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How to improve 3rd world/developing country

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Postby DimWit Kid » Tue, 01 Aug 2006 2:15 am

jpatokal wrote:The parallel is scarier than you think. Indonesia had "benevolent dictatorship" for several decades under Suharto, and progressed by leaps and bounds under that time -- or at least some parts did. Others didn't, and they eventually brought the shiny edifice of progress crashing down. China is facing the same problem with its rich/poor divide and rapacious corruption, and having the same ugly ending in China is entirely possible.


JP I know what you are saying - I was in University during the last decade of Soeharto era, and criticism are rife towards the situation then. It is not great but some attributes this to the old general not having a complete control of situation anymore by end of the 80's. So fierce the cleanup that nobody was there to take up his baton. Some even made comparison with the history - Indonesia (or whatever it was called before) has a rich history of failed successions - Majapahit era.

However there is problem with current half cooked democracy. Democracy, I'm sure you agree, calls for some degree of willingness to play by the rule and when rules are broken there should be a way of enforcing it. Thailand is lucky, very lucky, to have the benevolent king. We don't. And that is the Indonesian problem at the moment. Nobody IS in control - SBY trying very hard and many people appreciates his effort (as well as he has some degree of power and control - and so far the VP is working with and supporting him well) but it's still confusing. We are moving in the right direction but at some later stage, without the concept of benevolent dictatorship I'm afraid it would be derailed again and again.

In Thailand, there are a few near-dictatorship and coup-d'etat. Every time that kind of situation is solved by their respect to the King and the willingness of the junta to defer to the king and step down if He insinuates that. This is the crucial difference when comparing Thailand and Indonesia.

If compared with China - well, China has the succession going relatively peacefully (this is another thing Indonesia has never had until Mega-SBY succession) for years, and this brings about the crucial ingredient for progress: stability. That's the thing under Soeharto also, he brought about stability (rightly or wrongly the way he did it) and he can implement his development plan. Again, a thing that we are lacking of so far. Of course I'm hoping the current one will be able to put a base for future development, brings back the Five year and ten year planning rather than planning just for 3-4 years until next election - nothing gets done like that!

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Postby renter » Tue, 01 Aug 2006 9:36 am

For a today's 3rd-world country to develop, it is better for it to have some form of totalitarianism, or central government control for a better word. They can't opt for full democracy too early, because at a premature stage democracy will lead to exploded bureaucracy. With central control, the nation can move a lot faster in policy decision making and implementation without all of those nonsense that could exist in a democracy. In the short term it seems that the people there don't have freedom, are stripped of human rights and bearing all the pains of fast economic development. For us not to forget, it took the western countries hundreds of years to develop from the equivalent economic situation of today's underdeveloped countries such as Vietnam to the contemporary great wealth. So, it is inevitable that the current 3rd world countries will bear more pain to catch up. But for a long term it will benefit the nation. One example is Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew both had a lot of control of the people and had a lot of follow by the people when he founded the country. He took that opportunity and developed the country to today's Singapore in 40 years. On the contrary is Mao Zhedong. Mao was a great leader in a war, but he didn't have the economic brains to lead China in postwar peaceful development. Instead, he created chaos in China by abusing his soft and hard power in 30 years after he founded China. He didn't utilize that opportunity as Lee Kuan Yew did; otherwise, China should have been like today's China at least 20 years ago.

So efficient and effective central government control is crucial for even today's underdeveloped countries to expand its economy.

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Postby oystereggs » Sun, 06 Aug 2006 5:39 pm

The best thing to do would be American takeover of the whole of the third world nation states. America is the only country which has the means to do this and once it has taken over all the shitty little third world shits it can then start developing them one by one. There should be no expressed timeframe under which America should carry this out. She can take as long as she wants and do whatever she has to do in order to develop these barbaric, backward, uncivilized and horrendous countries. In fact they should all become United Third World Countries of America. Everyone should become citizens or peoples of America and should be given free education in how to become 'developed and civilized' in return. The whole world should be called America. Everyone should have an American accent and no one should be allowed to speak any other varieties of English. America is the most powerful country in the world today so it is only fair and just to become her slaves and enjoy the benefits that she enjoys today. America was not built in one day. It took a long time to be where she is or what she stands for today, so, the third world countries have nothing to worry about. All they need is patience and someday they will reach where America has managed to reach today.

