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democracy means freedom but does it also mean chance?

:surprised: - A CHANCE FOR EVERYONE!Rich or poor.

pro rich ba ang democracy?

applicable parin ba sa Pilipinas to?


  • Lucca YamazakiLucca Yamazaki die boy abunda die! PExer
    the point of democracy is that while there are rich and poor people...

    ...the rich get to keep their riches without the government getting too anal about it

    ...and the poor can join the ranks of the rich if they're smart enough

    For me, Democracy is not pro-rich, more like pro-crafty. If you have a lot of money, it doesn't mean it'll stay with you. If you're dumb enough you could lose that in an instant. If you don't have money, but you know how to get 'em, you can have 'em!

    Some people don't like the idea of it, because they're too lazy or they think the masses are too dumb. But that's just them.
  • battlescarbattlescar Member PExer
    Lucca, I tend to agree that democracy is pro-crafty. But you are assuming that people are using their "craftiness" in a positive, constructive and moral way.

    I attended a talk of Mr. Washington Sycip and he said:

    "Democracy does not work in an impoverished country."

    And I am beginning to agree with him. Poverty has a way of mucking up the true objective of democracy - which is to provide the greatest good to all. Unfortunately in poor countries, poverty has become a means of the "immorally crafty" to use and abuse the poor and ignorant members of the electorate (who are sadly forced to sell their votes in exchange for a fool's promise)

    Poverty is a cancer that can render democracy useless.

    I think one the vital requirements for democracy to is that the population is composed at least by a majority of well-educated middle class. If that were our demographic situation, democracy can work. But since a significant majority of our population is poor, forget about democracy.
  • KrayonKrayon Banned by Admin PExer
    Capitalism is pro-rich. The question that remains is democrazy pro-capitalism? I think the evidence tends to agree.

    Lucca Yamasaki: Intelligence is not enough to become rich. Craftiness - not enough. Because the rich hire 'crafty' people so they can stay rich.
  • battlescarbattlescar Member PExer
    Krayon, are you implying that being rich is evil and wrong? say it isn't so. There is nothing wrong with striving to be rich and becoming rich yourself for as long as you do it in a right and moral way.

    And I believe capitalism is a system that can enable one to garner your own riches. I believe capitalism and democracy can go hand in hand to provide us with that environment where we can strive to be rich.

    Capitalism is not inherently evil. The problem lies with the abuse of the system.
  • KrayonKrayon Banned by Admin PExer
    Of course being rich isn't bad. And yes, the problem lies in the abuse of the system. Which happens a lot. To the point that we aren't truly free in a democrazy ans social mobility (i.e. becoming richer or poorer) is impeded.
  • KrayonKrayon Banned by Admin PExer
    Something my Economics teacher showed us. This is VERY credible information.

    Jubilee Plus publishes below a damning interview between Joseph Stiglitz ex-chief economist at the World Bank with the Observer, held over the weekend of the IMF's 2001 Spring meetings. In the interview he attackes the role of the US in stripping debtor nations of assets. He praised Botswana for defying the Bank and the Fund, and refusing a Structural Adjustment Programme.

    IMF’s Four steps to Damnation
    (UK) 29th April, 2001 by Gregory Palast

    It was like a scene out of Le Carré: the brilliant agent comes in from the cold and, in hours of debriefing, empties his memory of horrors committed in the name of an ideology gone rotten. But this was a far bigger catch than some used-up Cold War spy.

    The former apparatchik was Joseph Stiglitz, ex-chief economist of the World Bank. The new world economic order was his theory come to life. He was in Washington for the big confab of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. But instead of chairing meetings of ministers and central bankers, he was outside the police cordons. The World Bank fired Stiglitz two years ago. He was not allowed a quiet retirement: he was excommunicated purely for expressing mild dissent from globalisation World Bank-style.

    Here in Washington we conducted exclusive interviews with Stiglitz, for The Observer and Newsnight, about the inside workings of the IMF, the World Bank, and the bank's 51% owner, the US Treasury. And here, from sources unnamable (not Stiglitz), we obtained a cache of documents marked, 'confidential' and 'restricted'. Stiglitz helped translate one, a 'country assistance strategy'. There's an assistance strategy for every poorer nation, designed, says the World Bank, after careful in-country investigation. But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank's 'investigation' involves little more than close inspection of five-star hotels. It concludes with a meeting with a begging finance minister, who is handed a 'restructuring agreement' pre-drafted for 'voluntary' signature.

    Each nation's economy is analysed, says Stiglitz, then the Bank hands every minister the same four-step programme.

