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And both, as an expression of the body politic, have faults and limitations imposed by human fraility.

Posted by Vince | October 17, 2008 1:45 PM

however you want to slice it, they both need to die...

Posted by i have a medium penis | October 17, 2008 1:46 PM

i actually followed that.

Posted by max solomon | October 17, 2008 1:54 PM

it's not nice to wank in public, charles.

Posted by scary tyler moore | October 17, 2008 1:54 PM


Please ignore @4 - hater.

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | October 17, 2008 2:36 PM

not to worry, cwm@5, charles is quite adept at ignoring his detractors. i kind of grudgingly admire that about him.

Posted by ellarosa | October 17, 2008 5:30 PM

I hope there are oil fields in heaven.

Posted by shizawn | October 17, 2008 7:00 PM

When comparing the decline of the American empire with emerging markets one can think of it in terms of classical economic theory.

Means of production in the classical economic theory are:

Capital (characterized by return on investment)
Labor (characterized by wages and pension)
Technology (characterized by technology lifecycle and R&D expenditure)

For an economy at the early stages of capitalism, cost of capital is wildly high. That is why, in most emerging markets, real interest rate (interest rate - inflation) is typically high. At the same time, return to labor, characterized by wages, is typically much lower than developed markets. