Go Back   Freethought Forum > The Public Baths > News, Politics & Law

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #26  
Old 08-27-2004, 06:45 AM
Dingfod's Avatar
Dingfod Dingfod is offline
Gone Guy
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In a Hole
Gender: Male
Posts: XLMMDCXXXVIII
Blog Entries: 21
Images: 92
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

To paraphrase Sam Kinison "Why don't they move to where the water is?"

Another answer is attached:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bota_safari.jpg (12.5 KB, 8 views)
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-27-2004, 08:58 AM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMCCCLXIV
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
Thanks, I did read the article and it seems that when the government owned the treatment plants they were run down and continuing to deteriorate, and 50% of the supply was lost to leakage and illegal taps. Further the billing infrastructure was such that they couldn't even bill many of the users. So the idea seems to be to get private companies to improve the infrastructure.
Yes. So why weren't the terms of the loan that the government would use some portion of the funds to upgrade the infrastructure in specific ways to reduce theft and leakage?

Quote:
Well, no private company is going to do it unless they see a profit potential, that's a given.

So, we have a government that can't afford to do it and a private company that believes they can afford to do it, but the prices will be beyond what the poorest will be able to afford.

What we have here is a problem with no clear solution that I can see. Usually if the private sector greed causes too many problems we say lets either turn it over to government or at least slap a lot of regulations on private enterprise. If government screws things up we say privatize. It doesn't appear either solution is going to usher in any utopia.
No, of course no solution is going to cure all of the root problems. The poor will always be with us and all.

What we're talking about here is a very secretive multinational organization that makes loans to impoverished nations, including terms that would be considered usurious by virtually any definition. These terms often conflict directly with the existing laws and protections afforded by those nations' governments, and actually end up serving as a sort of extragovernmental governance.

Unfortunately, the IMF pretty much dictates whether a nation can get any loan at all. And read some Joseph Stiglitz on how the World Bank is inching closer to the IMF model, despite their officially discrete purposes. (The IMF exists to protect the interests of international trade, and the World Bank exists to assist developing nations in reinforcing their infrastructure.)

Yes, the IMF is pursuing its own goal, and yes, those nations agreed to the terms of the loans. But the people who live there did not. And regardless, it does not change my strong belief that essential services should never be left to the vagaries of the free market. Sure, sometimes, you can't leave those tasks to the corrupt governments, either, but again, I'll ask: Why do the loan terms include the provision to turn over previously public services to private sector monopolies? (I know the answer, of course: "Because it is the mission of the IMF to protect the interests of international trade." So I ask: Is it really in our better interests--as a 'world community' or somesuch shit--to require developing nations to become MORE reliant on international trade? The problem is that these nations are already taking more than they're giving. Is the best solution REALLY to exploit those nations by gouging them for the price of basic services necessary to sustain life, or is that, in the long run, just going to make them more dependant?)

I'm half asleep right now, but I'll try to address the telco thing and regulation of private sector industry and such tomorrow if I have time. (Warrenly's picture was pretty accurate. I've seen photos that looked a lot like that. Hint: If I address this stuff tomorrow, I'm going to blather on about the commons a lot.)
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-27-2004, 04:30 PM
dave_a's Avatar
dave_a dave_a is offline
This space is for rent
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: DCIV
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea
Yes. So why weren't the terms of the loan that the government would use some portion of the funds to upgrade the infrastructure in specific ways to reduce theft and leakage?
No idea.

Quote:
What we're talking about here is a very secretive multinational organization that makes loans to impoverished nations, including terms that would be considered usurious by virtually any definition. These terms often conflict directly with the existing laws and protections afforded by those nations' governments, and actually end up serving as a sort of extragovernmental governance.
Without the details of a specific loan's terms I really can't comment intelligently on it. In general I don't view the IMF or World Bank as being pure as the driven snow or anything like that. However I do view economic development which includes establishing a reliable and safe basic infrastructure for things like water, sewage, communications etc. as being a necessity. If the governments aren't going to do it what solution is there other than an external entity requiring them to do it or doing it for them?

How do we help the poor and starving in nations with hopelessly corrupt and inept leaders? We have tried financial and material aid and we have seen what happens with it, it builds the politcos an addition on their mansion and maintains the military which is used to keep rebellions down. We have tried using the CIA and other nation's intelligence operatives to destabilize regimes and the end result is Iran. We have tried the direct takeover route and the result is Iraq and Afghanistan. We have tried working with the governments and the end result is Columbia.

I don't see the IMF or World Bank as being any worse, they are just another attempt. Globalization opponents often lament the "exploitation" of a nation's people and resources at the hands of evil "multinationals" and in some respects the claims may be accurate, but we are talking about a people who have been exploited since day one by their governments, rival nations, rival tribes etc.

