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Arroyo_Doble
11-04-2011, 03:50 PM
America’s missing middle (http://www.economist.com/node/21536596)

The coming presidential election badly needs a shot of centrist pragmatism


http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20111105_LDP002_0.jpg


IT IS a year until Americans go to the polls, on November 6th 2012, to decide whether Barack Obama deserves another term. In January the Republicans start voting in their primaries, with the favourite, Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, facing fading competition from Herman Cain, a pizza tycoon, and Rick Perry, the governor of Texas. Already American politics has succumbed to election paralysis, with neither party interested in bipartisan solutions.

This would be a problem at the best of times; and these times are very far from that. Strikingly, by about three to one, Americans feel their country is on the wrong track. America’s sovereign debt has been downgraded. Unemployment remains stubbornly above 9%, with the long-term unemployed making up the largest proportion of the jobless since records began in 1948. As the superpower’s clout seems to ebb towards Asia, the world’s most consistently inventive and optimistic country has lost its mojo.

Some of this distress was inevitable. Whatever the country’s leaders did in Washington, the credit crunch was always going to cause a lot of suffering. Rising inequality, unfunded pensions and bad schools are not new problems. But politics, far from offering a remedy, is now adding to the national angst. Eight out of ten Americans mistrust their government. There is a sense that their political system, like their economy, has been skewed to favour the few, not the many.

The European Union may seem the epitome of political dysfunction, but America has been running it close. All this year the deadlock between the Republicans in Congress and Mr Obama has meant that precious little serious legislation has been passed. The president’s jobs bill is stuck; the House of Representatives’ budget plans have been scuppered by the Democrat-controlled Senate. At the end of this year temporary tax cuts and other measures, worth around 2% of GDP, are set to expire—which could push America back into recession.

Surrender to extremists

On the face of it, neither side has gained from this stand-off. Only 45% of Americans approve of Mr Obama’s performance. The approval rating for Congress dropped to 9% in one recent poll. A plurality of Americans call themselves independents, and on the most divisive economic argument—how to solve the budget mess—two in three of them back a combination of spending cuts and tax rises. But politics is being driven by extremists who reject any such compromise (see article).

The right is mostly to blame. Ronald Reagan, a divorcee who did little for the pro-life lobby and raised taxes when he had to, would never be nominated today. Mr Romney, like all the Republican presidential candidates, recently pledged to reject tax rises, even as part of a deal where spending cuts would be ten times bigger. Mr Cain surged briefly to the front of the pack because of a plan that would cut personal taxes to 9% (see Lexington); Mr Perry lost support for wanting to educate the children of illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, in Congress, the few remaining pragmatic Republican centrists, like Senator Richard Lugar, are being hunted down by tea-party activists.

Articulate_Ape
11-04-2011, 04:06 PM
http://i531.photobucket.com/albums/dd359/JamesSavant/facepalm_chimp.png

Arroyo_Doble
11-04-2011, 04:09 PM
http://i531.photobucket.com/albums/dd359/JamesSavant/facepalm_chimp.png

http://asset0.atcamberwell.com/system/files/1019/main/Hear.No.Evil.jpg?1244549216


http://asset0.atcamberwell.com/system/files/1018/main/Speak.no.Evil.jpg?1244549122

Articulate_Ape
11-04-2011, 04:12 PM
Your beloved Left has systematically been destroying America for over 50 years. I've watched it happen. The push back is coming and it is not going to be pretty.

Arroyo_Doble
11-04-2011, 04:17 PM
Your beloved Left has systematically been destroying America for over 50 years. I've watched it happen. The push back is coming and it is not going to be pretty.

I think we did pretty well as a nation. Defeated fascism and communism, brought about the dominant culture on the globe, continue to be the greatest economy, and are unrivaled militarily. We've come a long way from the burning of Washington in 1814.

Granted, the Aughts set us back a bit but I think we will pull out of it.

Articulate_Ape
11-04-2011, 04:20 PM
Defeated fascism and communism...

No, you imported, espoused, and adopted both. We lost the Cold War thanks to your ilk and people are just starting to notice.

Arroyo_Doble
11-04-2011, 04:22 PM
No, you imported, espoused, and adopted both. We lost the Cold War thanks to your ilk and people are just starting to notice.

You are raving.

Starbuck
11-04-2011, 04:25 PM
...........the favourite, Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, facing fading competition from Herman Cain...........The right is mostly to blame. Ronald Reagan, a divorcee who did little for the pro-life lobby and raised taxes.......... Mr Cain surged briefly to the front of the pack.................hunted down by tea party activists...

Leaning a bit to the left, you think? The article is dated Nov 5th. Cain may indeed "fade", but he ain't yet.

It is a relief to me to see that someone with a left hand only keyboard spins the wheel in Romney's favor. If the left loves Romney, I have made a good choice in trusting Herman Cain.

Articulate_Ape
11-04-2011, 04:26 PM
You are raving.

Not really. This country is significantly less free than it was 30 years ago. I was around then, were you?

Arroyo_Doble
11-04-2011, 04:46 PM
Leaning a bit to the left, you think? The article is dated Nov 5th. Cain may indeed "fade", but he ain't yet.

It is a relief to me to see that someone with a left hand only keyboard spins the wheel in Romney's favor. If the left loves Romney, I have made a good choice in trusting Herman Cain.

The Economist is centrist. It has a pretty neoliberal (conservative, free-trade, globalization, open markets, ect) stance.

