Author Topic: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise  (Read 2814 times)

PDXTabs

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Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« on: August 28, 2018, 09:06:52 AM »
Vice has an interesting article with the title Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise. With that said, it doesn't really say that capitalism is over. It does say that our version of capitalism is hopelessly focused on shorttermism and that it is failing to price in the increasing costs of energy extraction and production. I found it interesting to think about the costs that the market isn't pricing in. With that said, the article doesn't even mention the costs of climate migration that will come in the next 50 years.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 01:49:26 PM »
Vice has an interesting article with the title Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise. With that said, it doesn't really say that capitalism is over. It does say that our version of capitalism is hopelessly focused on shorttermism and that it is failing to price in the increasing costs of energy extraction and production. I found it interesting to think about the costs that the market isn't pricing in. With that said, the article doesn't even mention the costs of climate migration that will come in the next 50 years.

I agree. Not to be pedantic but I want to specify that you probably mean mitigation which kind of means limiting the negative consequences of and not migration.  I am a fan of capitalism in the context of democratic socialism and I think Western Europe has evolved prior to us, in that aspect. I do think we’ll get there over the next 30 years or so.

PDXTabs

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 02:17:50 PM »
I agree. Not to be pedantic but I want to specify that you probably mean mitigation which kind of means limiting the negative consequences of and not migration.  I am a fan of capitalism in the context of democratic socialism and I think Western Europe has evolved prior to us, in that aspect. I do think we’ll get there over the next 30 years or so.

I definitely meant the economic, human, and political costs of climate migration. We may have as many as one billion people migrating in the next 32 years (although 200 million is probably a more middle of the road estimate). Right now we don't even have a political framework for dealing with this.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 10:09:33 AM »
I cant read the article because the link doesn't not work for me, so I will assume that everything in the article is true and in good faith, and just respond to the ideas suggested so far in the thread.

This is a really good example of 1st world problems.... We don't have enough any short term crisis such as lack of food or water or other resources needed to survive. As a result we have to look to the future for possible problems to solve and concern ourselves with. In other words, we have it super awesome right here and now. Why? In part because of capitalism.

To try and predict an outcome 20 years in the future is an exercise in insanity. There is no way to possibly know what will happen tomorrow, let alone 7,300 tomorrows from now.

Now to try and link capitalism with climate issues in such a way is laughable. Then to suggest that socialism of any form would be a better way to combat a problem(that doesn't exist) hysterical. Please tell me there is an economist on this board that can chime in.   

Even if, and I highly doubt it, this article is correct, we are talking/worrying about something that is beyond our control.

This feels like it belongs in the off topic section, it is wrought with political leaning and suggestive content. I'm having a tough time keeping the political monster jumping around inside contained and from jumping into this response.

PDXTabs

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 11:23:12 AM »
I cant read the article because the link doesn't not work for me, so I will assume that everything in the article is true and in good faith, and just respond to the ideas suggested so far in the thread.

Really, no one else has trouble with this URL AFAIK:
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43pek3/scientists-warn-the-un-of-capitalisms-imminent-demise
Maybe you can get to the primary source?
https://bios.fi/bios-governance_of_economic_transition.pdf

This is a really good example of 1st world problems.... We don't have enough any short term crisis such as lack of food or water or other resources needed to survive. As a result we have to look to the future for possible problems to solve and concern ourselves with. In other words, we have it super awesome right here and now. Why? In part because of capitalism.

Last I checked South Africa and Israel are already having real problems with fresh water supply.

To try and predict an outcome 20 years in the future is an exercise in insanity. There is no way to possibly know what will happen tomorrow, let alone 7,300 tomorrows from now.

Yup, that's why I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day, wash the taste down with a whole bottle of scotch in the evening, and have unprotected sex with as many prostitutes who will let me. No way to predict future, after all, and I definitely don't listen to those scientists.

Now to try and link capitalism with climate issues in such a way is laughable. Then to suggest that socialism of any form would be a better way to combat a problem(that doesn't exist) hysterical. Please tell me there is an economist on this board that can chime in.   

