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Global issues - poverty

by X-43D
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russ_watters
#19
Feb8-07, 01:54 PM
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Quote Quote by X-43D View Post
In Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism it was government who was main cause of poverty and oppression.
Agreed, but does a lack of oppression automatically lead to prosperity? IMO, no - the government needs to be set up in such a way as to encourage, or at least get out of the way of, the economy.
Giving that education is the main road toward wealth, the uneducated have a much harder finding a well-paying job.
Agreed, but since in most developed nations, education through high school is provided by the government, doesn't that make the education gap an individual problem?
russ_watters
#20
Feb8-07, 01:56 PM
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Quote Quote by jimmysnyder View Post
As a species, we humans have spent most of our existence in a state in which there was no reliable source of food beyond the subsistence level. The invention of agriculture, relatively late in our biological history, fixed that problem and created the first wealth for a few. At the present time, half the world still lives in a state where the food source is unreliable. As such, they still live in a natural state. But how do you explain the fact that the other half (constituting 3.5 billion people) knows where its next meal is coming from? In other words, how did we get from a state in which only a tiny percentage of people ate regular, to one in which 50% do?
Ok, that's more or less what I figured you were after.
X-43D
#21
Feb12-07, 01:53 PM
P: 152
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Agreed, but does a lack of oppression automatically lead to prosperity? IMO, no - the government needs to be set up in such a way as to encourage, or at least get out of the way of, the economy. Agreed, but since in most developed nations, education through high school is provided by the government, doesn't that make the education gap an individual problem?
No, it's more a government problem. The government gives certain priviliges to those individuals who perform good and pass all the tests and stuff.
russ_watters
#22
Feb12-07, 06:21 PM
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Quote Quote by X-43D View Post
No, it's more a government problem. The government gives certain priviliges to those individuals who perform good and pass all the tests and stuff.
Huh? Two big problems with that statement. First, the government isn't the primary employer, so it primarily isn't the government who rewards academic success.

Second, are you suggesting that it is wrong for people who succeed in academics to be rewarded with good jobs? Should employers instead choose to give good jobs to people who have failed to show any qualifications?

Seems like a very odd thing to say, to me...
denverdoc
#23
Feb12-07, 07:58 PM
P: 1,350
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Agreed, but does a lack of oppression automatically lead to prosperity? IMO, no - the government needs to be set up in such a way as to encourage, or at least get out of the way of, the economy. Agreed, but since in most developed nations, education through high school is provided by the government, doesn't that make the education gap an individual problem?
A resounding no. This assumes that access and preparedness is constant. Whether you can take a sows ear and turn into silk is a question left to chemists, we do know is you can take a G Bush and make him presidential material. The point i'm making is pick your favorite idiot, political or otherwise.

Lets say to achieve success and break thru the surface, you have to swim up from the deep at a starting point D. We all have natural buoyancy depths determined by our birthright. IF one's family is well connected, has money to burn, and a reasonable genetic heritage, short swim w.o much turbulence. Now, maybe you got a dad in the slammer, a prostitite mom, living in the inner city, in a crummy school district where less attn is paid to SAT scores than whether you survived the last drive-by, you need lots more buoyancy.
X-43D
#24
Feb13-07, 09:15 AM
P: 152
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Huh? Two big problems with that statement. First, the government isn't the primary employer, so it primarily isn't the government who rewards academic success.

Second, are you suggesting that it is wrong for people who succeed in academics to be rewarded with good jobs? Should employers instead choose to give good jobs to people who have failed to show any qualifications?

Seems like a very odd thing to say, to me...
In a meritocratic system, no. The best will win the best jobs.
russ_watters
#25
Feb13-07, 09:29 AM
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Quote Quote by X-43D View Post
In a meritocratic system, no. The best will win the best jobs.
Ok.... so what do you really believe is right and why? You're not making a lot of sense and not being very descriptive of your point. You seem to be complaining about something that you understand is a perfectly reasonable for employers to expect.
X-43D
#26
Feb13-07, 01:22 PM
P: 152
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Ok.... so what do you really believe is right and why? You're not making a lot of sense and not being very descriptive of your point. You seem to be complaining about something that you understand is a perfectly reasonable for employers to expect.
I believe that from each according to ability, to each according to needs. In socialism, everybody would have free access to the goods and services designed to directly meet their needs and there need be no system of payment for the work that each individual contributes to producing them.

