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Economics How do we go about rebuilding the Industrial Might of the West?

Lord Sovereign

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Let's face it, we went from building Dreadnoughts to struggling to cut our own steel in the space of a hundred years. Disregarding the disastrous effect the destruction of industry has had on the lower orders, this has caused a great decline in national power and self sufficiency.

My question to you, denizens of the Sietch, is how do we go about rectifying this problem?

I would think that taking a bit of inspiration from 1860s Japan is a good idea. Start from scratch, but spare no expense in getting the foreign experts in to show you how it's done. I'm sure (oddly enough) Japan and Korea (countries who's industries are held in high regard) would be happy to help us out in that regard. Whilst the infrastructure is somewhat straightforward to build, the most vital task of these foreigners would be to train up a new generation of native workers and administrators. And all this must be done with as little government oversight as possible, as bureaucrats will just make a pig's ear of everything and turn the project into a credit black hole. The state should provide the funding and the overarching direction, but leave it to the professionals.

The goal here is less to create a massive state industry, and more a patchwork of independent companies that can function in a competitive environment (although there'd preferably be a few tariffs here and there to protect them from places like India or China).

Also, if possible, make a law that effectively bans left wing movements from nationalising them again. Because, let's be honest, this is where the trouble all started.
 

Chiron

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For America, we need new Business and Government Leaders who reject Capitalism as our Founding Fathers did and re-embrace Industrial Mercantilism and the Doctrine of High Wages put forth by Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

We also need to completely purge the Federal Reserve of Speculators and replace them with Credit Union types who invest in local business. Glass Steagall Act must be fully brought back and the big banks broken up and as much as possible replaced by Credit Unions to further localize businesses.

Regulations need to be overhauled and made more common sense rather than a convoluted mess that favors big businesses and crushes small ones. To aide this, regulatory boards need to be staffed by people whose backgrounds don't involve big business and who must agree to full transparency in their lives as a condition of sitting the boards. Ay regulation they make has to regard safety of products and workplaces and punishments scaled up to the size of the business so that violations actually hurt the company. That way mega corporations can't just pay relatively nominal fines to them as the cost of doing business, they actually wind up paying 75% of their profits for violations which would result in a quick change of behavior instead of recklessly fobbing off externalities onto the tax payer.

We also need to repeal IP laws. They were unnecessary back then and unnecessary now because First Mover advantage will always favor the first person or entity to get a new product to the market first. The only IP allowed should be Trademarks and that is solely so we know what company made what product.

Otherwise Patent trolls will hinder research and development plus improvements. George Lucas never patented any of his film production inventions and made them freely available for copying, revolutionizing movie making. Also many medical advances are not happening due to patenting of genes by patent trolls.

Lastly, we need to re-embrace middle income housing, and start repealing single-family housing laws and densify cities again that are walkable and bikeable. Suburbs are an economic dead end and utterly unsustainable.

Going this route will rebuild the core of our economic might and make for a more resilient America that can better withstand shocks to global trade and better able to maintain its infrastructure. It will also lower crime.

This is the Adult Way to do this, it is our traditional values, and our country was strongest when we had these policies.
 

ParadiseLost

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I agree with most of what you said but...

We also need to repeal IP laws. They were unnecessary back then and unnecessary now because First Mover advantage will always favor the first person or entity to get a new product to the market first. The only IP allowed should be Trademarks and that is solely so we know what company made what product.
This is so nonsense on so many levels.

1). First mover advantage is nonsense in this context (and in most contexts, actually).
2). Patents are the most reasonable form of IP law that currently exists
3). Trademarks should practically be gotten rid of all together, they are currently the least valid. Most trademark litigation is just megacorps suing smaller companies that can't afford to fight back regardless of the validity of the trademark claim.

Additionally the necessity of trademarks has always been dubious, even more so in the modern age. It doesn't prevent low level scammers, and any modern large operation attempting to sell fraudulent products could be sued normally.

And exclusive, literally eternal rights to words like "Nike" (a 2,500 year old deity name), "Rockstar" (literally a common noun), "Apple" (wtf, seriously?), et cetera in a business context is incredibly, unbelievably stupid and never should have been a thing that happened.

Yes, Patent Trolls need to be cracked down on... But Trademark & Copyright laws are a bigger concern because Trademarks are literally last forever (which was always insane) and copy right has been pretty much extended indefinitely via Disney.
 