To look at a trend line for the cost of energy, which has traditionally been going down but is now going up, is laughable? Remember, every publicly traded company wants more efficiency and profit next quarter, not less. The whole point is that traditionally economic models aren't pricing in the rising cost of energy correctly. You are allowed to disagree with that conclusion, but I find your insistence that shouldn't try to see what is coming as laughable. Sure, you'll get it wrong sometimes, but that's how markets get priced, by everyone trying to predict the future.

Even if, and I highly doubt it, this article is correct, we are talking/worrying about something that is beyond our control.

Your stock portfolio and your expectations for future growth are both within your control. I haven't changed my portfolio, but I have definitely changed my expectations for future growth. If I'm wrong I'll be pleasantly surprised.

PDXTabs

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 12:05:43 PM »
I just ran across this too:

We document that seasonal temperatures have significant and systematic effects on the U.S. economy, both at the aggregate level and across a wide cross-section of economic sectors. This effect is particularly strong for the summer: a 1F increase in the average summer temperature is associated with a reduction in the annual growth rate of state-level output of 0.15 to 0.25 percentage points. We combine our estimates with projected increases in seasonal temperatures and find that rising temperatures could reduce U.S. economic growth by up to one-third over the next century.
- Temperature and Growth: A Panel Analysis of the United States (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

But you know, no point listening to economists who are trying to predict the future.

MDM

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2018, 12:37:39 PM »
...no point listening to economists who are trying to predict the future.
This may have been intended as sarcasm but it's actually good financial advice.  E.g., don't try to time the market based on what some "expert" predicts.

PDXTabs

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 12:46:01 PM »
...no point listening to economists who are trying to predict the future.
This may have been intended as sarcasm but it's actually good financial advice.  E.g., don't try to time the market based on what some "expert" predicts.

the economy != the market

When did I say that you should time the market?

MDM

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2018, 12:55:16 PM »
When did I say that you should time the market?
Never that I know of.

But that's exactly what many economists imply when they predict "X will happen".

bacchi

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2018, 12:57:36 PM »
Analyses that attack fundamental beliefs and cultural memes will always be met with kneejerk resistance. That is, claiming that standard of living may decline due to current choices (from personally living beyond your means to society living beyond our means) is not something that people want to hear.

The cultural meme of GDP always growing and cars getting faster and houses gaining square feet is not to be challenged lightly. When getting better == getting larger, it causes great mental pain to contemplate otherwise. Best to continue on and assume that water will always flow (except in Capetown).

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2018, 02:04:53 PM »
Best to continue on and assume that water will always flow (except in Capetown).


Solid assumption. And in the case of Cape Town, water is indeed flowing after good winter rains and the dams are over 60% full and won't you know it, people are having the occassional bath and thinking about how glad they are that the government didn't have to tow that iceberg from Antarctica because that would've pushed property rates up for sure. People have already forgotten there was a drought. Except maybe if you were the guy who sold your house and moved to Australia because of the dire scientific predictions about long-term water scarcity and El Nino and half of South Africa becoming a desert...

Take everything with a pinch of salt I guess and don't plan your life (or your investments) around something scientists or economists are saying this week.

Dabnasty

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2018, 02:23:59 PM »
When did I say that you should time the market?
Never that I know of.

But that's exactly what many economists imply when they predict "X will happen".

I think you're confusing daily reports on "the next hot stock" which give advice on short term investing with the science of economics.

Based on your comment it sounds like you believe the existence of "economist" as a profession is meaningless?

ETA: I can't access the article either. It shows briefly then goes to 404 with a polygon horse.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 02:28:37 PM by Dabnasty »

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2018, 02:33:22 PM »
To try and predict an outcome 20 years in the future is an exercise in insanity. There is no way to possibly know what will happen tomorrow, let alone 7,300 tomorrows from now.

Now to try and link capitalism with climate issues in such a way is laughable. Then to suggest that socialism of any form would be a better way to combat a problem(that doesn't exist) hysterical. Please tell me there is an economist on this board that can chime in.   
@talltexan ?

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2018, 03:09:28 PM »
When did I say that you should time the market?
Never that I know of.

But that's exactly what many economists imply when they predict "X will happen".

I think you're confusing daily reports on "the next hot stock" which give advice on short term investing with the science of economics.

Based on your comment it sounds like you believe the existence of "economist" as a profession is meaningless?

ETA: I can't access the article either. It shows briefly then goes to 404 with a polygon horse.

