Originally Posted by Constable Odo
I'm sure there are Japanese realtors already trying to acquire land from displaced and missing persons. Life goes on. Using human tragedy is a fine way to make money. Japanese-owned crematoriums are gleefully running 24/7. They undoubtedly wish for daily tsunamis. Nothing is more profitable than price-gouging during times of short supply. Why? Because humans are greedy. Nothing unusual here. Humanity and suffering goes hand in hand. There's always the hope that if you stockpile enough cash, you might be spared some of the suffering. If I were Japanese and had plenty of cash, I'd probably flee Japan before it comes a nuclear wasteland.
Yep. That's exactly what I'm certain all crematorium owners are hoping for. Probably why they all went into business, right? And all contractors who operate in zones where there are hurricanes.
Capitalism has defects, certainly - many and we're trying to figure out how to cope with those. But in societies where it's been eliminated or suppressed a whole other set of problems and side effects exists.
Take South Korea - again, an imperfect society - and "greedy shareholder free" North Korea as examples. If the DMZ were suddenly opened to allow totally free movement in either direction, which direction do you think 99% of the movees would migrate??
Originally Posted by anantksundaram
Sure, that's true, but you can leave behind more for your descendants, or for charity, or fund more research into things that make the world better off, etc.
Regardless of global circumstances, I'd rather leave behind more than less.
Originally Posted by solipsism
I am trying to that, but with my carbon footprint.
Without sufficient capital to advance energy, ecology management and other technologies in a world of 7 billion increasingly interconnected people all with aspirations for a decent standard of living (shame on them, according to some posting here!), there's no feasible way to do that.
Abandoning our entire way of life in a back to Eden movement would result by far in the largest catastrophe the world has ever known. Not only would the balance of the pre-human world be suddenly restored, we'd eat all the bark off the trees and every critter moving in the process of billions of starving, ill people.
And even if the dust settled, how many here would trade our lifespans and options for living - for 25 year life spans in caves punctuated by periods of famine and disease - the way of things for most of human history and pre-history. Because anything more would only start the cycle of development again. That is, some damn fool would start to get ideas for improving things and then........
The human race made a Faustian bargain with economic systems and resource usage when it adopted fire, the wheel, agriculture and language - and while there was a time we could have returned to a pastoral, tribal existence without such consequences (tho' a time when we lacked the scientific/technology base to understand the ecosphere in terms of science, tho' granted, there were Thoreaus who grasped some of it on a spirtual and philosophical level, and some societies which had a real relationship with nature that most have either always lacked or lost) - it was hundreds of years ago.
Ecological sustainability is inextricably interlinked to "economic sustainability." The failure of the left to grasp the role of wisely managing the world's "debt footprint" and banking wealth for R&D and "rainy day" savings is - in both the short and long term - as at least as dangerous as the right's failure to see the ecological impact of untrammeled resource exploitation.
And considering us from the rich to the poor, without a healthy economy with the human, scientific and monetary resources to develop things like, say, fuel cells, someday there won't be food stamps. Or libraries or parks or whole lotta things we take for granted, but which don't "grow on trees," except in well-managed orchards.
And neither do efficient extractors of solar or any other advanced - less dangerous and disruptive sources of energy - nor machinery that will sip instead of swig it - nor allow a transition to a post-max raw consumption economy that doesn't involve mass suffering, resource wars and much worse.
Originally Posted by ncee
Apple and others aren't dumb. If getting over there and rolling up their sleeves is going to help, you can be sure, they will send folks over to do just that.
I won't make an assumption and slam you, but I will ask: do you have a specific objection to the concept of "doing well by doing good"? I don't.
Win-win-win solutions, i.e., the inventors, managers, stockholders, consumers, society and the planet are where we need to focus - on what we have in common, rather than on the many things which will always tend to separate us until utopia arrives - which will be... ...never.
And not to slam art, as I am an artist of sorts, but the world will not be solely saved by whiny would be artists "sittin' round the floor, makin' up songs about bein' poor" (-Frank Zappa). Inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, and many other more ordinary types acting with a degree of enlightened self-interest are a very important part of the human quilt.
Originally Posted by zoetmb
Maybe it's just will I have enough money in retirement to pay my basic living expenses. Maybe it's that even when the Dow hit a recent high of 11,400 a few weeks back, that was still almost 3000 points below its all-time peak in October of 2007 and that's 25% below where we were almost four years ago and it's painful to see it take another big hit. And maybe, even though one is willing and able to continue working, that there's few jobs for such people, because of both the state of the economy and bias against older people (if only because their experience generally gets them more money), so they have no choice but to retire.
