around the world on average did not cover the costs of the expeditions.

    surrealitycheck on
    obF2Wuw.png
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    2): Issues with fusion thermodynamics can theoretically be overcome by more efficient control methods; basically we need to get our hands on some room-temperature superconductors. We don't know how to to do that yet, but it's a problem we have no reason to believe cannot be solved.
    I agree with you completely. The discovery of true room temperature superconductivity would render my previous point moot.

    They have not been discovered. Ergo although we can conjecture on the cool things they would enable us to do if they did exist, the harsh reality is that at the moment, they do not.
    Right, but my point is that there's no reason not to keep throwing money at fusion, because big chunks of that money are going towards trying to find better superconductors.

    Salvation122 on
    sig.png
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited April 2010

    i am perfectly happy to include all of the above in my notion of colonialism. we should find a neo word for it. lets call them exploitative business practices.

    So, you want a world without exploitative business practices?
    ...
    How?
    The only way you can get rid of exploitative business practices is to get rid of business, entirely. People want to make money, and in this unbalanced world someone from an agrarian economy can get more money working in the factory then they can working in the fields.
    I understand that I'm being viciously end-minded, and I admit that people die from corporate abuse, but the money that is flowing into these countries is going to benefit future generations from their countries and humanity as a whole. I'm being brutal, but reasonable.

    You, however, appear to be living in fairyland.

    your fatalistic resignation to complacency can be a shining beacon of hope to us all. i have faith it will overcome my propaganda and hyperbole to leave the world a better place to do business.

    i salute you, good sir.

    Sorry dude, but I don't see how we're curing the third world of problems that we can't get rid of in America and Europe. All we can hope for is that they become rich and happy, and eventually balance out the world so that work in their home country pays just as well as work elsewhere. To do that, we need to let them grow, and right now growth seems to be doing well.
    The only model for wealth generation and industrialization is the one that Europe and America followed in the 18th and 19th century, which involved capital concentration creating massive corporations that exploited workers. The workers eventually pushed through political reforms that manifested through the New Deal, finalizing themselves when a company turned to the government to stop striking workers and found that the local, county, state, and federal governments were all on the workers' side. True growth in American living standards started there. Countries will move to limit corporate exploitation when people care about human rights more than money, and they will do it when they're damn ready.

    Picardathon on
  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya from what I recall of a recent study the implication was that what we plundered from the various colonies around the world on average did not cover the costs of the expeditions.

    your handle makes this post awesome

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
    The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010

    i am perfectly happy to include all of the above in my notion of colonialism. we should find a neo word for it. lets call them exploitative business practices.

    So, you want a world without exploitative business practices?
    ...
    How?
    The only way you can get rid of exploitative business practices is to get rid of business, entirely. People want to make money, and in this unbalanced world someone from an agrarian economy can get more money working in the factory then they can working in the fields.
    I understand that I'm being viciously end-minded, and I admit that people die from corporate abuse, but the money that is flowing into these countries is going to benefit future generations from their countries and humanity as a whole. I'm being brutal, but reasonable.

    You, however, appear to be living in fairyland.

    your fatalistic resignation to complacency can be a shining beacon of hope to us all. i have faith it will overcome my propaganda and hyperbole to leave the world a better place to do business.

    i salute you, good sir.

    Sorry dude, but I don't see how we're curing the third world of problems that we can't get rid of in America and Europe. All we can hope for is that they become rich and happy, and eventually balance out the world so that work in their home country pays just as well as work elsewhere. To do that, we need to let them grow, and right now growth seems to be doing well.

    The poorest countries have been stagnant for years and show no signs of improvement.

    adytum on
    etxvv5.jpg
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    So, we should maybe lower our standard of living? Maybe they don't want hamburgers?
    That's a non-starter, especially in countries with democratic governments. The industrialized countries, especially the Western ones, have figured out how to create prosperous, stable and fairly peaceful societies. Let's not mess with a working system, but rather try and figure out how to get the rest of the world out of the mud.

    this makes the assumption that the prosperity found in the developed world isn't found at the cost of the exploited third world. I am not prepared to jump to the conclusion that industrialized nations' success is endothermic.