I'll say it if MDM doesn't... Yes

J Boogie

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2018, 03:16:22 PM »
Now to try and link capitalism with climate issues in such a way is laughable. Then to suggest that socialism of any form would be a better way to combat a problem(that doesn't exist) hysterical. Please tell me there is an economist on this board that can chime in.   

Even if, and I highly doubt it, this article is correct, we are talking/worrying about something that is beyond our control.

Capitalism has been a great system for wealth building, but pure laissez faire capitalism has no backstop to prevent negative externalities (such as emissions and pollution) from contributing to climate change. In fact, emissions/pollution are typically only produced as part of various for-profit activities.

I'd probably identify as one of those crazy libertarians if there were some realistic approach that they had to account for negative externalities.

I would say you're presenting a straw man by stating that socialism would be worse, but I can't really accuse of you of straw manning since phrases like "Capitalism's Imminent Demise" and "Postcapitalism" are so hysterical in the first place. But yes, you are right, even though oppressive Soviet/Cuban style socialism might be better for the environment, it would be worse for human rights. On the other hand, Western-European style democratic socialism, regardless of you feel about it politically, would be better for the environment - if for the simple reason that industries are more regulated and taxed for their negative externalities better, and their governments are less lobbied than ours by big business. And their EPAs aren't run by the sworn enemy of the EPA.


Also, I would disagree that this would need to be in the off topic section since environmental concern tends to be part and parcel of MMM's stated aims.


PDXTabs

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2018, 03:25:41 PM »
Analyses that attack fundamental beliefs and cultural memes will always be met with kneejerk resistance. That is, claiming that standard of living may decline due to current choices (from personally living beyond your means to society living beyond our means) is not something that people want to hear.

You are probably right. I just find it simultaneously fascinating and maddening that a group of people that are so good at managing finite and renewable resources when they are financial in nature and can be measured in dollars seem so disinterested in how we might have to save or manage our spending of environmental resources.

Take everything with a pinch of salt I guess and don't plan your life (or your investments) around something scientists or economists are saying this week.

I manged to pay my rent this month so I'll be fine next month, amiright? YOLO!

ETA: I can't access the article either. It shows briefly then goes to 404 with a polygon horse.

Hmm, works fine from my US based comcast and a desktop browser. Maybe try some of these copies:
https://web.archive.org/web/20180830003745/https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43pek3/scientists-warn-the-un-of-capitalisms-imminent-demise
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:g54L094JGZQJ:https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43pek3/scientists-warn-the-un-of-capitalisms-imminent-demise+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Also, I would disagree that this would need to be in the off topic section since environmental concern tends to be part and parcel of MMM's stated aims.

I thought that it was interesting from a future returns point of view as well.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 04:55:43 PM by PDXTabs »

MDM

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2018, 03:34:24 PM »
When did I say that you should time the market?
Never that I know of.

But that's exactly what many economists imply when they predict "X will happen".

I think you're confusing daily reports on "the next hot stock" which give advice on short term investing with the science of economics.

Based on your comment it sounds like you believe the existence of "economist" as a profession is meaningless?
It's always possible that I'm confused. :)

To be clear(er), I believe long term (and even short term) economic forecasts have relatively little value.  But I'm happy to be persuaded otherwise, if you have sufficient evidence to the contrary.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2018, 08:38:16 AM »
There is
I just ran across this too:

We document that seasonal temperatures have significant and systematic effects on the U.S. economy, both at the aggregate level and across a wide cross-section of economic sectors. This effect is particularly strong for the summer: a 1F increase in the average summer temperature is associated with a reduction in the annual growth rate of state-level output of 0.15 to 0.25 percentage points. We combine our estimates with projected increases in seasonal temperatures and find that rising temperatures could reduce U.S. economic growth by up to one-third over the next century.
- Temperature and Growth: A Panel Analysis of the United States (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

But you know, no point listening to economists who are trying to predict the future.

This doesn't exactly add up to the demise of capitalism.... And economists trying to predict future outcomes should not be listened to.... ever..... period. That isn't even what they were doing by the way, it was more of a "if temperatures rise as predicted by scientists(not economists)", we would expect productivity to decline based on what we have seen when temperatures are hotter than average.

