Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

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firecat69
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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by firecat69 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:02 pm

First of all in the USA, young people historically don't vote thus they don't get elected and thus their views are not in the forefront of discussions. 2nd electing young people to important positions who may not understand the world is a dangerous place and many autocratic countries have no intention of letting young people rule the world and in fact do everything to suppress their ideas.

It is pie in the sky to think that young people would do a better job of ruling the world unless autocratic countries such as Russia, China would follow in those steps which of course they will never do since they don't believe in free elections.

Recent elections in the USA have certainly seen an influx of young Congress people and hopefully that trend will continue which will encourage more young people to vote and get involved. All of that will mean nothing if they don't realize that too much of the world is run by despots and those countries are not going to change at least in their lifetimes.

Here is a fairly young politician making a run for President. So far I have seen nobody who makes as much sense as this young man running for President.


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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by fountainhall » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:50 pm

firecat69 wrote:It is pie in the sky to think that young people would do a better job of ruling the world unless autocratic countries such as Russia, China would follow in those steps]
Why? There have been dictators and dictatorships around the world since societies started existing. Why would it be a precondition for younger people to assume power only if dictatorships were abolished - or if they became democracies? Even if the latter occurred, everyone knows there are sham democracies all over the world that are dictatorships in all but name. We already had a lot of discussion about Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew threw people he didn't like in jail, he permitted one Opposition member in a Parliament of 100, he dictated how people would live and what they could and could not do, he determined how the country would run and its future course - and he is praised to the skies for it. Rightly, in my view. But Lee was a dictator.

Nothing is going to abolish dictatorships other than the people in those countries. The UK, the USA and other countries have over time exerted their influence on how countries should be run and what actions they should take - with a resultant monstrous bloodshed and unexpected consequences. Just take Iran as an example. As has been said before, if the USA and the UK had not engineered the ouster of the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran in the early 1950s and put all their eggs in the dictator Shah's basket, would there be a theocratic kleptocracy now in charge? I very much doubt it.

The USA has tried regime change several times - and, well, we know where that has ended up in most cases! Exchanging one dictator for another at great expense of blood and treasure. Would you expect governments run by a younger generation to be so dumb and so stupid as to spend decades destabilising the entire Middle East when they had hardly any Arabic speakers in the State Department and so few anywhere in government aware of the historical forces that formed the present day Middle East?

One problem, IMO, is that the old system whereby governments are elected on the basis of geographical constituencies is vastly outdated. Of course the average voter wants to know that their local interests will be looked after. But how can a Senator, Congressman, Member of Parliament or whoever know in detail what goes on in the rest of the world nowadays? More than a few have never been outside their own country other than for a holiday - if that. Had any Senator in the USA any real idea where going to war with Iraq would end up? Of course not! Had any asked? Hardly any! We know now that not even Bush and his acolytes had much clue either!

Were Members of the UK Parliament any more clued in? Of course not! It is now known that Blair, in his own words, wanted his Ambassador to Washington to get up Bushs's ass and stay there. Blair knew he had flawed intelligence. At least he has had the decency to go on national television in front of a room of reporters and apologise for his mistakes. Bush 43 and his neocons have never once done that!

Most people have to retire around 62 for women and 67 or so for men. Lawmakers should be forced to retire at the same age. They could join think tanks, advisory councils and goodness knows whatever else to offer some form of guidance if required to the governments of the day. But this assumption generally that older is better when it comes to governing an entire population is outdated - even if it was ever a good idea.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by firecat69 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:30 pm

So much to reply to. The Middle East has been a disaster for centuries but especially since the Jews moved back to their homeland .

Despots are despots and it makes no matter to me if some good comes out of their tyrannical reigns. They manage to convince their citizens that chaos would happen without them. Thus it is ok for them to throw people in jail with no due process. It is ok for them to steal the riches of their country as long as they share it with some citizens. It is ok for their citizens to have no civil rights because they alone determine the rules of society.

