Personally, I like pure, laissez-faire capitalism, but unfortunately no country actually implements that, not even Hong Kong.
What I admire about America is the American spirit, the boldness and ambition of it. I don't find this mindset out here in Europe, I think it's an "only in America" thing, even if some economies are considered freer by most metrics than America's (like the aforementioned Hong Kong) I like the philosophy of American society and personally I do not wish it to become like Europe in terms of mentality.
But things are tougher now than they were a generation or two ago, partly because of cronyism but also because of outsourcing of jobs, which hits some areas pretty hard. Like I said above, people will just have to adapt to the changes, and the best way to do this is to get big government out of the way and let people rebuild their areas with capitalism. Problem is that people vote for socialist policies because these policies provide for an immediate need, even if they are detrimental in the long run. They aeren't even designed to think aout the long run, and economic planning that did think about the long run (for ex. communist regimes) has failed systematically. But you can't run a politcal campaign on the "we're going full free market and it's going to be great, we just need some time and we don't know when it will get better since this depends on entrepreneurs and not on us". It just wouldn't fly, especially not in Europe where people expect government to take care of them. The only way is to change people's fundamental philosophy, not to impose capitalist policies. I don't think people are ready for capitalism.
Last edited by Uncle Ave; 11-27-2018 at 11:48 AM.
But to tie this in with education, the system is geared to get people to think in terms of "get my degree, get a job, pay, pay, pay til I'm 65 and get a retirement check". It's a mentality where people are very dependant on others, whether it's their boss or the government. They don't teach you how to invest smart in school, they might teach how to count what you earn, but that's about it. We need to educate people about money.
People are myopically attracted to pure capitalism because of the perceived benefits of short term gain. Long term, sustainable growth, on the other hand, requires a fairly massive public sector that can provide education, healthcare, and infrastructure. We pay high taxes to live in a civilized society.
[EDIT: an accountable public body also needs to exist in order to provide regulation, including anti-trust legislation. There really is no alternative mechanism that can credibly do this.]
Last edited by xerxe; 11-27-2018 at 03:53 PM.
edit nevermind lol
Last edited by Uncle Ave; 11-27-2018 at 05:20 PM.
Avebury, have you ever read early Heinlein?
Btw, @xerxes I didn't mean to sound like a jerk, but since I'm the only one itt who wants pure capitalism, I felt this was a jab at me. But idk. I don't really feel like debating you (Xerx), since you seem pretty convinced of what you're saying and I don't want to do debate this stuff as I havea million times and it tends not to change anyone's mind. We're arguing from very different moral and philosophical bases after all. If you believe the rich are de facto evil, which is a view you have expressed many times, then taxing them to poverty makes alot of sense. That simply isn't my view.
I actually advocate for government, I'm not an anarchist like Heinlein. But I do believe we have way to many government functions now, though a transition to less government will be painful. I'm not even quite sure it can be done anymore.
My view is a little unusual in that I advocate for public strong institutions but minimal government.
Bear in mind that most opinions start as personal biases and we then look for personal validation of those biases in the real world, which is why it is almost impossible to change a person's mind by using fact-based arguments. The important "facts" have already been cherry-picked.
So I'm really looking for the source of your biases.
Full Disclosure: I've found that a lot my preferences stem from my desire to not be controlled.
Last edited by Adam Strange; 11-27-2018 at 05:17 PM.
To your question, I like J.Haidt's theory of moral foundations. He elaborated a moral prejudice called liberty (vs oppression) which he said is particularly strong in libertarians. His theory explains moral prejudices rather well. It doesn't explain why these prejudices exist, I tend to explain my inclination towards wanting less government as being caused by how I saw things in the US, then returning to Europe, and seeing that "more government" doesn't necessarily create a utopia, in fact it slows the economy down alot and makes everything more bureacratic. Still, some have had similar experiences and reacted very differently, so I wonder how much this is influenced by genes. My parents were centrist democrats for the record, with my Dad being more centrist and inclined to be sensitive to freedom (he said America was the only country where he felt truly free) and my mom being a bit more left oriented, and not really noticing the difference between Belgium and the states in terms of freedom.
It's especially odd to alot of people given that I'm not this evil rich guy who wons millions and just doesn't want to be taxed by government, since that is the stereotype lol.
I liked Haidt's investigations into moral foundations, too.
As for greater freedom in the States vs Europe, Europe has a much higher (like 5X or 10X) population density, and therefore everyone has less space and less freedom of action. Put five people in a broom closet and there needs to be some rules.
My parents are conservative Republicans (Deltas), so I don't think liberalism or conservatism relates much to genes, outside of the "fear of strange things" and "reactions of disgust" difference that has been documented between liberals and conservatives.
Both variants of these traits have survived in the gene pool, so there must be some utility to them.
Yes, there is utility to both, when you think about it. Liberals tend to view in groups vs out groups differently than conservatives. The conservative view is useful for surviving in rough envirnonemnts, for example cave men having to rival other tribes of cave men, bad neighbourhoods, times of war between nations, strife, competition between rich families etc. The liberal view is more useful when it comes to building alliances, precisely because it is much more open to "strange things" (including out groups). The West is becoming safer and safer overall, so that's one explanationas to why the liberal view seems more prominent in popular media, for example.
Let me ask, you are fairly open towards "strange things" right ( I know I am)? You used to be a Republican at some point in your life, was this something that changed when you became liberal, or did you always have an inclination towards high openness?
But I also absorbed the international flavor of Astronomy in those days. Astronomers are usually very apolitical, and the editor of the column was no exception. He would publish articles from Amateur Telescope Makers from all over the globe.
I read the columns in sequence, and it was very interesting to see the gradual buildup in tensions in the world in that decade that was reflected in the general articles, while the ATM column remained perfectly cosmopolitan.
Then, near 1940, the editor published an article from a guy in Nazi Germany, saying that he had held it back in the hopes that relations between the countries would improve, but since that seemed unlikely, he was publishing it now.
I remember thinking that politics should not get in the way of perfect information transfer, and that everyone has something worthwhile to contribute, regardless of their background or their politics.
Corporate contract houses for nearly noncommittal, poor benefits/security labor have also become an economic problem as a multibillion dollar industry for the middlemen. It has become excessive and those subject to the industries who use it increasingly have found little pay, benefits and job security while those who represent them especially headhunters make an outrageous fortune. We're talking over 100k for job recruiters who are finding and placing people into other jobs doing extremely specialized work yet unfairly earn less. Corporate contract labor who staff many people (vs the individuals forming corporations and contracting themselves - a separate matter) are the anti-thesis of union labor wrt job security and worker well-being.
Each essence is a separate glass,
Through which Sun of Being’s Light is passed,
Each tinted fragment sparkles with the Sun,
A thousand colors, but the Light is One.
Jami, 15th c. Persian Poet