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ChrisGraley (29.79)

All Glory to Freemarkets

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August 05, 2010 – Comments (14)

I posted a really long reply to an excellent blog by Freemarkets about stagflation and I know how people tend to forget about really good blog posts after a while and I spent a lot of time posting my reply, so I thought I would start another blog post with my reply and 2 rules.

1) If you like my reply enough to rec it, you should rec his blog too. 

2) If you want to reply to my post, do so in his blog post because he's already got a bunch of good replies there. 

The topic is important and I as a poster am not.

The discussion needs to continue and it's better if you enhance the replies there.

OK, now my reply!

Excellent post and I'd like to add a bit.

The decline in housing prices is only the first straw and that decline is being propped by our government right now.

The real problem is debt, joblessness and production.

Housing prices are being propped for a very good reason.  Any further decline in housing prices is likely to lead to a mass of mortgage holders to simply walk away from their mortgages. There are plenty of people willing to walk away now, but they are willing to stay in their homes if they can live there without mortgage payments for a while. The government is allowing them to do just that.

The big problem is debt. Government policy has forced the average person to substitute more and more debt in place of financial growth. They do this because of the hidden tax called inflation. As long as the inflation machine keeps running it lessons their debt burden over time  and they can take on more debt. They have to take on more debt because the only way they can keep up their lifestyle in a global marketplace is to borrow. The value of their productivity in relation to the global marketplace is not worth the wage that they command for it. The wage that they command for it is so high because a high portion of it is spent by their government before that wage even hits their hands. While they may not see more and more taken out of their paychecks year over year, the government itself survives on debt and that makes the same dollars that the wage is paid in, worth less today than it was yesterday.

Most of you have heard me use the word "unsustainable" over and over again.  Once I notice something that is unsustainable in the marketplace, that is my "Stone cold lock" and I will invest in something to take advantage of something that I know can't hold true and I've made a lot of my money doing that very thing.

I posted a reply in Betapeg's blog a day or so ago that stated, "without inflation there would be know deflation." His reply was "what's your point?"

Here's my point. When you force the consumer to take on more and more debt, they are much more vulnerable to a market correction than if  you leave the market alone. The market is cyclical even when you leave it alone. The Beta on the market increases with manipulation of the market. When you force the highs higher, eventually the market will counter by making the lows lower.

So now you have a consumer that is much more vulnerable to a market correction because you manipulated the market and a market that eventually has to correct even more than normal because you manipulated the market. Does anybody think that this will end well?

Eventually you have 1 bad choice and 2 worse choices. The bad choice is in the eye of the beholder.

In the world that makes sense, the bad choice is deflation and the 2 worse choices are stagflation and hyperinflation. In the world of politicians, the bad choice is stagflation and the 2 worse choices are deflation and hyperinflation. 

I'll start with hyperinflation since I think it's the worse overall choice. At some point as a politician, you'll realize that manipulating the market no longer works and you decide to manipulate it more and faster. that will work for a short period of time and you'll decide to manipulate even more and even faster once it fails.  Eventually you won't be able to manipulate it long enough or fast enough and the market will take away your ability to do so because it will no longer accept your money. Even if you are willing to accept deflation at this point to devalue your money below 3rd world status, the market will take a long time to gain confidence enough to allow you to control your own currency.

I believe that deflation is the right answer, but only if you take the opportunity to stop manipulating the market and spend within your means once you deflate. Even if we did deflate, people are going to be crying out in pain and no politician will be willing to take the fiscal measures necessary.

Which leaves us with stagflation. The more tolerable choice for politicians.  it's being sold in our political circles right now as a China killer. While our money is worth less, our consumers will buy less. China cannot afford less than a 9% domestic growth rate and it's not going to happen if we buy less with weaker dollars. 

The problem is that there are other emerging markets ready to take up the slack, but I'm willing to bet that issue is not being brought up in political circles. Everyone knows that job creation is the number one priority right now and China makes itself an easy target for political aides to sell an agenda to their boss. They just have to sell that jobs lost there are created back here.

