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Topic: Finding the best system of economy (Read 16498 times)

  • ersi
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Finding the best system of economy
From the article (book review) Innovation: The Government Was Crucial After All

Quote
"The great advances of civilization," wrote Milton Friedman in Capitalism and Freedom, his influential best seller published in 1962, "whether in architecture or painting, in science or literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government." He did not say what he made of the state-sponsored art of Athens's Periclean Age or the Medici family, who, as Europe's dominant bankers but then as Florentine rulers, commissioned and financed so much Renaissance art. Or the Spanish court that gave us Velázquez. Or the many public universities that produced great scientists in our times. Or, even just before Friedman was writing, what could he have made of the Manhattan Project of the US government, which produced the atomic bomb? Or the National Institutes of Health, whose government-supported grants led to many of the most important pharmaceutical breakthroughs?

We could perhaps forgive Friedman's ill-informed remarks as a burst of ideological enthusiasm if so many economists and business executives didn't accept this myth as largely true.


Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #1
All ideologies aside, modern economic systems are hybrids of capitalism and socialism. Relying on private enterprise for innovation often fails, as the company needs to please its shareholders in time for the next quarterly report and something that will take a few years to pay off won't necessarily do that. That leads the investors to question the R & D spending, although they often don't know the technology that drives the company from their own asses. But we've also seen pure socialism and its failures. The economies behind the Iron Curtain stagnated and the communist system crumbled. China only began to prosper after it abandoned its Maoist ideology.

  • ersi
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #2
In another thread Belfrager said that Marx, among other authors, was "adulterated". I'm not sure what he meant. Maybe that he's wrongly interpreted? I don't think Marx's behaviour at communist conferences left much room for doubt about his overall big plans.

Still there are two important things that Marx got right. One is that the system of economy is related to or vitally dependent on the form of government. For example feudal economy works best under feudal form of government. Dictatorship can choose whichever economy to implement, but it would be self-defeating for dictatorship to let the economic system foment self-reliant or democratic sentiments too much. Various shapes of slavery serve the purpose of dictatorship better. And of oligarchy. 

The other thing Marx got right was an accurate description of capitalism as economic theory. There are two circuits: The circuit of commodities and the circuit of capital. The circuit of commodities is the production cycle, and the circuit of capital is to produce "surplus value" where "money makes money" apart from any actual consumption or production of commodities. No other economic theory comes even close to Marx's in accuracy and applicability.

The two things that Marx got right are right about other things than socialism. I don't think he got socialism right (and judging by his behaviour at communist conferences, he never meant to get socialism right).

The big idea of socialism is redistribution with the purpose of equalisation of property. Noble policies require decent people to implement them. Marx was wrong to suggest that a "dictatorship of the proletariat" could do it. Idealising the proletariat is as wrong as idealising the aristocracy. In reality there should be actual checks and balances in place to reduce the potential for corruption. Anyway, this gets a lot into how the politics should work rather than the economy, so this is why I think Marx was at least right in saying that a theory of economy is not enough. The proper perspective is politico-economics.

The big difference between socialism and capitalism is that capitalism's virtue, aim and motive is profit, and there's no suggestion how to cap it, no suggestion how to deal with overheating, cyclical booms and crashes. Socialism's virtue, aim and motive is economic equality by means of redistribution, to provide to everyone from the common means. Socialism sounds much more sensible and moderate, but in this world I doubt there will be a government who will actually do it.

These days people call the spending of tax revenue "socialism" (or "mixed economy"), but within the framework of capitalism this does not even come close to what socialism and communism actually mean. And since every country in the world has taxation, there's nothing "mixed" in it either. Everybody does it.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #3
Relying on private enterprise for innovation often fails, as the company needs to please its shareholders in time for the next quarterly report and something that will take a few years to pay off won't necessarily do that.

In Europe and perhaps especially Japan the "long" term (i.e. more than just one or two years) tends to carry a little more weight than in America. That's a cultural thing, nothing state-mandated. Although the top managers seem to be infatuated with the Anglo-Saxon model, for some reason. *cough*filling their own pockets*cough*

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #4
In another thread Belfrager said that Marx, among other authors, was "adulterated". I'm not sure what he meant. Maybe that he's wrongly interpreted? I don't think Marx's behaviour at communist conferences left much room for doubt about his overall big plans.

