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Dambisa Moyo: How the West Was Lost

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Commonwealth Club of California

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Aiser Avatar
Aiser
Posted: 07.08.11, 09:31 AM
Democracy always presents a problem is it never works. Democracy especially direct democracy leads to mob rule. The U.S is not a democracy or a direct democracy but instead a Republic. Unfortunately it seems as if the country is heading towards democracy ever closer as the years go by. When one women approached Benjamin Franklin and asked him " Sir what have you've given us?" Franklin responded with " A republic...... if you can keep it".
phiscal Avatar
phiscal
Posted: 07.08.11, 08:35 AM
Dr Moyo makes valuable points that need to be made over and over until the problems are fixed. US education is a mess. Funding the boomers' retirement takes money from future generations. US style democracy is part of the problem. She also believes in big shifts, and I too, believe we are on the cusp of several Quick response to fora2 and eliphysics. (1) Blame for the fin crisis is widespread and thick among both borrowers and lenders, right and left, private and public. Economic cycles are as normal as the tides. (2) US labor is not particularly competitive internationally. The skills of many of the rich are.
jfasheyi Avatar
jfasheyi
Posted: 05.05.11, 02:36 PM
To Permalink 'The introduction was full of details about Dr. Moyo's background. Based on that, no one would ever assume she is not articulate' There is a difference between knowing quantum mechanics, and being able to explain to others your understanding of quantum mechanics. George Bush as hard as it to belive was highly intelligent, Compare the way Moyo speaks to Robert Gates (Secetary of Defense) your far more likely to call Moyo articulate than him because of her prowess with the english language. It's not a matter of race.
Emminette Avatar
Emminette
Posted: 04.04.11, 10:04 PM
Even before Dr. Moyo speaks, I have a comment. Why is "articulate" always used as an adjective to describe black people? The introduction was full of details about Dr. Moyo's background. Based on that, no one would ever assume she is not articulate. But for some reason, the woman giving the introduction had to include the word. My point is this: I NEVER here anyone use the word this way to describe anyone white. (Particularly in the kind of setting this program was held.) Never. It's annoying and disturbing.
Jean-Daniel Avatar
Jean-Daniel
Posted: 03.30.11, 01:07 PM
Is Democracy the Problem ? Dambisa makes the point that the frequency of elections is a contributing factor to the bad outcomes affecting the United States. I can see that elections can be a distraction, but let’s look at this a bit more deeply. The elections are the only moment where politicians are made to face their masters – the citizens. Reducing the frequency of elections would further lessen the current low accountability politicians have to the population. I don’t think Dambisa’s suggestion to increase the duration of mandates would solve anything. We see similar dysfunctional governance across most of the western nations, and these all share the same form of democracy – using elected representatives to govern. In a classic case of self-serving autopoieses, the government is a huge organization that seeks to perpetuate itsef, and elected officials have a single minded purpose to remain in power. The decisions of politicians have nothing to do with either the will of the people or sustainable governance. The system is democratic in name only. Given the complexity of the problems that we are facing, and given how inept and conflict-based the governmental process has shown itself to be, there is a huge disconnect between the ability of government to address these issues and their inherent complexity. I believe we need to redesign government using the technologies available today and sticking close to concepts of direct democracy, where the people who are affected by governance decisions have a chance to weigh in on these.
Fora2 Avatar
Fora2
Posted: 03.09.11, 11:08 PM
In 1979 (before Reagan) the richest 1% of Americans got 9% of America's GDP. Today, just 31 years later, they take 23.5% of America's GDP! U.S. "productivity" has continued to increase about 4% per year the last 30 years, yet as Dambisa said, middle class wages have remained FLAT. Why? Because predatory international corporations and the rich have kept increased profits from rising productivity for themselves. It's not a mystery.
Fora2 Avatar
Fora2
Posted: 03.09.11, 10:34 PM
Is it just an irony that Dambisa's former employer, Goldman Sachs, had more to do with the global financial meltdown than any other corporation in the world? If you'd like to see how Goldman Sachs and other CROOKS scammed us in 2008, see "Griftopia" written by Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi. It's a meticulously written expose'. I especially like his chapter on Greenspan, "The Biggest Asshole in the Universe."
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