Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 22:35 UTC
Google Two months ago, Google announced its intention to stop censoring search results in China, while also stating it may even leave the country altogether. The announcement followed the news that Chinese crackers had attempted to crack the accounts of human rights activists. The search giant has stayed true to its word: starting today, search results are no longer censored in China. Google employed a clever trick to get there: they reroute Chinese users to the uncensored Hong Kong version of Google. Instant update: China has already responded: "Google has violated its written promise it made when entering the Chinese market by stopping filtering its searching service and blaming China in insinuation for alleged hacker attacks."
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Interesting
by darknexus on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 22:49 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm of two minds on this. On one hand, it's not good of Google to break a written agreement they had, even if they figuratively did a deal with the devil. On the other hand though, I can't help but be glad they're sticking to their guns. Honestly, I expected them to either give in or leave China. I didn't expect them to actually go through with their threat, but I'm glad they have. I'm sure it won't take long for the Chinese government to officially block google.cn and google.com.hk (the latter is probably already blocked anyway) and not sure where this will leave Google where China is concerned. I'm not going to delude myself into thinking Google is taking a moral stance, but I'm not at all sure what they have to gain by doing this. It seems they'd lose more than they'd gain, especially since Microsoft seems ready to just jump at the Chinese market with Bing. This just got a lot more interesting.

Reply Score: 8

Did they break their contract?
by Earl Colby pottinger on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 16:28 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

If the contract requires that Google while working *INSIDE* China must filter the searches, are they really breaking the contract if they move back out of the country and then remove filtering?

I would like to see the exact wording (could be hard if it is not in English) of the contract to see if it requires *ALL* Google searches to be filter or does it require Google China's searches to be filtered?

Reply Score: 3

Out, damned spot!
by bousozoku on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 23:01 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

They can't wash away the blood that the company has already spilt by helping the government.

While this is interesting, it won't last, and is only a token retort to a government with no ears.

That Microsoft have no compunction about their new/future role in Chinese politics, Google is fighting city hall and it's been said that it's impossible to do that and win.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 23:29 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Every time this is discussed it’s mentioned that Google could lose out in the future because of the size of the Chinese economy.

I don’t agree with that. The No.1 search engine in China returns three results for Tienanmen Square [how nice it is there].

There is no search economy in China. Once the Chinese get free speech on the web, then Google will have an economy to work with. There is no growth potential, when there is no freedom on the web for the web to do it’s natural innovating. China’s Internet is still stuck in 2001 with 99% IE/Windows usage.

For a nation so large, and with such a huge number of connected users, it’s surprising how little innovation comes out of China. China should have been first to invent Twitter. Why else is it that the majority of world-changing services are coming out of America? It’s not because America has smarter people (it doesn’t—China has more honour students than America has students).

Google knows that long term, Freedom wins, and thus, so will they.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Tuishimi on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 00:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Because we kick ass first and ask questions later! GO USA! RAH! HO! HAH!

Seriously tho'... I think the issue would be along the lines of advertising income. If 80 bajillion more people are looking at your product, all the better. Why wouldn't it be a good thing to be there?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Earl Colby pottinger on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

First off it is about 1.3+ Billion people, with the vast majority not being able to buy said products.

Losing China is not like losing a billion+ customers, it is like losing X0,000,000 customers with alot of valid debate that X is a very low number.

Second, the more people trust Google with their data, the more services Google can sell.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Tuishimi on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

We are both bandying about figures we know nothing about. It is all speculation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Earl Colby pottinger on Wed 24th Mar 2010 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

Huh, I did a Google search first about China's population before posting. I trust my figures a lot more than yours.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Kroc
by Tuishimi on Wed 24th Mar 2010 05:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kroc"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Huh! It's still speculation.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by mintar on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 09:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
mintar Member since:
2008-09-26

Why else is it that the majority of world-changing services are coming out of America? It’s not because America has smarter people (it doesn’t—China has more honour students than America has students).

Google knows that long term, Freedom wins, and thus, so will they.


Although I love the romantic idea that freedom always wins, I'm afraid I cannot believe that.

In time, China will be more innovative than America. This is just the way industrial development works - you start by copying, and when you are up to par, you start innovating. It doesn't make much sense to improve your existing products if there is already something better you can simply copy.

Look at Japan: When Japan started copying German cars in the 50s, the German car makers were laughing and saying that the Japanese can make a bad copy, but they will never innovate. The Germans stopped laughing soon enough.

Reply Score: 3

Search Company vs Government
by juvenile4909 on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 23:43 UTC
juvenile4909
Member since:
2007-08-04

That's what this looks like from a distance. And it has to do with technicalities, hacking and agreements. I dont mind the conception from here.

I can wait for the verdict on this one.

Reply Score: 1

ww3?
by _gif on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 23:58 UTC
_gif
Member since:
2010-03-22

is this world war 3?:)

Reply Score: 1

RE: ww3?
by Lennie on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 00:30 UTC in reply to "ww3?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I hope not, I'm still recovering from the browserwars

Reply Score: 15

RE: ww3?
by Tuishimi on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 00:58 UTC in reply to "ww3?"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Would it be called World War 3G?