http://www.worldsocialism.org/articl..._socialism.php
http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/may98/moneyls.html
russ_watters
#27
Feb13-07, 10:15 PM
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Quote Quote by X-43D View Post
I believe that from each according to ability, to each according to needs. In socialism, everybody would have free access to the goods and services designed to directly meet their needs and there need be no system of payment for the work that each individual contributes to producing them.
Well, ok.... we don't live in a full-fledged socialistic society, and you didn't answer the question anyway - the question was about jobs, not pay. People still have to work in a socialistic utopia, regardless of whether or not they get paid. Food doesn't just grow itself (pun intended). So how do you think employers in a capitalistic democracy and a socialistic utopia should choose their employees? For my part, I'll answer the second, since I already answered the first:

Even in an ideal socialistic society, there is competition for work and that competition is still based on merit. Ie, not everyone can be an astronaut, even in a socialistic utopia. There is the caveat though, that since such a society isn't physically possible, you can make up any idea you want and say it'll work! Just a few minutes ago, I answered a similarly-minded question in General Physics about how a perfectly rigid pole would behave. So I guess you could say that in a socialist utopia, the best person to be an astronaut would know it and automatically gravitate toward it, while the janitors of the country would be perfectly happy being janitors. Everyone would get what they need, no one would want anything, so there'd be no reason to compete. I suppose mates would be chosen via lottery too.

By the way, it is nice that your links there acknowledge that their ideas are just meaningless daydreaming and not an actual system of government that could be put into place:
We cannot, of course, predict the exact form that would be taken by this future global democracy....

It is not possible unless a majority of people understand and want it. [majority? Well, no - it requires all to want it.]
It is such a useless waste of time to daydream about things that aren't physically possible.

Gawd, I read those pages all the way through and they are such utter crap. Everything in them is either nonsense, incorrect assertions about capitalism, or just plain not physically possible. Simple examples:
Decisions, apart from purely personal ones of preferences or interest, will be made after weighing the real advantages and disadvantages and real costs of alternatives in particular circumstances.
Oh, ok, sounds great. I have a personal preference to own a corvette, marry Jennifer Garner, and be an astronaut. So I get them, right? Socialism rules!
All work would be on a voluntary basis.
"Ya know what, boss [yeah, I know - there is no boss], I don't feel like working today."

It is also ironic how it says "Site updated on...", when most/all of the citations are of Marx. As I've said before, Marx can be forgiven for believing what he believed given the time in which he lived and for not being able to predict the direction the world would take, but people today cannot be forgiven for not understanding that his ideas are out of date. Two citations for a history and description of captialsim cite Marx. Besides the obvious conflict of interest issue, no serious person can expect to get a good account of the history of an evolving concept from a book that is 160 years old. I'll have to assume you actually know how different modern capitalism is from what it was then, but then considering that you believe this stuff, perhaps you don't.
denverdoc
#28
Feb14-07, 01:39 AM
P: 1,350
Russ,
Let me butt in here as I think you're giving ole Karl the bum's rush. I first must admit I haven't waded thru Das Capital, only analyses, but given what he had at the time to work with is surely worthy of A Nobel Prize in economics.

None of us have first hand knowledge of the working conditions during the industrial revolution. But they would be mean by any of todays standards. And we owe todays standards in large part to his notions of social justice. Simply stated, becuz you owned the capital does not impart the right to exploit. Which is how it was and before when you look at feudalism all the way back to say Egypt, where you had a slave class working tirelessly just to put up a tomb for the king.

These insights gave momentum to the union movement, both here and abroad, which among other gains, led to the 40 hr work week and the abolition of child labor. Now maybe you want to work 80 hrs+/week. But to use existing capital which might well be inherited to enforce such servitude is fundamentally anti-american. Time and time again natural experiments gravitate towards such an extreme. Rand would argue that if weren't for the guy with the dough and the ideas, nothing get done. Maybe. But that doesn't excuse this type of exploitation which now is simply exported onto an even less fortunate class.

