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Globalisation 2: How The West Lost It

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Interesting article (especially as my supermarket shop seemed 20% more expensive this morning)

pressEurop article

.

As the West stews in stagnation, emerging economies are on the rise – and driving prices of raw materials and fuel to perilous highs. As they now set the pace of the global economy, Europe, stymied by cutbacks and unemployment, is in for hard times ahead.
Edited by Trampa501

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Interesting article (especially as my supermarket shop seemed 20% more expensive this morning)

pressEurop article

.

Germany is doing great, selling galore to China and to the other emerging countries. Development is not a zero-sum game. We can all benefit. We just have to drop this silly debt-based welfare system, and go back to being productive. It was not "their" fault. It was our own fault. We have to invest in (serious) education and infrastructure again.

(Also, please see my sig., below. ;) )

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Germany is doing great, selling galore to China and to the other emerging countries. Development is not a zero-sum game. We can all benefit. We just have to drop this silly debt-based welfare system, and go back to being productive. It was not "their" fault. It was our own fault. We have to invest in (serious) education and infrastructure again.

The interesting thing about globalisation (and flow of water), is that it levels things up. Today BBC click is talking about Africa getting the IT skills and getting online,

so that is another 1-2bn competitors coming online. It is very good for a few billion people, it is just not very good for the western populations who for nearly a century also

so is having it easy (before that, Western population had to work very hard and be very productive just like everyone else in the rest of the world).

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Germany is doing great, selling galore to China and to the other emerging countries. Development is not a zero-sum game. We can all benefit. We just have to drop this silly debt-based welfare system, and go back to being productive. It was not "their" fault. It was our own fault. We have to invest in (serious) education and infrastructure again.

(Also, please see my sig., below. ;) )

Germany has a very comprehensive welfare state, altough it is stretched now because of aging population and low birth rates. It also has one of the most heavily unionised and organised workforces. The big difference between the UK and Germany is the relative importance given to export manufacturing. And to think the Tory governments of the 80s and 90s scoffed at Germany - while we grew off the back of financialisation and they struggled ahead with a sustained commitment to manufacturing and were criticised for it. We know who was right. All we can export to China and India is debt, and our productive capacity (e.g. Rover production lines to Shanghai)

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Germany has a very comprehensive welfare state, altough it is stretched now because of aging population and low birth rates. It also has one of the most heavily unionised and organised workforces. The big difference between the UK and Germany is the relative importance given to export manufacturing. And to think the Tory governments of the 80s and 90s scoffed at Germany - while we grew off the back of financialisation and they struggled ahead with a sustained commitment to manufacturing and were criticised for it. We know who was right. All we can export to China and India is debt, and our productive capacity (e.g. Rover production lines to Shanghai)

exactly, I was hoping that when Blair got in he would actually do something, but in the end all he did was spend more and strut on the world stage.

It is going to be a long hard trudge back from here and we are still charging of in the wrong direction.

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exactly, I was hoping that when Blair got in he would actually do something, but in the end all he did was spend more and strut on the world stage.

It is going to be a long hard trudge back from here and we are still charging of in the wrong direction.

...he's doing alright for himself ..Bliar ...of Nuliebour.....multi millionaire now.... :rolleyes:

Edited by South Lorne

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..... I was hoping that when Blair got in he would actually do something, .....

He did. He followed in the footsteps of his hero; Maggie Thatcher. That's what the stupid people want. He gave them it. He was worse than her - at least she didn't try to pretend she gave a sh1t about the country.

Now the stupid people expect Dave to bail them out. Dream on. Dave is looking out for the rich.

Prey the stupid people don't actually figure this out. The strikes and unrest of the 70s will look like a village fete by comparison.

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The interesting thing about globalisation (and flow of water), is that it levels things up. Today BBC click is talking about Africa getting the IT skills and getting online,

so that is another 1-2bn competitors coming online. It is very good for a few billion people, it is just not very good for the western populations who for nearly a century also

so is having it easy (before that, Western population had to work very hard and be very productive just like everyone else in the rest of the world).

Why this odd need to pretend there is some mystical karmic water level or ballance thing going on?

We can all rise together. Our problems are not caused by China, they are caused by us

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

British exports are relatively low. While technically it is the ninth greatest exporter in the world, in economic terms it actually exports less than tiny Holland (6) or or even Italy (7). Canada is half the size of the UK in population terms, but it exports nearly the same in economic terms, and while Australia is three times smaller, it exports only half as much. Germany on the other hand is the second largest exporter on Earth, after only the "People's Republic" of China.

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Why this odd need to pretend there is some mystical karmic water level or ballance thing going on?

We can all rise together. Our problems are not caused by China, they are caused by us

Because for the first 200 odd years of industrialisation there were enough resources to allow for everyone to be a winner. To the obvious extent that not eveyone was a winner is basically down to old-fashioned human-greed, incompetence, nepotism etc and the suppression of some sections of humanity by others.

