Victor Petri

Rotterdam, Netherlands

About Victor

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An idea worth spreading

People are not problems, they are problem solvers. Overpopulation consequently does not exist. http://humansrunderrated.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/go-forth-and-multiply-on-the-joy-of-population-growth/

I'm passionate about

Human well being, human progress.

Talk to me about

Anything. Politics, population growth, economics, peak oil, demographics, capitalism, globalisation.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Victor Petri
Posted 3 days ago
Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform
I still strongly disagree, labour is like any other commodity, where supply and demand are met thanks to the determining of its price by the free market. You meddle with it, and like any other commodity, supply will have difficulty to meet demand. E.g. by artificially capping maximum wage for a high demand job, a shortage of people with high skill will form. And by artificially raising the minimum wage for a low demand job, a shortage of jobs for people with low skills will form. Furthermore, not all low skills jobs are replaceable with technology and not all people have the capacity or willingness to increase their skills. The state could however be tasked to optimize the skills of the people, e.g. by means of easy access to education or help with reintegration after becoming unemployed, thereby equalizing opportunity (thus decreasing inequality, without sacrificing wealth), a policy termed "True progressivism" by the Economist. Your natural state of employment of 0% I do not understand, a 0% unemployment has never existed outside the full blown communist state (which did have plenty of wealth destroying jobs). Also not in Germany, which never had a minimum wage (but is about to get one) nor a minimum income.
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Victor Petri
Posted 4 days ago
Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform
Property laws are enforced by the government, they come from the interaction between the corporate and the government and create micro monopolies for companies and thus disruptions of the free market. Here is a imaginative solution for you to diminish inequality, encourage innovation and create wealth: end Intellectual Property laws. Gone are the excessive salaries for moviestars, musicians, football players, tennis players and all sport players (whom excessive incomes comes from marketing, mainly), but also people of micro monopoly owners such as Apple, Microsoft etc. Meanwhile zero wealth creating industries such as the legal branch will lose a lot of money, as will the marketing branch be greatly diminished (who markets a brand that others are free to copy at will?) and industries such as the smartphone industry will be free to use each others ideas and not use billions of dollars to fight each other in legal battles at the expense of the consumer.
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Victor Petri
Posted 4 days ago
Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform
You're society will be endlessly worse than it is now. You will be stifling talent, hard work, innovation, and growth of wealth. And you will destroy jobs, especially jobs for the poor, because their service have been made too expensive. Meanwhile, the very talented on top will stop working in their thirties, because they aren't allowed to earn more, so they stop creating companies, wealth and jobs.
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Victor Petri
Posted 11 days ago
Larry Page: Where’s Google going next?
I do however, agree with your statement of capitalism being not a cooperative system. This I see, not as a weakness, but a fundamental strength, one that likens the system of capitalism to that of nature's ecosystem. Nature, where living is harsh, competition is fierce, and only the strongest survive, at expense of the weakest. A process that developed a beautiful, highly dynamic and incredibly well working system. But, the metaphor is with companies, not people. Strong, well lead, wealth creating companies survive, at expense of weak, poorly lead, wealth destroying companies, ensuring that after every crash, economies get bigger, and people get wealthier, while obtaining an ever growing availability to goods, resources and services.
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Victor Petri
Posted 11 days ago
Larry Page: Where’s Google going next?
Wrong. By definition capitalism cannot bred losers, only winners. At least coupled with the values of free market and decent property rights. In capitalism every single transaction, every purchase of product or service, comes with the express consent of the 2 parties involved. Any transaction will come to pass if, and only if, the 2 participants expect to benefit of them. When you buy new cloths, take a new job or sell your house, it is by your free will that you'll make that choice, because you think it is for the better. It is this win-win reasoning that has created all the wealth in the world. Plunder is not capitalism, because it was not by mutual consent. When both parties do not agree upon the transaction, we speak of criminality, something that should be addressed. Far from exploitation, capitalism and globalism are what make Africa the continent in the world with the fastest economic growth! http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/article/africa-is-now-the-fastest-growing-continent-in-the-world-12107/
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Victor Petri
Posted 12 days ago
Chris McKnett: The investment logic for sustainability
If you'd read my comment more carefully, you would have seen that I call for calculations to be made, and not take sustainibilty on face value. The new IPCC report for the first time talks much on adaptation, instead of mitigation (which means keeping short term gains) http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/adapting-to-climate-change.aspx In Bjorn lomborg's work total cost like to like comparisons are central to his proposed solutions. He is doing the calculations as well.
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Victor Petri
Posted 17 days ago
Are tensions, conflicts, and wars permanent part of the human condition? How can we avoid wars or mitigate the ravages of war?
I can't believe nobody mentioned: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence (did nobody do so?) We will see the end of wars in our lifetime (at least wars with human casualties), there will be 2 strong trends that will cause its extinction. First, the empowerment of the individual. Wars are fought because benefits are presumed greater than its risk. For a despot it is relatively easy to risk other people's lives, for personal benefit. For the individual the risk of war (dying) can practically never outway its benefit. This is why democracies (almost) never went to war with each other, a war would not make any rational sense, since it would incur great losses on the cumulative wealth of both nations, whilst carrying high risks. With GDP per capita increasing (tremendously in developing nations) and democracies becoming more and more common, war will become ever less accepted. Secondly, transparency. The world is becoming ever more transparent, enabling the global community to empathize with fellow human beings across the world. As an example, if the world and Germany itself would have been fully aware of the full extend of all the horrors commited by the Nazi regime, they would reacted much bolder and swifter. An other example is how photojournalism in Vietnam fuelled the public outcry in the US that marked the end of that war.
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Victor Petri
Posted about 1 month ago
Michael Metcalfe: We need money for aid. So let’s print it.
The basis of this argument lies with 2 assumptions: - We have successfully printed a lot of money without consequences - Increasing aid is beneficial for the poor With which I both have problems, the first, because it is too early to make conclusions, as it looks now, emerging markets will pay the price for relentless dollar printing, but time will have to be the judge of it. Furthermore, printing money for non-economical goals, might have different effects than the printing done now. The second point I have never been convinced of, the main improvements have been made in countries that systematically refused aid, such as China, and they were made thanks to globalism, capitalism and markets. The countries receiving lots of aid, have dysfunctional governments where budget can be up to 50% dependent on aid, creating perverse incentives, cronyism and corruption. Sent goods disrupted growth of industries, such as a garment industry unable to compete with free used clothing from the West. Finally, I have to state how incredibly misleading it is to compare an amount of money to the 3.7 trillion printed. I can claim the 6 billion $ needed for a mission to Mars is small change, compared to that. Fact is, 200 billion is about the same amount as the entire Irish economy per year, it's a lot.
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Victor Petri
Posted about 1 month ago
Annette Heuser: The 3 agencies with the power to make or break economies
Blaming the rating agencies for the crisis is like blaming your thermometer for your fever. Stop this nonsense. The reason investors walked away from lending countries money, was their poor management, their 100% of GDP level of debt, and their excessive budget deficits of >5%, but here in Europe we'd rather shoot the messenger, than solve those. Investors use a rating agency if they trust it, if they do not trust it, they don't. For this new agency to work, above all, it should give ratings that make economic sense, and not reflect ideological preferences. If it does use ideological preferences, it will be the laughing stock of the investing world, and rightly so. I imagine them rating a country AAA if it invests in renewables and youth employment and carbon capture, and rate that country AAA all the way to bankruptcy.