Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

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#1 Mike007  Icon User is offline

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Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:10 PM

Just wanted to share with you my theory why the American (north american and world wide for that matter) is doing so poorly in our day of age. I have not heard that discussed anywhere else, but here it is.

One of the most important characteristics of any economy is the ability to adapt to change, this is why the Communist system was proven as a complete and catastrophic failure. The central control that the government had that was in the heart of this system also proved to be it's weakest link. When things were simple it was easy enough to allocate resources to all the different industries, plants and businesses. It is when things got a bit more complicated that caused a problem, it was hard to plan how and where to allocate resources without over-allocating or under-allocating. This is where the capitalist system shined, it did not need to be controlled artifacially by anyone but "by the invisible hand" it balanced itself and resources were allocated properly.

Now this is a known fact in the study of economics, my theory suggests that the society has a whole and the system fails to keep up with changes today. For example, the use of the Imperial measuring system is so obsolete that it amazes me that it is still used for some many thing. It is a system that is simple for measuring very simple things when you don't have proper measuring tools, but for big tasks it becomes too complicated to use. You can think of it as using a bubble sort vs a binary search. I am not sure of the roots of this system, but I know for a fact that even in the bible they used to measure things using the length of their arm (from the elbow down). Which is remarkably similar to feet, so I assume the reason for using it isn't that much different. But keep in mind that was 3000 years ago if not more. We have a more accurate measurment system, the metric system. The U.S. recognizes that fact, but has been "trying" for 40 years to implement it's use as a standard.

Another example is the QWERTY keyboard layout that was created to actually slow down typing speed in order to prevent jamming in early type writers. Dvorak keyboard layout is a better layout developed back in 1936! Why are we not using the better layout you ask?...

Yet another example is the American auto industry, always going for bigger and stronger, instead of smarter, more reliable and better handling. Why are they not changing things?

There are many many more example I can give you, and probably many you can think of, if you are willing to admit the facts. Now I ask you, was bush responsible for all of this solely? Of course not, we are here because some people preferred short term comfort and gains over the long run, but there is a price.
Americans seem to be a nation that resists change, even when it is for the better, it is my way or the highway. It is quite apparent that the set of mind that brought us here was the same as the famous tale about NASA engineers trying to invent a pen that will work in space, while the Chinese just used a pencil.

But America is not alone, specially when it comes to the war on terror, the Western world just does not want to learn. It will only take drastic measure that might be unacceptable by todays standards to win such a war.

Finally, a word of caution, don't rush to a promise of change either, it isn't always for the better. Remember what happened in Germany in 1932-1933 when they asked for a change. It can easily happen to you too.

Thank you for reading this,
Mike

This post has been edited by Mike007: 15 December 2008 - 06:11 PM


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#2 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:44 PM

That is an...interesting..theory, but quite thin on reasoning (although heavy on unrelated examples). There are several key reasons for the current state of the US and world economies, almost all of which are well documented.
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#3 William_Wilson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:54 PM

I'm going to have to agree with Amadeus here, if people haven't been talking about it, there is probably a reason... it's not the right answer.

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Another example is the QWERTY keyboard layout that was created to actually slow down typing speed in order to prevent jamming in early type writers. Dvorak keyboard layout is a better layout developed back in 1936! Why are we not using the better layout you ask?...

I don't see what this has to do with anything. Yes a better layout for the keyboard has existed since way back when, but with iPhones and Blackberries keeping people connected 24/7 I think we make up for the slight decrease in typing. Also a lack of being capable of typing is not costing the world money... it's the greedy idiot sitting in front of most of those keyboards that is.

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Yet another example is the American auto industry, always going for bigger and stronger, instead of smarter, more reliable and better handling. Why are they not changing things?

No offense, but how old are you? Cars have gotten a hell of a lot more reliable and have much better handling than only 5 years ago. It's about demand and status. The companies make what they think the people want and statistically that is not what is best for the economy nor is it best for the environment, but you would be a foolish man to build cars that no one desired.
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#4 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:04 PM

boobs.
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#5 Mike007  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:17 PM

It's not that no one desires them, that wasn't my point. I am just saying that they develop the wrong thing. A bad product can be very desirable, but it does not make it a good one. And I'm almost 20 now, drove a few cars, really don't like american ones.. they will not survive our winter here for very long.

And the examples are not necessary about the economy directly, but about how we do not necessary accept progress, even when it is an important one. When you choose to not do something just because it is more comfortable right now instead of investing in the future, you have made an important choice. The typing layouts were supposed to be replaced, but the U.S. government claimed it would cost too much to replace all the type writers they had, and therefore it got delayed, and never really implemented it.