Young people should be encouraged to participate but for some period of time they would be better to shut their mouths and listen. AOC a perfect example in USA. Biggest upset ever when she won her Congressional seat. I was happy for her but she believes she is smarter then anyone else just because she unseated a man who never visited his district. And i have seen multiple interviews with her and have been amazed ay her depth of knowledge . But she is too young to always know how to use that knowledge.

She showed how ignorant she was when she hailed the fact that Amazon would not come to Queens and was stupid to say that money in tax breaks can be used for better things. She is ignorant that tax breaks do not represent money in a bank. There is no money to be used in other places because now Amazon is not coming to Queens.

So with that said I am and always have been in favor of Term Limits . What that length is in the USA I am not sure. I just know lifetime is not a good thing.

Young people in the USA have been traditionally lazy when it comes to politics. Maybe it is changing. The Parkland students have been amazing and they are not stopping and some , soon I hope, you will not be able to buy a gun without a serious background check. Will that do anything about the millions of guns that already exist. Baby Steps are still better than no steps.

I have to plead ignorance about age and length requirements in the rest of the Democracies in the world. But I would be willing to bet , it is not much difference. And what the average age of those serving in their seats of government.

Countries that are not Democracies, don't have to worry about that. They make up the rules as they go along and the citizens have to live with it.

That does not mean that I don't recognize that some countries would never have advanced to their place in the World ( especially Economically)
under a true Democracy. Now just let me know when one of those countries allows true democracy after scaling the economic world.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:15 pm

firecat69 wrote:Now just let me know when one of those countries allows true democracy after scaling the economic world.
I have always believed democracy works best where the majority of the people are at least relatively well educated and otherwise well read, well rounded, and make a decent living. Where poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism reigns, I think democracy has no chance at all.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by fountainhall » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:04 pm

firecat69 wrote:That does not mean that I don't recognize that some countries would never have advanced to their place in the World ( especially Economically) under a true Democracy. Now just let me know when one of those countries allows true democracy after scaling the economic world.
Well, in terms of advancement, every economic indicator will say that Singapore and China are the two very obvious countries which have advanced quite staggeringly in terms of economics - but neither is a democracy nor even anything like a true democracy. Some might say India. It certainly has a more democratic tradition on the basis of one man one vote at local and national level.

But I ask the question which I have asked before: what is democracy? Lee Kuan Yew was fond of pointing out that there can be no one standard for democracy. He always talked of democracy with Asian characteristics - by which I assume he meant you have to take into account the history of countries, especially colonial outposts, where democracy was never permitted and nascent democratic movements totally squashed. And also that you cannot develop a country virtually from scratch when there are various political parties with different platforms.

In general, though, it's easy to say countries should develop politically as they develop economically. The real problem IMO is: how do you develop democracy in countries where democracy as we know it in the west is a totally alien concept. Taking Asia as the example, no country as far as I know practised democracy until relatively recently, historically speaking. Most Asian societies were top down dictatorships or autocracies. Japan was the first to adopt western ways after Commander Perry's arrival. Democracy was introduced, but it was a total sham. Just an attempt to show the west that it was becoming like them. It was only after 1945 that democracy was forced on the country. In September that year, MacArthur proclaimed, "Today, freedom is on the offensive, democracy is on the march."

What did he really mean? If he meant western style democracy, he was dead wrong. Even today we know that Japan's democracy is, as the Economist Intelligence Unit pointed out in 2016, a "flawed democracy". As a people the Japanese cannot escape their Emperor/samurai/shogunate history. The Liberal Democratic Party has been in power since 1945 with the largest number of parliamentarians apart from three years from 2009. The other main party, the Democratic Party of Japan, is a strange coalition of parties which frequently change their names. As one Western observer told AP, "Japanese politics are in a deep, deep dilemma. There are no political parties that can attract voters on the basis of their platforms. It's very hard to tell them apart."
Gaybutton wrote:I have always believed democracy works best where the majority of the people are at least relatively well educated and otherwise well read, well rounded, and make a decent living.
I'm not sure if you have visited Japan but it meets all your criteria and a lot more. Yet it is very far from being a democracy as we know it.