I'm not a marxist, by the contrary, always fought all my life against the marxist forces. It seems my side has won but honestly, looking around the western world, I don't know anymore if this is better.
That said, there's one aspect that I think Marx was right and it's a fundamental part of his work - the exploitation of man by man.

Adulterated means what it means and I had the trouble of checking if english had that word previous to post. A necessity that affects those who have to express at rudimentary languages.
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #5
I'm not a marxist, by the contrary, always fought all my life against the marxist forces. It seems my side has won but honestly, looking around the western world, I don't know anymore if this is better.
How in this world do you think that the "Marxist forces" in the West have lost...? Multiculturalism, Critical this-and-that-ism, moral relativity and post-Modernism (whatever that means...) permeate our cultures! They are viruses. (Shouldn't they be quarantined? :) )
That said, there's one aspect that I think Marx was right and it's a fundamental part of his work - the exploitation of man by man.
What a brilliant man! He almost grasped the import of Original Sin... A little late, but then he was an "intellectual"!

Adulterated means what it means and I had the trouble of checking if english had that word previous to post. A necessity that affects those who have to express at rudimentary languages.
Not to worry, Bel: People have managed to talk to each other for aeons... (May I post another's poetry?

The Aim Was Song

Before man came to blow it right
The wind once blew itself untaught,
And did its loudest day and night
In any rough place where it caught.


Man came to tell it what was wrong:
It hadn't found the place to blow;
It blew too hard--the aim was song.
And listen--how it ought to go!


He took a little in his mouth,
And held it long enough for north
To be converted into south,
And then by measure blew it forth.


By measure. It was word and note,
The wind the wind had meant to be--
A little through the lips and throat.
The aim was song--the wind could see.
  • Last Edit: 2014-11-02, 04:24:08 by OakdaleFTL
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #6
How in this world do you think that the "Marxist forces" in the West have lost...? Multiculturalism, Critical this-and-that-ism, moral relativity and post-Modernism (whatever that means...) permeate our cultures! They are viruses. (Shouldn't they be quarantined?  :)  )

What you refer aren't Marxist products or even by-products but the result of savage Capitalism, a capitalism under no moral order.
What a brilliant man! He almost grasped the import of Original Sin... A little late, but then he was an "intellectual"!

:)
Marx was a bourgeois...
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #7

How in this world do you think that the "Marxist forces" in the West have lost...? Multiculturalism, Critical this-and-that-ism, moral relativity and post-Modernism (whatever that means...) permeate our cultures! They are viruses. (Shouldn't they be quarantined?  :)  )

What you refer aren't Marxist products or even by-products but the result of savage Capitalism, a capitalism under no moral order.

I just meant to say that. Oakdale completely (and wrongly) equates Western decadent Leftism, a natural by-product of capitalism, with Marxism. Marxists always had a strong sense of ideals where they were getting at. The ideals were misguided (as I said, Marx didn't get socialism right) but there surely were ideals, whereas Western decadent Leftism is a whiney critique of everything without any constructive element.

And Oakdale has nothing to say about economy. When he does, he's ironically just as whiney and deconstructive as Western Leftists.

  • Colonel Rebel
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #8
Well, one thing is for sure; some changes are going to be necessary in our (US) system of govt.

Corruptness runs rampant, our citizenry is ignored while other countries are waited on like royalty by our govt (Israel), young adult unemployment near 20%, and most of the just-mentioned young adults have a minimum of $30,000 student loan debt.

The whole lot of it is depressing.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #9
And Oakdale has nothing to say about economy.

Yes but I like his poetry. :)
By measure. It was word and note,
The wind the wind had meant to be--
A little through the lips and throat.
The aim was song--the wind could see.

I imagine this played as that kind of Bob Dylan songs...
Protest song writers aren't anymore what they used to be... :)
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #10
Protest song writers aren't anymore what they used to be...