I can see how some industries, or possibly the whole economy, will be negatively affected by rising temperatures.

I'm not debating that the climate wont change, the earth has gone through many ice ages and periods of warming. All of the previous periods have been without human influence. Are we influencing the current shift? That's debatable. Will it cause the demise of capitalism? LMAO I don't know, stranger things have happened, but I doubt it.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2018, 09:28:02 AM »
Will it cause the demise of capitalism? LMAO I don't know, stranger things have happened, but I doubt it.

If you read the article, you'll note that the definition of "capitalism" is discussed.

In some ways, taking into account energy costs is a purer form of capitalism. Currently, energy extraction and burning coal/oil/petrol has a lot of ignored or transferred externalities.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2018, 09:49:00 AM »
Will it cause the demise of capitalism? LMAO I don't know, stranger things have happened, but I doubt it.

If you read the article, you'll note that the definition of "capitalism" is discussed.

In some ways, taking into account energy costs is a purer form of capitalism. Currently, energy extraction and burning coal/oil/petrol has a lot of ignored or transferred externalities.


Can you expand on this, because I think I know where you are going with this, but I'm not sure. How are you defining capitalism?

bacchi

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2018, 10:01:02 AM »
Will it cause the demise of capitalism? LMAO I don't know, stranger things have happened, but I doubt it.

If you read the article, you'll note that the definition of "capitalism" is discussed.

In some ways, taking into account energy costs is a purer form of capitalism. Currently, energy extraction and burning coal/oil/petrol has a lot of ignored or transferred externalities.


Can you expand on this, because I think I know where you are going with this, but I'm not sure. How are you defining capitalism?

Briefly, private ownership and profits are dependent on the free market. A true free market, which can never be obtained, has all transaction costs borne by the parties in the transaction. Energy extraction and burning coal, for example, have negative externalities that are shared by non-participants (or shared disproportionately by others less involved).

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2018, 10:26:36 AM »

Briefly, private ownership and profits are dependent on the free market. A true free market, which can never be obtained, has all transaction costs borne by the parties in the transaction. Energy extraction and burning coal, for example, have negative externalities that are shared by non-participants (or shared disproportionately by others less involved).


Ok, so how would taking these externalities into account create a purer form of capitalism? Where are the externalities not being taken into account right now? Or are they?

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2018, 10:46:18 AM »

Briefly, private ownership and profits are dependent on the free market. A true free market, which can never be obtained, has all transaction costs borne by the parties in the transaction. Energy extraction and burning coal, for example, have negative externalities that are shared by non-participants (or shared disproportionately by others less involved).


Ok, so how would taking these externalities into account create a purer form of capitalism? Where are the externalities not being taken into account right now? Or are they?

I'm surprised this is new to you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality

Quote
Thus, unregulated markets in goods or services with significant externalities generate prices that do not reflect the full social cost or benefit of their transactions; such markets are therefore inefficient.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2018, 11:20:36 AM »
I'm surprised this is new to you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality

Quote
Thus, unregulated markets in goods or services with significant externalities generate prices that do not reflect the full social cost or benefit of their transactions; such markets are therefore inefficient.

Ok the idea is not new, the use of the word is new to me though. But I don't see how it is a very sound argument in favor of purer capitalism, that's a weird twisted connection to try and make. Its like a marketing scheme to take buzz words and make things seem alike, even though capitalism and regulation(born by externalities) are polar opposites.



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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2018, 11:31:09 AM »
The crux of the article is this line: But capitalist markets will not be capable of facilitating the required changes – governments will need to step up, and institutions will need to actively shape markets to fit the goals of human survival. Right now, the prospects for this look slim.

It's a political problem as much as it is a capitalism problem. Capitalism is actually uniquely poised to generate the solutions to our environmental and energy messes if the economic incentives are shifted appropriately, which takes careful cooperation among all the world's governments so that the "cheap and dirty" options are no longer viable options. I don't think we yet know all the possible routes humanity can take from here but the next big leap will certainly be at a global level of cooperation. I'm optimistic, but not at all certain, that we're up to the task.

