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In An Ideal Society, Should We Have Capitalism?
in Economy

Capitalism is an economic system where private individuals control the means of production, distribution and exchange in pursuit of fortune through free enterprise. Two issues with this immediately arise- greed and unplanning. Greed, which is the desire for disproportionate shares of money or resources, is a necessary part of capitalist infrastructure because it is the pursuit of fortune that propels individuals to make their businesses. Private individuals running the economy, at least to a large extent, will also mean that both there will be less economic stability as a result of a lack of structural planning and that what the capitalists produce in the market isn't necessarily what's beneficial toward the people but rather what can most likely reap profit. With these issues in mind, should capitalism be involved in an ideal society?

I WILL ONLY REPLY TO RESPONSES WHICH FOLLOW THE FOLLOWING DEBATE FORMAT:
1. Questions or statements must be one or two sentences long.
2. Questions or statements made must be in direct response to the opponent's prior question or statement.
*I will also be following my debate format for fair discourse.
Wheelman
Acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt.



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Arguments

  • In an ideal society, people who want to debate something are willing to consider complex arguments in response to complex questions; they do not restrict the arguments they consider from above by length.

    In short, I will say that a) greed is good and increases productivity of people, and b) a decentralised system can be far more stable than a centralised system, where one mistake on the central planners' part can raise the whole economy - however, this is nowhere near enough to properly answer the question you raised.
  • You can not answer this question in a meaningful way because what is or is not ideal is subjective to the individual, therefore any answer can never be "right" or "wrong".

    Suppose I say, in an ideal society everyone is my slave and does exactly what I say without hesitation and no chance of retaliation, therefore capitalism is not a part of the ideal society. 
    Plaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • No, poor people have the same rights as rich people.
  • @YeshuaRedeemed I'm sorry, is this for or against capitalism?

    Under capitalism rich and poor do have the same rights.

    The way people get rich is by providing more for society than they take from it.
    YeshuaBoughtsmoothie
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @YeshuaRedeemed I'm sorry, is this for or against capitalism?

    Under capitalism rich and poor do have the same rights.

    The way people get rich is by providing more for society than they take from it.
    No they don't. Only under the progressive model do poor people have the same rights as rich people.
  • @YeshuaRedeemed Do you have any examples of rights that rich people have that the poor do not?
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @YeshuaRedeemed Do you have any examples of rights that rich people have that the poor do not?
    Healthcare is a right, for example.
  • @YeshuaRedeemed Not in America. There is a trade off between quality and quantity, and we have decided to go with quality, but this comes at the price of a lower supply. If we gave healthcare to everyone, it would be of a lower caliber than what we currently have.

    The real problem with healthcare is we have a semi-socialized system were taxpayers dollars go into it in some ways, such as through welfare. This means that hospitals can raise their costs to get as much money out of the government as they can, resulting in the high prices we have in the US.

    I told you before there can be no half measures, you can be in or out but not both. This is yet another example.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • A "right" is something that guarantees you freedom to take action and not be punished for it. It is not something that allows you to demand that others take action in order to provide you with something. The latter is not a "right"; it is a "privilege".

    "Healthcare is a right" means that you are free to purchase healthcare services from providers; it does not mean that you can walk into a hospital and say, "I have no money, but you have to service me anyway."
    Just like "sex is a right" means that you and a consenting partner are free to partake in a sexual act; it does not mean that you can walk into a brothel and say, "I have no money, but you have to give me a hot partner for the night."
    Happy_KillbotPlaffelvohfen
  • @MayCaesar

    The reason I’ve established the debate rules I have is to prevent derailing and soliloquy-length responses. As to your points, I’ll first go over your point of greed, and so I’ll ask why you think that greed, which is again the desire for disproportionate shares of money or resources, is a positive ideal for society; I’ll make sure we eventually return to your other point.

    Acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt.
  • @Happy_Killbot

    Well, that’s what I’m trying to understand, your ideals. So tell me if, in a society that is ideal to you, would capitalism exist and why or why not?

    Acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt.
  • @Thomasius

    Greed is the desire for having one's life improved; it does not imply the desire for disproportionate share of money of resources. I want to be very well off; but I do not gain any satisfaction from knowing that others are poorer than me, and would like everyone to be well off.
  • DeeDee 1707 Pts
    An ideal society is down to ones subjective opinion of what constitutes such so there is no valid answer to your question , many would see their society as one that’s ideal for them anyway and isn’t that what counts in the end?
  • @Thomasius Capitalism is fundamentally about allocating scarce resources to those who are most equipped to manage them and produce more. Would an ideal society even have such a thing as scarcity?

    The universe is finite however, so the laws of physics prevent this from happening in reality, but not in simulation or other realities. There are ways that could theoretically work under the known laws of physics that could more or less allow everyone to have virtual infinite amount of anything that I can not explain via your debate rules, although I can say that this type of society would only have information as a commodity.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • In my mind, a perfect Utopia would not involve capitalism because everyone would have access to everything they need without having to work for it, however, we do not live in this Utopia, and so far the alternatives to capitalism haven't been successful in the past.  Am I saying that capitalism is the best system there can be? No, nor am I saying that capitalism is the best out of all of the systems that have been tested, but it is the one that we have, and thus the one we are stuck with, the best we can really hope to do right now is just morph capitalism into being the best system it can be.
  • @YeshuaRedeemed
    Both the poor and the rich have a right to free healthcare. Can you name other rights the rich have but the poor don't?
  • @YeshuaRedeemed
    Both the poor and the rich have a right to free healthcare. Can you name other rights the rich have but the poor don't?
  • In an "ideal society" everyone would have exactly what they wanted so i believe there would be no more need for a corrupt system that spews out the likes of George Bush.
  • @JGXdebatePRO. Yeah i guess youd rather have the systems that spit out Mao, Stalin, Castro, Maduro, ect.
  • AuroraKellyAuroraKelly 18 Pts
    edited March 9
    .
  • AlofRIAlofRI 552 Pts
    I say yes. We need capitalism, but, it needs to be regulated. We need conservatives, we need liberals, we need independents. Mostly we need communication and cooperation between ALL of them, and the end result needs to be a democratic form of socialism. A "One for all and all for 0ne" attitude …. ideally. The idea that we must have one OR the other is the problem we have, and totally unworkable …. as we are seeing. Unregulated capitalism leads to an oligarchy. The ones with the most money purchase the laws and rules, and finally control the government. A form of wage control, as we have seen since Reagan, then directs the flow of money to the uncontrolled capitalists and politicians, the middle class disappears, and we have what we have, people living paycheck to paycheck. About 2% of Americans own over 40% of the Stock Market. The money WE invest with our 401Ks and other investments also ends up with a large percentage going to them in the form of dividends while we get a pittance in comparison.
    No one can argue honestly with the obvious! The REAL "faux news" can cover it up, but only with "alternate facts".
  • @Thomasius

    What exactly are you proposing as an alternative to capatalizim?
  • Capitalism is obviously problematic and something that needs to be removed from society. I'd explain why but, oops, hit the two sentence limit the OP has imposed in their rules so can't actually have a substantive discussion.
  • On an argument like this, there is neither a right or wrong answer. There is no such thing as an 'ideal' society. In communism, everything becomes drab, grey, and blocks people from the outside world. In capitalism, human rights go down, and everything depends on the amount of money you obtain. Neither is ideal, same with other societies, such as fascism where people become snobby and uncooperative. There is no 'best' or 'ideal' culture; it depends on a person's views.
  • @TGMasterX. How do human rights go down in capatilism.

    @Ampersand Except that it has brought out people from poverty at the largest rate ever.  I dont know many countries that switches to a free market system and ended up worse off.
  • @TGMasterX. How do human rights go down in capatilism.

    @Ampersand Except that it has brought out people from poverty at the largest rate ever.  I dont know many countries that switches to a free market system and ended up worse off.
    Check out Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen's Hunger and Public action for an analysis of how Capitalism doesn't fight inequality or stop people dying from poverty related socioeconomic causes as effectively as alternatives. not to mention that GINI is at one of the worst recorded levels ever and the only reason it's not the worst is because of freakin' China.

    I'd also note that Capitalism is not only a system where there has never been a single moment where millions of people aren't suffering in poverty as the Capitalist system doesn't allocate them the food and medicine they need to survive (even though it is easily providable), but one where such outcomes are expected and part of the incentivisation process.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 12
    @Ampersand

    What is considered "poverty" under (lasting) capitalism is a luxurious lifestyle under any other system ever tried; there are so many people living in poverty under capitalism exactly because the quality of life has grown so much and our expectations have raised so far that the definition of "poverty" has been inflated unprecedentedly.

