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  # 666658 3-Aug-2012 00:46
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dickytim:

Typical Labour policy, take from those who work and give it to the lazy...


That is not Labour policy, you are telling lies.

Blah, blah, blah, we are the 99% blah, blah, blah.


I think you need a nap. You are talking gibberish. Seems to happen to National supporters when they are pushed into a corner.

The funny thing is that the work labour sounds like they would support the WORKERS rather than the non-workers!


More gibberish.

Try again. With less drugs.


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  # 666660 3-Aug-2012 00:57
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More gibberish.

Try again. With less drugs.



Do you have any idea how obnoxious and arrogant you sound when you "debate" in this manner?

I have watched you for 6 pages, be corrected in your beliefs by people who clearly have a better understanding of the facts around your issues, than you, and when this occurs you insult and belittle them. 

Perhaps it's the time of day you reply and you are tired, but perhaps, you could re-read your replies before you hit post. There simply isn't any need for this manner of conversation in a debate of this nature.

 
 
 
 




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  # 666662 3-Aug-2012 01:41
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Ragnor:
Brendan:  

Instead of taking that attitude, I tend to think that with a bit of effort, we can do better than either system.

And since you like Hints: it begins with minimizing the concentration of power/wealth. That was basically the downfall of both systems. I find it quite funny that the USA had to resort to essentially socialist methods to re-boot their economy.

And incredibly left the same idiots in control! If ever anyone needed evidence of a rich elite running things....

Oh, and people ran from the USSR to escape persecution and death, not because they thought capitalism was all fluffy bunnies.

Oh, and it was not capitalism that generated today's wealth. Don't be ridiculous. It was Science. And science is agnostic about politics. "evidence is pretty clear", lol.



You can't be serious? 


Yes, I am.

There was plenty of science being done in the USSR but it didn't benefit the people in general much.


The quality of their science had nothing to do with their inefficient and corrupt political system.

And, it was pretty weak of you to attempt to muddy the two togeather.

Are you really going to deny that economic liberalisation in the 90's massively improved prosperity in East Europe? I think you need to hit the history books!


It's a trifling effect compared to the last 300 years of science on the lives of the people living there.

Read some books yourself!

You're making broad sweeping generalisations, many factors play into the quality of life in a country..


Of course.

All the best countries are rocking: Democracy + transparency/free press + economic liberalisation/free market + some government regulation/welfare. 


LOL, what a silly little fan boy.

We do not have a free press - it's all owned by Rupert.

Democracy = lowest common denominator.

Economic liberalistion - LOL, dream on it'll all be owned by China in a few years! Communists!

No, it's almost painful reading what you wrote it's so jingoistic.

The common thread for successful, happy nations is a lack of religion and a strong tradition of social institutions.

"all the best countries" lol, what are you? 17?

Rather than meaningless generalisations: I'd like to know specifically what policies in NZ you or Labour would change to make NZ better?


I wouldn't know what Labour would do.

What would I do? Finally a decent question. I'll expect you to provide me with your plan also:


I think I would increase the education level of New Zealanders for a start. I would have a program funding a portion of the unemplyed through university for free, so long as they contract to work in NZ for at least 10 years afterward.

I would properly fund our Universities, and use them and their research to fuel the next round of improvements to our nation. Pharmaceuticals, computer technology, nano technology, biotechnology, solar research, etc. etc. Corporations using this research would be required to license it from the government (e.g. pay a fee for using it). No more great kiwi inventors would be going to Australia to get anywhere.

I would also change WINZ. I would remove all the stupid, punitive beurocracy currently put in place by politicians trying to get elected, and replace it with a simplified system. Mainly, I would add a robust system of start up grants to be given to people with a sound business plan and skill set. Start up money, a weekly living expenses payout (benefit), and mentoring and monitoring by well credentialed mentors.

I would also likely relax the laws surrounding intellectual property. Notably, abstract patents like 'business methods' or algorithms. I think the balance is currently very wrong and it needs to be re thought. Patent Trolls would be outlawed out of hand.

