Too good to be true?

Page 4 of 11  

[...]

Of course leveling the standard of living has to go in both directions: better for the poor, worse for the rich.
Globally speaking, all of us in the west are rich.

We should aim at getting average and median closer togeher.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Juergen Hannappel wrote:

Well, that change in human nature has eluded all who've tried it so far and likely will continue to do so. Not much use in wishing for what will never be...

...
That's an aim directly targetted by most developed nations' tax structure--but it's not clear that punitively taxing the upper echelon actually does anything to actually promote the objective.
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[...]

I know.

Guess why I will definedly not have children.
[...]

Since the punitive tax is so extremely mild the effect is small.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Juergen Hannappel wrote:

In places outside the US it isn't nearly as small...I ran across an engineer at a Canadian power plant a number of years ago while servicing equipment on site. He was complaining that the pay packet contained less than half of his earnings. Needless to say, it was not motivation to improve the economics of his province, thus providing for the growth required to "lift" the others in less fortunate circumstances. It simply is against human nature, and thereby self-limiting.
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How do you propose to achieve this leveling of the standard of living? That experiment was tried, you know, beginning in 1917. And it didn't work.
I prefer a society in which everyone's standard of living improves.

Capitalism has proven to be a remarkably effective tool for doing just that. Compare modern Europe to feudal Europe for an example.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:
[...]

So would I if I thought it were possible. But consider that the standard of living cannot be measured by material wealth alone.
[...]

As long as growth rates were high enough so that there was much to distribute. With growth run into it's limits the gap between rich and poor will open ever farther.

Today with no formal division between a well of nobility and a rightless population but rather a graduation of differences with the lure of everyone hope to get richer personaly there is less chance of a revolution than at the end of feudal reign.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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I never said that it was.

You are proceeding from a mistaken assumption. You observe economic stagnation in Europe, and assume that it is the result of economic growth having encountered a natural limit of some kind, when in fact the stagnation is the direct, and entirely predictable, result of socialism. Here in America, we do not share the belief that there are any limits.

And with good reason, I'd say.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:
[...]

Not really. I see economic growth all around me taking away all that is nice in the world. The whines you hear about stagnation in Europe are just from those that cannot get enough...

As the free market advocats make you believe, to your own disadvantage.

That is well known and bitterly grieved over by the rest of the world which has to suffer the consequences.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Doug Miller wrote:

...[regarding his view of US participation in WWII in Europe]...

Well, I just finished re-reading Churchill which chillingly reminds us that actually, until France fell and Japan attacked Pearl Harbor we were content to simply watch, participating only by Lend-Lease which took FDR an inordinate amount of collusion to get passed. If it hadn't become imperative to our own survival, it's not cleat there <would> ever have been sufficient sentiment in the US to intervene in Europe alone until it would (probably) have been too late to prevent the fall of England. After that, while the eventual result would <probably> have been the same, it would have become a <LOT> more dicey...
The recounting of the history in the first volume between the end of WWI and the beginning of WWII is quite disconcerting, actually, and none come off very good, including the US. :(
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Juergen Hannappel wrote:

...
Well, I don't think there's any <significant> difference in US policy and other Western economies other than style. And certainly the Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, etc., are going to overarch anything we're doing now in the very near term. Not to even mention the past abuses in former Iron Curtain industrial areas...

I think your viewpoint is quite narrowly focussed by a political bent not closely related to reality, unfortunately. (Not to feel badly, there are many in the US w/ the same myopia and wishful thinking... :) )
What is your <realistic and achievable> solution to raising economic status of those on the lower rungs in both the developed countries as well as the rest of the world other than growth? Wishing for the "haves" to slide back is both unrealistic and counter-productive.
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[...]

True.
This is why in order to change economic workings its first necessary to undo the connection of wellbeing and economic growth in our minds. Also the american way of life is sill presented as the way to go and therefore influences all the world.
[...]

None. This is why I don't have children and why I also do not really engage in political action: I think it's futile, we will be assimilated.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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On Thu, 30 Jun 2005 15:58:03 +0200, Juergen Hannappel

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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On Thu, 30 Jun 2005 15:58:03 +0200, Juergen Hannappel

I hit send a little too fast, there. Just wanted to throw in that I'm not in agreement with you and trying to spur you on with that quote, just pointing out that if you've got a belief, it's senseless to sit on your hands and mope about it. We've got our way of doing things in the US, and Germany has it's own as well- what's good for the goose may not be good for the gander. No reason to assume that you must let power brokers "assimilate" you.
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:
[...]

I am not so much considering American economic growth, on our small planet we should always consider all of the planet and all of the people. Of course America as leader in economics (and waste of energy) and influencing the way we think everywhere is the single most important country if something is to change.

True. Economic growth worked and enabled a vast array of very good things. I do not deny that. I just say that it can't go on like this forever, and the less we plan for the era after the growth the worse it will hit.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Juergen Hannappel wrote: ...