    Inequality under capitalism arises not because many people are doing extremely poorly, but because many people are extremely well off; as the economy grows and more people gain access to the most effective means of growing wealth, those at the top start growing their wealth faster than those at the bottom - it is something to celebrate, not vilify.
  • @MayCaesar The lifestyle of a young child that dies of malnutrition or preventable disease needlessly is not luxurious by any standard and millions of such children will die each year needlessly to the the immoral misallocation of commodities under Capitalism, which cumulatively kills more people than any other institution or theory every devised. 

    You are also objectively wrong when you say "Inequality under capitalism arises not because many people are doing extremely poorly" seeing as hundred of millions of people live in absolute poverty, which is itself a low benchmark to reach as it implies that there's no need to worry about relative poverty.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    @Ampersand ;

    Considering that a bit over 3 million children die each year worldwide of malnutrition, your math does not add up when you claim that millions children die each year needlessly under (lasting, which is what I was talking about; capitalism that has been around for a few years and was built on the ashes of a failed socialist or fascist regime or a civil war does not count) capitalism due to malnutrition - and since these numbers are also rapidly dropping with time (despite the world population growing rapidly as well), we are doing pretty darn well.

    Over the last ~200 years the fraction of the global population living in absolute poverty dropped from over 80% to below 10%, and almost all of those 10% live in impoverished African countries, India, North Korea, etc.; the assumption that inequality arises because someone is doing extremely poorly, and not because someone is starting to do better, is not supported by historical evidence, and virtually all societies, even the most impoverished and war-torn ones, are doing better today than almost ever before.
  • @MayCaesar

    You admitting that millions of children die each year of malnutrition is not a rebuttal to my claim that millions of children die each year of malnutrition, it's a concession.

    You have also now abandoned your position that lots of people don't do poorly under Capitalism (hard to argue in the face of millions of needless deaths a year, hundreds of millions in absolute poverty) and have no adopted the position that Capitalism is good 21st century Capitalism is better than 19th century Capitalism+Feudalism, which is what you're claiming by pointing out that things have improved in the last 200 years. That is such a low barrier for achievement that it's meaningless. People in Saudia Arabia have a better quality of life than they did 200 years ago, but that doesn't mean authoritarian monarchies are a good thing.

    While I look forward to you abandoning your argument again and taking a new position to try and defend Capitalism, the question here is whether Capitalism is ideal and you aren't even actually trying to defend that. You're making the point that Capitalism is better than feudalism or what Capitalism today is better than Capitalism 200 years ago, but you are at no point making the case that it's ideal. Capitalism has never, not even for a single day in its history, delivered equitable outcomes and can never be expected to as inequality and exploitation are baked in assumptions.
  • @Ampersand. Your looking at poverty on a worldeide scale and attributing all the deaths to malnutrition to it.  Not all contrys around the world embrace capatilism.  Id expect the ones with the problems youre alluding dont embrace it.

    What mayceasar is pointing out to you is that although people still may die, it is at a much much lower rate.  Therefore how can you claim capitalism is worse than the other systems, because it has been the most effective to date and ending world poverty.  The U.S. poverty level is a really high scale, they live better than most people im the world.  My sister's family is technically below the line and they have a decent house, tvs, phones, disney+, and definetly dont starve, i wouldnt consider that poverty.
  • If capitalism is wrong why do people desire to obtain it without paying for the capital, ownership is a separate entity then the service provided by the use of capital?
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 12
    @Ampersand

    No, but it is a rebuttal to your claim that their deaths are caused by capitalism; notice, once again, that I was talking about "lasting capitalism", capitalism that has been around for a while, where the free market has established itself strongly - capitalism is not a solution to everything, and if your country, say, still has an active caste system, or just went through a civil war, then free markets will not miraculously create prosperity in a flash.

    Any system needs some time and proper conditions to create prosperity (one generation to get out of the third world and two generations to reach the first world seems to be a general trend), which is why it is more important what the dynamic is, not what the instant conditions in a given country are - and the dynamic has been that capitalism has been routinely uplifting societies throughout the world and dropping virtually all negative statistics imaginable everywhere it has been implemented, and in the societies where it has been around long enough the poor, indeed, live in luxury by the standards of the rest of the world.
  • @Ampersand @TGMasterX

    You still never answered how human rights are decreased or taken away.
  • @MayCaesar

    It may serve as a rebuttal if you'd provided evidence. As it is, it's at best a theory and at worst BS. Please actually provide evidence for your claims, not just making childish arguments where you reiterate your ideology and expect people to believe you based on your say so.