That's not to say that I don't care about what's happening in Japan. Whatever I'm facing economically is trivial compared to the horrors that people in Northern Japan are facing. Hundreds of thousands homeless. Homes and factories gone or damaged that will probably take years to rebuild. Lack of adequate power for years to come, since those damaged reactors can never be put back online. Damage far greater than that the U.S. experienced during 9/11. Thousands, maybe even tens of thousands dead. A very aging population, especially in the areas hit. Nuclear radiation...fears of aftershocks and/or another earthquake.
But all that doesn't mean that another fall in the worldwide economy isn't going to have big negative impact on people here - both on workers and investors. My bet is that you're below 40. If I were still below 40, I wouldn't be too worried about my investments (because I barely had any back then.) But every change in my asset values has big impact on whether I'm going to have enough money to live on in my retirement, especially if I live long.
Meanwhile, I think that even if there are some parts shortages, Apple will do fine in the long run. When the stock went down yesterday, I bought a few more shares. Seemed like a bargain to me.
The most thoughtful, reasoned post on this in the thread. Thank you for spreading the gift of a bit of perspective.
You didn't mention Japan's existing debt load - which they took on voluntarily in a democratic country - the greatest of any developed economy - which is going to severely hamper their ability to mount an effective recovery. Which only adds to the economic ripples from this event - another "invisible" cloud which i going to spread as far as any radioactive release - and cause greater or lesser loss and harm to most of us on the globe whether we "feel" it or not.
We're as seriously overextended on the big Mastercard in the Sky as we are on the balance of oxygen and CO2 in the atmosphere, to name one ecological overextension. And they are not separable problems.
Analogies between Japan's earthquake and the world's financial shock have a great deal of validity. An implosion of the perceived values of the world's paper currencies would cause suffering from which there will be no hiding.
Originally Posted by MobileMe
Its called truth bro
It's called incredible cynicism, "bro."
Originally Posted by MobileMe
ture.. very uptight... look at the reaction to the individual who shared his experience with scalpers... that post somehow turned into a racist argument, from shallow minded individuals... not all asians are scalpers, not all whites are racist, not all blacks are thugs, not all hispanics are illegal immigrants.
The west and the rest of the world has a prejudice beyond belief.
By my calculations "the west and the rest of the world" = humanity. So that would make your point..... ???? ....if it's that we're by nature tribal and distrustful of anyone we don't recognize as a member of our own, that's a diddly-damn DNA fact borne out by all of history. And a re-reading (or a watch of either film version) of Lord of the Flies would reinforce how thin a line all of cultural advances are when each new baby comes into the world equipped with the same tendencies our ancestors bequeathed us from the plains of Africa.
To me simply another reason why we need the resources to ensure we keep delivering our accumulating layer of knowledge and philosophy and culture to each new generation.
Originally Posted by MobileMe
Screw those investors who would act like that. A serious situation has happened and they're worried about their money??? Screw them, cause if this was worldwide the last thing to worry about is your money, cause no amount of money can save you from death.
"Greedy shareholders" are one of the primary reasons you're using modern electronics to post your bile to the entire world likely from a well-fed and reasonably comfy location. Without "GS's" - and highly educated, reasonably compensated scientists, engineers, managers, bankers, production-line workers, etc., where would multi-billion dollar chip fabs (to name one component of an incredibly elaborated system all based on research and economic development) come from?
Not from the government, which would have no tax revenue without wealth to be taxed to spend on such things (as if a bureaucracy would ever have had the vision to develop such things in the first place) - nearly all basic scientific advances have come from outside of such structures, and in cases where they have (like DARPA and the internet, NASA and space - from which we get not only geosynchronous communications satellites, weather satellites and much of the key data collection on the ecology) the great majority of the work was still done by private parties and only fostered by a collective will to utilize their work.
And, just for the record, the (private and public) financing of all the components of our vast and varied modern medical system "has saved countless people from death."
Originally Posted by MobileMe
I believe in the balance, and according to the article, the Apple Shareholders are more interested with $$$ then life.
If you put emphasis on the all mighty currency then your perspective on life is skewed. Also, money is necessary because, that money is being sent to help aid the Japanese, and other countries around the world who need help.
My beef is with the greedy hungry Apple shareholders and anyone else who values money over life.
Again valuing money OR life is simply not an either/or situation. I'm expecting it will be lost on your binary value system, but I've done my best to sketch out a few of the many reasons above.