    I don't have the literature handy now but FWIW the academic consensus has already conclusively discredited this idea; if anything what you see is a ruling elite in Victorian-era Britain busy brutalizing its own domestic lower classes to fund oppression overseas (i.e., the lower classes died to seize colonies whose returns largely go to a domestic upper class). But the numbers strongly imply that colonization was not, on net, profitable to colonization nations as a whole.

    If you want I can dig the numbers up but such as it is. Incidentally, any argument along exploitation lines also has to explain how East Asia managed to get so rich despite said exploitation.

    Personally I am sceptical about any argument built on colonial history (and yes that includes the sophisticated institutional or geobiological malarial arguments forwarded in academe). Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch, Malaysia largely by the British, and Thailand never colonized. Yet their postwar development trajectories are astonishingly similar. I am much more inclined to blame the vagaries of luck in how the personalities of postwar politicians played out.

    I don't believe it's necessarily limited to economic effects of colonialization. Institutional effects could be just as damaging in the gutting of traditional power and political structures which cause a lack of effective governance once the colonizing powers left.

    Aegis on
    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    your handle makes this post awesome

    I started the sentence and it got away from me :<

    surrealitycheck on
    obF2Wuw.png
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya from what I recall of a recent study the implication was that what we plundered from the various colonies around the world on average did not cover the costs of the expeditions.

    Yeah, pretty much. The point was that the people who paid the costs were not the people who reaped the benefits; the lower class expended the effort to seize and maintain the colonies, but the benefits (i.e., the people who received the money when resources extracted from the colonies were shipped home and sold to middle and lower classes) were by and large the upper class.

    Which is a neat narrative of oppression with a persuasive amount of empirical evidence behind it... but if you buy this story, then it can't also be true that the West is rich because they exploited the rest. Said exploitation was a net loss.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Table 5.7. HIV Prevalence and Life Expectancy at Birth, 2003

    Yes the numbers are exactly that horrific - life expectancy halved in Botswana, reduced by a third in South Africa. You want to see a plague? Here it is.

    That's really bad, but it's not exactly wiping out a quarter of the world's population like the Black Death did, or 50m/year like Smallpox.

    Salvation122 on
    sig.png
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Then you're asking for a plague deadly enough to evade all of modern medicine and public health (you know, the one that eradicated smallpox as a threat)... at which point it's no longer true that we're 'overdue' for one :P

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Table 5.7. HIV Prevalence and Life Expectancy at Birth, 2003

    Yes the numbers are exactly that horrific - life expectancy halved in Botswana, reduced by a third in South Africa. You want to see a plague? Here it is.

    That's really bad, but it's not exactly wiping out a quarter of the world's population like the Black Death did, or 50m/year like Smallpox.

    This plague is better in some ways and worse in others.

    Its better that it doesn't almost instantly kill you.

    Its worse in that it doesn't kill you immediately, but if you have children, your children will be born with it. Also, it doesn't have easily recognized symptoms for a long time after infection.

    Jephery on
    }
    "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see!".
  • TlexTlex Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    As evil as the British Empire was on occasion(quite a lot), it really was a huge step up from all the other Empires of the time, and not nearly as prone to murdering everyone. It could be argued that the British Empire wasn't a Bad Thing, in that it stopped nations being colonised by other, more exploitative Empires.

    On Malthus: As far as I know, Malthus predicted that population growth would exceed food production by the mid 19th century, this was proven wrong. In a world often considered overpopulated, the west consistently produces food surpluses, and many developed nations have the resources to be able to industralize and mechanise to a point at which they too can sustain and exceed their production needs(over the next 50-100 years).