    See for instance Hunger and Public Action  by Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen which I referenced in earlier posts and shows that Capitalism, even when analysed over over generations, does horribly at lifting people out of poverty and can be shown to be responsible for hundreds of millions of excess deaths. That's actual evidence from an actual economist that I've already referenced in my posts and ti says the exact opposite of what you're claiming, so why would you think your opinion with absolutely squat to support it would in any way rebutt that? 

    Also the basis of Capitalism is using people's greed to drive them to work hard to benefit themselves. That's the exact opposite drive from a humanitarian point of view that ensures that all workers have enough to live off of. You shouldn't try and claim the benefits of Capitalism without acknowledging the bad. Not only that but capitalist theory itself assumes that poor countries will be forced to focus on sectors and types of business that they are relatively most advantageous at. That's the natural outcome of comparative advantage/Hecksher-Ohlin-Samuelson theory; for lower productivity countries without a strong technological and industrial base they will inevitably drift towards activities which involve large amounts of labour and little capital; namely the production of raw materials and farming. These are activities with low margins that will naturally deliver very low wages and small profits, harming the nation's ability to progress and accumulate capital. The only nations which move away from this are those that move away from free market Capitalism such as the Soviet states and China industrialising via their "state socialism", South Korea investing their war reparations into government controlled industry, the USA's strong regime of tariffs to protect it's infant industries from competition in the 19th century, Japan's top-down government lead industrialisation, etc. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 22
    @Ampersand

    The burden of proof here is on you, as you claimed that the deaths are caused by capitalism, while I questioned such attribution - in order to justify such claim, you need to do proper analysis, including separation of the effect (contribution of capitalism to people's deaths) from the background (contribution of other factors to people's deaths). This is made difficult, as the economical system, in turn, affects a multitude of factors - considering a far superior performance of capitalist economies over any other type of economies, this conclusion does not seem to be plausible to me, and you will have a hard time convincing me that there would be fewer deaths in the absence of capitalism.
    You know my stance on socialism, and even I will refrain from saying that socialism causes people's deaths. I would say that socialism leads to people's deaths, which is a weaker claim.

    I am not sure why you see working hard to benefit oneself as "bad"; what is the alternative, slaving away in order to make others' lives better, at your expense? Capitalism does not exclude humanitarian notions, and, in fact, the countries that have contributed the most to international humanitarian efforts are all capitalist; Americans, without any governmental assistance, collected over $1b worth of private donations to help people on Haiti during the post-earthquake crisis. If you have travelled around the world a lot, you know well that people in capitalist countries are much more charitable and loving than anywhere else: prosperity causes people to be charitable and not the other way around.
    The H-O model is known for being extremely bad at describing the actual observations, as it fails to take into account a lot of factors specific to particular economies, assuming to a large extent that the starting economical conditions everywhere are the same.

    Nations that free up their economies are lifted out of poverty extremely quickly: you see it in China, in India, in Vietnam, in Taiwan, in South Korea, in Japan, in Germany, in Sweden, etc. There is little evidence to support the opposing claim: that moving away from free markets lifts nations out of poverty. I am not aware of a single case where sudden introduction of harsh regulations propelled a previously poor and stagnating country into an economical beast.
    Whenever an authoritarian government in any developing country is overtaken, the very first tip its new government receives from leading world economists - even hardcore Keynesians, like Krugman - is this: "Deregulate everything". Nobody advocates instead that they employ socialism/communism; all economists of any repute know that this is a faulty approach.
  • @MayCaesar ;

    The burden of proof here is on you, as you claimed that the deaths are caused by capitalism, while I questioned such attribution - in order to justify such claim, you need to do proper analysis, including separation of the effect (contribution of capitalism to people's deaths) from the background (contribution of other factors to people's deaths). This is made difficult, as the economical system, in turn, affects a multitude of factors - considering a far superior performance of capitalist economies over any other type of economies, this conclusion does not seem to be plausible to me, and you will have a hard time convincing me that there would be fewer deaths in the absence of capitalism.
    I've provided evidence for my claims, although if you didn't thoroughly read my posts you may not have noticed as it wasn't a hyperlink. I referenced the work of Amartya Sen, specifically Hunger and Public Action, international economist and Nobel laureate. If you like I can be more specific, give chapters and even page references. Regardless, I have referenced real research and evidence to back up my claims, something you have not done. Why does it matter that you say "this conclusion does not seem to be plausible to me" when I've provided expert evidence that it is the case?