Last, lets talk about jobs.  If you want jobs, you have to produce more than you consume. It's that simple. While you can substitute inflation or debt for a while, eventually you have to pay the price for the deception. Government spending erodes production. All debt, consumer, corporate, and government debt erodes production. Any gain from production is lessoned by a weaker dollar or the cost of interest. Corporations with too much debt are easy to red thumb, but for some reason, people think that government debt is different.

So my best guess is that although I really do think that we have enough politicians that are stupid enough to try hyperinflation, our underpaid political aides are smart enough to sell stagflation, because even though they know it won't work, they have a longer job security than if they sold deflation. 

It still is the same main issue as when Obama was elected, it's about jobs.

One day he'll do something about it. 

 

 

14 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 05, 2010 at 5:12 AM, devoish (98.57) wrote:

"If you want jobs you have to produce more than you consume".

!?

If you want jobs, someone else has to consume more than you produce.

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#2) On August 05, 2010 at 5:30 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Where to begin.

That people are forced to go into debt?

The idea that wages are to high (after stagnating for 30 years) compared to their producitivity (after the biggest productivity gains since the introduction of the factory system)?

The idea that all that a government does somehow is not "production"?

The deep distrust of all politics?

sigh

fransgeraedts

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#3) On August 05, 2010 at 7:20 AM, dbjella (< 20) wrote:

ChrisGraley

Excellent Post! I rec'd both blogs. 

That people are forced to go into debt?

I do have to take exception to that statement like fransgeraedts.  I think the Fed Reserve along with Gov't policy created an environment where debt euphoria could happen :)

fransgeraedts 

The deep distrust of all politics? 

I have a huge distrust of politicians.  It is true we voted them in, but through deficit spending they can buy a lot of votes.   Adding more debt to debt seems like a recipe for disaster just ask my bankrupt friend.

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#4) On August 05, 2010 at 8:03 AM, ChrisGraley (29.79) wrote:

devoish, I think that you understand that my point is that we have to be a net exporter to sustain jobs.

fransgeraedts, maybe forced is the wrong word to pick. Maybe persuaded would be a better choice.

Wages are too high relative to the global marketplace though.

Are you saying our political system has demonstrated a reason to trust?

dbjella,

thanks, and I think that I addressed your points in my post to fransgeraedts.

but, please everyone, post in freemarkets blog and not mine.

 

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#5) On August 05, 2010 at 11:56 AM, binve (< 20) wrote:

I concur with both posts :). Excellent Chris!

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#6) On August 05, 2010 at 2:48 PM, outoffocus (22.88) wrote:

fransgeraedts, maybe forced is the wrong word to pick. Maybe persuaded would be a better choice.

I think coerced is a better word.

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#7) On August 06, 2010 at 5:34 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear Chris,

a continuation of the discussion in two parts, if i may.

You asked: "are you saying that our political system has demonstrated a reason to trust".

Yes, i am saying that. Not just a reason but several, very very big ones.

(1) The democracies enable our individual pursuits of freedom, wealth and happiness. (Think both about traditional societies and modern totalitarian systems to see how unusual that is.)

(2) The democracies have lowered the amount of warfare in the world immensely (Because wars between democracies occur only seldom.)

(3) The democracies have won two world wide wars against totalitarian systems.(Fascism, Communism;we will win the third one against religious fundamentalism as well.)

(4) The democracies have maintained the monopoly of violence of the state and brought its use under the rule of law and due process. (Think police-state to see the difference)

(5) The democracies have maintained the monopoly of taxes of the state and brought its use under the rule of law and majority rule.(Think tax-farming to see the difference)

(6) The democracies support our pursuits of freedom, wealth and happiness with collective facilities like, among others,the army, the justice system, education, infrastructure, city planning, cultural institutions, the arts, the sciences  and the democratic institutions themselves.  (Imagine to create and maintain a park in a purely marketdriven town to see the necessity of statebased collective facilities; think of "the problem of the commons" and "the problem of the free rider")

(7)The democracies learn and adapt.That makes it possible to enhance continually the collective facilities and the policies that try to steer the development of the pursuits.(Look at the problems traditional and totalitarian systems have to accomadate the new to see the difference.)