However, the reason the balance metaphor is used to describe what is going on right now is because there is no longer the seemingly endless supply of resources to fuel global industrialisation. Thus, in terms of us all living the lifestyles enjoyed hitherto only by Westerners, the numbers basically do not add up. The only plausible way one could mount any kind of an argument that counters the above would be to somehow assume that there are infinite resources available on an otherwise finite Earth. Which would, if you stop and think about it, be ridiculous.

Of course, it's possible to argue about when that point of diminishing returns is reached (that may well be the basis of your argument, in which case please clarify if it is). However, it is not possible, logically, to argue that it will not be reached at some point.

In which case all that's left is an argument about timing.

Edited by tallguy

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

Because for the first 200 odd years of industrialisation there were enough resources to allow for everyone to be a winner. To the obvious extent that not eveyone was a winner is basically down to old-fashioned human-greed, incompetence, nepotism etc and the suppression of some sections of humanity by others.

However, the reason the balance metaphor is used to describe what is going on right now is because there is no longer the seemingly endless supply of resources to fuel global industrialisation. Thus, in terms of us all living the lifestyles enjoyed hitherto only by Westerners, the numbers basically do not add up. The only plausible way one could mount any kind of an argument that counters the above would be to somehow assume that there are infinite resources available on an otherwise finite Earth. Which would, if you stop and think about it, be ridiculous.

Of course, it's possible to argue about when that point of diminishing returns is reached (that may well be the basis of your argument, in which case please clarify if it is). However, it is not possible, logically, to argue that it will not be reached at some point.

In which case all that's left is an argument about timing.

The population of the planet in 1900 was about 1.8 billion, in 1950 it was about 2.5 billion, and today it is nearly 7 billion. The bulk of this growth has been in Islamic countries and also China and India of course. Reflecting this "human hyperinflation" as I put it, this century will be about resources: water, minerals, land. The West must understand that it will have to fight for these resources if it wishes to retain its standard of living. If it does not fight for them, it will slip underneath those who do fight for them, and the world will enter into a new age where the predominant ideology is not liberal democracy but something inferior and more dangerous like totalitarianism .

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Because for the first 200 odd years of industrialisation there were enough resources to allow for everyone to be a winner. To the obvious extent that not eveyone was a winner is bascially down to old-fashioned human greed, nepotism etc and the suppression of some sections of the world by others.

I disagree. I don't think we are remotely running out of resources. The problems we are facing are largely political - our systems of ownership allow people to claim or own resources and use them to wield power over others. This means we are running on one inefficient cylinder because one imbedded and influential portion of the population makes its living by inflicting costs on producers, rather than producing.

The only plausible way one could mount any kind of an argument that counters the above would be to somehow assume that there are infinite resources available on an otherwise finite Earth. Which would, if you stop and think about it, be ridicuous.

This is going way beyond the context in which i meant my comments, but you are still incorrect in principle. A finite world doesn't mean a finite limit on the benefits that world can provide to people. It is all a matter of our ingenuity.

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The population of the planet in 1900 was about 1.8 billion, in 1950 it was about 2.5 billion, and today it is nearly 7 billion. The bulk of this growth has been in Islamic countries and also China and India of course. Reflecting this "human hyperinflation" as I put it, this century will be about resources: water, minerals, land. The West must understand that it will have to fight for these resources if it wishes to retain its standard of living. If it does not fight for them, it will slip underneath those who do fight for them, and the world will enter into a new age where the predominant ideology is not liberal democracy but something inferior and more dangerous like totalitarianism .

Which is why I would argue that the point of diminishing returns is being hit right now. Thus, we have very likely peaked already as a species.

Futher, I would suggest that, as a civilisation, we have definitely peaked.

Edited by tallguy

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according to Adam Smith exports vs imports is irrelevant and I am inclined to believe him.

Having a current account surplus or deficit IS a zero sum game since we cannot all be exporters.

Greater wealth and trade and living standards is NOT a zero sum game. There are more people on the planet then ever before and their living standards are higher than ever before, I see no particular reason that this must necessarily come to a stop.

Exports vs imports is a big fat red herring!

The resources argument could have been made at any time over the last 5 centuries but, we are still using them and carrying on as usual.

The "age of completition" is already here - all it does is spur people on to be more efficient in their use of resources.

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I disagree. I don't think we are remotely running out of resources. The problems we are facing are largely political - our systems of ownership allow people to claim or own resources and use them to wield power over others. This means we are running on one inefficient cylinder because one imbedded and influential portion of the population makes its living by inflicting costs on producers, rather than producing.

This is going way beyond the context in which i meant my comments, but you are still incorrect in principle. A finite world doesn't mean a finite limit on the benefits that world can provide to people. It is all a matter of our ingenuity.

The point you make about political efficiencies and technological development are obviously unarguable. I have already made that point myself in my previous post. However, political efficienies and technological develpment are not, in themselves, infinite resources simply becasue you would wish it. This is particularly true for technological development which is fundamentally born on the back of increased access to raw resources, not the other way around. In particular, the most fundamental resource of all; energy.

