Russia’s population to shrink?


Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

The coming dark age: According to a report from Russia’s national statistics office, the country’s population could drop by as much as 12 million by 2035.

The report outlined three scenarios, based on present trends, with only the most optimistic predicting any population increase, though even that saw population growing by only about four million by 2035. Meanwhile, the numbers the last two years were stark:

Russia’s overall population dropped for the first time in a decade last year, totaling 146.8 million as migration inflows hit record lows. It totaled 146.7 million so far in 2019, the State Statistics Service Rosstat said this month, as Russia experienced its highest natural population decline in 11 years.

These numbers are very disturbing, for they carry terrible consequences for both Russia and the rest of the world.

Readers!
 

Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
 

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
 

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
 

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

28 comments

  • Cotour

    The Russians are fulfilling the Globalist agenda whether by plan or by accident, isn’t that a good thing? Their population will shrink but they can still kill everyone on the planet with their newly deployed hypersonic missile system that travels at 24 times the speed of sound (Allegedly).

    We all understand how successful the Communist / Capitalist model is, I suspect that China will follow in a similar manner.

    Here is something that might be even more disturbing going on right here in America as our population levels out.

    Mark Patey: https://youtu.be/bNmL7bDh3lg

    I was listening to a radio show this morning and they were talking about student loans and apparently the rates for student is in the 12 % range. I find that very disturbing, you know that there are companies working hand in hand with the government to create these debt traps that the youth of our country are forced to participate in.

    Mr. Bloomberg and all of the other guilt ridden white billionaires in America, want to do something worth while? Why not adopt some of these dopey bastards who have enslaved themselves and retire some of their school debt so they can afford some of this good healthcare where the government makes $1100 for a $200 dollar test panel if you should use your insurance.

    Sounds crazy? That’s because it is.

    Everything is screwed up all over, even in America, although we seem to be the least screwed up. America, the cleanest dirty shirt in the hamper :)

  • Dick Eagleson

    This is something I bring up repeatedly in comments on this and other space forums. Official figures of any kind from today’s Russia are always suspect as were those of the Soviet Union before it. But based on figures from the 90’s – between the Soviet era and the rise of Putin – it seems that Russia might have been losing, on net, as many as a million people a year during that decade.

    The repatriation of most of the ethnic Russians who still hankered for the home country from the various nearby nations formerly under the Soviet yoke has obscured this general downward population trend in recent years. But that one-time migration that has served to artificially level the Russian population figures is now over and Russia is back to suffering at least mid- to high-six-figure net losses of population annually.

    That certainly accords well with a projected loss of 12 million over the next 16 years as reported here. It also accords well with other longer-term estimates I’ve seen that project a loss of 20 million by 2050.

    On that sort of demographic trajectory, Russia will fall below the 100 million mark before century’s end and is likely to face accelerating losses as it declines toward extinction in the 22nd century. Russia has the largest land area and longest border mileage of any nation on Earth, but already faces systemic shortfalls in its ability to conscript the troops needed to credibly defend its vast expanse. That problem is going to get steadily worse. At some point I think – perhaps even within this century – China, whether still under PRC control or, more likely, that of some less obnoxious regime that arises to replace it, will covet Siberia’s space and resources enough to take it, either by force or for cash desperately needed by the government of the decayed rump that will be all that remains of Russia by that time.

    And it will not be merely chronically low birthrates, widespread abortion-as-retroactive-contraception, alcoholism and declining life expectancy that does in Russia, but the increasing inclination of its people to abandon it for greener pastures elsewhere. Russia has already expatriated a significant fraction of its erstwhile population. There seems no reason to suppose that process will do anything but accelerate as Russia declines further in coming decades.

  • Jhon

    How can we get that to happen in the good old USA?

  • Col Beausabre

    jhon, It already is. Life expectancy in the US has been going down since 2014. The only exception is the wealthiest 20 percent. Biggest decline is in the working class and poor demographics.

    “The grim trend stems from a toxic mixture of more drug- and alcohol-related deaths and more suicide in many parts of the country.”