    Tlex on
  • AlwaysNewDepthsAlwaysNewDepths Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
  • GothicLargoGothicLargo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    2): Issues with fusion thermodynamics can theoretically be overcome by more efficient control methods; basically we need to get our hands on some room-temperature superconductors. We don't know how to to do that yet, but it's a problem we have no reason to believe cannot be solved.
    I agree with you completely. The discovery of true room temperature superconductivity would render my previous point moot.

    They have not been discovered. Ergo although we can conjecture on the cool things they would enable us to do if they did exist, the harsh reality is that at the moment, they do not.
    Right, but my point is that there's no reason not to keep throwing money at fusion, because big chunks of that money are going towards trying to find better superconductors.

    I have no problem with continuing to fund the experiments, but I disapprove of people using the promise of fusion in the future as justification for forgoing practical solutions for improving efficiency of power generation today.

    "Because we spend on fusion research" is not an acceptable answer for "Why we don't spend on solar/wind implementation."

    GothicLargo on
    atfc.jpg
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »

    i am perfectly happy to include all of the above in my notion of colonialism. we should find a neo word for it. lets call them exploitative business practices.

    So, you want a world without exploitative business practices?
    ...
    How?
    The only way you can get rid of exploitative business practices is to get rid of business, entirely. People want to make money, and in this unbalanced world someone from an agrarian economy can get more money working in the factory then they can working in the fields.
    I understand that I'm being viciously end-minded, and I admit that people die from corporate abuse, but the money that is flowing into these countries is going to benefit future generations from their countries and humanity as a whole. I'm being brutal, but reasonable.

    You, however, appear to be living in fairyland.

    your fatalistic resignation to complacency can be a shining beacon of hope to us all. i have faith it will overcome my propaganda and hyperbole to leave the world a better place to do business.

    i salute you, good sir.

    Sorry dude, but I don't see how we're curing the third world of problems that we can't get rid of in America and Europe. All we can hope for is that they become rich and happy, and eventually balance out the world so that work in their home country pays just as well as work elsewhere. To do that, we need to let them grow, and right now growth seems to be doing well.

    The poorest countries have been stagnant for years and show no signs of improvement.

    Hey, we can check that!
    Right here!

    Hey, wait a minute, you have a good point...
    A question though: isn't this an issue of stable government rather than the growth cycle. One point to concede to colonialism is that it affected Africa long after the end of WWII, when Britain and France promoted symbiotic economic systems to their former colonies. Asian countries were largely left to their own devices after WWII. The issue is political wreckage and AIDS.

    Picardathon on
  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I think most countries would appreciate some help. Just not from us.

    Slider on
  • TlexTlex Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Spending on fusion research is great UNLESS it's used as justification for NOT spending on wind and solar power.

    Seriously, wind and solar? Aren't they the some of the most expensive and least productive forms of power generation?(if i'm wrong please enlighten me)

    Tlex on
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Tlex wrote: »
    I'm guessing you know nothing of the term Malthusian catastrophe, and that you've never read 1984.


    Malthus has been proven wrong for the last 230? years. Don't see why it should stop any time soon.

    It isn't that Malthus has been proven wrong. He was under the conception that the catastrophe would happen eventually, and the understanding that a catastrophe could happen has pushed many great scientists to advance food science to the point where it could feed the world.

    This is not true. Malthus didn't make vague claims, he made specific ones that were wrong.
    Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.

    Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.

    By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.
    ...

    All other arguments are of slight and subordinate consideration in comparison of this. I see no way by which man can escape from the weight of this law which pervades all animated nature. No fancied
    equality, no agrarian regulations in their utmost extent, could remove the pressure of it even for a single century.

    Except the agricultural revolution increased food production at much greater than arithmetic levels and population growth is often negative (excluding immigration) in the developed world. This lead to the rest of his arguments to be incorrect, including his specific predictions regarding mass starvation and the futility of trying to improve the welfare of man.

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hey, wait a minute, you have a good point...
    A question though: isn't this an issue of stable government rather than the growth cycle. One point to concede to colonialism is that it affected Africa long after the end of WWII, when Britain and France promoted symbiotic economic systems to their former colonies. Asian countries were largely left to their own devices after WWII. The issue is political wreckage and AIDS.

