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About KendallJ

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  • Birthday 06/07/1968

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  • Location Midland, MI
  • Interests Marketing, Manufacturing, Business theory, Business History, the Chemical Industry, the Pharmaceutical industry, the Airline Industry, philosophy, history<br /><br />Hobbies:<br />Dog training (agility), fountain pen collecting, sailing, biking, podcasting, cooking
  1. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    Just an aside for you Burgess. Thailand is an interesting example in that it was never colonized by Western powers, and while it has certainly been influenced by Western thought, has progress from Monarchy to its current mixed economy relatively peacefully.
  2. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    (bold mine)As I read it, this is in the context of doing business directly with the Thai government; however, I would take the aspect of doing business with an entity that pays taxes as being one level further removed in terms of the ethical implications. Thailand is hardly a dictatorship. While they have had a history of strong military influence in politics, that has subsided significantly in the last 20 years and it appears that they have a strong civilian mixed economy, nominally a constitutional monarchy since 1932. If I understand your characterization of principled mixed economy correctly, then I would say that this is what Thailand has. In the last 15 years the government has begun to deal more strongly with criminal elements including the sex trade, which is primarily a trade in sexual tourism resulting from a country with relatively open travel policies, and a product which seems to be highly attractive to outsiders. This fact is true of most southeast Asian countries that have liberal border policies. Thailand has the best relations with the western worlds in Southeast Asia because of its relative stability in the region for a long period of time, so I would expect the sex trade to be highest there as a result. I have no data, and no one has supplied any that this is the result of some sort of overt government policy or some hidden philosophical foundation in the Thai government that would indicate. Stated Thai policy is strongly otherwise. At best this is criminal activity, possibly overlooked by virtue of the fact of internal government corruption, but then this fact is true of almost any country on some criminal aspect. The data I have to the contrary, and the really ironic part of this is that in the cultural mainstream of Thailand, the Thai people, value, take joy in, and protect their own children more than any culture I have witnessed. I experienced this first hand. Family bonds, and children of even extended family relationships are highly valued. The benevolence with which my child was treated, and looked after and protected by even extended family and friends of my Thai friends with whom we were travelling was stunning. It surpassed anything I have seen in the U.S. and for a third world country it bordered on magical. So based upon my contextual analysis, Thailand is neither an immenent security threat to the US, nor is it any sort of genuine dictarship, nor is it suffering from any sort of philsophical immorality outside that ascribed to any other 3rd world principled mixed economy. It has crime, yes. But that strikes me as insufficient. Based on my understanding of Rand's principles then, I cannot accept moral responsibility for actions over which I have no control, were I to deal with a private, principled Thai businessman whose only crime is paying taxes to his government. I'm happy to entertain a principled analysis by an Objectivist to the contrary, if you have one. If you think I've mis-applied Rands principles in some way, I'd be happy to listen to your perspect as well. The China thread is a more interesting example of these principles so I'll probably head that way more than continue discussion on this post.
  3. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    Yeah, that's what I thought. Your option for sure, but you have a long way to go in substantiating your principle. Oakesism is of no interest to me. Just Objectivism.
  4. Doing business in China

    Burgess, if I could ask for a clarification as well. What do you mean by "principled mixed economy". This strikes me initial as a contradiction in terms.
  5. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    VOS, Rational life in an Irrational SocietyThe idea that I can't find a moral man or company in Thailand to do business with, or that such dealings somehow supports child prostitution simply by virtue of the fact that the man or business is Thai is ludicrous. I find it hard to believe that the policy of moral judgement espoused by Rand makes my ethically clean business dealing in Thailand ethically tied to criminal activity in Thailand simply by virtue of the fact that it is within the country's borders.
  6. Doing business in China