    Moreover, where is the evidence for your unsubstantiated claims like death from malnutrition and preventable disease consistently being down to other incidental factors like civil war?

    I am not sure why you see working hard to benefit oneself as "bad"; what is the alternative, slaving away in order to make others' lives better, at your expense?

    You can work hard to benefit yourself under socialism. Hell, you can work hard to benefit yourself under feudalism and theocracy too. It's a fairly meaningless metric. The only socioeconomic system that looks to do away with it is communism, where the idea is you benefit yourself without working hard.

    Capitalism does not exclude humanitarian notions, and, in fact, the countries that have contributed the most to international humanitarian efforts are all capitalist; Americans, without any governmental assistance, collected over $1b worth of private donations to help people on Haiti during the post-earthquake crisis. If you have travelled around the world a lot, you know well that people in capitalist countries are much more charitable and loving than anywhere else: prosperity causes people to be charitable and not the other way around.
    Again, this is the lowest of possible bars. Fuedalism doesn't exclude humanitarian notions either. That the supposed saving graces of capitalism are in fact nothing to do with capitalism at all is somewhat telling. 

    It's also worth noting that your starting point of Haiti being poor and in need and the wealthy countries having lots of money as a starting point is ideological. In a Capitalist international system Haiti does very poorly, it's underdeveloped and its comparative advantages are based around high-labour low-capital work which keeps it mired in poverty. The charitable giving of those donating to Haiti is by necessity only a fraction of the amount of surplus value that is extracted from Haitians

    I think Zizek does a good walkthrough of the ethics of Capitalist charity here: 



    The H-O model is known for being extremely bad at describing the actual observations, as it fails to take into account a lot of factors specific to particular economies, assuming to a large extent that the starting economical conditions everywhere are the same.
    H-O-S is that I was talking about, for clarity. I'm not ignoring the 90 years of work that have been done on the original H-O model.

    Also pretty much all economic models are built on those kinds of assumptions and will only look to compare what happens to X when Y happens and will ignore what happens to the rest of the alphabet. Can you point to a model of the economy which doesn't make assumptions of perfect 'X' about the factors it's considering?

    Nations that free up their economies are lifted out of poverty extremely quickly: you see it in China, in India, in Vietnam, in Taiwan, in South Korea, in Japan, in Germany, in Sweden, etc. There is little evidence to support the opposing claim: that moving away from free markets lifts nations out of poverty. I am not aware of a single case where sudden introduction of harsh regulations propelled a previously poor and stagnating country into an economical beast.
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. See, this is a perfect example of an occasion where you shouldn't just be throwing out wild claims where you assume your ideology is right.

    China has already been dealt with, if you check Amartya Sen's figures in hunger and Public Action you'll see people were getting better off faster than under Capitalism even before the trade liberalisation. You're also getting confused between economic growth and people's individual wellbeing, as China's death rate actually increased when the trade liberalisations which helped increase GDP were put in place.

    India is the comparison that Sen makes to China and Sen (Indian himself), points out that India manages to have four million excess deaths per year compared to what would happen with China's policies, meaning since independence India alone counts for more Capitalist caused excess deaths then all the bloodbaths by all the 'communist' dictators on earth.

    I'm not even sure what you're trying to argue about with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam which still runs based on 5 year government plans devised by the Communist Party of Vietnam. If they're your example of a freed up economy, surely most other Capitalist economies need to drastically restrict their markets?

    Taiwan is not an example of anything. When they industrialised they got 43% of their gross investment and 90% of their external capital and donations from the US government (U.S. Aid and Economic Progress in Taiwan
    David W. Chang, Asian Survey) because Taiwan was a key proxy state in the Cold War that the USA needs to prop up. that's not an economic policy people can choose to follow.

    South Korea's economic revival was brought about by massive government intervention. They funnelled the Japanese reparations into setting up POSCO, which is not one of the largest steel producers in the world. They banned the LG group from entering the rtextiles industry and forced them into electronics and they're now an electrical giant. Chung-Hee, the South Korean dictator, threatened Hyundai with bankruptcy if it didn't enter the shipbuilding industry (they've since become one of the largest shipbuilders in the world).The Far Eastern Economic Review also ran an article pointing out that to open a factory you needed up to 299 permits from up to 199 agencies in South Korea, which is very far from a freed up economy. (Ha-joon Chang, 23 Thing).