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Bassoe

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  • Tariffs on imports to the point where it becomes cheaper to pay American citizens than a sweatshop slave despite workers rights and environmental and safety protections.
  • Impose fines for companies that hire and/or sell to illegal scab labor to the point where it becomes cheaper to pay American citizens. Also have a tips hotline which pays accurate snitches upon confirming their claims. This will probably lead to a national ID system, but we were headed that way anyway, might as well get something useful out of it.
  • Fix the Fourteenth Amendment to what it was originally intended to be, a way of giving the slaves and their descendants citizenship, not a loophole to justify importing infinite scab labor and voting blocs.
  • Fix copyright and patent law, in the veterinary sense. Maximum of one decade after something's first published or invented, it reverts to public domain. No exceptions. In event of complaints, threaten to apply it retroactively.
  • Dump levels of money comparable to the corporate bailouts on rebuilding infrastructure.
  • Criminal charges for the leadership of corporations who accepted funding to build infrastructure projects then didn't follow through.
  • All internet service providers and offline printing businesses are legally prevented from having any influence over content as long as the customer can pay. Same as how a phone service can't block customers for badmouthing it in a phonecall using it. Essentially the gay wedding cake argument in reverse.
These would make a good start.
 

S'task

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Fix copyright and patent law, in the veterinary sense. Maximum of one decade after something's first published or invented, it reverts to public domain. No exceptions. In event of complaints, threaten to apply it retroactively.
That's probably to short a time for copyright for authors and other creatives, as the vast majority of authors take many years if not decades to get themselves established. Similarly you run into issues with Patents where there can be a massive lag time between the time of filing patents to time to market due to government regulations. This is especially common in medicine, where there's normally a long and onerous process to get new medicines approved by the FDA, which can involve studies that take five or even ten years to prove the new drug's safety.

This level of strict copyright and patent law actually ensures that you will screw over many inventors and creators, and actually empower companies like Disney, who now, rather than actually having to work with creators, just have to wait a decade and then steal their work. Due to their larger marketing budgets, they then effectively take over the work, while the original creator is left with nothing for their efforts.

Sorry, there's not a "simple fix" to copyright and patent law, you actually need levels of complexity and special exceptions. For instance, you'd need to have some form of "patent time starts one the drug is approved to market" for pharmaceutical companies, as otherwise you put those companies in a catch-22 where they file their patent, go through all the approval process and then their patent runs out just as the approval process is complete, allowing a bunch of other companies to just start manufacturing a generic of their drug, thus preventing them from recouping the cost of drug development. Likewise, there's a reason that traditional copyright for written works was generally a around15 years, even going back to the first US Copyright Law in 1790, which gave a 14 year copyright on printed works, renewable for another 14 years (so a total of 28 years). And this was when printed works were the only form of mass media and there were no megacorps that could game the system as we have now.

Seriously, the obsession with completely gutting copyright and patent laws is something I cannot understand. They are arguably one of the greatest drivers of innovation in world history and despite their modern flaws, nuking them to the point of meaninglessness does nothing but favor the rich and powerful corporations over the individual.
 

Terthna

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That's probably to short a time for copyright for authors and other creatives, as the vast majority of authors take many years if not decades to get themselves established. Similarly you run into issues with Patents where there can be a massive lag time between the time of filing patents to time to market due to government regulations. This is especially common in medicine, where there's normally a long and onerous process to get new medicines approved by the FDA, which can involve studies that take five or even ten years to prove the new drug's safety.

This level of strict copyright and patent law actually ensures that you will screw over many inventors and creators, and actually empower companies like Disney, who now, rather than actually having to work with creators, just have to wait a decade and then steal their work. Due to their larger marketing budgets, they then effectively take over the work, while the original creator is left with nothing for their efforts.

Sorry, there's not a "simple fix" to copyright and patent law, you actually need levels of complexity and special exceptions. For instance, you'd need to have some form of "patent time starts one the drug is approved to market" for pharmaceutical companies, as otherwise you put those companies in a catch-22 where they file their patent, go through all the approval process and then their patent runs out just as the approval process is complete, allowing a bunch of other companies to just start manufacturing a generic of their drug, thus preventing them from recouping the cost of drug development. Likewise, there's a reason that traditional copyright for written works was generally a around15 years, even going back to the first US Copyright Law in 1790, which gave a 14 year copyright on printed works, renewable for another 14 years (so a total of 28 years). And this was when printed works were the only form of mass media and there were no megacorps that could game the system as we have now.

