Re: More Green Party

Date: Thu Jun 29 2000 - 00:04:00 MDT

"zeb haradon" <> wrote:

> Yes, point being, most were invented in nations without economic
> restriction. I assume that all of the above answers you gave were also

Hmm, I forgot to list gunpowder, from restricted China.

Most of Damien B.'s items weren't invented in nations as we use the term
today. And 'without economic restriction' really needs qualification. His
early examples probably came from societies with a social obligation to
redistribute food surpluses, otherwise known as primitive famine insurance.
(Or not even famine. Hunting can be a matter of luck as well as skill.)

But yes, socialist countries aren't known for their high inventiveness. China
didn't get far with the gun.

> I can't verify that for sure. I think if I'd asked for inventions confined
> to the 20th century, and you gave answers which were completely honest, at
> most 1 of the 5 would be invented in a socialist leaning nation.
> I think a nation like Australia or Canada, nations with mixed economies (I

But most economists would not call Australia or Canada socialist, and would
call the United States (and Japan) mixed. Japan has a ministry of
technological development, remember, although I don't know what MITI has been
involved in. And much of the United States' advantage (besides size and not
having wars fought on its own soil) comes from the university system, which
receives quite a lot of government support.

The Internet was a military research project, remember, and funded by DARPA
and university money for a long time. The New Economy has its roots in gov't

More generally, if you ask for inventions confined to the 20th century, none
of them will come from nations without economic restriction, if you let that
include tariffs, high income taxes, and safety nets.

> am making an assumption that this describes Astralia, less of an assumption
> with Canada) would progress very slowly if not for the innovations of the
> US.

And size isn't insignificant. Saying the US produces more inventions than
Canada and Australia isn't surprising. We do happen to dwarf the population
of any other Western nation. Plus their economies have largely coalesced
around exporting raw materials to larger countries.

And I'm sure there are people on this list who would call the United States
socialist, although I'd call them nuts.

> There may be a lot of great inventions floating around in Australia, but
> without the marketing and corporate aspect, they're not going to find a
> place in the everyday life of most people.

In the meantime those nasty European socialists seem to be enjoying better
cell phones than we do. I think Japanese mobile data is even more advanced,
judging by Wall Street Journal articles. They were 18 months ahead of Europe
who were 18 months ahead of the United States.

Note I'm not arguing that socialism works or that markets are bad. But
simplistic black-and-white labelling gets my goat.

-xx- Damien X-)

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