(8) The democracies have created and supported open societies where people can think and speak freely and where forms of collective learning are always ongoing. (For example Caps.)

(9) The democracies serve justice. They do so quiet well when it comes to freedom (Think the abolishement of serfdom and slavery, the constitution of the liberties as fundamental rights for everybody, the emancipation of women and gay's, the secularisation of the political sphere and the right to belief  -or not to belief.)They have begun to do so when it comes to wealth. (Think private property, contract-law, minimum wage, social security, health care) They begin to have an inkling what justice should be about when it is about happiness. 

How about those Chris?

fransgeraedts

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#8) On August 08, 2010 at 6:50 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear Chris,

the second part of our argument.

You suggested that wages are to high relative to productivity  in your first post.

I asked :  are wages to high after stagnating for 30 years and the biggest gain in productivity since the introduction of the factory system?

You said in your second post :"Wages (in the US) are to high for the world market though".

I think this is a very important point. It is the central argument of the economic reasoning that opposes raising wages in the western economies. I think that argument is false. I think that reasoning to be a fallacy. Let me explain.

Wages in China and India and other emerging capitalist societies are somewhere between 1/10 and 1/40 of the wages in the western economies.

Think this through. It seems as if i am making your point for you ..right? Western wages are not competitive on the world market?

I think it shows the opposite. It shows first that for many types of economic activity there is no world market... and thus no world market competition. (All activities that are directly linked to places and peoples. (See my coming post in reaction to Donnerv.)) It shows secondly that for al lot of other economic activities (where there is a worldwide competition) wages are a rather insignificant factor. (Activities where transport- or capital costs are very large, for example, or activities that need specialist labour that prefers to live in the west, or activities that need a very developed societal infrastructure.)

Let me put it this way: we cannot compete with China on wages -therefore we should not -in actual fact we are not.

A third way: if a guy in China earns a dollar a day does it make any difference at all in competition terms wether a guy in the states makes 40 dollars, or 60, or 80?

A fourth: yes indeed all the labor where transport capital knowledge society and happiness -costs dont play a significant role will move out of the western economies  -in fact most of them already have! But the flip side of that is that for all the labor that remains wages can rise -and should rise.

A fifth and last. The real reason people are against raising wages is that it would mean that profits would diminish and profitrelated incomes would go down/stay flat. So CEO's would earn less, and QandA advisers, and hedgefundguys and girls, and celebrities, and artdealers, and soccerplayers (grin) but primary school teachers and busdrivers and plummers (remember joe?) and nurses and even wallmart employees would earn more. Would that be so bad? I do not think so.

(And it would put the western economies back on a sustainable growthpath!(But that is something for another post.))

fransgeraedts

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#9) On August 08, 2010 at 11:21 PM, ChrisGraley (29.79) wrote:

(1) The democracies enable our individual pursuits of freedom, wealth and happiness. (Think both about traditional societies and modern totalitarian systems to see how unusual that is.)

Up until a point in time this was correct, but since the political process has been sold to the highest bidder, the opposite has started to happen. Individual liberties are being suppressed more and more in the name of security. Consumers fall prey to corporate lobbyists. Subsidies warp the free market and amount to corporate welfare. Political fraud has grown rampant to the point that it amounts to treason and the media is impotent on reporting against it. Morality has become dictated by law. The accumulation of wealth has been taxed to the point the it disrupts productivity. The average citizen is fat, dumb, lazy, and deep in debt and that is exactly what our government wants.

(2) The democracies have lowered the amount of warfare in the world immensely (Because wars between democracies occur only seldom.)

This is is not true, and if it was true, we made up for it by imposing our will on other nations to the point that we are hated by a majority of the worlds population. 

