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The dark side of [Dubai]

1235»

Posts

  • Modern ManModern Man 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.
    The rural social order is pretty much doomed in any country that sees industrialization and economic growth. If you go back just a few generations in any Western country, you'll find the majority of people working in agriculture. Today, it's something like 3% in the US. The reason people leave rural towns for the cities is because life in the cities is typically better.

    Having a large percentage of your people living in rural areas is a bad sign for a country, typically.

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

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    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.
    The rural social order is pretty much doomed in any country that sees industrialization and economic growth. If you go back just a few generations in any Western country, you'll find the majority of people working in agriculture. Today, it's something like 3% in the US. The reason people leave rural towns for the cities is because life in the cities is typically better.

    Having a large percentage of your people living in rural areas is a bad sign for a country, typically.

    Eh, I contest a most of those points. Firstly, the rural social order doesn't have to be a repressive hicksville, I'm mostly just talking about having a roughly balanced and self-sustaining local demographic. If most of your population is old folks and leftover village idiots, you're not going to do very well.

    Secondly, just because things have happened that way historically doesn't mean the same path has to be followed in order to succeed. Development rates and pathways can be improved upon; the impact of development on the rural economy can be managed with a bit of decent planning.

    Thirdly, metropolitan primacy causes a spiral of localised development, where the presence of more people leads to services concentrating in one spot leads to more people showing up etc etc. Its a massive problem in Australia - I can easily pin major transport infrastructure woes, housing supply problems, underservicing of rural communities, political problems, and half a dozen other issues the state has to contend with as a result of almost all our population squashing itself into a few locations. Getting in early and preventing that pileon into a few boom towns is important, but China didn't do that, instead opting to rapidly develop a network of coastal cities whose labour force is overwhelmingly sourced from the rural inland of the nation.

    Fourthly, even though the primary production sector needs to drop in size as an economy develops, the bottom line is that you starve if you neglect it too hard. Or at least, your citizens start getting income stress from excessive food costs. Food security is kind of obscured by the degree of international trade in foodstuffs, but it all has to come from somewhere.

    Lastly, farming requires less labour now due to mechanisation, and that was one of the primary drivers behind the western exodus to the cities (life in a city certainly wasn't better-quality in 1860!). But mechanised farming has its own drawbacks. A slightly more labour-intensive agricultural system may actually be more environmentally sustainable, provided the details are worked out correctly.

    The Cat on
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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    So I made a quick and dirty OP about development. Maybe we can carry this civil conversation on there?

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=118059

    adytum on
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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Regarding documentaries about Dubai:


    http://www.mazalien.com/dubai-dreams.html


    Dubai Dreams. I think you can watch it all online there.

    adytum on
    etxvv5.jpg
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I worked in Dubai for 6 months back in 2005, seemed rather dull as all you could do was shop and indulge in luxury, nice if you are a teenager or retired, rather boring for a young man. Even if I had money, shopping wouldn't be enough, there's no adventure like in Seattle or Addis Abbaba, it was really quite dull and all the locked up sexual frustration made me dropped $100 12 hours at a strip club.

    I sum it up best when I point out hat my father and brother always ate at big restaurants or ordered delivery from subway, but I preferred the corner Burger shop since I got two mini gyros and a coke for 5 dirham.

    As far as economic development goes, resources are required to supply the global economies and labor is one of those resources. Profit comes from selling a product for more than it cost to make it and until a resource source is made available in infinite supply that requires net zero labor to refine, the global economic systems will have to make someone it's bitch.

    Until then, we are leaves in the wind and we are not sailing the final frontier.

    RoyceSraphim on
  • Muse Among MenMuse Among Men Suburban Bunny Princess? Its time for a new shtick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Regarding documentaries about Dubai:


    http://www.mazalien.com/dubai-dreams.html


    Dubai Dreams. I think you can watch it all online there.

    Oh cool, thanks.

    Also, gyros are tasty food, that makes perfect sense.

    Muse Among Men on
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2010
    I worked in Dubai for 6 months back in 2005, seemed rather dull as all you could do was shop and indulge in luxury, nice if you are a teenager or retired, rather boring for a young man. Even if I had money, shopping wouldn't be enough, there's no adventure like in Seattle or Addis Abbaba, it was really quite dull and all the locked up sexual frustration made me dropped $100 12 hours at a strip club.

    I sum it up best when I point out hat my father and brother always ate at big restaurants or ordered delivery from subway, but I preferred the corner Burger shop since I got two mini gyros and a coke for 5 dirham.

    As far as economic development goes, resources are required to supply the global economies and labor is one of those resources. Profit comes from selling a product for more than it cost to make it and until a resource source is made available in infinite supply that requires net zero labor to refine, the global economic systems will have to make someone it's bitch.