    I'm not making this stuff up as I go..

    There's a book that I will update the OP with later, called The Bottom Billion, that discusses the issues facing the poorest nations. It's an in-depth discussion of why they are consistently failing.

    It's an excellent book.

    adytum on
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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Aegis wrote: »
    The problem is that the strategy generally focuses around exploitation of natural resources, and eventually you hit diminishing returns. If your economy hasn't diversified by that point, you're screwed.

    This pretty much needs to be paired with institutional capacity-building, since the lack of this will likely result in an African situation where it never gets past the point natural resource extraction (in a number of countries) because of rent-seeking that develops.

    Absolutely. Both ISE and ELG rely on strong, competent governments. Unfortunately, in developing nations, those governments have a tendency to take forms that we don't like (eg: Venezuela.) Agricultural or resource-extraction focused ELG also tends to enact land reform and/or naturalization of resources, which pisses off the industrialized world since we generally already paid for the land/ore/whatever.

    Salvation122 on
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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Tlex wrote: »
    I'm guessing you know nothing of the term Malthusian catastrophe, and that you've never read 1984.


    Malthus has been proven wrong for the last 230? years. Don't see why it should stop any time soon.

    It isn't that Malthus has been proven wrong. He was under the conception that the catastrophe would happen eventually, and the understanding that a catastrophe could happen has pushed many great scientists to advance food science to the point where it could feed the world.

    This is not true. Malthus didn't make vague claims, he made specific ones that were wrong.
    Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.

    Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.

    By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.
    ...

    All other arguments are of slight and subordinate consideration in comparison of this. I see no way by which man can escape from the weight of this law which pervades all animated nature. No fancied
    equality, no agrarian regulations in their utmost extent, could remove the pressure of it even for a single century.

    Except the agricultural revolution increased food production at much greater than arithmetic levels and population growth is often negative (excluding immigration) in the developed world. This lead to the rest of his arguments to be incorrect, including his specific predictions regarding mass starvation and the futility of trying to improve the welfare of man.

    Malthus really couldn't have forseen the advent of effective birth control. Absent that, he's probably spot-on (although his timeline was wrong.)

    Salvation122 on
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  • TlexTlex Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Malthus really couldn't have forseen the advent of effective birth control. Absent that, he's probably spot-on (although his timeline was wrong.)

    wat

    He completely failed to account for technological developments in food production(see Green Revolution). He really missed a lot of other stuff too

    Tlex on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Let's identify the root causes of the problems, and try to come up with effective strategic implementations!
    Doesn't this sound like a great idea? Well, it's harder than it sounds. Nobody has figured it out yet. But they're trying.
    Let's talk about effective strategic implementations!

    There are basically two schools of thought on how nations can drag themselves up out of the economic muck: Import Substitution Expansion/Industrialization (ISE) or Export-Led Growth (ELG.)

    Import-Substitution Expansion seeks to reduce dependency on foreign goods, instead making those goods at home. Methods to promote ISE include currency devaluation and trade barriers (tariffs and/or subsidies.) This is usually used to produce basic goods - textiles, furniture, processed food, that sort of stuff. Ideally, the country becomes relatively self-sufficient. Important to note is that imports never stop; as industrialization progresses, it's likely that importation of specialized machinery will be necessary, as will non-essential consumer goods at various stages.

    The downside is that eventually your currency gets all cocked up, and you end up paying a lot of money for things that would be comparatively cheap if your trade laws were more liberal. The WTO may (read: will, probably) also eventually get all up in your business and tell you to knock it the fuck off, and since the WTO represents the nations you need to buy that specialized machinery from, you're kinda up a creek if your timing isn't right. It's also politically difficult to end the subsidies, which will eventually end up costing you more than they're worth.

    This strategy is generally associated with socialism. ISE was heavily utilized by Latin America from the Great Depression up through Reagan, at which point (to vastly oversimplify) South America's currencies got cocked up.