With rare exceptions, I do not believe you can impose democracy on any people. Ironically Bhutan is one of these exceptions and it was the previous King who mandated that introduction. None of the people wanted it! So the then Crown Prince travelled around all of the country visiting every town and village to inform people what democracy was and why it was being introduced. The election process started with a mock election in 2007. Parliamentary elections were then held the following year. Local elections followed in 2011. Yet democracy remains unpopular with almost all Bhutanese! As the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies wrote,
Many critics believe that the only beneficiaries of the changes in Bhutan are the small elite class, who have been able to manipulate the democratic institutions for their whims and fancies.
Now when have we heard that before?

IMO you cannot suddenly introduce one-man-one-vote and say you have democracy. And you cannot introduce something like parliamentary elections in a country which has very little or no experience of democracy. You need people to educated on what democracy means, its privileges and – vitally – its obligations. You need to start at local level where people can get a ‘feel’ for the fact that democracy can and does affect them. You need them to get a ‘feel’ for political parties and political platforms. You need somehow to encourage the development of political parties. You need them to understand how to assume power and how they must relinquish power without complaint. And . . . well, I could go on and on.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:18 am

fountainhall wrote:I'm not sure if you have visited Japan
The closest I have ever come to visiting Japan was during a 5 hour layover at the Narita airport. I went into the city and walked around sightseeing until it was time to go back to the airport. So, as a result now I am one of the world's leading authorities on Japan, the people, and the government . . .

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Dodger » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:37 am

GB wrote:
Where poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism reigns, I think democracy has no chance at all.
Kinda reminds me of Thailand.

I've never viewed "Governments" as being one size fits all...Impossible! Each country has ts own embedded cultures, history, believes, values. etc. that guide their futures and inevitably influence the changing or re-shaping of their governments as time moves forward. Nothing stays the same. All things change. For one country to attempt to force change on another country is fruitless. History shows us that these types of changes involving cultural transformation take decades or even centuries to accomplish and has to be driven from within (the people).

It's not something I like but just a reality that different cultures have to be managed differently. In my line of work I would have to get people working at different manufacturing plants located in different countries all applying the same tools and techniques to support productivity. When I was dealing with a plant in the U.S, I would simply provide the training followed by some intelligent group discussion and cross-sharing of ideas, spend a few days mentoring them along, and whatever it was that I wanted implemented got implemented. When I traveled to one of our plants in Mexico for the purpose of implementing the very same tools and techniques my method of management had to be modified pretty dramatically. The people had to literally be told what to do with consequences attached to their failure to implement. No intelligent cross-sharing of ideas - just an autocratic approach which was unfortunately needed. One approach very democratic - the other very autocratic. Both worked.

.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by fountainhall » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:51 am

Gaybutton wrote:The closest I have ever come to visiting Japan was during a 5 hour layover at the Narita airport. I went into the city and walked around sightseeing until it was time to go back to the airport.
You are definitely a miracle man! To get through Immigration twice, then customs, then two minimum 90-minute bus rides into/out of the city and still have time to walk around for much more than two minutes is mighty impressive ;)

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:54 am

fountainhall wrote:and still have time to walk around for much more than two minutes is mighty impressive
Now you know why I am the authority . . .

Maybe the layover was longer than 5 hours, but that's how I remember it. It was many years ago.

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Re: Why Americans are Flocking to Asia

Post by Jun » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:53 pm

I was quite impressed by that too.
Immigration in Tokyo can be quick, although is often not.

Then in the country that came up with the shinkansen concept, the trains from Narita dawdle along & and are not exactly frequent. There are spacious, quiet and comfortable, but not made for quick travel.

For anyone in good shape financially, I have to recommend Japan as a place to visit for a proper trip.

As for their democracy, well I understand it is common practice for the authorities to exclude newspaper representatives from government briefings if they are too critical in their reporting. That is not free press in my view and a free press is one of the key requirements for a democracy.

I was not happy when a Japanese company bought the FT.

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