Cliff Nzombato

This conversation is closed.

About the state of world economy and the current finnacial crisis facing Western Nations, Its time to do business differently.

I don’t not think that ideas or innovations are lacking in the business world nor do I believe that homelessness /hunger can’t be eradicated but at least it can be reduced to a manageable proportion globally. I think what is happening today with the world economy is that dependency on the West is shrinking and shrinking fast. Africans, South Americans and Asians don’t depend on West as the have within the past 30 years or so; Developing Nations or The Global South are more and more doing businesses amongst themselves and they have become consumer societies. instead of exporting Nations. The notion of dependency theory is fading or obsolete, all together. Therefore, Western Nations need to critically rethink capitalism and eco-social development in a world of remerging egalitarian markets. Not business as usual? But open borders, open market/fair trade, not free Trade/ market, because no market is free rather we put value as we see fit to commodity and Services. I would love for UN to make Markets and Health Care a universal Human Right issue. As I travel around the world I see the impact of trade in health care. I am also seeing a huge shift in human identity that is related to how we buy and sale what we need, want and value. This identity is transcendent to all human persons irrespective of geographical circumstances. We need to move around, share/ globally, recycle more resources and keeping local input on an global scale.

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    Oct 24 2011: It is better to have an ENEMY who honestly says they hate you. Than to have a FRIEND who's putting you down SECRETLY?Weak economies of the world has been the victims of this phenomenon and i think doing business alone would not solve the propblem rather the capitalist economies should not impose on the weak economies of the world.
  • Oct 22 2011: "Western Nations need to critically rethink capitalism"

    Why? Capitalism looks to be working well for Russia and China in comparison to their previous communistic systems. I do not see why western nations need to rethink economic systems just because of developing nations.

    If anything, as nations develop, their currency will gain in value and these nations will be able to buy more goods from western nations.

    I do not see why you link Health Care with an economic system or what it has to do with emerging markets.
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      Oct 24 2011: I don’t think the Global South will continue to do business with the West as the did in the past; at the same time I am not ruling out some measure of transaction of some kind still going on. Whatever happens within the next 30 years or so will see a change in the maturity of the Global South as co-dependent States: with greater educated population, freedom and self determination.I

      personally don’t think that democracy will continue to adapt to capitalism; its going to be the other way around in the form of Social Capitalism. More distribution of resources and means of production in the hand of the majority. Instead of the current situation where only 9 percent enjoy the actual purchasing power.

      On that note, I will link Health care and market economy of the Global South as a game changer because they [The Global South] will buy less from the West, thereby breaking the monopoly and dependency on the West. Meaning the more economic power they [The Global South] have the richer they become and the healthier they will, eventually ( there is a co-relation between heath and Wealth). That is where re thinking capitalism comes into play.
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      Oct 24 2011: Capitalism never works and nowhere.
      It can only flourish in situations of inequality.
      Like the potential of electricity increases with the tension between opposite poles so it is with capitalism. Without an extensive resource of poor people on the one side and the few rich on the other side capitalism is stuck.

      If tomorrow by a miracle every person on earth was a millionaire what would happen?
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        Oct 24 2011: capitalism does not exist, and never existed. so it is rather bold to postulate its unworkability. however, even the existing partially capitalistic systems proved themselves highly successful in eliminating poverty and suffering.

        your doctrines about the poor worker class exploited by the rich elite is marxist in origin, and was refuted in the early 1900's. kind of pity that it stuck so deep in minds, it is impossible to get rid of.
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          Nov 14 2011: Sorry Kristztian, but I think it is you who are hooked on an archaic notion, 'Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity.' Can you really sell the idea that the free market could be sustainable?
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        Nov 14 2011: joanne, yes. i can't, of course, prove that. it is theoretically possible that a society exploits nature in such a degree that it drives itself to extinction or severe degradation. however, it is questionable that it happens in reality.

        two angles of "attack", not as a comprehensive study, but more like thought provoking.