I'd also rebuild Christchurch. But not where it is now, that's just stupid. It's a bloody lake of quiksand! New Christchurch would be a marvel of the best of science and kiwi skill, and be located on better land! It'd employ 50,000 tradesmen for 20 years. Hey, the "New Deal" brought the USA out of the Great Depression earlier than other countries, I don't see why it wouldn't work for us - AND we have a good cause to hand... Worked for Singapore too IIRC.

Lots of other things too, but I'm a bit tired. It's not a plan, just ideas.

Where is the money coming from? The funny thing about money is that it has value if enough authorities SAY it has value. If the people say it has. And, with the assets so being created - universities, new, modern businesses by the next Larry Paige or Bill Gates (only need a couple for it to pay for itself), new high tech cities - well, the value is there for anyone to see.

Think big? Well, it turned out nto so bad - John Key is selling them off for much smaller gain. I say we sould build, not sell.

Also what do you think the wealthy do with their money? They don't stuff it under their pillow... they put it in the bank, in investment funds or invest it directly in business... capital is essential for development/innovation/growth.... successful wealthy investors are good at picking winners it's how they stay rich. If they take risk it's private risk, if they lose money it's private loss (don't get me started on why the US bailouts were wrong and a massive mistake/moral hazard).


But that's just what you need to understand: it's not just the Yanks doing bail outs. We have done it too. And there are all sorts of more subtle, less dramatic bail outs and corporate welfare.

The ALSO all rely on a social infrastructure they continually attempt to undermine. They are parasites who will kill the host.

A corporation is, by psychological definitions, Psychopathic. As will all psychopaths, they eventually cant help but destroy themselves and everyone around them. The farce in the USA is just the best example yet.

Corporations should not be allowed to be legal persons, And they should be required to figure into their profits "externalities" - e.g. resources they use but do not pay for. Mostly environmental and societal.

You want the government to suck money out of the capital markets and do what with it? 


Improve your life. And your children - even if one of them is born disabled and cannot work. Or if your grand children face a world of automation where jobs are a vanishing fantasy.

There was always going to be a day when our machines could fix and improve themselves and we would not be able to keep up. That day is here.





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  # 666663 3-Aug-2012 02:14
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networkn:
 
More gibberish.

Try again. With less drugs.



Do you have any idea how obnoxious and arrogant you sound when you "debate" in this manner?


Approximately the same as those who claim I have been "corrected" by those "who clearly have a better understanding" than I.

You make a fundemental mistake, as do some others here. You are mistaking your faith in your ideology as Unassailable Holy Truth.

You cannot therefore understand any other argument. In your mind, it follows, any such argument is necessarily wrong and there for I have been 'corrected'. But I doggedly refuse to take your word for it, and am labeled arrogant and obnoxious.

I find myself in fine company on that score.

Repeatedly stating the articles of your ideology does not constitute me being corrected, and my refutation of them does not constitue 'insult and belittling'.


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  # 666776 3-Aug-2012 10:45
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Brendan:
dickytim:

Typical Labour policy, take from those who work and give it to the lazy...


That is not Labour policy, you are telling lies.


Brendan, so you are happy to call other posters liars? Surprised

That, together with your other responses, which are in the main just unsound, dismissive, or accusing people of being on drugs, etc, really does present a problem to the reliability of your opinions.

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  # 669804 8-Aug-2012 20:40
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Brendan:

Oh, and it was not capitalism that generated today's wealth. Don't be ridiculous. It was Science. And science is agnostic about politics. "evidence is pretty clear", lol.



That's a narrow view of history. The way an economy is organized and structured is at least as important as increasing scientific knowledge in generating prosperity. As another poster as noted, the Soviet Union had really good science (seriously, their math, engineering, chemistry etc were really top-notch). They also invested heavily (as a % of output) in industry and infrastructure. Their main problem was that central planning and state ownership of capital is a really, really bad way of trying to organise an economy.

There is a really good book called "The Russians" by Hedrick Smith, which goes into detail on his experiences of living in the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, and his accounts of the Russians he met and how things worked. It's very illuminating, and makes it clear that the issues were wider than just political oppression - as a way of organising an economy it just didn't work.