Reply Score: 6

RE: ww3?
by anibol on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 10:33 UTC in reply to "ww3?"
anibol Member since:
2010-03-23

No, it is Web World War

Reply Score: 2

Good for them.
by deathshadow on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 00:58 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

They've got the money, they've got the weight - I say go for it - Shove it down their throats and to hell with the unjust laws of a totalitarian regime. Push hard enough that they end up closing themselves off from the world Internet, and the people might finally get the balls to stand up to a corrupt, deceitful socialism.

Though it's unlikely, people are sheep and won't really stand up to say anything but "baa" unless someone is willing to stand in front waving the truth.

One of the most insidious forms of propaganda is that of card stacking. Using facts to prove your point by omitting the FULL truth; Censorship in most all of it's forms are a type of card stacking since by omitting some facts from ANY data, you can make that information say whatever you like. (see the whole 'there are less IE users today' bull)

After all:

It is the absolute right of the State to
supervise the formation of public opinion.
-- Joseph Goebbels

Sound familiar? Almost word for word China's stance on public information. Goebbels can be said to be perhaps the greatest propagandist of the 20th century, and everyone from Jesse Jackson to Fidel Castro, from Ronald Reagan to Kim Jong Il have followed his research/teachings/methods because, well - they work, and they continue to work. Say it with me everyone: "Baaaaah"

Simple fact is for a totalitarian regime to stand for any length of time it has to completely and utterly stamp out all dissent. Again, to borrow from Joe Ali...

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.


As the information age encroaches on these petty dictatorships, socialisms, and other repressive societies it will be impossible for them to join us in the future it will bring. Their current forms of rule are based on 100% control over what people think by controlling what they can learn from - the opposite of what the Internet is about. This is simply one of many cracks in the dam of many that will eventually stick the Chinese governement with two choices:

Ending the lie and joining the rest of the world in the 21st century, or resorting to complete isolationism and putting themselves back were they were 60 years ago; 100 years behind the rest of the world.

Uhg, it feels creepy to be quoting Goebbels - but as Sun Tzu said, "know your enemy"

-- edit -- and many apologies for Godwinning.

Edited 2010-03-23 01:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good for them.
by Carling on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 03:39 UTC in reply to "Good for them."
Carling Member since:
2010-03-23

This might be off there thread but before you go ranting on about socialisms get your facts right first, socialisms is far less repressive than Capitalism is,

Europe is socialist something the capitalist American companies are trying to crush with their corruption and bribery, in backroom deals trying to control the worlds population,

They control the American's but they will never control the Europeans, because it is socialist wide open government, Never mix up socialism with totalitarian communism

Edited 2010-03-23 03:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good for them.
by StychoKiller on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 04:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Good for them."
StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

@Carling: -- You say "Potato", I say "PoeTaatoe".
BFD! ;)

Edited 2010-03-23 04:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good for them.
by deathshadow on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 04:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Good for them."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Is that why the EU's GDP per capita is plummeting even as the GDP goes up? Is that why the quality of living over there is so low and the ONLY reason most of europe ranks within 1 point of the US is the low divorce rate (since nobody there can AFFORD a divorce)?

Is that why the last time I visited France when I got more than 30 miles from the tourist zone I could have sworn I was in a third world undeveloped nation? Let's face it, when the president of a country has to go on national TV to tell everyone to take a shower during a heat wave because the STENCH has reached life threatening proportions... (I really wish that was a joke)... Hell, when I was in London I heard someone yell "slops" and it's a damned good thing I used to work at a living history museum so I knew what that meant!

But in terms of socialism, I'm reminded of the words of John Rutledge:

A poor man would rather remain poor than ever lose the chance to be rich
- and socialism removes that chance. It often seems bent on making 100% certain EVERYONE is poor...

See the current 'health reform' in the Commiewealth of Taxachusetts - where all those people who couldn't afford health care now have state health care - Whoo-hoo!!! Wait, you're forcing all those people who couldn't afford it to pay into a state health-insurance plan at over $100/mo? When you already have a 15%+ state income tax, 6% sales tax, 3% property tax... Stamp Acts, Townshend Acts, Sugar Acts, Tea Acts!...

There's a reason they're looking to lose one, possibly even TWO seats in the House and NH looks to gain one... Because all that help for the poor is forcing the WORKING poor to move out of state. Doesn't really effect me - I'm collecting social security and have medicare, but it's amusing to sit back and watch these kids learning the lesson I did when I moved to NH 15 years ago... Ooh, high property tax... with no income tax, no sales tax... holy ****, I have MONEY!?!

Socialism - Take away everyone's money and then tell them how much of it they can have... Brilliant plan - I'll sit that one out thank you.