(3) The democracies have won two world wide wars against totalitarian systems.(Fascism, Communism;we will win the third one against religious fundamentalism as well.)

This is contradictory to your statement that we don't fight war as much. We fought in the 2 biggest wars ever to be fought. As far as winning against religious fundamentalism, this will only be done on the battlefield if it is done on a scale of another world war. We simply can't afford to fight fundamentalist countries individually in a manor that will be accepted by our population. They are fighting a guerrilla war much like we did when we fought for our independence. To win against that, you have to be willing to wipe out a large part of the population and break their will over a short time frame or be willing to occupy the country for a very long time frame and break their will that way. Neither is acceptable to our population and would be repugnant if repeated over and over again with multiple countries

(4) The democracies have maintained the monopoly of violence of the state and brought its use under the rule of law and due process. (Think police-state to see the difference)

See Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Syria and countless other countries that don't submit to a violent rule of law. 

(5) The democracies have maintained the monopoly of taxes of the state and brought its use under the rule of law and majority rule.(Think tax-farming to see the difference)

Taxes have nothing to do with promoting the individual anymore and exist only to make politicians wealthy. Social programs are perverted to line the pockets of our elected politicians. 

(6) The democracies support our pursuits of freedom, wealth and happiness with collective facilities like, among others,the army, the justice system, education, infrastructure, city planning, cultural institutions, the arts, the sciences  and the democratic institutions themselves.  (Imagine to create and maintain a park in a purely marketdriven town to see the necessity of statebased collective facilities; think of "the problem of the commons" and "the problem of the free rider")

That's what they should be doing, but all of the institutions above are not supported as intended and are in decay. Even the military that we spend more money on than most countries combined is in decay due to political fraud. Our infrastructure is a joke and and we are less free to pursue freedom, wealth and happiness. 

(7)The democracies learn and adapt.That makes it possible to enhance continually the collective facilities and the policies that try to steer the development of the pursuits.(Look at the problems traditional and totalitarian systems have to accomadate the new to see the difference.)

Some democracies do learn and adapt, but not the most powerful ones. The most powerful ones eventually fail because they eventually they reach the point that they can no longer buy the votes of the masses by spending future productivity.

(8) The democracies have created and supported open societies where people can think and speak freely and where forms of collective learning are always ongoing. (For example Caps.)

This is still true in most cases, but I believe that this will crumble in the end as well. It isn't totally true in even this age though. 

(9) The democracies serve justice. They do so quiet well when it comes to freedom (Think the abolishement of serfdom and slavery, the constitution of the liberties as fundamental rights for everybody, the emancipation of women and gay's, the secularisation of the political sphere and the right to belief  -or not to belief.)They have begun to do so when it comes to wealth. (Think private property, contract-law, minimum wage, social security, health care) They begin to have an inkling what justice should be about when it is about happiness. 

I'm glad you brought up serfdom and slavery. Arkansas must really feel free that they are being sued by the federal government for passing a law that basically allows them to enforce the federal law that is already on the books.  Their freedom to protect themselves should be an inalienable right, but our government prefers them to become victims to kidnappers and drug smugglers. Our tax system is supposed to be voluntary and everyone knows what a joke that is. The only way that you can limit your tax is to limit your livelihood. You can't even move totally out of the country and make your entire income abroad to avoid tax. The government owns you at birth. You have become a slave to debt that was created before your birth and your children have become slaves to an even greater and most certainly an unsustainable debt. The only way to prop that debt a little longer is to inflate the currency and erode their chances for prosperity until the bubble actually bursts.

 

Ok, now for the second part..

Wow!, this is getting to be a long rebuttal but here goes...

There is nothing magical that is created here that can't be created somewhere else. 

(from Donnernv's blog.)

(1) Do you see farming disappear to china? And mining in all its forms? And harvesting the sun on the rooftops of the cities and the floor of the american deserts?

