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Why does the Western world think democracy is a magical, catch all solution?

There seems to be this sort of prevalent attitude in the Western world that democracy is something of a catch all solution for all the world's political problems.

Now, lets just get this out of the way. This isn't some pro-autocracy/democracy is bad argument, I believe the system has many benefits. I'm not for one second disputing all the good its done in many countries. What I am claiming, is that there are situations where its not the right answer.

Take for example the recent revolution and election in Egypt. Dictator toppled, Muslim Brotherhood elected democratically, uses democratic tools to get rid of democracy, toppled by military. If it wasn't for the military, chances are Egypt would have been going down the road to being a theocracy right now.
The same happens whenever a country with a long standing tradition of politically active religious groups with a wide voting base. Any democratic election will lead to democracy being canceled in short order.

While I dislike using it as an example, it also can't be ignored that Hitler originally rose to power democratically. The same is true for many other dictators, of both religious and secular leanings. That's what happens when a democratic tradition simply isn't there.

Any transition to democracy, needs to be done carefully, and with the bare minimum force of arms. Its not something that can be rammed down people's throats, and there are simply situations where the political climate doesn't allow it work.

I'm trying to get some insight as to why the western world doesn't see that?

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    Sep 4 2013: I don't think it does. In the U.S. the framers tried to avoid the tyranny of democracy with the republic.

    I think that if organized properly a country could survive longer that the apparent 200 year mark. But I don't see any reason that the U.S. will. The missing link seems to be in the area of quality control (as to purpose and function). Which in the U.S. started failing around the beginning of the last century. This is when the states started getting nullified, the 17th amendment, the Federal Reserve, income taxes, regulations, going off the gold standard, etc.

    With Rome, Argentina, USSR, UK, US the problem centered around money and exchange. They all got the notion that they could defy the laws of economics by printing money.

    This problem is a catch 22 as the politicians have to buy votes in order to get elected which requires spending at the same time it creates a culture of the individual being dependent on the government. So the culture of exchange gets perverted. Meanwhile the friends of the federal government benefit by the inflation which is a zero sum game very much at the expense of the middle class.
    • Sep 5 2013: i agree, but i have to point out that the gold standard doesn't work either. when the supply of money is limited like that, it encourages saving, so people keep their gold in their banks accounts and there is little moving around the economy. eventually the people with the biggest potential to save have all of the gold and if you need some to pay your workers with you have to outbid everyone else who also needs gold to buy stuff, and you end up with an even worse situation than we have now. as more and more gold is saved in bank vaults it becomes rarer and rarer and hence more and more valuable. it's happened a few times in history actually, notably in ancient rome. conversely with inflation there is incentive to spend your money, which means companies make sales, they pay their workers who then buy the products and services they need etc etc.

      what we need is a third option, or a fix to the current system or the gold standard system. recently i'm wondering if a law prohibiting the sale of debt might not be a good stat. half the reason all these moneylenders made out so well was they had no risk at all, they lent money then sold the debt so they won no matter how bad the loan went. it wouldn't prevent such irresponsibility if they themselves were the only ones set to lose out from it. you have any other ideas?
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        Sep 5 2013: What you say about the gold standard does not add up. You make the assertion that people keep the gold out of circulation. That is not true they lend the money out to earn interest. The higher the interest rate the more they want to loan. The lower the interest rate the more they want to borrow. This is a natural process that signals business when it is time to borrow and savers when it is time to consume. If the interest rate is low they say lets consume a nicer house or a fancier car etc. If the rate is high they say lets save.

        In fact that is exactly why we are looking at an apocalypse as the interest rates are kept artificially low encouraging people to consume and discouraging them from saving. The cronies aka TBTFs have sold their toxic assets to uncle Ben plus uncle Ben has also spoiled them by paying them interest on their excess reserves, encouraging them to not loan money out as they can keep it in their own bank at zero risk while getting interest on the money. Additionally uncle Ben has kept the interest rate low allowing them invest ahead of inflation, inflation is exploding in the high end markets as that is where the cronies spend there money. You do not see inflation in the main stream market as the excess reserves do not make it to the main stream market as they normally would via loans.

        This is where inflation hurts main stream America as the investors are allowed to invest ahead of inflation whilst the general public is paying higher prices for the goods he needs.