But I agree they may have jumped the gun on Cain's "fade." They appear to expect his bubble to be burst by the so-called sex scandal. My opinion is the jury is still out on that.

Articulate_Ape
11-04-2011, 06:15 PM
There is a diminished middle because the Democratic Party has moved so far left as to espouse socialism and flirt with communism, holding up radical Leftists as folk heroes. The reaction by the Republican Party and the Conservative-leaning voters that make up the majority of the Independent block has been to solidify in opposition to the radicals that wish to turn America into a Soviet-style society.

The radicals who the state-run media claim are social heroes:

http://www.fortliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/white-kids-assault-black-police-officer.jpg

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0154369b9c68970c-640wi


AND...


Patriotic Americans who the state-run media claim are dangerous, violent, racist radicals:

http://ph.cdn.photos.upi.com/collection/upi/373df360c9352946d3888eb7d011786c/Anti-Tax-Protesters-Stage-Tea-Party-Rally-in-Chicago_5.jpg

http://images.politico.com/global/news/101013_teaparty_rally_ap_605.jpg


You do the math.

Rockntractor
11-04-2011, 06:27 PM
They appear to expect his bubble to be burst by the so-called sex scandal. My opinion is the jury is still out on that.

Exactly what did Cain do, what specifically happened to cause the allegations?

Wei Wu Wei
11-04-2011, 06:31 PM
The Economist is centrist. It has a pretty neoliberal (conservative, free-trade, globalization, open markets, ect) stance.

But I agree they may have jumped the gun on Cain's "fade." They appear to expect his bubble to be burst by the so-called sex scandal. My opinion is the jury is still out on that.

How is neoliberalism "centrist"?

Wei Wu Wei
11-04-2011, 06:34 PM
There is a diminished middle because the Democratic Party has moved so far left as to espouse socialism and flirt with communism, holding up radical Leftists as folk heroes. The reaction by the Republican Party and the Conservative-leaning voters that make up the majority of the Independent block has been to solidify in opposition to the radicals that wish to turn America into a Soviet-style society.

The Democratic Party gets billions of dollars from wallstreet. Obama got more financial support from wallstreet than any president in history.

Their actions reflect this perfectly, they are a corporatist party who are just a little more tolerant with gays, that is all.

The Democrats do not reflect any departure from the corporate plutocracy at all.



The radicals who the state-run media claim are social heroes:


Big American Media is entirely corporate-owned.

There are few non-commercial news outlets with any viewership in the US.

Articulate_Ape
11-04-2011, 06:44 PM
The Democratic Party gets billions of dollars from wallstreet. Obama got more financial support from wallstreet than any president in history.

Their actions reflect this perfectly, they are a corporatist party who are just a little more tolerant with gays, that is all.

The Democrats do not reflect any departure from the corporate plutocracy at all.




Big American Media is entirely corporate-owned.

There are few non-commercial news outlets with any viewership in the US.


Which is the dog and which is the tail, WWW? The answer to that is not so simple.

Wei Wu Wei
11-04-2011, 06:56 PM
Which is the dog and which is the tail, WWW? The answer to that is not so simple.

I would say wealth is power. I agree the answer isn't the simplist, but this is precisely the sort of discussion I think we should be having.

Articulate_Ape
11-04-2011, 07:06 PM
I would say wealth is power. I agree the answer isn't the simplist, but this is precisely the sort of discussion I think we should be having.

Unfortunately, you and your fellow pinkos limit your discussion to wealth redistribution rather than the distribution of opportunity and personal accountability back to the People where it belongs. You choose the easy "Robin Hood" fairy tale methodology in your attempt to treat the symptoms rather than the disease that is ailing our Republic.

Starbuck
11-04-2011, 08:47 PM
The Economist .........But I agree they may have jumped the gun on Cain's "fade." They appear to expect his bubble to be burst by the so-called sex scandal. My opinion is the jury is still out on that.....
WHAT??! How dare you be reasonable, you, you... Reasonablist!
That's the whole problem with this website...can't even get a fight started.....

Rockntractor
11-04-2011, 09:05 PM
WHAT??! How dare you be reasonable, you, you... Reasonablist!
That's the whole problem with this website...can't even get a fight started.....

He has an occasional flash of sanity, and then he goes blank again!:confused:

Odysseus
11-04-2011, 10:50 PM
The Democratic Party gets billions of dollars from wallstreet. Obama got more financial support from wallstreet than any president in history.

Their actions reflect this perfectly, they are a corporatist party who are just a little more tolerant with gays, that is all.

The Democrats do not reflect any departure from the corporate plutocracy at all.

Big American Media is entirely corporate-owned.

There are few non-commercial news outlets with any viewership in the US.
You act as if one cannot be a leftist/socialist and a plutocrat. In every communist/socialist/progressive state, there has been a pampered elite which lived better than everybody else, by virtue of political connections and power. The difference between a bureaucrat who lives large while running a state-owned monopoly and a crony capitalist who benefits from having his pet politician restrict his rivals' access to markets through political machinations is only a matter of semantics.

He has an occasional flash of sanity, and then he goes blank again!:confused:

Yeah, it's frustrating.

Wei Wu Wei
11-04-2011, 10:58 PM
You act as if one cannot be a leftist/socialist and a plutocrat. In every communist/socialist/progressive state, there has been a pampered elite which lived better than everybody else, by virtue of political connections and power.

I never implied otherwise.

Your response to every criticism is to point harder at someone else.

