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    Typology Innovator Vendrah's Avatar
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    Default The future crisis of nations Public Debt

    This is a subject that were most commented by @Virtual ghost and it did caught my attention too.

    For those who might not be aware, now most of nations have a large public debt. US had passed the 100% GDP mark of public debt, some other countries as well. This is not a developed or under-developed country (I thought it was 3 years ago lol). Japan is the country with most debt so far, with more than 200% GDP.

    These debts grow and grow with time and, although in the short years I dont think anything of special is going to happen, it might happen anytime soon. So, what you guys think might happen?

    There is also some stuff that are really happen.
    I think the rise of the public debts has everything to do with the rise of neoliberalism. If you stop to think about it, putting the state into a large debt with a high interest rate is a good way to kill the state and reduce/nerf its influences, since it forces the state to reduce other expenses in order to pay the debt and opens the door for the neoliberalism politicians. Making a "statist" politician to bait this trap is not actually hard - getting a corrupted or perhaps just short-sighted politician on any party isnt that hard in the last decades.

    What actually happens today is that the public debt is a good way to make the welfare state to eat itself (to null a part of its purposes). Let me explain this better. The welfare state and "big" states are supposed to have a wide set of public services, and these public services goes from tax payers; These kind of states makes accessible services that are not accessible to poor people by capitalism default. Some of them does even have measures made to combat poverty and re-distribute wealth in a less unequal way, so the welfare state works a lot in order to drop Gini.

    The public debt and its interest rates does pretty much the opposite. The average tax payer is poorer than those who win money from the interest rates from public debts. What does happen is that the money from public debt goes from the average tax payer pocker directly to people who profit out of the public debt, that are richer than the average payer, so the effect of state into reducing Gini is mitigated. With the right politicians, debt and place, this can even work as a way to use the state to increase inequalities - a good way to make the neoliberalism rich guys happy. So, basically, its a way to take money of the average Joe right to the pockets of rich people - and perhaps superrich too - in a total "legit" way.

    In the case of Brazil, the public debt origin is largely unknown. But as I had checked last year, it seems that the public debt interest rate takes about 40-50% of government spending already. Seems likely, because even this sort of information is confusing. The spending on equality programs - programs against poverty that basically are expenses for food or a small extra income (something like 50 dollars monthly) for Brazilian super-poors is more than 10x less than what is spent by paying the public debt interest rate.

    In the case of Japan, I do wonder if the public debt is the 21th century solution to control "the japs" (I guess jap is what US people call the japanese when they want to see them in a negative way), because with a big debt sure somebody got some influence and control over government. There is a word that google translates as sovereignty (originally, soberania), which is a word that means that a government is supposedly independent from other governments or any other sort of parties and is able to have decisions of its own. I do wonder if the big public debt is the way to take away the japanese sovereignty while still officially making the japanese state as "sovereign".

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    Complex paradigm Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vendrah View Post
    This is a subject that were most commented by @Virtual ghost and it did caught my attention too.

    For those who might not be aware, now most of nations have a large public debt. US had passed the 100% GDP mark of public debt, some other countries as well. This is not a developed or under-developed country (I thought it was 3 years ago lol). Japan is the country with most debt so far, with more than 200% GDP.

    These debts grow and grow with time and, although in the short years I dont think anything of special is going to happen, it might happen anytime soon. So, what you guys think might happen?

    There is also some stuff that are really happen.
    I think the rise of the public debts has everything to do with the rise of neoliberalism. If you stop to think about it, putting the state into a large debt with a high interest rate is a good way to kill the state and reduce/nerf its influences, since it forces the state to reduce other expenses in order to pay the debt and opens the door for the neoliberalism politicians. Making a "statist" politician to bait this trap is not actually hard - getting a corrupted or perhaps just short-sighted politician on any party isnt that hard in the last decades.

    What actually happens today is that the public debt is a good way to make the welfare state to eat itself (to null a part of its purposes). Let me explain this better. The welfare state and "big" states are supposed to have a wide set of public services, and these public services goes from tax payers; These kind of states makes accessible services that are not accessible to poor people by capitalism default. Some of them does even have measures made to combat poverty and re-distribute wealth in a less unequal way, so the welfare state works a lot in order to drop Gini.

