Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

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Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby dvoit » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:45 am

The pattern of the rise and fall of governments/political systems seem to grow until the resources of the country can no longer support it. It certainly happened in the USSR. It happened in China but they found a new direction. It is in the end game in Cuba and Venezuela. Rome as well. Does it have to go this way or is there a way to match government to resources.

What is the consequence of having better surveillance techniques and more "acceptable" velvet gloves (like the pepper spray discussed on the last show). Does it make the eventual collapse worse since the exploitation of the national resources continue even longer. Are going to be stuck with even fewer resources to recover?
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:01 am

End game in Venezuela? Not sure where you are getting your news from, dude. South America in general has prospered greatly by social democracy. Look at Chile after they finally shrugged of the corporate fascism imposed by the United States and Friedman. Now they are doing quite well. Brazil is getting stronger. Argentina is recovering despite what the EMF had done to them not a decade ago.

The question you should be asking yourself is completely reversed. Do nations fall because they lose control of their economies. Because wealth accumulates, leading to untenable corruption and misery on the part of the People.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby davehag5 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:42 pm

Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Yes - so far.

When did you last see a government shrink on its own accord?
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby Algr » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:40 pm

davehag5 wrote:When did you last see a government shrink on its own accord?


The Clinton administration.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby davehag5 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:08 pm

Government may shrink is selective categories but overall it rarely if ever does. (until the collapse) While Clinton was much better than the 2 subsequent Presidents, he really didn't shrink government.

[extpage]http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16[/extpage]
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby dvoit » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:18 pm

Dr. Strangelove wrote:End game in Venezuela? Not sure where you are getting your news from, dude. South America in general has prospered greatly by social democracy. Look at Chile after they finally shrugged of the corporate fascism imposed by the United States and Friedman. Now they are doing quite well. Brazil is getting stronger. Argentina is recovering despite what the EMF had done to them not a decade ago.

The question you should be asking yourself is completely reversed. Do nations fall because they lose control of their economies. Because wealth accumulates, leading to untenable corruption and misery on the part of the People.



I am pretty sure that Venezuela will have to recover from Hugo Chavez once he passes from his cancer issues. It looks to me like they will have likely stolen all they can by then but, of course, we will have to see.

Brazil was a mess a decade or so ago. It blew the national fortune and is in the process of rebuilding. I hope, for their sake they pull it off. It did not hurt that they found massive oil reserves to sell in the not too distant past.

Argentina was once the richest of countries and they slumped into hyperinflation. That was quite some time ago and they are doing fine based on soybean demand world wide. If that continues, they are great. If not, well, the problems just might return.

My question is not do you know the liberal talking points or the conservative talking points. It is that there is a good case for governments continue to grow until the resources can no longer support the people. They support the government and, I suppose, favored groups such as the military. Eventually, they seem to have "hoovered" up all the loose change around and things fall apart. I think this has happened in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Italy.

I don't think I am expert enough to argue all the details. On the other hand, I think I know when I am listing to a dogmatic argument. It seems evident from reading "Endgame" that no government of any type has ever been able to just keep spending yet I don't think there is any way that they stop until the collapse.

How can you constrain a government?
Last edited by dvoit on Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:20 pm

Stolen? Are you high? The guy took back his nation's resources from corporations that were exploiting the fuck out of those people. Now they have an economy again. You might not like him, but it doesn't help you to deny reality.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby dvoit » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:31 pm

Dr. Strangelove wrote:Stolen? Are you high? The guy took back his nation's resources from corporations that were exploiting the fuck out of those people. Now they have an economy again. You might not like him, but it doesn't help you to deny reality.



Looks like you Hugo. Glad you have friends. I am indifferent to him. I do suspect that he and his friends will have stolen all they can. In the end the people will bear the burden. It seems unlikely Hugo and his friends have "taken back" the countries resources. It is more likely that statement is one word too long.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:34 pm

Ambivalent about him. I don't care for his totalitarian streak. Economically, he was on the right path. Those corporations had incredibly exploitative relationships that were setup by corrupt government officials. Now they essentially have the same deals that most other oil producers have.