    Export-Led Growth looks for something the nation has a particular knack at and throws itself towards that industry with fervor. This is generally a somewhat faster climb towards prosperity, since you're building off existing advantages instead of trying to game the system. The problem is that the strategy generally focuses around exploitation of natural resources, and eventually you hit diminishing returns. If your economy hasn't diversified by that point, you're screwed. It can also be difficult for countries to implement; a lot of poor nations have comparative advantage in agriculture, but US and EU farm subsidies fuck them.

    ELG is generally associated with capitalism. ELG's been used very successfully in Brazil since they called a do-over on their currency in the late eighties.

    Um... this is mostly correct but there are some crucial details wrong. ISI entails overvaluing your currency; you need to buy all that dedicated heavy machinery and capital and you want to do so cheaply. It is ELG that entails devaluation, to boost the quantity of exports.

    ISI sort of works; in fact back in the ~70s it was the first-world-favored method of industrialization. Remember that ELG entails flooding the first world with cheap crap; this makes your country deeply unpopular very fast (remember the jokes about lousy Japanese then Korean then Taiwanese then Chinese electronics?). A cynic might say that the US only tolerated this because all these countries were capitalist nations arrayed around the communist domino.

    ISI is much more populist. ELG is, frankly speaking, brutal - it works best when you kick millions from the rural farmland into unemployment, viciously suppress trade unions and employee welfare, etc. - you don't need a domestic market, after all. What you need is cheap labor to make stuff and accumulate capital. ISI requires a domestic market and thereby tends to involve lots of protecting nascent domestic industries whilst preserving the ability of your domestic agricultural population to buy stuff. Hence tariffs on consumer good imports from the first world, third-world agricultural subsidies, vigorous trade unions, etc.

    Unfortunately a glance at history suggests that export-led works much better than import substitution.
    Aegis wrote: »
    The problem is that the strategy generally focuses around exploitation of natural resources, and eventually you hit diminishing returns. If your economy hasn't diversified by that point, you're screwed.

    This pretty much needs to be paired with institutional capacity-building, since the lack of this will likely result in an African situation where it never gets past the point natural resource extraction (in a number of countries) because of rent-seeking that develops.

    Absolutely. Both ISE and ELG rely on strong, competent governments. Unfortunately, in developing nations, those governments have a tendency to take forms that we don't like (eg: Venezuela.) Agricultural or resource-extraction focused ELG also tends to enact land reform and/or naturalization of resources, which pisses off the industrialized world since we generally already paid for the land/ore/whatever.

    Has resource-based (rather than industrialization-based) ELG ever worked? I mean, there's something we call the 'natural resource curse' for a reason, right...?

    ronya on
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  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The dude was operating on false postulates about agriculture and false postulates about birth control but his basic thinking was quite valuable. Darwin had Malthus' book with him while he was sailing on the Beagle. That said, it's fair to assume that people who ramble on about Malthusian Catastrophes in this day and age aren't well acquainted with the history of the original prediction, or they probably wouldn't seek to associate themselves with it.

    nescientist on
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  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Aegis wrote: »
    The problem is that the strategy generally focuses around exploitation of natural resources, and eventually you hit diminishing returns. If your economy hasn't diversified by that point, you're screwed.

    This pretty much needs to be paired with institutional capacity-building, since the lack of this will likely result in an African situation where it never gets past the point natural resource extraction (in a number of countries) because of rent-seeking that develops.

    Absolutely. Both ISE and ELG rely on strong, competent governments. Unfortunately, in developing nations, those governments have a tendency to take forms that we don't like (eg: Venezuela.) Agricultural or resource-extraction focused ELG also tends to enact land reform and/or naturalization of resources, which pisses off the industrialized world since we generally already paid for the land/ore/whatever.

