0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circle o

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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby Killjoy » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:06 pm

Truec wrote:
Killjoy wrote:
strange7person wrote:The international situation described in the author's note makes no sense. What actual advantage is there to operating a business in the CSA? No cheap labor since all the working-class humans moved out, and anybody can build robots. No strategic minerals in that part of the world. If the factories are fully automated, and vat-meat is economically viable, details of the production process itself don't matter. If the outputs are toxic or substandard, congratulations, you're shitting where you eat and will be destroyed by trade sanctions.


Cartoon caricature "bad guy states" set up as foils to the utopia the author is selling seldom do make much sense. (Note that this state even uses the same initials as the self-styled name of the Treason to Uphold Slavery in the 1860s.)

If I come off as a bit harsh, it's because I find the society Lee lives in loathsome in many ways that seem to be fig-leafed by the total acceptance of everyone's everything.

Personally, I never want to be snared in the sort of "safety net" that the non-CSA world has woven around its citizens.


I'm still not sure we're supposed to accept that Forward-Canada is supposed to be as much of a Utopia as it's presented to be. I'm not even sure the CSA exists.

Of course, most people tell me I'm wrong about my theory that Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia in 1984 are all the same country, so maybe I'm just crazy.


Making up the CSA as a caricatured boogieman of the "evils of capitalism" is exactly the sort of thing that the goverment depicted for "forward Canada" would do.
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby Cheesefondue » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:42 am

Killjoy wrote:Cartoon caricature "bad guy states" set up as foils to the utopia the author is selling seldom do make much sense. (Note that this state even uses the same initials as the self-styled name of the Treason to Uphold Slavery in the 1860s.)

If I come off as a bit harsh, it's because I find the society Lee lives in loathsome in many ways that seem to be fig-leafed by the total acceptance of everyone's everything.

Personally, I never want to be snared in the sort of "safety net" that the non-CSA world has woven around its citizens.


A lot depends on the economic facts about the world of Forward. If most people's economic value has fallen below what they need for survival (ie comparative advantage arguments no longer apply), then the options are mass death or strong safety nets. You might find that world loathsome, but if the other option is extinction... And, in that world, non-capital owners in the CSA would be especially vulnerable to dying, so their mass emigration is inevitable.

The remaining question is just the balance between taxation and economic incentives. It seems that, in the Forward world, the CSA and non-CSA world have reached an equilibrium that allows for good economic growth and government social income. If the world were one whole, it might be more difficult to reach the same equilibrium. The example of Delaware is interesting: yes, they are much more corporation-friendly than the rest of the USA, but that only happens because the rest of the USA has decided to tolerate that, at the federal and at the state level.

So, in effect, the tolerated CSA are a solution to a problem that a fully non-CSA world might have.
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby Killjoy » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:11 am

Cheesefondue wrote:
Killjoy wrote:Cartoon caricature "bad guy states" set up as foils to the utopia the author is selling seldom do make much sense. (Note that this state even uses the same initials as the self-styled name of the Treason to Uphold Slavery in the 1860s.)

If I come off as a bit harsh, it's because I find the society Lee lives in loathsome in many ways that seem to be fig-leafed by the total acceptance of everyone's everything.

Personally, I never want to be snared in the sort of "safety net" that the non-CSA world has woven around its citizens.


A lot depends on the economic facts about the world of Forward. If most people's economic value has fallen below what they need for survival (ie comparative advantage arguments no longer apply), then the options are mass death or strong safety nets. You might find that world loathsome, but if the other option is extinction... And, in that world, non-capital owners in the CSA would be especially vulnerable to dying, so their mass emigration is inevitable.

The remaining question is just the balance between taxation and economic incentives. It seems that, in the Forward world, the CSA and non-CSA world have reached an equilibrium that allows for good economic growth and government social income. If the world were one whole, it might be more difficult to reach the same equilibrium. The example of Delaware is interesting: yes, they are much more corporation-friendly than the rest of the USA, but that only happens because the rest of the USA has decided to tolerate that, at the federal and at the state level.

So, in effect, the tolerated CSA are a solution to a problem that a fully non-CSA world might have.


A safety net is supposed to save someone who is falling, so they can walk away, not entangle as many people as possible.

So far the society of Forward (sans the cartoonish CSA) is one that appears to keep as many people as it can from being actual adults who support themselves through their own efforts, and that loathes even partial economic self-sufficiency.

What's the point in anything if we're all wards of the state?
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby Cheesefondue » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:40 pm

Killjoy wrote:A safety net is supposed to save someone who is falling, so they can walk away, not entangle as many people as possible.

