Juan Alberto B. Mercado (juanalberto.m@lycos.com)
Wed, 18 Oct 2000 20:16:20 -0700

 4. A lot of people in the West thinks that we all want to share the
>> prosperity. That is simply unpractical. It is simply impossible for,
>> let's say, even 50% of the population to enjoy the N. American lifestyle.
>> Just take an example of the time. The current oil crisis started before
>> the military crisis in the Middle East. What do you think were the
>> reasons that oil just suddenly jumped? I am no economist, but I do notice
>> that it was a period of (relative) stability and econ. growth in the third
>> world, the financial crisis in East/South Eash Asia and South America was
>> over, everyone was doing just a little bit better than 5 yrs ago. And
>> that's major bad news, supply and demand, oil production can't catch up
>> and everyone has to pay more. The chaos in France and England (and soon
>> Canada) is something that we haven't seen for many years. This is result
>> of everyone doing ONLY a little better. Imagine the world when Chinese
>> are burning as much oil per capita as the West, there won't be enough
>> oxygen in the air to substain that! So let's just drop this "share the
>> prosperity" wetdream. Western democracies are only substainable as long
>> as there are poor totalitarian states ready to supply cheap labor, land,
>> and raw materials; nations that are too busy fighting wars (using Western
>> weapons) than to do their own manufacturing, so they export their raw
>> materials at third world prices, let the West make goods out of the
>> materials and re-import them at first world prices. For the West to
>> substain, the economic development of the third world must be kept in
>> check.
>> Put it another way, if hunger is eliminated from the whole world, by the
>> simple principle of supply and demand, the price of your afternoon
>> chocolate bar will have to go up, how many people are really willing to go
>> along with that?

True. Westerners may not want to share their wealth witht he rest of humanity, but I want it to be known that the Earth can still sustain for the next century. I can also tell you that the problem with the world's economics is not in it supply and demand, but rather in its equitability of resources. If the world followed the purely competitive supply and demand, by virtue of science, things will be equitable for everybody. But culture and history forbid that, and so we are reduced to a quagmire of survival of the fittest. Not so civilized when you think of it, it is the law of nature.

>> 5. I am completely sympathetic to JED's feeling of helplessness. The
>> post-Soviet era is both the freest and safest time; and the most
>> suffocating and most depressing time. Most of the Western population are
>> well-fed and well-clothed, but life's meaning seems to be getting sucked
>> out of us from about age 4 onward. I don't want to give any answers now
>> nor in fact do I have an Answer. I said it is impossible for everyone to
>> live the easy comfortable lives of the West, but it IS possible for
>> everyone to live peacefully and happily. To get there, we need to rework
>> the Western ideas of "progress", "success" and "fairness".

Correct, it is possible. As I said, if the resources are shared equitable, on the average, the people of the world will prosper. However, this just doesn't seem possible with all teh socio-political barriers. And so this is the point: The rules of economics are not the ones hindering this prosperity, but laws of man do.

SO all you Gundam-ers... get informed and get an opinion about these seemingly distant issues. They are important and they will affect you (maybe not directly as it affects us in the 3rd world). Be concerned, for it is the only way we can change the world... bit by little bit.


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