    Japan drew itself slowly but with no great speed out of poverty in the 19th and early 20th century, in large part because it couldn't avail itself of the protectionist policies that hamper the normal workings of Capitalism. The economy did go into overdrive in the 1950s to 70s though and there has been an ideologically charged debate over the cause of this for debates. As far as I am aware, the broad consensus is not that this is due to activist policies of the Japanese state and NOT free-market reforms.

    Germany's economic industrialisation and move to an economy which lifted people out of poverty occurred int eh late 18th and early 19th century, starting in large part with Frederick the Great who changed prussia from a raw material exported to a modern industrial nation by promoting industries, implementing tariffs,  providing monopoly grants and giving cheap supplies from royal factories. He also promoted a wind range of industies, retained business houses to pioneer developments and annexed the industrial province of Silesia and focused on its development - notably steel and linen, installing the first blast furance in Germany recruiting skilled foreign weavers by providing free looms. 

    This work was carried on into the 19th century by beureaucrats who introduced advanced foreign technologies (notably iron-puddling, the coke furnace and the steam engine) by industrial espionage and poachign of skilled workers. They also set up the Gewerbeinstitut to train skilled workers and started Germany on the way to becoming an engineering educational mecca as t the time science and technology weren't taught in Oxford and Cambridge, the most prestigious universities of the time. That's why thousands of Americans actually went to Germany to study in the 19th century. (Ha-Joon Chang, Kicking Away The Ladder)

    Sweden rose to wealth, prosperity and a modern industry under a one of the most restrictive tariff regimes in Europe (which at that point in time equates to one of the most restrictive in the world..

    Whenever an authoritarian government in any developing country is overtaken, the very first tip its new government receives from leading world economists - even hardcore Keynesians, like Krugman - is this: "Deregulate everything". Nobody advocates instead that they employ socialism/communism; all economists of any repute know that this is a faulty approach.

    They get those tips from organisations like the IMF, where trade deregulation is literally baked in as part of their founding articles as that's how the USA wants it set up. 

    There are many well known and well respected economists who argue against free trade for developing and if you think otherwise then you are ignorant of the literature. 

    Take for example one of the books I referenced above, Kicking Away the Ladder by Ha-Joon Chang, a Cambridge Professor of Economics, which is an analysis of past and current economic policies. The basis of his argument is that today's richest and most powerful nations climbed the ladder of success by using restrictive protectionist policies of one type or another to become rich and industrialised, but now they are rich it benefits them more to operate in a free trade environment even though protectionism would help developing countries.

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 23
    @Ampersand

    One Nobel laureate says this, another (say, Milton Friedman) said the opposite. I want to hear the actual argument so I can debate it, not just, "This amazing book makes a good case, so I am right".

    You have not answered my question. Why do you see working hard to benefit oneself as bad?

    That is not the lowest possible bar; it is, in fact, a spectacular amount, considering that the vast majority of Americans' lives are not affected in any way by what happens on Haiti. The lowest possible bar would be doing nothing, and I do not see what the highest possible bar would be: everyone selling their clothes to send more money to Haiti?

    No, I cannot, which Is why I am always sceptical when such economical models are used to make some case. There is Mathematical Economics, which offers a very rigorous approach to modelling economical processes, and it works much better - but the models there are quite complicated and require a strong mathematical background to understand and use.


    People were getting off faster under Mao? How so?
    India is much less developed than China, so higher rate of unnecessary deaths is expected - it is still better than what they had before.
    Vietnam in 1986 initiated a series of market reforms, somewhat similar to those found in China, and the economy soared immediately afterwards.
    Please; a country cannot become prosperous by just donations, and Taiwan actually was dirt poor up until 1990-s, when they overthrew the dictatorship and initiated democratic and free market reforms.
    No, South Korean economy started growing rapidly when they overthrew the dictatorship in early 90-s and initiated a package of free market and free trade reforms. They had curfews in many periods prior to that; not exactly a healthy policy for economical development.
    The cause of economical success in Japan is quite obvious: liberalisation. I am not aware of any work that seriously questions this. There was no free market capitalism in Japan in the Meiji Restoration period; it was a heavily mercantilist market. There is now.
    I am talking about the post-World War 2 period in Germany. East Germany implemented socialist policies and struggled, while West Germany implemented capitalist policies and prospered.
    Sweden had a hard period in 1970-s and early 1980-s, when their controlling policies led to good and service shortages all over the country. The subsequent free market reforms relieved the situation, and nowadays Sweden is widely considered one of the freest economies in the world. They do not have minimum wage laws, for example, something that is fairly rare in the Western world nowadays.