Well done America!!! You can take me over anytime and I will not put up any resistance whatsover to your takeover. The third world contries have no right to be independant when they can have a benevolent, civilized and democratic master like you. God save America and I love America.

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Postby Cuchu » Mon, 28 Aug 2006 10:59 pm

Wonder if Vietnam's model can be applied in Indonesia.

Vietnam

Changing gear
Nov 24th 2005 | HANOI
From The Economist print edition

Decent reforms are enriching the Vietnamese; the future looks fine
Reuters
UNTIL recently, economists used to marvel at the speed with which the Vietnamese were trading in their bicycles for motorcycles. But that trend now seems out-of-date. Observers are now mesmerised by Vietnam's equally rapid embrace of the motor car. In the year to August, the local car industry's output grew by 43%. Private cars, their horns blaring in the hope of parting the sea of motorcycles, are suddenly a common sight on the streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Like Vietnam's new car owners, the country's economy is accelerating, even as the rest of South-East Asia slows. In the first three-quarters of the year, it grew at an annual rate of 8.1%—faster than its five-year average of 7.2%. Better yet, Vietnam's poverty rate is falling almost as fast as its economy grows. The proportion of the population that the government deems poor fell from 58% in 1993 to 20% last year. If the reduction continues at the current rate, says Martin Rama, the World Bank's chief economist in Vietnam, abject poverty will soon be limited to ethnic minorities in remote areas.

This rapid growth, explains Jonathan Pincus of the United Nations Development Programme, derives chiefly from the steady shift of millions of inefficient subsistence farmers into marginally more productive pursuits. Many have begun growing coffee or farming prawns, while others now work in textile plants or shoe factories. Tens of thousands of family firms have also sprung up since 2001, when the government eased restrictions on small businesses. Since some 74% of Vietnam's 84m inhabitants still live in the countryside, and most of those remain rice farmers, there is plenty more scope for growth.


That was last year's Economist's article.

In an article of the same magazine 2 weeks ago, it's said that Vietnam's objective to make it a modern, industrial nation by 2020 by increasing output and improving infrastructure might be pulled off by its rulers as they seem to mean it, in comparison with the neighbouring countries.

Its exports have increased faster than China, in such that for example its coffee growing has alarmed Brazil even!
It has more secondary-students children in class than Indonesia even though its poverty level is still above Indonesia even though only slightly.
It has managed to invite foreign direct investment such as Intel to build $605 mil microchip plan in Ho Chi Minh.

Lessons that can be learned:

Revival of the household sector was a crucial element in the success of the reforms. The growth effect was achieved, not through increased investment, but through institutional reorganization that raised the productivity of labour, reduced the costs of restructuring and enabled necessary macroeconomic adjustments (reduction in the budget deficit) without leading to economic collapse.

The institutional changes led to a one-time effect of increased intensity in application of labour and inputs. Further growth from these sources appears limited.

The very process of export success has generated falling world market prices. Given that Viet Nam currently fills a market niche for lower quality products, there is scope to obtain further gains through moving to higher quality products. However, public intervention needs to be more responsive to market cues and move further away from planning and import substitution.

The technological level of Vietnamese farming remains labour-intensive and there is considerable scope for improvement through use of new technologies. Extension services, particularly those provided by cooperatives, can be enhanced through adoption of practices more closely linked to farmers' market needs.

The egalitarian land reform provided a crucial safety net for the rural population and aided agricultural growth. If commercial farming is to continue to develop, however, land consolidation and larger farms will be needed. These trends should be offset by policies to develop alternative employment for those who will eventually leave farming.

