# Global issues - poverty

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loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Communism has been tried and it was found that people lost the motivation to work because the reward and compensation was taken away from them. And since no one will work for someone else, without the reward, people will not invest hard work.
I'm not sure that's a problem with communism so much as it is a problem with wage labor in general. Even salaried employees have no financial incentive to work any harder than they need to in order to keep from being fired, unless they're on the track toward a managerial position.

I would think the more reasonable sounding problem with communism is the question of why someone would become a doctor rather than a fry cook when both make the same amount of money. I don't know that there was ever a study conducted on how many people with the potential to become doctors instead opted for fry cook, but there is something to be said for the prestige and satisfaction that come with doing a more difficult and rewarding job, even if you are not paid fairly. Otherwise, why would anyone in the US ever become a professor? And, in fact, we still have that problem under the American system, whereby certain jobs - fireman, schoolteacher, social worker - are essential and require a great deal of skill and hard work, but don't attract the brightest and most qualified among us because the pay is quite low.

So each system has its own respective motivation problems. Under communism, it could be said that one might opt for the easier job, while under capitalism, one might opt for the job that pays more. In neither case is one opting for the job more important or essential to the overall health of the society.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
A Visit to the Other Congo, the Forgotten Congo
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9896339
by Tom Gjelten
Weekend Edition Saturday, April 28, 2007 · The Republic of Congo is not the so-called Democratic Republic of Congo — the former Zaire — but the other Congo. Never heard of it? You're not alone.
Since arriving at the bank, Wolfowitz has argued that the biggest barrier to development in many poor countries is a high level of government corruption.

"Corruption is often at the very root of why governments do not work," Wolfowitz argued in a speech in Indonesia in April 2006.
. . . .

The Republic of Congo, in West Central Africa, is among the countries where corruption allegations have prompted Wolfowitz to try to block international assistance. Nearly 70 percent of the population in the former French colony subsists on less than $1 per day. The country, however, has 1.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and is currently the fifth-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. Anti-corruption activists in Congo say the government has failed to reveal how it's using its oil revenues, and they suspect that much of the country's wealth is being diverted by its ruling elite. I certainly have to agree with Wolfowitz on the corruption problem. The World Bank and other development agencies cannot simply loan billions of$ to countries when a handful of well-connected individuals simply divert the money out of the country. It is a no-win situation.

Besides corruption, another major factor in world poverty is armed conflict, which apparently directly affects perhaps several hundred million people worldwide.

http://www.periclespress.com/hotspots.html

I'm not sure that's a problem with communism so much as it is a problem with wage labor in general. Even salaried employees have no financial incentive to work any harder than they need to in order to keep from being fired, unless they're on the track toward a managerial position.

I would think the more reasonable sounding problem with communism is the question of why someone would become a doctor rather than a fry cook when both make the same amount of money. I don't know that there was ever a study conducted on how many people with the potential to become doctors instead opted for fry cook, but there is something to be said for the prestige and satisfaction that come with doing a more difficult and rewarding job, even if you are not paid fairly. Otherwise, why would anyone in the US ever become a professor? And, in fact, we still have that problem under the American system, whereby certain jobs - fireman, schoolteacher, social worker - are essential and require a great deal of skill and hard work, but don't attract the brightest and most qualified among us because the pay is quite low.

So each system has its own respective motivation problems. Under communism, it could be said that one might opt for the easier job, while under capitalism, one might opt for the job that pays more. In neither case is one opting for the job more important or essential to the overall health of the society.
Very nice post IMO, as to the first question, there are many days when I wish I were a fry cook, flip some eggs, and be done with it all, til the next day, when I would flip some more eggs. Noticing that I was just flipping eggs and living in a studio, while the owner was making money hand over foot and was buying a very nice new house, had a Mercedes, and whose sole input into the enterprise seemed to be to rake over the coals any deriliction of duty, I wondered if this was fair. After all without my great egg flipping abilities, he'd be nowhere, just an average diner owner among many, breaking a bit above even. He says, "what imperinence--I provide you with the opportunity to make a decent wage, and this is the thanks I get."

Personally, I believe it is best to avoid either horn of this dilemma and recognize as in any biological situation that different strategies produce greatest rewards, including altruism, under different environmental pressures.

If for say the greatest exigency facing humankind today was runaway AGW, that would call upon a different style of cooperation than say, looking down the barrel at a huge asteriod. Socialism in education, health care, and other endeavors might be the most successful approach, esp if combined with no head starts. I bristle when I hear conservatives attack any program such as "head Start" or Affirmative Action, completely oblivious to the 1/4 mile head start given them by wealth, race, connectedness, etc. They scream bloody murder, completely oblivious to the fact that a Dan Quayle or GBW would have gone nowhere if hatched and raised under such circumstances.

At the same time, I can give you a concrete example involving a few friends and many acquaintences attempting to capture various NASA prizes in the deserts of New Mexico. The thinktank of NASA has finally realized that throwing huge amts of $$at the usual players may not be the most efficient approach--even though the former might be considred a capatilistic venture, it becomes so corrupted by the political process and habit/safety concerns, it usually becomes some form of governmaental welfare where after the contract is given, the fire in the belly now sated with huge influx of$$, gets decreasingly productive.