But otoh, in your reply to me you pointed out specifically you have no clue of <what> to do nor do you intend to help in creating or drafting a solution... :(
Whiners and hand-wringers the world has plenty of already...
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wrote:

The views espoused by Dr. Hannappel and those of his political bent are driven by the vision of the world's economy as a zero-sum game. i.e., if one person gains, by definition, another person must lose. This is certainly true of many economic systems and those of the Eastern block countries as well as the model which many European countries seem to be following. These economic systems tend to concentrate decisions and control in the hands of a few people. This is not necessarily true in a market driven economy, when one person gains, others gain as well by the utilization of the wealth created by that person. Is the system perfect? No, that's because humans are not perfect, but it certainly has proven to be the most durable and consistent with human nature. There is simply no way in which an economy can survive at a steady-state for a sustained period of time, the economy is either going to grow, or it will become stagnant and wane. The benefit of the free market economy is that decisions (both good and bad) are spread among a broad, diverse group of people. The downfall of planned economies is that decisions are concentrated in the hands of a few (sometimes very few) people. These may be highly educated, intelligent, and maybe in a few cases, wise people, but they are still people, subject to error and mistakes. Since the decisions in such economies are concentrated in a few hands, the results of mistakes have a much larger impact upon a much greater number of people who have no power over those decisions. We were recently subjected to a seminar by a leading "expert" who was the head of a consulting company that was going to help our company build "green" products. Some of his ideas had merit. However, one of his comments really struck me. This man was very enamoured with China and how they do things, pointing to 5000 year old rice paddies and how the locals had to know exactly how to balance all their inputs and outputs to keep farming those same places for 5000 years. He then went on to mention his conversations with one of the leaders who was in charge of a large housing planning bureau. She told him she was responsible for the construction of approximately 24 million houses to house those in her charge. He marvelled at how she had such responsiblity and how she needed to be sure that the decisions she made took all factors into account. I sat there wondering why anyone would *want* an economy in which one person was responsible for the construction of 24 million houses.
As far as the view that "this small planet" is desperately impacted by the actions of those within it; this seems to be hubris of a high order. Can one mess up one's local environment? Absolutely, 19'th century London is a prime example of that, as are some of our own industrial cities at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Can we "destroy the planet"? That is highly debateable; consider the amount of energy and pollution that just *one* volcanic explosion can produce compared to the output of an industrialized nation. Should we callously waste resources? Of course not, but to be miserly and live in misery with the idea that this is somehow a noble cause is equally ridiculous. When you look at the small amount of land mass that humans actually occupy, we are certainly not pushing the limits of growth at this time. There are resources both on land and sea that have not yet been utilized.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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snipped-for-privacy@hadenough.com says...

Hmmm. Fish stocks are being depleted, if not eliminated, by overfishing. Land, as well as sea, animals and plants are going extinct due to habitat loss, pollution, and overhunting, and the very atmosphere is changing due to pollution. CO2 is going up, O is going down. The reduction in the ozone layer is increasing skin cancer rates, and nobody's quite sure what's happening to the amphibians.
Seems to me the hubris, or maybe just plain ignorance, is on your side of the fence.
"None are so blind as those who will not see."
--
BNSF = Build Now, Seep Forever

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In places.

Just as they've been doing for millions of years,

Cite, please?

And, let's see. That's related to pollution how, exactly?

Well then I'm not quite sure if I should be concerned.

Seeing something doesn't mean that (a) it's real, (b) it's caused by what you think it's caused by, or (c) it's anything new or unique. Correlation is not the same thing as causation. You've seen the statistics regarding water drinking habits and mass murderers, haven't you?
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Perhaps you could list the places in which they are abundant?

From pollution?

You got me. I couldn't find the report on oxygen levels I'd read on this. However, it's accepted by almost everyone that CO2 is going up. By definition, if the percent of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing the percent of oxygen, and nitrogen, and the trace gases, are going down.

What's destroying the ozone layer, Dave?

Oh good - ignorance is bliss.
I don't know why asthma has greatly increased over the last few decades either, but I sure would like to.
I'm never sure with you Dave, whether your really believe your positions or you're just yanking my chain. But in either case, some may take your views as stated, so I felt I shoud respond. But this is the end of it for me. You can have the last words, mistaken though they be.
BTW, do you believe the earth is only 6000 years old?
--
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Well, why didn't you say "it's accepted by almost everyone" right away. That is certainly one compelling statement. Some people might expect a concept with near-universal agreement to be easy to back up. But don't worry...I've done your work for you and found a report of falling oxygen levels. Apparently, an Australian study (http://www.climateark.org/articles/1999/atoxfall.htm ) from 1999 measured the atmospheric oxygen change over a 20-year period to be (are you sitting down) 0.03%. One wonders the amount of error contained in that calculation and if it has any application outside of the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station in Tasmania. I know this will be difficult for the Chicken Little society to comprehend, but CO2 input is not the only variable in the atmospheric gas equation. It seems that with higher CO2 levels, these green things (we'll call them "plants") work overtime doing something called photosynthesis, which releases oxygen.
But hey, don't the let the absence of your ability to locate a fact keep you (and "almost everyone" else) from believing it.
todd
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