    Until then, we are leaves in the wind and we are not sailing the final frontier.

    I don't suppose you could tell me which of the UAE's is the cultural center. I just remember reading that it had a shitton of museums and was building "The Museum of Islamic Art" or somesuch.

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    As far as systems go, I would just go what has worked best thus far. Which in my opinion is the Scandinavian model. There are still rich and there are still poor, but those down on their luck are still guanteered a certain standard of living (unemployement pay, healthcare, other social services) with possibilities to achieve something greater if they have enough motivation (free education). It's not perfect but it is the best.

    Capitalism ensures that wealth is created, socialism ensures that wealth shared evently. Because let's face it, you are where you are because you won or lost the fucking genetic lottery, not because you work harder then everyone else. No matter how hard anyone in this forum thinks they work, there will always be someone who does ten times the work for 10% of the money. You'll probably benefit from their work, so it's only fair that you pay something back in taxes to ensure these people can get some of the stuff you were given from birth (healthcare, education, not being under constant threat of violent murder, etc.).

    Of course, if you happen to be a Darfur orphan who made it to the top due to grit and determination and there is currently an Academy-award level movie being made of your adventures, good job.

    You still have to pay taxes though.

    DarkCrawler on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    As far as systems go, I would just go what has worked best thus far. Which in my opinion is the Scandinavian model. There are still rich and there are still poor, but those down on their luck are still guanteered a certain standard of living (unemployement pay, healthcare, other social services) with possibilities to achieve something greater if they have enough motivation (free education). It's not perfect but it is the best.

    Personally, I think the Scandinavian states (well, at least most of them) can be damn proud of their socio-economic arrangement.

    But this brings up two questions.

    First, can you effectively implement that system in a specific society? Second, will that society allow you too, without tearing you to shreds?

    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
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As far as systems go, I would just go what has worked best thus far. Which in my opinion is the Scandinavian model. There are still rich and there are still poor, but those down on their luck are still guanteered a certain standard of living (unemployement pay, healthcare, other social services) with possibilities to achieve something greater if they have enough motivation (free education). It's not perfect but it is the best.

    Personally, I think the Scandinavian states (well, at least most of them) can be damn proud of their socio-economic arrangement.

    But this brings up two questions.

    First, can you effectively implement that system in a specific society? Second, will that society allow you too, without tearing you to shreds?

    I'm not too familiar with the scandanavian states.. but aren't their government expenditures based on an abundance of natural resources?

    adytum on
    etxvv5.jpg
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As far as systems go, I would just go what has worked best thus far. Which in my opinion is the Scandinavian model. There are still rich and there are still poor, but those down on their luck are still guanteered a certain standard of living (unemployement pay, healthcare, other social services) with possibilities to achieve something greater if they have enough motivation (free education). It's not perfect but it is the best.

    Personally, I think the Scandinavian states (well, at least most of them) can be damn proud of their socio-economic arrangement.

    But this brings up two questions.

    First, can you effectively implement that system in a specific society? Second, will that society allow you too, without tearing you to shreds?

    I'm not too familiar with the scandanavian states.. but aren't their government expenditures based on an abundance of natural resources?

    Norway has oil and they are filthy rich. Sweden has iron ore, Finland has forests, Iceland has natural gas, Denmark, I think doesn't really have much...but only Norway has enough natural resources on it's own to have built it's prosperity onto it, they literally don't have any debt and are the only western country to have a surplus. It's true that the natural resources and small population size are factors in Scandinavian prosperity, but I don't think they are the only reason it has worked. Our (Finland) biggest industry is high-tech (Nokia) these days anyway.

    And it's probably near-impossible to implement it into all countries in the world. Specific societies are emulating it though, and there is no reason a country like Namibia (2 million people, good natural resources) for example couldn't succeed in it. Larger countries would of course face far more difficulties, though I think U.S, for example doesn't have any other obstacles then the political to achieve similar things for it's citizen. It would of course need to sacrifice in some other areas.

    But you don't have to exactly copy the Nordic model to have a relatively fair and successful society, but the mix of socialism/capitalism is essential to success in my opinion. Including high taxation.

    DarkCrawler on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'd actually be inclined to agree about the "mixture theory". Think of it as a fuel mixture--the ratio is going to be very different between a high-performance car and, say, an airplane.

    That being said, the point of this is that the mixtures will be very different from place to place, but I think they're promising. To emulate DarkCrawler briefly and speak from first-hand experience, a better mixture of command and corporate economic principles would have saved my country from an enormous amount of suffering in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. And probably into the 1980s and 1990s as well, when I was alive.