Reason #123125 why the election of Donald Trump was a fantastically terrible idea. This is the exact wrong time to be shifting away from global economic cooperation.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2018, 12:07:00 PM »
Regarding externalities, the Economist has a good article about how we don't have enough water, because people waste it, because it isn't priced by the market. That is, we need market forces to price water, but we don't have a market for water. Economist: Water, The dry facts

I actually do trust the market to "sort things out" if we can get the pricing of the externalities right. But if you can just throw your trash into your neighbor's lawn, then most people won't pay for trash service.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 12:13:42 PM by PDXTabs »

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2018, 12:35:30 PM »
Regarding externalities, the Economist has a good article about how we don't have enough water, because people waste it, because it isn't priced by the market. That is, we need market forces to price water, but we don't have a market for water. Economist: Water, The dry facts

I actually do trust the market to "sort things out" if we can get the pricing of the externalities right. But if you can just throw your trash into your neighbor's lawn, then most people won't pay for trash service.

Interesting article.... You want to watch the market work its wonders and course correct, take it to the extreme. Waste of water causes food production to decline, which causes prices to climb, which causes people to choose between a 1k cell phone and food, which causes demand for cell phones to decline, which causes plants to close, which reduces the use of water for production, which frees up water to grow food, which causes a greater supply of food, which brings down food prices.

Horrible example I know.... and at any stage the gov might step in to prevent any kind of market driven corrective measure.

The here and now though... We have "enough" water, if only just enough. In the future we may have to make tough choices in the direction we are headed.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2018, 05:59:14 PM »
Regarding externalities, the Economist has a good article about how we don't have enough water, because people waste it, because it isn't priced by the market. That is, we need market forces to price water, but we don't have a market for water. Economist: Water, The dry facts

I actually do trust the market to "sort things out" if we can get the pricing of the externalities right. But if you can just throw your trash into your neighbor's lawn, then most people won't pay for trash service.

Interesting article.... You want to watch the market work its wonders and course correct, take it to the extreme. Waste of water causes food production to decline, which causes prices to climb, which causes people to choose between a 1k cell phone and food, which causes demand for cell phones to decline, which causes plants to close, which reduces the use of water for production, which frees up water to grow food, which causes a greater supply of food, which brings down food prices.

Horrible example I know.... and at any stage the gov might step in to prevent any kind of market driven corrective measure.

The here and now though... We have "enough" water, if only just enough. In the future we may have to make tough choices in the direction we are headed.

The reaction time of capitalism to deal with a problem is dependent upon a lot of factors you're assuming will be in place.  Take your example.  What if waste of water is so normal/commonplace that during an unusually prolonged drought measures to protect crops are unsuccessful?  The drought leads to total crop failure and then to widespread famine.  Water is diverted to agriculture too late.  A lot of people die of starvation.  A lot of children develop lasting physical problems due to malnutrition.  There's no time to make tough choices, you just have to ride out the results of the shortsightedness baked into unregulated capitalism 'working it's wonders'.  Food prices may eventually recover, but lasting damage has been done - and done needlessly.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2018, 11:18:53 PM »
I completely agree. Civilized rich societies should have further supports for making sure that people get to live indoors and eat food.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2018, 04:17:15 PM »
The reaction time of capitalism to deal with a problem is dependent upon a lot of factors you're assuming will be in place.  Take your example.  What if waste of water is so normal/commonplace that during an unusually prolonged drought measures to protect crops are unsuccessful?  The drought leads to total crop failure and then to widespread famine.  Water is diverted to agriculture too late.  A lot of people die of starvation.  A lot of children develop lasting physical problems due to malnutrition.  There's no time to make tough choices, you just have to ride out the results of the shortsightedness baked into unregulated capitalism 'working it's wonders'.  Food prices may eventually recover, but lasting damage has been done - and done needlessly.

In that situation, its tough to point to any system that would react fast enough because you cant predict the future. I agree, we would be screwed, and sometimes we just have to ride through the cycle. But, the alternative might be to react prematurely from a wild ass guess about the future, make a bunch of sweeping changes and hope your prediction comes true. Meanwhile there could be wake of destruction in production or industry or jobs that were supporting families.

I completely agree. Civilized rich societies should have further supports for making sure that people get to live indoors and eat food.

I agree, but I'm not sure we agree on a solution about who should be responsible tp make sure that people live indoors and eat food.