    It is the same everywhere: countries that liberalise the economy prosper, and countries that do not stagnate. There are clear cases of study right now: South Korea and North Korea - same cultures, different systems, very different results; China and Taiwan - same cultures, different systems, very different results; Colombia and Venezuela - very similar cultures, different systems, very different results (despite Colombia struggling for decades with extreme drug cartel wars and guerilla rebels.
    I am not aware of the opposite case: similar cultures and histories, more regulation vs less regulation, with the more regulation country being significantly more prosperous. Care to point one out?
     
    All your arguments come down to, "This country has a significantly more liberal economy than another one, but they are really doing so well not because of that, and besides they have *some* regulations, so it is a bad example". Sure, there is no country that has no regulations at the moment; I am talking about comparative economical freedoms though. The freer the economy, the better generally the results.


    I am not aware of well-respected economists like this, although I do not know everything. Historical evidence, a very clear one, is not on their side, or on yours.

    Protectionistic policies in countries are common; they do not imply lack of overall liberalisation, however.


    I think you are failing to separate effect from background in most of your outlooks, in a very obvious way at that matter. All of the works and arguments you cited still fail to explain the pattern where freer economies perform systematically better. There are some exceptions to the rule, but they always have to do with more than just economical liberalisation alone - for example, Russia in 90-s, despite wide liberalisation reforms, struggled, but if you look at how the economy actually worked there, you will see that the amount of corruption and mafia infighting essentially created an alternative economy: deregulation does not matter much when you get executed for not paying one of the mafia groups half of your revenue for "protection".

    Here is a popular ranking of countries by the degree of economical freedom:

    https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking?version=486

    Notice a VERY strong correlation with quality of life in those countries? Why is that? An accident, right? ;)

    I do not see any economical beasts anywhere near the bottom of the ranking; it is all heavily impoverished countries. In contrary, nearly all countries near the top of the ranking are world leaders in quality of life, and those that are not the world leaders feature high economical growth rates.
  • @MayCaesar

    You know, this is why I equate debating with you to debating a very wordy child. I've already rebutted your claims with evidence. If you want to continue to debate the thing to do would be to get evidence of your own, not simply re-iterate your opinion again as if saying the same thing over and over and over is actually effective or meaningful.

    I spent time actually digging up some of my economic books that are relevant and referencing them in my post to make sure the stuff I'm saying is valid and backed up by expertise and evidence. It would be been much simpler and easier for me to just be very opinionated and make lots of claims as you've done here, but I didn't because empty claims prove nothing.

    Let's give an example of how you should actually respond if you want to be taken seriously assuming that you don't actually read much about economics normally and don't have books or papers to reference. If you wanted to back up your currently already rebutted claim that "South Korean economy started growing rapidly when they overthrew the dictatorship in early 90-s and initiated a package of free market and free trade reforms" you could for instance look up a downloadable dataset of World Bank GDP figures, compare Korea's pre-1990 and post-1990 rates of growth and then instantly realise that your claim is BS as Korea's growth rate has nearly halved since the early 90s and once again the actual data shows you are wrong and I am right. You can then rinse and repeat for the rest of your claims.

    Of course perhaps there's other data that supports you - generally there is if you look hard enough for these things. If you find it then we could have an actual debate, but at the moment with every single piece of evidence presented on my side and you being 100% opinion this doesn't even really qualify as a debate.

    I'd also just pick out the below as especially problematic:

    I want to hear the actual argument so I can debate it, not just, "This amazing book makes a good case, so I am right".

    I'm referencing economic analyses by a professional economists. That's known as evidence and is a good thing, not something you should be running away from and complaining about. You're literally complaining that someone is providing relevant evidence in a debate.

    Your responses to date also show how pointless summarising the argument would be as you'll just stick to your ideological guns and dismiss everything because it doesn't fit your worldview. That's why the actual studies and evaluations matters, they have sources, statistics, tests, walkthroughts of the theories, etc that represent actual evidence of their claims. It's what elevates a debate beyond two people just shouting at each other over their entrenched views.

    Being the only side in a debate who has presented evidence is that makes me if not right, at least clearly winning the debate. If you want to provide evidence whether it's references to books that back up your points, academic papers, economics datasets, etc then be my guest, that would actually make it interesting. 