As the drift away from agriculture has begun to accelerate, two trends are developing. One is towards rural diversification, the other towards out-migration to the cities. Narrowing of the urban-rural income gap will depend on how policy addresses this issue.

Poverty eradication proceeds faster in urban areas than in rural areas, due in part to the scarcity of land. To reach optimal farm size, many people will need to move out of agriculture into off-farm employment that is sufficiently remunerative to induce them to give up their farmland altogether.

Although Viet Nam's institutional reforms have been relatively egalitarian, income inequality has nevertheless risen. Food insecurity persists at rather high levels in some areas where farmers are unable to shift to more productive activities due to lack of resources. Careful targeting of public investment in these areas could have major benefits at relatively low cost.

The gradualism of Viet Nam's reform process has been one of the factors in its success. However, within this framework, the country now appears to have reached a new turning point in which a renewed focus on rural development and institution building is needed in order to maintain and continue the gains of the past.


So what do you reckon?

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Postby renter » Fri, 01 Sep 2006 3:15 pm

Magazine articles such as this tend to be skewed.
They were talking about the growth rate. But bear in mind that China and Brazil's economy is much bigger than Vietnam's.

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Postby ksl » Fri, 01 Sep 2006 10:33 pm

Excellent thread keep it going!

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Postby DimWit Kid » Sat, 02 Sep 2006 9:58 am

I agree with renter to an extent - I'll try to come back later with all the figures to support, but Vietnam has such a high growth over a low base. Actually it is not that low now (it is now around 1/3rd the size of Indonesian economy) but the growth in Vietnam has not hit the obstacle the Indonesian economy has come to bump before.

Vietnam now is just doing the shift from agricultural based economy to a more industrial base. This is usually the crucial moment in a country's continuous development. This shift should involve an improvement jump in average educational level, in FDI, and in governance. It's like a mini industrial revolution, it will bring about desire for social changes in the communities, and its government I guess have to be careful in the process.

My work is in the area that is much involved in the development of automotive areas in various countries, and with all do respect to The Economist, I think the rate of car ownership in Vietnam is nowhere near the ASEAN 5 and they also haven't hit the snag where energy scarcity is that urgent (in the way that their production is far exceeded by their need for energy).

To me there is nothing in Vietnam "model" that can be applied to Indonesia with better result, except the way the government maintains control (which is not so difficult yet now because of the stage of economic development they are in). Particularly because I think that the stage that Vietnam is in now has been experienced by Indonesia (in the way that it exhibits fast growing economy with gradual shift from agricultural based economy to a more value added, industrial based economy). Indonesia in end 1970s to 1980s I think is very similar to the condition where Vietnam is in now. A strong (albeit abusive in Indonesia) government driving the red hot economy to industrialization, attracting FDI year after year and with the capitalist finding it a ripe market for growth.

China SEZ seems to be a good model for early industrialization, and I think the Vietnamese will try to adopt that as well. Come to that, Indonesia also is trying to do something similar with Batam SEZ area - I'm still a bit sceptical but I hope it will be successful. Of course an area where the country like China, Indonesia, Vietnam will have to struggle also is the distribution of wealth and the efficiency of bureaucracy.

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Postby ksl » Sat, 02 Sep 2006 12:26 pm

DimWit Kid wrote:I agree with renter to an extent - I'll try to come back later with all the figures to support, but Vietnam has such a high growth over a low base. Actually it is not that low now (it is now around 1/3rd the size of Indonesian economy) but the growth in Vietnam has not hit the obstacle the Indonesian economy has come to bump before.

Vietnam now is just doing the shift from agricultural based economy to a more industrial base. This is usually the crucial moment in a country's continuous development. This shift should involve an improvement jump in average educational level, in FDI, and in governance. It's like a mini industrial revolution, it will bring about desire for social changes in the communities, and its government I guess have to be careful in the process.

My work is in the area that is much involved in the development of automotive areas in various countries, and with all do respect to The Economist, I think the rate of car ownership in Vietnam is nowhere near the ASEAN 5 and they also haven't hit the snag where energy scarcity is that urgent (in the way that their production is far exceeded by their need for energy).