The failures of a socialist country across the world does nothing to diminish the failures within our own country.

Pointing out the faults in the Republican party does not explain or erase the faults in the Democratic party. Pointing out the flaws in the Soviet system does not explain or erase the faults in the American system.


The difference between a bureaucrat who lives large while running a state-owned monopoly and a crony capitalist who benefits from having his pet politician restrict his rivals' access to markets through political machinations is only a matter of semantics.

What about a regular capitalist like Steve Jobs who gets wealthy off of the slave labor of chinese sweatshops?

NJCardFan
11-04-2011, 11:01 PM
The article lost me with this:

Herman Cain, a pizza tycoon
Herman Cain is not a pizza tycoon. If you can't tell the difference between someone who owns a pizza conglomerate and someone who was asked to bring a struggling corporation from the brink of disaster into profitability then you shouldn't be writing news articles. John Schnatter is a pizza tycoon. Herman Cain is not.

http://images.politico.com/global/news/101013_teaparty_rally_ap_605.jpg

Wait, I thought the Tea Party is racist? Why do I count at least 10 black people in the 2 Tea Party pictures, however, in the 2 OWS pictures all I see are white kids.

Rockntractor
11-04-2011, 11:10 PM
I never implied otherwise.

Your response to every criticism is to point harder at someone else.

The failures of a socialist country across the world does nothing to diminish the failures within our own country.

Pointing out the faults in the Republican party does not explain or erase the faults in the Democratic party. Pointing out the flaws in the Soviet system does not explain or erase the faults in the American system.



What about a regular capitalist like Steve Jobs who gets wealthy off of the slave labor of chinese sweatshops?
Tell those Chinese people you wish they didn't have their jobs, by the way, Chinese communist officials that live very well set those laborers wages.

Wei Wu Wei
11-04-2011, 11:13 PM
Tell those Chinese people you wish they didn't have their jobs, by the way, Chinese communist officials that live very well set those laborers wages.

I wish they had good jobs at businesses that they had some control over.

Rockntractor
11-04-2011, 11:27 PM
I wish they had good jobs at businesses that they had some control over.

You have little choice when you have a communist government.

Odysseus
11-05-2011, 12:35 AM
I never implied otherwise.

Your response to every criticism is to point harder at someone else.
No, my response to your criticisms is to point out that you are the occupant of a glass house. You claim to want democratic socialism, but no socialist state has ever been democratic for more than a few minutes.


The failures of a socialist country across the world does nothing to diminish the failures within our own country.
First, it's not the failure of a socialist country, it's the failure of every socialist country in the world, every single one. Second, your critiques of capitalism are based on several flawed assumptions, one of which is that there is a viable alternative to capitalism, when there isn't. You also claim that the problems in our economy are the fault of capitalism, rather than the policies of the leftists who have been gradually driving our economy and political systems towards socialism. It's like demanding that we breath pure carbon monoxide instead of air, on the grounds that the air in Los Angeles is less than perfectly clean.


Pointing out the faults in the Republican party does not explain or erase the faults in the Democratic party. Pointing out the flaws in the Soviet system does not explain or erase the faults in the American system.
Pointing out the faults in both parties, but comparing them objectively, allows you to analyze imperfect choices and pick the less corrupt, less deluded party. Pointing out the inherent flaws in all socialist systems, not just the Soviet system, doesn't erase the flaws in the American system, but it does put them into perspective. By comparing the two, we see that the socialist models that you advocate result in horrific working conditions, gross inefficiencies, poverty, stagnation and societal collapse. I'll take a business cycle over that any day.


What about a regular capitalist like Steve Jobs who gets wealthy off of the slave labor of chinese sweatshops?

You miss the point. Slave labor exists in China because it is still under the control of a communist party, not because Steve Jobs is a capitalist. A coercive state can cut costs through the use of force, while a free market drives down costs through innovation and competition. Your inability to see the difference is rather scary, considering that you are paid to educate others.

Odysseus
11-05-2011, 12:45 AM
I wish they had good jobs at businesses that they had some control over.
Oh, you wish... A few thoughts on wishing instead of thinking:

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.


Anonymous

A wish is a desire without an attempt.


Farmer Digest

Industry need not wish.


Benjamin Franklin

Let us act on what we have, since we have not what we wish.


Cardinal J. Newman

Men try to run life according to their wishes; life runs itself according to necessity.


Jean Toomer

Some people develop a wishbone where their backbone should be.


Anonymous

Stop the mindless wishing that things would be different. Rather than wasting time and emotional and spiritual energy in explaining why we don't have what we want, we can start to pursue other ways to get it.


Greg Anderson

The wishing gate opens into nothing.


Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Zathras
11-05-2011, 02:33 AM
Oh, you wish... A few thoughts on wishing instead of thinking:

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.


Anonymous

A wish is a desire without an attempt.


Farmer Digest

Industry need not wish.


Benjamin Franklin

Let us act on what we have, since we have not what we wish.


Cardinal J. Newman

Men try to run life according to their wishes; life runs itself according to necessity.


Jean Toomer

Some people develop a wishbone where their backbone should be.


Anonymous

Stop the mindless wishing that things would be different. Rather than wasting time and emotional and spiritual energy in explaining why we don't have what we want, we can start to pursue other ways to get it.


Greg Anderson

The wishing gate opens into nothing.


Charles Haddon Spurgeon

You forgot one Ody....