  • Edward

    Col Beausabre wrote: “Life expectancy in the US has been going down since 2014.

    Isn’t that the year that Obamacare kicked in?

  • Brian

    “These numbers are very disturbing, for they carry terrible consequences for both Russia and the rest of the world.” Robert if you could continue with your thought, about what you think these consequences are for Russia and the rest of the world.

  • Lee S

    I am braced for the wave of abuse I’m setting myself up for…
    A falling population is no bad thing for the world as a whole… But it’s bad news for capitalism.
    I have actually been predicting that my generation ( late 60s/early 70s) will be the first to die earlier than our parents… They had it harder than we have, but on the whole had much healthier lifestyles… More active, healthier diets with much less processed food, and the job market had much more metal beating and much less desk sitting.
    The end result of falling birth rates and falling average age before death is both uncertain, and as Bob says, potentially catastrophic.

  • Brian: The collapse of a country as large and as powerful as Russia can only reverberate negatively throughout the world, in more wars, conflict, poverty, and bankruptcy. In fact, there is nothing good about decline and collapse, anywhere. Better every country prospers and competes, as both improve the lives of everyone.

  • mpthompson

    I’m having a hard understanding why a falling population, by itself, is a bad thing. Population trends are the natural result of many forces on a society — some pushing the population up and some pushing the population down. It just seems that western, industrialized countries are seeing the population trends being a net negative rather than a net positive. Just because Russia’s population may fall to 100 million over the next 80 years, I don’t see how it means the population will continue to fall to zero in the 22nd century. There are many forces that will kick in as the circumstances change that could easily cause the population to stabilize or even increase after a period of declining population.

    Also, why does a declining population negatively impact capitalistic countries? If anything it should drive forces that seek greater automation and efficiency which should be an overall boost the economy. The only real negative I see is that virtually all capitalistic countries are also running debt driven ponzi schemes that assume the “buck” can be passed to the next generation to pay off the spendthrift ways of the prior generations. Although the falicy this debt was built upon will be exposed more quickly by a declining population, the problem is not with the population, but rather with the with the underlying assumptions the debt was assummed under.

    I have heard economists talk about declining populations leading towards a “zero sum game” attitude that can destabilize a society, but I don’t quite understand why this has to be.

    I would love to have someone here shed light why declining populations are a negative? Would it really be that bad if the Earth’s population were to decline and stabilize at 4 billion rather than 9 billion or whatever its currently projected to plateau at.

  • pzatchok

    Declining populations are not in and of themselves a negative to a nation.
    As long as those numbers are off set by immigration. To a point.

    As a peoples lifestyle increases they naturally have fewer children. Till a point were they even don’t have enough children to replace their own selves.

    At some point immigration MUST be regulated to integrate the newcomers into the old culture. Otherwise their culture takes over the state. Once a nations culture changes enough that nation no longer exists.

    Western democracy must be preserved and expanded.

    Will more western democrats move into Russia or will people who are willing to accept dictatorships be the new Russians?

    The same with America.

    The same with the whole of the EU.

  • Edward

    mpthompson wrote: “The only real negative I see is that virtually all capitalistic countries are also running debt driven ponzi schemes that assume the ‘buck’ can be passed to the next generation to pay off the spendthrift ways of the prior generations.

    This generational theft is a socialist concept. “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.”

    As we all know, for the past couple of centuries, or so, each successive generation has been more productive, per capita, than the previous generation, so reason says that our future generations will be able to easily pay off our current (and growing) debt. Plus interest. We are taking from them, because they are (or rather, will be) so much more able than us.

    This debt is accumulated because we have such critical needs, such as an impoverished population that needs to stay poor in order to continue to receive free stuff from the welfare (wealth redistribution) system. And who can possibly get started in the morning without a six-dollar Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks? That’s a daily need that goes on the EBT card.