To me there is nothing in Vietnam "model" that can be applied to Indonesia with better result, except the way the government maintains control (which is not so difficult yet now because of the stage of economic development they are in). Particularly because I think that the stage that Vietnam is in now has been experienced by Indonesia (in the way that it exhibits fast growing economy with gradual shift from agricultural based economy to a more value added, industrial based economy). Indonesia in end 1970s to 1980s I think is very similar to the condition where Vietnam is in now. A strong (albeit abusive in Indonesia) government driving the red hot economy to industrialization, attracting FDI year after year and with the capitalist finding it a ripe market for growth.

China SEZ seems to be a good model for early industrialization, and I think the Vietnamese will try to adopt that as well. Come to that, Indonesia also is trying to do something similar with Batam SEZ area - I'm still a bit sceptical but I hope it will be successful. Of course an area where the country like China, Indonesia, Vietnam will have to struggle also is the distribution of wealth and the efficiency of bureaucracy.


I agree with renter to an extent - I'll try to come back later with all the figures to support, but Vietnam has such a high growth over a low base. Actually it is not that low now (it is now around 1/3rd the size of Indonesian economy) but the growth in Vietnam has not hit the obstacle the Indonesian economy has come to bump before.

It's my opinion that the political differences are of importance, when it comes to investment policy and i believe that Vietnam, may well be supported, or have direct influence in development from mainland China, by large investment projects.

Indonesia on the otherhand is a little more complicated and higher risk for China, or any other Countries to invest in, also the area is quite volatile for natural disasters, along with political unrest and graft.

Mainland China is like playing russian roulette, for SME's and they normally get taken to the cleaners, Over 400 Taiwanese businessmen have been kidnapped for ransom in the last 4 years, that i know of. The last time i was in China was back in 1991, I love the place, but I have my concerns of returning after the Chinese embassy and I had a heated discussion. At that time I was followed every day, for the whole year I was there. The people from the Countryside are actually banned from coming into Beijing City, and are put straight back onto the trains.
SMS, JP and the others are quite right in their perception of whats going on in China. This is a most interesting subject!

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Postby huggybear » Thu, 01 Feb 2007 4:51 pm

i agree with KMS here (is it bad to revive old topics that are 4 mos old??)

chinese investments = russian roulette.

i don't think it's true that you have to have a benevolent dictator in power to achieve growth. you just need good intentioned people in government that crack down on corruption and end government subsidies. look at poland or czech republic.

bottom line is centralized planning by government does not work at all that is why communism fails. look at disparity btw east / west germany. you must subject your people to market forces and accept some people will fail and some will succeed.

the only reason china is successful is because all corporations drool looking at market of 1 billion people to consume their products. how is china different then iraq other then having a billion people in a closed economy?

we now live in a world where wars are fought on an economic level. if iraq had no oil then oilman george bush would not have gone in. that is why the us always meddles with tthe middle east and ignores: Sudan, Rwanda, croatia, cambodia, cuba, somalia, ethopia, etc. instead usa sees a market of 1 bio people to buy shitty american cars so they put up with the massive human rights violations in china and accept china launching missiles into space to threaten violence on taiwan if they secede from the motherland.

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Postby ksl » Mon, 05 Feb 2007 2:58 am

Huggybear: instead usa sees a market of 1 bio people to buy shitty american cars so they put up with the massive human rights violations in china and accept china launching missiles into space to threaten violence on taiwan if they secede from the motherland.



The truth is, that the USA is not the super power it thought it was! The USA doesn't have any power at all, any longer, when you consider how it is being propped up the the Asian economies and the $ reserves.

China is :D at the USA, and the funniest thing was back in the early 90's when McDonalds got their asses kicked out of their prime location on wangfujin st. USA have no alternative but to kowtow, and that must be painful for any superpower!

