Re: [sixties-l] Re: Horowitz corporations

From: William Mandel (
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 03:26:15 CUT

  • Next message: William Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Re: Bill Mandel's view"

    Your observations on the U.S. are essentially correct. Not so
    with regard to the USSR. In 1950 Soviet industry was one-eighth
    that of the U.S. That's when the real arms race began, yet the
    USSR managed to narrow the gap to one-half or less by 1990. So
    while the arms race slowed growth there (while stimulating it
    here: that's capitalism), it did not stop or prevent it. It was
    the burgeoning burocracy needed in the absence of a market to run
    an economy producing 10,000,000 different items by 1990 that
    choked it.
                                    William Mandel wrote:
    > In a message dated 00-07-15 18:45:17 EDT, W Mandel writes:
    > >But it was also my business to learn, and to tell my KPFA
    > >audiences, that the country that had led the world in building
    > >the world's largest and most powerful long-distance aircraft
    > >later lost out in the passenger transport industry because the
    > >inefficiencies of that society led to an inability to make engines
    > >that could compete with ours.
    > I can't comment at the moment on the state of affairs in
    > mass transit in the Soviet Union, but I do know that the
    > political and economic power of the auto industry in the
    > USA went a long way toward the destruction of mass
    > transit in this country. The whole sordid story was told
    > in a document prepared for Congress in 1974 by economic
    > historian Bradford Snell. It was entitled American Ground
    > Transport.
    > In the 1950s Oklahoma City, where I am from, had two
    > beautiful railroad stations and was served by 20 passenger
    > trains a day. By 1979, there was no passengere train
    > service in the entire state of Oklahoma. Last summer an
    > Amtrak route from OkC to Ft. Worth was restored, but
    > service is limited to one round trip a day.
    > Another large reason why passenger train service declined
    > in the USA was because the Postal Service decided to
    > stop shipping mail on the trains.
    > >The absence of a market led to an inability to
    > >understand that plastics could and should replace steel in many
    > >fields and, above all, a failure to get into mass production of
    > >computers although they already had some of the most powerful in
    > >order to do their Sputnik calculations.
    > I think a big factor inhibiting the production of more and better
    > consumer goods in the USSR was the arms race -- largely
    > inspired by a military threat from the US. Too much of their
    > energies and talents were consumed by trying to keep up.
    > Considering the fact that at least a third of their industrial
    > capacity was destroyed by the Nazi onslaught, the Soviet
    > economy was doing well in the postwar period to maintain
    > the standard of living achieved.
    > >I don't like boom-boxes. I don't have a cell phone. But I
    > >don't want a society that will dictate to others that they can't
    > >have them.
    > Probably the majority of cities have noise control ordinances
    > which prohibit noise aggressors from blasting their junk sounds
    > in such a way as to impose on others. The problem is generally
    > weak enforcement efforts.
    > These ordinances not only should be enforced, but need to be
    > updated to keep up with the current generation of audio
    > terrorists. As for boom cars, in many places there is no way
    > to operate the equipment for them legally. The whole point
    > is to make noise to "be heard" and aggravate others. This
    > equipment should be confiscated. For more on this, see my
    > articles at this web site:
    > Click on English and then library online.
    > As for cell phones, they are clearly dangerous when used
    > in motor vehicles. They also should be prohibited in
    > libraries, classrooms, and restaurants.
    > Ever had to hear an electronic "Pop Goes the Weasel"
    > while trying to read a book?
    > >As to Baran and Sweezy, I beg to differ. Sweezy got stars in
    > >his eyes over Mao's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
    > >Baran's prediction of a stagnant capitalism is obvious nonsense.
    > We hear a lot about our "booming economy" and marvelously
    > "low unemployment." It is true that many low-paying jobs
    > have been created in the last two decades.
    > Been to Dallas lately? The trend in residential construction
    > is huge mansions for the super-rich and apartments and
    > condos for everyone else. The builders understand what's
    > been happening in the American economy for the past 30
    > years.
    > And what's been happening has been upward redistribution
    > of wealth and income.
    > The typical American of the not-too-distant future will have
    > his cell phone, hand-held computer, huge video screen,
    > boom box, and other gadgets -- all crowded into a 600-sq.
    > foot living space. Let's just hope that the walls aren't so
    > thin that the neighbors' boom boxes will keep him from sleeping.
    > ~ Michael Wright

    To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out."
    You may find of interest website

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jul 17 2000 - 19:58:41 CUT