  • A. Nonymous

    I recommend that anyone interested in this topic watch a video or two of Peter Zeihan, formerly of Stratfor. He’s written three books now, and has a number of presentations from various conferences he’s spoken at up on YouTube. They cover largely the same material each time, with a few different details either as the numbers change over time, or as he customizes each speech for the industry he’s speaking to.

    The tl;dr version can be summed up as follows: the US has the best geography for self-sufficiency on the planet, and while we benefit from global trade, thanks to fracking we no longer require global trade in order to survive as a nation. Also, we’ve been propping up the entire global order for 75 years by way of Breton Woods and the use of our large navy to guarantee any nation the right to securely trade with any other nation, something that had never happened before. With no compelling reason (to us) to continue the arrangement, we are set to allow that guarantee to expire.

    And it gets worse from there, because as bad as our demographics are, everybody else’s are even worse (and the few countries with high population growth are heavily dependent upon imported food–he quietly mentions mass famines more than once).

    When it comes to Russia, he’s been predicting for almost a decade that Russia’s population crunch would lead them to expand (violently) towards the geographic barriers that they could successfully defend with a much smaller Russian population. What he hasn’t covered, and I am growing to suspect, is that, far from being a Putin stooge, Trump has thrown a huge monkey wrench into Russia’s plans. After all, Trump is hard to predict, prone to making large moves at the drop of a hat, and has a domestic base that still largely distrusts Russia, whereas Hillary could have been easily bribed to look the other way, just as Obama apparently was. And yet, if Russia doesn’t move until 2025, their military age population (and education system) may have collapsed too far to support a modern, technological army capable of invading all of those places.

    It’s… heavy, often chilling stuff. The one bright spot is that the US, out of everybody, is in the best place to come out of it o.k.

  • Lee S

    It’s pretty obvious that the capitalist model can, and will not last forever…. The idea has always been that when a country is prosperous enough, it starts getting it’s stuff made oversea, when I was a kid, much stuff had “made in Japan”, or “made in Korea” stamped on the bottom. These days it’s more likely to be India or China… But these countries are becoming richer at an alarming rate, we will one day run out of poor countries to outsource industry to.
    There is a very good reason the Chinese are building roads, hospitals and other infrastructure across the African continent… They are VERY good at taking the long view.
    The idea proposed that they might have one eye on Siberia is not impossible, but as the tundra melts, and exposes who knows what amount of resources, it could also be Russia’s most valuable resource. Where that will end is anyone’s guess. But such a massive area of land would certainly need either a massive army, or very high tech weapons to defend.
    I have always argued that any Russian “threat” to the west is mere theatre… They are certainly not going to invade any European countries anytime soon.. (Crimea was requested by the Russian speaking , ((I.E. +90%)) population, it’s not applicable in this discussion). They really do not need hypersonic ballistic missiles to “defend” against western forces, as I don’t think we will be invading russian territory any time soon either.
    However this thread is giving me plenty of food for thought… It actually makes more sense that the saber waving is actually intend for the eastern market rather than this direction.
    All this chin stroking aside… The falling population is a problem in many countries… I remember not long after I moved here, (17 years ago), the then Swedish prime minister gave a speech which went along the lines of “we cannot depend on immigration to save us… We are a cold, dark country with a difficult language, we must adapt and turn our skills to the business of the future” ( of course this was before the migrant crisis over here in Europe, but that’s a different discussion entirely)
    He had a good point… In a world which is, for example, likely to be free from coal in 30 years, there is not much point in training the kids of today to be miners.
    And if course there is always AI, and automation which may pull us out of the man power shortage.
    Its a bloody difficult set of problems to even parse, and impossible to answer right now. We just have to wait and see I guess… But we are in for interesting times.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “It’s pretty obvious that the capitalist model can, and will not last forever…. The idea has always been that when a country is prosperous enough, it starts getting it’s stuff made oversea, when I was a kid, much stuff had “made in Japan”, or “made in Korea” stamped on the bottom. These days it’s more likely to be India or China… But these countries are becoming richer at an alarming rate, we will one day run out of poor countries to outsource industry to.

