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.
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.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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.
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.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
...[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. :(
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Whiners and hand-wringers the world has plenty of already...
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
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."
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
Perhaps you could list the places in which they are abundant?
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?
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.