China is already a bigger producer of food than we are, but it still isn't enough. Remember that our food production is heavily subsidized and  it will be hard to maintain those subsidies when taxpayers don't have enough jobs to pay the taxes. There's alot of other fertile places in the world that can easily produce when the subsidies end. China is also farther ahead than we are on solar power and they don't have to go into debt to pursue it even farther.

Do you see the building of houses and offices disappear? or the building of roads and bridges and railways and ports? of the public buidings and spaces that make a city? of the grid of water and waste and electricity and information? 

Maybe you should see what's happening with Detroit. Where does the money come from to build these things without jobs? I doubt we are going to sponser any more debt created housing bubbles any time soon.

Do you see retailing disappear to china?

Have you shopped at Walmart? 

The local entertainment?

The internet is already global and Netflix, Hulu, Universal Theaters, heck even the local news can be broadcast from anywhere. 

Do you see the care for young and sick and elderly go to the far east?

See the Panama Pensionado Program 

The connected transport industries? The driving of the bus, the collecting of the garbage, the cleaning of the street? The hairdesigner (grin)? 

Again if the economy as a whole can't keep pace globally, spending on all of these things is going to be less and not more.

Do you see education go? The schoolsystem? The universities?Do you see the police go? The justice-system? Social security? Cityplanning? The army? 

Quite frankly yes! These are all taxpayer supported and take a look at the very people getting laid off in states like California right now.

Collegefootball? People without jobs can afford to put their kids in College? 

Ok enough with Donner's thread and back to the rest of your post in mine.

A very large part of an economy  -the parts that are connected to place and to people cannot be moved. Can we agree on that? 

Partially, we are a service economy and a lot of those service jobs cannot be outsourced, but some can. The computer that you own probably was made in China. Although it may our may not have an American company's label on it, you probably bought it a Best Buy or similar store, so a couple of kids with retail jobs are probably thankful for your purchase. If it does have an American label, A corporate exec or 2 may have a job due to 10,000 or so purchases like yours. If it doesn't, than those corp executives are probably in China, Japan or Taiwan. Regardless of the label, more and more of the engineering of that computer's design is being done overseas. Yes somebody transported it from the dock to the store and as long as consumption stays high, that person still has a job. (Even though that with NAFTA, I can now get it shipped to a dock in Mexico and have a Mexican truck driver deliver it right to your store and get rid of the cost of that over-paid Teamster driver all together.) But wait? There's still those customer service jobs right? Funny how all those people have Indian accents. It's got to be repaired right? Well that customer service person is going to tell you to ship it to the overseas repair shop and they will ship it back to you in 6 to 8 weeks.

What about that food monopoly that we have? Well chances are those strawberries that you're eating were picked by an illegal alien that is shipping at least part of his paycheck back to Mexico to feed his family. 

What you see is a net loss of dollars. Since we can't compete globally, the only way that we can get those dollars back is to print more and more dollars. That makes things more and more expensive domestically and erodes the purchasing power of the people that still have jobs left, which also means that our tax revenues shrink and we have to cut more tax payer supported jobs.

This is not magic. To continue to have the consumption that this country has, we have to produce more than we consume. For every hairdresser that has a job in our country about 50 have a job in China making the razors, scissors, hair gel, talcum powder, cash registers, light bulbs, barber chairs, building materials, window glass, mirrors, brooms, aprons, ect...

You might argue that the skilled jobs won't go away, but as you can see above when the domestic consumption leads to fewer and fewer domestic jobs, then it leads to fewer and fewer domestic consumers, which means even less domestic jobs. The cycle doesn't break until our output exceeds our input again.

Let me put it this way: we cannot compete with China on wages -therefore we should not -in actual fact we are not. 

China can't compete with Ethiopia on wages either and somehow it manages to grow while Ethiopia stagnates.