    You so don’t understand free market capitalism, despite your travels abroad. In fact, I now think that you see the world only through the eyes of a socialist, that you have a socialist-centric view of the world.

    The idea has always been that when a country is prosperous enough, it starts spreading capitalism overseas by asking those countries to do some manufacturing for the first country. Amazingly, this was even a Democratic Party idea, in order to increase the incomes of those in the poorer countries so that U.S. companies would have even more people to sell to.

    Also amazing is the part where the Democratic Party thinks that this strategy has failed, because they think that these countries do not buy American. But, how many people in these countries own iPhones? Quite a few. Having them do manufacturing has made them U.S. customers. A side benefit is that these new customers also buy from other countries, too. That is part of what free markets are all about, spreading the prosperity around the world. Unlike socialism, which just takes people’s wealth (from each according to his ability) and spreads it around to other people (to each according to his need), capitalism increases the prosperity and thus increases the wealth. Socialism: zero sum game, distributing the one and only pie. Capitalism: everyone baking more pies in more varieties for everyone to buy.*

    If the U.S. now wants to be the dominant supplier, then it needs to also be the efficient supplier, which is another part of what free markets are all about.

    We certainly do hope that “we will one day run out of poor countries to outsource industry to.” The more countries that become prosperous, the better off the world will be. So it is a good thing that more countries are becoming richer, even if some people think it is an alarming rate.

    (Crimea was requested by the Russian speaking , ((I.E. +90%)) population, it’s not applicable in this discussion)

    (Unless every country that Russia invades also “requests” invasion. Then this tactic for rationalizing Russia’s expansion and empirical ways would become much more obvious to you and would become applicable to this discussion.)

    * What is the opposite of “zero sum game?” “Non-zero-sum game?” Certainly true, but it could also describe a shrinking economy. For a zero sum game, the economy remains static and when one person gains then another must necessarily lose.

    “Positive sum game?” This may be opposite, but it also describes an economy that continually increases. For free market capitalism, improved efficiency is encouraged, as this allows for better products, reduced prices, or both. The effect of efficiency is that more can be supplied and more can be demanded, increasing prosperity and the pie to be distributed.

    Maybe the use of the word “sum” is incorrect, because the pie to share continually increases, therefore there is not static sum to find. Instead of a zero sum economy, perhaps it is a flexible economy. This allows for recessions, too.

    Oh! Look what Wikipedia has to say on the topic:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-sum_game
    Humans have a cognitive bias towards seeing situations as zero-sum, known as zero-sum bias.

    Well, that explains a lot.

  • wayne

    Lee—
    we (the United States) are rich because we are productive, it takes 3 Chinese communists “workers” to equal one American employee. They can steal our technology but fundamentally they have no idea of incentives. (It’s a slave state and will eventually have to be annihilated.)
    One huge mistake the Russians made—the country is run by the EXACT same gang of criminals that ran it for 70 years, when the political system failed, the People failed to round up all the soviet communists and purge them for the endless atrocities they committed against the Russian people, which is why they now have am x- KGB agent as chief dictator.
    I truly hate John McCain, but he was correct to characterize Russia as “a gas station with nuclear weapons.

    “Deck the Halls with Macro Follies”
    Emergent Order 2012
    https://youtu.be/7uKnd6IEiO0
    4:34

  • wayne

    In Our Hands, Part 1:
    “How We Got What We Have”
    Wilding Picture Productions 1950
    https://youtu.be/gKwl0JynzQs
    21:01

  • Edward

    In Our Hands, Part 2: “What We Have”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5PlTOB9v34 (15 minutes)

  • wayne

    Edward–
    good stuff!
    :)

    Incidentally– there’s 4 parts but two of the reel’s are mixed up. The original files are at archive.org, where I THINK they explain it.

    pivoting wildly….