Edited 2010-03-23 04:54 UTC

Reply Locked Score: 1

RE[3]: Good for them.
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 05:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Is that why the EU's GDP per capita is plummeting even as the GDP goes up? Is that why the quality of living over there is so low and the ONLY reason most of europe ranks within 1 point of the US is the low divorce rate (since nobody there can AFFORD a divorce)?


You just don't have a clue in the world about Europe, do you?
I'm not even going to bother rebutting your nonsense drivel because it's not really worth my time.

Reply Locked Score: 3

RE[3]: Good for them.
by ssa2204 on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 07:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Doesn't really effect me - I'm collecting social security and have medicare


FYI, you do realize that you are the beneficiary now of "Socialism"? Since you hate "Socialism" so much, would you kind stop cashing your SS checks and get your OWN private insurance please? You see this way you can live your life ranting about Socialism without being a hypocrite. Next your going to tell us you belong to the Tea Party.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Good for them.
by kragil on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 09:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Computing IQ ....

Result: 42

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Good for them.
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I know I shouldn't but...

Ah, the clueless American Republican, stuck in a 1900s world, who cannot come to terms with the fact that America is failing, and failing hard. Let's look at some figures that really matter, shall we? Figures that indicate quality of living? I'm taking The Netherlands as a yardstick, since we Dutch are supposedly the epitome of liberalism and socialism, if you were to believe the US right-wing nutjobs.

Homicide rate (2009):

The Netherlands: 0.91/100000 and falling every year
The US: 5.4/100000 and steady

Rape rate (only reported cases - 2002):

The Netherlands: 11.16/100000
The US: 32.99/100000

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year rates from Drug use disorders (2002):

The Netherlands: 160-200/100000
The US: 360-400/100000

Ah, what do we see here? Our much-hated liberal drug policies, which were sure to lead to massive drug abuse problems in The Netherlands if you were to believe the clueless Republicans, are actually ensuring much lower Drug abuse figures than in the US. How's that War on Drugs working out for you?

Human Development Index (statistic indicating human development composed from statistics for Life Expectancy, Education, and GDP - 2009):

The Netherlands: 6th
The US: 13th

Then there are all these happiness surveys which I think are a bunch of hooey, but anyway: European countries (including The Netherlands) always fill the top 10, with the US dangling somewhere around ~20. Then there's the various measures of income inequality, which indicates tat the US is far more unequal than The Netherlands.

Poverty rates are also interesting: the US has some of the highest poverty rates of the western world (probably the highest). While the official figure states that 13-17% of the American public live below the poverty line, "a recent NPR report states that as much as 30% of Americans have trouble making ends meet and other advocates have made supporting claims that the rate of actual poverty in the US is far higher than that calculated by using the poverty threshold". [1]

In The Netherlands, where we DO have an updated and modern methodology (which includes access to healthcare and education, which are not included in the US methodology), 10% live below the poverty line.

---

It's easy to see why The Netherlands ranks consistently better in these areas than the US. As a true Republican, you think only in terms of MONEY MONEY MONEY, and fail to see the bigger picture. Yes, Dutch tax rates are far higher (for instance, 50% income tax), meaning Dutch people have less to spend than American citizens - however, we also spend far less on healthcare, education, insurance, and so on. It also means the government has more to spend on ensuring a quality if living which makes people happier, less prone to descending into crime and drug abuse, and working harder.

You can see the difference taxes make quite easily when you compare The Netherlands to Belgium. We're two relatively similar countries, but we Dutch have higher tax rates. The end result? Try driving from The Netherlands into Belgium, and compare the state of infrastructure and buildings - it's like driving from a modern, well-developed and rich state (The Netherlands) into a 3rd world country (Belgium). It's easy to see why: the Belgian government hasn't a drop to spend.

Sure, taxes are squandered in The Netherlands too - but at least its squandered as to benefit my fellow citizens, instead of benefiting mostly the military.

And let's not even get started about the fact the US is FLAT BROKE. You guys have a national debt which is, percentage-wise, monumentally larger than that of most European countries - especially The Netherlands.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States#Concerns_...

Edited 2010-03-23 09:48 UTC

Reply Score: 12

RE[4]: Good for them.
by LB06 on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for them."
LB06 Member since:
2005-07-06

So very true. It's all money money money. While money can be a very useful incentive, sole focus on the money has its own share of problems, as we can learn from the situation in the US. It will lead to perverse incentives where money has become the goal instead of the means.

Take for instance the US Congress. If anything, this legislative body should be be an institution whose integrity should rise above all suspicion. Instead, massive corruption is taking place, it doesn't even matter if they're republican or democrats. It shouldn't be a real surprise that, in a society and economy that is based solely on money, even the legislators only have eyes for the money.

Watch a very interesting presentation by Prof. Lawrence Lessig about this problem here: http://www.fixcongressfirst.org/

Long version: http://blip.tv/file/3120038

Another interesting fact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_pregnancy#Global_incidence

Teenage pregnancy birth rate:

US: 556/10000
Netherlands: 77/10000


Abortion rate:

US: 302/10000
Netherlands: 39/10000

Must be so nice to have a taboo on sex and anti-conception isn't it?