Really.... If we wanted to solve some of the problems that we face, we could just stop supporting the industries that are doing the damage. We don't really need to buy cars, or phones, or washing machines, or modern houses, or large buildings, or bridges, or paved roads, or computers, or anything that doesn't represent basic food, water, or shelter. But we don't advocate that people change their habits, instead we complain that these companies keep making and selling stuff that we all want so badly. I mean really how dare they keep providing the stuff we all keep paying for... lol : )










GuitarStv

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2018, 04:43:13 PM »
I advocate that people change their consumption habits.  :P  That's a big part of the MMM philosophy too.

It is the responsibility of a government to plan for catastrophic events and put in place regulations and measures to mitigate or avoid them.  This may well be detrimental to business and industry, so there's a balance to be struck.  The market does indeed work wonders in certain instances . . . just as it utterly fails in others.

babybug

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2018, 03:08:14 PM »
People already behave and consume in the ways they perceive to be optimal.

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GuitarStv

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2018, 03:36:37 PM »
People already behave and consume in the ways they perceive to be optimal.

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Yes, that's actually the problem.  What's optimal for one is not always optimal for many.

maizeman

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2018, 04:18:32 PM »
I'm surprised this is new to you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality

Quote
Thus, unregulated markets in goods or services with significant externalities generate prices that do not reflect the full social cost or benefit of their transactions; such markets are therefore inefficient.

Ok the idea is not new, the use of the word is new to me though. But I don't see how it is a very sound argument in favor of purer capitalism, that's a weird twisted connection to try and make. Its like a marketing scheme to take buzz words and make things seem alike, even though capitalism and regulation(born by externalities) are polar opposites.

I'd argue there is a citation needed for the bold bit. In pure capitalism, part A trades something of theirs to party B in return to something party B has. Because of differences in preferences, and/or comparative production advantages, parties A and B are both better off (have higher utility) after the exchange than before the exchange. If they weren't both better off both parties wouldn't agree to the transaction.

When you boil it down, an externality is a case where party A trades something that party C has to party B, in return for party B trading something they have to party A. So party A and party B are both better off, but party C -- who wasn't consulted and had no say in the transaction -- is worse off. Government regulation in this case is -- in principle anyway -- simply an enforcement party C's property rights.

The above discussion assumes that you and I agree that, without enforcement of property rights (and enforcement of contracts but that's another discussion), you don't have pure capitalism, you have anarchy that looks like a mix of Somalia and the Mad Max movies. If you think that capitalism can function in the absence of property rights then it is unlikely we can come to consensus on this point.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2018, 12:21:32 PM »
People already behave and consume in the ways they perceive to be optimal.

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Yes, that's actually the problem.  What's optimal for one is not always optimal for many.

And THAT is also the problem on the far other side. What a person(or group of people) in a position of power might perceive as optimal for the many, is not always optimal for the many. The best of both is probably somewhere in the middle. This whole try to predict the future thing by people in power is really a symptom of having to little else to worry about. In other words things are going to well, so we have to seek out boogie men lurking in the great unknown.

We all know the saying, you want to change the world, start by changing yourself.... Or something along those lines, that's why capitalism works so well, most of the time. If you do what is good for you, your family, and your community, usually it is good for the many and it can be profitable.

GuitarStv

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2018, 01:57:01 PM »
People already behave and consume in the ways they perceive to be optimal.

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Yes, that's actually the problem.  What's optimal for one is not always optimal for many.

And THAT is also the problem on the far other side. What a person(or group of people) in a position of power might perceive as optimal for the many, is not always optimal for the many. The best of both is probably somewhere in the middle.

Yes.  There's always a balance to be struck between individualism and collectivism.  Swinging too far either direction leads to pretty awful outcomes most of the time.


This whole try to predict the future thing by people in power is really a symptom of having to little else to worry about. In other words things are going to well, so we have to seek out boogie men lurking in the great unknown.

Woah . . . I'm lost on this bit.  Predicting the future and making plans is one of the things that separates us from the animals.  Why do you save money in a retirement account?  Is it that you've predicted that the future will be worse if you're destitute?  Things are going so well right now, why do you seek out that boogie man lurking in the great unknown?

Planning for the future is (and always has been) a vital part of individual and collective continued existence.