    I'm wondering whether colonialism fucked us over in this latter regard. Not that we would be in a better position to dictate to LDCs how they should develop were they not colonialized (this is a bad plan), but rather that now that we have ideas of what the problems are and potential solutions that were it not for colonialism's influence in the past, we wouldn't have as much trouble now trying to convince the countries to try and enact their own versions of them or be more receptive to our technical aid in these areas. The current trend of getting region-specific development blocs is in some ways alright, given that there are some model countries in Africa to build off of.

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  • GothicLargoGothicLargo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Tlex wrote: »
    Spending on fusion research is great UNLESS it's used as justification for NOT spending on wind and solar power.

    Seriously, wind and solar? Aren't they the some of the most expensive and least productive forms of power generation?(if i'm wrong please enlighten me)

    There's a difference between inconvenience and inefficiency.

    Per installed unit solar and wind have a high initial installation cost relative to their output. A 3mw turbine windmill runs about 5 million USD plus the ongoing cost of the land to put it on. But it incurs no more maintenance costs then any other powerplant and requires no fuel.

    Mechanically, a three blade wind turbine is substantially more efficient then the thermal turbine of a boiled water plant (regardless of how the thermal energy is produced), since turbines are themselves relatively inefficient compared to Stirling engines (which are impractical for steam power generation).

    Photovoltaic cells are more efficient then thermal solar power or wind power but they have a number of practical limitations on cost and durability that make thermal solar more attractive. Thermal solar is no more efficient then other thermal energy but again benefits from having no fuel costs.

    The chief disadvantage of all solar/tidal driven processes is that they are chaotic. The wind doesn't always blow, the sun isn't always up (and is sometimes occluded), and sometimes the tides are so strong that they destroy stuff.

    So the real problem isn't that the power isn't available or cheap, but rather that the availability curve does not match the demand curve.

    There are practical solutions to this. In Japan they solve the problem by using lots of nuclear power, although not enough to meet their peak demand. They run their power plants at constant output and use the excess to pump water uphill overnight, releasing it during the day to provide power support. Thus they can match their availability curve to their demand curve without building more nuclear plants.

    GothicLargo on
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  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Has resource-based (rather than industrialization-based) ELG ever worked? I mean, there's something we call the 'natural resource curse' for a reason, right...?

    I don't have any current, non-book resources with me at the moment, but I'm curious as to whether there's an example of resource-based ELG occurring in a country with a functioning governance structure (one that is not corrupt or non-existent)? That's kind of what I was going at in terms of requiring capacity-building. I know that in the African context, rent-seeking in resource rents tends to be paired alongside a lack of internal political institutional presence, hence in part the development of the Bottom Billion.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Tlex wrote: »
    I'm guessing you know nothing of the term Malthusian catastrophe, and that you've never read 1984.


    Malthus has been proven wrong for the last 230? years. Don't see why it should stop any time soon.

    It isn't that Malthus has been proven wrong. He was under the conception that the catastrophe would happen eventually, and the understanding that a catastrophe could happen has pushed many great scientists to advance food science to the point where it could feed the world.

    This is not true. Malthus didn't make vague claims, he made specific ones that were wrong.
    Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.

    Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.

    By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.
    ...

    All other arguments are of slight and subordinate consideration in comparison of this. I see no way by which man can escape from the weight of this law which pervades all animated nature. No fancied
    equality, no agrarian regulations in their utmost extent, could remove the pressure of it even for a single century.

    Except the agricultural revolution increased food production at much greater than arithmetic levels and population growth is often negative (excluding immigration) in the developed world. This lead to the rest of his arguments to be incorrect, including his specific predictions regarding mass starvation and the futility of trying to improve the welfare of man.

    Malthus really couldn't have forseen the advent of effective birth control. Absent that, he's probably spot-on (although his timeline was wrong.)

    Lower birth rates among the wealthiest members of society and wealthiest societies predates modern birth control and he also dismissed any chance that agriculture could increase at more than arithmetic rates.

    The entire point is dismiss technological advancement at your peril. Every time someone has said man can't advance because of a practical problem, that problem has been eliminated or ameliorated by advancing technology or advances in society.

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