What we have with globalization is profit motivated entities not really caring about the average African, but doing things that in the long run represent what I believe is the most likely hope these people have of attaining a better life. A life where they can afford clean water for example. A life where the economy of the nation is strong enough that free drinking fountains can be available to everyone. Simple, basic stuff like that isn't going to happen without financial investment and nobody is going to invest in a third world nation complete with nutjob dictator unless they have some pretty strong guarantees concerning their investment.

Quote:
Yes, the IMF is pursuing its own goal, and yes, those nations agreed to the terms of the loans. But the people who live there did not.
I didn't agree to the Iraq war, but we have it. Unless you are advocating a direct democracy (which I want no part of) it's not relevant that the people didn't have a say. Leaders, elected or self appointed, make these decisions, not John and Jane citizen.

Quote:
And regardless, it does not change my strong belief that essential services should never be left to the vagaries of the free market. Sure, sometimes, you can't leave those tasks to the corrupt governments, either,
exactly.

Quote:
but again, I'll ask: Why do the loan terms include the provision to turn over previously public services to private sector monopolies? (I know the answer, of course: "Because it is the mission of the IMF to protect the interests of international trade." So I ask: Is it really in our better interests--as a 'world community' or somesuch shit--to require developing nations to become MORE reliant on international trade? The problem is that these nations are already taking more than they're giving. Is the best solution REALLY to exploit those nations by gouging them for the price of basic services necessary to sustain life, or is that, in the long run, just going to make them more dependant?)
I am not sure if it's the best solution or not, but I don't see any better solutions at the moment, do you?

Quote:
I'm half asleep right now, but I'll try to address the telco thing and regulation of private sector industry and such tomorrow if I have time. (Warrenly's picture was pretty accurate. I've seen photos that looked a lot like that. Hint: If I address this stuff tomorrow, I'm going to blather on about the commons a lot.)
uh oh
:P :D
__________________
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others --- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-27-2004, 05:22 PM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
I agree, but we aren't talking about democratic nations, we are talking about hopelessly corrupt and inefficent, dictator style nations. So, the first problem is getting a decent government for those nations. Given the US efforts at this in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere I would say the track record isn't all that good.
Pardon me for jumping in at this late date, but South Africa is a democratic nation. It may be corrupt and inefficient, but so is the US; that doesn't make it a dictatorship. South Africa isn't poor either. Not by a long shot. In fact, it is immensely rich in certain natural resources.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-27-2004, 05:34 PM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXC
Images: 12
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Pardon me for jumping in at this late date, but South Africa is a democratic nation. It may be corrupt and inefficient, but so is the US; that doesn't make it a dictatorship. South Africa isn't poor either. Not by a long shot. In fact, it is immensely rich in certain natural resources.
Thanks, liv... (oooo...I still get those titillating images)...I meant to comment on that myself. You beat me to the punch.

And... The US has historically propped up corrupt and inefficient dictatorships around the world because they were easily manipulated and created more predictable circumstances under which private (American) investments could be protected and adequate returns assured. We all need to give up the shibbolith that democracy and free enterprise are somehow "natural partners"...they're not. The sources of large investments usually prefer a stable situation, rather than an unpredictable and unstable one...auguring for some kind of authoritarian regime, rather than anything approaching a democratic or representative regime.

godfry

(Also, those claims of misappropriation of "white" properties are fairly disingenuous, considering the European settlers are NOT indigenous to southern Africa. I take it that dantonac has no problem with "whites" taking the property of others, but if others take the property of "whites", it somehow becomes an abomination? "Zat right?)
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:

Last edited by godfry n. glad; 08-27-2004 at 05:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 08-27-2004, 05:48 PM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXC
Images: 12
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
I don't disagree as it concerns externalities, but I will say that externalities are only possible with government permissiveness and laws preventing people from taking the producers of the externalities to court for fair compensation..
Yep... The producers of externalities have, through the use of their economic power, gained significant control over the legislation of governmental control of externalities and created the "government permissiveness" to which you refer.

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

godfry
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 08-27-2004, 06:45 PM
dave_a's Avatar
dave_a dave_a is offline
This space is for rent
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: DCIV
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Pardon me for jumping in at this late date, but South Africa is a democratic nation. It may be corrupt and inefficient, but so is the US; that doesn't make it a dictatorship. South Africa isn't poor either. Not by a long shot. In fact, it is immensely rich in certain natural resources.
The nation under discussion from Lisarea's article link is Tanzania. They had a one party rule system until 1995. Since 1995 the ruling party has continued to win elections despite cries of foul play from international observers. That's not a democracy in any form.