We all know the saying, you want to change the world, start by changing yourself.... Or something along those lines, that's why capitalism works so well, most of the time.

I'm not sure that I follow.  Capitalism works because of greed.  I want stuff, so I work hard to achieve it.  If I don't want stuff, there is no profit motive.  Changing yourself has nothing to do with capitalism.


If you do what is good for you, your family, and your community, usually it is good for the many and it can be profitable.

While I do agree completely it's necessary to point out that if people could be trusted to do what is good for them, their family, and their community most of the time there would be no need for police, government, money, or religion.  That isn't the world that I live in.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2018, 02:09:36 PM »
People already behave and consume in the ways they perceive to be optimal.

Sent from my KIW-L24 using Tapatalk

Yes, that's actually the problem.  What's optimal for one is not always optimal for many.

And THAT is also the problem on the far other side. What a person(or group of people) in a position of power might perceive as optimal for the many, is not always optimal for the many. The best of both is probably somewhere in the middle.

Yes.  There's always a balance to be struck between individualism and collectivism.  Swinging too far either direction leads to pretty awful outcomes most of the time.


This whole try to predict the future thing by people in power is really a symptom of having to little else to worry about. In other words things are going to well, so we have to seek out boogie men lurking in the great unknown.

Woah . . . I'm lost on this bit.  Predicting the future and making plans is one of the things that separates us from the animals.  Why do you save money in a retirement account?  Is it that you've predicted that the future will be worse if you're destitute?  Things are going so well right now, why do you seek out that boogie man lurking in the great unknown?

Planning for the future is (and always has been) a vital part of individual and collective continued existence.


We all know the saying, you want to change the world, start by changing yourself.... Or something along those lines, that's why capitalism works so well, most of the time.

I'm not sure that I follow.  Capitalism works because of greed.  I want stuff, so I work hard to achieve it.  If I don't want stuff, there is no profit motive.  Changing yourself has nothing to do with capitalism.


If you do what is good for you, your family, and your community, usually it is good for the many and it can be profitable.

While I do agree completely it's necessary to point out that if people could be trusted to do what is good for them, their family, and their community most of the time there would be no need for police, government, money, or religion.  That isn't the world that I live in.
Please, let's not be disingenuous. No one is arguing for anarchy here. Capitalism has long worked very well within the context of a limited elected government.

The problem is when the self-appointed elite also want to convince us to give up our common-sense values and freedoms, out of fear of some complex, mystical and ever-evolving threat that only they can understand.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2018, 03:33:40 PM »
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/american-consumption-habits/

Article on the absurd use of resources by the US.  I heard somewhere that if the world consumed at the rate of the US (per capita terms) the worlds resources would be used up in 18 months.

Of course, my take is that the world population has already risen way past sustainable.  Probably 6.5 billion people ago.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2018, 03:42:42 PM »
Please, let's not be disingenuous. No one is arguing for anarchy here. Capitalism has long worked very well within the context of a limited elected government.

Sometimes it's hard to tell. We do all believe in private property, right? And a justice system to enforce private property and contracts?

Assuming that's correct, we're just discussing where the line is drawn when determining who is involved in a transaction.

==> If a company dumps a shitton of battery acid in a river upstream from a city that uses that water for drinking, can the city stop the company from doing so?

==> Likewise, if I start a tire-burning business next door to you, and install a giant fan to blow the fumes towards your place (cos I can't work in those conditions), are you a party in my business activities? Or, since the transactions are solely between me and tire shops and landfills, are you just an unfortunate negative externality?


Quote
The problem is when the self-appointed elite also want to convince us to give up our common-sense values and freedoms, out of fear of some complex, mystical and ever-evolving threat that only they can understand.

What common-sense values and freedoms are we being asked to give up?

What complex, mystical, and ever-evolving threat can only "they" understand? And who is "they"? Politicians? Scientists?

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2018, 03:46:20 PM »
Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise slight tweaks needed to Capitalism*.

*Which will still remain by far the most effective economic system for enriching human life and reducing suffering.

PDXTabs

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2018, 05:09:22 PM »
Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise slight tweaks needed to Capitalism*.

*Which will still remain by far the most effective economic system for enriching human life and reducing suffering.