    The public debt and its interest rates does pretty much the opposite. The average tax payer is poorer than those who win money from the interest rates from public debts. What does happen is that the money from public debt goes from the average tax payer pocker directly to people who profit out of the public debt, that are richer than the average payer, so the effect of state into reducing Gini is mitigated. With the right politicians, debt and place, this can even work as a way to use the state to increase inequalities - a good way to make the neoliberalism rich guys happy. So, basically, its a way to take money of the average Joe right to the pockets of rich people - and perhaps superrich too - in a total "legit" way.

    In the case of Brazil, the public debt origin is largely unknown. But as I had checked last year, it seems that the public debt interest rate takes about 40-50% of government spending already. Seems likely, because even this sort of information is confusing. The spending on equality programs - programs against poverty that basically are expenses for food or a small extra income (something like 50 dollars monthly) for Brazilian super-poors is more than 10x less than what is spent by paying the public debt interest rate.

    In the case of Japan, I do wonder if the public debt is the 21th century solution to control "the japs" (I guess jap is what US people call the japanese when they want to see them in a negative way), because with a big debt sure somebody got some influence and control over government. There is a word that google translates as sovereignty (originally, soberania), which is a word that means that a government is supposedly independent from other governments or any other sort of parties and is able to have decisions of its own. I do wonder if the big public debt is the way to take away the japanese sovereignty while still officially making the japanese state as "sovereign".


    Yeah, but there is a twist in all this. The large public debt or debts in general are quite likely to kill neoliberal economics are well. Which for the most part runs on temporary solutions instead of more systematic ones. If am not mistaken the world is currently sitting on something like 270 Trillion $ debt. What is very high even for the whole world combined. Therefore since this large debt is chewing away plenty of things through the standard of living there is growing opposition to the current model all over the map. While the current pandemic greatly speed up that process, since it broke too many links that were holding things together.


    I mean many countries spent very large sums of money on completely pointless stuff and through that someone got artificially rich. However that model seem to becoming unsustainable because the debt is going into the red. In a way I am lucky that I live in the country where they came to the edge of the red and made the pledge to reverse course (what indeed happened). Because once you get crippled by debt it is hard to get out of it without suffering obvious losses. Since large debt disrupts the balance between spending and what you need to spend to have a normal life and situation under control. What usually only brings more debt. EU as whole has certain rules to how much the members can have in public debt but unfortunately that isn't always enforced. However the good news is that paying of the public debt is a direct stimulation of economy, especially if you are paying to the locals. What in the end acts as some sort of stimulus for the economy. Since it brings in new money into the game and in general lowers interest rates for public debt. What means that without the control of debt you have very low odds of having a decent and economy. However that requires certain discipline and planning, while most people regardless so their social position are kinda lazy in that regard.



    Here are some of the numbers for the more important countries. (but I don't get how US is doing the math, since that should be about 130%)


    World debt clock
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    These things are hot political topics, with people either anticipating a collapse of capitalism or welfare spending priorities, depending where you stand and what are your priorities.

    Although, if you want to take the long view, after the first war most of the world's governments had massive war debt, it didnt stop them fighting a second war and accumulating further debt. I think the UK only managed to pay of their war debt to the US in the nineties (promptly acquiring a lot more by joining in the Bush-Blair wars).

    So there are precedents of the national governments managing debt of this kind before without it ending up in some sort of apocalyptic scenario, will it result in war, I dont think so. The principle possible antagonists in any such conflict are less and less fans of open, mutually assured destruction style conflict anyway, the sort of conflict which has served them the most has been of a more indirect, devious, disrupt and deny variety. More likely would be a series of protracted proxy wars or perpetual low intensity warfare of the sort that Orwell predicted as a "new normal" in 1984.

    I dont think that debts are liable to cripple or kill neo-liberalism at all, they've already made massive moves to privatise debt, what was at a time public debt is now usually personal debt in the form of easy credit, in the anglo-sphere anyway.