        .You give the rich too much credit regarding their ability to stay rich. The free market is damn hard and it is constantly playing king of the hill throwing the upper quintile off the hill frequently. The only exception to this is when they pay off the Bens et al to stay on top of the hill.

        Consider how much the standard of living of us mutts increased between the 1870's and 1912. The government didn't have regulations and we didn't have the FED.
        • Sep 5 2013: that seems to make sense, but how will people pay back more gold than they borrowed when there isn't any more gold in the world? if say banks have all the gold in the world and lend it out, how will the people who borrowed it pay back more than all the gold in the world? interest just doesn't work.

          under a constant money supply it will always be more valuable as time goes on, so it makes more sense to keep it for more value later. it's harder for the rich to stay rich under the current system, because if they hoard money it will slowly lose value. if we returned to the gold standard hoarding would make them richer, as gold becoming rarer and rarer as more and more of it is kept in vaults rather than circulating through the economy would make it more and more valuable.
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        Sep 5 2013: Consider that the standard of living really didn't change much previous to the mid 1800s after that we had electricity, automobiles, telephones, airplanes, steel, a 40 hour work week, cheap lighting fuel, gasoline, etc. etc. There were no regulations on this stuff because it was too much for the government to react to. There was no central bank to be bought off.

        Somewhat similar to today with computers, the internet, 3d printers, cnc, cell phones, tremendous increases in production. The government cannot figure out how to get it's pound of flesh from this paradigm.

        The only difference is that today we have the FED and they are responsible for the maladies that people are complaining about.

        All jobs are created by investment this is how small business becomes big business. But since the banks can make money by keeping it in their own bank at zero risk they are not lending to business' which is very risky. Unfortunately this is where the jobs are created and that is why we are not seeing any of them. If the uncle Ben had not bailed out the TBTFs that money would be available for investment and the interest rates would be high enough to encourage lending.

        This is a natural process that controls the money supply. It is only when failing business' fail that their assets can then be used to start new business'. Watch Detroit now that they have declared bankruptcy will they be able to start righting the ship after many decades of malfeasance.

        My main point is that before trying anything new we need to go back to the original function and purpose of government.

        This means GET RID OF THE FED. Repeal the 17th amendment. Rework the taxes (flat tax). Cut government in half.

        And most of all EDJUMICATE the citizens about inflation, the FED, and the function of government and how to live a real life.

        Incidentally inflation is NOT a natural outcome of the economy, that is a meme that you know who has sold to us mutts.
        • Sep 5 2013: i completely agree that there should be no central bank. perhaps a legal limit on the amount of money that can be created in any given year?
          investment is a relatively new concept and does not create jobs. not having a sufficient workforce to supply the current demand is what creates jobs. think about it - there a company Xincorporated that employs 100 people and sells everything it makes, with no outstanding orders at the end of each month. someone comes along and invests money in the company which is used to upgrade etc so more units can be produced each month. 2 things can result - either they don't sell any more than they did before before people can't consume any more, or because they are now cheaper, they get customers from a competitor, and the net consumption (and required workforce) doesn't change. the only time more will be needed is demand rises to a level they can't meet, which means they need more workers.
          i agree end the fed, cut government in half, but i'd add to that end corporate welfare, no more tax breaks or fat government contracts (which includes defense spending, as most of that is just money handed over to defense corporation who make huge profit from it).
          i also agree inflation isn't a natural outcome, but it helps keep money flowing rather than sitting in bank accounts where it can't contribute to any sales or salaries.
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        Sep 5 2013: "perhaps a legal limit on the amount of money that can be created in any given year?"

        That is irrelevant, when the value of money changes the price of the product or labor changes, the effect of the amount of money only has a short term effect.

        ".investment is a relatively new concept and does not create jobs. not having a sufficient workforce to supply the current demand is what creates jobs."

        That is not true. You are saying the constraint on more production is the worker. The constraint is price if the price is low enough the demand skyrockets. If what you say is true than how do you explain that 90% of the population were farmer 100yr ago today it is less than 5% with a much bigger population?

        "i also agree inflation isn't a natural outcome, but it helps keep money flowing rather than sitting in bank accounts where it can't contribute to any sales or salaries."