    Instead, we went with the "Capitalism or bust!" method, which resulted in every aspect of society being privately owned by members of the ruling party (but not the state itself), the result of which was that the ruling party of a ostensibly poor and small nation of a few million people in East Asia became the richest political organization in the world, with assets equivalent to several billion American dollars. Practically all economic growth during almost the entire "Asian Tiger" period went to the same small clique of people.

    In other words, that was not the model to emulate.

    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.
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    I'd actually be inclined to agree about the "mixture theory". Think of it as a fuel mixture--the ratio is going to be very different between a high-performance car and, say, an airplane.

    That being said, the point of this is that the mixtures will be very different from place to place, but I think they're promising. To emulate DarkCrawler briefly and speak from first-hand experience, a better mixture of command and corporate economic principles would have saved my country from an enormous amount of suffering in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. And probably into the 1980s and 1990s as well, when I was alive.

    Instead, we went with the "Capitalism or bust!" method, which resulted in every aspect of society being privately owned by members of the ruling party (but not the state itself), the result of which was that the ruling party of a ostensibly poor and small nation of a few million people in East Asia became the richest political organization in the world, with assets equivalent to several billion American dollars. Practically all economic growth during almost the entire "Asian Tiger" period went to the same small clique of people.

    In other words, that was not the model to emulate.

    Taiwan, I'm guessing?

    DarkCrawler on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Ding ding ding ding!

    To be fair, I did say "small country in East Asia". If you had guessed it correctly without that, I would have been very impressed by your, er, worldly..ness.

    Though at the same time, East Asia happened to have a bunch of Capitalist military dictatorships doin' their thing, so you would have had to choose between South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, parts of Indonesia...

    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.
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, I was just thinking of a "filthy rich political party in East Asia" and Kuomintang popped into my mind.

    Taiwan's economic growth has been insane (like with all the other Tigers), but I'm not so sure about social issues. It always ranks pretty high in international comparisons though. Considering it's unsure political situation it's pretty impressive, and the Taiwanese exhange student at the place where I work at seems to have a pretty good words about it. (The whole One China policy on both sides is wieerrdd though)

    DarkCrawler on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Taiwan has a lot of serious social issues, many of them historical hangups. They also have rampant corruption and incredibly abuses of power--to give you an idea, the prior President is in jail. As is his wife. For the rest of their lives. And not for valiantly resisting political oppression. For embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars (NT). He also managed to convince the World Superpower (the United States) that China was one telephone call away from invading Taiwan, something that a frightening number of Americans still seem to believe, either out of political expedience, genuine concern, or naivety.

    It goes back even further. People still try and put Chiang Kai Shek on trial in absentia (because he's dead) for all the people massacred and tortured back in 1947 under his watch, at his mausoleum. It usually ends with police coming in with night sticks and everyone getting arrested. So, yeah, we have lot of social problems. Not Dubai bad, but still pretty bad. To my knowledge, the Taipei 101, which was recently replaced by the Burj Khalifa as the tallest building in the world, was not built in-part with slave labor, so they can be proud of that.

    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.
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, I suppose a country can't get rid of all it's problems when it has been a single-party dictatorship until the late 1980s. I mean, look at the countries that came from behind the Iron Curtain. Still got a lot of shit there (even in the EU members Romania and Bulgaria).

    DarkCrawler on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    There are only so many ways to develop stably. Singapore's path involved most of its economy becoming foreign-owned; today it is still dominated by MNCs and has trouble creating its own businesses. Japan and Korea both ended up constructing elaborate business monopolies and conglomerates that imposed their own political stranglehold.

    Taiwan has significant homegrown industries but without the massive conglomerates. It is also, surprisingly, not actually very corrupt according to the Perceptions Index; it ranks higher than South Korea, for example. Of course it would be preferable if it were more like (say) Singapore in terms of incorruptibility but then I suspect it would then also be more like Singapore elsewhere. Singapore's government is tightly disciplined by the international market and the inclinations of foreign investors; Taiwanese leaders can afford to get away with abuses precisely because doing so would not destroy its economy.

    ronya on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well, one of the major reasons is that "Claiming nuclear Armageddon is going to start over your country, and getting huge amounts of military material and hardware on loan" isn't corruption. It is lying, and, frankly, evil.

    Selling it is corruption.

    The Corruption Perceptions Index isn't much of a consolation to me. After all, "immigrant slavery" isn't corruption if you own up to it. It's still pretty goddamn evil though. Also, comparing Taiwan to South Korea isn't really an apt comparison (even though there are similarities in economics). If we take the ranking at its face-value, socially, culturally, and from a legal standpoint, Taiwan is far more like Japan (no. 17 in the index). Almost the entire legal code comes from Japan, as does some of our parliamentary procedure. The fact that Taiwan ranks 20 behind Japan is pretty damn embarrassing considering they are easily the single greatest foreign governmental influence in the Island's 20th century history (with the US coming in second probably).