    Step One is privatisation. Stiglitz said that rather than objecting to the sell-offs of state industries, some politicians - using the World Bank's demands to silence local critics - happily flogged their electricity and water companies. 'You could see their eyes widen' at the possibility of commissions for shaving a few billion off the sale price. And the US government knew it, charges Stiglitz, at least in the case of the biggest privatisation of all, the 1995 Russian sell-off. 'The US Treasury view was: "This was great, as we wanted Yeltsin re-elected. We DON'T CARE if it's a corrupt election." ' Stiglitz cannot simply be dismissed as a conspiracy nutter. The man was inside the game - a member of Bill Clinton's cabinet, chairman of the President's council of economic advisers. Most sick-making for Stiglitz is that the US-backed oligarchs stripped Russia's industrial assets, with the effect that national output was cut nearly in half.

    After privatisation, Step Two is capital market liberalisation. In theory this allows investment capital to flow in and out. Unfortunately, as in Indonesia and Brazil, the money often simply flows out. Stiglitz calls this the 'hot money' cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation's reserves can drain in days. And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation's own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%. 'The result was predictable,' said Stiglitz. Higher interest rates demolish property values, savage industrial production and drain national treasuries.

    At this point, according to Stiglitz, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: market-based pricing - a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls 'the IMF riot'. The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, 'down and out, [the IMF] squeezes the last drop of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up,' - as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998. Indonesia exploded into riots. There are other examples - the Bolivian riots over water prices last year and, this February, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the World Bank. You'd almost believe the riot was expected. And it is. What Stiglitz did not know is that Newsnight obtained several documents from inside the World Bank. In one, last year's Interim Country Assistance Strategy for Ecuador, the Bank several times suggests - with cold accuracy - that the plans could be expected to spark 'social unrest'. That's not surprising. The secret report notes that the plan to make the US dollar Ecuador's currency has pushed 51% of the population below the poverty line. The IMF riots (and by riots I mean peaceful demonstrations dispersed by bullets, tanks and tear gas) cause new flights of capital and government bankruptcies This economic arson has its bright side - for foreigners, who can then pick off remaining assets at fire sale prices. A pattern emerges. There are lots of losers but the clear winners seem to be the western banks and US Treasury.

    Now we arrive at Step Four: free trade. This is free trade by the rules of the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank, which Stiglitz likens to the Opium Wars. 'That too was about "opening markets",' he said. As in the nineteenth century, Europeans and Americans today are kicking down barriers to sales in Asia, Latin American and Africa while barricading our own markets against the Third World 's agriculture. In the Opium Wars, the West used military blockades.

    Today, the World Bank can order a financial blockade, which is just as effective and sometimes just as deadly. Stiglitz has two concerns about the IMF/World Bank plans. First, he says, because the plans are devised in secrecy and driven by an absolutist ideology, never open for discourse or dissent, they 'undermine democracy'. Second, they don't work. Under the guiding hand of IMF structural 'assistance' Africa's income dropped by 23%. Did any nation avoid this fate? Yes, said Stiglitz, Botswana. Their trick? 'They told the IMF to go packing.' Stiglitz proposes radical land reform: an attack on the 50% crop rents charged by the propertied oligarchies worldwide. Why didn't the World Bank and IMF follow his advice? 'If you challenge [land ownership], that would be a change in the power of the elites. That's not high on their agenda.

    ' Ultimately, what drove him to put his job on the line was the failure of the banks and US Treasury to change course when confronted with the crises, failures, and suffering perpetrated by their four-step monetarist mambo. 'It's a little like the Middle Ages,' says the economist, 'When the patient died they would say well, we stopped the bloodletting too soon, he still had a little blood in him.' Maybe it's time to remove the bloodsuckers.
  • criduchatcriduchat Member PExer
    This is the most concise way for me to explain what I think of this...

    Democracy allows for capitalism


    Capitalism allows for opportunity

    Democracy thus "allows" chance but is not necessarily defined by it.
  • battlescarbattlescar Member PExer
    Regardless whether this is true or not, it doesn't make capitalism and democracy inherently evil.

    By the way, your long post is off-topic already, in my opinion.

    However, I am in agreement with some of the steps but with some reservations.

    For one, privatization is something I am cautious about. I for one believe in the power of free market competition but there should be natural monopolies that government should really manage in the interest of the public, such as utilities.

    Second, It should be fair trade not free trade among countries. Free trade is something rich countries are lobbying since they know they can very well compete with the poor countries' products.
  • bludwidbludwid U Want Somma Dis? PExer
    Of course democracy means everybody gets a chance...

    but then, there's no such thing as a true democracy in the first place. The so-called democracy that people refer to at present is compromised....

    The dictionary definition of a democracy is a "...the common people considered as the primary source of power"... It should be an eternally-collective term.

    In capitalism, once somebody achieves a certain level of power/affluence, he/she, in an ideal world should not be considered common anymore... In today's democracy, they still are... This system has a problem defining the term "common".

    In a communism, there is a problem defining the word "power", as people don't really have it, although they insist that it's an "everybody is equal" system.

