Re: Capitalism & Wealth

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 07 May 1997 18:23:21 -0400

Erik Moeller wrote:
> Japan is my dream-economy. They have a relatively high state
> intervention and they spend money on sustainable investments.

Business is the tail that wags the government's dog in Japan. The level
of intervention in Japan is more in line with a mercantilist/syndicate
economy than a centrally controlled one.
> > About 50 years ago, on the Korean peninsula, a controlled experiment
> > was done. A uniformly shattered economy was divided in two. Half the
> > country got a largely capitalist free market economy. Half got a
> > Maoist local version of communisim called "Juche". Which half is now
> > starving?
> Which half doesn't have any mentionable economic relationships to other
> countries anymore? After the downfall of the UdSSR this was expectable.
> Imagine an isolated Japan.

North Korea was a hell hole even at the peak of Soviet and or Chinese
support. Me thinks you've swallowed a bit too much propaganda to remain
> Countries like Cuba are isolated by politicians (lobbied by big
> enterprises). The Helms-Burton law is the best example. Send enough
> planes over there and wait 'til they shoot one. The Helms-Burton law is
> one of the strongest economic restrictions world-wide, passed by a
> "free" country.

All Helms-Burton does is pursue the enforcement of property rights of
former Cuban citizens. The seizure of their property was and still is
unjust and is a major violation of many people's Constitutional and UN
Human Rights. Non-Americans are hypocritically opposed merely for their
own self interest, as they are buying up formerly private property at
firesale prices from the tyrants who confiscated them. Property owners
have an internationally recognized right to be compensated by the new
owners for the property or to have that property returned.