    Rockefeller court speech from
    The Men Who Built America
    https://youtu.be/_LC9Dh4kR_g
    2:41

  • Lee S

    Jeez Louise…. I didn’t expect such venom from my comment…. Methinks the lady protests too much…. I’ve been quoted several time above with quotes I never acctually said.
    Sometimes its not easy being the only socialist in the room… But someone’s god only knows…. You guys need one…
    Wayne…. I do acctually love your.posts… you think fairly deeply compared to the majority of the right wingers on here who like to prove me wrong because the god blessed USofA has been doing kinda ok for 300 years ( give or take a few… It’s still small beer compared to most European countries…

  • Lee S

    “Lee—
    we (the United States) are rich because we are productive, it takes 3 Chinese communists “workers” to equal one American employee. They can steal our technology but fundamentally they have no idea of incentives. (It’s a slave state and will eventually have to be annihilated.)”
    I work for a company that sells both “original” and “aftermarket” spare parts for American cars.. and as one of the goods inwards team, can you explain why roughly 90% of the stuff we import from the US ( We bring a 40″ container from Atlanta pretty much every week)… 90%!!! Was made or assembled outside the US…
    I have even checked in single washers for old Chevy suspension sold as US, but “assembled in Mexico”.?? I’m still wondering how a washer is assembled.
    Dig ya head into the sand as much as you like guys.. it’s fun winding you all up, especially when it’s with a truth I see, very litteraly every day…. For an example, we sell J bends of many sizes, both diameter and radius… Around a year ago Holly started sending them boxed individually, rather than in boxes of 6 like they had for the last 15 years.. upon close inspection, the had changed from “made in the USA” to “made in china”. Some poor bugger lost his job with a mandrel bending machine because it’s cheaper to export from China to the US, and then from the US to Sweden… I guess the locals will never know, because the quality remains the same, and they can still build their headers….. But the fact remains…. One (at least) less American job.
    Enjoy your beautiful isolation guys…. While your jobs get taken by the company’s abroad… ( Oh, and by the way, I never meant this as a critique, or insult, but just a statement of fact…. But I guess I will get lectured anyway…. As the company socialist I’m used to it by now…. Just because you all can write long posts full of references to you tube videos and the ranting of crazies, doesn’t mean your right, and don’t mean your wrong… However I rarely refer to YouTube or any other dodgy sites… My thoughts are my own… Be they right or wrong… I will refer to facts if my thoughts need to…. But mostly they speak for themselves)
    Here’s hoping for a more socialist 2020 folks…. It’s about time we have one! Love and light to you all! Xxxxx

  • pzatchok

    Lee S

    Without some serious investigation there is no way to know if those pipe benders lost their jobs or not.
    There is just as good a chance that they improved their companies quality and can now make high quality oil drilling parts and or aircraft parts. They may be making replacement parts for our nuclear reactors.

    That fact is that rarely do companies ever go down in the quality of their products. They either stay the same or advance.

    As an example my families company expanded to a point were we had to import parts for assembly. We could no longer expand enough to keep making enough for our own production. We ended up importing from Canada, Mexico, China and even England for a while. We would have imported from Sweden but you people charged 10 times what everyone else was asking. We didn’t need your “quality” we just needed functionality.
    We have since sold the company.
    But the fact is we stopped making one part and instead imported them. We kept everyone employed and even helped keep a few foreigners employed as well.