Sure, they've grown old.

Then:


Late '90s:


:P

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #11
Oakdale completely (and wrongly) equates Western decadent Leftism, a natural by-product of capitalism, with Marxism.
In a sense, ersi, you are correct: Capitalism and a reasonably limited government combine to dis-establish the intellectuals, who must rule, regulate and meddle -- or lose their self-esteem!
Marxists always had a strong sense of ideals where they were getting at. The ideals were misguided (as I said, Marx didn't get socialism right) but there surely were ideals, whereas Western decadent Leftism is a whiney critique of everything without any constructive element.
As intellectuals, Marxists craved power over men... Their ideals were -shall we say- contingent upon receiving enough power? :) They wanted to re-shape society so that no man could be other than a cog in the machine they envisioned -- as Trotsky said, "God Is the State; the State is God"! (Yeah, I know he didn't say it... :) )
Western Leftism is much the same; intellectuals hungry for power! To pretend to control matters beyond our understanding requires only that one convince others that these matters aren't... And, then, consolidate -- a so-called constructive element?
It's only rule over men, ersi.
And Oakdale has nothing to say about economy. When he does, he's ironically just as whiney and deconstructive as Western Leftists.
I take "deconstructive" here to mean not consonant with Grand Schemes of Command and Control... I plead guilty, then!
------------------------------------
@Belfrager: It seems unlikely, but your words and mine here might give the wrong impression to some. The poem The Aim Was Song was written by Rbt. Frost -- still my favorite poet, in the English language. :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #12
And Oakdale has nothing to say about economy.
I would treat this separately:
Economics is a descriptive science, first. And a subsumed off-shoot of ethics...secondarily. Would you disagree, ersi? Belfrager? Anyone? :)

Of course, the "planners" would... Human nature, being what it is, they want control! )both senses meant, of "want" :) (
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #13

Oakdale completely (and wrongly) equates Western decadent Leftism, a natural by-product of capitalism, with Marxism.
In a sense, ersi, you are correct: Capitalism and a reasonably limited government combine to dis-establish the intellectuals, who must rule, regulate and meddle -- or lose their self-esteem!

As intellectuals, Marxists craved power over men... Their ideals were -shall we say- contingent upon receiving enough power? :) They wanted to re-shape society so that no man could be other than a cog in the machine they envisioned -- as Trotsky said, "God Is the State; the State is God"! (Yeah, I know he didn't say it... :) )

Western Leftism is much the same; intellectuals hungry for power! To pretend to control matters beyond our understanding requires only that one convince others that these matters aren't... And, then, consolidate -- a so-called constructive element?
It's only rule over men, ersi.

You go on about power in a way that makes it abundantly clear that this is your major gripe. So, let me ask: When you get the power you crave, economic and political, what will you do with it? According to what theory and practice will you wield it?

I know. Your point narrows down to these words: "To pretend to control matters beyond our understanding requires only that one convince others..." i.e. as long as all goes well, you will bask in hoped popular fame - certainly in self-adulation -, but as soon as things go wrong, it's "matters beyond our understanding" that are to take the blame.


Economics is a descriptive science, first. And a subsumed off-shoot of ethics...secondarily. Would you disagree, ersi? Belfrager? Anyone? :)

As a science, economics of course should be descriptive, and this is precisely the problem with Say's Law, Friedmanian monetarism, et al. - they aren't descriptive! Marx's Kapital is the most accurate description of capitalism there is. The prescriptive stuff in Marx's writings concerns socialism which had not been implemented yet and thus could not have been descriptive, and I already said Marx got that part wrong anyway.


Of course, the "planners" would... Human nature, being what it is, they want control! )both senses meant, of "want" :) (

"Planners" want control? As opposed to cronies who act out of sheer altruism for the society? Remember that my main complaint was that you are saying nothing about economy, and this perfectly applies here.