If you study economic history it is clear that the economic system adopted is pretty crucial to prosperity. The invention of the limited-liability corporation, which you appear to dislike as a concept, was critical to letting capital be aggregated from diverse investors used to fund things that otherwise wouldn't have occurred (trade voyages, factories etc), and letting people pool and manage risk. Prices and markets play a critical role in aggregating information and making resource allocation decisions and - by and large - doing it much better than any commissar or central planner could ever do.



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  # 670646 10-Aug-2012 16:17
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JimmyH:
Brendan:

Oh, and it was not capitalism that generated today's wealth. Don't be ridiculous. It was Science. And science is agnostic about politics. "evidence is pretty clear", lol.



That's a narrow view of history.
 

I don't think it is a narrow view. My argument is that technology is one of the main drivers of our civilization, and that economics plays a much lesser role.

 The way an economy is organized and structured is at least as important as increasing scientific knowledge in generating prosperity.
 

Prosperity by what metric?

Economics is a product of the scientific method applied to resource distribution. Economics does not qualify as a scientific discipline however; at best it is an example of Game Theory.

While a comprehensive and coherent system of resource allocation is necessary (and we do not currently have such a system), the practice of science predates any modern examples.

You cannot judge the value of a scientific theory in dollars a cents; all too often economics has judged some theory to be economically worthless. At one time computers were "known" to be a poor investment; later, the Internet was roundly decried in the same way.
Microprocessors, printing presses, womens medicine, etc etc.

 As another poster as noted, the Soviet Union had really good science (seriously, their math, engineering, chemistry etc were really top-notch). They also invested heavily (as a % of output) in industry and infrastructure. Their main problem was that central planning and state ownership of capital is a really, really bad way of trying to organise an economy.
 

Of course; concentrating power in too few hands is a stupid idea. Those people become complacent and stupid, and two or three generations later it collapses. It does not matter if the system is Communist or Capitalist, it is the same result.

(modern Capitalism is really just Feudalism with pin stripe suits).

 There is a really good book called "The Russians" by Hedrick Smith, which goes into detail on his experiences of living in the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, and his accounts of the Russians he met and how things worked. It's very illuminating, and makes it clear that the issues were wider than just political oppression - as a way of organising an economy it just didn't work.
 

True.

But what is missing from your statement is the same criticism of capitalism: it just does not work either. The failure mode may be different, but working? It is not. It is in a state of cyclic failure we have renamed 'success'.

 If you study economic history it is clear that the economic system adopted is pretty crucial to prosperity.
 

It can be, yes. It's on the list somewhere after people, natural resources, scientific knowledge and technology. Without these you lose resources under your feet and your cities die at the first pandemic.

I am not saying a cohesive logical economic system is not important, I am simply saying science and technology are MORE important. (and I include the precursors to modern science in that as well, such as the Greek philosophers etc). If you cannot identify a valuable resource, economics doesn't start.

 The invention of the limited-liability corporation, which you appear to dislike as a concept,
 

I do; they are the definition of psychopathic. I think we can do a lot better.

 was critical to letting capital be aggregated from diverse investors used to fund things that otherwise wouldn't have occurred (trade voyages, factories etc), and letting people pool and manage risk.
 

The British monarchy/government had to bail out the East India Company - and things haven't changed much in the last 300 years! The bail outs are bigger that's all! Corporations = fail.

They are simply the modern equivalent of a hunting party sent out onto the Serengeti looking for antelopes. I'm not impressed.

There are other ways to co-operate in joint ventures, and some of them are coming to light again now - even though they are ancient ideas.

 Prices and markets play a critical role in aggregating information and making resource allocation decisions and - by and large - doing it much better than any commissar or central planner could ever do.


I think that recent economic events - and previous examples of them - say you are wrong. They are inefficient and prone to manipulation at all levels. The more concentrated the power is (be it commissars or corporations) the worse the results.

That is not to say I have a ready-made alternative; I wish merely that people understand how chronically broken it is.

The current world economy is incredibly wasteful and poorly designed. We live in a world of fantastic surpluses and resource piles and technology and yet half the planet dies of starvation in pre-industrial environments.

It has everything to do with the wealth being too concentrated.

Our solar system has resources enough to provide for us in higher standards than we have now, indefinitely. Budgets of scientific research deemed 'uneconomic' have been slashed to virtually nothing just when we need it most.


