Worth a second thought...

Posted by plusaf 4 years, 9 months ago to Economics
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When I first saw this TED talk, many months ago, I rejected it out-of-hand. A friend sent the link to me today and I watched it again, this time struck by the key concept "meritocracy," and I realized that so much of the things we complain about here ARE the result of the apparent failure of our systems (US and elsewhere,) to reward, promote and FIND individuals who demonstrate real MERIT!!!
SOURCE URL: http://v.ifeng.com/news/sports/2014006/01f315b0-a783-4453-82e7-f5f0634ec3c0.shtml


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  • Posted by khalling 4 years, 9 months ago
    Ultimately, he suggests that the chinese one party system has been the most adaptable over the last 30 years and therefore the most successful. This is the socialogical political science perspective, which couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, while many good things have happened in China, it started with trade treaties and Nixon. But this is all about the powers of pro free markets. Also happened with Pinochet in Chile, Taiwan, Viet Nam, South Korea. The reason China has grown so quickl over the last several decades, is they did not have to create technologies they needed to thrive. They copied them. Your level of technology is what defines your standard of living. But much like Japan, they will get to a place where they technologically catch up, and they will then have to create their own technologies to move forward. In Japan's case, they became experts in copying, but they didn't learn how to create new technologies and so have declined. What do you need to do to learn how to create new technologies-get out of the way! strong property rights! Japan's patent system has evolved to be a crony system. So they still struggle. In China, I predict they will end up in the same boat. They continue to steal technologies and they're expert at it. There'll be nothing left to copy soon-because we keep screwing up our own patent system and diminishing our economic freedoms. The power is in economic freedom.
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  • Posted by khalling 4 years, 9 months ago
    “Meritocracy” is an old anti-concept and one of the most contemptible package deals. By means of nothing more than its last five letters, that word obliterates the difference between mind and force: it equates the men of ability with political rulers, and the power of their creative achievements with political power. There is no difference, the word suggests, between freedom and tyranny: an “aristocracy” is tyranny by a politically established elite, a “democracy” is tyranny by the majority—and when a government protects individual rights, the result is tyranny by talent or “merit” (and since “to merit” means “to deserve,” a free society is ruled by the tyranny of justice)."AR Philosophy Who Needs It?

    Whose role is it to determine what is "merit" in the first place? This should be left to the individual. Anything else implies an aristocracy of power mongers and politically well-connected picking winners and losers.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      I understand your point, but he emphasized what sounded like honest feedback FROM the 'individuals' being served by their 'suppliers' in the marketplace, even if the suppliers tend to be state-owned.

      What I was trying to draw attention to was my own observations/opinion that, in the US and many other countries today, there does NOT seem to be any effective way to weed out the Incompetents in business and government!
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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 4 years, 9 months ago
    This "atomized" individual thinks success is getting governments out of our way, off of our backs, and their noses out of our business regardless of their simplistic definitions of the progress of societies.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 9 months ago
    I hope he turns out to be wrong. He's saying China shows you can have economic success without political liberty. Liberty is a virtue in itself; it doesn't rest on being able to produce economic growth. I believe ultimately liberty within a democratic repubublic will produce more growth than a carefully managed responsive dictatorship.
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    • Posted by khalling 4 years, 9 months ago
      This is important. Economic Freedom is more important to establish FIRST. It naturally will lead to political "freedom." But, if you focus on political freedom first, it does not follow that you will get economic freedom. Look at Afghanistan and Iraq. We toppled dictatorships and said-here take political freedom and start over. now we're right back to the same mess we were in when we started. If we had said-no political freedom-we are setting up a capitalistic system with strong property rights (no choice), once economic freedom takes hold, political freedoms follow. People demand it. In China, they haven't been truly communist for decades. Capitalism got its foot in the door in the early 80s and the government has been scrambling to keep a strong hold on political power ever since. Have you been watching the protests in Hong Kong over the weekend?
      We could say about the US that we have the most political freedom in the world, but look at what we have chosen to do to our economic freedom. While people are completely scrambling to keep afloat of their economic freedoms, the noose is tightening on their political freedoms.
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      • Posted by Lucky 4 years, 9 months ago
        As kh says..
        Freedom: economic, political.
        Where should the priority be, which should come first?
        It is hard, at least for me, to come to an answer analytically but experience and history give a clear guide. When political freedom comes first the population retain the old thinking and bring in government driven measures, democratic and well meaning they may be for the common good, but the result is to promote nationalism, prejudices, and stifle the economy, the result in a few years is a return of 'strong government'.
        When economic freedom is first the population get in the habit of thinking and acting for themselves in day to day matters that concern just about everyone. Many kinds of alternative power structures arise which allocate (their own) resources. Such thinking spreads to political areas.
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 9 months ago
          "Where should the priority be, which should come first? "
          I think they're both important. They're not in conflict. It's not like we can only afford one so we must choose which to get first.
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          • Posted by khalling 4 years, 9 months ago
            economic freedom assures personal liberty. political freedom (which I'm not a big fan of the concept) does not necessarily promote economic freedom. voting is not freedom. It is simply a tool to help secure freedom
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        • Posted by  $  edweaver 4 years, 9 months ago
          It seems to me, the US had both political & economic freedom when it was established and we have gradually allowed our political freedom to slip away which is causing our economic decline.
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      • Posted by  $  edweaver 4 years, 9 months ago
        IMHO I believe both are of equal importance. I truly free society can never stay free without both economic freedom and political freedom. A society can and will survive for a period of time when they are out of balance but will never last long term. We are currently out of balance with over regulation and a progressive tax system that is destroying both our freedom and our economy.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 4 years, 9 months ago
    I have long believed that the most competent, qualified, intelligent, moral, dynamic people in the United States would never consider wading through the muck necessary to reach a high political position. Our greatness was established by a cadre of men that took it upon themselves to create our union. Their creation was so unique in the world and set the minds of other men free to accomplish things never believed possible. As the founders passed, the vultures moved in and began eating the carcass while it was still alive and we are experiencing the death rattles.

    Sunday, our family gathered to celebrate my mother's 105th birthday. I wanted the kids and grandkids to appreciate how long she has been around and looked up the chronology of presidents she has experienced. Teddy Roosevelt was in office when she was born! I thought but did not say, damn, she was there for the beginning of the collapse.
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