Just that I didn't always live in Canada, and I was in the states a few times. So I have something to compare it to. Therefore, I can say, but why can't you just do it like that instead? It is so much more simple. Don't get me wrong, they got some stuff right. But I just think that you can't see outside of your own ways, I don't blame you, I couldn't have either before I had something to compare it to.

Maybe the best example, and they did talk about this on the news, the energy crisis. There are some nice alternatives to fossil fuel that are used around the world, but some countries chose not to invest in it or development in alternative energy sources. Some claim that it should have been done about 20 years ago. But I'll say that there are other reasons to the whole mess.
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#6 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:32 PM

also, let it be known the dvorak is a bitch to type on and its increase in typing speeds is very slight . (within the realm of testing error)

as was tested by the grandest university in the land. UT Austin.

also, your coming off like a twat . just a heads up.
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#7 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:09 PM

View PostMike007, on 15 Dec, 2008 - 09:17 PM, said:

Just that I didn't always live in Canada, and I was in the states a few times. So I have something to compare it to. Therefore, I can say, but why can't you just do it like that instead? It is so much more simple. Don't get me wrong, they got some stuff right. But I just think that you can't see outside of your own ways, I don't blame you, I couldn't have either before I had something to compare it to.

That seems a little presumptuous...why are you assuming that the rest of the contributors to this thread have lived in one place all their lives? I can only speak for myself, but I've lived numerous places (different countries), and have conducted a great deal of business (spending a great deal of time there) in the US over the last 15 years.

Not sure I understand your assumptions about the experiences of the other contributors.
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#8 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:00 PM

I prefer Occam's razor for my economic theory. In short, "Greed. Greed is good."

In long: Once upon a time a business used to function in the real world. The machine that is a business worked pretty much on capitol that existed and that business succeed or failed based on simple, understandable principals like supply and demand. If a company made short term decisions that failed in the long term, the company suffered the consequences.

Currently, we have entities that make short term choices to maximize profits and let some other poor bugger in the future suffer the consequences. Politicians, CEOs, Bankers, Stock Brokers, etc, all see nothing wrong with paying the debt forward. As long as they can get away with it, they will.
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#9 Mike007  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:57 PM

View Postcapty99, on 15 Dec, 2008 - 06:32 PM, said:

also, let it be known the dvorak is a bitch to type on and its increase in typing speeds is very slight . (within the realm of testing error)

as was tested by the grandest university in the land. UT Austin.

also, your coming off like a twat . just a heads up.


There are studies for it and against it, I must say it seems pretty inconclusive to me. There are studies that prove that it is a more natural layout and helps prevent health risks such as repetitive stress injuries. Which is more important than typing speed, unless you are a machine of course.

View PostAmadeus, on 15 Dec, 2008 - 07:09 PM, said:

View PostMike007, on 15 Dec, 2008 - 09:17 PM, said:

Just that I didn't always live in Canada, and I was in the states a few times. So I have something to compare it to. Therefore, I can say, but why can't you just do it like that instead? It is so much more simple. Don't get me wrong, they got some stuff right. But I just think that you can't see outside of your own ways, I don't blame you, I couldn't have either before I had something to compare it to.

That seems a little presumptuous...why are you assuming that the rest of the contributors to this thread have lived in one place all their lives? I can only speak for myself, but I've lived numerous places (different countries), and have conducted a great deal of business (spending a great deal of time there) in the US over the last 15 years.

Not sure I understand your assumptions about the experiences of the other contributors.


Ok, fair enough, but for the majority of people in the world, they stay in one place, otherwise we would have had massive immigrations everywhere. That's all, did not mean to offend you :).

But tell me this, did it change your perspective about the world and the place where you previously lived in? Did you not have any criticism about anything in you new or old home?

View Postbaavgai, on 15 Dec, 2008 - 08:00 PM, said:

Currently, we have entities that make short term choices to maximize profits and let some other poor bugger in the future suffer the consequences. Politicians, CEOs, Bankers, Stock Brokers, etc, all see nothing wrong with paying the debt forward. As long as they can get away with it, they will.


Thank you, I could not put it better. This is actually one of my central points. I will just add to it that it isn't always just about money, but sometimes about power too, especially when it comes to politicians. When a politician makes a decision just based on it's popularity rather than the consequences, he is not a leader, and should not be in power. This is how very bad things happen and will keep happening.

This post has been edited by Mike007: 15 December 2008 - 10:58 PM

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#10 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:06 PM

I think your consideration of others who haven't lived in more than one place in itself is narrow minded. Perspective is not gained due to a physical change of address.
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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:08 PM

View PostAmadeus, on 16 Dec, 2008 - 08:44 AM, said:

almost all of which are well documented.