Seriously, the obsession with completely gutting copyright and patent laws is something I cannot understand. They are arguably one of the greatest drivers of innovation in world history and despite their modern flaws, nuking them to the point of meaninglessness does nothing but favor the rich and powerful corporations over the individual.
Perhaps; but they're also responsible for a great deal of stagnation, and they definitely need to be overhauled.
 

Chiron

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1). First mover advantage is nonsense.
2). Patents are the most reasonable form of IP law that currently exists
3). Trademarks should practically be gotten rid of all together, they are currently the least valid. Most trademark litigation is just megacorps suing smaller companies that can't afford to fight back regardless of the validity of the trademark claim.
1. No it is not, it is an established phenomenon going back millennia and has made and broken nations and companies.
2. No they are not and hinder research and development and encourage the growth of monopolies which causes society to become stagnant and unstable.
3. Trademarks are mainly a form of business signature that says this company has made this product/service and take liability for it. What it has morphed into was not its original intent. I suppose we could move to towards a Business ID Code system in order to determine who has made what product or service.

That's probably to short a time for copyright for authors and other creatives, as the vast majority of authors take many years if not decades to get themselves established. Similarly you run into issues with Patents where there can be a massive lag time between the time of filing patents to time to market due to government regulations. This is especially common in medicine, where there's normally a long and onerous process to get new medicines approved by the FDA, which can involve studies that take five or even ten years to prove the new drug's safety.
All Drug Research is publicly funded in the USA due to regulatory capture. Frankly all Medical Drugs should be publicly owned alongside the Healthcare System as a public good with private companies manufacturing under contract. The Coronavirus Epidemic would not have gotten as bad as it did if the US had had Universal Healthcare and Dr. Fauci et al would have had no financial stakes to cook data and stop IVM and HCQ. This is an obvious thing to do and arguments against it are nonsense.

Also the Megacorps argument is a false dichotomy, as they are clearly in violation of anti-trust laws and should simply be broken up and for the most egregious offenders, give them the Corporate Death Penalty.

Which is another thing, Corporate Death Penalty ought to be brought back as a punishment for bad corporate actors so they can be dissolved, their Board and Executives arrested and charge with crimes directly to serve as examples to the rest.

Also the revolving door must be shut, if you worked in business, you can't come into a Government Agency that oversees said business and vice versa. Anyone who violates this rule should get life in prison without parole. Also the regulators can not also be the ones who decide to grant research grants, a separate body does that. Fauci is again a key example of what happens when you have a regulator also controls who gets research grants.

Key in all things is making sure corporate leadership knows that if they want to stay in business and not be broke and in prison, they put their nation and workers first. Everything else follows from that.
 

Simonbob

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To Re-Industrialise?

Just shut most of the Govenment down. No Envoromental Agencies, you just need cops and army, not much more.

There's thousands of people doing only one thing, making it hard to start or run a company, and the best way to get past them, is be big enough to bribe a Congress critter to change laws to help you, and cripple smaller competion.

So, the only way to fix it, is not to regulate it in the first place. Fire them all.



Then, in 10 years or so, we restart said agencies, at 1% of their current sizes. That'll start fixing the other side of the problem.
 

Chiron

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To Re-Industrialise?

Just shut most of the Govenment down. No Envoromental Agencies, you just need cops and army, not much more.

There's thousands of people doing only one thing, making it hard to start or run a company, and the best way to get past them, is be big enough to bribe a Congress critter to change laws to help you, and cripple smaller competion.

So, the only way to fix it, is not to regulate it in the first place. Fire them all.



Then, in 10 years or so, we restart said agencies, at 1% of their current sizes. That'll start fixing the other side of the problem.
That is a recipe for complete disaster and undid the Minoans, Mayans, Romans, etc. We need strong government control that is competent, not no Government, everyone do fuck ever. That is anarchy.

Also a business that produces chemicals that cause harm if misused most certainly must follow strict regulations in its handling and be subject to strict liability if it doesn't follow the rules. Likewise, our society depends on Nature and Nature does not grade on a curve. It is pass/fail, break the ecosystem like the Minoans, Mayans, Romans, et al did and the ecosystem will break you in return.
 