I personally beieve that there is a myth that when large scale $$are involved, a capatalistic system will be cheaper, more hungry, etc. And I might agree to the point until they wield sufficient political power, that they are no more efficient, arguably less so, as it requires the payment of taxes and full scale lobbying to achieve the same governmental efficiency. This is much more complicated issue of whether I work better under under financial inducement, or have no choice but to flip eggs, or even whether I would be happier being a doctor who in a good day can help a few, and cause no harm. McGyver Three Primary Forms of Governance now in State of Flux The three (3) traditional forms of governance and society today are in a state of FLUX. Neither Communism, Dictatorships, nor Free Society (Democracy) seems to offer viable answers to "mangement and governance" of its people. Perhaps the most intriguing is China's modified free market Communist regime - which the US has largely made possible thru free trade. It is important to analyze and compare "which" forms of leadership may find favor in the future, in view of the vast storehouse of knowledge, technological innovation and communications, and emerging capabilities of AI systems in decision-making and management. Of the three current forms - Free Society or Democracy appears most in trouble, and where Dictatorships are rarely stable for long. Most troubling of Democracies I believe is the US, where government appears increasingly incapable of solving city, state, and federal issues - which in past years, were addressed in part by business, community, and individual effort/oversight. EU Democracies by comparison, with a more Liberal slant, appear only slightly better poised to address long term issues - though are plagued by slower GDP growth, and face huge costs disparity issues with China and emerging markets. Will gobal poverty improve with globalization of business? Most certainly - yes. But these regions will NOT be stable with current ltd. government and infrastructure. And if global business so chooses to exploit these regimes for short term profits - they may be worse in the long term as they will have wasted existing natural resources and infrastructure. Perhaps the most disturbing element of the world economy - is the US's (and a few EU co's) new global business model. It renders businesses less interested in community and national concerns than in past years, as so many operations are abroad - and they show little interest in long term matters abroad. With vast new wealth, US corporations today can exert more influence in domestic policy than prior years, with less to loose, and when they so choose, they can relocate offshore to lower their tax burden. It would seem to be a recipe for eventual global economic and social chaos -where solutions fall entirely on government, fiscally incapable of solving. Corporations merely leave the failed societies, taking wealth and good will. Factor in the new avenues of communication and influence brought about by technological innovation, and world medias and governments are now deluged by unsolved issues, information, and special interests - w/o the necessary fiscal resources and committments from business and society. It is as though media and governments are suffering from PTSD, and it is "every man for himself." This FLUX of suffering and instability then creates a vacuum for new leadership - which can allow "radical regimes" to emerge. I suspect the future holds significant modification to Communinist, Democracy, and Dictator forms of leadership - where likely some new derivitive of the above will prove most advantageous to those in command, i.e. Clintons move to farther Left, Bush's move to farther Right. Of course, any resulting new forms must be able to mitigate the threats posed by nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Sure to be an interesting '08 election. Art At the same time, I can give you a concrete example involving a few friends and many acquaintences attempting to capture various NASA prizes in the deserts of New Mexico. The thinktank of NASA has finally realized that throwing huge amts of$$ at the usual players may not be the most efficient approach--even though the former might be considred a capatilistic venture, it becomes so corrupted by the political process and habit/safety concerns, it usually becomes some form of governmaental welfare where after the contract is given, the fire in the belly now sated with huge influx of $$, gets decreasingly productive. I personally beieve that there is a myth that when large scale$$ are involved, a capatalistic system will be cheaper, more hungry, etc. And I might agree to the point until they wield sufficient political power, that they are no more efficient, arguably less so, as it requires the payment of taxes and full scale lobbying to achieve the same governmental efficiency.

This is much more complicated issue of whether I work better under under financial inducement, or have no choice but to flip eggs, or even whether I would be happier being a doctor who in a good day can help a few, and cause no harm.
I believe the key problem with communism is not the people but it's lack of competition in it's economy such as having 1 state producer of cars. This inhibits innovation and improvements because the consumers' choice is simply - 'buy this one or go without' and so there is no market force pushing for improvement.

People are by nature competitive and even within a communist country there is ample latitude to further personal ambition so I do not think it is communism's effect on people's attitudes at the individual level that is the problem; it is only at the macro level.

Taking science as an example, most scientists are not interested in competing with one another on the basis of what salary they earn, they are far more motivated by acclaim from their peers for their contribution in their field. As evidence of this one needs only look at the former USSR. Their economy was stagnant and inferior in most ways to the capitalist model but their scientific progress was as good as anybody's. Ultimately though a country needs a strong economy to fund such research and development and so it was because of this that the USSR ultimately failed.

In the unlikely event the economic issues could be sorted out then communism would have the potential to be more efficient than capitalism as done correctly there would be less dead wood to carry and so theoretically more resources could be concentrated on improving society.

In capitalist societies where the accumulation of wealth is the main goal resources are expended in areas of greatest potential financial gain and so many superior minds that could be employed in providing real products or other enhancements for society are instead diverted to services roles such as litigation lawyers which few would argue contribute little to society but happens to be where the money is.

What i don't like about capitalism is the payment system which forces people to pay money for goods and services. Private sellers, workers and cashiers are like government by having the power to dictate prices and by coercing people to pay money for their goods and services.

A money system is a centrally controlled system, the few rich and their protection system, the state, have ultimate control of the system.
The people in the system have influence and power which is determined by how much money they have, and how well they play the cultural game.
The poor have no freedom at all, the rich decide what they are to do.

An alternative to a centrally controlled money system is a moneyless sharing voluntary system, where each individual decides for himself what to do. Such a system based on sharing and voluntarism is not a centrally controlled system.

Here is a simple and practical post-capitalist program everyone can donate to which can put an end to all the suffering the current system causes:

http://wikihost.org/wikis/program/wiki/start