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 23
    @Ampersand

    You and I have very different views on what constitutes evidence. The reason I do not partake in these reference wars is because economics, just like any other soft science, is a highly opinionated field in which virtually any claim can be made and substantiated by application of some models. Many economists will make diametrally opposing claims and write entire books supporting those claims with evidence, and then get Nobel Prizes for it.

    I am a practical scientist; I am not interested in abstract explanations made by people living in their echo chambers in ivory towers. What I am interested in this: looking at observations, finding general patterns and trying to extrapolate those patterns to more areas of life. My true passion is synthesis of various patterns into one larger soft law; I am after unification, not fragmentation.
    When I hear an explanation that does not in any way generalise to a more global and descriptive trend, when the explanation fails as soon as any such generalisation attempt is made - then I lose interest quickly. And I do not care who gave this explanation: a Nobel winner in 3 different sciences, or my neighbor Joe.

    There are pretty obvious trends and strong correlations between the degree of economical freedom in a country and its prosperity and economical growth. If you referenced arguments based around the idea like this: "Market freedom is an essential ingredient in a healthy economy, but certain specific regulations can increase performance even further", then there would be something to debate. As of now, the narratives your claims beg for simply contradict the data, and you would have to employ some conspiracy theories, such as "Heavy regulations work better than free markets, but the overall trend is the opposite, because capitalist countries always undermine non-capitalist ones to hide their potential supremacy", to explain the discrepancy. I do not need to seriously consider a faulty narrative, no matter people of what repute get behind it and how thick and full of data the books they write on it are.

    Absolute GDP growth does not mean much as it does not account for the population size dynamics; the dynamic in GDP per capita evolution is more descriptive. Here is the graph:
    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/KOR/south-korea/gdp-per-capita
    You can see a notable increase in the overall dynamic around 1986, after decades of relative stagnation (with a small exception at the end of 70-s, right before the military coup of 1980), and the subsequent general growth (with two dips at the times of international market crises) is overall quite consistent with a linear trend.
    I could provide such graphs and explanations for every country we discussed, but I do not see why I should provide links to such easily googlable data when having an online debate.

    I do not know what science you are in, if any. I am in physics and mathematics, and we have very rigorous standards for a claim to seriously be considered. If someone claims that the lifetime of a star increases as the star mass increases, then I do not need to hear any more from this person: they are just wrong, and the data contradicts their claim. Unless they have some very good explanation of why the mass and age estimates we have been making for decades based on overwhelming amount of evidence were actually completely wrong, and unless their explanation is consistent with all other observable related phenomena, they are just wasting their time.

    I am not going to lower my standards when it comes to economics, just because it is a softer science. Softer science? Too bad; then be more careful with the claims you make.

    You are also wrong thinking I am an ideologue; I am anything but. While my personal anarcho-capitalist views are what they are, I am not a child and know that the real world is very complicated, and simplistic solutions are not necessarily the best solutions. Which is why I debate these subjects with everyone, with people of all political leanings, and always refrain from making strong claims. You may have noticed that I do not make claims like "capitalism always works well", or "socialism never works well", or "deregulations absolutely always lead to increase in quality of life". Not at all! For that matter, I do not think there are any hard laws like this at all in the Universe, and it is possible that very counter-intuitive systems and policies sometimes are warranted. I do not care about finding the "right" answer, I care about finding answers that make sense given the evidence and prompt me to ask further questions.
    However, there are undeniable general trends. These trends better have some decent universal explanation. I have such explanations, based on my limited knowledge of statistics, economics, philosophy and history. I have yet to see such an explanation from you, and that is the crux of an issue: your narrative is like a castle built on quicksand, offering no explanation to the general observations.

    P.S. If you feel discouraged by investing a lot of time in your previous comment, do not be: I make note of all the material you reference and put it in my list "to read". Like I said, I am interested in all views, even those I disagree with strongly. Every view, especially one from a specialist with decades of experience behind their shoulders, has some valuable insight.
    But do not think that just putting a lot of references in your posts makes me somehow think differently about the quality of the narrative expressed in them. If what you want is to impress me, then that is not the way to go about it. Offer a brilliant insight based on easily analysable data, and that will impress me.
    Finally, I do not care about "winning" or "losing" a debate. I care about learning something new from it and incorporating it in my set of ideas. "Winning" and "losing" is for children.
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