  • Lee S

    @pzatchok, I sincerely hope that is the case, but I fear otherwise, Holly was “absorbed” into Tenneco, now all of Holly’s exhaust products are made in china.
    15 years ago the company I work for had 7 people working in the pipe bending department, it was closed down when it became blatently obvious it was cheaper to import from France, who in turn imported from the US , than to manufacture here in Sweden. ( For example, a tail pipe to a 1980s jeep dropped in price from $50 to 20…. )Admittedly the quality dropped dramatically…. 2mm aluminised steel turned into 1.2mm, but with a price difference of over 50% it’s no surprise 5 people lost their jobs… The boss still answers the phone for orders, and I now drive a forklift mostly, but still occasionally knock up, or modify systems… We kept one bending machine… But if you want an exhaust system pre 57, in Sweden, you are now out of luck unless you want to import from the US…. Or can build your own by cutting and welding.
    Just my own personal experience of how it works when you get undercut by foreign manufacturers. Yes it’s the free market, yes it’s the capitalist system in action, yes it is inevitable, and yes, the company I work for would have been irresponsible to the share holders if they haddent taken the more profitable option, but also the American car owners here in Sweden lost the opportunity to get something special, high quality, and custom made for their car… And 5 people lost their jobs.
    I know that everyone here will just lecture me about the free market… Blah blah blah ad infinitum, save your fingers… I know, I get it. Competition is good… But sometimes quality and ( here it comes ) the actual wellbeing of the people you employ should enter into the equation. It’s not all about profit… Of course profit needs to be made. Its just the human factor has been lost in today’s business environment. And I personally think it’s a sad loss.

  • Lee S

    And really folks…. I need no lecture on how I am wrong, with links to hours of videos. I really do understand your point of view. I just happen to have a different one. And bloody hell, I think I am providing a service here by not being intimidated into silence by the right wing Mafia. You guys need a bit of dissenting opinion, otherwise you really would be shouting into an echo chamber.
    Happy new year to Bob, and to all the other members of this strange community… And remember what I tried to explain to my ex wife ( it obviously didn’t work with her!!)
    “Just because we disagree, it doesn’t mean I think less of you”!

  • wayne

    Lee–
    (as Cotour has remarked in the past, (loosely) “highest Nerd-IQ folks on the interwebs dial-in here, on a regular basis!)
    Another minor but important quibble— I’m doubting a lot of us here would refer to ourselves as ‘right-wingers.’ (But, hey, if that’s a Thought-Crime, sign me up, I’m guilty.) That’s a marxist pejorative term designed to equate me with national-socialists and white-supremacists. (not that you are doing so, just sayin’.)
    Personally, I’m a Conservative (free-marketer), small “l” libertarian, and Republican, generally in that order. (and I’m fairly secular, but the only religion I truly fear is Islam, while I whole heartedly support our collective Judeo-Christian belief’s.) ((and I’m highly Jingoistic when it comes to America) I’m also highly sympathetic to the viewpoints expressed by Edward (and others) I just don’t want to dog-pile on you, cuz’ you make a sincere effort to explain yourself, and it gives me a insight into what I’m up against in my own Country from the socialist-wannabe’s. (and the Crony’s, we have far too many Crony’s and RINO’s pretending to represent me.)
    I try to pick my clips carefully and along more than one dimension if possible, but if I think a topic is deserving I will link to longer presentations. (I have a neurological disease and I’m losing my ability to write coherently, and as the saying goes “a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words,” and most all of what I believe has been presented by others far more articulate than I at this point.)

    a repeat from me, but…. Compare and Contrast–

    Neil Young and Crazy Horse
    God Save the Queen/ America medley
    2012
    https://youtu.be/y-nPsrX05Rk
    4:11

  • Lee S

    Thank you Wayne…. I appreciate your time to explain yourself… And isn’t it a shame that the terms “right” and “left” have been hijacked by extremests on both ends… You are conservative, and I am socialist… Neither of us are extremest, but if I use the terms right and left…. Well they mean something different today than they did 30 years ago… I honestly don’t know how to describe myself here… I am financially realistic, but believe in a socialist state…. I would traditionally be known as “left wing”…. You would be known as “right wing”… But as I’ve said many times… The terms are now used to describe extremists.. yet there is more middle ground between you and me, than there is between us and the FAR left and right…
    And for what it’s worth, I am atheist, thru and thru… But I believe in live and let live… The only religions I have a problem with are the Catholic church ( a history of hiding child abuse..) , and Islam… Which I consider to be a threat against our very existence…. The extreamists hate atheists, Christians, Jews, and anyone else that is not Muslim with a passion.
    I lived thru the troubles in Ireland… That was not a good time, but it’s mostly resolved… The problems with Islam could never be resolved until doomsday… And that worries me…
    Hopefully time will calm everything down, as it has with Christianity, ( look back to the Spanish inquisition… The Monty python version is funnier, but the true history mirrors Islam’s current push to convert the world)
    So my unmet friends… Remember what I said… The gap between us is not as wide as it appears…. And just because I self identify as “left”, does not mean I’m a Nazi, that I protest violently over anything I object to, or am easily offended… Indeed, I can imagine a new years beer would make for interesting and stimulating conversation…. And I would hope a handshake at the end of the evening…
    Happy new year Guys and Gals!