        1. easter island, the most well known example of such a suicide society. but wait. evidence suggests that they actually lived a quite stable life until foreign interference caused their demise. more on that here:

        (look for jared diamond's reply on the bottom, and then a reply-to-reply)

        2. global warming is greatly exaggerated by politicians. they make it look like doom is upon us. in reality, the evidence is much less clear, and most likely we have enough time to react. however, governments are not reacting. in fact they going in the opposite direction. merkel stopped nuclear reactors, what do you think will replace them? under etatist regimes, the progress is slowed down. and this pretty much can lead to "miss of the deadline". so i believe free markets, and the resulting economic/scientific progress can save us.
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          Nov 14 2011: Everything is questionable Krisztian, absolutely everything. That is the nature of the philosophical gymnasium you like to use to support, what is really a pretty shallow ideology.

          Thanks for the article. I am from the South Pacific region. There are rats on all the islands, yet there are also trees and communities. Sorry but that argument does not hold much water.

          We do not have to rely on the Easter Islander's for our cautionary tale, however. The list of societies from the Harrapans to the Aztecs keep us well supplied with examples of people who did not manage their environment, and so achieved exponential growth all the way to extinction.

          As you yourself say, it is not possible to prove that 'free market' systems can be sustainable, then I suggest you stop advocating them. It is widely accepted that we do need to take a sustainable approach to our environment, and spend what is left of the finite resources very carefully, if we still wish to occupy the biospere in the foreseeable future.
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        Nov 15 2011: joanne, this is not satisfactory. i don't have to prove that free market will not end the world. you also can't prove that it will. we can analyze the situation though, and we can come to conclusions.

        running out of resources is simply not an issue. you don't need to read too much science to know that. transition from oil to gas is easy. and we have so much gas it won't run out anytime soon. wood is not an issue, we don't need it anymore. rare metals are not an issue, we have plenty of sources, only the mining costs would be higher. we don't need to be "sustainable". it is okay to exhaust a resource as long as we come up with another solution before it runs out. we have more than enough time.

        the only concern is climate change. but again, i know no rival to the free market in delivering alternative solutions. if you want new ideas and new technologies, you need free enterprise. that's all you need.
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          Nov 15 2011: I don't think you're well informed.
          Or the information at your place is different than elsewhere.

          A very little example not too far from home.
          The glaciers in the Alps are shrinking at a rate that it won't take long or they're vanished.
          This one you can witness with your own eyes.

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          Nov 15 2011: The problem with wearing blinkers Krisztian, is they only allow a limited viewpoint, if you will pardon the metaphor. My comment referred to a 'sustainable approach to our environment, ( and to spending) what is left of the finite resources very carefully' thus my comment had two parts. You discussed resources, oil being the most obvious but there are many other vital resources which have peaked or will peak soon. Copper in 2003, your natural gas will peak in 2020 and phosphorous will peak in 2034. Phosporous is necessary for food production and there is no substitute.

          Regarding sustainability. Under the present rate of usage, water has reached a critical point in many places world wide, with desalination plants springing up across australia and other parts of the world too. We have issues around waste disposal, the acidification of the oceans and collapsing fish stocks. That is only the beginning. Wherever you look it is a grim picture Krisztian. Your comment sounds less than realistic and more like a kind of blind religious faith.

          'It took nearly all of human history – from the first days of man on earth until the early 1800’s – to reach a global population of 1 billion. In just 200 years, we’ve managed to reach 6.5 billion. That means the population has grown more since 1950 than in the previous four million years. We’re adding roughly 74 million people to the planet every year.'

          You say 'running out of resources is simply not an issue, the only concern is climate change.' That is simply not true, not at all.
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          Nov 15 2011: At last AN OPTIMIST!

          Every single time in history, the doomsday theory has been wrong, and everytime it's wrong for the exact same reason :
          Where the hell is GROWTH OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE taken into account in these boring stats about population growth and natural ressource consomption?