Simonbob

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That is a recipe for complete disaster and undid the Minoans, Mayans, Romans, etc. We need strong government control that is competent, not no Government, everyone do fuck ever. That is anarchy.

Also a business that produces chemicals that cause harm if misused most certainly must follow strict regulations in its handling and be subject to strict liability if it doesn't follow the rules. Likewise, our society depends on Nature and Nature does not grade on a curve. It is pass/fail, break the ecosystem like the Minoans, Mayans, Romans, et al did and the ecosystem will break you in return.

Bullshit.

Nobody knows what killed the Minoans, the Mayans were killed as a direct result of Govenment bullshit (Monopoly of Force used to sacrifice people, leading to hate, and Monopoly of Force is the definition of Govenment), and the Romans had VASTLY more Govenment at the end, than at the begining.

Choked out by regulation is the normal method that kills Empires. That's where we are.
 

Cherico

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Bullshit.

Nobody knows what killed the Minoans, the Mayans were killed as a direct result of Govenment bullshit (Monopoly of Force used to sacrifice people, leading to hate, and Monopoly of Force is the definition of Govenment), and the Romans had VASTLY more Govenment at the end, than at the begining.

Choked out by regulation is the normal method that kills Empires. That's where we are.
I honestly do not think america is at that point, I think we are at the end of the republic not the end of the empire. This is still in many ways sad but western civilization will survive as will america its just that the next 80 years or so will suck absolute balls.
 

Simonbob

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I honestly do not think america is at that point, I think we are at the end of the republic not the end of the empire. This is still in many ways sad but western civilization will survive as will america its just that the next 80 years or so will suck absolute balls.
I don't know, really.

It's just, how hard is it to start a new company right now? I can't speak for the US, but in Australia, it's a bitch and a half.

Once you realise that, and realise that the Agencies that make that so hard are still getting bigger, you start to wonder when everything is going to break.
 

Cherico

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I don't know, really.

It's just, how hard is it to start a new company right now? I can't speak for the US, but in Australia, it's a bitch and a half.

Once you realise that, and realise that the Agencies that make that so hard are still getting bigger, you start to wonder when everything is going to break.
Things in australia are really bad, I honestly think you guys are in for a full god damned revolution and everything that brings with it in the near future.
 

Chiron

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Bullshit.

Nobody knows what killed the Minoans, the Mayans were killed as a direct result of Govenment bullshit (Monopoly of Force used to sacrifice people, leading to hate, and Monopoly of Force is the definition of Govenment), and the Romans had VASTLY more Govenment at the end, than at the begining.

Choked out by regulation is the normal method that kills Empires. That's where we are.
The Minoans deforrested Crete, destroying its ecosystem, wrecking their farms, and causing mass starvation and cannibalism. Theran Eruption finished them off as a major power.

Mayans also deforrested their land and caused ecosystem collapse, ending their reign.

Rome had no government at the end, they had legitimized warlords, competing power structures, and utter anarchy. They also destroyed their ecosystem and their infrastructure.

The only reason the Tokugawa Shogunate survived as long as it did is because the Tokugawas realized they were unsustainably cutting trees down, stopped it, instituted strict forestry laws that were strictly enforced even today and the result is a stable ecosystem in Japan.

The issue is not Big or Small Government, that is a childish false dichotomy. The issue is whether the Government is competent and non-corrupt.
 

Simonbob

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The Minoans deforrested Crete, destroying its ecosystem, wrecking their farms, and causing mass starvation and cannibalism. Theran Eruption finished them off as a major power.

Mayans also deforrested their land and caused ecosystem collapse, ending their reign.

Rome had no government at the end, they had legitimized warlords, competing power structures, and utter anarchy. They also destroyed their ecosystem and their infrastructure.

The only reason the Tokugawa Shogunate survived as long as it did is because the Tokugawas realized they were unsustainably cutting trees down, stopped it, instituted strict forestry laws that were strictly enforced even today and the result is a stable ecosystem in Japan.

The issue is not Big or Small Government, that is a childish false dichotomy. The issue is whether the Government is competent and non-corrupt.
Do you not think there were those who saw it coming, and ran head long into the problem that the monopoly of force, and that's the core of what Govenment is, killed them rather than stop?

Gee, I wonder.
 

Marduk

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Let's face it, we went from building Dreadnoughts to struggling to cut our own steel in the space of a hundred years. Disregarding the disastrous effect the destruction of industry has had on the lower orders, this has caused a great decline in national power and self sufficiency.