Edited 2010-03-23 10:44 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Good for them.
by DigitalAxis on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for them."
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

There are two very annoying tendencies of American political thinkers... One, that more taxes is ALWAYS bad, never mind that you might get essential services "for free" now. Case in point, I pay four times more for health care than I do in taxes. I would gladly allow them to charge me up to four times more in taxes in exchange for "free" health care (assuming the plan covered more than band-aids); I'd come out ahead. But most people will stop at the first part with the taxes and cry bloody murder.

Two: The deficit. The United States being flat broke only seems to matter when Obama tries to spend money. When he tries to cut spending or raise taxes to pay off that debt, suddenly the debt is only theoretical and having a lot of it is GOOD. See, it's only fiscally irresponsible if it affects ME.

I love the United States of America, but I wish it would live up to my expectations more often.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Good for them.
by boldingd on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good for them."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

More taxes are always bad: they are, strictly speaking, a cost. The questions are, are we getting services from the government worth the cost, and even if we are, do we still want to pay the elevated cost? They are an acceptable evil (and one still to be minimized) if they get us services we want at a price we're willing to pay.

You are not the only one who has noticed a degree of hypocrisy in being perfectly fine with massive deficit spending to fund a war, but it being a REALLY BAD EVIL THING when it's paying for expanded social services.

Edited 2010-03-23 17:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Good for them.
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good for them."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

More taxes are always bad: they are, strictly speaking, a cost.


Well, it depends. If I were to make hundreds of thousands of euros per year, I'd have no problem with paying more taxes, and I wouldn't find such a raise bad at all.

Putting it black and white: are you sympathetic to your fellow man, or not? I have no qualms about sending off 40-50% in taxes because I'm glad that money is helping those less fortunate, who might not be able to get a job due to a disability, or maybe because that single mom with 3 kids simply doesn't have the time to work - at least, not without neglecting her kids, possibly turning them into tomorrow's criminals.

I also have no problems with my taxes being used to renovate bad neighbourhoods, to maintains roads, to keep public transportation at an acceptable level (I have a car though, a new one I might add ;) ), to make sure everybody has access to healthcare (a fundamental human right in any civilised country), to make sure everybody has access to a full education (another fundamental human right - university shouldn't only be for the rich).

I am sympathetic to the plights of my fellow countrymen, because I know not everyone is as lucky as I am - in fact, most of my friends do not come from a relatively wealthy family like I do (and I mean family in the narrow sense, so my parents - not like dating 300 years back, if you know what I mean).

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Good for them.
by boldingd on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good for them."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Well, truth be told, I'm not a particularly sympathetic person, no. But you missed the point. The taxes you pay are always a cost to you, and are always therefore something that you would like to minimize, all other things being equal. They are the cost you pay for the services you get, not the services themselves. Would you rather pay 50% or 25% taxes if it made no difference in the services you got back from the government? Would you mail the government another quarter of your income if you knew for certain that it would make no difference in the quality of the government services they provided (like, if you knew they'd cash the check and incinerate the money)?

Understand, I'm not accusing your government of being wasteful or incompetent, or implying your taxes are being wasted. What I was saying was that the OP needed to separate the cost from the benefit in the transaction of paying taxes: the taxes are the cost, and the services you get are the benefit. We'd always like to minimize our taxes; we'd like to pay as little as we have to for the level of service that we get.


----
In short, I was being a pedant, not making a material point.

Edited 2010-03-23 18:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Good for them.
by boldingd on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good for them."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

On a completely separate point, I don't think that education and health-care are fundamental human rights. They're services that the government can provide or guarantee -- but calling them "fundamental human rights, at least in any civilized country" (to paraphrase) is a significant overstatement.

To me, saying that a right is "fundamental" would imply that you would possess that right in absence of someone taking proactive steps to take it away from you. Free speech is a fundamental human right, because I can say whatever I want until someone tries to stop me. Free association is a fundamental human right, because I can associate with whoever I want until someone tries to stop me. Neither health-care nor education meet that requirement; I have neither by default, until some third party elects to provide them. Health-care and education do not just happen to you out in the wilds.

Which is not to say that it's not reasonable, or even a good idea for a government to do that. But I don't think that "provides free health-care" is a necessary and essential qualification for "is a civilized nation."

Put another way: calling free health-care a fundamental human right is like calling the Fire Department a fundamental human right. It's a nice service for the government to provide, but it's not the same type of thing as Freedom of Speech.


I'm enjoying this conversation, by the way, even if no-one else is, and even if it's completely and totally OT. ;)

Edited 2010-03-23 19:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good for them.
by boldingd on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for them."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

It's easy to see why The Netherlands ranks consistently better in these areas than the US. As a true Republican, you think only in terms of MONEY MONEY MONEY, and fail to see the bigger picture. Yes, Dutch tax rates are far higher (for instance, 50% income tax), meaning Dutch people have less to spend than American citizens - however, we also spend far less on healthcare, education, insurance, and so on. It also means the government has more to spend on ensuring a quality if living which makes people happier, less prone to descending into crime and drug abuse, and working harder.