Crap in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first.

fettpett
11-05-2011, 08:14 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkebmhTQN-4&feature=relmfu

Wei Wu Wei
11-05-2011, 12:30 PM
No, my response to your criticisms is to point out that you are the occupant of a glass house. You claim to want democratic socialism, but no socialist state has ever been democratic for more than a few minutes.

Social Democracy exists in many nations, with better healthcare, education, social mobility, general happiness, wealth distribution, labor support, crime rates, and more.

They aren't perfect by far, but they seem to be doing some things better than we are. They blend elements of capitalism and socialism. Nations like this are Norway, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and more.





First, it's not the failure of a socialist country, it's the failure of every socialist country in the world, every single one.

We don't need to go back to Soviet-style socialism, I agree. That doesn't mean we can't look at them more objectively, within proper historical context, and without chest-thumping jingoism in order to learn a thing or two.


Second, your critiques of capitalism are based on several flawed assumptions, one of which is that there is a viable alternative to capitalism, when there isn't.

I think this is a key point that keeps coming up. This is the point where thinking comes into place. Some people only know how to choose between options that are given to them in advance, but in reality that's often not enough. In reality, often times the options you get are all shitty.

Countless times in history, great innovations of thought and technology came because someone realized there were no other existing alternatives, and they sought to create them. They found new directions in thought, asked questions that were previously always assumed, or found entirely new ways for things to be used or combined.

I like to use the example of Ptolemy and Copernicus:


Ptolemy was working on a geocentric model of the universe, and kept noticing the orbital patterns of the planets had weird inconsistencies to them, at times they even appered to change direction multiple times in their orbits.

Because Ptolomy was absolutely certain that the Earth was the center of the universe, and because he was measuring these weird inconsistencies in the data, he had to account for it the only way he knew how: by making his geocentric model way more complex to account for the odd motions.

He kept the earth at the center, but added epicycles to the orbits of the planets, so that they moved in little circles within the path of the larger circle of their orbit, sort of like those old toys where you use your pencil within two circles to make patterns: http://nrich.maths.org/content/id/5603/toy2.jpg

The resulting orbital model was something like this:

http://i.imgur.com/J4ZYY.jpg

this is clearly WAY more complex and unnecessarily elaborate, given our knowledge of the relatively simple orbits of our Heliocentric Solar System.


The problem was his inability to look past his assumptions, and what was needed was a Copernican Revolution. From the perspective of a Sun-Centered solar system, the changing directions of the planets in the sky is easily accounted for by the relatively different speeds of the planets within their orbit, which pass each other and loop back around when viewed from earth.


What you are saying is like Ptolemy saying "you cannot criticize my epicycles because there's no other alternative." He was right about one thing, there was no alternative for one and a half thousand years. However, the lack of an alternative did not mean that Ptolemy's system was above criticism. What it took was a revolution in thought, which questioned the previously unquestionable starting assumptions (namely, that Earth was the center of the solar system).

Today, we cannot simply say "you cannot criticize capitalism because there is no better system". That is like Ptolemy. We should look at the good and the bad about capitalism, the successes and failures of 20th century soviet socialism, and think forward towards something better.


It's ultimately not a question of whether or not things will keep on going the way they have before. That's over, capitalism as we've known it ischanging whether we like it or not. Capitalism is either going to collapse or evolve into something like they have in Singapore.



You also claim that the problems in our economy are the fault of capitalism, rather than the policies of the leftists who have been gradually driving our economy and political systems towards socialism. It's like demanding that we breath pure carbon monoxide instead of air, on the grounds that the air in Los Angeles is less than perfectly clean.

This is a good discussion to have. I think a systemic analysis of capitalism will show that the problems with capitalism are not problems from some external force interfering with it, but inevitable problems that arise from the antagonisms within it.

I think this part is tricky and needs some back and forth discussion, but this is precisely the sort of discussion we should be having.



Pointing out the faults in both parties, but comparing them objectively, allows you to analyze imperfect choices and pick the less corrupt, less deluded party. Pointing out the inherent flaws in all socialist systems, not just the Soviet system, doesn't erase the flaws in the American system, but it does put them into perspective. By comparing the two, we see that the socialist models that you advocate result in horrific working conditions, gross inefficiencies, poverty, stagnation and societal collapse. I'll take a business cycle over that any day.

These are good things to compare. I might come to some different conclusions, but again this is a good sort of discussion to have.




You miss the point. Slave labor exists in China because it is still under the control of a communist party, not because Steve Jobs is a capitalist. A coercive state can cut costs through the use of force, while a free market drives down costs through innovation and competition. Your inability to see the difference is rather scary, considering that you are paid to educate others.

China is part of the global capitalist system. It's precisely innovation and competition that has apple producing cutting-edge technology for pennies an hour in chinese sweatshops.