So far the society of Forward (sans the cartoonish CSA) is one that appears to keep as many people as it can from being actual adults who support themselves through their own efforts, and that loathes even partial economic self-sufficiency.

What's the point in anything if we're all wards of the state?


In a fundamental sense we're all wards of the state, in that it's the state that prevents other people/other states from invading and taking our stuff/taking our liberty/killing us. So, in this rather trivial (but fundamental) sense, we have no self-sufficiency at all. Of course, few people would argue that the state should act to allow a few more invasions or a bit more violent crime, just so we can be more self-sufficient.

But, to a large extent, I share your views - I agree that the society of Forward keeps some people (Lee, at the very least) from being actual adults. Being responsible for their own emotional management, having ambitions, accomplishing things - Lee fails at all of this.

>who support themselves through their own efforts, and that loathes even partial economic self-sufficiency.

I'm more sceptical about this, since nobody supports themselves through their own efforts, and only a few wildlife loners have any sort of genuine self-sufficiency. We are all extremely dependent on others and on the state, for almost everything in life.

But maybe we can rescue these concepts. I'd reinterpret them as maybe having a difference of outcome depending on our own efforts? If we're lazy, we get a very different outcome from if we're hard-working? That seems to be what most people mean by this, nowadays.

And the world of Forward does seem to allow that. Ambitious people do seem to have attained a certain status (see the professor), even if they can't keep their financial assets for as long as we do today. So the world of Forward does reward the successful.

It just doesn't seem to punish the failure, or at least not enough to get them to try harder. Might this be the main point of your disagreement? That someone should be prodding Lee, getting them to get their act together; that episodes of Gu Gu JaxxonFive should only be available if Lee had shown some effort?
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby Killjoy » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:05 pm

Cheesefondue wrote:
Killjoy wrote:A safety net is supposed to save someone who is falling, so they can walk away, not entangle as many people as possible.

So far the society of Forward (sans the cartoonish CSA) is one that appears to keep as many people as it can from being actual adults who support themselves through their own efforts, and that loathes even partial economic self-sufficiency.

What's the point in anything if we're all wards of the state?


In a fundamental sense we're all wards of the state, in that it's the state that prevents other people/other states from invading and taking our stuff/taking our liberty/killing us. So, in this rather trivial (but fundamental) sense, we have no self-sufficiency at all. Of course, few people would argue that the state should act to allow a few more invasions or a bit more violent crime, just so we can be more self-sufficient.

But, to a large extent, I share your views - I agree that the society of Forward keeps some people (Lee, at the very least) from being actual adults. Being responsible for their own emotional management, having ambitions, accomplishing things - Lee fails at all of this.

>who support themselves through their own efforts, and that loathes even partial economic self-sufficiency.

I'm more sceptical about this, since nobody supports themselves through their own efforts, and only a few wildlife loners have any sort of genuine self-sufficiency. We are all extremely dependent on others and on the state, for almost everything in life.

But maybe we can rescue these concepts. I'd reinterpret them as maybe having a difference of outcome depending on our own efforts? If we're lazy, we get a very different outcome from if we're hard-working? That seems to be what most people mean by this, nowadays.

And the world of Forward does seem to allow that. Ambitious people do seem to have attained a certain status (see the professor), even if they can't keep their financial assets for as long as we do today. So the world of Forward does reward the successful.

It just doesn't seem to punish the failure, or at least not enough to get them to try harder. Might this be the main point of your disagreement? That someone should be prodding Lee, getting them to get their act together; that episodes of Gu Gu JaxxonFive should only be available if Lee had shown some effort?


What I mean by "self sufficient" in this context is -- works, pays their own way, pays their taxes to cover their share of defense and roads and whatnot, maybe even pays more than their share especially adjusted for income, never asked for anything back other than earned unemployment insurance, etc. Isn't a burden on others, gives more than they take, etc.

The society in Forward appears to be quite happy to have people like Lee languishing in the "safety net", utterly dependent (and thus utterly vulnerable).
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby lolzor99 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:25 am

Killjoy wrote:
What I mean by "self sufficient" in this context is -- works, pays their own way, pays their taxes to cover their share of defense and roads and whatnot, maybe even pays more than their share especially adjusted for income, never asked for anything back other than earned unemployment insurance, etc. Isn't a burden on others, gives more than they take, etc.

The society in Forward appears to be quite happy to have people like Lee languishing in the "safety net", utterly dependent (and thus utterly vulnerable).


I think we can all agree that the society of Forward Canada has some major problems, as seen in the case of Lee. However, I don't know if such problems are inherent to the scenario of the economic setup where everyone has their needs covered by the government.