That said, it's worth noting what Social Democrats, originally Western followers of Marx, are really doing. They share political power as collaborators of bourgeois parliamentarism. They didn't grab all the power to themselves. And this collaboration has given much vitality to capitalism since the end of WWII until now, even though Marx predicted capitalism's demise was imminent in his own lifetime. Social Democrats really grok capitalism, both theoretically and practically, while the bourgeois have no proper theoretical comprehension of it and in practice live off the fruits of those who have the comprehension and who do the essential work in the society.

  • rjhowie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #14
I hve no basic problem with capitalism but it has been sorely misused in the West and the perpetrators  get away with criminality
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #15
the bourgeois have no proper theoretical comprehension of it and in practice live off the fruits of those who have the comprehension and who do the essential work in the society.

Who are these people who do "the work" and what is the work they do?  If it's essential, it is -at least- something that can be delineated, no? Of course, No!
What you mean is: Intellectuals are smarter than everyone else; hence, what they think is important matters most... What they don't think is un-thinkable. Or banal. :)

Perhaps if someone wrote a book that noone could understand, stating the primacy of the bourgeois view, you'd re-consider your view? :)
I repeat myself: Who are these people who do "the work" and what is the work they do?  If it's essential, it is -at least- something that can be delineated...
So. Delineate, please.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #16

Who are these people who do "the work" and what is the work they do?  If it's essential, it is -at least- something that can be delineated, no? Of course, No!

I spoke deliberately in Marxist terminology so you should have got this on the fly, but no hope. The work is of course productive work, the kind of work that builds houses, produces food and puts it on people's tables.


What you mean is: Intellectuals are smarter than everyone else; hence, what they think is important matters most... What they don't think is un-thinkable. Or banal. :)

Obviously I didn't mean that. You are too painfully thick these days. In turn, what do you mean? Had a point to make?

  • mjmsprt40
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  • Global Moderator
  • undocumented space alien
Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #17
I think maybe Oakdale has spent too much time being an "intellectual" and has forgotten how the rest of us in the real world have to make this all work. It's not all about spinning big words into sentences that only 5 people can understand-- and in truth they're lying about that.

Hey, you want an example of "essential work"? OK, next time your car breaks down you have a choice. Either find a mechanic who can fix the thing-- or fix it yourself if you can. That's essential work if you expect that car to get you to the library where you can bury yourself in all those books with all those big words in sentences that only 5 people can understand-- and they're lying about that. :D
What would happen if a large asteroid slammed into the Earth?
According to several tests involving a watermelon and a large hammer, it would be really bad!

Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #18
Buy a dictionary, sir. Better yet, there are many free online dictionaries.
Quote
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  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #19
Do you have a OakdaleFTL-rjhowie/rjhowie-OakdaleFTL dictionary in store?

  • Frenzie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #20
Perhaps some NLTK trickery could make a reasonable initial attempt at compiling one automatically.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #21
Do you have a OakdaleFTL-rjhowie/rjhowie-OakdaleFTL dictionary in store?

That is probably the funniest thing I've read this year! Bravo!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #22

Do you have a OakdaleFTL-rjhowie/rjhowie-OakdaleFTL dictionary in store?

That is probably the funniest thing I've read this year! Bravo!

Rjhowie's asking what you said...
A matter of attitude.

  • rjhowie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #23
No, he is laughing at the would-be intellectuals. Have been in many a public meeting and most of you would leave at the end of one whimpering.  :hat:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Josh M
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #24
Hello all,
Frequent stereotype about migrants (especially from Asian and African countries) is that high level of immigration is not good for original indigenous population in Europe and elsewhere. However, many agree that immigration is supportive for each economy and create additional source of diversification in innovation, culture, and even a genetic diversity in humans. That all is very hard to solve, rather unsolvable to find the real truth behind that. But take a look on pure numbers and demographics. How many children do you have? How many children your friends, relatives etc. have? Are you classic example of White European ethnicity? = single with no children, like me? Do you know anyone with Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq origin to have 7 children in the EU member state? Is our welfare, freedom, human rights, solidarity, etc. causing us more vulnerable and even infertile? 'White European' ethnicity likely to be scarce in future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzbnARyPMMk Should we care? Does it even matter? Looking for your interesting inputs and viewpoints!