The reason is not just wages, but China's cost of what it produces and the fact that it still produces more than it consumes. The problem with US is that we don't have the same same commitment to basic economic success anymore. We could have diverted the spoils of some of our previous production to assuring that we had an economic surplus right now rather than an economic debt. Rather than save for a rainy day though we decided to fire up the printing presses and we can't save ourselves if we tried at this point

 A third way: if a guy in China earns a dollar a day does it make any difference at all in competition terms wether a guy in the states makes 40 dollars, or 60, or 80?

Yes, that 1 person employs 40, 60, or 80 Chinamen respectively and their economy gains on ours at the same rate. 

A fourth: yes indeed all the labor where transport capital knowledge society and happiness -costs dont play a significant role will move out of the western economies  -in fact most of them already have! But the flip side of that is that for all the labor that remains wages can rise -and should rise.

Wrong again. It's not a matter of can rise and should rise, it's a matter of absolutely will rise and absolutely should not rise. As we lose more and more jobs, we rely on fewer and fewer working people to maintain the economy. We therefore have to give them more and more money to spend and hope that money "trickles down" (Have you heard those words before?) to the greater and greater number of people being supported by government. This is a losing proposition though because a greater and greater portion of those dollars will get exported to China because we consume more than we make.

A fifth and last. The real reason people are against raising wages is that it would mean that profits would diminish and profitrelated incomes would go down/stay flat. So CEO's would earn less, and QandA advisers, and hedgefundguys and girls, and celebrities, and artdealers, and soccerplayers (grin) but primary school teachers and busdrivers and plummers (remember joe?) and nurses and even wallmart employees would earn more. Would that be so bad? I do not think so. 

 I'll be the first guy to line up and vote for a law that says that a CEO can't make more than 30 times his lowest paid employee (including all perks and benefits). CEO's and corporate executives are overpaid in my opinion as well, but shareholders don't hold companies accountable for that.

I don't have a clue who you mean by Q and A advisors, so I'll skip that one. Hedgefund guys and girls will still make their money no matter how much you screw up the economy. 

Celebrities, Art Dealers, Soccer Players, primary school teachers, bus drivers, plumbers, nurses, and even Walmart employees all fall into the group that gets screwed the most as you inflate the dollar. Yes you hand them a bigger paycheck than you handed them before , but it buys them less and less each time as their jobs disappear one by one. China is still taking our debt funded dollars for now, but soon it will out-grow us and won't need them anymore. If anyone else thinks that another western democracy will step up when they walk away and buy our debt for us, they are absolutely nuts. 

(And it would put the western economies back on a sustainable growthpath!(But that is something for another post.)) 

At this point, you can't put the US economy back on a sustainable growth path until after a long and painful depression. Our best bet is to renounce our debt and suffer the consequences for a decade or 2 before China dumps our debt on the market and we hyper-inflate.

China has grown to the point that we can no longer hope for mutual dependence on the dollar.

 

 

 

 

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#10) On August 09, 2010 at 9:39 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear Chris,

 

this is evolving into an interesting inquiry. We are weaving two threads so let me again keep them apart in answering.

On democary as a political system and reasons to trust that system.

Lets first try to establish the (historical and institutional) level(s) where we are at work.

I am talking about the modern democracies and their political system. That means that i am talking about that system on a level where the differences between let's say the Swedish democracy and the Spanish and the Japanes and the Chilean and the US do not matter; on a level where the differences between the US in the thirties, fifties, seventies, nineties and now -do not matter; on a level where it does not matter wich party is in power, or which politician. In other words i am aiming for the deep structures of modern democracy and i am trying to bring to the fore the effect of those deep structures on society and citizen.

I do so because we were talking about trust. So what i am trying to do here is put into words what a modern democracy offers no matter what: even if it is in trouble, even if it has horrible adversaries, even if its partystructure is dysfunctional, even if politicians are corrupt, even if an economy is hit by a crisis.

That is why i invited you in my post to compare what a modern democracy offers to what (1) a traditional society (2) a totalitarian state offer. By comparing the democracies with those you would be comparing the deep structures and the major differences.

