Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Forum - Perennial Ideas and Debates that cross societal/time boundaries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 1st, 2017, 09:55 PM   #131

YouLoveMeYouKnowIt's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: Canada
Posts: 3,767

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomar View Post
Honestly China has gone through several famines in the 20th century (vs zero for Canada) and I doubt the chinese take food security for granted...

I dont know how things work in Canada, but in Europe there is definitely food security.. Even if you have nothing, you get allowances and there are places you can eat for free... So food is really not the question...
True when I was a student and had little income I skipped some meals.. But I cant say I went hungry or was overly worried about it...

I dont know about the specific tribes you refer to, but there is a steady flow of migrants, including illegal migrants , from China (and other countries) to North America and to the UK, where they end up working minimum wage jobs... Of course no one is really "happy" working such jobs, but still they prefer that to what they had back home
It is a great improvement that Modern China doesn't have a food security problem, considering what happened in Maoist China. How many Chinese are unable to provide food for themselves? In the US, that's 1 in 7 or 46 millions.

Regarding the tribes - the point I am trying to make is that many people, though earning much less than people living in built up cities in North America, like New York and especially millennials, can be happier and be able to feed themselves. Most millennials here can't. They whine about their jobs, can't save anything, and live pay cheque to pay cheque. Other than having materials and possessions over people in self-sufficient rural areas, there is little to be desired. A millennial making $23,000 can watch Netflix and watch porno at night with a Macbook, but doesn't make his life much better or happier than Miao people who make $1,000.

Last edited by YouLoveMeYouKnowIt; January 1st, 2017 at 10:00 PM.
YouLoveMeYouKnowIt is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 1st, 2017, 10:13 PM   #132
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 10,068

Quote:
Originally Posted by YouLoveMeYouKnowIt View Post
It is a great improvement that Modern China doesn't have a food security problem, considering what happened in Maoist China. How many Chinese are unable to provide food for themselves? In the US, that's 1 in 7 or 46 millions.

Regarding the tribes - the point I am trying to make is that many people, though earning much less than people living in built up cities in North America, like New York and especially millennials, can be happier and be able to feed themselves. Most millennials here can't. They whine about their jobs, can't save anything, and live pay cheque to pay cheque. Other than having materials and possessions over people in self-sufficient rural areas, there is little to be desired. A millennial making $23,000 can watch Netflix and watch porno at night with a Macbook, but doesn't make his life much better or happier than Miao people who make $1,000.
Happiness of course is highly subjective and also relative..

In particular it is relative to how well your parents were doing (or your friends or entourage are doing)... If your parents went hungry and lived in a shack you might be happy with modest meals and a decent place of your own.. If your parents were well off. lived in a large house and went to fancy restaurants, sharing an appartment and eating at macdonalds might make you unhappy

As an economist jokingly said "whenever one of my neighbors buys a brand new luxury car, my standard of living and happiness goes down"

I dont know about the Miao but I've been to places where people made a very modest living.. Some of them can be happy, but the majority are not..
Any incident (health, break down of something etc..) turns into a tragedy because they do not have the financial means to deal with it
tomar is offline  
Old January 2nd, 2017, 04:27 AM   #133

YouLoveMeYouKnowIt's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: Canada
Posts: 3,767

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomar View Post
Happiness of course is highly subjective and also relative..

In particular it is relative to how well your parents were doing (or your friends or entourage are doing)... If your parents went hungry and lived in a shack you might be happy with modest meals and a decent place of your own.. If your parents were well off. lived in a large house and went to fancy restaurants, sharing an appartment and eating at macdonalds might make you unhappy

As an economist jokingly said "whenever one of my neighbors buys a brand new luxury car, my standard of living and happiness goes down"

I dont know about the Miao but I've been to places where people made a very modest living.. Some of them can be happy, but the majority are not..
Any incident (health, break down of something etc..) turns into a tragedy because they do not have the financial means to deal with it
You're right that happiness is subjective, because a guy living under a bridge smoking a joint is happy but is far from successful or well off. And a suicidal businessman may be suicidal despite owning a house and vehicle, and is arguably better off.