        In the earlier post I indicated how the standard of living increased from the 1870s until the 1912 yet the value of money remained the same you could buy the same goods with a dollar in 1912 that you could in 1870. There was no inflation in the time of the greatest increase in the standard of living.
        • Sep 6 2013: that's right the price of the product changes, so there's no effect there, but the important point is that the value of money decreases over time, which is desirable.

          no i'm saying the constraint on sales is the customer. you're right to bring up 100 years ago, because the world was very different then. we could barely produce enough and so growth depended on producing more. nowadays we produce so much that producing more doesn't equate to more sales; if you've got 100 customers buying 1 item each it doesn't matter if you make 200 or 2000 of them.

          where did you get those stats? the standard of living has been increasing for a very long time, under both periods of inflation and also of deflation. the value of $1 has never been stable, let alone for a period of 42 years. while $1 might buy the same things in 1870 as 1912, it was worth more or less at many different times between those 2 years.

          inflation in the US, never static:
          http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Historical_Inflation_Ancient.svg
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        Sep 6 2013: "the important point is that the value of money decreases over time, which is
        desirable."

        Why do you say that? It certainly is not desirable.

        "no i'm saying the constraint on sales is the customer."

        Like i said no it isn't it is the price.

        " you're right to bring up 100 years ago, because the world
        was very different then."

        Exactly 100 years ago there was no FED

        "where did you get those stats?"

        It is empirical, just look

        Regarding inflation just find an inflation calculator, the one i used showed a dollar in 1800 would be worth $1.89 in 1912

        This is not much of a debate. My only point is that we need to get rid of the FED. If you can pry yourself loose from your ideas I recommend the Mises institute to consider what I talking about.
        • Sep 6 2013: it is desirable as i explained before. if money holds value then it inherently becomes more valuable as people keep it and the amount in circulation declines, making it rarer. if people are saving as close to 100% of their income as they can (as they would if their money is worth more the longer they hold onto it) the economy basically freezes as nobody spends.

          it isn't the price. if your favourite $2 hamburger is suddenly only $1 that doesn't make you buy 10 of them instead of 5. in the past this was true because people wanted 10 hamburgers but could only afford 5. we are now in an age of abundance so that rule only exists in old textbooks.

          right 100 years ago there was no fed, but there was still inflation and deflation, and since the fed came in there has also been both inflation and deflation.

          i don't disagree with you about the fed, it should be ended.

          i did look at the stats, they show that the value of $1 has never been the same, look for yourself: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Historical_Inflation_Ancient.svg

          what i'm talking about is the gold standard not being a solution but being even worse than the system we had now, as i said from the start: "i agree, but i have to point out that the gold standard doesn't work either."
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        Sep 6 2013: "as i explained before. if money holds value then it inherently becomes more valuable as people keep it"

        That statement is non secular. you are ignoring the FED and it's ability to print an infinite amount of money.

        "it isn't the price. if your favourite $2 hamburger is suddenly only $1 that doesn't make you buy 10 of them instead of 5"

        Then the customer spend his money on something else. Look at the variety of products available now compared to 100 yr ago.

        "right 100 years ago there was no fed, but there was still inflation and deflation, and since the fed came in there has also been both inflation and deflation."

        "i did look at the stats, they show that the value of $1 has never been the same, look for yourself: "

        You look, take any inflation calculator and look at how the dollar's value remained stable before 1912 and then the value after 1912.

        Are you hearing any of this? Or am I just talking to myself as usual?
        • Sep 7 2013: u mean non sequitur i hope ;) ? you're right the fed can print an infinite amount of money and that's bad. it would also be bad if no more money was every printed, which is and has been my point from the start. i said "if money holds value" ie i'm talking about *if* we were to use the gold standard as u suggested, not about the current system.

          right again the customer spends his money on something else, so the company that put invested money into higher production has gained nothing, just as i explained.

          i hear you fine you're just not correct. there's a reason the inflation calculators look like the dollar was stable, even though it actually wasn't, which is why you need to look at graphs not calculators, and why you're getting a false impression by relying on data from calculators. it's complicated, so i'll just say that it's akin to the reason why if you measure a coin with a ruler in summer and again in winter, it'll appear not to have changed, when in actually it will have shrunk in size.

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