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Topic: Finding the best system of economy (Read 17158 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.


  • krake
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #75
If the bank gets bankrupt, it will be bailed out with taxpayer money.
Because you are a slave. I'm not.
Tax payers is the modernist name for slaves.
You don't have to pay taxes - at least as long as taxpayers from other countries are paying for you... :devil:

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #76
If the bank gets bankrupt, it will be bailed out with taxpayer money.
Because you are a slave. I'm not.
Tax payers is the modernist name for slaves.
You don't have to pay taxes - at least as long as taxpayers from other countries are paying for you... :devil:
See Krake, quod erat demonstratum, you - the slave - pay for bankrupted banks, you pay for me, you pay for anything your masters want you to pay.
Strangely, very strangely, such condition makes you feel superior... perfect slavery it's already a reality, your reality.
You'll never revolt. Or will you? :)
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #77
Adam Smith is considered a great father of economic theories, but given his reputation among other theorists, I never saw the relevance of reading him directly. However, it's good when common folks put up their reading notes so we can read and gather the right impression without having to really read that fat book of little use.

A few quotes for taste:
(112) "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." A rare aphorism-- Smith is rarely witty-- and one libertarians would do well to ponder.

(140) Here's a factoid for you: Smith thinks that when the poor are mostly fed by oatmeal, as in his native Scotland, they're poorer workers and frankly uglier; while the Irish, raised on potatoes, are stronger and better looking.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #78
Glancing through there, I came upon a link to Jacobs, which sounds like a much more interesting book. I think @jax might like it too. In any event, nice site, thanks!

  • ersi
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #79
The writer is a good language theorist and maker of artificial languages. That's how I discovered his site once upon a time. Must have been around the turn of the century.

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #80
Glancing through there, I came upon a link to Jacobs, which sounds like a much more interesting book. I think @jax might like it too. In any event, nice site, thanks!

Pretty much. Nations are illusions that take continuous propaganda to maintain. Cities are real (as is the countryside for those remaining there).

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #81
Nations are illusions that take continuous propaganda to maintain. Cities are real (as is the countryside for those remaining there).
Cities are an exhausted model. Cities can't deliver anymore the needed resources, safety and sustainability to the inhabitants.
For long that cities acts merely as a country's cancer destroying the capacity for the Nation's survival.

Nations aren't illusions, nations are the only and sole refuge for fighting the internationalist globalizing menace aiming to destroy people's resistance all over the world and impose a ruthless new order. Nations are the only human made organizing structures/entities that assures diversity and, as such, survival.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #82
The city is where all activity and all value creation happens, economy is local. The nation is a notion, an idea, an ideal. Like other ideas and ideals it may mobilise and direct emotion, but it is in the mind of the emoter.



  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #83
The city is where all activity and all value creation happens
More than 70 80 or 90% of those cities have no grow rate whatsoever what confirms my point, cities as an exhausted model.
However, those cities keeps draining their countries resources literally drying everything around.

You'll keep being wrong while adopting the outdated leftist concept of nations as simple ideas or artificial inventions, nations are much more - are organic entities. Much more real than all the "economics" you talk about.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #84
Actually, while Europe as a subcontinent has a population that is flattening out or in the long term falling (migration doesn't quite make up for that, but we'll see how it goes in the future), European cities, particularly European large cities, are growing.

Even in countries with falling population, like Russia, cities like Moscow are growing. (The dataset used in the graph above differs from other datasets, which would highlight other cities as growing the most/least, or by how much, but the rough overall picture is similar.)

Economy is predominantly local (you make and spend money locally), but with an increasing global component. Geography matters, borders less so. Here in Södertälje I am a part of the Stockholm urban area, while Gothenburg is slightly distant and the third urban area in Sweden, around Malmö, is slowly merging with the Copenhagen economy, in a different country. There are areas in Sweden that are more distant in time and culture than other European cities, and arguably cities like Beijing and New York.


  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #85
Dreams of modernists, a nightmare painted with ignorance colors.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #86
The city state is vastly older than the nation state, if antiquity or seniority is an argument.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #87
The city state is vastly older than the nation state, if antiquity or seniority is an argument.
Nope. Cities and Nations are older than States. The nation of tribes precedes by thousand years the first city states.

As for your defense of economy being local, as you stated here and in the other thread, that's not correct. You simply forget that production and consumption rarely are at the same place/region.

From the old Silk Road to today's chinese products invading the west, not forgetting the crucial role of colonies, there's nothing local in economy. To trade is exactly to find different prices in different locations and usually with different currencies.

Medieval mercators knew much more about economy than you do Jax. :)
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #88
Tribes are even further removed from nation states than city states.

The economy is predominantly local, even now that we live in an unprecedented globalised economy. Will there one day be a truly global economy where geography ceases to matter? Possibly, but not any day soon. Today, most of the value we create and consume is local. Even those that are "serially local", that would include me, are spending their money locally. When I am in Södertälje most of my money is spent here. When I am in Prague most of my money is spent there. The Internet allow me to source my purchases anywhere in the world, but still I find it more convenient, better and cheaper to source locally. When this is no longer the case for most people, the economy is no longer local.

