View Poll Results: Should we develop such a described program to build infrastructure in poor countries?

Voters
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  • Yes, it would put many people to work

    1 5.00%
  • Yes, we should help countries in need

    0 0%
  • Yes, it will bring the world long-term prosperity

    0 0%
  • Yes, other/general

    0 0%
  • Sounds nice, but I don't know...

    1 5.00%
  • No, we don't have a moral imperative to help other countries

    6 30.00%
  • No, that's socialist

    0 0%
  • No, for economic reasons

    4 20.00%
  • No, for practical reasons

    2 10.00%
  • No, other/general

    6 30.00%
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Thread: Can we build it? Yes we can!

  1. #31
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The costs of getting lower-quality materials and/or workers just because they happened to be located within a particular nation. If we want to help countries build up their infrastructure, why do we need protectionist restrictions on what workers can be hired and where the materials can come from? Just get the best stuff at the lowest price. That leaves more money left over for improving the infrastructure.
    None of the costs, except indirect effects, are placed on the shoulders of the foreign nation.

    First of all, as soon as we hire foreigners, it saps our own economy, which could be a selling point at home. That's not to say that hiring them would not be good, sure, it'd be great for them, short term. But also, this sort of gigantic effort being plopped down into a poor country runs the risk of dominating its economy and turning it into a state that can't afford to lose the program once it's done. And what do you pay the workers with, and how does it limit inflation? You can't expect the foreign government to pay its own workers for a project it can't afford, and if it prints its own money and then taxes its population, like us, to control inflation, it likely wouldn't be able to make up the taxes to control the amount of inflation that would occur; it would devalue their currency to the point of their entire economy being destabilized and everyone getting screwed.
    "Advocates of capitalism are apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: the fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate." - Bertrand Russell

  2. #32
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by gavinfielder View Post
    None of the costs, except indirect effects, are placed on the shoulders of the foreign nation.
    But even so, you could give them more infrastructure per dollar spent without the inefficiencies created by protectionism.

    First of all, as soon as we hire foreigners, it saps our own economy, which could be a selling point at home.
    I'm confused...I thought you were talking about hiring EXCLUSIVELY foreigners?

    That's not to say that hiring them would not be good, sure, it'd be great for them, short term. But also, this sort of gigantic effort being plopped down into a poor country runs the risk of dominating its economy and turning it into a state that can't afford to lose the program once it's done.
    Maintenance is much easier than construction.

    And what do you pay the workers with, and how does it limit inflation? You can't expect the foreign government to pay its own workers for a project it can't afford, and if it prints its own money and then taxes its population, like us, to control inflation, it likely wouldn't be able to make up the taxes to control the amount of inflation that would occur; it would devalue their currency to the point of their entire economy being destabilized and everyone getting screwed.
    I am very confused by your argument because I didn't say anything about expecting them to pay anyone. I'm saying even if we just go with your premise that the United States (or whoever) will pay for this project, what is the purpose of these protectionist measures?

    If inflation is your concern, then it seems odd that you want to exclusively hire workers from the country in question (as opposed to American workers or workers from anywhere else), as the sudden inflow of cash would do more to cause inflation in the affected country than just about anything else...
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  3. #33
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I'll do it. I thought I made that clear. Your idea. You first.
    $71,018 on income tax alone during 2011. What's that? Your pay for the year?
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

  4. #34
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    $71,018 on income tax alone during 2011. What's that? Your pay for the year?
    Hardly. I paid more than that in state income tax at just under 6%.

    Edit: I can't let that stand.

    You win.
    Last edited by MaggieD; 11-11-12 at 08:13 PM.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  5. #35
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But even so, you could give them more infrastructure per dollar spent without the inefficiencies created by protectionism.
    The only people we're protecting is our national business interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm confused...I thought you were talking about hiring EXCLUSIVELY foreigners?
    No, it says in the OP it would be restricted to hiring citizens of the home country.

    I am very confused by your argument because I didn't say anything about expecting them to pay anyone. I'm saying even if we just go with your premise that the United States (or whoever) will pay for this project, what is the purpose of these protectionist measures?
    I think you're confused on what protectionist measures I propose.

    But the entire purpose of this all is that 1) it puts unskilled people (of the home country) to work, 2) it provides economic stimulus (to the home country), and 3) It'd be very humanitarian to do, because poor governments can't afford these big projects that will raise their economic prosperity. There's also the argument that fiscal conservatives would like that it doesn't take jobs away in the home country, either. There's plenty of work to do--they argue private companies should do it. Ok then, let them. I don't agree with that position, I think this sort of program at home (like the WPA) would be great, but it does make it more palatable to that political paradigm.

    This is most definitely stimulus spending to be done in a recession, though. In a healthier economy, we wouldn't need to put droves of unskilled labor to work. But, what this discussion rose from, incidentally, is the trend that we experience in a technologically advancing society the continual need for higher education, so what can our unskilled workers do to support themselves?
    "Advocates of capitalism are apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: the fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate." - Bertrand Russell

  6. #36
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Hardly. I paid more than that in state income tax at just under 6%.
    Hahaha, sure you did. Let me guess, you make over million a year and somehow manage to stay on DP all day? What nonsense - I guess it was too much to ask for you to be honest.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

  7. #37
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Hahaha, sure you did. Let me guess, you make over million a year and somehow manage to stay on DP all day? What nonsense - I guess it was too much to ask for you to be honest.
    See my edited post, Hat.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  8. #38
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by gavinfielder View Post
    The only people we're protecting is our national business interest.


    No, it says in the OP it would be restricted to hiring citizens of the home country.

    I think you're confused on what protectionist measures I propose.

    But the entire purpose of this all is that 1) it puts unskilled people (of the home country) to work, 2) it provides economic stimulus (to the home country), and 3) It'd be very humanitarian to do, because poor governments can't afford these big projects that will raise their economic prosperity. There's also the argument that fiscal conservatives would like that it doesn't take jobs away in the home country, either. There's plenty of work to do--they argue private companies should do it. Ok then, let them. I don't agree with that position, I think this sort of program at home (like the WPA) would be great, but it does make it more palatable to that political paradigm.

    This is most definitely stimulus spending to be done in a recession, though. In a healthier economy, we wouldn't need to put droves of unskilled labor to work. But, what this discussion rose from, incidentally, is the trend that we experience in a technologically advancing society the continual need for higher education, so what can our unskilled workers do to support themselves?
    Oh, I thought "home country" referred to the country where the project was taking place.

    In any case, I pretty much always oppose protectionism. If you want to promote infrastructure development abroad, then let's do it. If you want to provide economic stimulus at home, then let's do it. But let's not try to do them at the same time through a Rube Goldberg policy of protectionist foreign aid. Foreign aid should be based on how to provide the greatest economic benefit at the lowest cost.
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  9. #39
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Foreign aid should be based on how to provide the greatest economic benefit at the lowest cost.
    Maybe, but that would probably result in sending more of our economy to China. It would defeat the purpose of the stimulus spending at home.
    "Advocates of capitalism are apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: the fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate." - Bertrand Russell

  10. #40
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    Re: Can we build it? Yes we can!

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    See my edited post, Hat.
    Fine, at least you're honest. My point is simple, a person's tax liability is not really a great argument for anything. It's like saying 'Hey, you're a doctor but don't have a penis? Well you can't be making decisions about men's health then.'
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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