If China were to dump their $ reserves, with the rest of Asia, not that it would happen, but it could happen, because Countries are getting sick and tired of the aggressive moves of the USA, trying to peddle their shit food everywhere!

They have no leverage anylonger, or are well liked for their political bullying. The gungho image is in shatters, and the egg is all over their faces, its been a political disaster going into Iraq, and far to late to turn back now, the propagander machine is exposed, along with the Americans weaknesses, even the war of economics have gone too far, That nobody listens to the USA any longer.

Even Malaya is sticking two fingers up at the USA and warning them, to stop meddling with internal affairs, because they are buying gas from Iran
if Asia pulls the plug on the $ reserves, what would happen?

Although I do know what must be done, and that is to take out Irans nuclear ability, to save face, the economic sanctions, will never stop Iran developing nuclear, and it wouldn't surprise me, if China wasn't behind the whole affair, with North Korea. and possibly even Russia, the greed for money, will see that the nuclear bomb will get in the hands of the terrorist and its only going to be delivered to the west.

So there is not much alternative at all for the USA or UK, the rest of the other Countries are afraid to side with USA, because they will also be signing there own future too.

So my money goes on the USA $ UK to take out Irans only threat. Sad but true, I believe the plans are already laid out on the table, if Iran doesn't back down, they will be delt with.

Iran is hell bent on getting Iraq for the shias and the western powers cannot allow that to happen, neither can the rest of the Arab world.

The chosen group for Iraq in my opinion must only be the mujahideen, that have been financed for years by the western powers and are moderates although drifting off the topic of Indonesia, I think SMS sussed it out quite right with his quote.

It doesn't matter what industry/sector. The problem there is graft from the top eschelons down to the next to the lowest level. Graft exists at all levels in between. Having worked in Indonesia from Irian Jaya to Aceh and from Ternate to Kupang and most points in between over a period of 12 years I've seen it at all levels.


There is to much going on in the world at present, even to think of Indonesias problems, especially from the western point of view, in my opinion.

Indonesia is a high risk area, in more ways than the natural disasters that happen there, one would be considering, is it worth pumping money into a bottomless pit! If the government cannot clean up its act.

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Postby huggybear » Mon, 05 Feb 2007 8:05 am

your rant is all fine and dandy K to the S to the L

those countries can give us the middle finger should they desire...

tell them not to bother calling us for help when they:

(1) need money
(2) are invaded by a neighboring country and need help
(3) need advanced technology to advance their own industry when they open their market to discover that their protected state industry is hugely inefficient and corrupt

of course they can always look to France, they are really a world leader when it comes to solving global crises...or emerging China...nice job handling the N. Korea crisis thus far.

if asian countries sold their usd reserves...then the us would face a huge negative short term shock but this would help to reduce our c/a deficit in the long run as we would have to buy more domestically made products.

also, think about the global implications...asian banks selling their FX reserves...the USD would sell off by around 20-25%. that would put GBP USD at 2.45 and EURUSD at 1.65 and USDJPY at 90.50.

Do you really think any of these countries want their currencies that strong?

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Postby ksl » Tue, 06 Feb 2007 3:44 am

Huggybear says: those countries can give us the middle finger should they desire


I don't believe that they do desire to giv the finger, even if they would like too, I'm just being realistic, that the USA doesn't have the clout, that it did have, any longer.

This Iraqi war is costing the tax payers a heafty chunk of hard earned cash, While a chosen few are lining their own pockets.

Ask Tim Spicer and the other 20,000 mecenaries, it's a little like history and private armies repeating itself over again, when the higher echelons (Aristocrats and nobles) need to top up, their coffers, they know how to go about it.

I believe the minimum is 200 pounds a day with these security groups, at the lowest risk jobs, and 500 a day, for protection. This is not small change. the war is expecting to cost 300 billion if i'm not wrong, and its, not the USA or UK army drawing the money.

