Easily Confused (51) Economic Systems

Communist centrally planned economy:

queue USSR

Capitalist free market economy:

queue-appleThe main difference seems to be that nowadays, young people do the queuing themselves instead of sending their mothers. That’s progress.

(Auf Deutsch.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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13 Responses to Easily Confused (51) Economic Systems

  1. Pingback: Leicht zu verwechseln (33) Wirtschaftssysteme | Der reisende Reporter

  2. deeess says:

    I guess the irony os that the mothers were queueing for food. The kids are queueing outside an Apple shop. So I guess the new iPhone is more important than food!

    • What I don’t understand is: Even if a phone was important (which for me, it isn’t), why would it be urgent? Can’t people wait for a day or a week until the flow has ebbed and buy a phone then?

    • deeess says:

      I guess its about good marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I also don’t understand it. My nephew ‘pre-ordered’ a video game in July. That only comes out in November! I think at the end of the day, society has programmed kids now to always be better than the kid next to you. Instead of motivating you to do your best.

  3. amcmulin914 says:

    i think the deeper truth is that these labels never held objective value to the social engineers. That “objective meaning” illusion was just for the plebs. They always knew that they were just labels used to explain and reaffirm whatever power structure was the status quo, or later whatever new power structure they wanted to implement i.e. Conservatism vs. Liberalism.

    • I don’t think I understood that. Don’t you see a difference between a centrally planned economy and a more or less free market? Who are the “social engineers”?

    • amcmulin914 says:

      No problem, heady subjects to discuss. I can see, intellectually, a difference between the the two, but I don’t know when you really examine in reality the two there is much of a difference. In both we find mergers of government and private enterprise, which really dictate and regulate economics. Social engineers are like academics, social workers, politicians, city planners, etc.

    • I think there is quite a difference. Market economies are much more dynamic, both regarding the speed of change and the amount of change.
      Luckily, we have a lot of countries that switched from central planning to free markets in the 1990s (almost all of Eastern Europe, although I would exclude Russia and of course the central Asian CIS states), so we can see the difference. More companies pop up, more close, more people move, they decide freely what to study, what to work, people change careers more often over the course of a lifetime.

    • amcmulin914 says:

      Those are significant and relevant differences. It sounds like you have more experience with both models so I have to differ to your experience. I think my statements come from my context in the U.S. where we have political parties like Republicans who claim to be protecting “the free market” while often merging with monopolistic corporations and the government. So there is a knee-jerk reaction over here to some of these terms. I would also point out that at least here in the United States this social mobility isn’t really seen as much. There are of course exceptions to this, but for the most part people remain in the same economic highways that their parents rode on.

    • Having lived in the US as well, I understand this point of view. The differences between Republicans and Democrats are indeed far less than between the different political and economic models in Europe.
      I am afraid social mobility is not perfect in Europe either, but the upheaval brought by the revolutions in 1989 provided a chance for many. The second big event in Eastern Europe after that was accession to the EU with freedom of movement. This provided a chance to millions who couldn’t make it in their own countries to move and try it somewhere else.

    • amcmulin914 says:

      Because of an eclectic interest in the occult and recent reading of the book The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital by David Ovason, I am just suspicious and generally in opposition to any so-called advancement or trend of globalism, on the basis of the sort of entity like nature which we bestow on these types of things.

      We see with these types of discussions of the EU or US political parties, or whatever, that we feel this social urge to approve or reject said thing. This social entity is treated as if it were a person, and therefore we all have to know what each other’s relation is to that person, as if each city is contending in an beauty contest with all the other cities of the world, and each of us gets the honor to declare our favorite.

      We worship and attend to cities and their governments like they were temples of Aphrodite. I think, and I can tell from your blog you would agree, that it is much more interesting to analyze the mechanisms, and structure of the city/state then getting bogged down with questions of preference. I’m sort of thinking of like a Foucauldian analysis here, which I see in your writing and quite enjoy.

      That said, my basic disposition, and I acknowledge it is contradictory and subject to change, is more in line with seeing all states and their governments as more or less Babylon 2.0, meaning that hey its might have some allure, but ultimately it’s one big pain in the ass, to put it crassly.

      And I wouldn’t dare caste to many ignorant dispersions on the goddess of the EU, but from a lot of the news I take in, it has a number of critical issues right? Members threatening withdrawal, debt crisis, immigration issues, etc.

      I don’t know…you’re 1989 revolutions article was brilliant and exactly what I am sort of getting at here. It’s all a bunch of spin and nonsense, and at the end of the day you win if can enjoy a delicious apple or read a good book. Sorry for the rambling incoherency, and thanks for the interesting chat.

    • I don’t have the time to delve very deeply into this right now, so I’ll just focus on the EU question:

      With all the criticism, what many people overlook is what the alternative would be like. Without the EU, Greece and other countries would long have defaulted. Without the EU, we might have more ethnic and border disputes in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans. And immigration is something which I see as a good thing. It’s fantastic that we can now freely move around 28 countries without the need for a visa or a residence permit even. The immigration from the outside would be the same without the EU because that is caused by wars in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen. With the EU, we are at least beginning (far too slowly and timidly, though) to work out a mechanism to distribute refugees all over the EU instead of leaving some countries alone with that burden just because they happen to have a coastline in the Mediterranean.

      On the point of countries leaving: No country has so far left the EU, and even despite the so-called Euro crisis (which was really a debt crisis, not a currency crisis, because the Euro remained stable) several additional countries have joined the Euro in the last few years. All of the Balkan nations have applied to join the EU. Many people in Ukraine want(ed) that, which caused the revolution. And if someone really wants to leave, that’s fine as well. There won’t be any war of secession or anything.

      I know that from afar, it sometimes sounds as if some European countries are in a deep crisis. I lived in Italy during the alleged crisis and I have been to Greece on holiday last year. Honestly, there is a lot of whining at a very high level going on. People with the latest phones and tablets will sit at their second summer residence and complain about “the crisis”. Now, there is some real poverty, but it’s in Eastern Europe, particularly among the Roma, but you won’t hear any complaining from here.

    • amcmulin914 says:

      Thanks again for your thoughtful replies and posts. The last paragraph really captures my sense of it too. But it’s this weird, “boy who cried wolf” sort of scenario (a theme I am playing with in my current blog series), where after all this belly aching and with sore digits, we are all going to lay down to bed and find the wolf at our door, that’s what my intuition hints at…but that is probably just a fatalism picked up from too much reading.

      All that said, and I realize we got to wrap it up here, but isn’t it strange that the EU and the US face the exact same set of issues? Crippling fiat debt, high unemployment, demanding immigration issues, unsolvable ideological fissures, etc. And I get your point that a lot of it is so much whining, but to me that just shows how “rigged” it all is. That they can manufacture imaginary issues like the fiat debt crisis, while ignoring real life suffering and death. That sounds more like a magic trick to me (an evil one at that). I recognize that is a bit simplistic, but I think it captures an important point, it’s not ignorance, but evil…Anyway, thanks again for the intelligent conversation.

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