And there's the rub. A 50% income tax rate would never fly in the states. Most U.S. citizens, I think, would much rather not have much of a safety net and keep most of their income. I don't think that's a better or worse way to do it; that's the way we've chosen, and it works for us.

About your statistics:
1) I think cultural differences are responsible for the difference in most of those statistics, not government policy. Bear in mind, the U.S. is a large, geographically spread-out and ethnically and culturally diverse nation. And remember that we have slightly different priorities and values than you do: we're probably a lot less risk-averse than you are, in terms of social policy (i.e. we'll err more towards greater personal risk in the name of greater liberty or higher disposable income.)
2) Those numbers are still pretty small: I don't find 5 homicides out of 100,000 particularly alarming, even if your numbers are closer to 1 per 100,000. I won't sleep any worse at night for knowing that. And I have my dear friends Smith and Wesson to comfort me, anyway. ;) The U.S. isn't Afghanistan, we're still in the top 10% percent.

If you want to talk about "failing" and "flat broke", let's talk EU. Let's talk Greece. Or, for that matter, the rioting in France a few years back... over job availability.

And I actually feel fairly good about narrowly beating out Germany in terms of per-capita GDP... which I thought was in your post, but apparently was in someone else's.

I live in Atlanta, Georgia. A nice, low-tax Red state. And I'm a gun-owning Republican. And our infrastructure is fine, and we have one of the best Technical colleges in the nation -- Georgia Tech is something like the 4th rated technical schools in the U.S., with MIT being one of the short list that're beating us. (I work there, in point of fact). It's also dirt cheap, if you're a Georgia resident. Good governance and quality public infrastructure does require funding... but not a 50% tax rate. And please don't confuse "U.S. citizen" and "Republican" with "screaming tea-party idiot." Some of us are at least half-sane and rational.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Good for them.
by cfgr on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good for them."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Bear in mind, the U.S. is a large, geographically spread-out and ethnically and culturally diverse nation.

That's true, and it is sometimes hard to keep that in mind. Comparing a wealthy region like the Netherlands with the USA is a bit unfair. You might as well compare the Netherlands with Europe, you'll probably get the same results.

From that point of view it might explain why everyone's making such a fuss about government programs over there. I'm not sure if I would like the EU to run a healthcare program either, it's just too far away from home to see what's being done. I guess that's the advantage of living in a smaller country ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good for them.
by cycoj on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good for them."
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

"It's easy to see why The Netherlands ranks consistently better in these areas than the US. As a true Republican, you think only in terms of MONEY MONEY MONEY, and fail to see the bigger picture. Yes, Dutch tax rates are far higher (for instance, 50% income tax), meaning Dutch people have less to spend than American citizens - however, we also spend far less on healthcare, education, insurance, and so on. It also means the government has more to spend on ensuring a quality if living which makes people happier, less prone to descending into crime and drug abuse, and working harder.


And there's the rub. A 50% income tax rate would never fly in the states. Most U.S. citizens, I think, would much rather not have much of a safety net and keep most of their income. I don't think that's a better or worse way to do it; that's the way we've chosen, and it works for us.

About your statistics:
1) I think cultural differences are responsible for the difference in most of those statistics, not government policy. Bear in mind, the U.S. is a large, geographically spread-out and ethnically and culturally diverse nation. And remember that we have slightly different priorities and values than you do: we're probably a lot less risk-averse than you are, in terms of social policy (i.e. we'll err more towards greater personal risk in the name of greater liberty or higher disposable income.)
2) Those numbers are still pretty small: I don't find 5 homicides out of 100,000 particularly alarming, even if your numbers are closer to 1 per 100,000. I won't sleep any worse at night for knowing that. And I have my dear friends Smith and Wesson to comfort me, anyway. ;) The U.S. isn't Afghanistan, we're still in the top 10% percent.
"

Actually for most of the metrics, definitely for life expectancy, crime rates and quality of life indices being densly populated is detrimental. So the Netherlands are better despite geographical conditions.


If you want to talk about "failing" and "flat broke", let's talk EU. Let's talk Greece. Or, for that matter, the rioting in France a few years back... over job availability.


I don't know where you guys take the EU is broke thing from? It's just plain wrong. The US wouldn't meet the admission criteria for the EU, due to it's high deficit. I also thing that even in Greece (which does have a lot of problems) people are not abandoning their houses, because they can't afford to pay the mortage. About the rioting in France, the French riot and protest at any opportunity especially if people try to take away their social benefits, like low work hours, holidays etc.


And I actually feel fairly good about narrowly beating out Germany in terms of per-capita GDP... which I thought was in your post, but apparently was in someone else's.

Germany hasn't been the workhorse of the EU for a while. But I actually posted that number because the OP was saying the EU GDP/c is falling and France is like a third world country.


