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Old 02-12-2018, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
One more interesting point in the bookAfter Tamerlane is that Europe is a 'peninsula of peninsulas.' Prof. Darwin thinks that this was conducive to maritime development that was important after the 15th cent.

Of course that does not explain why Spain and Portugal lagged economically (and still do) whereas Britain, the Netherlands and America grew at higher rates. The latter three all had conceptions of individual liberty and equality. Britain was still a monarchy but very strong intellectual current of individualism, e.g. John Locke. I don't know enough Span/Port history to know to what extent that was present in those lands.
The most likely explication of the gap between Britain and Spain/Portugal is cotton, tea, and tobacco vs. sugar, gold, and silver. Tea and tobacco had the advantage of addiction. Cotton had the advantage of serving as the prime means of early industrialization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
We've been extremely fortunate that successful industrialization depended on the invention of a wealthy middle class. Competition from communism ensured that rights and freedom would dominate as well. Success always belongs to the system that functions most efficiently, and all wealthy developed countries followed the consumer/capitalst/socialist paradigm.

But what will happen when advanced robotics and AI become mainstream? Workers and consumers will steadily become less important and less powerful. We've been seeing the trends for some time now. Flat wages (all the wealth ends up in a few hands), escalating debt, reduced freedom, increased surveillance. Totalitarian state, oligarchy. The most efficient paradigm will be one where the conditions for the average person will be far worse than they were before the industrial revolution. We need to exercise the power of our collective interest (the common good) and liberty now more than ever.
If the system that functions most efficiently is the most successful, then how do you explain the position of Chinese communism vis-a-vis freedom and rights?
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
If the system that functions most efficiently is the most successful, then how do you explain the position of Chinese communism vis-a-vis freedom and rights?
China was a seriously poor country until they adopted capitalism and industrialization.

They are actually in a good position since their government was and is totalitarian. Robotics/AI will make control more important in the future. The US is certainly trending in that direction. I thought our historical mantra of freedom, rights, and privacy might be a countering force, but apparently modern tech allows extensive manipulation of opinions and attitudes.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
China was a seriously poor country until they adopted capitalism and industrialization.

They are actually in a good position since their government was and is totalitarian. Robotics/AI will make control more important in the future. The US is certainly trending in that direction. I thought our historical mantra of freedom, rights, and privacy might be a countering force, but apparently modern tech allows extensive manipulation of opinions and attitudes.
How many state-owned enterprises are allowed in a country that "adopted" capitalism?
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
How many state-owned enterprises are allowed in a country that "adopted" capitalism?
As many as they like. Capitalism is not a government/political system.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
As many as they like. Capitalism is not a government/political system.
Capitalism per Merriam-Webster (emphasis mine):

"an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market"

So I ask again: how many State-owned enterprises are allowed in a country that "adopted" capitalism?
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
So I ask again: how many State-owned enterprises are allowed in a country that "adopted" capitalism?
Lots. Is that better?

How many state-owned enterprises are "allowed" in the US and every other developed country? They are all socialist to varying degrees. Some parts of the economy are more efficient being socialist, some are more efficient being capitalist, and others it doesn't much matter.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Lots. Is that better?

How many state-owned enterprises are "allowed" in the US and every other developed country? They are all socialist to varying degrees. Some parts of the economy are more efficient being socialist, some are more efficient being capitalist, and others it doesn't much matter.
How many State-owned enterprises do you count in the United States?
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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As I said in post one, reading the book After Tamerlane actually made me feel better about the prospects of an Athens/Sparta type clash between the U.S. and China. China is still very authoritarian, and as the previous post points out, hobbled by the legacy of state run enterprise. They're trying to get past the latter, but not the former.


Authoritarianism historically has meant lagging economies. I doubt that robotics will change this, but I could be wrong. Technology revolutions have always tended to occur in the freest and most open countries.


I recall in the early days of the personal computer revolution, Europe lagged because their telecom regs did not allow the use of personally owned modems. A lot of the info exchange by early hobbyists was done on 'BBS' systems connected via modems and phone lines.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
How many State-owned enterprises do you count in the United States?
Lots. Easily in the thousands, probably millions. All public services. You should be able to think of a few?
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Lots. Easily in the thousands, probably millions. All public services. You should be able to think of a few?
Why don't you name some?

I count Amtrak as the only one of any significance (and public utilities have been special for a century).

Compare to China:
In competitive industries, you have an array of metals companies, banks, chemical companies, machinery companies, oil companies, airlines, etc. etc. etc.
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