A "Made in China" product is only partially made in China. A typical product may have perhaps 20% of the value chain produced in China (some more of course, some less). Much of it would likely be local, you can expect a "Made in China" product to make more value locally than in China, particularly for cheaper products.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #89
When I am in Prague most of my money is spent there
Wow, Jax you deserve the Nobel prize of Economics.

You have a lot of problems with basic notions. Added Value is not what you think it is.
When a laptop costs to general public 500 euros in Europe and it's produced by something around 15 euros in the Chinese manufacturer, that's not "added value".
It's simple price speculation by intermediaries. It doesn't add any "value", it simply contributes to financial inflation.
  • Last Edit: 2016-08-24, 21:46:15 by Belfrager
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #90

It's you who should learn rudimentary economics.

It is raining here. That rain water has no value to me, quite the opposite. Now, if I was dying of thirst in Sahara that water would have very high value, if I was drowning in a lake nearby the rain would have negative value. Moving a resource to a place and into state where it is useful creates value.

Now, you could argue, and many have, that price and value are distinct concepts, and that it is a misrepresentation for economists to talk about values when they really are talking about prices.

Quote from: Oscar Wilde
Cecil Graham: What is a cynic?
Lord Darlington: A man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
Cecil Graham: And a sentimentalist, my dear Darlington, is a man who sees an absurd value in everything and doesn't know the market price of any single thing.

Price and value are distinct in economy too, but the general assumption is that the price of a product in a transaction would be higher than its value to the seller and lower than its value to the buyer.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #91
It's you who should learn rudimentary economics.
Not yours. You are just repeating what I said before.
By the way, I remember you that the world is governed by economists. Their work's result speaks for their quality.

Please don't bother posting endless statistic about how much Africa grew at the last 50 years, I don't believe in magics.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #92
Want to Know the Economic Forecast? Check Your Underwear
The Men's Underwear Index, as it's known, was originally conceived of and popularized by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. It looks at the sale of men's underwear as an indicator of economic growth. In a healthy economy, the theory goes, men are more likely to buy new underwear; in shakier times, they're more wary of spending and don't buy much new underwear because it's not a true necessity. [...]

So does the Men's Underwear Index hold water? Well, in 2008 and 2009, sales of men's underwear began to slow, which matched with the Great Recession. In fact, according to H&R Block, in the years leading up to and including the Recession, there was a three percent increase in men buying single pairs of underwear and a decrease in men buying multi-packs -- a sign that buyers were looking to make one pair of underwear stretch a bit further. As the economy started to come back to life, men's underwear sales across the U.S. began to increase again. They stayed pretty consistent.

Currently, it looks like men's underwear sales for 2019 are down a bit. [...] But if you haven't bought new underwear in a while, you might want to. Economic certainty be damned.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #93
I don't know how I compare to "men" in general, but I don't even think about buying underwear unless I happen to randomly run across some and they look decent or if I think what I've got is wearing down...

And anyway, if you're wary of spending a few Euros on some underwear once every few years then you're just plain poor.

I have a pair of Björn Borg boxers that were given to me as a present. They're like € 25? Maybe € 30? They're definitely not bad, but not substantially (if at all) better than C&A underwear for € 5. It's possible that it's a touch more durable but I doubt it.

If anything I'd simply be (even) less likely to be out shopping if I were trying to save money, i.e., to be in a situation where I'd run across some underwear.

Anyway, just a simple hypothesis of course, but wouldn't it rather make sense that underwear sales rise and fall along with sales of most things?

  • ensbb3
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #94
So I was wondering why just men's underwear? I'm not even sure I was actually there for the purchase of my current batch in circulation. Pretty sure I'd have to get down to like three pair before laundry day wouldn't keep up and I'd notice. Nevertheless the answer to my question seems a bit sexist. At least the articles I Googled up are aware of it, then proceed to overstate women's vanity. Mine were purchased by a woman. Not sure what that proves, but I'm pretty sure the answer to that is nothing. Or at least nothing meaningful to the economy. 

Critics of this theory suggest that it may be inaccurate for several reasons, including the frequency with which women purchase underwear for men, and an assumed tendency for men not to purchase underwear until it is threadbare regardless of the performance of the economy.

(...)

Some other Unconventional Economic Indicators that have been promoted include:

1. Hemlines: First suggested in 1925 by George Taylor of the Wharton School of Business, the Hemline Index proposes that skirt hemlines are higher when the economy is performing better. For instance, short skirts were in vogue in the 1990s when the tech bubble was increasing.
2. Haircuts: Paul Mitchell founder John Paul Dejoria suggests that during good economic times, customers will visit salons for haircuts every six weeks, while in bad times, haircut frequencies drop to every eight weeks.
3. Dry-cleaning: Another favorite Greenspan theory, this indicator suggests that dry cleaning drops during bad economic times, as people only take clothes to the cleaners when they absolutely need to when budgets are tight.
4. Fast food: Many analysts believe that during financial downturns, consumers are far more likely to purchase cheaper fast food options, while when the economy heads into an upswing, patrons are more likely to focus more on buying healthier food and eating in nicer restaurants.