Which I said in the very first post. But your analysis doesn't express the very real chance that long term economic expansion could be very very hard to keep going.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2018, 05:21:50 AM »
Vice has an interesting article with the title Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise. With that said, it doesn't really say that capitalism is over. It does say that our version of capitalism is hopelessly focused on shorttermism and that it is failing to price in the increasing costs of energy extraction and production. I found it interesting to think about the costs that the market isn't pricing in. With that said, the article doesn't even mention the costs of climate migration that will come in the next 50 years.

The advised strategy, to make cities walk/bike friendly, to use less energy in general and to produce food in a different way is indeed what I think should happen with the planet. But somehow I don't believe it will  happen anytime soon. It is still (been made) too attractive for people/companies to exploit whatever resources they can to gain profits, no matter what the consequences for the environment are.

A while ago I read this book Collapse, https://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Societies-Choose-Succeed-Revised/dp/0143117009 , which describes with many examples that seemingly prosperous societies can collapse within few decades because they excausted their resources, or because their climate changed (with or without their doing). It isn't very natural for leaders to think long term ahead of time.
I expect parts of our modern societies to wait too long to take countermeasures to prevent a large catastrophe. We'll see what happens. I hope it will still last my time (on average another 35 years), being pleasant to live on this planet. And I feel very sorry for the people who are born now.

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2018, 10:47:03 AM »
It is still (been made) too attractive for people/companies to exploit whatever resources they can to gain profits, no matter what the consequences for the environment are.

Totally agree, and yet for most of us, the only change we can affect is a change in our ourselves and consumption habits. Californication is a virus though, everyday it is broadcast and penetrating into the minds of the masses planting hopes and dreams of someday buying lots of cool new stuff to truly be successful. But, how do you write an interesting and compelling story about someone that does just enough to meet his basic needs of food, water and shelter? How do you compel people to do that? Its not sexy, it doesn't sell stuff.... Its a weird thing, its like a human flaw we are all completely aware of but don't find it appealing enough to strive for achieving "just enough". Yet we all pretend like we are not a part of a potential problem when we drive 10 miles to work, eat fruit shipped half around the globe.... But we make "green" purchases, etc... Which is laughable. (if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "green"... There is a Tommy boy reference in there...)

Maybe it wont be a problem... maybe we can extend the carrying capacity of the planet long term through thoughtful engineering without terrible consequences, who knows..... Strange world we live in, huh?


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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2018, 10:54:12 AM »
It is still (been made) too attractive for people/companies to exploit whatever resources they can to gain profits, no matter what the consequences for the environment are.

Totally agree, and yet for most of us, the only change we can affect is a change in our ourselves and consumption habits.

Sure, we can and should do this.

But don't sell yourself short.  We can also use our voting voice to elect people who will make exploiting resources in undesirable ways a lot less profitable.  Actually getting some green politicians elected to positions where they can create change would have a greater impact than a lifetime of changing your own personal consumption habits.

bacchi

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2018, 11:14:20 AM »
Totally agree, and yet for most of us, the only change we can affect is a change in our ourselves and consumption habits. Californication is a virus though, everyday it is broadcast and penetrating into the minds of the masses planting hopes and dreams of someday buying lots of cool new stuff to truly be successful. But, how do you write an interesting and compelling story about someone that does just enough to meet his basic needs of food, water and shelter? How do you compel people to do that? Its not sexy, it doesn't sell stuff.... Its a weird thing, its like a human flaw we are all completely aware of but don't find it appealing enough to strive for achieving "just enough". Yet we all pretend like we are not a part of a potential problem when we drive 10 miles to work, eat fruit shipped half around the globe.... But we make "green" purchases, etc... Which is laughable. (if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "green"... There is a Tommy boy reference in there...)

The real problem is that there are too many people. That's the taboo subject of climate change.

Because, ultimately, very few want to live in a world without (some) first-world luxuries.

PDXTabs

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Re: Vice: Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2018, 07:09:05 PM »
The real problem is that there are too many people. That's the taboo subject of climate change.

Because, ultimately, very few want to live in a world without (some) first-world luxuries.

It's one of the taboos of capitalism. We can't keep expanding forever.

But to your point, some countries are far worse than others. For one person in the US you get almost four people in Portugal. As of 2013 you got 164 people in Madagascar.