Odysseus
11-05-2011, 03:18 PM
Social Democracy exists in many nations, with better healthcare, education, social mobility, general happiness, wealth distribution, labor support, crime rates, and more.
Wow, what BS. Let's take each of those factors:

healthcare: US healthcare is still the gold standard, and the proof is the number of people in those countries that you cite who come here for treatment. The rates of survival for various conditions, including almost every form of cancer, are higher here than anywhere else in the world.
education: US education is run almost entirely by the state, is heavily unionized and highly resistant to innovation. Further proof that our education system is pretty wretched is your possession of a teaching credential. But that's not a support for your argument, so much as an indictment of it.
social mobility: If you are citing Understanding Mobility in America from the Center for American Progress as a source, then you need to find a more honest broker.
general happiness: You keep making this claim without any support. Studies in the US consistently show that conservatives are happier than progressives (or liberals or whatever you call yourselves now), and I have a hard time believing that Euro-socialists are happier than their American counterparts.
wealth distribution: True, but irrelevant. A free society will have unequal results. The more that a society enforces egalitarian distribution of wealth, the less free it is. I'll take freedom and equality before the law over slavery and equality of result.
labor support: The American public sector rivals the European public sectors for labor support, with equally dismal results. The big difference is the proportion of public vs. private employment between the two, and the productivity of individual workers. American private sector workers are far more productive than their European counterparts, which is one of the reasons that so many European industries must be heavily subsidized.
crime rates: As another leftist pointed out on CU, if you discount Americans of non-European descent, then America has the lowest crime rates in the world. Culture has more to do with crime than anything else, and the culture of our ghettos is violent and dysfunctional. However, the social democracies are catching up. Crime rates in European nations are rising as immigration and lack of assimilation create enclaves of violent lawlessness. Also, the bans on firearms have actually led to increases in violent crime rates, especially in Britain.




They aren't perfect by far, but they seem to be doing some things better than we are. They blend elements of capitalism and socialism. Nations like this are Norway, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and more.
You forgot Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. You see, that model only works until you run out of money, and can't borrow any more. At that point, you end up like Greece, at which point you then have to bite the bullet and make radical spending cuts, or you end up with hyperinflation, debased currency and a collapsing economy. You're looking at snapshots of countries whose economic systems have been slowly failing for decades, and claiming that they are superior to ours, but when you look at the end result, they aren't any better than we are.


We don't need to go back to Soviet-style socialism, I agree. That doesn't mean we can't look at them more objectively, within proper historical context, and without chest-thumping jingoism in order to learn a thing or two.
I keep trying, but you refuse to learn anything. Socialism, whether Soviet-style, Nationalist, fascist or any other form, eventually collapses under its own weight.


What you are saying is like Ptolemy saying "you cannot criticize my epicycles because there's no other alternative." He was right about one thing, there was no alternative for one and a half thousand years. However, the lack of an alternative did not mean that Ptolemy's system was above criticism. What it took was a revolution in thought, which questioned the previously unquestionable starting assumptions (namely, that Earth was the center of the solar system).

What it took was the Telescope. Once that came on the scene, objective observation refuted Ptolemy's theories. There is no objective measure by which socialism produces more goods and services or reduces more poverty than free markets, nor is there ever likely to be one. You aren't trying to replace Ptolemy with Copernicus, but with Marxist Utopian fantasy. You are trying to replace an economic system that works, by every objective measure, with one that does not work, by every objective measure. In doing so, you are comparing the apples of orbital physics with the oranges of economics.


Today, we cannot simply say "you cannot criticize capitalism because there is no better system". That is like Ptolemy. We should look at the good and the bad about capitalism, the successes and failures of 20th century soviet socialism, and think forward towards something better.
I'm not saying that you cannot criticize capitalism because there is no better system. I am saying that you cannot criticize it from a Marxist or socialist perspective because you are imposing falsehoods and fantasies as part of your critique. Capitalism has a number of faults, just as constitutional republics have a number of faults which are inherent in their natures, but when a Marxist/socialist/communist critiques capitalism, he has the same standing as a Nazi or other totalitarian critiquing democracy.


It's ultimately not a question of whether or not things will keep on going the way they have before. That's over, capitalism as we've known it ischanging whether we like it or not. Capitalism is either going to collapse or evolve into something like they have in Singapore.
What do you base that on?


China is part of the global capitalist system. It's precisely innovation and competition that has apple producing cutting-edge technology for pennies an hour in chinese sweatshops.

ROFLOL! China is a one-party communist state that is trying to survive in the global marketplace, and is in serious trouble. It's economic model is identical to the nineteenth century models that other mostly agrarian societies followed as they industrialized, with all of the same problems. The movement of population from farming communities to industrial centers, the urban squalor, the collapsing social structure, these are all things that we've seen happen to transitioning economies, but it's worse when the prior economy was a socialist one, because the poverty of the old system is inherited by the new one, and the appearance of chaotic change is even more pronounced by the contrast. Second, China's technological advancement is not based on innovation but imitation. China's tech sector imported all of its expertise, and produces relatively shoddy products when compared with other Asian tech centers. South Korea and Japan come to mind. The only thing that they have an edge in is cheap labor, which is what happens when you draw peasants from the countryside into factories. It's not innovative, but derivative.

Wei, I admire your confidence. If I were an educator, I'd be embarrassed to write the things that you do, but you do it with a straight face. That's truly impressive, in a sad way.

Hansel
11-06-2011, 07:11 AM
The Economist is centrist. It has a pretty neoliberal (conservative, free-trade, globalization, open markets, ect) stance.

But I agree they may have jumped the gun on Cain's "fade." They appear to expect his bubble to be burst by the so-called sex scandal. My opinion is the jury is still out on that.

It is unfortunate that sex scandals have to play siuch a significant part in a candidacy. There are a number of very effective presidents that had played around a bit but I cannot see how that affected their work as president.

Granted, infidelity and the other types of sexual escapades are not morally correct, but isn't there more to
being president that being a role model for religion?

I too see myself as a centrist, but who really wants to listen to common sense ideas on how to keep on moving forward? No, the ideologues on both the left and the right are the ones that get their egos stroked by being in the news while the pragmatic centrists are dismissed as having no convictions.