    Instead what I think SHOULD exhaust neo-liberalism is a much better public record of how much of a failure private firms are at managing large public projects, the security of the Olypmics in the UK is one example, they needed to use troops as the G4S was incapable of mustering the numbers with the short term contracting they used as a business model (the capital was largely unpoliced and there was an unreported mini-crime wave at the time).

    There are myriad examples of failure in the provision of care facilities, all sorts, by G4S and others. Currently the testing system in the whole of the UK is overwhelmed because of mismanagement and the trusting of the whole thing to a private firm with no record of success handling such projects but a lot of promises and close ties to the ruling party.

    There have been two separate tracing apps for phones which have totally failed, both private enterprises with close ties to the ruling party and it was clear the apps where intended to capitalize on a willingness to forego privacy rather than control pandemic spread as intended.

    Its not incompetence, its definite corruption. It does not seem to perturb the public as it should, it is not reported as I think it should be either. This is why I say it should be an existential threat. Although I am unsure it is or will be. Not that I actually see public management as an alternative, at least not presently, as the managers are proving ineffective, even if this can be attributed to profiteering and corruption, I think they would mismanage any alternative policy because it would involve attempts to subvert "business as usual". I do think that certain forms of transparency, if the media could get its act together, that these things could help, also a public more likely to respond to information.

    I'm a socialist but I dont think all sorts of capitalism are created equal, I think that there is a better sort of capitalism than what I would project is becoming typical. Public debt is just one symptom and I think problematic more because it is exploited as a reason to attack the meagre resources of the most vulnerable and dependent in society, welfare budgets, whatever anyone may feel about them in terms of values, are miniscule compared to other expenses.
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    Complex paradigm Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post

    I dont think that debts are liable to cripple or kill neo-liberalism at all, they've already made massive moves to privatise debt, what was at a time public debt is now usually personal debt in the form of easy credit, in the anglo-sphere anyway.

    I disagree since neoliberal economy tends to be generally ineffective even in the private sphere, perhaps even more than in public part. One of the main reasons why there is rising public debt is exactly because the governments have to save over and over vital companies from economic implosion. Which is because this system of economics is based on simplistic solutions that tends to maximize profits on the short turn without long term strategy. Or they are simply gambling with the whole company and then what happens happens.

    As it is now private sector is even more bloating the debt bubble, but since the public one is also slowly but surely getting into red the whole system is becoming unsustainable. Especially since most of real economy got outsourced in a number of countries, so even that check and balance has failed or simply isn't there. The fact that they privatized the debt doesn't mean that much for the whole system that is pilling debt all over the map. Since this level of rising debt will brake the system regardless of private/public sphere. What is because real economy got outsourced by good margin and there often simply is not enough assets to return all the debt once the company fails. So the governments have to fix this the best way they can in order to keep economic chains going, however they can't do that forever. What in the end is likely to produce cracking of entire system, which we are actually seeing in practice over the years.

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    Typology Innovator Vendrah's Avatar
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    @Virtual ghost & @Lark
    I still think that this might be leading to collapse of governments and a change to a world ruled by corporations. There are not much fictions on this, but there a few science fiction stuff out there (like Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil) where corporations rule the world, so visualizing this might be hard if you didnt ever had a contact with any.

    That is what the neoliberals want in a more extreme way, it doesnt actually leads to anarchy (even if they make appear so so they can have some happy ancaps thinking that they can do whatever they want when governments gets down), but instead to a corporate-ruled capitalism with no state at all.