Helms BUrton is also rather mild, as all it does is not allow executives
and executives' families of corporations that purchase illegally seized
property without copmensating the rightful owners to enter the US. Wah,
wah, you can't go skiing at Vail or visit Disney World, too damn bad.
> They even gave Castro the direct choice to cancel any sanctionations if
> he would give up socialism. Of course he didn't. Still Cuba has a low
> rate of child mortality and is quite healthy. Compare it to other
> non-socialist countries in Latin America and draw your conclusions.
> > Around the world, pure idiots think that they know "better" than the
> > market, that they can redirect resources better than a pareto optimal
> > free exchange of goods between free people could. Over and over again,
> > the experiment is done, the people suffer, but the idiots, being pure
> > in their lack of mentation, never seem to draw the obvious conclusion
> > the facts lead to -- which is that the freer the economy, the
> > wealthier the people -- even the poorest 10% of the U.S. population
> > look rich compared to the average North Korean, the average Albanian
> > or the average Cuban.
> Of course they don't. Poor US citizens suffer from diseases, hunger and
> criminality, much worse than anywhere in Cuba. Albania is another
> "reform" country.
> > What he "knows" just isn't so, and hasn't even the slightest crumb of evidence > holding it up.
> We'll see...
> Child and youth poverty exacerbates the risk behaviors of
> adolescents, and poverty is a growing problem for America's youth
> (Huston, 1992; Lerner, 1993a). By the end of the 1980s
> approximately 20% of America's children and adolescents were poor
> (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives,
> 1991; Davidson, 1994; Hernandez, 1993; Huston, 1992; Huston, et
> al., in press; Simons, Finlay, & Yang, 1991). Moreover, data in
> the 1992 Kids Count Data Book indicate that across the 1980s the
> percentage of children living in poverty in the United States
> increased by 22%. Indeed, this national trend was present in 40
> states, and continues to increase across the nation (Huston,
> 1992). Furthermore, of the 12 million American children under the
> age of three years, 25% live in poor families (Carnegie
> Corporation of New York, 1994). In addition, whereas the number
> of children under age six years decreased by 10% between 1971 and
> 1991, the number of poor children in this age group increased by
> 60% (Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1994).
> Child poverty occurs in all geographic regions of America. In
> fact, the rates of poverty in rural areas of the Unites States
> are as high as those in the inner cities (Huston, 1992; Jensen,
> 1988). Furthermore, the poverty rates were higher in 1989 in
> rural areas than metropolitan areas for every race
> classification, and poverty rates for rural blacks and Hispanics
> exceeded rates for their central city counterparts. The higher
> rural poverty rate exists despite the fact that the rural poor
> tend to be comprised of two-parent families (slightly more than
> half) where at least one of the parents works (67%), as compared
> to metropolitan poor families (25% twoparent families; 56% with
> at least one parent employed; Committee on Ways and Means,1991);
> moreover, poor families in rural areas receive fewer welfare
> benefits and are less likely to live in states that provide Aid
> to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) (Huston, 1992; Jensen,
> 1988).
> However, it must be stressed that the probability of being a poor
> child is not equal across racial or ethnic groups. According to
> the 1993 Kids Count Data Book, across the 1987-1991 period the
> average percentage of European American, African American, and
> Latino children who were poor was 11.4%, 44.1%, and 37.9%,
> respectively. Moreover, among Latino groups, Puerto Rican
> children experienced the highest rate of poverty (40.4%) and
> Cuban children experienced the lowest rate (19.7%) (U. S. Bureau
> of the Census, 1991). In addition, it should be noted that, as
> reported in 1991 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Asian children
> and Native American children experienced rates of poverty of
> 16.7% and 24.9%, respectively.
> The percentages of children in poverty across the 1987-1991
> period represent increases in the rates of poverty over the last
> 10 years for all racial/ethnic groups. For example, from 19791989
> child poverty grew worse by 9% for European Americans, by 5% for
> African Americans, and by 25% for Latinos, respectively (Center
> for the Study of Social Policy, 1993). In terms of absolute
> numbers, data from the 1990 Census indicate that 5.9 million
> European-American children lived in poverty, whereas the
> corresponding numbers of AfricanAmericans, Asian-Americans,
> Native-Americans, and Latinos were 3.7 million, 346,000, 260,000,
> and 2.4 million, respectively (Children's Defense Fund, 1992).
> Given the differential probability that different racial/ethnic
> groups will be poor, it seems clear that policies and programs
> must be culturally sensitive in order to effect change. In other
> words, both policies and the programs associated with them must
> be culturally competent (Lerner, 1995); they must be able to deal
> effectively with the specific history, culture, values, mores,
> and meaning systems of the youth and families embedded in
> poverty.
> Indeed, the focus on diversity is crucial because, as noted by
> Huston (1992), race is the most striking and disturbing
> distinction between children whose poverty is chronic and