In 2001 the GDP per capita was $251.00 US. That's not rich in any sense of the word. I live next to Lake Michigan, one of the largest fresh water supplies in the world and I pay more than $251 per year for clean water.

They need economic development is my point. Even if that development comes with a price, they need economic development first and foremost or nothing can ever change because change costs money.
__________________
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others --- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 08-27-2004, 06:57 PM
dave_a's Avatar
dave_a dave_a is offline
This space is for rent
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: DCIV
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by godfry n. glad
Yep... The producers of externalities have, through the use of their economic power, gained significant control over the legislation of governmental control of externalities and created the "government permissiveness" to which you refer.
godfry
Hence my preference for government as small as it can be. It's also the reason why I am skeptical of any cries for government to regulate much of anything. A lack of regulation has it's host of problems, but empowering government to regulate whatever the hell they feel like brings it's own set of problems.

Eventually we end up with government creating problems and the people calling for more government regulation to fix it. Kind of like expecting Congress to pass capaign finance reform that means anything or to keep the social security "lock box" locked.
__________________
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others --- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 08-27-2004, 07:24 PM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXC
Images: 12
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
Hence my preference for government as small as it can be. It's also the reason why I am skeptical of any cries for government to regulate much of anything. A lack of regulation has it's host of problems, but empowering government to regulate whatever the hell they feel like brings it's own set of problems.

False dichotomy.

It's not an either/or situation. I disagree with your preference for "government as small as it can be." That is an invitation for the more powerful economic actors to gain control and basically ignore the government. Much like the current situation where multinationals can "punish" non-coopertive governments by moving investments (and thus jobs and tax revenue) out of areas where cooperation with _their_ agendas are not followed with the alacrity they expect.

A "mixed economy" allows for a lot of variant situations vis a vis the laissez faire/regulated economy. I'll agree that I'm not particularly enthralled with excessive governmental control, but I'm still waiting for "capitalism with a human face". As it is, the modern corporation is a sociopathic member of a troubled society.


Quote:
Eventually we end up with government creating problems and the people calling for more government regulation to fix it. Kind of like expecting Congress to pass capaign finance reform that means anything or to keep the social security "lock box" locked.
Is that any worse than unregulated (or underregulated) industry creating problems and demogogues calling for more less regulation to fix it? I think not. Think of Enron and the California power-trading scheme.

Also, since we are now referring to the US, keep in mind that if a government representative, or agency, acts in contravention of the needs and desires of the constituents, there exist means of correction, legal or electoral. However, those acting on behalf of private enterprise are pursuing the logical end of their paradigm. There is little or no recourse for the public....particularly if the entity is monopolistic in nature, or even a price-leadership oligopoly.

godfry
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 08-27-2004, 08:10 PM
dave_a's Avatar
dave_a dave_a is offline
This space is for rent
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: DCIV
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by godfry n. glad
False dichotomy.

It's not an either/or situation. I disagree with your preference for "government as small as it can be." That is an invitation for the more powerful economic actors to gain control and basically ignore the government. Much like the current situation where multinationals can "punish" non-coopertive governments by moving investments (and thus jobs and tax revenue) out of areas where cooperation with _their_ agendas are not followed with the alacrity they expect.

A "mixed economy" ...
godfry
Believe it or not you didn't disagree with me and I don't disagree with you. I think you missed where I said A lack of regulation has it's host of problems, before I said but empowering government to regulate whatever the hell they feel like brings it's own set of problems.
__________________
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others --- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 08-27-2004, 08:25 PM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXC
Images: 12
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
Believe it or not you didn't disagree with me and I don't disagree with you. I think you missed where I said A lack of regulation has it's host of problems, before I said but empowering government to regulate whatever the hell they feel like brings it's own set of problems.
So, "a government as small as it can be" is an empty phrase.

How small can it be and still do what it needs to do to protect its citizens against the rapacious depredations of capitalists manipulating the markets seeking ever-greater profit margins?

godfry
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 08-27-2004, 09:43 PM
Dingfod's Avatar
Dingfod Dingfod is offline
Gone Guy
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In a Hole
Gender: Male
Posts: XLMMDCXXXVIII
Blog Entries: 21
Images: 92
Default Sidebar

Quote:
Originally Posted by godfry n. glad
...the European settlers are NOT indigenous to southern Africa.)
I'm just a little curious, how long do people have to live somewhere before they can be considered indigenous? 100, 400, 1000, 5000, 10000 years or more? What is the standard? Whites have been in southern Africa for the better part of how many centuries? Are not their offspring Africans? I would think so.