  • Lee S

    (oh, and I love Neil young…. And Bruce the boss also…). ;-)

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “Sometimes its not easy being the only socialist in the room… But someone’s god only knows…. You guys need one…

    You will have to explain why we need a socialist in the room. I agree that it is not easy being the only socialist; it is probably not easy being a socialist (full stop), knowing that it is a failed system.

    the right wingers on here who like to prove me wrong because the god blessed USofA has been doing kinda ok for 300 years ( give or take a few… It’s still small beer compared to most European countries…

    Considering that the US Constitution has been around longer than any other government, yours is quite a statement. In fact, the US Constitution was the longest living government as far back as 1950, meaning that during the first 163 years of its life, every other country changed. That alone makes all European countries “small beer” compared to the Constitution.

    I work for a company that sells both ‘original’ and ‘aftermarket’ spare parts for American cars.. and as one of the goods inwards team, can you explain why roughly 90% of the stuff we import from the US ( We bring a 40″ container from Atlanta pretty much every week)… 90%!!! Was made or assembled outside the US…

    You see, Lee S, you just don’t learn from other people’s comments. I already explained this, but here you are asking the question all over again. On the other hand, this lack of comprehension could explain why you continue to be a socialist despite its constant failure, but I prefer to believe that you are a socialist because you are on the receiving side of the socialism “Ponzi scheme.” Socialism can be more addictive than socialism, or so the BBC once said. Otherwise I would have to question your intelligence.

    I’m still wondering how a washer is assembled.

    It usually starts out as part of a sheet of metal. Then a misinterpretation by the foreign-language maker is put on the label.

    Dig ya head into the sand as much as you like guys.. it’s fun winding you all up, especially when it’s with a truth I see, very litteraly every day….

    The same goes for us, except that we know that you are wrong about your “truths.” Every day, we see socialism fail around the world and capitalism succeed, then we comment to you and you get all wound up, often complaining that we don’t agree with you. We are amazed that you misinterpret capitalism’s successes as failure and refuse to acknowledge socialism’s continuous failures. Even your successes are at the expense of capitalist countries — as was predicted by Karl Marx himself, when he noted that capitalism was a stepping stone to socialism. Socialism needs the “other people’s money” (OPM) from a successful capitalist nation, otherwise it falls apart quickly. Venezuela demonstrates that it can still fall apart quickly, because socialists can squander OPM pretty fast.

    Look how much you try to rag on a system that is millennia old, while the first attempt at socialism dates back only four centuries, a couple of decades after the first continuous formally listed publicly traded corporation, The Dutch East India Company. The Plymouth Colony tried socialism, and it failed so hard that they immediately abandoned it for free market capitalism, which worked marvelously.

    Free market capitalist countries date back far earlier than socialism, so your obsession with longevity makes your arguments for socialism seem disingenuous. No country has lasted even a century under the burden of socialism, but plenty of countries have lasted more than a century under the liberty of free market capitalism.

    As for winding us up, you do us a favor by getting us to think through our positions much better than we had done before. Thank you for that service. If it weren’t for people like you, we would probably just chant “USA! USA!” without much thought as to why America outperforms other countries or without realizing the amount to which we subsidize other countries.

    However, we would still understand (even though Democrats don’t) the success of the Democratic Party’s policy of spreading the manufacturing around the world in order to generate enough prosperity that the other countries would buy our products. We would also still see the failure of socialism all around the world and the success of free market capitalism in the prosperous areas of the world.

    otherwise you really would be shouting into an echo chamber.