    So, no... No government in the world actually has the unadulterated version of democracy... But if one did, then I'm sure every citizen will be given a chance.
  • KrayonKrayon Banned by Admin PExer
    battlescar: I think you should read the article. It is about how IMF abuses capitalism to cheat the poor. It is certainly on-topic. Comments after you read the entire thing.

    bludwid: I agree that there is no perfect democrazy. And if such a thing were to exist, it will never last, in my opinion.

    The article above may seem to long, but I can assure you that if you hadn't read it before, it is surely worth your time and effort. It's enormity is stagerring.
  • bludwidbludwid U Want Somma Dis? PExer
    Krayon wrote:
    The article above may seem to long, but I can assure you that if you hadn't read it before, it is surely worth your time and effort. It's enormity is stagerring.

    It's scary. I did read this ages ago. I was and still am part of the "Cancel World Debt" campaign...

    So take note, the World Bank does have the Philippines by the balls. Therefore, we can't really say that our country is a democracy, when collectively we aren't even free to begin with...
  • KrayonKrayon Banned by Admin PExer
    ^^ My point, exactly.

    P.S. That wasn't meant for you. I had thought that you read it. It's for everyone here in PEx. Sorry I didn't made it clear.
  • freakster2k1freakster2k1 Member ✭✭✭
    im just curious can someone describe democracy? Because it seems that democracy is being treated as synonymous to capitalism, which is misleading and many points.
  • battlescarbattlescar Member PExer
    The dictionary defines:

    capitalism as an economic system based on private ownership of capital.

    democracy as a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them

    the former is an economic system, while the latter is a political system or ideology if you will. The former can occur within the latter but we can't equate it with each other.

    Yes I have read the article, thank you. I too have an economics degree. I am familiar with the so-called "four steps to damnation"

    But I just can't see how these steps really apply to the question of democracy being pro-rich or does democracy provide a chance for everybody. That's why i am saying that you Krayon are off topic, IMHO.
  • battlescarbattlescar Member PExer
    "There is no true democracy."

    Baka you meant that no government is practicing the ideals of democracy in reality. There are only countries which practice it near its ideal but never fully. If this is what you meant, I agree with you and I add that the poorer a nation gets, the more difficult it will be able to practice ideal democracy. That is why I believe that a democratic system is not working for a country like the Philippines, not everyone is given a chance. Moreover, it is pro-rich, since the unscrupulous rich can easily buy votes.
  • freakster2k1freakster2k1 Member ✭✭✭
    battlescar has explained it adequately: democracy is not synonymous with capitalism; and hence the effect of capitalism is not that of democracy.
  • bludwidbludwid U Want Somma Dis? PExer
    So if Americans call themselves a democratic nation... Does it mean they're lying?

    Because, although in theory you can separate politics with economics, one still depends on the other in practice, especially when we're talking about countries/societies... I just think that collectively, they fall under the same roof, right? You yourself defined that the poorer a country is, the harder it is to maintain democracy...

    I'm not into politics, nor economics, so forgive me for my simplistic, "masa", view of things.

    Don't hate me, it's just a question...
  • freakster2k1freakster2k1 Member ✭✭✭
    im curious how does the masa view describe democracy and capitalism? It seems one is using this argument (i am merely a masa) to get around the clear definition of democracy and capitalism.
  • battlescarbattlescar Member PExer
    if the Americans are calling themselves a democratic nation it is because they freely voted for their president to lead their nation for them, and not exactly because they can own up capital.

    capitalism can happen under a democracy, yes. but they are not synonymous.

    plus, i did not define so. i just "opined" that the poorer nation gets, the harder it is to keep to the ideals of democracy. my opinion does not mean that i am implying that capitalism and democracy are synonymous.

    and i don't hate you. c'mon, we are just discussing here. what gives me the right to hate you?
  • bludwidbludwid U Want Somma Dis? PExer
    im curious how does the masa view describe democracy and capitalism? It seems one is using this argument (i am merely a masa) to get around the clear definition of democracy and capitalism.

    To get around something, one has to know first... I don't know, therefore I cannot get around something in which I have limited knowledge of, theoretically.

    Not everybody is an eco/poli expert, and I think in this case I can consider myself "masa". Masa in a sense that I only have a layman's knowledge on the subject. i just shoot straight from the hip and according to what I see firsthand.

    And from what I see firsthand, library card aside, economics and politics DO go hand-in-hand.

    I don't see capitalism happening in a non-democratic society, or at least haven't seen one or read about one. So maybe in another planet this is possible, but from my perspective (which is not all that wide by the way), it can't happen. So in a sense, although not synonymous, as we can only mention too much (I do love that big word), they come as a package.

    Which is why, ordinary, non-economics-enlightened people like me see capitalism when democracy is mentioned, when it shouldn't...

    And I'm not saying you hate me. It's kind of a heads up to our other more emotional co-PEXers here who don't like being questioned...

    Ok, back to my bottle of beer...

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