* Dingfod is a native American
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 08-27-2004, 11:37 PM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMCCCLXIV
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default In my defense, I am way sleep deprived.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
The nation under discussion from Lisarea's article link is Tanzania. They had a one party rule system until 1995. Since 1995 the ruling party has continued to win elections despite cries of foul play from international observers. That's not a democracy in any form.
Yeah, that's my bad. I'm linking to stuff that's sometimes tangentially related to illustrate IMF loan agreements, so I've literally been all over the map.

The reason for this, of course, is that the IMF agreements are secret. They're not available for public perusal, so you have to go with whatever's been leaked if you want to try to discuss them.

The thing is, dantonac, I don't really think we disagree, at least fundamentally. The frustrating thing about economic arguments is that they tend toward the black and white, you're either in the "a rising tide floats everyone's boat" camp, or the "race to the bottom" camp. Both are simple, easily understandable, and almost entirely academic. We just plain don't have a clean room utopian economy to test them on, and as such, I figure my dislike for such stems from much the same causes as my dislike for science fiction. It's all a bunch of made-up hoogie-boogie with fanciful prosthetic foreheads thrown in for distraction purposes.

Unfortunately, the rising tide free market economics camp is still being given too much credence, IMO. You'd think that, after the sheer volume of bullshit we were buried under during the dot-com fiasco and its--oh good grief, I can still hardly believe this shit--its CORPORATE MANIFESTOS and sickassed libertarian fairy tale online dog food ordering business models, we'd have learned better, but we didn't. And if you doubt me, then riddle me this: Why isn't Thomas Friedman living in a box yet?

And, sad as it is to say, a lot of people buy that shit. They buy that starry-eyed bullshit about the world economy's potential to empower bushmen and lost tribes of the Amazon by giving them access to day trading on the internet.

And the reason that the IMF is allowed to run willy-nilly over world economics right now is that people really do buy that line of reasoning. For, of course, large enough values of the term reasoning.

So Thomas Friedman--I know you fucking see this, you bloated gasbag. You probably spend all your idle hours just egosurfing for your name. Thomas Friedman, I'll say this in a way that even you can understand: as a grotesquely convoluted, almost entirely pointless, dead horse flogging metaphor. If you really can swallow this sickassed utopian free market claptrap you go around trilling about, why don't you put your lack of a gag reflex to some real use and SUCK MY DICK, you fucking little Pollyanna? Now I'm no pedophile, but goddamn it, it's high time your sense of childish naivete got a white hot reality injection, and I want to be there personally to witness the look in those moist, starry eyes when it happens. Fucker. You goddamned disingenuous selfish, exploitative, gluttonous, self-righteous bag of soggy meat.

In the interests of disclosure, I should probably mention that I somewhat dislike Thomas Friedman on more than one level.

Quote:
In 2001 the GDP per capita was $251.00 US. That's not rich in any sense of the word. I live next to Lake Michigan, one of the largest fresh water supplies in the world and I pay more than $251 per year for clean water.

They need economic development is my point. Even if that development comes with a price, they need economic development first and foremost or nothing can ever change because change costs money.
This is where I think it's very helpful to again differentiate between the World Bank and the IMF. They seem inextricably entwined at this point, but really, the entanglements are fairly recent. Again, I'd recommend reading some Stiglitz. I should probably make a short shameful confession here and admit to all and sundry that I've never made it through Globalization and its Discontents all at once. I've read about the first 75 pp several times, and I read other parts in dribs and drabs, depending on what I'm looking for, but I figure I've read at least enough to know that I'm missing some good stuff. One of Stiglitz' biggest beefs is that the World Bank has begun to act like the IMF, coopting their mission and their motives and their modus operandi. But it has not always been that way. The stated goals of the World Bank are decidedly different from the IMF's, and are infinitely more humane and sustainable.

Another thing I'd like to clarify: I think I referred to the IMF (and the WB) earlier as being multinational organizations. I misspoke. The UN is a multinational organization. The IMF is an EXTRAnational organization. It has no fealty to any nation. It has no fealty to anyone or anything beyond its capitalist interests. And it operates under no nation's laws. In fact, it dictates how nations govern.

That, too, is a useful distinction. People seem to think that somehow it's first world nations (specifically the US) issuing these dictates to developing countries in order to control them. It is not. It is corporations, generally based in first world nations (usually multiple first world nations), but operating outside of the laws of those nations. (Woo hoo. http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm20...ov02corp1.html This page is an excellent overview of the history of the corporate takeover of the US, and of the concept of corporate charters and such.)