I live in Atlanta, Georgia. A nice, low-tax Red state. And I'm a gun-owning Republican. And our infrastructure is fine, and we have one of the best Technical colleges in the nation -- Georgia Tech is something like the 4th rated technical schools in the U.S., with MIT being one of the short list that're beating us. (I work there, in point of fact). It's also dirt cheap, if you're a Georgia resident. Good governance and quality public infrastructure does require funding... but not a 50% tax rate. And please don't confuse "U.S. citizen" and "Republican" with "screaming tea-party idiot." Some of us are at least half-sane and rational.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good for them.
by cfgr on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for them."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18


You can see the difference taxes make quite easily when you compare The Netherlands to Belgium. We're two relatively similar countries, but we Dutch have higher tax rates. The end result? Try driving from The Netherlands into Belgium, and compare the state of infrastructure and buildings - it's like driving from a modern, well-developed and rich state (The Netherlands) into a 3rd world country (Belgium). It's easy to see why: the Belgian government hasn't a drop to spend.


While I found your post very interesting and insightful, I have to correct you there. Belgium is actually a very bad example because the problem is not tax related at all. In fact, we have a higher income tax than the Netherlands[1], I don't really understand where that Dutch tax myth comes from. However, the problem is that the federal government is pretty much broke while the regional governments get the money but don't have the authority (by law) to invest it in infrastructure/services that belong to the federal state.

About the motorways, they are reconstructing them all the time. By the time the roadworks are finished, they have to redo them due to the heavy cargo traffic crossing the country (for free) from Germany-France-Holland-UK.

But that aside, I completely agree with you. Money is just a tool to increase our quality of life. A society that prefers making money above welfare is a society that forgot its purpose and encourages greed and corruption for personal gain. That is not to say we have no corruption here, but at least we still call it corruption rather than campaign donations.


--
[1] http://www.oecd.org/document/60/0,2340,en_2649_34533_1942460_1_1_1_...
See table I.5 for the averages. As far as I can see, Denmark is the only country with a higher personal tax than Belgium, but their employers contribute very little.

Edited 2010-03-23 19:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good for them.
by Gone fishing on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

If you think France looks like a third world country - your welcome to visit me and I'll show you what a third world country looks like.

I suspect, however that it's just misguided rhetoric or ideology blinding sense. The real danger to thought, freedom and free criticism is ideolgy be it right-wing left-wing religious or whatever.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Good for them.
by boldingd on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for them."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

FWIW, some parts of East Berlin look like the Cold War's still going on. Not that that's relevant to anything.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good for them.
by cycoj on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

Is that why the EU's GDP per capita is plummeting even as the GDP goes up? Is that why the quality of living over there is so low and the ONLY reason most of europe ranks within 1 point of the US is the low divorce rate (since nobody there can AFFORD a divorce)?


Ok now we're starting to just make up shit aren't we? If you actaully look at the GDP per capita graphs for the EU and the US (for example Wolfram Alpha) guess what the slope (positive) is actually higher for the EU. The average EU GDP/c is lower than the US $36 900 compared to $45 200, but lets look at individual countries. The highest country in the EU is Luxembourg $111 700 more than double the US. Sweden one of the most "socialist" countries in Europe $52 000. Actually the US would rank 9th in the EU, just before France ($44 700) and Germany ($44 400).

So, considering how you just made up the GDP statement, I'd say you've never been to France either and are just making that up. You probably never left the US, likely not even your home state.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good for them.
by bnolsen on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for them."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

At least the US has the desire to defend itself. I want yo know the US's exit strategy from Europe...the EU should have been funding its own defense decades ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good for them.
by mat69 on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good for them."
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

Defending?

No the US does not want to defend itself, it wants to attack. It wants to attack whoever they please, wherever in the world. At least that is what they _did_ the last decades.

I don't need "you" and your nuclear weapons in Europe, if asking me you could leave any day.


PS.: If you did not get it yet, the US is blessed -- military wise -- by its geographic position, so actually despite its large size it would not be _that_ hard to defend.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Good for them.
by boldingd on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for them."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I feel fairly good about beating out Germany in GDP -- not because this is an international competition, but because doing a-little-better-than-Deutschland means we're doing pretty damned good. It was my impression that Germany was pretty much the industrial engine of the whole Euro-zone.

Equally, if you're going to break the EU up by nation, you might wanna see what happens if you break the US up by State.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good for them.
by atriq on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
atriq Member since:
2007-10-18

First:
http://xkcd.com/610/

Second:
Please run all future brain dumps through the link below. It's intended for science articles, but included are some very helpful generic guidelines for conveying thoughts online.
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good for them.
by mgl.branco on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
mgl.branco Member since:
2009-07-22

Is that why the quality of living over there is so low and the ONLY reason most of europe ranks within 1 point of the US is the low divorce rate (since nobody there can AFFORD a divorce)?


Are you serious?. Let's compare education, second language knowledge, money spent on healthcare and people covered, homeless people percentage, infant mortality...

Let's face it, when the president of a country has to go on national TV to tell everyone to take a shower during a heat wave because the STENCH has reached life threatening proportions


You're going to far. That year dozens of people died of the heat wave. We just happen to care about people.