    Burgess, this is interesting stuff. I agree with many of your assessments as far as I know the situation. I do think the fundamental discussion rests on what sort of threat is China today, and what is the best way of dealing with it. Certainly China has resources it might not have had had the 1972 generation world chosen instead to boycott. Ultimately, I am not convinced that you have to get China to be a capitalist country to have eliminated it as a de facto threat to the US, and that is what I care about. I too have not necessarily sorted out the value of China as a totalitarian regime vs. China as a mixed economy. My only thoughts on possible avenues of thought. How unpredictable have mixed economies been in history (I am speaking here as foreign threats to other nations)? What has been the propensity of mixed economies in history to make overt war. vs totalitarian ones? What has been the propensity of mixed economies to have massive internal human rights violations vs totalitarian ones? My first response (and I haven't studied the history books on this one) might be that there would seem to be an overwhelming propensity for totalitarian regimes to be external threats, but that mixed economies seem to be suffering under the weight of their own beaurocracies. Totalitarian regimes, especially those controlled by small juntas seem to be the most "whim-ridden", unpredictable. Witness Napoleon, Hitler, Amadinajad, Hussein. I certainly don't believe that today's China is a mixed economy of European proportions, and as you said it is very compartmentalized. To that end a discussion about what factors might cause it to slip backwards are warranted. If there is a propensity for this to happen, then we are certainly "playing with fire" (i.e. taking enourmous risks in dealing with China) However, to the extent you or I think that a mixed economy's beaurocracy is a "rationalizing" force by its inertia and resultant ability to effect its foreign policy then I think discussion of engagement as a possible tactic.
  7. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    Nope, I'm saying that if it was, it's hardly a basis by which to decide to set up business in Sao Paolo, and actually, I think the factors by which one will ethically decide to do or not to do business in a particular country is right on topic. You're the one who made the assertion. I'm just asking for you to explain it so we can include it into the discussion of what real options a business has to become a billionaire in today's world.
  8. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    They have crime? Come on. I doubt I could walk down the street in Sao Paolo without getting mugged. Eastern Europe and Russia are stocked in the porn trade. I'm not quite sure what you are saying their criminal element implies about the Thai people, in general, that you wouldn't do business with ANY of them. Careful here unless you speak from some sort of experience. I've been. My wife studies Muay Thai. The Thai people, in general are some of the most peaceful, friendly people you'll meet on the planet.
  9. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    Fundamentally you're saying there are other options that China. Great! Thailand is interesting. My company has a JV in Thailand. I'd consider Thailand before most of the other countries in Southeast Asia, except for maybe Singapore. One of the more stable countries in the region. Has a long history of being so. What's your experience?
  10. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    Well, you must know far more about the fair market value of ALL of the assets of Communist Russia than I do. I'm curious. Since you are implying that the mechanism by which ALL oligarchs came by their assets is highly unethical. What do you think would be the proper way to privatize previously communist assets?
  11. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    But that's what I'm trying to clarify. "at least highly improbable" or "necessarily impossible"? Agree with all the rest.
  12. Can an Objectivist become a billionaire?

    Is what you are asserting this? a. to make billions in a rational and ethical society, you need to act rationally and ethically, therefore b. to make billions in an irrational and unethical society, you need to act irrationally and unethically? I am not sure that b follows from a. The case would be the businessman acting rationally in an irrational society. I am unconvinced that a Russian "oligarch" is a necessarily an irrational and unethical person.
  13. Doing business in China

    Burgess, apologies. We were typing posts at the same time so I did not see your come up before mine went in. I believe it is probably one of the dividing points. I agree on the basic principle here. Happy to continue to discuss the basis by which we'd determine what nature the mainland regime is.
  14. Doing business in China

    I'm saying there is not complete leverage; however, when Wal-Mart qualifies as China's eighth largest trading partner if it were a country, that this is some significant leverage. Candian, French, German and Italian businessmen simply can't replace the former business to any similar degree. They don't have access to Wal-Mart's largest market, the US in the way that Wal-Mart does. So while they may try to fill the gap, it's the end market that counts, and we do control that. So you have said that China is communist in rhetoric only compared with 72 China. What's different? What's changed?
  15. Doing business in China

    Other than the fact that all hte placed you mention are also external to their own country (Hong Kong only being internal for the last 6 years or so)? For one who understands the the timescale on which philosophical ideas operate, and the mechanisms by which philosophical ideas have been carried from one part of the globe to others, this strikes me as a somewhat flip statement. The same statement could be said of most of the philophical mixed bag that is America today, and yet here people (some not all, at an individual level) are abstracting the corect pricinples of capitalism even through they have grown up in the mixed economy. How do you know that this is not already occuring at an individual level through the efforts of those who choose a policy of engagement?