I just spent 20mins googling people's underwear buying habits. This kind of stuff is why I keep coming back. :)

  • Frenzie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #95
2. Haircuts:
3. Dry-cleaning:
Those sound a lot more sensible, but my "get my hair cut as little as I think I can get away with" approach has nothing to do with money. It sounds more like an excuse really. Oh, I didn't get my hair cut because I'm saving money. Not at all because I didn't want to bother planning or going. ;)

The big difference with the underwear thing is that it's actually something you have to do every few weeks to months, as opposed to every few years. Plus I can literally buy years worth of underwear for the cost of one or two haircuts. Or one to two pairs of Björn Borg, but even then the gist of it holds up.

4. Fast food: Many analysts believe that during financial downturns, consumers are far more likely to purchase cheaper fast food options, while when the economy heads into an upswing, patrons are more likely to focus more on buying healthier food and eating in nicer restaurants.
Yet I'm cheaper and healthier off by doing neither... Maybe it's a cultural divide with Americans but I think most people cook their meals at home most of the time here. And fast food isn't nearly cheap enough to compete with reasonable quality TV dinners/salads in the first place. You can get decent to quite good ready-made meals/meal salads from about € 3 at the cheaper end to € 5-6 at the higher end.[1] Or you can cook for yourself and eat for something closer to € 1.50/portion while getting an experience superior to the € 6 option.

We always cook enough food for 2 or 3 days. It's hardly any more effort in order to significantly reduce the workload throughout the week.

Anyway, the tl;dr is that if you like the food at more expensive restaurants then you can get expensive ready-made meals for fast food prices. Switching to fast food makes zero sense unless you like fast food. It's a completely different category of food.
I just checked and you can get a 400 g premade vegetable lasagna with 185 grams of veggies and no added sugar for € 2.19 at AH. I don't know what it tastes like but it sure sounds a lot better than your average fast/junk food. And keep in mind that's the cheap option.

  • ensbb3
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #96
my "get my hair cut as little as I think I can get away with" approach has nothing to do with money.
Right. And winter is coming so more hats. :whistle:

Yet I'm cheaper and healthier off by doing neither...
Yeah, there's no argument that you can cook it yourself and eat better cheaper. Maybe prep time and number of people are a factor too. I can cook lasagna, spaghetti, stew or whatever and eat for days. The kids aren't so big on leftovers, and the youngest is picky the way only the youngest child can be, doesn't make any sense he just doesn't eat 'new' things. Will turn down great food for junk basically. I'm the only one that can cook a burger he'll eat. I've cooked them every way possible so how it's cooked isn't a factor. As long as I cooked it he'll gobble it up. I'm not the world's greatest burger chef or anything. So with kids especially I don't see where it matters. I don't always want to police the "you need to try new things" philosophy. I don't eat much fast food myself, passed mozzarella sticks and a banana milkshake or the likes, but if I just want everybody fed and done I'll get him whatever passes for chicken from a burger joint. Economy be damned.

I'm sure I'm marginal on some things but if I've learned anything from this tangent It's how little the economy is involved in my decision making. Even when money is tight a few dollars here or there isn't enough to deviate from what works and not needing to save a dollar has never stopped me from not spending it. Results may very of course.     

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #97
The psychology of money is a full topic of its own. We, our fellow primates, and presumably our antecessors, have an idea of earning money that is useful, but not very advanced. Among other things it can make us penny wise, dollar foolish.

That could be used for desired effects, nudges. Assuming you consider flowing traffic a good, a small fee can make you change your behaviour.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jonas_eliasson_how_to_solve_traffic_jams?language=en


  • Frenzie
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #98
The best thing about TED videos is you don't have to watch them.

Quote
Seventy percent of the population didn't want this. [...] 70 percent of the population in Stockholm want to keep a price for something that used to be free. [...]

And the other question, who changed their mind? Who changed their opinion, and why? So we did another interview survey, tried to figure out why people changed their mind, and what type of group changed their minds? And after analyzing the answers, it turned out that more than half of them believe that they haven't changed their minds.

Let me get this straight... if 40 % of the population changed their minds from don't want to want then obviously more than half haven't changed their minds.

  • jax
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Re: Finding the best system of economy
Reply #99
The best thing about TED videos is you don't have to watch them.
Yes, that is one of the reasons I always try to link to the TED page rather than the Youtube equivalent, even though the latter can be embedded here as a video. More than half the TED talks I scan/consume I read rather than watch. If there is something interesting or visual in the transcript, you can click that to get to the corresponding part of the video, and vice versa.

If 70% against turns to 30% against, at least 4/7 must have changed their minds (more if someone of those for had become against). Now he didn't say who they asked, so it is hard to say whether that is notable or not. If more than half of those who had changed their mind said that they hadn't, that's interesting. If it was more than half of those who hadn't, much less so (but still for those who have claimed to have changed their minds without actually doing so).