          I also believe that free market is taking us to a greener future, with ever increasing comfort and energy to ever decreasing environmental cost. This is the way it's going.
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          Nov 15 2011: Hi Gerald; an optimist? Actually that is a correct assumption, thank you.

          I see you belong to the camp that believes science can solve any problem. You will be largely right, science has produced miracles and it will produce more in reply to the critical problems of the biosphere but not if it is driven PURELY by the profit motive. The profit motive is not directly interested in the biosphere, or human comfort, or a greener future. Each participating player in the free market is driven to make profit, as much as possible, within a maximum window of around thirty or forty years, which is the earning period approximately, for one human being. Or do you know of many people who are concerned with leaving behind opportunities to make profit for their children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and those that come after that?

          Remember we are not talking about those individuals who MAY be concerned about the environment and also are driven by the profit motive. We are talking about the profit motive itself. The basis underlying premis of the free market is profit motive, which by its very nature, is about short term gain and does not, if it is left unregulated, lead to sustainable development.
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        Nov 15 2011: frans, take a loot at our conversation:

        me: the only concern is climate change.
        you: I don't think you're well informed. [...] The glaciers in the Alps are shrinking at a rate [...]

        see? you simply don't read what i write. how do you think will this lead to a constructive debate? we need to spend hours and days to finally agree on what i'm actually saying, and we didn't even get to the point of debating it. all we need is a little more focus, a little more attention in order to get somewhere. are you not willing to put that effort in?
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          Nov 15 2011: I think it would be more courteous to reply to Frans point, which I understand perfectly rather than to dismiss it on stylistic grounds Kriztian. He could point out, (but clearly he is too polite) your annoying and disrespectful habit of confining yourself to lower case in your posts. Are you willing to put the effort in too?
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          Nov 16 2011: Yes Krisztian, I saw after I posted my comment that climate was your only concern in the reply.
          Nevertheless I didn't delete it so you had an argument to be right about.
          On all other assumptions you are wrong.
          Wood is no concern, you said, fossil fuels, minerals, no problem.

          If you have eyes and you look from a satellite down on earth you can see the trail by which human civilization spreads around the earth. It is all desert or somewhere on the way to become one.

          Civilization wipes nature from the earth. Stored energy that plants collected from the sun for almost 100 million years we burn in a century, maybe two, and all synthetic products we can make out of fossil plant material ends after we burned it all. With what would you replace wood then after all forests are chopped or burned? Like giant moles human ignorance shuffles through the fertile crust of the earth to erode the very base of our existence.

          Maybe it is unavoidable and do we have to face the consequences but don’t say it will all be well.
          The sad thing is that there are alternatives and it could all be different as intelligence stepped in to replace the current system based on the instinct of greed and is fed by fear.
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        Nov 15 2011: well joanne, one of us certainly wearing blinkers, but it is not that easy to establish who.

        again, these peak-anythings do not make any sense. the peak stone was thousands of years ago. peak wood some dozen? a hundred? we use the cheapest resources available. if they run out, or in fact before they run out, as they get more expensive, we shift to another technology. do you genuinely think that mankind can't survive without copper? or we can't find other copper sources that are more expensive to mine, but also greater in amount? do you genuinely think that "regular" gas will not be replaced by shale gas and methane clathrate? do you think that fossils will not be replaced by 4th generation nuclear and ultimately fusion? do you think that we can not extract phosphate from the ocean in any amount we need? don't you know that the total farm area did not increase in the last 50 years, but output has been tripled? don't you know that the GDP per capita, life expectancy, child survival, health, quality of life are all increasing, despite the population increase? don't you know that the population is leveling out already, and soon will stabilize?

        and be mindful of what i have said. don't mix the running out resources with climate and environment. i separated the two, and i said resource exhaustion is not a problem. climate change and pollution IS a problem, and i said just that. and i also said that governments can't do anything about it. governments miserably fail at regulating industry. we need technological progress, and we need it ASAP! at this moment, states all around the world hindering or even downright preventing us from progress.
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          Nov 15 2011: Krisztian: My answer to your plethora of questions is simple 'not indefinitely' You think population will stabilise naturally?