    Nah. We just wouldn’t be saying anything at all. No need, because there would be no one saying silly stuff to us.

    For an example, we sell J bends of many sizes, both diameter and radius… Around a year ago Holly started sending them boxed individually, rather than in boxes of 6 like they had for the last 15 years.. upon close inspection, the had changed from “made in the USA” to “made in china”. Some poor bugger lost his job with a mandrel bending machine because it’s cheaper to export from China to the US, and then from the US to Sweden…

    A case in point. This is an example of the improvement in efficiency that comes from free market capitalism but does not come from socialism. We see efficiency as an improvement, you see it as a problem. Amazingly, you see only the job lost in America but not the job gained in other countries. Because it is easy to miss what is not seen, and because the zero sum game bias is natural, especially among socialists, it would be good for you to find some time to read:
    http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

    Enjoy your beautiful isolation guys….

    What isolation? You just said that we trade with many other countries and spread around the wealth by asking others to participate in our manufacturing process. Really, with your continual dualism I sometimes get the impression that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    However I rarely refer to YouTube or any other dodgy sites… My thoughts are my own… Be they right or wrong…

    At least you are willing to admit that you are wrong most of the time. You don’t care that you are wrong, just so long as you can live a nice life off the generosity of others. Not so stupid on your part — you take advantage of the kindness of others.

    I know, I get it. … Its just the human factor has been lost in today’s business environment.

    You get nothing. The human factor is not what you think it is. You think that a company is for the benefit of the workers, not the owners or the customers. It is created by the owners for the benefit of the owners, who must favor the customers in order to stay in business, and the more successful businesses need additional workers. For the owners or the workers to benefit, the customers must be satisfied. This means that the company is actually for the benefit of the customer in order for the owners and the workers to get any benefit from the company. The satisfaction of the customer is the human factor that allows for the worker or the owner to participate in the human factor. When your company fails to sufficiently satisfy the customer, the human factor fails for all.

    If the customer can find a better deal elsewhere, then the company (owners and workers) must find a more efficient method to make the product or an improved product to sell to the customers in order to bring back the human factor. This is why the customer is always right, not the worker and not the owner. The owners and the workers are productive for the benefit of the customers; without them, there is no company, no workers, and no owners. Socialists just. don’t. get. it. Probably because they think that the company is for the benefit of the workers.

    When all companies are for the benefit of the workers, as socialists try to make them, then the satisfaction of the customers is a low priority, so when the worker becomes a customer, he is not as satisfied as he should be. That is how it works in socialist countries, and that is a sad thing.

    This is why in the Soviet Union — a high level of socialism — customers would get into any line, because no matter what was being sold, the customer could always barter it later for something that he needed. The customer was low priority and too often didn’t get satisfaction until he bartered on his own.

    The human factor is the satisfaction of the customer. Everyone else works hard to do what it takes to satisfy the customer, not themselves. That is why it is called work. Every company needs to improve its product or make its production more efficient, because the competition is doing the same in order to make the customers even more satisfied than the first company makes them. Then, when the worker becomes the customer, he gets satisfaction.

    At least that is how it works in a free market capitalist system. That is not a sad thing at all.

    I need no lecture on how I am wrong, with links to hours of videos. I really do understand your point of view. I just happen to have a different one.

    If you understood the point of view, then you would not have a different one. Unless you don’t think it is selfish to take advantage of the kindness of others.

    I honestly don’t know how to describe myself here…

    In America, socialism is left wing — more centralized control — and conservatism is right wing — more individual control or decentralized, if it cannot be individualized. The Tenth Amendment describes conservatism well:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Just because there are also left and right extremists does not negate the terms.

    Happy New Year to you.

  • wayne

    Lee S.–

    here we go…..

    “Socialism and the Scandinavian illusion”
    Dinesh D’Souza at Chapman University
    December 2019
    https://youtu.be/2uS8A0TVE9A
    1:32:46

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *