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Old October 12th, 2017, 07:11 PM   #51

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Let's see, Mexico today:

Mexico (2016)
Per capita income: 18,938 dollars.
Life expectancy: 76.7 years

USA (1950)
Per capita income: 15,980 dollars.
Life expectancy: 68.4 years

US per capita income in 1950 was in today's dollars about 15,980 dollars. Life expectancy in the US in 1950 was much lower than Mexico's today. While Mexicans today enjoy many goods and services that didn't exist in 1950 such as smartphones, color TV and videogames. Overall, a typical Mexican today has far better life than a typical American in the early 1950s. Of course, in the developed countries today, living standards are enormously superior to the living standards in the 1950's.

Last edited by Guaporense; October 12th, 2017 at 07:16 PM.
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Old October 12th, 2017, 07:34 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by tomar View Post

So we have the means, we have the needs, we have the workforce and yet somehow we cant make it work....or at least we cant make it work for a significant number of people

Why ?
I think part of the problem is that as people get richer they get less concerned about growth and jobs and more interested in quality of life questions. After a while, there's insufficient constituency left for messy basic growth at the bottom.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 04:12 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guaporense View Post
Let's see, Mexico today:

Mexico (2016)
Per capita income: 18,938 dollars.
Life expectancy: 76.7 years

USA (1950)
Per capita income: 15,980 dollars.
Life expectancy: 68.4 years

US per capita income in 1950 was in today's dollars about 15,980 dollars. Life expectancy in the US in 1950 was much lower than Mexico's today. While Mexicans today enjoy many goods and services that didn't exist in 1950 such as smartphones, color TV and videogames. Overall, a typical Mexican today has far better life than a typical American in the early 1950s. Of course, in the developed countries today, living standards are enormously superior to the living standards in the 1950's.
Per capita income in Mexico is under $9 000... that is why so many mexicans moved or try to move to the US

In 1950 there were already about 350 vehicles per 1000 people in the US... While Mexico is still under 300 today.... Overall I doubt the comparison is valid and I doubt mexicans are generally better off today -technological progress aside- than americans in 1950....
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Old October 13th, 2017, 11:35 AM   #54

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Society/technology/business moves faster than our political systems can react to.

Political leaders are made up of people who trend toward sociopathy, and not good governance.

Business leaders are made up of people who trend toward sociopathy, and not good governance.

Individual people are by their very nature forced to look out for themselves first. It's the default we all have to deal with.

The prisoner's dilemma, where because all bodies can't co-ordinate for the greater good, they have to compete.

The fact that evolution dictates people are good breeders, not good thinkers.

On the other hand, one could make an argument that many Western economies aren't broken, but rather just imperfect, and that a perfect economy is an impossibility.

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Old October 13th, 2017, 03:37 PM   #55

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Originally Posted by tomar View Post
I am not sure it is a "capitalism" problem.... Rather its human (or even animal look at squirrels) nature to accumulate as much as possible... Even in communist countries there was a Nomenklatura that had all the privileges. And communist countries had their economic crises as well, even though they were fully regulated.
Of course, I was speaking about capitalism because that's the system we're living in.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 04:02 PM   #56

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Originally Posted by Guaporense View Post
That is a very ignorant comment, first you fall to the 18th century mercantilism fallacy of the "glut": that you need people with money to buy the goods produced. You should read some basic manual of economics.
You don't need money to buy the goods produced?

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Originally Posted by Guaporense View Post
That's a very folkloric interpretation of economic history. Serious scholars have hypotheses that the Great Depression was caused by bad policy from Herbert Hoover actually.

Read this article:
A different view of the Great Depression?s cause | VOX, CEPR?s Policy Portal
"Serious scholars" will try anything to justify this or that particular political thesis. Like, for example, that deregulation and Wild West economy is so good that nothing harmful can come out of it. And that, of course, it didn't cause the '29 crash. The question is who sponsors these "scholars" and what their ulterior motives are.

As for economists, if you mean the type that came out of the Chicago school, or those that run the IMF programs, or the ones that steered the world economy straight into the 2008 crash and oversee its non-recovery, thank you, but I will pass. These are not scientists, they are theologians. Not that economics is a science anyway. Often, it is an elaborate way to manipulate common sense to convince people to follow unreasonable paths.

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Originally Posted by Guaporense View Post
That's just leftwing ideology of the cheapest variety.

You should try to be less Manichean about world economic history. It's complex and sophisticated field of inquiry and not something like "evil bankers wanted to exploit the working masses and enacted evil neo-liberal policies which generated crises, to solve for this problem we need socialism and put these evil bankers under control and confiscate their wealth". No, that is not remotely the way the world works.
Hmm, a lot of indignation but no arguments. If you feel so well about laissez faire economics, why don't you try to defend them with something more solid than cheap irony and simple bashing of views you don't like?

Last edited by Solidaire; October 13th, 2017 at 04:06 PM.
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Old October 14th, 2017, 03:35 AM   #57
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Why is the economy broken?
I am getting concerned about the declining standard of contributions on this board. What does it mean to say "the economy is broken"? The economy has always had problems, but people didn't say that the economy is "broken". It sounds like a meaningless sound bite to me. Or am I wrong?

I also wonder what this is doing in a board on Philosphy. (In fact, I wonder why it is on a site about discussing history.)

Quote:
For most of human history there were shortages of even the most basic of necessities starting with food.....

Then in the 1950s or so we entered the era of plenty.

And now we have a weird situation:

On one hand there are many unfulfilled needs (infrastructure, security, etc..)
On the other hand we have the capability to produce more than enough to fulfill these needs
And at the same time we have large numbers of unemployed and poor (a recent EU study claims that a quarter of EU citizens are either poor or at severe risk of becoming poor)

So we have the means, we have the needs, we have the workforce and yet somehow we cant make it work....or at least we cant make it work for a significant number of people.
All of these assertions are questionable. The idea that suddenly in the 1950s there was an "era of plenty" - well it is another sound bite. If tomar means the USA (though he does not actually say that) that is how many people seem to remember it, but right now there is "plenty more" in the USA than there was in the 1950s.

I suggest that the growth rates of the 1950s and 1960s (around 4% in most years) gave an impression to many in the USA - especially those who were children at the time - of happy neighbourhoods where many new, exciting things were becoming available (presented alluringly on the new colour televisions). Now the growth rates are much less, around 2%, and the figures show that most of the people do not benefit from that - most of the additional wealth goes to the richest, while the middle class experience, on average, no increase in their wealth for the past 20 years.
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Old October 14th, 2017, 10:26 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by fascinating View Post
I am getting concerned about the declining standard of contributions on this board. What does it mean to say "the economy is broken"? The economy has always had problems, but people didn't say that the economy is "broken". It sounds like a meaningless sound bite to me. Or am I wrong?

I also wonder what this is doing in a board on Philosphy. (In fact, I wonder why it is on a site about discussing history.)



All of these assertions are questionable. The idea that suddenly in the 1950s there was an "era of plenty" - well it is another sound bite. If tomar means the USA (though he does not actually say that) that is how many people seem to remember it, but right now there is "plenty more" in the USA than there was in the 1950s.

I suggest that the growth rates of the 1950s and 1960s (around 4% in most years) gave an impression to many in the USA - especially those who were children at the time - of happy neighbourhoods where many new, exciting things were becoming available (presented alluringly on the new colour televisions). Now the growth rates are much less, around 2%, and the figures show that most of the people do not benefit from that - most of the additional wealth goes to the richest, while the middle class experience, on average, no increase in their wealth for the past 20 years.
Sorry but you seem to have completely misunderstood the OP

The era of plenty means just that... I clarify , world production capacity is above needs.. The simple example is food.. The world produces more food than is needed to feed the total world population.. At the same time there is still hunger.... The same is true for most consumer goods or industrial goods.. I doubt this has ever been the case in the history of mankind (yes its a history forum).

Older people in Europe still remember shortages of most everything... Those who lived in communist countries also do.... And the "era of plenty" started in the 50s (it did not end there)

So there is production capacity , there is manpower... and yet there are 10s of millions of unemployed and poor.
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Old October 14th, 2017, 10:28 AM   #59
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Of course, I was speaking about capitalism because that's the system we're living in.
I did not say you were not speaking about "capitalism", I said I doubt "capitalism" is the issue..... seeing as how communism utterly failed economically for example
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Old October 14th, 2017, 01:11 PM   #60

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Originally Posted by tomar View Post
So there is production capacity , there is manpower... and yet there are 10s of millions of unemployed and poor.
Production is one thing. Distribution is another. Without infrastructure ,and the proper means to control waste, it becomes a challenge. As for the unemployed I have addressed in another post that many consider 4% unemployment as "full employment." As for the poor, peoples' circumstances - some beyond their control (what else is new?) and some within their control (what else is new?) contribute. But poor is a relative measure. Most poor today have it better than the many from the past, especially in the developed world. .
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