          How do you think this will that happen? Will people line up the world over to pay for sterilisation surgery?
          How will your magical 'invisible hand' acitivate the miraculous free market when there are less people in the world to drive the economic engine into forward?
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        Nov 15 2011: joanne, as i said, we don't need to rely on anything indefinitely. we need to rely on them for a while, until we find a better technology. we have like 100 years of natural gas. but we will master technologies like the traveling wave reactor or thorium reactors within 10-30 years. then we rely on thorium for another 500 years, but we will have fusion or space based solar or earth based solar much much sooner.

        how will the population stabilize? two children per family. it is happening already. for further details:
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          Nov 16 2011: I do not think you have made any argument at all Krisztian. The speaker only discussed a trend, that if we lift the bottom 2 million out of poverty, (a big if) population will stablilize at 9 billion, MAYBE. Sorry but I think it too big a risk to rest the health and safety of the biosphere on a trend.

          You say; 'we don't need to rely on anything indefinitely. we need to rely on them for a while, until we find a better technology.' Can your technology replace the black rhino, the tiger, the beluga sturgeon, the blue whale and the millions of unreported extinctions that go on in the oceans?

          I begin to see you as even more of an idealist than myself. You seem to believe an invisible hand can guide all of this to perfect equilibrium, and that technology can right any wrong. Forgive me if I find you unconvincing so far.
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        Nov 16 2011: joanne, we observe thousands of years of progress in life standards. we observed china and india and similar countries coming out of poverty. we observed the unbelievable boom in europe and the usa. what makes you think that this development will never come to south africa? more precisely some african countries, plus some other countries here and there? what else than pessimism?

        you constantly confuse two unrelated concepts. this is my last attempt to make that clear. finite resources is one issue. destroying the environment is another. finite resources is simply not a problem, as i discussed in detail. destroying the environment can be a problem, and we need to address that. i made a very clear distinction between the two, but you make every effort to present my arguments like no problem, we can pollute. it is not at all a respectful way of arguing. please don't try to misinterpret what i say.

        you discredit capitalism based on your doubts about a silly metaphor, the invisible hand? you need to learn what it is. it is not some mystical magical force. it is a well described system of cooperation of men. through the price system, through personal freedom and freely acting individuals, the free market delivers what people want optimally. people do want clear water and clear air. they want forests and all. they want a healthy environment. so they are willing to pay for it. and if there is demand, there will be supply sooner or later.

        btw it is kind of a trend today. many people criticizes capitalism without actually understanding how capitalism works, and what does it mean. people just got that fuzzy feeling of big corporations rule using their hand puppet politicians, and they drive us into oblivion. though much of it is actually true, this is not the result of capitalism, but the opposite, elected governments trying to "regulate" or "tweak" the economy, and the result is disastrous.
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          Nov 16 2011: Krisztian; 'we observe thousands of years of progress in life standards. we observed china and india and similar countries coming out of poverty. we observed the unbelievable boom in europe and the usa. what makes you think that this development will never come to south africa? more precisely some african countries, plus some other countries here and there? I have not suggested that, it is something you have assumed.

          I call the 'invisible hand' a myth invented by businessmen who wanted carte blanche to act as they please, you call it ' a well described system of cooperation of men. through the price system, through personal freedom and freely acting individuals,'. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on that one. Although to back up my opinion, I can produce a global crash the like of which the world has never seen. What have you got.?Of course you will blame some misguided govt practices, so lets just leave that one.

          Sorry, your last comment does not merit a reply.
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        Nov 16 2011: joanne, please pick the businessmen out of this list of gentlemen

        adam smith
        carl menger
        ludwig von mises
        murray rothbard

        and i won't reply to the last sentence. oh snap! i just did!