Into any economic system it would seem prima fascia that there needs to have some greater good for all term. Pure capitalism doesn't provide it. Whats especially nefarious about the present system is the invention of the corporation, which started (against fierce resistance) in the form of firefighters, etc. But these were always set up with the public good in mind.

It has devolved into an artificial structure where men and women are virtually immune to consequences. So they lay pillage to the planet, without any forethought re longterm consequences. And even when unsuccessful, there leaders collect obscene rewards. This is the perfect formula for sociopathy. And for the most part thats what we have. I think Marx understood this, much better than we do, having been brought up in the lap of luxury and fed propoganda from day 1 re the evils of socialism.
X-43D
#29
Feb14-07, 06:54 AM
P: 152
My plan is to introduce a national labour card instead of cash as payment.

Your labour whether it is brain, physical or sexual is your access to social goods and services.

Everyone would be some kind of a worker, there would be no owners or elites.

Your rights as worker would be as follow:

- The right to work
- The right to choose
- The right to change your place of employment
- The right to move
- The right to quit
- The right to be free from oppression

Work hours will be shorter because there would be no unemployment. Wages and money would be nonexistent and irrelevant. Your access to socially produced goods and services will be your labour not money.

People who choose not to work the minimum hours (20 to 30 hours a week) their services and goods would be limited. Just like in capitalism when you don't work you lose access to your services and the ability to purchase the goods you want and end up hungry and homeless.

Work hours will increase and decrease based on society's needs.

http://www.hipforums.com/forums/show...1&page=3&pp=10
ShawnD
#30
Feb14-07, 03:51 PM
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Quote Quote by denverdoc View Post
None of us have first hand knowledge of the working conditions during the industrial revolution. But they would be mean by any of todays standards. And we owe todays standards in large part to his notions of social justice. Simply stated, becuz you owned the capital does not impart the right to exploit.
Please keep in mind that socialism and working conditions are not in any way related to each other. America in the 1930s had working conditions just as bad as what you expect from a place like China or USSR, even though USA and USSR have opposing economic models. Working conditions are governed by supply and demand in the labour market (shortage of workers leads to better conditions), government regulations (OSHA in the US), and unions (mafia).

Countries like Canada and the US have pretty good working conditions because we were smart enough to get some government regulations and form unions wherever they were needed. These tactics do not work in socialist countries because:
-The government has a monopoly on the job market, which means the rules of supply and demand strongly favour the supply side (government). People will either deal with the bad conditions or not have a job.
-Unions are not effective against most kinds of government jobs because the government has no profit motive. Calling a strike against a private company is a big deal because it means all profits stop for that period. Calling a strike against the government isn't a big deal because the government doesn't care if it makes money. You want to strike? Go ahead. The government won't run out of money any time soon, but your family might die if you stop working for 6 months.
denverdoc
#31
Feb14-07, 11:38 PM
P: 1,350
Quote Quote by ShawnD View Post
Please keep in mind that socialism and working conditions are not in any way related to each other. America in the 1930s had working conditions just as bad as what you expect from a place like China or USSR, even though USA and USSR have opposing economic models. Working conditions are governed by supply and demand in the labour market (shortage of workers leads to better conditions), government regulations (OSHA in the US), and unions (mafia).

Countries like Canada and the US have pretty good working conditions because we were smart enough to get some government regulations and form unions wherever they were needed. These tactics do not work in socialist countries because:
-The government has a monopoly on the job market, which means the rules of supply and demand strongly favour the supply side (government). People will either deal with the bad conditions or not have a job.
-Unions are not effective against most kinds of government jobs because the government has no profit motive. Calling a strike against a private company is a big deal because it means all profits stop for that period. Calling a strike against the government isn't a big deal because the government doesn't care if it makes money. You want to strike? Go ahead. The government won't run out of money any time soon, but your family might die if you stop working for 6 months.
Im not sure I agree. First of all no one had defines the brand of socialism being discussed which makes a big difference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

I tend to favor a more social democratic model, vs state ownership of everything, where policy can guide an economy in a more socially just manner than unfettered free market forces. But it doesn't matter, when teachers, or garbage collectors, or transit union members go on strike, the govt takes notice. Maybe notin Oaxaca Mexico, but in NYC they sure do. Also recall that the labor movement in the states that led to much better working conditions and more than a few fatalities in various skirmishes, was inspired by socialistic movements in Europe.
X-43D
#32
Feb15-07, 11:18 AM
P: 152
For true communism to work, first we need to have a cashless society. Everyone is part of the same whole. We all know that the love of money is the root of all evil.