In the real world, job satisfaction increases with wages *up to a certain point*, and generally speaking I'd say that usually that point is where the employee no longer suffers from economic stress, i.e. they can consistently afford to pay their bills, put some money into savings, and have a modest surplus for miscellaneous purchases after that. I'd say that it *appears* to be that this standard is met or nearly met by the credit system. Just establishing here that Lee's dissatisfaction doesn't stem from being unable to acquire more material goods, though I suppose that's pretty obvious in the comic. Anyway, next point.

So, one of Lee's big problems is their lack of motivation and/or ambition. One might argue that this is because they don't need to work or go to school or do anything to maintain their lifestyle. I'd say this is a partial truth. Putting effort into work and learning new things are important to being satisfied with life. I'd argue, however, that the link between working hard and actually getting a paycheck or earning a degree isn't actually important. The results of work (money) are motivators for humans to participate in the economy, but past the point of comfort established in the previous paragraph they aren't the part of work that actually makes people feel satisfied. For example, if Lee were to be employed in a satisfactory job, I believe that Lee's mental health would be improved even if the job didn't pay anything and Lee continued to live in the government-funded housing.

Basically, the real world economic system provides incentives to perform actions that often happen to be good for us in the long term even if they seem difficult and undesirable in the short term. What Forward-Canada has done is remove the incentive of survival without replacing it. I think it could be replaced without reverting to the survival incentive. The thing about the survival incentive is that it's strong, but it is also highly stressful. Would a timed gun by your bedside help you get awake on time? Probably, but the fear may also prevent you from sleeping at all. Money is an example of extrinsic motivation, i.e. motivation that is driven by an external reward not inherent to the task itself. Extrinsic motivations can have a tendency to create stress.

Ideally, through a network of AI, children and adolescents in this society would be guided towards thought patterns that provide intrinsic motivation, which comes from doing a task because one wants to do the task regardless of reward. Things like being praised for hard work, being encouraged to follow passions, and the like. Extrinsic rewards or punishments could be used for situations where it may take time for intrinsic rewards to develop such as joining a new social group or learning a the basics of a skill, but never as a permanent incentive.

tl;dr: Forward Canada removed economic incentives without replacing them, but replacing them with something new is probably better than going back to the same system.
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby Killjoy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:13 am

If someone else is covering all your needs for you, you're not really being an adult, you're effectively a child. An adult should be seeking to cover as many of their own needs as possible, and relying on others as little as possible.

In a system where all of everyone's needs are covered by the government, then they are all effectively wards of the state.
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby tenshiko » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:51 am

Killjoy wrote:If someone else is covering all your needs for you, you're not really being an adult, you're effectively a child. An adult should be seeking to cover as many of their own needs as possible, and relying on others as little as possible.

In a system where all of everyone's needs are covered by the government, then they are all effectively wards of the state.


TIL driving on paved roads makes me a child
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby MitchellTF » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:07 pm

Part of the problem with Forward's society...is we have SUCH a limited view of things. We're seeing two VERY extreme people, and barely get a view at others. Furthermore, it has a lot of areas where the problems are not caused by the basic theories, but by complete and utter INCOMPETENCE.


Like, if the society was keeping to the principles it claimed to, a lot of the problems could be prevented just by BETTER price analysis. IN their case? Making Lee simply have to ACTUALLY do something to handle more then just the incredible basics. It would incentivize Lee to get a job, without simply just letting her die.
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Re: 0098 - Good is fulfilling your role in the economic circ

Postby David1 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:21 pm

Killjoy wrote:What I mean by "self sufficient" in this context is -- works, pays their own way, pays their taxes to cover their share of defense and roads and whatnot, maybe even pays more than their share especially adjusted for income, never asked for anything back other than earned unemployment insurance, etc. Isn't a burden on others, gives more than they take, etc.


One science fiction question that I think is being explored here is what happens when humans are extraneous. If you can automate a job for cheaper than humans, then why wouldn't you? What happens when fast food and taxis are 100% automated? Is there any job that Lee could do with their current skill set that wouldn't be done better and cheaper by robots? I would think that doing a job that doesn't need to be done, that is just busy-work, would be pretty demoralizing.

The society in Forward appears to be quite happy to have people like Lee languishing in the "safety net", utterly dependent (and thus utterly vulnerable).


Huh? Why is Lee more utterly dependent than if they had a job they could be fired from and an apartment they could easily be evicted from? (I mean, her apartment is being threatened, but she would have another available.) If their society collapsed, a lot of people found themselves laid utterly vulnerable by runaway inflation and massive depressions, even if they had jobs.
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