My argument is not that we should leave struggling nations be, or that we should just throw money at them. My argument is not that we should take them over. My argument is that the IMF has been afforded too much power. Corporate interests in general have been afforded too much power. We should be encouraging an old skool World Bank model for international economic development. We should be offering loans that actually help developing nations become self-sufficient enough to participate in a global economy on a level playing field, or something a lot closer to that than we have now. The IMF agreements do just the opposite, though. Make no mistake, the agreements do serve the interests of the IMF. They keep those nations dependent on the corporations that make up the controlling interests of the IMF. Good for the IMF, bad for the world. The IMF's loan schemes are roughly equivalent to those usurious pawn shops, rent-to-own places, and check cashing joints that litter every low-income neighborhood in the US. They exploit the desperation of the poor, offering them short-term relief, only to dig them in deeper by saddling them with even more debt that they'll never be able to pay. It's a global poverty industry, but unlike the local poverty industry, it requires no sidestepping or legal loopholes to operate. They just don't tell us what their terms are, because they don't have to. They don't abide by laws. They just write new laws into their loan agreements.

We just can't let them continue to operate like that.

I doubt that there's really one solution to the problems of worldwide poverty. In fact, I doubt that there's any single plan or philosophy that would itself solve even a simple majority of the problems. But I am sure that the IMF's plans are exactly the wrong thing for the world economy.

Dammit. I'm tired again, and I know I promised you a bunch of shit about commons. But really, it's kind of obvious. My argument on that is that we absolutely need government to protect our commons--our common lands and roads and resources--and when we have private corporations controlling common resources, we need the government to regulate such. And I do consider telco to be something of a common resource, in that it requires an infrastructure to operate, much of which has been governmentally procured (rights of way and easements and whatnot), and that if we simply open up the market to all and sundry, Warrenly's picture happens. Because of these longstanding monopolies, we do have to open up the infrastructure in order to demonopolize the system. And we cannot just allow monopolistic companies to leave less lucrative markets swinging. Look up the history of any of the Baby BOCs, and see how many times they've been fined and penalized for failing to provide basic services to less wealthy areas. Hell, look at your phone bill. Those "service quality adjustments" or whatever the fuck they call them are fines levied against them for failure to comply with requirements. I used to live in a blue-collar neighborhood right on the edge of a very tony section of Denver. You could tell when you got to the wrong side of the tracks by the phone lines. Meaning you saw them. Across the street, they had underground fiber optics and all kinds of PANS, while we barely had POTS. At my house, I had sagging lines that turned out to be something called "Japanese PIC." See, it seems that at some point prior to WWII, the US ran out of copper wire and had to order some from Japan. Only thing is, the Japanese used different color coding for their wires, so it turned out to be a good thing that, the first time a squirrel chewed through the wires and took out my phone service, the technician they sent was an old guy who'd been a lineman for thirty-something years. That way, every other time it happened, I could tell the technician that the color coding was ass backwards, instead of just making them find out the hard way.

Anyway, as I said, I'm not going to go into the commons thing in such great detail unless you want me to. I usually save that for intractable assholes who buy the whole lasseiz faire thing hook line and sinker, and you're not one.

Besides, prolly ain't nobody reading anymore, anyway. I know I'm not, anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 08-27-2004, 11:59 PM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXC
Images: 12
Default Re: Sidebar

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenly
I'm just a little curious, how long do people have to live somewhere before they can be considered indigenous? 100, 400, 1000, 5000, 10000 years or more? What is the standard? Whites have been in southern Africa for the better part of how many centuries? Are not their offspring Africans? I would think so.

* warrenly is a native American
I'm not particularly conversant on migratory patterns of humans and the various groups' property paradigms, but its my understanding that the European settlers that started settlements in southern Africa, did so beginning in the 15th century. So, that'd be about 500+ years.

I understand, though, that European settlements tended to be very close to the coastline until the mid- to late-19th century, when the British and Dutch started haggling over which European nation had hegemony and the Dutch (aka Boers) moved inland en masse. Of course, the swashbuckling Cecil Rhodes was a product of the 19th century and founded the British control of what is now Zimbabwe. So, for much of sub-Sahara Africa, dispossession of their tribal lands has been within the last 100 to 150 years...roughly contemporaneous to the dispossession of the indigenous peoples (by a factor of about 10-15,000 years) in North America.

Mayhaps one of our South African participants can correct all my mistakes, eh?

godfry

And, I don't know....how long does it take?

Also, if a white South African or other white exile from Africa moves to the United States, are they to be considered African-Americans?
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 08-28-2004, 12:13 AM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXC
Images: 12
Default Re: In my defense, I am way sleep deprived.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea
Anyway, as I said, I'm not going to go into the commons thing in such great detail unless you want me to. I usually save that for intractable assholes who buy the whole lasseiz faire thing hook line and sinker, and you're not one.

