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Comment Re:Pratchett and Baxter already predicted this (Score 1) 218

My wife says that childbirth (4 kids, so it`s a relatively good sample)

A sample of one person is not very good. Some women have it easy, others have it hard. Those who have it easy tend to have it easy for all their kids, and their bragging about it annoys other people who didn't have it so easy.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 316

. It also makes him a huge liability if they run into financial difficulty

History proves you wrong. Fords model worked, your bullshit is just that.

Considering that i device sales have flatlined or in some cases decreased,

And Apple is still insanely profitable, so your point is what, exactly?

Not many people gives a shit where it's made - they just want it cheap.

That is my point. Because it's been drilled into our heads that profit aka "buy cheap" is the only margin of success, the only thing important. My mother still bought her meat and vegetables at farms whenever she could, because knowing where it comes from and being able to trust its quality was another important value. Having an actual business relation used to be important, now we just use some price comparison website to save ten cents. But when you buy the same stuff from the same guy all the time, things become possible that Amazon won't do for you. That has value.

There are a few areas left where more than profit thinking is alive. Many people go to the same restaurants again and again, even if they're not the cheapest, but they're the best (in food quality, taste, atmosphere, whatever is important to you). I've had restaurants where I can sit down, say hi to the owner and order "the usual", and I don't care if there's another restaurant nearby where the food is ten cents cheaper.

Yes, not many people care. But maybe they should. Maybe we should pay the real price of global trade. Just putting a price on the ecological damage of these container ships (have you seen them? What comes out of your cars exhaust pipe is refreshing clean air compared to theirs) would instantly make local manufacturing economically interesting again.

People don't yet make the connection between the social systems downfall and the increase in global trade. Or that them buying cheap shit on Amazon is the reason their uncle is out of a job. Or that there is an inherent contradiction in the shouts of politicians who a) want you to earn less money and b) want you to spend more on consumption.

If you put people out of a job because you outsourced the factory to a low-income country, there are less people left to buy whatever your factory makes. It really is that simple.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 316

Really? Your house is chinese, your gasoline japanese and your food korean? I mean, not by taste but manufactured there? That's amazing.

You might spend 90% of your disposable income on some electronics from Asia, but for the average household, that is about 20% or so of the total income. The rest goes for rent (or mortgage), food, taxes, insurances and other stuff that is part of the local economy.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 316

You don't want to get rid of that. You don't want to slow down the economy by making goods more expensive. What you *want* is to allow companies to make tons of profit, *tax* that profit and use that money to pay people who were unemployed due to jobs moving away.

Have you thought that through?

So in the end, you will make everything abroad, only companies earn money, and everyone lives from the taxes? I don't think that is a sustainable economic model.

What you want is a balance between a strong local economy and beneficial trade. You want to import cars from Germany because they just make the best cars, and movies from Hollywood because they make the best movies (bear with me, it's only an example) and iPhones from China because they make the best electronics. But you want to grow your food locally because shipping it halway around the world doesn't improve its quality, and everything where it doesn't matter where it is made you want to make locally because global shipping is a major contributor to climate change and it's just crazy.

You do not want people permanently on unemployment benefits. There is no imaginable scenario where that is beneficial to anyone. You want unemployment to be a transition phase, for people between jobs.

There is more to the system then just who makes profits. There is also the psychological damage of unemployment, there is the fact that you become dependent on your suppliers, there is the fact that you don't want to lose the capability of manufacturing, even if outsourcing somewhere else would be cheaper, there is the whole insanity of global trade which would be prohibitively expensive in its current form if most of the cost (especially the environmental one) wouldn't be externalized.

There are reasons beyond profit that should guide an economy. The pure quarterly-profit perspective is the main damage the financial industry has done to the world. We now all think the way that stock brokers do, without realizing how narrow and limited their perspective is.

Comment Re:Here's an idea (Score 2) 215

So, we can actually talk about one concert pianist who did launch their career on youtube, Valentina Lisitsa. As you can see, she actually is quite talented. Somehow she did gain popularity there, which is good for her, but if you want to make big bucks in the classical music world, you need to hook in to the system, and she did that, going on the tour circuit. She was co-opted by the system, and now she's a typical musician.

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