It does not rain because the ground gets wet Stars.

Everything has it's limits without something to fuel it, Stars. Even human ingenuity. Unless, of course, you would like to provide some kind of evidence for your wish fullfilling assertion? If you are unable to provide such evidence, you are still left with the unanswered question of what happens when supply of the raw resources of an industrial civilisation do not meet demand.

There are answers available to the above question, by the way. See the Sumarian, Greek and other anchient civilisations for details.

Edited by tallguy

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Does this mean that the world population is now reducing ?

Sadly, no. If that was happening we might concievably avoid the catastrophe that is heading our way. My guess is that the global population will continue to increase for some decades to come, leading to ever more humans living ever more impoverished lives. I think we have certainly reached the end of an expectation that everyone can lead the lives hitherto led by Westerners. Eventually, though, even those impoverished lives will become unsustainable, at which point either a miserable poulation equilibrium is reached where billions live short brutal lives and this equilibrium persists for who know how long. Or, the population, at that point, crashes as a consequence of global conflictsa, disease, etc.

If the history of the demise of previous human civilisations is anything to go by, it could go either way. I think we'll get to find out sometime in the next 50 years.

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I don’t think it will come to a stop more like the developing countries playing catch up to the developed countries.

Yes exactly right human’s ability to achieve technological breakthroughs will continue.

I take it you belong to the "asset prices only ever go up" school of economics....

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No I am a cycle man myself.

And yet you believe, on the basis of only a couple of hundred years of the development of a single human civilisation and despite the history of the structure of birth, growth and eventual collapse of innumerable previous human civilisations, precisely the opposite.

How very contradictory. How very illogical.

How very human.

Edited by tallguy

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Well the reality on the ground suggest otherwise what with the improvements being made in the developing world. If this were to stop improving then maybe you will be right at that point in time but all current projections suggest that the developing countries will continue their current growth phase there is absolutely nothing on the radar to indicate otherwise.

I refer you to my immediately previous post.

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I wonder how long are countries like China, Taiwan and Singapore going to continued to be referred to as 'emerging'?

I suspect some Asian countries enjoy the tag as it implies excitement and dynamism but in truth many 'emerging' counties aren't merely waking up - they have surpassed many countries referred to as 'developed' and are way off in the distance, setting the international benchmark.

Rather than referring to 'emerging' countries perhaps it might be more instructive to refer to the traditionally 'developed' countries as declining.

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The point you make about political efficiencies and technological development are obviously unarguable. I have already made that point myself in my previous post. However, political efficienies and technological develpment are not, in themselves, infinite resources simply becasue you would wish it.

I honestly think you need to review this metaphore fundamentally. You say Ingenuity is not an infinite resource, but it doesn't make any sense to model it as a finite anything. If you do something clever, do you use up a piece of cleverness so that future cleverness is now limited? No - if anything it works the other way around - the more you engage in and use engenuity, the more easy future engenuity becomes

This is particularly true for technological development which is fundamentally born on the back of increased access to raw resources, not the other way around. In particular, the most fundamental resource of all; energy.

There is no practical sense in which we can run out of energy. Convenient fuels etc are a possible issue, but i don't think we are facing that problem. The world is just 'there' and our engenuity allows us to harness it for our purposes. Our 'access' to energy has never really changed, we have always had access to / contact with unbelievable amounts of energy, what has changed is our ability to collect, transport and use that energy to benefit us. This ability comes from our engenuity, not from the energy.

Btw, if it looks like i'm being deliberately obtuse, i can assure you i am not. I just find your model difficult

Everything has it's limits without something to fuel it, Stars. Even human ingenuity. Unless, of course, you would like to provide some kind of evidence for your wish fullfilling assertion?

Which wish fulfilling assertion?

As a species our cleverness has solved a lot of problems, i just think this pattern is likely to continue. Call me an optimist if you want, but this really is only a matter of opinion rather than undeniable fact or arithmetic

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As a species our cleverness has solved a lot of problems, i just think this pattern is likely to continue. Call me an optimist if you want, but this really is only a matter of opinion rather than undeniable fact or arithmetic

I am overall optimistic but do not rule out the chance that the exponential growth of problems cause severe temporarily setback for the civilisation.. (like WW1/2).

As pointed up above, the population has grown exponentially since 1900. I somehow doubt that we can maximise per capital welfare and have exponential population growth

at the same time.

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population growth is not exponential, in fact as we get richer population growth slows.

At the moment I believe the predictions are for a peak world population of about 9 billion in 2050-2070 and then slowly falling as birth rates drop due to increasing prosperity.

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population growth is not exponential, in fact as we get richer population growth slows.

At the moment I believe the predictions are for a peak world population of about 9 billion in 2050-2070 and then slowly falling as birth rates drop due to increasing prosperity.

Africans will never be prosperous.

It will be AIDS that lowers Africas population , not prosperity (sounds harsh but it's true)

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