Wars are big business, where wealth can be reaped, and arms deals concluded
1) need money
(2) are invaded by a neighboring country and need help
(3) need advanced technology to advance their own industry when they open their market to discover that their protected state industry is hugely inefficient and corrupt


I think the Asians would prefer to remain Asian, So the impact of America will never be so great.
What the world have seen, is the world super power, with all its technology and wealth dwindle into nothing more than a bully, that can't even conclude what they set out to do.

Iran is mocking the states on the wide open stage! Taiwan don't trust the americans, especially George Bush, and they are squeezed into purchasing defence weapons, at unrealistic prices.

I think Taiwan, no that the USA would sell them down the river, to get well into Chine. In fact I was reading a document on the internet classified Top Secret two years ago, on Bushs adminstration plans, where he is quoted of doing a deal, with mainland China. The USA will let China take Taiwan, if the USA are allowed to take out North Korea. yes it's got to be far fetched, I'll try to search the link out, it makes for interesting reading.

The UK is getting more like the USA everyday, with the crime and guns, it's almost a country out of control, were criminals are allowed to do what they want, because the police are afraid of human rights, There's even a video on the BBC today of a guy, that was jailed, for sorting out some anti social yob, after he caught him, he was going to report him to the police.
The young lad begged him not too, then went to the police himself, and accused the guy of kidnapping, he was sent to prison for 4 months.

Personally I left my home city, because i was ready to eliminate a few of the problems myself, vermin like cockroaches, that just keep breeding for the NH payout.

One gets tired of bricks through the windows every other day, and the police do nothing to protect.

I'm sorry about the 3rd world and that is the UK to me, the worst I have ever seen it, in my life time, although you have to live in it, to really get the message. More than half of UK, is blind to it, just like the US is with the ghettos.

No I'm afraid the west is on a down hill run, sold out in many Countries, UK is nothing but political organised chaos, nothing functions how it should. and the worst is, for the last 25 years, all the terrorists came through the refugee system to all Countries.

But no one would listen when it was happening. The leaders of the Refugee council were the worsed, naive and inexperienced idiots, not street wise at all!

My opinion if the USA are going to save face, they are going to have to take Irans nuclear reactors out! Becuase if any of these grps get their hands on the big bang, you know its going to be in the USA & UK.

Indonesia is high risk everything, the demographics, natural disasters and the corruption is against it.

Although USA and UK are Corrupt also, in many ways, So not as transparent as one would really like.

The enron case and all the others are not even the tip of the ice berg of what actually does go on, also in the financial markets, Stock analyst, banks, doctors and medicine, all profiteering illegally.

One of the biggest scandals of all is the European Parliment, were Euro MP's claim their expenses for being at meetings, although they get others to sign them in and out, its been going on for years Corruption everywhere you go!

And even human right abuses, the USA & UK have the hard face to accuse China, all propaganda and media tactics, one can never get to the truth these days.

Although you may think I'm pessimistic and complaining, although quite the opposite, I'm very optimistic and very street wise, with a vast utilisation of my survival skills, my money works for me, not the banks, although I do get cheated occasionally, from those type of businesses, that list on the market, because they cannot get rid of their businesses anyother way.

This is what we have to live with in society today.

God Bless America & the Shepherds taking their pound of meat in the UK. The poor sheep still watching the footie! Christ I really do believe the work force literacy standards have gone down, every second word is FCUK where I come from. :oops:

Would you believe Tony Blair only wanted a 1,000 pound for a Knighthood, the cheap skate. I told him we can buy them from China for half that price, Christ he says, are they copying them too! The labour party must be short of cash! :P 8-) Can you suss out I'm not a political person? I'm on the verge of anarchy, been there ever since i popped out, my mum said! :roll:

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 06 Feb 2007 5:51 am

ksl wrote:

Would you believe Tony Blair only wanted a 1,000 pound for a Knighthood, the cheap skate. I told him we can buy them from China for half that price, Christ he says, are they copying them too! The labour party must be short of cash! :P 8-) Can you suss out I'm not a political person? I'm on the verge of anarchy, been there ever since i popped out, my mum said! :roll:


Ha, ha, ha. You are a riot! What's the female version of knighthood? Ladyhood? I am quite interested in obtaining one myself. May make me a more eligible female. 1000 pound is within my means. :P

Seriously, you make many good posts but sometimes it come across as antagonistic towards USA or Britain. These two countries, with their mature economy and liberal immigration policy, are experiencing problems which seems unsolvable. But no countries are perfect. I find it very sad to see what was once glorious to go down a degradation path. I belief in the cyclical nature of affairs. It is a passage of time. USA can't be a superpower forever. No nation could !

