best economic model for max happiness and sustainablity?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Narz, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    As I recall, very little of the iPhone cost goes to assembly labor. Most of the cost is spread around among many non Chinese suppliers. No one but Apple knows the actual costs for iPhones, but over the years estimates have been derived from a variety of sources. Those tend to run at about 2-5% of retail price putting the labor cost at $20-$50 for a $1000 phone. That is the per unit money going to Foxconn in China.

    You are letting ideology drive your thinking rather than the reality of manufacturing high tech products. Apple has been building its iPhone supply chain for almost 20 years now. That chain is both complex and demanding of labor and tooling. It was built over time and slowly. Changing things around is not easy. Saying, "oh they could have used Vietnam...." ignores the reality of what it takes and what were the options in 2006. Sure today, Vietnam might be capable of being part of the supply chain, but ten years ago, maybe not. Also keep in mind that iPhones are very profitable and most of the retail price goes to Apple and not anyone else, let alone China.
     
  2. Denkt

    Denkt Left Forever

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    In terms of real GDP per capita, China is still poorer than 1960s USA and its economic growth really only look good because it was really poor to begin with, so it don't really sell the narrative that a dictatorship is particular helpful for economic growth, given that the dictatorship may be the reason why China is/was so poor to begin with.
     
  3. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Prince

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    Your points are valid, but let's take into account that is not only Apple, but thousands of different business, and by locating its plants you open a gate for inordinate amount of corporate and technology espionage that bred Chinese internal market and allowed them to get their own businesses and not having to buy technology from the West.
    I don't align myself with any particular ideology. But I would happily take US adopt more ideology, especially realism approach in international relations before allowing its firms to do business freely with China. There were other options on the table. I can't call feeding a largest competitor, a dictatorship, and someone who wants to build its own sphere of political and economic influence, in a pursuit of having more iPhones (or other products) a prudent one.
     
  4. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Which only means "real GDP per capita" (whatever you mean by that) is useless as a measure of country's prosperity.

    Dictatorship is not helpful, technocracy/meritocracy might be.

    British colonialism and Opium Wars in XIX century was a major factor in that.
     
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  5. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Prince

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    But I would argue you can't have consistent technocracy/meritocracy in democratic governments, apart from very small and civilizationally advanced nations like Switzerland. Also China depends a lot on central planning and hardline communism policies and state assistance for business for much of its economy that is unheard of in any democratic country and would be nigh impossible to implement maintain in democracy. Also, cultural differences and assuming democracy is best everywhere, ugh. I thought we had Iraqs, Russias, Irans (where popular democratic movement supported a religious dictatorship), and deterioration of democratic efficiency and sensibility and populism of BOTH major parties/ideologies in US and UK.
    Yeah, I wasn't even going to touch that, but you summed it quite nicely. I think people would be amazed how life in China really looks like, and how much they tend to live in history, labeling it as third world country it ceased to be decades ago.
     
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  6. Denkt

    Denkt Left Forever

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    It is a bit simplistic, some estimation put Roman Empire as have significant higher GDP per capita than China and high medieval european countries having higher gdp per capita than the Roman Empire and maybe even large gap to China. Some of the rich countries like UK may already been amongst the most productive economies during medieval times and simply grown more and more.
     
  7. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Prince

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    Any data or estimation beyond sheer population and basic civilizational level (e.g. not savages) are too tenuous to be realistically taken into account when talking pre Industrial Revolution economies. I cannot see how Roman Empire GDP per capita (what?) can influence China in XIX century, during which they became a condominium colony of Western nations with nominal sovereignty.
    The only thing most scientists are agreed upon is this. Until the Industrial Revolutions China and India were the biggest economies. Of course average Englishman, Paris citizen, or especially Netherlands's merchant were much more affluent than average Chinese starting in early modern, that's also widely accepted Great Divergence theory.
     
  8. Denkt

    Denkt Left Forever

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    If Roman Empire and beyond was richer than China, it is hard to support that China is only poorer than Europeans due to European atrocities even if that widen the gap. China and India have or had large economies due to large population, but per person they may have been possibly several times poorer than the early modern England or Neatherlands.
     
  9. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    That's not what I said.
     
  10. Ironsided

    Ironsided Flower of happiness

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    It’s telling and unfortunate the word “economic” made its way into the question for happiness and sustainability. Not because it is out of place, it’s not, but because it’s a bastardised word that means different things to different people. Economy in my personal mind is just householding. I would trust a 17 year old Korean StarCraft pro to be more apt at economy than Steve Mnuchin. The only reason Mnuchin would be better objectively is because he is in on the rules, loopholes and limitations. Corrupt and bent rules. But even someone making up a 350 apm economy is not to be trusted. We must let go of fancy but ultimately meaningless objectives like “maximise”. We are all on the grey scale with a billion trillion factors of chaos affecting our personal situation. Even if we find the maximal herd efficiency, we will not understand it, and still argue. If we can harness enough common ground to even agree on any grey-scale objective of ‘sustainable’ or happy that would be a huge leap for mankind.
     