"A poor man would rather remain poor than ever lose the chance to be rich
- and socialism removes that chance. It often seems bent on making 100% certain EVERYONE is poor... "

I rather prefer to die poor than work non stop foolishly thinking I can become rich; because it's useless to have money if you can't enjoy the services you can buy with it.

Anyway, your rant is an absolute off-topic.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good for them.
by Phloptical on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for them."
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

I'm collecting social security and have medicare


You sit and collect your socialist medicare and "social" security that my wife and I are paying weekly for. Here's an idea.....since you feel so strongly for "capitalism", stop cashing your SS checks, and purchase your own healthcare, because the part of your little tirade that I quoted means your head is firmly planted in your ass, and you have absolutely NO right to form any opinion on the matter.

All I want you to do is sit there, stare at the wall all day, and say "Thank you.

You're welcome, by the way.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good for them.
by Kroc on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 08:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Good for them."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

BTW, it’s not that I agree or disagree with your comments, but I’ll lock threads that look like they’re going to explode into fights. No harm meant if you get locked.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good for them.
by cycoj on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 11:28 UTC in reply to "Good for them."
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

You are aware that there's plenty of censorship in the US. You call it DMCA or trade secrets or the need to fight terrorism, but don't give me this we the high and mighty "free" United States.

Also, please get your arguments right socialism is a economic theory, there can be (and have been) many different forms of state orders which are (or claim to be) socialist, dictatorships, democracies etc.

Also calling China socialist must be a joke, China is probably the most capitalist country with the least economic regulations today. That it is capitalist does not stop it from being a dictatorship (or better oligarchy).

Thirdly the US has one of the highest amounts of government subventions in the world, because that's what the huge defence budget is massive state subventions, as can be seen by the fact that almost all defence spending goes only to US companies, even if others are offering better value cheaper (see for example the row over the renewal of the refuelers between Airbus and Boeing).

But then you're probably just trolling and just deny everything you don't want to hear

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good for them.
by mgl.branco on Wed 24th Mar 2010 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Good for them."
mgl.branco Member since:
2009-07-22

Also calling China socialist must be a joke, China is probably the most capitalist country with the least economic regulations today.That it is capitalist does not stop it from being a dictatorship (or better oligarchy).


Absolutely. I believe, the motto officially used during the Deng era, which follows a after a period of economic disaster, was "go into a capitalism and then to a true communism". Economically speaking China is increasingly a capitalism, the social regime is an communist authoritarianism.

Thirdly the US has one of the highest amounts of government subventions in the world...


and one of the hardest trade barriers imposers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good for them.
by helf on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 13:22 UTC in reply to "Good for them."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

oh MY GOD. Please. Stop. Posting.

I'm REALLY getting sick of ignorant 'Americans' making me look bad. I'm from Alabama, so I'm aloud to say that ;D

I, unfortunately, have not been able to travel overseas yet, so I cannot comment on - much less form a strong opinion - the conditions of other countries, but only have a general idea given to me by TV, books, and reports from friends. And they all contradict what you are going off about in reference to the EU, at least. If you think some of the EU countries look 3rd world, I challenge you to go into the very rural parts of the USA and you will stop thinking that. You get 10 minutes out of town here and it starts looking like Mexican shanty towns.

The stereotypical 'Americans' sounding off their ill thought out opinions on matters that they have done little to no research on is driving me insane. It's like my grandparents who, yes, only watch FoxNews all day long, think anything even remotely referred to as "socialism" is evil communistic thinking all the while drawing Social Security and using medicare; which are, by their very definition, socialistic services.

Way off topic, but meh. I hate the foaming at the mouth democrats/republicans/liberals/conservatives. No one draws their own conclusions anymore, its like a hive mind on either side. And it generally is all centered around money. One way or another.

Whatever happened to the age old phrase, "Moderation in all things"? ;)

Edited 2010-03-23 13:23 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Good for them.
by helf on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 14:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Good for them."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

allowed, I meant allowed, damnit :p

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good for them.
by razor on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 23:04 UTC in reply to "Good for them."
razor Member since:
2010-01-13

wow... i never thought I'd see this much ignorance from an OSNews reader. You are so wrong on so many levels...

Instead of focusing on ideological debates, try to look at real issues. the health care reform movement in united states is really quite simple. lets say you have a neighbor who didnt study very hard in school and ended up with a low paying job w/o health insurance, now he is facing bankruptcy because his kids got sick. you can either lend a helping hand or tell him its tough luck and deal with it. depending on your choice of action, you will see the health care reform bill differently. You obviously belong to the second group.

Edited 2010-03-23 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

What *is* it with the Chinese govt?
by obsidian on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 01:02 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

What on earth is it with the Chinese govt?

China is not North Korea. The Chinese people *know* what happens elsewhere, and they are pretty good at finding out what happens around China as well - even with censorship.