US should perhaps concentrate its effort within the country. Despite all the good intention and tremendous $ poured into foreign afftairs and aid, the world still very messy. American taxpayers are not responsible (unless for natural diasaster and emergency situation) for the fate of other nations. Let the others decide their own fate. Let them decide what's best for themselves ...democracy, dictatorship, monarchy or anarchy. If the regime's too unbearable, let the people topple their own govt. It is too hard to placate everyone. Just let the rest of the world learn to get along the best they know how. In that way, USA does not get blame for the ills around the world.

And everyone's happy. I would be very happy too if it means lower taxation rate. :lol:

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Postby huggybear » Tue, 06 Feb 2007 9:39 am

Jesus KSL. you have a lot to say. I will respond in fair kind (in an effort to make this a 10 pager!)...

but in short...it seems that everything to you is black/white, right/wrong. There is no perfect solution, no magic bullet to solve any problem. everything is simply shades of gray. you are criticizing american policy under the george bush legacy...americans don't like george bush. that is why they voted out the republicans and put the democrats in power. also if the democrats could actually work together like the republicans they could easily win the white house in 2008 due to george bush's idoicy reign. american foreign pollicy was better under clinton.

america is on one extreme as is the middle east, and you have japan on the other end. america openly allows easy immigration and thus there are problems associated it with. japan allows zero immigration, and thus there will not be any japanese people if current trend continues in 2400. and the middle east is the other extreme...extreme oppression resulting in violence. it's a continuum that needs to be constantly adjusted and i feel that the reason america is successful is because when one person strays too far from the moderate, they are thrown out. you don't have one party in control of your country for hundreds of years (i.e. LDP in Japan, PRI in Mexico, or social democrats in Sweden).

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Postby huggybear » Tue, 06 Feb 2007 10:19 am

ok KSL...as far as corruption...america is far better a place to do business then most places...it's the only place where companies will have specific anti-nepotism policies (they will not hire you if you are a current relative of someone already employed. in order to succeed and become wealthier then you could ever imagine...you don't need connections and you don't need to come from a high society. you can really be a rags to riches story. this happens to many, many people. In China, if you don't have the proper connections you aren't going anywhere in life. u have to win the genetic lottery plain and simple. same goes for most asian countries.

look at merrill lynch. they just hired a woman who is I believe the niece to the premier. I highly doubt she was the most qualified person for the job but the one who is the most connected.

Asians want to remain asian? dude. every country wants to retain their basic sense of patrioism...nationality...and culture. that's why the euro was such an amazing success story and why every country in the world is xenophobic.

the world is shades of gray as it is cylical. I don't think american policy was run all that well in the 60s / 70s when we had the failed bay of pigs disaster, cuban missile crisis, and then the failed iranian coup and of course the vietnam disaster. but what continues to make America resilient is it's ability to quickly adapt and change. to fire employees, to let businesses fail, to vote out leaders, and a free press that reports on corruption.

the thing about american voters? they only vote with their wallet (who ever will cut taxes), and they will not concern themselves with foreign policy unless it is directly affecting their life. Thus after we invaded iraq in the beginning i don't think the majority minded. but now that we see oil traded at $70 / barrel and the only people who seem to be building construction sites are dick cheney's halliburton or bechtel. both of which are cheating the govt by building shitty buildings. average american is not good at thinking for the long term.

the iraq war will cost more like $10 trillion, not $300 billion. don't know where you got that low ball estimate from.


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