My question to you, denizens of the Sietch, is how do we go about rectifying this problem?

I would think that taking a bit of inspiration from 1860s Japan is a good idea. Start from scratch, but spare no expense in getting the foreign experts in to show you how it's done. I'm sure (oddly enough) Japan and Korea (countries who's industries are held in high regard) would be happy to help us out in that regard. Whilst the infrastructure is somewhat straightforward to build, the most vital task of these foreigners would be to train up a new generation of native workers and administrators. And all this must be done with as little government oversight as possible, as bureaucrats will just make a pig's ear of everything and turn the project into a credit black hole. The state should provide the funding and the overarching direction, but leave it to the professionals.

The goal here is less to create a massive state industry, and more a patchwork of independent companies that can function in a competitive environment (although there'd preferably be a few tariffs here and there to protect them from places like India or China).

Also, if possible, make a law that effectively bans left wing movements from nationalising them again. Because, let's be honest, this is where the trouble all started.
I for one am not too sure that Japan and Korea want more competition.
Going with the example of shipbuilding, this is how massive the disparity is between them and the rest of the west:

Obviously China caters to a different sector of the market (cheap and low tech) than Japan and SK (reasonably expensive yet hi tech), but between these two looks like the rest of the world has no place to go.
Lets have a look at something less tech based and more energy based, steel and concrete:


In steel the developed countries that aren't Japan and SK aren't doing as badly as in shipbuilding, but still, they are merely holding their own, while Japan and SK punch a bit above their weight population wise, despite not being cheap countries.
Meanwhile concrete, due to low profit margins and energy intensiveness, is purely a cheap country game - China, India and Turkey in total own a stunning 85% of global production.

Cars:

In that area the major western producers are still holding on allright, but you can see Italy and France declining recently, pointing somewhat at where the problems are...
Note that bulk of Spain's production is still Volkswagen group, and Germany also probably controls a bit of the others category.

Conclusions? Only established businesses with tech advantage in highly developed countries can hold their own against China, and looking at the countries that show up everywhere, a pattern does emerge - Japan and South Korea punch significantly above their weight in population and domestic consumption, while the western ones aren't doing much more beyond meeting own needs and those of immediate allies.
To avoid specialization choice missing some countries, lets look at general manufacturing:

Japan with its 1.5% of global population sticks out even more than before, Germany, ironically, is by proportion similar with 1%, South Korea with 0.6% is keeping that proportion too, USA also isn't doing too bad with proportional 4% but slightly worse than these three, and the rest are far behind - Italy, France and UK, roughly similarly populated countries with 0.75% world population each, struggle to reach 2/3 of SK, despite having more population. Still, they have over double the manufacturing output compared to their world population share, though on the basis of GDP per capita, it gets closer to proportional.
Lets also have a bit of a look at smaller countries:
What you can easily notice is Mexico and Russia hanging out just below the top 10, countries with population slightly above Japan, and output about sixth lower than UK, totalling at rough balance between production proportion and population size, so not bad, but also not great.
There are also some interesting cases in small countries - tiny 5 million Ireland with half of UK's manufacturing, 9 million Switzerland with the same, quite major anomalies...
Perhaps low corporate tax rates are worth something too?

Austria and Sweden, 9-10 million countries at around 1/4 of Italy's manufacturing are also doing nicely on per capita basis, or in other terms, 1/30 of US manufacturing at 1/34 of population, not bad at all.

Conclusion? If you want to get more manufacturing by value, learn from Japan, SK, Germany, and to a degree also USA. Mass immigration is not a golden bullet to save manufacturing, 2 of the 3 winners don't do it, and the third only somewhat recently and not as massively as some others down the stack. Ease of doing business rankings do have something to them, but Japan somehow breaks them by being merely middling in them.
Alternatively just become a bit of a tax haven that is business friendly, like Ireland and Switzerland.
 

Chiron

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Do you not think there were those who saw it coming, and ran head long into the problem that the monopoly of force, and that's the core of what Govenment is, killed them rather than stop?

Gee, I wonder.
The Tokugawas did stop ecosystem collapse, they were smart and competent enough to do so and had the means to do so.

So again you are engaged in a false dichotomy of big vs small government instead of focusing on competent vs incompetent government. If you have a competent government, collapse is averted.

An incompetent government drives everyone off the cliff.
 
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