But the people I reference are like people living in traditional, unchanged (save for technological improvements) villages that existed for centuries. They even wear homemade cultural clothing. They make few bucks a day, and while they are happy (sujective), these are people with no lack of wants. For these kind of people, is how much money they earn really a good measure of their livelihood?

To give an example: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VOVJC-p3Vak

They seem relatively detatched from the rest of China, and I highly doubt $-wise they make much. But they look very well off, happy, and lead good lives.

Then you look at Bhutan, some businesspeople make more than their whole country combined, but the Bhutanese don't use GDP as a measure of their livelihood. They use happiness, their societal health and their ability to keep environmental promises.

So yes happiness is very subjective, but in the right context (stable society, rules, traditions, culture and functional autonomous and autarkic economic system), GDP may not be right to determine their livelihood. Happiness can as in these cases they are derived from factors that are associated with high levels of human development.

Last edited by YouLoveMeYouKnowIt; January 2nd, 2017 at 04:29 AM.
YouLoveMeYouKnowIt is offline  
Old January 7th, 2017, 08:39 AM   #134
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2013
From: San Antonio, Tx
Posts: 7,988

Quote:
Originally Posted by YouLoveMeYouKnowIt View Post
China has shown great progress in renewable energy. I am optimistic about Chinese people reaching much better living standards without exhausting resources.
Maybe, but I doubt it. No doubt living standards in China will ontnue to improve, but the sheer raw amount of improvement required is so overwhelmingly huge that it wll be a long time before a great deal of general improvement is visible. In the meantime, China continues to build coal-fired power plants at an alarming rate contributing to staggering amounts of air pollution. Really bad air pollution will shorten the lives of the people who have. No choice but to breathe it.

The Chinese are buildng an impressive national highway system to accommodate millions of gasoline engine powered cars which also contribute to air pollution. Are Chinese emission standards as high as they are in the West, or are their standards either lower or ignored? I don't know. Probably more pollution comes from heavy industries (and power plants) that spew millions (billions?) of tons of garbage into the air. It was, you may recall, China which not too long ago said it was unfair to restrict Chinese air pollution because the West had done so for centuries prior.

Wind, solar, geothermal, and hydraulic energy are good and must be encouraged and China is making great strides here. But again, the scale of what will be needed in China is daunting.

There are posters in here who continually crow about the percentages of growth being achieved in China compared to the West. My reply to this is, So what? If you see two rain barrels, one nearly empty and another nearly full, any amount of rain added to the nearly empty one will be a high-percentage but it will still be mostly empty while additions to the other will be a very small percentage and will still be nearly full.
royal744 is offline  
Old January 7th, 2017, 08:46 AM   #135
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2013
From: San Antonio, Tx
Posts: 7,988

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Fairfax View Post
That Britain was bankrupt in 1940.
It's laughable, some people have a serious misunderstanding of what "bankrupt"
means.
Didn't Churchill urgently approach Roosevelt after the "cash and carry" policy threatened to drain British resources and force the selling off of British assets in America, to ask for loans to cover its mounting debt burden? This was before Lend Lease was passed.
royal744 is offline  
Old January 7th, 2017, 08:58 AM   #136
Historian
 
Joined: Feb 2012
From: Portugal
Posts: 3,416

Quote:
Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
Which economics misconceptions annoy you? for me it's how people think GDP denotes the wealth of a country. It doesn't. China's GDP is bigger than Sweden's. Which country has better living standards? Which has better education, average salaries, or infrastructure? GDP is only about economic size, influence and structure, that's it.

And there is no inherent good in manufacturing industry. The only "good" industry for any country is its sustainability in many ways, for jobs, living standards, foreign trade issues like FOREX/FDI. Service industries can be "mundane" things, but then so can manufacturing industries. Making pet food is mundane, but people still value/demand it. As is making nails or paper cups. Many of the biggest industries in the world are service industries, entertainment, financial services, ICT, and retail are all service industries.

I have many more, but these two points annoy me a lot.
Don't know if anyone mentioned this but it is GDP per capita which is used and if you compare Sweeden GDP per capita with China's you will see the difference.
For the rest I agree with the relativity of it.

Last edited by Yōḥānān; January 7th, 2017 at 09:01 AM.
Yōḥānān is offline  
Old January 7th, 2017, 10:21 AM   #137
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2013
From: San Antonio, Tx
Posts: 7,988

Quote:
Originally Posted by VHS View Post
Beside the wage, the housing conditions in Canada are quite a bit better here as well.
I recall cockroaches in my home in Hong Kong; they are mostly non-existent in many buildings here.
Remember: Hong Kong isn't impoverished, but the crowded living condition is horrid.
In such an overpopulated area, people keep worrying smaller economy and lower population are beyond me.
I Lived in Western Canada for 5 years and the roaches there were tiny in comparison to the ones in South Central Texas, but they were there. In Texas they are nearly impossible to avoid and the further south one goes, the worse they get. We call them "water roaches", lord knows why.

If my house in Texas were located in NYC, it would be worth close to $4M, but no normal person living in NYC can afford such a house. People double and triple up in apartments there because housing prices are outrageous and single-family homes only exist in the far burbs. New York for us is great for visiting but not for living.

There are so many quite livable smaller cities in the US that it isn't necessary to live in places like NYC, or Washington, San Francisco, Chicago or Houston or Atlanta. All of them are simply a flight away in any case. I was thinking about this the other day and realized that Texas has five or six fairly large urban areas: Houston, Dallas, Ft Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi. Add El Paso if you don't mind being in another time zone. Five of these have a population of greater than a million people so everything is available there. No other state except for California has as many major urban areas with universities, zoos, performing ars venues, lots of shopping, military bases, urban amenities, and medical centers.

Foreigners often think of the US as being NYC and LA and maybe Chicago, but that's because they don't know the country. Not surprising considering how much there is to it, actually.

Last edited by royal744; January 7th, 2017 at 10:25 AM.
royal744 is offline  
Old January 7th, 2017, 10:55 AM   #138

anmol's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: chandigarh
Posts: 1,740

Quote:
Originally Posted by anmol View Post
I shared room for $75/month(rent) it was not in the centre it is very far off(but transportation is awesome in mumbai so you can easily reach the place). But very little is imported ,in india except may be oil. TVs you have indian made options, washing machine indian made option, cars are expensive in india(Indian made options). Most things you get in indian shops are indian made. most things imported are costly but most people do'nt buy them.
Just a trivia. Since most of the high end jeans and clothing apparels are made in India you actually can get those very jeans although not branded(because they do have minor defects) for less than $0.20 in delhi. You can get a whole shipments of such jeans for $10.
anmol is offline  
Old January 7th, 2017, 10:48 PM   #139

YouLoveMeYouKnowIt's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: Canada
Posts: 3,767

Thanks royal744,

Excuse my sea of text:

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
Maybe, but I doubt it. No doubt living standards in China will ontnue to improve, but the sheer raw amount of improvement required is so overwhelmingly huge that it wll be a long time before a great deal of general improvement is visible. In the meantime, China continues to build coal-fired power plants at an alarming rate contributing to staggering amounts of air pollution. Really bad air pollution will shorten the lives of the people who have. No choice but to breathe it.

The Chinese are buildng an impressive national highway system to accommodate millions of gasoline engine powered cars which also contribute to air pollution. Are Chinese emission standards as high as they are in the West, or are their standards either lower or ignored? I don't know. Probably more pollution comes from heavy industries (and power plants) that spew millions (billions?) of tons of garbage into the air. It was, you may recall, China which not too long ago said it was unfair to restrict Chinese air pollution because the West had done so for centuries prior.

Wind, solar, geothermal, and hydraulic energy are good and must be encouraged and China is making great strides here. But again, the scale of what will be needed in China is daunting.

There are posters in here who continually crow about the percentages of growth being achieved in China compared to the West. My reply to this is, So what? If you see two rain barrels, one nearly empty and another nearly full, any amount of rain added to the nearly empty one will be a high-percentage but it will still be mostly empty while additions to the other will be a very small percentage and will still be nearly full.
Starting first with your last paragraph;

On one hard, you recognize and appreciate the complexity and difficulty in governing China as you used the word "daunting." On the other hand, you dismiss references to China's growth with a "so what." This feels like a contradictory attitude to me. You don't just say "so what" in response to China's growth and I will tell you why. You are correct that the Chinese barrel is relatively empty while the Western barrel is relatively full. The barrels are empty or full, relatively speaking, but relative to what? In this case, we cannot compare the Chinese barrel directly to the Western barrel. Rather, we have to compare the Chinese barrel to itself and the Western barrel to itself, and then draw comparison between the two. This is because the Chinese barrel and the Western barrel are not the same size.

Due its size, the Chinese barrel is much harder to fill. In addition, the same damage applied to a Western barrel would have a much amplified or exponentially greater effect if applied to a Chinese barrel - just as a larger circuit, a longer work flow, or a more complex assembly line has a higher chance of overall failure due to having more individual parts, which if they failed individually would have a ripple effect on the overall system. We have to take these into consideration when deciding how to perceive China's growth.

The Chinese barrel is larger than the Western barrel, much larger. To say the Chinese barrel is large would a gross understatement. We're talking about 1.4 billion people, or one fifth of humanity, on 6% of the world's landmass (of which 33% is arable, fertile and habitable land) kind of large. We're talking about leasing foreign land, not to import food, but to physically grow food for Chinese people because China lacks land kind of large. We're talking about going 400 km an hour on a Maglev for hours and seeing endless tidal waves of filled condominium complexes for the entire trip kind of large. We're talking about generating double the amount of renewable energy than the 2nd largest producer in the world just to keep the lights running kind of large.

So when perceiving China's growth, we have to examine and analyze it relative to its context rather than analyzing it relative to Western growth. Sure, the West is already developed. But when you consider the context, it is easier to develop while China is much harder to develop. While China fights Sauron, Europe fights an Orc Snaga.

Thus, when you respond to citations to China's growth with a "so what," it seems like you did not look at China's size and her obstacles, examining the amplified impact from her obstacles and issuse as a result of its sheer size, and appreciating the great difficulties the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) - yes I am a devil and I said it, the CCP - have in developing and growing China in the past three decades. To me, the right perception to China's growth is amazement and awe, not a "so what" shrug.

Now regarding your comment here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
The Chinese are buildng an impressive national highway system to accommodate millions of gasoline engine powered cars which also contribute to air pollution. Are Chinese emission standards as high as they are in the West, or are their standards either lower or ignored? I don't know. Probably more pollution comes from heavy industries (and power plants) that spew millions (billions?) of tons of garbage into the air. It was, you may recall, China which not too long ago said it was unfair to restrict Chinese air pollution because the West had done so for centuries prior.
Yes, China is building an impressive national highway system, but this highway system is being built across the the most mountainous, literally spiky (as Chinese mountains are vertical), and impassable landmass in the world in the most efficient way possible. To give an example, China has recently commenced building a 100 million population city, Jingjinji, by amalgamating existing municipalities and provinces by connecting them with highways and railways. On the surface, building a city this size requires a lot of expressways which incentivizes more car use and thus causing higher emissions and naturally indicating China's dirty mindset. But when you see why this city is planned and how it is built - you will see that it is leaning towards making the city more efficient and lower overall emissions. The areas that would make up Jingjinji is a cluster of relations. People work in one edge of the would be city and live in the other edge. Many commute upwards of 4 hours to get to work and home in an inefficient (time and fuel) method and route. The new highways are accompanied by railways as well as relocation of bureaucratic jobs - like a streamlining process - to make commutes shorter and routes more rational, and thus lower emissions. Now if we expand this back to a supranational scale; Chinese highways, railways, and the world's tallest and longest bridges are built in strategic locations to reduce overall commute and lower emission rates. For examples - the 46 km Jiaozhou Bay oversea bridge, the 35 km Hangzhou Bay Bridge, 35 km Runyang Bridge, and Donghai Bridge, all expressways for automobiles, are built routed to lower emissions so people wouldn't have to drive double or even triple that distance, burning more fuel, while attempting to snake around China's landmass.

Click the image to open in full size.

Imagine the cost-saving (let cost = emissions) when this underground tunnel for automobiles is complete. People drive around this sea and take flights. Hopefully, not anymore!