    The key thing to the debt is the interest rate: We do not even know if there would be a debt if it had no interest rate at all (by no interest rate I just mean inflation corrections). I think these debts will grow with time to the point where, if the government sells everything, it would still be in debt, so they can declare the bankruptcy of the government. So the end point should be some point where the government might end privatizing everything (privatize is the word for government selling itself here). I think we are sort of in transition to the corporate-ruled world where the new kings will be the corporate owner slowly. I hope I dont look crazy here, but, if we stop to think about, that is already happening. If we think, for example, in terms of data, a few decades ago, the governments had the most data about regular citizens. Today, its the corporation, Google as a company probably knows significantly more about me than my government. As I had stated, the rich already indirectly use the tax to take money away from the average Joe already (tax money goes to government, government has to pay the high interest rates) and as you noted government already send money to corporations right from tax payers from time to time (pay attention that what is a crisis to the regular Joe might no be a crisis at all to superrich corporations). These crisis should get more intense from time to time, with governments getting smaller and smaller with bigger and bigger debts and with bigger and bigger taxes (I think wealth tax is increasing overtime in general, from what I had a look on OCDE website; This increase should be caused by the debt), until they get bankrupt, but on that point the average people will be so used into paying a high tax that wont return (because it is actually being bombed to the corporations by the interest rate of the debt, but they should use the argument "government is inefficient" to make it weaker instead).

    I know that officially and formally, a government cant bankrupt, so it wont be literal bankruptcy, but it should be instead the government slowly giving up influences, which should be happening already, combined with the government losing its "rights" in the future (like, for example, making room for the corporations to indirectly do their own law; Perhaps the deregulation serves to that).

    That is what I think it is going to happen. I think the crisis will be there for us; But for corporations, just more and more profits, and the lesser the welfare state government, more money will speak for power instead of anything else. All I said here probably matches with facts: More privatizing, wealth and citizen taxes growing with time, more public spending to pay the debts that always grows, increase on Gini and the deregulation on the top of that. Deregulation on an environment with low Gini and plenty opportunities for the average people does indeed causes more freedom, and they will sell it as that, but deregulation on environment with a high inequality and low opportunities for the average people just make room for the big corporations to actually set the rule. The market rules, and the corporations rules the market (on a high inequality country, that does work). Of course, the corporation ruling the world wont be obvious as it is on some fictions like Final Fantasy VII, but more like on Resident Evil where Umbrella Corporation have big secret installations (with the absence of government they have the right to do that, although in Resident Evil they probably just cheated), and that is the true invisible hand controlling the market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual ghost View Post
    I disagree since neoliberal economy tends to be generally ineffective even in the private sphere, perhaps even more than in public part. One of the main reasons why there is rising public debt is exactly because the governments have to save over and over vital companies from economic implosion. Which is because this system of economics is based on simplistic solutions that tends to maximize profits on the short turn without long term strategy. Or they are simply gambling with the whole company and then what happens happens.

    As it is now private sector is even more bloating the debt bubble, but since the public one is also slowly but surely getting into red the whole system is becoming unsustainable. Especially since most of real economy got outsourced in a number of countries, so even that check and balance has failed or simply isn't there. The fact that they privatized the debt doesn't mean that much for the whole system that is pilling debt all over the map. Since this level of rising debt will brake the system regardless of private/public sphere. What is because real economy got outsourced by good margin and there often simply is not enough assets to return all the debt once the company fails. So the governments have to fix this the best way they can in order to keep economic chains going, however they can't do that forever. What in the end is likely to produce cracking of entire system, which we are actually seeing in practice over the years.
    That is a good economic analysis although I still think that the degeneracy of elites will kill it all quicker than a debt crisis. Any real debt crisis has been proven to be exploitable by the same set of rich thugs in the UK to simply further their designs, which as you say at the moment are akin to gambling.

    Its almost as though the whole neo-liberal thing has just been a useful fiction for a bunch of people desperate to keep the cocaine supply flowing.

    For instance, everyone's excited at the moment about the UK's willingness to break international law in its dealings with ROI and the EU. Who do you think has engaged in the most amazing crime syndicate crack down and elimination of drugs trafficking and cocaine supply in years? The ROI. Coincidence? Well, I doubt it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vendrah View Post
    @Virtual ghost & @Lark
    I still think that this might be leading to collapse of governments and a change to a world ruled by corporations. There are not much fictions on this, but there a few science fiction stuff out there (like Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil) where corporations rule the world, so visualizing this might be hard if you didnt ever had a contact with any.

    That is what the neoliberals want in a more extreme way, it doesnt actually leads to anarchy (even if they make appear so so they can have some happy ancaps thinking that they can do whatever they want when governments gets down), but instead to a corporate-ruled capitalism with no state at all.