China has already stated that they are aiming to have a democracy by 2020. If that is really the case (and if it is to be a *genuine* democracy, not a sham one), then they will have to end censorship sooner or later.
Looks like it will be later....

Reply Score: 4

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

China has already stated that they are aiming to have a democracy by 2020. If that is really the case (and if it is to be a *genuine* democracy, not a sham one), then they will have to end censorship sooner or later.
Looks like it will be later....

What does democracy have to do with censorship? Remember, the Soviet Union was a Democratic Socialist Republic... Remove one word, you have the United States. The reds just happened to have ended up with a one party system.

Which illustrated just how well that there socialism works... See national socialists, communist socialists, workers socialists, arabic socialist, and just crazy guys from Montana...

Hence the reason the only people who usually embrace socialism in a developed nation are career lecturers, career students, and high-school/college age kids still either having life paid for by mommy and daddy, or destroying our economy living off college loans - aka money that doesn't even actually exist yet. Enjoy being in debt until the day you die.

Edited 2010-03-23 05:00 UTC

Reply Score: 0

cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

Oh come'on get some freaking education. The skandinavian countries which by almost all international metrics have the highest standard of living have been ruled mainly by social democrats.

The US on the other hand is behind on a lot of metrics such as literacy, child mortality, life expectancy.

Reply Score: 4

mgl.branco Member since:
2009-07-22

Oh come'on get some freaking education. The skandinavian countries which by almost all international metrics have the highest standard of living have been ruled mainly by social democrats.


Very very well said.

Reply Score: 2

japh Member since:
2005-11-11

Remember, the Soviet Union was a Democratic Socialist Republic...


According to what definition? Just because the word "Democratic" is used doesn't mean it is true.

The way I see it, the more the word "Democratic" or "People's" is used, the worse it is for those who wish that something is democratic or for the people.

Reply Score: 1

MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

the Democratic People's Republic of Korea being a prime example.

Reply Score: 2

Govt must save face
by bosco_bearbank on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 01:22 UTC
bosco_bearbank
Member since:
2005-10-12

The ultimate outcome must be one in which the Chinese government can save face. I'm curious to see what that outcome will be.

Reply Score: 5

And...
by bryanv on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 03:32 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

I just received an email from a friend of mine in mainland China who claims Google search is now blocked.

He says gmail is still working for now, but he's taking steps to keep from getting screwed over by that being blocked too.

Reply Score: 4

Christian Paratschek
Member since:
2005-07-06

If it weren't for "socialism", dude, you probably would have spent your childhood working in a coal mine instead of going to school. OK?

Now turn off Fox News and get yourself some real education.

Reply Score: 2

My county
by kaelodest on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 16:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by Christian Paratschek"
kaelodest Member since:
2006-02-12

My country tis of thee, has a long standing tradition of state sanctioned INSTITUTIONALIZED racism and sexisim and classism. I am disgusted by all of this finger pointing. I was taught things in class that were provably false (even to a teenager) and patently implemented to give the simplest stupidist answer with as little collateral damage to the other lies that we have been taught.
It is EXACTLY moral relativism to call out China without talking about WHY we are calling out China (At least part of the reason is to not look at what we have working here)

Reply Score: 1

Is this story censored in China?
by kaelodest on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 18:58 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

Srsly not trying to be funny, but how would you you know if you were being censored.

Reply Score: 1

Google Doesn't Care About Censorship
by tomcat on Wed 24th Mar 2010 05:04 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

It's a profit machine. Sure, Google brought in about $300M in revenues from China; however, if you consider the cost of their operations in China, you will find that Google never made a profit there, nor was there any indication that it would EVER make a profit. Why? Because China has lopsided trade policies. It's not going to allow foreign companies to take significant amounts of treasure out of the country. Oh, sure, they'll allow you to reinvest any revenues that you make in creating jobs for Chinese workers, building new factories, etc. But you'll never get the gold home. Consequently, it is my opinion that Google decided to pull the plug for financial reasons only, and then spin their decision on security and censorship, etc. Where was Google on the issue of censorship when it signed agreements with the Chinese government to not only censor content but actively rat on political dissidents? Where was the outrage then? Answer: It's complete and utter nonsense. Maybe they would PREFER that there was no censorship in China. But it certainly didn't stop them from putting principle aside when there was the lure of the HUGE Chinese market.

Reply Score: 2

I'm against censorship but...
by robbyn on Thu 25th Mar 2010 07:42 UTC
robbyn
Member since:
2007-05-14

It kind of scares me to see the power that a corporation can have over a government.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm against censorship but...
by helf on Thu 25th Mar 2010 14:25 UTC in reply to "I'm against censorship but..."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

'eh, I'm not surprised.

People toss around words like "socialism" and "capitalism" but places like the USA are moving more towards corporatocracy than anything else, imo :p

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy

Reply Score: 2

lafsar
by foxnews on Fri 26th Mar 2010 15:13 UTC
foxnews
Member since:
2010-03-26

lafsar is your gateway to the best sites on the internet, see the daily world news and more.. www.lafsar.com

Reply Score: 1