I have heard enough platiitudes, so how about some results from the holier than thou brainiacs?

Hansel
11-06-2011, 07:19 AM
Wow, what BS. Let's take each of those factors:

healthcare: US healthcare is still the gold standard, and the proof is the number of people in those countries that you cite who come here for treatment. The rates of survival for various conditions, including almost every form of cancer, are higher here than anywhere else in the world.
education: US education is run almost entirely by the state, is heavily unionized and highly resistant to innovation. Further proof that our education system is pretty wretched is your possession of a teaching credential. But that's not a support for your argument, so much as an indictment of it.
social mobility: If you are citing Understanding Mobility in America from the Center for American Progress as a source, then you need to find a more honest broker.
general happiness: You keep making this claim without any support. Studies in the US consistently show that conservatives are happier than progressives (or liberals or whatever you call yourselves now), and I have a hard time believing that Euro-socialists are happier than their American counterparts.
wealth distribution: True, but irrelevant. A free society will have unequal results. The more that a society enforces egalitarian distribution of wealth, the less free it is. I'll take freedom and equality before the law over slavery and equality of result.
labor support: The American public sector rivals the European public sectors for labor support, with equally dismal results. The big difference is the proportion of public vs. private employment between the two, and the productivity of individual workers. American private sector workers are far more productive than their European counterparts, which is one of the reasons that so many European industries must be heavily subsidized.
crime rates: As another leftist pointed out on CU, if you discount Americans of non-European descent, then America has the lowest crime rates in the world. Culture has more to do with crime than anything else, and the culture of our ghettos is violent and dysfunctional. However, the social democracies are catching up. Crime rates in European nations are rising as immigration and lack of assimilation create enclaves of violent lawlessness. Also, the bans on firearms have actually led to increases in violent crime rates, especially in Britain.




You forgot Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. You see, that model only works until you run out of money, and can't borrow any more. At that point, you end up like Greece, at which point you then have to bite the bullet and make radical spending cuts, or you end up with hyperinflation, debased currency and a collapsing economy. You're looking at snapshots of countries whose economic systems have been slowly failing for decades, and claiming that they are superior to ours, but when you look at the end result, they aren't any better than we are.


I keep trying, but you refuse to learn anything. Socialism, whether Soviet-style, Nationalist, fascist or any other form, eventually collapses under its own weight.



What it took was the Telescope. Once that came on the scene, objective observation refuted Ptolemy's theories. There is no objective measure by which socialism produces more goods and services or reduces more poverty than free markets, nor is there ever likely to be one. You aren't trying to replace Ptolemy with Copernicus, but with Marxist Utopian fantasy. You are trying to replace an economic system that works, by every objective measure, with one that does not work, by every objective measure. In doing so, you are comparing the apples of orbital physics with the oranges of economics.


I'm not saying that you cannot criticize capitalism because there is no better system. I am saying that you cannot criticize it from a Marxist or socialist perspective because you are imposing falsehoods and fantasies as part of your critique. Capitalism has a number of faults, just as constitutional republics have a number of faults which are inherent in their natures, but when a Marxist/socialist/communist critiques capitalism, he has the same standing as a Nazi or other totalitarian critiquing democracy.


What do you base that on?



ROFLOL! China is a one-party communist state that is trying to survive in the global marketplace, and is in serious trouble. It's economic model is identical to the nineteenth century models that other mostly agrarian societies followed as they industrialized, with all of the same problems. The movement of population from farming communities to industrial centers, the urban squalor, the collapsing social structure, these are all things that we've seen happen to transitioning economies, but it's worse when the prior economy was a socialist one, because the poverty of the old system is inherited by the new one, and the appearance of chaotic change is even more pronounced by the contrast. Second, China's technological advancement is not based on innovation but imitation. China's tech sector imported all of its expertise, and produces relatively shoddy products when compared with other Asian tech centers. South Korea and Japan come to mind. The only thing that they have an edge in is cheap labor, which is what happens when you draw peasants from the countryside into factories. It's not innovative, but derivative.

Wei, I admire your confidence. If I were an educator, I'd be embarrassed to write the things that you do, but you do it with a straight face. That's truly impressive, in a sad way.

What Wei and others fail to understand is that under socialism the price of economic equality is liberties as it takes a strong arm government policy or policies to force the fleecing of the haves for the sake of the have nots.

My father is my favorite example of how some folks react to heavy handed tax policies. He said he would rather live in an outhouse than pay more taxes to a damned school system that was little more than a day care center. And he did. I wouldn't want to live that way but it was his call.

AmPat
11-06-2011, 10:37 AM
The failures of a socialist country across the world does nothing to diminish the failures within our own country.
Perhaps not, but trying to get closer to those failures by adopting them to fix our problems is absurd.