    The key thing to the debt is the interest rate: We do not even know if there would be a debt if it had no interest rate at all (by no interest rate I just mean inflation corrections). I think these debts will grow with time to the point where, if the government sells everything, it would still be in debt, so they can declare the bankruptcy of the government. So the end point should be some point where the government might end privatizing everything (privatize is the word for government selling itself here). I think we are sort of in transition to the corporate-ruled world where the new kings will be the corporate owner slowly. I hope I dont look crazy here, but, if we stop to think about, that is already happening. If we think, for example, in terms of data, a few decades ago, the governments had the most data about regular citizens. Today, its the corporation, Google as a company probably knows significantly more about me than my government. As I had stated, the rich already indirectly use the tax to take money away from the average Joe already (tax money goes to government, government has to pay the high interest rates) and as you noted government already send money to corporations right from tax payers from time to time (pay attention that what is a crisis to the regular Joe might no be a crisis at all to superrich corporations). These crisis should get more intense from time to time, with governments getting smaller and smaller with bigger and bigger debts and with bigger and bigger taxes (I think wealth tax is increasing overtime in general, from what I had a look on OCDE website; This increase should be caused by the debt), until they get bankrupt, but on that point the average people will be so used into paying a high tax that wont return (because it is actually being bombed to the corporations by the interest rate of the debt, but they should use the argument "government is inefficient" to make it weaker instead).

    I know that officially and formally, a government cant bankrupt, so it wont be literal bankruptcy, but it should be instead the government slowly giving up influences, which should be happening already, combined with the government losing its "rights" in the future (like, for example, making room for the corporations to indirectly do their own law; Perhaps the deregulation serves to that).

    That is what I think it is going to happen. I think the crisis will be there for us; But for corporations, just more and more profits, and the lesser the welfare state government, more money will speak for power instead of anything else. All I said here probably matches with facts: More privatizing, wealth and citizen taxes growing with time, more public spending to pay the debts that always grows, increase on Gini and the deregulation on the top of that. Deregulation on an environment with low Gini and plenty opportunities for the average people does indeed causes more freedom, and they will sell it as that, but deregulation on environment with a high inequality and low opportunities for the average people just make room for the big corporations to actually set the rule. The market rules, and the corporations rules the market (on a high inequality country, that does work). Of course, the corporation ruling the world wont be obvious as it is on some fictions like Final Fantasy VII, but more like on Resident Evil where Umbrella Corporation have big secret installations (with the absence of government they have the right to do that, although in Resident Evil they probably just cheated), and that is the true invisible hand controlling the market.
    That's interesting.

    I think privatization is an idea which should have been exposed as short sighted or containing some sort of obsolescence long before now, public assets "fire sales" which translate into tax breaks for politicians, the legacies, corporate friends cant go on forever, as you say.

    The politicians are out of ideas, I think this has been the case for a long time. Neo-liberalism to most of them wasnt something other than a "useful fiction", it grabbed peoples attention for a while (although I would say that it was the aggressive, authoritarian government that often accompanied it which had appeal for a lot of people). At least this has been the case with most conservative parties globally, which I think have moved on to something else, its largely an unchanged script, I mean they defend privilege first and foremost.

    The most neo-liberal party in office in the UK since I've been alive has probably been Tony Blair's Labour Party, since they were prepared to look at policies which would effect the business cycle, money circulating in the economy etc. but it was very ill understood by a lot of people, a lot of it was done by stealth and in the final instance, since it did involve change to the distribution of wealth, at least in the short term, it got dismissed as just more "free money tax and spend".

    The corporations may seem like winners but I think the politicians are still in charge, the irony of Hayek's Road To Serfdom is that he was complaining about socialism and socialist politicians and what he thought those things would amount to has played out but it has been conservative politicians, largely, who've done it. Some of them are definitely corrupt, some just think its the reality of politics, or at least have that excuse, and either way it results in the empowering of corporations.