  11. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    What they have in Nordic countries is pretty great. Norway is an outlier oil-wise but Sweden, Denmark, Finland all seem like pretty good economies to emulate.
     
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  12. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    The challenge is to scale those for 250+ million people and include cultural and ethnic diversity.
     
  13. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Prince

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    You cannot be serious. They are cities far larger than this whole countries in the US. This can work on local or state level, not managing global empire.
     
  14. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Besides having an army big enough to defend against other empires....

    What are the benefits of being an empire ?
    Not saying there are none... but list them up and then think
     
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  15. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant!
     
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  16. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    listed as:

    # Have an imperial cheerleader for entertainment
     
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  17. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Prince

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    I'll help you if you don'know know. One of them ISN'T being able to squander all your money on social programs and taking responsibility for each of its citizens life. If America did that it would have no money on armed forces and on being global superpower and on being scientific and cultural leader. Public debt would go through the roof and dollar wouldn't be able to maintain its place in the global economy. Income inequality allows concentration of capital and resources at the top which means also in the hands of big businesses and big tech that want to expand which spurs growth and innovation instead of providing free housing for the people who make being a victim their primary income or were too stupid to invest in their skills or education. Nanny state was what hampered even middle size economies like preThatcher Britain.
     
  18. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    I see for the list

    # big military + related big R&D spending
    # big Single Market

    Then I see that the Empire, the centralist power, secures that this happens for a big area and population.

    What you say on not wanting to have a wellfare state a la many European countries.... what has that to do with the benefits of an empire ?
     
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  19. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Prince

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    I thought you was ridiculing me calling that naive to think that Scandinavian model could work on federal level in the US. I may have got that wrong, no hard feelings. Also I find it hard to secure having a imperial cheerleader for entertainment for big population, but hey it's 21th century, we could add that to benefits of leaving in an empire.
     
  20. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    I was not ridiculing you :)

    How well a Scandinavian model would fit in other countries ?
    IDK
    I believe in deep rooted cultural properties of regions. And when they coincided in history with nations or proto-nations, you get an intertwining effect.
    The basic regional-national instititutions of my country the Netherlands were founded around 1450 (supreme court, parliament, etc, etc). And not in a vacuum because these institutions were the top level of very mature institutions in towns being in place for around 1-2 centuries. And these town institutions were influenced by our oldest and BTW strongly democratic institutions the Heemraadschappen, starting around 1000 AD, who were bunds of free farmers to protect small polders: the maintenance of dikes.
    The only two things added to our institutions are the second chamber of parliament, the Senate, in 1815 and universal suffrage in 1919. We hardly had since 1300 a strongly interfering emperor-king (io vivat the Burgundians) and impeached in 1581 "our" over-reaching Spanish king to become a Republic WITHOUT a replacement in the form of a president. Since then we had for foreign affairs a noble Stadholder and later a constitutional monarchy. Most of all as compromise to international relations with countries who believed in kings etc.

    If you put that fabric of local self-determination cascading upward besides the strongly absolute monarchy with centralist top-down government in France from 1200 onward.... you can perhaps imagine that it is impossible to put France and the Netherlands under one topdown umbrella. Nothing will really fit except tourism, business and other peer to peer exchanges.

    I can try to make a similar description of Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Finland... but they are already between them very different !!!

    You can see in the way Covid is handled already clear differences between all of us.
    Sweden becomes in that case an excellent example because Sweden choose a completely different approach than most OECD countries.
    (much more confidence in the individual Swedish people after explaining what was needed to do the responsible things and accepting "together" a steady casualty rate as price for a sustainable approach. The opposite of top-down red tape repressively enforced approach of so many other countries.
    Would that Swedish "model" be the comfortable way forward by "copy paste" to other countries ?

    Much of our understanding of other cultures is not even skin deep... is at tourism level... is at self-centered level in the sense that this other culture helps to broaden ourselves.
    But that is miles away from understanding another culture and totally unfit to understand the consequences when cast as model on other regions.
    We will need many generations at tourist level and peer to peer exchange before you can simply copy complete country models upon other countries.
    But much more likely a natural converging process from peer to peer and individual exchanges will have done that job already at the by then root level.
    Cultural cross-breeding by free individuals.


    My two cents... hope that answers that Sweden question.

    Now
    back to the list if you are still interested in that
    Are there any other benefits you see an empire has ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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