> children for whom poverty is transitory. For instance, Duncan
> (1992) reports data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics
> indicating that the average African American child in the study
> spent 5.5 years in poverty; in turn, the average non-African
> American child in the study spent only 0.9 years in poverty.
> Furthermore, as with race and ethnicity, poverty is not equally
> distributed across age groups. In 1989, about 20% of children
> younger than age 6 years were poor, and the corresponding rate of
> poverty for 6- to 17-year-olds was about 17%. In turn, the rates
> for Americans aged 18 to 64 years, or aged 65 years or older,
> were about 11% and 13%, respectively (Children's Defense Fund,
> 1992).
> The sequelae of poverty for children and adolescents are
> devastating. Indeed, as Hamburg (1992, p. 48) notes:
> . . . almost every form of childhood damage is far more
> prevalent among the poor--from increased infant
> mortality, gross malnutrition, recurrent and untreated
> health problems, and child abuse in the early years, to
> education disability, low achievement, delinquency,
> early pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, and failure to
> become economically self-sufficient.
> Similarly, as Schorr (1988) stresses, poverty creates several
> "rotten outcomes" of youth development. For example, poverty is
> associated with early school failure, with unemployability, with
> long-term welfare dependency, with violent crime, and with
> feelings of hopelessness and despair (McLoyd & Wilson, 1992;
> Schorr, 1988, 1992). Furthermore, McLoyd and Wilson (1992) and
> Klerman (1992) find that poor children live at high risk for low
> self-confidence, conduct problems, depression, and peer conflict.
> In addition, poor children are at risk for encountering severe
> health problems, e.g., infant mortality, lack of immunization
> against common childhood diseases, and physical abuse, neglect,
> and unintended injury (Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1994;
> McLoyd & Wilson, 1992).
> Moreover, as compared to their nonpoor age-mates, poor youth: Are
> 50% more likely to have physical or mental disability; are almost
> twice as likely to have not visited a doctor or dentist in the
> most recent two years of their lives; are 300% more likely to be
> high school dropouts; and are significantly more likely to be
> victims of violence (Simons, et al., 1991). In addition, several
> familial risk factors are associated both with child poverty and
> with a key covariate of poverty--poor school achievement.
> To illustrate, there are three maternal risk factors associated
> with a child's living in poverty and, as well, with him or her
> being in the lower half of his or her school class. These risk
> factors are: (1) The mother has fewer than 12 years of schooling;
> (2) The mother is not married to the child's father; and (3) The
> mother was less than 20 years old when she had her first child.
> These risk factors affect family life and child development. This
> linkage can be illustrated by reference to other 1993 Kids Count
> Data Book information linking these three risk factors to child
> poverty and to school achievement. Among all 7 to 12 year-old
> children living in America, there was a probability of .79 that
> the child would be poor if all three risk factors were present.
> Similarly, the probability of being in the lower half of one's
> school class was .58 if all these three factors were present. In
> turn, when any two of these risk factors were present the
> probability of being poor or of being in the bottom half of one's
> school class was .48 and .53, respectively. The corresponding
> probabilities involving the presence of only one risk factor were
> .26 and .47 respectively. Finally, when none of these risk
> factors were present the probability of 7- to 12-year old
> children being poor or being in the lower half of their class was
> .08 and .30, respectively.
> Across the 1980s, the probability increased that there would be a
> link between child poverty and the presence of maternal risk
> factors. That is, as the poverty rates of America's children
> worsen, exceeding now all other major industrialized nations
> (Huston, 1992), the structure of the family is also changing in
> ways that have placed poor children and parents at greater risk
> of problems of family life and individual development. For
> instance, during the 1980s there was a 13% increase in the number
> of children living in single-parent families, a trend present in
> 44 states. Thus, during 1987-1991 period, 18.1%, 30% and 56.7% of
> European-American, Latino, and African-American children,
> respectively, lived in single-parent households (Center for the
> Study of Social Policy, 1992). Overall, approximately 25% of
> America's youth live in single parent (and, typically,
> female-headed) families, and poverty rates among female-headed,
> single parent or male-headed, single parent families are much
> higher (46.8% and 23.2%, respectively) than among two-parent
> families (9.0%) (Center for the Study of Social Policy, 1993;
> Hernandez, 1993). Indeed, the poverty rates in singleparent
> households were, by the beginning of the 1990s, 29.8% for
> European American families, 50.6% for African American families,
> and 53% for Latino families (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1991).
> Since the income of female-headed, single-parent households is
> often three or more times lower than two parent households, and
> is also lower than single parent, male-headed households, the
> fact that increasing numbers of children live in these family