    Although, I still think the role of organized crime, dark money, drugs trafficking and modern day slavery play their part. Greater than is ever likely to be acknowledged publically anyway.
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    Complex paradigm Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vendrah View Post
    @Virtual ghost & @Lark
    I still think that this might be leading to collapse of governments and a change to a world ruled by corporations. There are not much fictions on this, but there a few science fiction stuff out there (like Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil) where corporations rule the world, so visualizing this might be hard if you didnt ever had a contact with any.

    That is what the neoliberals want in a more extreme way, it doesnt actually leads to anarchy (even if they make appear so so they can have some happy ancaps thinking that they can do whatever they want when governments gets down), but instead to a corporate-ruled capitalism with no state at all.

    The key thing to the debt is the interest rate: We do not even know if there would be a debt if it had no interest rate at all (by no interest rate I just mean inflation corrections). I think these debts will grow with time to the point where, if the government sells everything, it would still be in debt, so they can declare the bankruptcy of the government. So the end point should be some point where the government might end privatizing everything (privatize is the word for government selling itself here). I think we are sort of in transition to the corporate-ruled world where the new kings will be the corporate owner slowly. I hope I dont look crazy here, but, if we stop to think about, that is already happening. If we think, for example, in terms of data, a few decades ago, the governments had the most data about regular citizens. Today, its the corporation, Google as a company probably knows significantly more about me than my government. As I had stated, the rich already indirectly use the tax to take money away from the average Joe already (tax money goes to government, government has to pay the high interest rates) and as you noted government already send money to corporations right from tax payers from time to time (pay attention that what is a crisis to the regular Joe might no be a crisis at all to superrich corporations). These crisis should get more intense from time to time, with governments getting smaller and smaller with bigger and bigger debts and with bigger and bigger taxes (I think wealth tax is increasing overtime in general, from what I had a look on OCDE website; This increase should be caused by the debt), until they get bankrupt, but on that point the average people will be so used into paying a high tax that wont return (because it is actually being bombed to the corporations by the interest rate of the debt, but they should use the argument "government is inefficient" to make it weaker instead).

    I know that officially and formally, a government cant bankrupt, so it wont be literal bankruptcy, but it should be instead the government slowly giving up influences, which should be happening already, combined with the government losing its "rights" in the future (like, for example, making room for the corporations to indirectly do their own law; Perhaps the deregulation serves to that).

    That is what I think it is going to happen. I think the crisis will be there for us; But for corporations, just more and more profits, and the lesser the welfare state government, more money will speak for power instead of anything else. All I said here probably matches with facts: More privatizing, wealth and citizen taxes growing with time, more public spending to pay the debts that always grows, increase on Gini and the deregulation on the top of that. Deregulation on an environment with low Gini and plenty opportunities for the average people does indeed causes more freedom, and they will sell it as that, but deregulation on environment with a high inequality and low opportunities for the average people just make room for the big corporations to actually set the rule. The market rules, and the corporations rules the market (on a high inequality country, that does work). Of course, the corporation ruling the world wont be obvious as it is on some fictions like Final Fantasy VII, but more like on Resident Evil where Umbrella Corporation have big secret installations (with the absence of government they have the right to do that, although in Resident Evil they probably just cheated), and that is the true invisible hand controlling the market.



    Now we are coming into the dimension of cultural differences. For your post colonial society this could be true in all the talking points. However I am not sure that holds true for the entire world and that has large implications for the whole story. You were probably risen in the environment where becoming rich is the very important goal in life, while I am from where you should survive and use any means necessary to do so. In other words here the money isn't sacred and most people don't believe that debts should be paid in all circumstances. After all I have a country full of people that didn't pay their mortgage debt and they all got to keep their properties. How did that happen ? They overthrow the entire political order in the nationalistic revolution. While now we are again making laws that prevent evictions. Also here we currently starting the trial of the century. Since clearly the richest man in the country has to answer for some games that involve billions. What basically got possible since the people simply boycotted him and then the bubble burst. However this got to this point because he was scamming people (mostly family farms), while it was also kinda obvious that he is buying politicians. So the people took him down without much pardon.