Besides, prolly ain't nobody reading anymore, anyway. I know I'm not, anyway.
You're not?

This was a "drive-by posting"?

Aw... I was so looking forward to the "commons thing" from your perspective. I always like to see how folks use the concept. I'm familiar with "the tragedy of the commons", but that doesn't sound like what you intended to address....so I'm still curious.

However, I, too, am an advocate of mixed economies, but I suspect I'm more to the regulatory bent than is dantonac. I'm pretty cynical about regulatory control where economic interests have overwhelming political power, and I'm even more cynical about the promises of the free-marketeers and their running dog sycophants, who will tell you any kind of lie to line their pockets.

Speaking of running dog sycophants, who the hell is Thomas Friedman. Any relation to Uncle Milton?

I'm still reading...

godfry
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 08-28-2004, 12:58 AM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMCCCLXIV
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default Re: In my defense, I am way sleep deprived.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godfry n. glad
You're not?

This was a "drive-by posting"?
Oh, crap, no. I didn't mean I wasn't reading the other posts in the thread. I was talking about my own post there. It kind of got away from me, and I was boring even myself, so I was humanely euthanizing my tangent.

Quote:
Aw... I was so looking forward to the "commons thing" from your perspective. I always like to see how folks use the concept. I'm familiar with "the tragedy of the commons", but that doesn't sound like what you intended to address....so I'm still curious.
Well, sure. The tragedy of the commons is just an illustration of why we need regulation. Personally, I probably have a somewhat more expansive view of what commons are than is probably, uh, common, but I also understand that certain restrictions place undue restrictions on personal freedoms. It is, like pretty much everything else, a matter of finding the right compromise between the common good and personal liberty. If I had my druthers, I'd be all about revoking the charters of corporations that serially abuse the commons, and I'd probably regulate private enterprise very heavily in every area except ventures that are not either so high entry as to be prohibitive and that are non-essential, for very broad values of essential (that is, I consider electricity, phone service, etc. all 'essential' in developed cultures).

Normally, I limit myself to arguing with bellicose libertarians on this topic, because it's pretty easy to kick their asses, and I don't know enough about economics or anything to discuss it with anyone more formidable than that.

Quote:
However, I, too, am an advocate of mixed economies, but I suspect I'm more to the regulatory bent than is dantonac. I'm pretty cynical about regulatory control where economic interests have overwhelming political power, and I'm even more cynical about the promises of the free-marketeers and their running dog sycophants, who will tell you any kind of lie to line their pockets.

Speaking of running dog sycophants, who the hell is Thomas Friedman. Any relation to Uncle Milton?
He's the cocksucker who wrote The Lexus and the Olive Tree. He's also foreign policy dude at the NYT, and he's won Pulitzers. Like, a couple of them. I really have to assume that's based on his familiarity with the Middle East or something, because everything he writes about economics is just so fucking retarded even I can see what's wrong with it.

I dunno if he's related to Milton, and oddly, I'd never even noticed that they have the same last name until now.

Yeah, I really am that daft.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 08-28-2004, 04:49 PM
dave_a's Avatar
dave_a dave_a is offline
This space is for rent
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: DCIV
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Well, no time to discuss anything as I am headed off for a wedding in a bit and have to bring myself to put on a damn penguin suit. sigh.

Anyway Lisarea, I did enjoy reading your post. I was perplexed though when you invited Thomas Friedman to suck your dick. Given your username which I read as Lisa I didn't imagine you had a dick. :P Ah the joys of the internet.

Godfry I think you probably hit the nail on the head when you said you and I are both in favor of mixed economies, but you lean more to the regulatory side than I do. As a gross oversimplification with no concrete example to back me up as I have to post and run I tend to view government and business as equally corrupt in the sense that they are motivated by self interest more than anything else. When private enterprise causes a problem the natural idea is for government to intervene to correct the problem.

What I see is government stepping in and causing it's own problems. I think health care is something of a mess right now, but I am not a fan of national healthcare modeled after any nation's healthcare plan that I see. I would rather see other steps taken to see where that puts us before we consider sweeping changes in the structure of our healthcare system.

I would like to see reform or privatization of the FDA along the lines of an underwriters laboratory model. I would like to see requirements that physicians treat simple ailments removed so that lower cost and even charitable organizations could provide routine health care like treating ear infections. How much education does that really require? I have other ideas, but I have to run. I just don't understand why more folks don't want to at least try these steps before comitting to a government takeover of the healthcare system.
__________________
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others --- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 08-28-2004, 05:24 PM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMCCCLXIV
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
Well, no time to discuss anything as I am headed off for a wedding in a bit and have to bring myself to put on a damn penguin suit. sigh.
Well, I don't have time to answer in detail either, because I'm going to the farmer's market, which is better than a wedding, so NEENER.

But I do have time to address this:

Quote:
Anyway Lisarea, I did enjoy reading your post. I was perplexed though when you invited Thomas Friedman to suck your dick. Given your username which I read as Lisa I didn't imagine you had a dick. :P Ah the joys of the internet.
Your assessment is correct. But the way I see it, if I really actually had a dick, I wouldn't let someone I felt very contentious toward suck it, anyway, based on the excellent odds that they harbored violent feelings toward me in return. You men don't REALLY want your enemies getting their teeth so close to the family jewels, do you?

So I figure when I tell someone to suck my dick, at least I won't ever be held to my offer.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 08-30-2004, 12:25 AM
squian's Avatar
squian squian is offline
who?
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: CLXVIII
Images: 6
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
It would be nice if drinkable water was free, but it isn't and I have no solution for that. We could say that government should do it, and where I live government does do it, but government then needs to spend money to do it and this comes from the citizens just the same as it does under a private company supplying the water.

No matter how you slice it, it takes money.
On this point, I think you have gone uncontested. The problem is not that it costs money but the amount that it costs is more than the poorest can afford. From an economic perspective, you have jumped to the "demand side" to say the government could subsidize the water for it's populace. For that matter, anyone can pick up the tab. If you and I really feel it is a moral outrage to let people go without potable water, I'm sure modest financial donations would go a long way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
When the resource is scarce how do you make it go as far as possible other than to charge for it so people don't waste it?
But charging money doesn't prevent wastage. Especially not for water. Just look at what we do with water in the US. In California, water is brought across the mountains to feed outdoor swimming pools and grow rice in the desert. I doubt price prevents the richest Tanzanians from filling their swimming pools either. What's worse is that privitization in Tanzania has not opened up competition but taken the limits off a monopoly.

So for me, the question is not how to find the money to pay for the potable water but how do we control the costs so it is low enough to be accessible by even the poorest? Just like your Teleco example, a monopoly is a formidible barrier to entry. Does privatization lead to competition? Is it even feasible to have multiple water and sewage providers? Even if there were an ideal "water market" would it ensure that everyone could afford water?
__________________
Better fewer, but better
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 08-30-2004, 04:09 AM
dave_a's Avatar
dave_a dave_a is offline
This space is for rent
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: DCIV
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by squian
On this point, I think you have gone uncontested. The problem is not that it costs money but the amount that it costs is more than the poorest can afford. From an economic perspective, you have jumped to the "demand side" to say the government could subsidize the water for it's populace. For that matter, anyone can pick up the tab. If you and I really feel it is a moral outrage to let people go without potable water, I'm sure modest financial donations would go a long way.
Well, in said nation with a GDP of US $251 it would seem it would take more than a modest amount of donations. I simply don't think this nation can afford water treatment/distribution plants at this stage in it's development. Water treatement plants, if we were playing a strategy video game, wouldn't be worth the cost at this point.

Quote:
But charging money doesn't prevent wastage. Especially not for water. Just look at what we do with water in the US. In California, water is brought across the mountains to feed outdoor swimming pools and grow rice in the desert. I doubt price prevents the richest Tanzanians from filling their swimming pools either. What's worse is that privitization in Tanzania has not opened up competition but taken the limits off a monopoly.
It isn't a question of whether paying money prevents waste, it is a question of what price prevents waste. People will pay for drinking water before baothing water and for bathing water before swimming pool water. The precursor question is whether tthe nation can afford to waste water. In the case of this nation the answer appears to be no. Where I live I can overseed my lawn and run the sprinklers daily with no real concern. This doesn't appear to be the case here.i
[quote]So for me, the question is not how to find the money to pay for the potable water but how do we control the costs so it is low enough to be accessible by even the poorest? Just like your Teleco example, a monopoly is a formidible barrier to entry. Does privatization lead to competition?[/quote[

It can, but for utilities it is difficult to increase competition.

Quote:
Is it even feasible to have multiple water and sewage providers? Even if there were an ideal "water market" would it ensure that everyone could afford water?
The problem is the government in question wasn't able to provide potable water for everyone nor was it able to bill those it provided water to. The bank said privatise your water. Why? I don't really know but I can speculate that the bank wanted to ensure that business could get the water it needed. This makes sense. Who would open a business if basic things like water weren't assured?

It may seem like people are getting screwed in favor of business, but in reality the people were already being screwed and any improvement in the infrastructure due to business will only help people.
__________________
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others --- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 08-30-2004, 05:29 AM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMCCCLXIV
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
Quote:
So for me, the question is not how to find the money to pay for the potable water but how do we control the costs so it is low enough to be accessible by even the poorest? Just like your Teleco example, a monopoly is a formidible barrier to entry. Does privatization lead to competition?
It can, but for utilities it is difficult to increase competition.
Well, this is why the government does things like require leasing agreements for infrastructure owners, as in the telco system in the US.

It may not be ideal, and of course, there are disagreements as to fair pricing structures and so forth, but that's why, to me, it makes sense for the infrastructure--water delivery systems, power grids, telco--to be publicly held. Then, providers, including water treatment plants, power generation, and telecommunications providers--can actually compete to provide better services for lower prices. (Or where there is, at the very least, the potential for real competition, assuming we maintain and enforce ownership regulations.)

Quote:
The problem is the government in question wasn't able to provide potable water for everyone nor was it able to bill those it provided water to. The bank said privatise your water. Why? I don't really know but I can speculate that the bank wanted to ensure that business could get the water it needed. This makes sense. Who would open a business if basic things like water weren't assured?
Actually, in these cases, the privatization of the water systems is, by all accounts, boilerplate. The IMF consistently requires this as a condition of the loan, and they do specify which private company will have the monopoly on water treatment and delivery. If they were genuinely concerned about the welfare of the nations to which they lend money, wouldn't they at least put that sort of thing up for bid?

They are, simply, not interested in the welfare of the nations they lend money to. It's not even their stated goal. Their stated goal is to protect the interests of international trade.

Quote:
It may seem like people are getting screwed in favor of business, but in reality the people were already being screwed and any improvement in the infrastructure due to business will only help people.
Are they really, though? I guess I'd need to look into this more, but it is my understanding that many more people are left without access to sufficient clean water after these IMF privatization schemes than there were before.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 08-30-2004, 06:04 PM
Clutch Munny's Avatar
Clutch Munny Clutch Munny is offline
Clutchenheimer
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canada
Gender: Male
Posts: VMMMLXXXV
Images: 1
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantonac
It isn't a question of whether paying money prevents waste, it is a question of what price prevents waste. People will pay for drinking water before baothing water and for bathing water before swimming pool water. The precursor question is whether tthe nation can afford to waste water. In the case of this nation the answer appears to be no.
But what market entity is "the nation"? What does it mean for the nation to be unable to afford to waste water? This very way of thinking presupposes centrally planned and protected public access to water.

Otherwise it may well be that the nation lacks sufficient water for everyone to drink, but that the rich can still afford to fill Olympic-sized pools while the poor cannot afford drinking water. It is only if the nation cannot, by some relevant standard, afford water-based chronic ill-health among its poor that it cannot afford to "waste" water. So what is the relevant standard? The idea of the nation's needs, understood as the public good, is legally and conceptually prior to the freedom to purchase on an open market.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 08-30-2004, 08:40 PM
dave_a's Avatar
dave_a dave_a is offline
This space is for rent
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: DCIV
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutch Munny
But what market entity is "the nation"? What does it mean for the nation to be unable to afford to waste water? This very way of thinking presupposes centrally planned and protected public access to water.
In the case of Tanzania the per capita GDP is $251 US dollars. The "nation" here is the government revenue stream. With a GDP this low it isn't going to be possible to provide potable water to every person. Since this government was losing 50% of it's potable water supply to illegal taps as well as leaks the problem gets even worse. The death blow was that the government wasn't even efficient enough to bill it's citizens for water usage.

This government/nation not only can't afford to waste (potable) water, they can't even afford to drink it.

Given this state of affairs I don't see how a private concern taking over the supply and billing of water is a bad thing. I absolutely do recognize that there may be all manner of problems with this approach and the IMF may have "sinister" motives, but the end result will, presumably, be a water supply system that works and relieves a burden from government that they cannot afford.

My understanding is that these agreements require the private concern to provide some amount of free water although it's also my understanding that it isn't enough to completely meet people's needs.

Still, it would seem to be a better solution than the current one which appears to be getting steadily worse.
__________________
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others --- Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 08-30-2004, 09:01 PM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXC
Images: 12
Default Re: More depressing than the stolen Scream...

I think you make an unwarrented presumption.

For what reason should we assume that just because a private concern has taken over distribution and billing that the system will "work better"?

Greater private control of the electric power distribution system in the western United States did no such thing. Indeed, it fucked it up royal, all in the name of creating artificial shortages to increase prices, revenues to the private concern and profits for the stockholders of the private concern.

godfry
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
Reply

  Freethought Forum > The Public Baths > News, Politics & Law


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

 

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Page generated in 1.77286 seconds with 16 queries