Anyway: thank you for one of the better and more interesting messages in this thread. Intelligent and free of attacks. Thanks.

 
 
 
 


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  # 670679 10-Aug-2012 17:03
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@Brendan

I think you raise some interesting points with regard to the relationship between science and economics. 

I don't actually agree broadly with points you make, I think it is a matter of degree and at any given point one could be driving the other. 

Anyway, how do you see the role of what might be called 'political' forces? 

My example is nuclear power. 

Nuclear power could supply more electricity than people need. Science tells us that compared to coal or gas or oil it is actually very safe. Economics tells us that a cheap source of energy is a good thing. But... other forces scare us into believing that it is dangerous and we don't use it. 

What, or who, is calling the shots there? 




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  # 670703 10-Aug-2012 17:46
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I think this thread has run its course, its way off topic borderline soap box and clearly people are getting carried away with how they respond to others




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  # 670715 10-Aug-2012 17:57
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I quite agree! Vote for Topic lock!

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  # 670738 10-Aug-2012 18:45
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networkn: I quite agree! Vote for Topic lock!



+1 for that - every time I think it has died a natural death, BANG - it pops up again.



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  # 670849 11-Aug-2012 00:24
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crackrdbycracku: @Brendan

I think you raise some interesting points with regard to the relationship between science and economics. 

I don't actually agree broadly with points you make, I think it is a matter of degree and at any given point one could be driving the other. 


Technology creates a feedback loop, accelerating it's own advancement exponentially. And while I still assert it is the primary driver of our progress and 'fitness' (in the Darwinian sense), it is not the only facet of the whole.

Better technology enables new economies and new markets. But new economies and markets do not always foster new science. But often, in such an expanded economy, more science is done. A high tide floats all boats...

But it's a pretty hit and miss thing and important science is left undone because it is deemed uneconomic by whatever high priest is preaching from the pulpit in Holy Wallstreet at the time..

Anyway, how do you see the role of what might be called 'political' forces? 


I'm unsure of what you mean in the context.

How does politics influence the interaction between economics and science you mean?

Politics is the debate between the two. The debate of what we CAN do versus what we WILL do.

It is usually poorly executed and far too easily influenced, but it's possibly better than tossing a coin.

My example is nuclear power. 

Nuclear power could supply more electricity than people need. Science tells us that compared to coal or gas or oil it is actually very safe.


I agree; I think we should have nuclear power. It is less polluting and has fuel for 250 years (or several thousand if we use Thorium).

Economics tells us that a cheap source of energy is a good thing. But... other forces scare us into believing that it is dangerous and we don't use it. 

What, or who, is calling the shots there? 


That's a VERY interesting question, and the answer has several layers.

On a surface layer, there would be a large number of people who would assert that there is a power elite running everything, and this power elite is making sure it extracts maximum profit and control out of all the basic infrastructure of our civilization.
Of course it's true, but it's also incomplete and simplistic. The power elite are worse than incompetent - they lack imagination. They have settled for wealth when they could have had immortality.

Engage your imagination at it's highest settings. It'll be needed. Here's an idea:

In any system complex enough, we find Emergent Behavior. We see examples in everything from Cellular Automata, ant nests, computer networks and neurons.

And just as Ants are unaware of their emergent behavior (their so called "super organism"), we are unaware of ours. Largely.

Who is calling the shots? The 1% aren't, but they are opportunistic parasites. the 99% aren't either, too diverse and un-coordinated (although that is changing).

A group of politicians decided against it. But why did they do that? It wasn't based on logic or science.
So why? Well, they operated as part of a larger organism - i'll call this one Society - and Society is a bit scared, and a bit slow. It's thoughts float above our heads, just out of conscious reach for most of us. 

There are many of these super organisms, and they in turn form the essential processes of yet larger organisims.

No one said they are smart. But give it time, they have only just developed the equivalent of a brain stem (the internet of course).

(I understand this would all be too much like science fiction for some here, tough).

If I get questions such as 'what has this got to do with economics or politics', this message wasn't for you. Move along. Back to your Ayn Rand and Fractional Reserves.


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