> structures means that the financial resources to support
> parenting are less likely to be available (Center for the Study
> of Social Policy, 1993).
> Moreover, in 1990, 90.3% of children were living with their
> parents, 7.3% were living with other relatives, and 2.3% were
> living outside of the family (Center for the Study of Social
> Policy, 1992). However, only 41.9% of African American children,
> 67.7% of Latino children, and 78.5% of European American children
> between the ages of 10 and 14 lived with both their parents
> (Simons, Finlay, & Yang, 1991). In turn, between the ages of 15
> and 17, only 41% , 63%, and 76% of African-American, Latino, and
> European American children, respectively, lived in two-parent
> households (Simons, et al., 1991).
> As a means to summarize the costs--not only to youth but, as
> well, to all of America--of pervasive child and adolescent
> poverty, we may note Hamburg's (1992, p. 10) view that:
> Not only are many more children growing up in poverty
> than was the case a decade or two ago, but many more
> are mired in persistent, intractable poverty with no
> realistic hope of escape. They are profoundly lacking
> in constructively oriented social-support networks to
> promote their education and health. They have very few
> models of competence. They are bereft of visible
> economic opportunity. The fate of these young people is
> not merely a tragedy for them, but for the entire
> nation: A growing fraction of our potential work force
> consists of seriously disadvantaged people who will
> have little if any prospect of acquiring the necessary
> competence to revitalize the economy. If we cannot
> bring ourselves to feel compassion for these young
> people on a personal level, we must at least recognize
> that our economy and our society will suffer along with
> them. Their loss is our loss.
> Other Topics on Child and Youth Poverty
> * Addressing the Crisis of America's Children
> through Innovative Welfare Reform Coupled with Creative and
> Integrative Programming
> [Image]
> Addressing the Crisis of America's Children through Innovative Welfare
> Reform Coupled with Creative and Integrative Programming
> [Image]
> Given the number of children and families that today are at such
> profound levels of risk, we are faced as a society with a crisis
> so broad that the entire fabric of American society is in serious
> jeopardy (Simons, et al., 1991). With so many of our nation's
> communities facing the likelihood of losing much of their next
> generation to one or more of the several high risk behaviors
> increasingly present among our nation's youth, all of our
> children, whether or not they themselves engage in given risk
> behaviors, nevertheless in effect live in risk--of experiencing
> the adverse economic and employment conditions associated with
> living in a nation that is increasingly globally uncompetitive,
> has a diminished pool of future leaders, offers lowered standards
> of living, requires lower expectations about life chances and, in
> fact, provides fewer and fewer opportunities for healthy and
> wholesome development (Lerner,1993a).
> Simply, America is wasting its most precious resource: The human
> capital represented by its children (Hamburg, 1992; Lerner,
> 1993a, 1993b; Lerner & Miller, 1993). And this destruction of
> human capital is a problem that cuts across race, ethnicity,
> gender, and rural or urban environments (Center for the Study of
> Social Policy, 1992, 1993; Simons, Finlay, & Yang, 1991).
> Accordingly, all of us, all Americans, and certainly all of our
> children and adolescents, are now and for the foreseeable future
> confronted by this crisis of youth development. Of course, the
> pervasiveness of this crisis does not diminish the need to
> prioritize our efforts, In fact, results of evaluation studies of
> preventive interventions indicate that great success can occur
> with programs directed to youth and families most in need
> (Dryfoos, 1990, 1994, in press; Hamburg, 1992; Schorr, 1988).
> Nevertheless, the breadth of the problems affecting our nation's
> youth requires that we see the issues we face as pertaining to
> all of us, and not to only a segment or a subgroup of America.
> Unfortunately, however, current public policies, and the programs
> associated with them, have proven insufficient to eradicate the
> growth of behavioral risks and of poverty and its sequelae; as
> such, unless effective policy innovations and new programs are
> introduced American will lose both much of its current generation
> of adults and an even larger proportion of the next generation.
> Given the economic and social calamity that such loss will
> engender, it is clear that public policies pertinent to poor
> people must be reconceptualized and redesigned, and that
> innovative and effective youth- and family-serving programs must
> be coupled with these policy changes in order to create and
> sustain the changes in youth and families that will be requisite
> if America is not to fall over the precipice of generational
> destruction.
> Thus, welfare reform and creative programming must be seamlessly
> combined to address this urgent national problem. As such, we now
> discuss the key policy issues to which welfare reform must speak
> and to delineate the ways in which Extension--with its existing
> youth- and family-serving programs or with new programming
> initiatives it will undertake--possesses the capacity to be the
> outreach arm of reformed welfare policies focused on the diverse
> needs of our nations children and families.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

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