That is why you have a big library. ;)
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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:11 PM

many big libraries. full of leather bound books.
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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:20 PM

Exactly.
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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 16 December 2008 - 09:52 AM

View PostMike007, on 15 Dec, 2008 - 07:10 PM, said:

Just wanted to share with you my theory why the American (north american and world wide for that matter) is doing so poorly in our day of age. I have not heard that discussed anywhere else, but here it is.

One of the most important characteristics of any economy is the ability to adapt to change, this is why the Communist system was proven as a complete and catastrophic failure. The central control that the government had that was in the heart of this system also proved to be it's weakest link. When things were simple it was easy enough to allocate resources to all the different industries, plants and businesses. It is when things got a bit more complicated that caused a problem, it was hard to plan how and where to allocate resources without over-allocating or under-allocating. This is where the capitalist system shined, it did not need to be controlled artifacially by anyone but "by the invisible hand" it balanced itself and resources were allocated properly.

Now this is a known fact in the study of economics, my theory suggests that the society has a whole and the system fails to keep up with changes today. For example, the use of the Imperial measuring system is so obsolete that it amazes me that it is still used for some many thing. It is a system that is simple for measuring very simple things when you don't have proper measuring tools, but for big tasks it becomes too complicated to use. You can think of it as using a bubble sort vs a binary search. I am not sure of the roots of this system, but I know for a fact that even in the bible they used to measure things using the length of their arm (from the elbow down). Which is remarkably similar to feet, so I assume the reason for using it isn't that much different. But keep in mind that was 3000 years ago if not more. We have a more accurate measurment system, the metric system. The U.S. recognizes that fact, but has been "trying" for 40 years to implement it's use as a standard.

Another example is the QWERTY keyboard layout that was created to actually slow down typing speed in order to prevent jamming in early type writers. Dvorak keyboard layout is a better layout developed back in 1936! Why are we not using the better layout you ask?...

Yet another example is the American auto industry, always going for bigger and stronger, instead of smarter, more reliable and better handling. Why are they not changing things?

There are many many more example I can give you, and probably many you can think of, if you are willing to admit the facts. Now I ask you, was bush responsible for all of this solely? Of course not, we are here because some people preferred short term comfort and gains over the long run, but there is a price.
Americans seem to be a nation that resists change, even when it is for the better, it is my way or the highway. It is quite apparent that the set of mind that brought us here was the same as the famous tale about NASA engineers trying to invent a pen that will work in space, while the Chinese just used a pencil.

But America is not alone, specially when it comes to the war on terror, the Western world just does not want to learn. It will only take drastic measure that might be unacceptable by todays standards to win such a war.

Finally, a word of caution, don't rush to a promise of change either, it isn't always for the better. Remember what happened in Germany in 1932-1933 when they asked for a change. It can easily happen to you too.

Thank you for reading this,
Mike


A few things.. and I am going to be nice about it since I have promised to be a more kind individual.

First, it was Russia with the pencil.
Second, what's wrong with the imperialist system? You advocate change, yet you want everyone to codify and line up? I am quite pleased to buy my hand guns and drugs in milimeters and kilos, while the rest of my life operates in ounces and feet.
Third, who is justified in making these "changes"? You go on and on about irrelevant examples to change and yet provide no solution or alternative to stop "bad change". Step up.. offer us a ten point plan on it!
Fourth - WTF is up with this comment "It will only take drastic measure that might be unacceptable by todays standards to win such a war"? Are you advocating whole sale enemy anhiliation? Destroy their books, break their religion, and kill the meme?
Fifth: Dvorak keyboard.. Oh come on! If you are going to make random claims stick to them! I dont' want to see "There are studies for it and against it, I must say it seems pretty inconclusive to me." a few posts down while you back peddal on the argument! Stick to it!
Sixth.. you seem to think the world operates in a hand holding game. Yes, while there are alternate fuels that could be developed there is also a lower class to support... Borders to protect, and videogames to play. You are mixing real world versus utopia burdens here..
Seventh.. to quote the Simpsons "The metric system is the tool of the devil!"
Eight.. regarding politicians making popular votes versus weighing some nebulus impact - isn't that their job? If a politician's constituants say vote for plan A when plan B is better isn't that politician obligated to try and sway his base but ultimately should do what they tell him?
Nine.. that's about it.. my code's done compiling!
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#15 tody4me  Icon User is offline

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Re: Why is the Economy in bad shape? A Theory

Posted 16 December 2008 - 11:10 AM

View Postsupersloth, on 15 Dec, 2008 - 08:04 PM, said:

boobs.

Seconded.

This post has been edited by tody4me: 16 December 2008 - 11:10 AM

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