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Cogs

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  1. No, I was thinking of Africa. I'd also dispute that capitalism is 'enriching' the Chinese people in general. Not everyone lives where you can see them on TV. I see you're descending back into rhetoric and arguing the toss otherwise. How about capitalism's oh so clever bankers? But lets leave that here, I'm not interested in that really. My point still stands.
  2. A bit daft really. We have nothing like enough careers advisors in this country actually. Look at all the trouble over the 'wrong A-levels' for example. Perhaps its not a job anyone thinks to go into? QED
  3. I don't think I was smug... its certainly a bit glib to claim that capitalism refrains from various things it is quite happily doing to people on another continent as we sit here right now. Anyhow, you are arguing the case and I said its up to you which you think comes out on top. What I am saying is that asserting X=good things, Y=bad things is not in itself much of an argument. Nor is it an argument from 'first principles' either. It kind of reminds me of old style comic books "What heroic acts of goodness shall I perform today?" wonders Superman. "Wuahahah superman, my league of evil supervillains will commit so much wickedness and evil you'll have your hands full!" cackles Evilman The Evil from his secret lair in Evilmountain, "Fire up the Evilmobile!". Thats not how it works is it.
  4. Sized and shaped for a specific space. Its a sort of weak way of saying 'made to measure', more like 'modified to measure'. A fitted suit is a normal off the peg suit with some adjustments done for example. We also nearly all have 'fitted carpets'. You see a non-fitted carpet so rarely now the phrase has gone out of use, but people used to get approximately sized bits of carpets and around the edges you'd have exposed floorboards (you still see this in stately homes I think).
  5. That is your judgement. Socialists tend to see capitalism as an ideology based on theft, extreme violence, widespread slavery and several genocides. This is, after all, a historical fact. I think you'll find a lot of people were quite happy with the communal ownership of land and being entitled to keep what they earned. Men with guns forced them off and into factories, long work hours and slums. Capitalism is an alien ideology that undermined basic humanities in its first breaths and hasn't stopped ever since. You may not agree, you may think your form of slavery is better than another's form of slavery, the point is your view is based on simple assertion and not self evident.
  6. I didn't make a mistake. I think most people would actually tell you something that more or less paraphrases the famous bits of Leviathan.
  7. Mary Sue utopianism again. We're all in favour of things that are good and against things that are bad. In itself that isn't a very interesting debate to have.
  8. Its the Daily Mail trying to make you angry. It is plausible that what is really going on is you've got a fairly messed up depressed woman that has dug herself into a hole being goaded into trying to come up with a face saving (in some eyes) justification for her actions. Could be the Life of Riley, could be a lot of pain there in reality. See also; I'm not a drug addict, I'm a rebel with an alternative lifestyle, aren't I clever? etc etc.
  9. Yes well, you believe the two are in some way separable. I don't. On the one hand, free trade requires the existence of nation states, systems of regulation and enforcement etc. The economic history is clear in that regard. If you want to invoke a science-fiction utopian concept of free trade, thats fine, but its a visionary kind of thing, you can't constantly use it as a rhetorical Mary Sue embodying all virutes because at that point it reaches unity with all other utopian visions including mature socialism. On the other hand, corporations have significant leverage over governments. The banks were too big to fail, the big four auditors wrote the Chancellor's economic policies, defence spending = BAE Systems pockets, education policy leaps around at the beck and call of businesses that can't make their minds up what they want, etc etc. Whichever way you look at it, you can't separate them. You pretend you can, I think you are wrong. The very forces you think give 'free trade' its super powers are the very forces that would wind up with you in chains and the words Lockheed Martin stamped on your buttocks.
  10. Nobody does the reading. I bet everyone here could trot out an approximation of that 'Weath of Nations' was about. Which begs the question why such a simple two paragraph idea requires a book of that length. The reason is the context in which the simple idea is placed, along with all the preconditions etc. Another common one is to start trotting out Ricardo whenever globalisation is mentioned. But Ricardo showed everyone gets richer etc. Yes, he did, in very specific circumstances where trade is mutually beneficial and capital was immobile. I could go on. In general quite a dogmatic view that the argument being made has been seen before without understanding that it is actually violating a number of assumptions that no longer hold. Its funny really, I keep getting told I should go and read Adam Smith, I'm becoming convinced I'm the only person that actually has.
  11. My money is on the managers. Even the trades are ******ed. Look at the services your local chain garage provides. They get by without employing an actual qualified mechanic in a lot of places. No need. If its simple they do it, if it isn't, take it somewhere else. The net effect is that we need fewer trained mechanics and its harder for mechanics to start up on their own because whatever work they can do at 'competitive' rates, they simply don't have access to supply line that KwikFit do. It'll be modularisation soon which will be perfect for the industry. Just unplug and swap, lots of money going into this in other domains (Eurofighter, naval stuff). Anyone can do it, they won't sell you the modules at home; you're completely dependent on spending a vast amount of money for routine repairs carried out by a minimum wage monkey. Result.
  12. Nope. This is about removing competition for labour by deskilling work. How much does a chef get paid? Now, how much do you pay someone for lifting a plate into a microwave (don't worry about the buttons, we have that automated so the unlettered and 'special needs' can do the job). Why should there ever be a shortage of people to lift plates into microwaves? You'd need full employment before it even appears on the radar. Which countries have full employment again? I have no problems with competition. This isn't a competition, there is no competitive aspect to it. These jobs are such that you can't, by design, do them better or worse than anyone else.
  13. Why will it drive up Mr Wong's living standards? There is no reason why it should. Either you pay him the minimum wage or you pay him the lowest possible subsistence wage. The profit is going to a PO Box in Bermuda as always. You've missed the point of the article, in the point is to reduce the bargaining power of labour to absolutely nothing; worst possible pay, worst possible conditions, worst possible contract arrangements. There will be no growth in standard of living because there is no leverage at all, your wages will for example fall with inflation 'and thats all she wrote'. There is no rebalancing going on, that is a notion related to comparative advantage, it doesn't apply here because there isn't one. There is no point of balance to reach. You're right to talk about 'pain' but thats all it is, without relief or end, there is no process going on here, this isn't the fabled invisible hand in action.
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