    Also, Ronya, uh...what are you talking about? Taiwan still has lots of conglomerates--the Lin Yuan Banking Group, Formosa Plastics Groups, Tatung, China Trust, freakin' Evergreen. I'm fairly certain that Evergreen owns most of the privately-held airlines in Taiwan, and maybe a large chunk of the Taiwanese Air Force. There's even a word for it in pinyin romanization, guanxi-qiye. They probably make up about half of the GNP (maybe less). Heck, I remember that FPG owns a gigantic port in Vietnam (where, I don't recall though).

    And now we are drifting away from the topic of Dubai and into "capitalist states who do not-nice things".

    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.
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Taiwanese economy has large companies - which country doesn't? - but it is nonetheless more dispersed that South Korea or Japan, especially pre-1997. South Korea and Japan simply have even larger companies. My impression is that this is the generally accepted statement of affairs in the literature - e.g., this paper.

    And to be fair to Taiwan, the Japanese postwar economic miracle started well before the Taiwanese boom did.

    There's no disputing that the Taiwanese economic miracle occurred under a spectacularly murderous government. It was dramatically worse than (say) Korea and Singapore, despite all three being effectively dictatorial across the 70s and early 80s. I do suspect however that modern Taiwan is not especially corrupt. Maybe evil, but lawful evil, to borrow a concept.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • BastableBastable Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Cat wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Hachface wrote: »
    Dubai will make a splendid ruin.

    Yep. When your biggest industry (oil) runs out in a couple decades and the next (construction) is dependent on the first to exist, all that's to be expected are some pretty cool ruins.

    They can probably make a fair chunk of cash just because of their location as a transport nexus - shipping and air fees. That's about all they got, though.

    Hmm, another interesting thing - a number of articles popped up in places like the Economist and Time recently about Islamic business practices and how they're allegedly more ethical and better for creating stable economies (they contain religious prohibitions against a lot of trading tricks common in the west). But then you've got Dubai, and its select cabal of rich dudes basically doing whatever it takes to score overseas dollars. Not a good look...

    The Quran also contains a statement that men and women are equal, hadith have women with the ability to divorce because their husband does not make them happy, Muhammad gave women property right when most arab women were treated as chattel. Yet a number of obstinately Islamic societies treat women atroiciously and in direct contraditions to old religious rulings and intent and more inline with the position of women in Arab society before Muhammed decided to starve himself to meet god.

    Bastable on
    Philippe about the tactical deployment of german Kradschützen during the battle of Kursk:
    "I think I can comment on this because I used to live above the Baby Doll Lounge, a topless bar that was once frequented by bikers in lower Manhattan."

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    There's no disputing that the Taiwanese economic miracle occurred under a spectacularly murderous government. It was dramatically worse than (say) Korea and Singapore, despite all three being effectively dictatorial across the 70s and early 80s. I do suspect however that modern Taiwan is not especially corrupt. Maybe evil, but lawful evil, to borrow a concept.

    Oh, you had to go and drag D&D into this. You're bad, and you should feel bad.

    And to the credit of South Korea, Taiwan's President was never assassinated by a member of the Taiwan NSB. Park Chung Hee was killed by the director of his own country's intelligence service. That's pretty fucked up. I don't know the specifics, but in light of the fact that there is an adjacent demilitarized zone, and that neighboring North Korea does attempt to undermine aspects of South Korean society (unlike China and Taiwan, who mostly just fire missiles near one another and frown menacingly), I'm tempted to say South Korea had the harsher dictatorial regime overall.

    However, modern Taiwan's government is corrupt. Beyond a doubt. Probably not the most corrupt thing ever, but it definitely counts as corrupt. "Embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars" is the very definition of corrupt. I don't know if it's evil as well, but it is corrupt.

    It's also a nice demonstration that a two-party state with fair elections (I'm pretty confident of this, I even voted in 2008) can be batshit corrupt as well.

    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.
  • Wandering IdiotWandering Idiot Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Saammiel wrote: »
    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.
    And how would you propose we do that, per se? Basic human and worker’s rights can be enforced by requiring compliance with certain treaties and such with our trading partners; trying to tell Dubai, for instance, that they can no longer be a monarchy is likely to meet with considerably more resistance.

    Wandering Idiot on
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Not a documentary, but tangentially related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3m3I7iMnvw

    adytum on
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