Most of these nations which are social democracy, or in that type of category, remain relatively strong.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby hondo69 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:25 am

Fugitive from the law of averages
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby dvoit » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:03 pm

Debating social democracy or any other form of government is not going to find solutions to the problem of governments growing so large that the country collapses from their weight. The Europeans are grappling with this right now and they seem to be trying to develop ways to stop concealed run-away debt problems within their members as happened in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Spain. Doing that seems to be difficult as it impacts sovereignty and thus takes away the ability of politicians to manipulate things and reward favorites. The favorites might be the military, the unions, the financial powers, industrial powers, etc. Ultimately they want to provide the advantages that "adjusting the laws" can give them.

Here is a quote from the newsletter that John Mauldin puts out each Friday.

“The European Commission on November 23 proposed a new package including budget
previews at EU level, the establishment of independent fiscal councils and growth forecasts, closer surveillance of bailout recipients and a consultation paper on Eurobonds. There is also a growing consensus among EU policy makers on the need for the adoption of fiscal rules in national legislation. However, it is far from clear whether EU countries would accept the implicit loss of sovereignty this would involve and agree to treaty changes enshrining legally enforceable fiscal oversight at EU level. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is willing to support a change in Germany’s own constitution if the EU Treaty change to that effect is agreed first.”
( www.roubini.com )

So it seems that the EU wants some sort of audit and control ability over members in the group. Not surprising since the debt problem has gotten so large.

Still you get to the problem of a charismatic leader being able to inspire followers. Back in the 80's I had two employees that were interesting. Both had served on the German side in WW2. One was a Luftwaffe pilot who was shot down during the Battle of Britian. He told me he "spent the remainder of the war as a guest of the Queen of England" in Canada. The other was a submariner. He was probably alive only because he was young enough to have entered the U Boat service very late in the war and sailed only one mission. I had asked the pilot about Hitler and his response was "You should have heard him talk."

So it looks to me like a charismatic leader can show up and look good to the population. I would suppose that there can be both good and bad leaders who can pull this off. I think history points to more of the bad ones. Perhaps they start off well intentioned but the power corrupts? Maybe they never intended to really work for the good of their people. I don't know.

So my question remains. How do you structure a country so it does not drive over a financial cliff.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby hondo69 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:11 pm

Teach people real history as opposed to that we teach our children today. It is important they understand the dangers of the cult of personality.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:25 pm

I see. As opposed to a punitive, laissez faire, and hyper capitalistic nation which collapses and pulls down the entire global economy along with it? Yeah, those social democracies are so much worse. :empty:
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby dvoit » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:45 pm

Dr. Stangelove, I don't quite see the point of being so aggressive about social democracies. I have no problem with the that system. On the other hand, I have no particular problem with any system that leaves others alone and takes care of their citizens.

I am pretty comfortable that any system you might want to discuss eventually falls into decay once it gets too big for the productivity of the nation to support. That takes me back to my original question, how do you structure a nation so it does not squander it's resources.

In general, it looks like systems accumulate social and economic injustices and it doing so they exhaust their resources. How do you structure a nation so level heads prevail. Germany needed two epochs of severe inflation and the destruction of two wars but they seem now to be committed to productivity and social democracy. Seems responsible to me but now they seem to be stuck bailing out other social democracies. Sweden seems to have done a credible job of controlling corruption and leveling wages. I don't know how they came to that point but it would be interesting to know.
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Re: Do governments always grow until they drain the country?

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:54 pm

The problem with your question is the presumption that it is the government which squanders the resources and drags the nation into ruin. That certainly is possible, but not likely. Even in history where one can make that claim, those governments had near absolute control over the economy and wealth distribution.

The real question is how does a nation of people maintain a fair and equitable distribution of resources, such that all the stakeholders in that nation actually benefit from it, without that economy and society collapsing? What ends up happening most of the time is radical wealth redistribution up to the top. The vast majority of people are entirely disenfranchised from that government, and that government becomes nothing more than a hired thug to continue delivering wealth from the majority to the minority. Eventually that state of affairs comes to an end. Most likely, its inherent instability finally causes it to implode, and the majority are then left with the task to rebuild without an armed minority stopping them.
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