Hansel
11-06-2011, 02:55 PM
Wow, what BS. Let's take each of those factors:

healthcare: US healthcare is still the gold standard, and the proof is the number of people in those countries that you cite who come here for treatment. The rates of survival for various conditions, including almost every form of cancer, are higher here than anywhere else in the world.
education: US education is run almost entirely by the state, is heavily unionized and highly resistant to innovation. Further proof that our education system is pretty wretched is your possession of a teaching credential. But that's not a support for your argument, so much as an indictment of it.
social mobility: If you are citing Understanding Mobility in America from the Center for American Progress as a source, then you need to find a more honest broker.
general happiness: You keep making this claim without any support. Studies in the US consistently show that conservatives are happier than progressives (or liberals or whatever you call yourselves now), and I have a hard time believing that Euro-socialists are happier than their American counterparts.
wealth distribution: True, but irrelevant. A free society will have unequal results. The more that a society enforces egalitarian distribution of wealth, the less free it is. I'll take freedom and equality before the law over slavery and equality of result.
labor support: The American public sector rivals the European public sectors for labor support, with equally dismal results. The big difference is the proportion of public vs. private employment between the two, and the productivity of individual workers. American private sector workers are far more productive than their European counterparts, which is one of the reasons that so many European industries must be heavily subsidized.
crime rates: As another leftist pointed out on CU, if you discount Americans of non-European descent, then America has the lowest crime rates in the world. Culture has more to do with crime than anything else, and the culture of our ghettos is violent and dysfunctional. However, the social democracies are catching up. Crime rates in European nations are rising as immigration and lack of assimilation create enclaves of violent lawlessness. Also, the bans on firearms have actually led to increases in violent crime rates, especially in Britain.




You forgot Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. You see, that model only works until you run out of money, and can't borrow any more. At that point, you end up like Greece, at which point you then have to bite the bullet and make radical spending cuts, or you end up with hyperinflation, debased currency and a collapsing economy. You're looking at snapshots of countries whose economic systems have been slowly failing for decades, and claiming that they are superior to ours, but when you look at the end result, they aren't any better than we are.


I keep trying, but you refuse to learn anything. Socialism, whether Soviet-style, Nationalist, fascist or any other form, eventually collapses under its own weight.



What it took was the Telescope. Once that came on the scene, objective observation refuted Ptolemy's theories. There is no objective measure by which socialism produces more goods and services or reduces more poverty than free markets, nor is there ever likely to be one. You aren't trying to replace Ptolemy with Copernicus, but with Marxist Utopian fantasy. You are trying to replace an economic system that works, by every objective measure, with one that does not work, by every objective measure. In doing so, you are comparing the apples of orbital physics with the oranges of economics.


I'm not saying that you cannot criticize capitalism because there is no better system. I am saying that you cannot criticize it from a Marxist or socialist perspective because you are imposing falsehoods and fantasies as part of your critique. Capitalism has a number of faults, just as constitutional republics have a number of faults which are inherent in their natures, but when a Marxist/socialist/communist critiques capitalism, he has the same standing as a Nazi or other totalitarian critiquing democracy.


What do you base that on?



ROFLOL! China is a one-party communist state that is trying to survive in the global marketplace, and is in serious trouble. It's economic model is identical to the nineteenth century models that other mostly agrarian societies followed as they industrialized, with all of the same problems. The movement of population from farming communities to industrial centers, the urban squalor, the collapsing social structure, these are all things that we've seen happen to transitioning economies, but it's worse when the prior economy was a socialist one, because the poverty of the old system is inherited by the new one, and the appearance of chaotic change is even more pronounced by the contrast. Second, China's technological advancement is not based on innovation but imitation. China's tech sector imported all of its expertise, and produces relatively shoddy products when compared with other Asian tech centers. South Korea and Japan come to mind. The only thing that they have an edge in is cheap labor, which is what happens when you draw peasants from the countryside into factories. It's not innovative, but derivative.

Wei, I admire your confidence. If I were an educator, I'd be embarrassed to write the things that you do, but you do it with a straight face. That's truly impressive, in a sad way.

Knock China if it makes you feel better, but it is hard not to buy Chinese made goods anymore. The largest thing I knowingly bought was a 250cc motor scooter, and after 2 years it is still doing fine.

South Korea and Japan also produced junk at one time, but they have had more time to get it together than China has.

Compared to the idiots we have in some positions in our factories I imagine a farm peasant will do just fine.
Farm people happen to have pride in their work and have a work ethic that slum rats do not have.

I am no fan of China, but at least it is trying to employ its people making useful products. Compare that to the crap that Obama proposes.

txradioguy
11-06-2011, 03:02 PM
Compared to the idiots we have in some positions in our factories I imagine a farm peasant will do just fine.
Farm people happen to have pride in their work and have a work ethic that slum rats do not have.

:rolleyes: Really?


I am no fan of China, but at least it is trying to employ its people making useful products. Compare that to the crap that Obama proposes.

Yeah it "employs" people...at slave wages in substandard factories with work conditions that harken back to the late 19th Century in America.


The only reason China has become such an industrial "giant" is because a sitting President traded cash for most favored nation trading status.

Bailey
11-06-2011, 04:35 PM
:rolleyes: Really?



Yeah it "employs" people...at slave wages in substandard factories with work conditions that harken back to the late 19th Century in America.


The only reason China has become such an industrial "giant" is because a sitting President traded cash for most favored nation trading status.

Ya china is so compassionate to its workers it puts nets around its buildings so its workers wont die when they try to jump to their deaths due to bad working conditions. :rolleyes:

Hansel
11-06-2011, 05:22 PM
:rolleyes: Really?



Yeah it "employs" people...at slave wages in substandard factories with work conditions that harken back to the late 19th Century in America.


The only reason China has become such an industrial "giant" is because a sitting President traded cash for most favored nation trading status.

Give it time and the conditions might improve. Japan and Korea were once sweat shops too but their standard of living has improved and they are less competitive then they used to be.

