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 21 
 on: April 14, 2018, 11:16:33 AM 
Started by Tweefo - Last post by brianvds


No doubt he is doing an M degree in cherry picking.

 22 
 on: April 14, 2018, 10:57:26 AM 
Started by Tweefo - Last post by BoogieMonster

 23 
 on: April 13, 2018, 13:38:51 PM 
Started by Spike - Last post by brianvds
When oil reserves are depleted they are in for some trouble unless they differentiate and diversify quite quickly.

Perhaps they'll send raiding parties to England and France. :-)

Well, right wingish economists have been predicting for decades now that Sweden is on the brink of collapse. I guess we'll see soon enough.

 24 
 on: April 13, 2018, 12:07:24 PM 
Started by Spike - Last post by Brian
to get back to the topic (I loved Manhattan NY BTW). I think the last almost pure capitalist country was Hong Kong prior to incorporation: I spent some time there as well as in Singapore...what a difference! Hong Kong was dirty, vibrant, pulsing and I had probably the best food ever in one of their housing complexes: Singapore was/is ruled by a fascist/capitalist government but it's clean functional almost sterile: both seem to thrive on capitalism. Scandinavian countries and especially Norway (same population as Durban) is very dependent on its oil: the economy is almost pure socialist but profit oriented businesses flourish. The wage differential between a CEO and a factory labourer  is tiny (When I last examined it, CEO's were earning about $1.2m pa while lowest pay was about $250 000): education is free, you retire at about 55 and have a pension for life, medical is free, vocational streaming takes place to ensure that the economy is suitably equipped. When oil reserves are depleted they are in for some trouble unless they differentiate and diversify quite quickly. Sweden funds its socialist policies through some of the highest taxes in the world and again capitalist business are in evidence (Volvo eg). In essence the socialist economies are great provided the source of revenue is able to provide. In SA UBI is a pipe dream unless our communists know something I don't: our tax base is tiny in population terms vs needs massive. Social grants that encourage babies, support AIDS victims etc are not sustainable: add to that 'free education', free medical etc ....these guys are dreaming. 

 25 
 on: April 13, 2018, 10:49:31 AM 
Started by Hermes - Last post by BoogieMonster
Two old ladies are sitting in a park when a man in a trench coat suddenly runs up and flashes them.
One had a stroke. The other couldn't reach.

 26 
 on: April 13, 2018, 10:02:32 AM 
Started by Spike - Last post by brianvds
Quote
.... but not IN New York that place is a dump. Tongue
Based on films and photos, it's a lovely city. I would love to go paint bits and pieces of it. :-)

Never go there. To quote agent Smith from the matrix: "It's the smell".

If there is such a thing.

Quote
It's a filthy, crazy, hectic place.

I lived for many years in Sunnyside in Pretoria. Had the time of my life - if I have to live in a city, I want to live near the pulse of it rather than in the boring suburbs. That's where all the character is. Of course, Sunnyside eventually got a bit too much character, and the inevitable happened: I was attacked ans stabbed by would-be robbers.

That's one of South Africa's many problems: it is way too dangerous to live in the really nice places in the city.

 27 
 on: April 13, 2018, 09:56:00 AM 
Started by Hermes - Last post by BoogieMonster

 28 
 on: April 13, 2018, 09:48:45 AM 
Started by Spike - Last post by BoogieMonster
Quote
.... but not IN New York that place is a dump. Tongue
Based on films and photos, it's a lovely city. I would love to go paint bits and pieces of it. :-)

Never go there. To quote agent Smith from the matrix: "It's the smell". It's a filthy, crazy, hectic place.

 29 
 on: April 12, 2018, 17:33:11 PM 
Started by Spike - Last post by brianvds
This is the multivariable problem I pointed to. But, socialistic societies usually have similar tendencies: Worker protection, Minimum wage enforcement (well UBI would accomplish this by proxy), bureaucratic business regulation, extensive social programs like healthcare, social grants.... all these things chip away, chip away....

Well, that's the problem with a lot of socialist countries: they over-centralize and over-complicate things, and seem almost inevitably to move towards ever more stringent authoritarianism, in which the state does not merely provide for the poor, but takes full control of everyone's personal life. Of course, politicians in general tend in that direction: a politician is by definition someone whop wants to tell you what to do.

Quote
I've been there, lived for a while with someone who worked in their economy. What they consider low pay is how billions of people in the world would dream in their wildest fantasies to live.

True enough - their idea of poverty is when you can only afford a single car. :-)

Quote
.... but not IN New York that place is a dump. Tongue

Based on films and photos, it's a lovely city. I would love to go paint bits and pieces of it. :-)

 30 
 on: April 12, 2018, 14:05:54 PM 
Started by Spike - Last post by BoogieMonster
Implication here is you can't bake the cake under socialism?
Maybe, maybe not. Stalin baked a humongous cake, but perhaps he would have baked an even bigger one in a free market.

I think it's fair to say he baked a cake using the bodies of millions of people as the main ingredient.

Quote
The point is those large companies were created under capitalism and stagnated under socialism. IOW: It's not that they have large companies, it's that in real terms many of them have
contracted. Slowly, maybe, but it still indicates that this is not a wise long-term strategy.

Quote
A UBI is not all the Swedish government does

This is the multivariable problem I pointed to. But, socialistic societies usually have similar tendencies: Worker protection, Minimum wage enforcement (well UBI would accomplish this by proxy), bureaucratic business regulation, extensive social programs like healthcare, social grants.... all these things chip away, chip away....

Quote
One will need to separate the various issues; "socialism" isn't one single thing that always does exactly the same thing.

I'd say many of them are based on the same underlying philosophy and thus, in implementation, are extremely difficult to tease apart. Because a govt keen on one of them is usually keen on the others too.

Quote
Without a doubt. I wonder if even hardline communists would argue otherwise.

I think we have plenty of examples in SA of people who totally don't get it at all. I read an article in which someone close to Zuma was describing just how clueless he is about what money is or where it comes from.

Quote
America wasn't always a plutocracy, and it underwent its biggest growth, perhaps the most spectacular in history, during very unregulated times. Today it is still renowned for being business friendly, though not always for startups.

All true.

Quote
On the other hand, there is a cost to everything, and America's free market is not without its human cost.

Nothing is. Capitalism is not perfect and I'd never argue it. However I've yet to see a better system.

Quote
I for one would not really want to live there if I had to work for other people. Huge numbers of Americans, living in the richest country on earth, have virtually no access to healthcare

What is huge numbers? What is the representation of those numbers vs the population? What is the quality of that care?

The healthcare thing is maybe offtopic but, one thing is for sure the people in the USA are, to put it like a englishman: maybe a tad over-medicated. They do have access to facilities that would make most of the rest of the world blush. Yes they can complain about the expense, and the costs have been rising. I concede this easily. Market forces have driven the costs upwards.... however I'd also argue this alone says a lot about their relative levels of "poverty".

Quote
and work two jobs and never get a holiday. I'm not sure that is the kind of society I would want to live in (of course, if I were a rich and famous artist or something, none of that would bother me!)

I've been there, lived for a while with someone who worked in their economy. What they consider low pay is how billions of people in the world would dream in their wildest fantasies to live. We don't measure ourselves by absolute wealth, we compare against those around us. If, as in the US, lots of people around you are doing absolutely great... then your own fate starts to look bad. My friend is single income w. wife and child... Not highly trained or anything of the kind. He's simply competent. In any economy that goes a long way already. I'd live there in a New York minute.

.... but not IN New York that place is a dump. Tongue

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