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InvisibleSilversoul
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Socio-Economic Systems in Different Countries
    #3789664 - 02/16/05 04:37 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Whenever in this forum people discuss the merits of capitalism, socialism, etc., I notice there are certain countries each group will point to. When defending laissez-faire capitalism, Hong Kong is the country that is often given as the best example of its positive effects. When arguing against capitalism, people will often point to Chile. I don't think it does us any good to simply focus on one and ignore the other, nor does it help to think of one as the rule and the other as the exception. Did these two countries have exactly the same policies and come out with different results? I doubt it. There must be some difference in their policies which accounts for these different results. Discuss.


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OfflineTao
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Registered: 09/19/03
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Re: Socio-Economic Systems in Different Countries [Re: Silversoul]
    #3789792 - 02/16/05 05:15 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

lol, you want a full on political economics debate on a subject where there is clear disagreement in the academic community? why dont you go look up some academic papers on the subject. what you'll get here will be worthless in comparison.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: Socio-Economic Systems in Different Countries [Re: Silversoul]
    #3790085 - 02/16/05 06:19 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Chile under Pinochet's military rule was hardly laissez-faire. Wasn't it a military dictatorship? Didn't his regime suppress some freedoms while granting favors to friends? It seems myopic to promote economic freedoms (and give aways) in some areas while increasing tyrannical actions in other areas. I think lack of freedom in other areas will 'bleed over' and affect economic activity. Might suppression of freedom of speech hamper the profit of a newspaper? Isn't outlawing or suppressing union activity a suppression of the economic freedom of workers?

When going from a command and control economy to a freer economy it is vitally important how and in what order the fetters are removed. Selling off government assets at hugely discounted prices to the politically well connected is not a good idea. Even if done prudently, any changes will be accompanied by a period of adjustment. Some actions take decades to show their ultimate results (look at how long it took the Soviet Union to collapse from their misguided economic policies).

It is also important that there is a culture that can handle the changes. If the people have no or little experience or tradition of respecting private property, honoring contracts and settling disagreements through peaceful means (either through state run courts, experience with kritarchy or some other civilized means) then you cannot expect old ways to magically disappear. Also important in a society is the time horizon of people. In other words, to what degree are people willing to forgo immediate gratification for the prospect of future benefits (looking at an average savings rate is one indication of this). When comparing economies it is more instructive to compare people with a similar cultural background - such as the historical examples of Hong Kong vs. Communist China or East vs. West Germany.


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Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Socio-Economic Systems in Different Countries [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #3790420 - 02/16/05 07:21 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

That's a very good point. I've also heard that Hong Kong had some sort of Land Value Tax, like what Adam Smith and Henry George advocated. This is a very non-intrusive means of land reform. As Henry George pointed out, land monopolys are a major factor in poverty, specifically in the standard of living for the poorest citizens.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Socio-Economic Systems in Different Countries [Re: Silversoul]
    #3793019 - 02/17/05 01:10 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Capitalism in a dictatorship is not real capitalism. However, it should be noted that there is not a pure capitalistic state ANYWHERE in this world and there never has been. There has always been some sort of government interference(tariffs, income redistribution, government regulations and favoritism, etc...) in free market economies.

Communism starts out with dictatorship and it claims that the dictatorship will go away one day. It never has yet.

The Lefties like to bring up horrible dictatorships that allow some free-market things to happen and immediately condemn capitalism based on that example. They ignore the prosperity and growth that free markets bring in free nations.

The Righties like to bring up the failure of communism. But, they often ignore the nations where the citizens very happily engage in socialism. In Canada, people seem to be quite content that a lot of their income is taken away from them and in turn they have access to many public services. I personally do not want to live in an enviroment like that, but I will not condemn a nation that chooses to live like that as a "failure". They are just living a different lifestyle than I want to live.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Socio-Economic Systems in Different Countries [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3793075 - 02/17/05 01:21 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
The Righties like to bring up the failure of communism. But, they often ignore the nations where the citizens very happily engage in socialism. In Canada, people seem to be quite content that a lot of their income is taken away from them and in turn they have access to many public services. I personally do not want to live in an enviroment like that, but I will not condemn a nation that chooses to live like that as a "failure". They are just living a different lifestyle than I want to live.



Ya, that's something I've come to accept. I really wish that the US would have a libertarian government, but also that there be an open immigration agreement between the US and Canada so that those who prefer a more socialist system can move to Canada while those who prefer economic freedom and rugged individualism can live in America.


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