    In other words power of corporation is coming out of governments. But if those governments go bankrupt or people go rogue on the entire system the whole system brakes. What is exactly what tends to happen when things get too dystopian. The only way corporations can survive is by becoming governments but in that case they are no longer just corporations. Plus this doesn't make them much less vulnerable to revolt or even invasion. Since neoliberal order is pretty socially loose/deregulated in many regards and therefore it can be vulnerable to direct punch. Especially if they have completely undone the government part. In a way this is exactly why China is spreading fast across the world, since corporations have created a power vacuum. Which more solid structure can quickly fill in. Because in China people play more of a co-op in practical sense, instead of everyone for himself and therefore they can easily overpower less structured societies. Especially since they will be able to suck in the whole corporations into their new order. What is basically exactly what stands behind my sentences that neoliberal private sector is also exploding in debt and often is going bankrupt. Since it is losing ground in market sense and in the physical sense. In other words here we a moving towards government control instead of private corporate control over the last few years, since China and Russia as governments are on shopping spree around the region. While the west doesn't really have the money or perhaps even will to balance this out. So yeah, I don't give your corporate dystopia too many chances since there are odds that various counters will snowball against it if you go to far with deregulations. Therefore the irony is that if private corporations want to survive they have to start building their own "solid structure". Since everyone in this world is fundamentally replaceable. What returns us to cultural issues from the start of the story: trade vs. government/military.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    That is a good economic analysis although I still think that the degeneracy of elites will kill it all quicker than a debt crisis. Any real debt crisis has been proven to be exploitable by the same set of rich thugs in the UK to simply further their designs, which as you say at the moment are akin to gambling.

    Its almost as though the whole neo-liberal thing has just been a useful fiction for a bunch of people desperate to keep the cocaine supply flowing.

    For instance, everyone's excited at the moment about the UK's willingness to break international law in its dealings with ROI and the EU. Who do you think has engaged in the most amazing crime syndicate crack down and elimination of drugs trafficking and cocaine supply in years? The ROI. Coincidence? Well, I doubt it.


    Well for me the debt crisis actually is the outcome of the degeneracy. Almost all structures are quite loosened and that is tearing down the system, that at this point has way too many holes in the terms of the sustainability. Since someone forgot that there is something called reality, which has it's laws and facts. While for me drugs aren't fundamentally a part of neoliberalism. They are more of a fungus that is growing out of the economic corpses and misery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual ghost View Post
    Now we are coming into the dimension of cultural differences. For your post colonial society this could be true in all the talking points. However I am not sure that holds true for the entire world and that has large implications for the whole story. You were probably risen in the environment where becoming rich is the very important goal in life, while I am from where you should survive and use any means necessary to do so. In other words here the money isn't sacred and most people don't believe that debts should be paid in all circumstances. After all I have a country full of people that didn't pay their mortgage debt and they all got to keep their properties. How did that happen ? They overthrow the entire political order in the nationalistic revolution. While now we are again making laws that prevent evictions. Also here we currently starting the trial of the century. Since clearly the richest man in the country has to answer for some games that involve billions. What basically got possible since the people simply boycotted him and then the bubble burst. However this got to this point because he was scamming people (mostly family farms), while it was also kinda obvious that he is buying politicians. So the people took him down without much pardon.



    In other words power of corporation is coming out of governments. But if those governments go bankrupt or people go rogue on the entire system the whole system brakes. What is exactly what tends to happen when things get too dystopian. The only way corporations can survive is by becoming governments but in that case they are no longer just corporations. Plus this doesn't make them much less vulnerable to revolt or even invasion. Since neoliberal order is pretty socially loose/deregulated in many regards and therefore it can be vulnerable to direct punch. Especially if they have completely undone the government part. In a way this is exactly why China is spreading fast across the world, since corporations have created a power vacuum. Which more solid structure can quickly fill in. Because in China people play more of a co-op in practical sense, instead of everyone for himself and therefore they can easily overpower less structured societies. Especially since they will be able to suck in the whole corporations into their new order. What is basically exactly what stands behind my sentences that neoliberal private sector is also exploding in debt and often is going bankrupt. Since it is losing ground in market sense and in the physical sense. In other words here we a moving towards government control instead of private corporate control over the last few years, since China and Russia as governments are on shopping spree around the region. While the west doesn't really have the money or perhaps even will to balance this out. So yeah, I don't give your corporate dystopia too many chances since there are odds that various counters will snowball against it if you go to far with deregulations. Therefore the irony is that if private corporations want to survive they have to start building their own "solid structure". Since everyone in this world is fundamentally replaceable. What returns us to cultural issues from the start of the story: trade vs. government/military.
    Well, you have some good points that doesnt show me that I am wrong, but instead that I am oversimplifying since I indeed didnt paid attention to China influence and that cultural background can give some changes (although I seem to be accurate on the average american country).
    However, I have a perception that China corporations power should be slowly growing, although they are quite far from being disproportionately high. And perhaps its Chinese corporation - and not chinese government - that is doing the shopping you refer to.