The legal concept of private property is also debatable. In true communism some things will be private property (like clothes or watches) and other essential things will be collective property like food and farmland. Since no one labored to produce water, food and farmland, i think water, food and land should be collective property.

Capitalists did a good job in introducing a system of scarcity instead of a system of abundance. The truth is some things are really scarce like gasoline but other things are not like water, food or farmland. This means there is enough food to feed all the world's hungry. The problem is social injustice in the distribution of the earth's resources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice
Schrodinger's Dog
#33
Feb15-07, 12:26 PM
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Quote Quote by X-43D View Post
For true communism to work, first we need to have a cashless society. Everyone is part of the same whole. We all know that the love of money is the root of all evil.

The legal concept of private property is also debatable. In true communism some things will be private property (like clothes or watches) and other essential things will be collective property like food and farmland. Since no one labored to produce water, food and farmland, i think water, food and land should be collective property.

Capitalists did a good job in introducing a system of scarcity instead of a system of abundance. The truth is some things are really scarce like gasoline but other things are not like water, food or farmland. This means there is enough food to feed all the world's hungry. The problem is social injustice in the distribution of the earth's resources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice
I'd be careful about using the c word around here, it's akin to sticking your hand in the Queens undies

I think capitalism is fine as a system but it seems there's just too much greed these days and not so much social responsibility. Communism tried and failed to redress the balance, not because it wasn't a good system but because humanity isn't ready for it.

We're too greedy, too acquisitive and too competitive to work for the greater good, it's often what do I get, what can I do to make my life better, it's their fault they're poor, maybe if they weren't so lazy, why should I feel guilty for the poor, they should get a job, etc, etc, which makes you laugh.

Next time you say this think about scraping by with enough money to buy food and clothes and send your kids to school, relying on handouts. Or think about your education. Think about whether it was tough to make ends meet or to be able to afford to buy books, or to have to work two part time jobs to put yourself through college; if it was good on you, but for those who had an easy ride, think about other people and how difficult it can be to drag yourself up out of poverty, and the next time someone calls and asks you to give to the red cross or whatever, give em a few bucks, it means nothing to you, but it helps.

No in fact what am I saying if people actually gave a damn about others in general we wouldn't even be having this discussion. Capitalism without responsibility is as bad as communism if not worse, at least with communism the idea was sound if not the means to achieve it, with capitalism the idea is dubious but the means to achieve it is simple, cater to the lowest common denominator.

A sense of social justice should be inherent in a system, if it isn't then it's no system I want any part of. I'm a liberal sort of person. neither left nor right, sort of border line communist to an American and I feel the healthiest balance a country can have is between social welfare and economics, if you can fine tune both then your population is happy, your business is happy and the rest is easier. That's the rub though. How do you do this?
denverdoc
#34
Feb15-07, 06:37 PM
P: 1,350
Well said, SD. Its all about giving a damn for our collective welfare, and that means everyone and everything on this planet. Capitalism might be fine if there were not corporations to shield individual choices that are two often based on the need to grow profit in the short term at the expense of all else. Socialism, even communism might work, if you could prevent the corruption that tends to follow power, whether political or economic, and keep things decentralized so that there was the flexibility to respond rapidly to changing market forces.

I don't know that I could ever relegate completely the idea of individual ownership, I love my CD's, books, my computer, etc. But the earth belongs to us all, and when it comes to minerals, oil, the resources you speak of and which we all take for granted belong to us all, as well as the responsibility for their proper use.
X-43D
#35
Feb16-07, 07:04 AM
P: 152
Money is also power. For true communism to work, some things will need to be collectivized like water resources, farmland to labor on and transportation.

http://www.utterpants.co.uk/notpants/madmoney.html
http://anthologyoi.com/blogish/beyon...ty-part-i.html
denverdoc
#36
Feb16-07, 07:28 AM
P: 1,350
They had a collective farm in Los Angeles--and this is what became of it:
http://www.narconews.com/Issue41/article1892.html


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