American companies move to places like Formosa and set up shop, provide the engineering and the assembly methods, and in return use cheap labor. I can't blame the Chinese for that.

fettpett
11-06-2011, 06:18 PM
Give it time and the conditions might improve. Japan and Korea were once sweat shops too but their standard of living has improved and they are less competitive then they used to be.

American companies move to places like Formosa and set up shop, provide the engineering and the assembly methods, and in return use cheap labor. I can't blame the Chinese for that.

difference being Japan and S. Korea are Democracies, where as China is not

As for Taiwan, a very big chunk of the Computer industry does have factories there.

Odysseus
11-07-2011, 11:44 AM
Knock China if it makes you feel better, but it is hard not to buy Chinese made goods anymore. The largest thing I knowingly bought was a 250cc motor scooter, and after 2 years it is still doing fine.

South Korea and Japan also produced junk at one time, but they have had more time to get it together than China has.

Compared to the idiots we have in some positions in our factories I imagine a farm peasant will do just fine.
Farm people happen to have pride in their work and have a work ethic that slum rats do not have.

I am no fan of China, but at least it is trying to employ its people making useful products. Compare that to the crap that Obama proposes.
Admittedly, the Chinese are less obviously communist than Obama's cabinet, but you're missing my point. China is trying to have a command economy that services other nations' free markets. They have succeeded, only because they have kept their employment costs low through currency manipulation, intellectual property infringements and totalitarian enforcement of the status quo. Japan and Korea were in the same position that China was in, in terms of economic development at the end of WWII and the Korean War, respectively, but implemented economic and political reforms that prevented the kind of social upheaval that China is seeing. China's workforce experiences chaotic fluctuations in unemployment, wage stability (workers often go several weeks at a time without being paid, or receive reduced wages when their employers have shortfalls) and have no recourse when their government-partnered employers fail to honor their contracts. Violent protests occur, not just daily, but literally every minute. According to the Wall Street Journal, there were over 180,000 violent protests across China in 2010. We're talking over 600 violent acts per day that are the result of economic conditions. The Chinese government tries to keep a lid on this, but the numbers are seeping out through the cracks. From the Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903703604576587070600504108.html):


In 2010, China was rocked by 180,000 protests, riots and other mass incidents—more than four times the tally from a decade earlier. That figure, reported by Sun Liping, a professor at Tsinghua University, rather than official sources, doesn’t tell the whole story on the turmoil in what is now the world’s second-largest economy.

But what is clear is that the level of social tension and number of protests against the government is rising. That is a sensitive subject as the ruling Communist Party prepares to mark the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1.

As worrying to the Communist Party as the increase in protests is the fact that many of them stem from everyday economic injustice. Unrest isn’t confined to the ethnic minority areas of Tibet and Xinjiang. Most protests target land grabs by developers and abuses of power by local officials, or unpaid wages by construction firms.

Anyway, the point is that Wei, our resident Marxist academic (no exaggeration, seriously), cited China as a capitalist success story, which he attributes to slave labor. He's wrong. It's a communist state that is trying to implement capitalism from above, while maintaining strict political and economic control, and it is failing.

Give it time and the conditions might improve. Japan and Korea were once sweat shops too but their standard of living has improved and they are less competitive then they used to be.

American companies move to places like Formosa and set up shop, provide the engineering and the assembly methods, and in return use cheap labor. I can't blame the Chinese for that.

It's not the cheap labor that is the problem. China's problem is a lack of civil institutions and transparency that makes working there nightmarish. And, as stated before, Wei's argument is that China is a capitalist state that exploits its workers. He's half right. It's a communist one-party totalitarian state that exploits its workers.

noonwitch
11-07-2011, 12:35 PM
Knock China if it makes you feel better, but it is hard not to buy Chinese made goods anymore. The largest thing I knowingly bought was a 250cc motor scooter, and after 2 years it is still doing fine.

South Korea and Japan also produced junk at one time, but they have had more time to get it together than China has.

Compared to the idiots we have in some positions in our factories I imagine a farm peasant will do just fine.
Farm people happen to have pride in their work and have a work ethic that slum rats do not have.

I am no fan of China, but at least it is trying to employ its people making useful products. Compare that to the crap that Obama proposes.


China is able to mass produce cheap products because they use their political dissidents as slave labor.

Odysseus
11-07-2011, 02:01 PM
China is able to mass produce cheap products because they use their political dissidents as slave labor.

Not just their dissidents. All "private" corporations in China are partnered with the state. This is especially true of foreign corporations. This means that if you are an employee and you have been stiffed on back wages, you have to go through the state, which is a partner with your employer, for compensation and redress. Good luck with that. Plus, China does not permit unrestricted emigration, so you have no choice but to stay there and do as you're told. No capitalist state has ever had to lock its workforce in. China's laogai (gulag) system is a prison within a prison.

Starbuck
11-07-2011, 02:24 PM
........South Korea and Japan also produced junk at one time, but they have had more time to get it together than China has.......

Gee, I dunno, Hansel. Each of them has had thousands of years......talking maybe 5000 years each, give or take a few years. And most sources list China as the oldest.

I mean, come on, how many years does it TAKE!?:D

Hansel
11-07-2011, 02:48 PM
Gee, I dunno, Hansel. Each of them has had thousands of years......talking maybe 5000 years each, give or take a few years. And most sources list China as the oldest.

I mean, come on, how many years does it TAKE!?:D

American businesses helped Japan to get back on its feet after WW II and also helped Korea to get started after the Korean Conflict. That is what I am speaking of. I don't think we had helped mainland China until more recently, given its communism.