    Anyway, I dont think there is really a big power vacuum, and it is important to remember, as @Lark pointed, that neoliberalism usually goes together with conservatism and authoritanism, and conservatism is anti-China in many places. At the same time we have people boycotting the billionaire you mention, there is also more and more people boycotting China, especially now in pandemic's time. The conservatism movement can work to suppress the chinese to fill the power vacuum, and, also, perhaps except for the dumb neoliberals, all others knows that it would be too stupid to end the state from day to night. They know that if the state goes bankrupt in a single day, chaos will show up. But the state slowly and strategically dying exactly by the way they need it to die in a slow pace that takes decades changes everything, since they can still use the state to block China while giving enough time to corporations to fill the power vacuums left by the state retreat.

    And I also have a hard time screening both private sector and public sector in debt all over the world. Because if somebody has a debit to pay, someone out there must have a credit to receive. Unless the neoliberals manage to have chinese and the few communist countries left as investors, which I have a very hard time believing that would ever happen, someone will be on credit and not on debt.

    I think the military part is really the "?" of the story. I can easily think that the corporations could still assume the military part as they do in some fiction, or that perhaps they might keep instead a minimum state military government, probably with fascism (it was done in Chile once), with the state being in charge of only securing territories to prevent the chinese advancement, with the corporations probably controlling the military technology in one way or another. This hypothesis of a minimum military state with some fascism but lots of "market/commerce freedom" quite matches what conservative neoliberals wants (conservatives on "life traditions" and liberal on economy; Or, in other words, freedom to the market and no freedom to the citizens unless that means freedom to the market too) and it does fix all the issues you pointed out. Im not actually giving new ideas here, since both of you already noted the connections that neoliberalism can and sometimes does with fascism (in Latin America, it did happen with Chile).

    What can really happen is that, although some of few countries might try to resist it, this could lead a new cold war, that might perhaps will look like US vs China, but it is rather the corporations with US government assist VS China. And, since your country is pretty small, chances is that either the chinese and the corporations are going to try to control and change your way of life there.

    But as I said and reinforce, "my corporation dystopia" is not exaggerated dystopian as they are in fiction but still real, it is not obvious and the control of corporations might not be obvious in order to prevent revolts, but they should still be there. And as I had mention, my read on data on last week really led me to later think that the world is heading in this direction and that should be the main thread about these public debts, either them being spontaneous (which I dont really think they are) or provoked to destroy or severely handicap the state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark
    The corporations may seem like winners but I think the politicians are still in charge
    Actually, the neoliberalism is centered in the duel of market vs state and see them as indirect competitors and not as entities that can really cooperate with each other, which for my point I would rephrase as corporations vs states, and not politicians vs states. A politician can be a super rich corporate owner or to serve them (Donald Trump is one example of a corporate super rich guy that is also a politician).

    Although, I still think the role of organized crime, dark money, drugs trafficking and modern day slavery play their part. Greater than is ever likely to be acknowledged publically anyway.
    I think you got it right on the modern day slavery, dark money, sort of on organized crime, but wrong on drugs trafficking. Conservative neoliberals are in average anti-drug dealing; However, the fact that they usually goes to increase Gini and social inequality does connects with modern day slavery, since slavery is not truly something black and white as we think, so i would rather cal semi-modern day slavery instead. And dark money actually connects with de-regulations, so connecting with dark money makes sense.

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