To put it shortly, China recognized 1) the present existence of terrifying emissions spat out and gasoline consumed, 2) the impassable Chinese terrain that's overlapping Chinese cities and working people and 3) the fuel-inefficiency in commuting as a result of driving along China's serpentine coils and then responding to them with viable, emission-combating routes. The emission from cars is already there, the Xpressways are there to reduce them.

Yes, China is biting hard onto the developing world status as an advantage of being allowed to pollute. Good thing is that China recognizes the danger of unfettered growth and has something that is unique from the West that best suits China in her situation: the authoritarian push for green and sustainable development without the vetocratic red taping found in Western liberal democracy. While China pollutes, it has mandated unequal growth in renewable energy - so much China's energy grid couldn't even keep up to use all of that green power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
Wind, solar, geothermal, and hydraulic energy are good and must be encouraged and China is making great strides here. But again, the scale of what will be needed in China is daunting.
Daunting yes - but China is different. Its government is different. It does not suffer from vetocracy, like India, when copying and pasting its landscape with world-beating highways and railways, and has shown audacity and capability in doing so. It shan't have a problem copying and pasting sustainable energy. Its already the largest producer by a long shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
Maybe, but I doubt it. No doubt living standards in China will ontnue to improve, but the sheer raw amount of improvement required is so overwhelmingly huge that it wll be a long time before a great deal of general improvement is visible.
In my view, general improvement is already visible and that directly improve the livelihood of Chinese people. If we examine China's application of democracy (based on citizen participation/representation through consultation and needs assessment rather than participation through binding direct voting), we see that the government has responded to what people want. For example, the Chunyun, the nightmarish largest human migration in history that happens every ~February, is answered with China's sophisticated self-complementing transit system of overlapping railways capable of getting completing 3 billion trips within 40 days, getting hundreds of millions of migrant workers, students, workers and professionals, farmers, etc... to their ancestral homes to pass new year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
In the meantime, China continues to build coal-fired power plants at an alarming rate contributing to staggering amounts of air pollution. Really bad air pollution will shorten the lives of the people who have. No choice but to breathe it.
We mostly agree here. Chinese people are suffering due to terrible air pollution. Thousands upon thousands are dying prematurely every year. Coal is the main culprit but while China is still living mainly on coal, it is looking to modernize its process to reduce emissions. While that may not be good enough, we can examine where China is going with regards to pursuing renewable and green energy. The growth of renewable energy is faster than growth for coal and nuclear energy - this indicate progression towards the plateauing of coal use and spiking of renewable use. China's investments in sustainable energy is in the hundreds of billions and backed by aggressive tax credits and government incentives. This indicate a strong national desire for renewable use. A winning combination.

I would to inject a note about China's automobile industry, China's own brands. China knows the automobile industry worldwide is saturated. So where is the next arena of competition? Fuel-efficient and green cars. China has a weak brand and people are unaware of this but a Chinese company is actually the world leader in electric bus sales. BYD has zero emission public buses and taxis, supplying Chinese cities as well as Western European countries and the US with their vehicles. Its a baby step and it takes time, but I am optimistic.

Last edited by YouLoveMeYouKnowIt; January 7th, 2017 at 11:01 PM.
YouLoveMeYouKnowIt is offline  
Old January 13th, 2017, 07:43 AM   #140

Alto's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Jun 2015
From: Camelot
Posts: 579

Some big ones:

- Rural areas in the West are poor too. I see this card played all the time about china, oh the peasants are poor what about the peasants. Been to Appalachia?
- State run growth DOES work... to a point.
- All growth is government led, including early examples like the US, England, and France. I'm pretty right wing economically but you can't deny that.
- Bankruptcy isn't that bad
- The more people own businesses, the faster your "steady state" growth rate.
Alto is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology

Tags
economics, equal, misconceptions, rights



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
medieval misconceptions notgivenaway General History 26 October 14th, 2016 12:19 AM
What misconceptions annoy you?? notgivenaway General History 151 June 9th, 2016 05:29 PM
Misconceptions of the Medieval Era royal infanta Medieval and Byzantine History 84 April 13th, 2016 07:07 PM
Misconceptions of the Samurai Age okamido Asian History 25 May 21st, 2012 03:36 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.