In your answers you seem to talk on a very different level. It is all about the Unites States, here and now. Now i do agree of course that ultimately our inquiry should be (and is) about the present and about the future we wish for. But there is at the moment a US a tendency at work to extrapolate the current real difficulties (political,financial, economic, communal, cultural) into a dire future. And the basic flaw in that extrapolation is that the enormous strength of those deep structures of the democracies are underestimated. You should try to put the current troubles into a broader perspective first -before falling prey to an unwarranted pessimism.

Let me repeat and refrase. The modern democracies are good in taming the state -keeping the dangers of the monopolies of violence and taxation in check. The democracies give a lot of room for the individual pursuit of freedom wealth and happiness. The democracies create the collective facilities necessary for those individual pursuits. The democracies are able to withstand the agression of the anti-democratic forces. The democracies wage war less. The democracies are evermore in the service of justice.

Let me try to facilitate the switch in perspective that i believe is necessary with a few exemplary questions.

The fact that the democracies have won the war against facism and the war against communism gives me the confidence that they will also win the war against religious fundamentalism. Dont you share that confidence?

The fact that the democracies have overcome the great depression gives me confidence that we will be able to overcome the economic difficulties we are in now. Do you lack that confidence, Chris?

The fact that since the 16th centry onward the democratization and modernization of societies and civilizations has continued and has continued to spread, gives me confidence that we are heading in the right direction. How about you?

The fact that the liberties (the room for the individual pursuits of freedom, wealth and happiness) have only broadened over the democratic age gives me lots of confidence.

The fact that the wealth of democratic nations keeps growing and grwoing gives me a lot of confidence.

Catch my drift?

And then, of course, on that basis, on the basis of that trust, that confidence, that insight in the strength in depth of the democracies, we should also discuss what is wrong whith for example the democracy of the US, here and now, what we can do to make it function better, even better. Sure ...

fransgeraedts

 

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#11) On August 09, 2010 at 12:19 PM, ChrisGraley (29.79) wrote:

The inital post by Freemarkets was intitially about the US moving toward stagflation. My initial post in that thread supports that conclusion.

I understand that that you are trying to make a point about the supporting structure of democracy, but I I tried to respond while keeping in context of the initial post.

I'm not really trying to propose totalinarism as an alternative, so I'm not really inclined to argue for it.

I do believe that most western democracies suffer from the same flaws to a varying extent. The biggest flaw is that we have an uneducated, apathetic voting base that allows politcal corruption to run rampant.

1) See my statement above about my thoughts on winning a war against religous fundamentalism.

2) Did we overcome the great depression or just postpone it?

3) Societies have modernized without democracy. (China as an example)

4) Liberties have only broadened? I can't speak for other countries, but my liberties in the US have eroded since birth.

5) No matter what western government you are talking about look at the purchasing power for the median income for the last 50 years and see if you come to the same conclusion about our growing wealth.

You can trust what you want, but corruption counts on trust.

Chris

 

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#12) On August 09, 2010 at 12:30 PM, whereaminow (21.38) wrote:

The fact that the democracies have won the war against facism and the war against communism gives me the confidence that they will also win the war against religious fundamentalism. Dont you share that confidence?

They didn't. They haven't.  They won't.

David in Qatar

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#13) On August 09, 2010 at 12:52 PM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear David,

ahum.

I know that you have a knack for inventing history out of thin air -to make it fit into your ideological preoccupations. But it is more then a bit disturbing if you think that fascism won? or communism? Are you suffering from historical hallucinations? Probably not. So I suspect that you simply are not able to give the democracies their due ... as always. What disturbes me about that in this case more then in your usual warping of the truth is that you thereby refuse to give an enormous amount of suffering and sacrifice the dignity it deserves.

Shame on you

fransgeraedts 

 

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#14) On August 16, 2010 at 7:06 AM, fransgeraedts (99.92) wrote:

Dear Chris,

 

look at this article. It is i believe relevant for what we are discussing here. http://tiny.cc/h651d

fransgeraedts

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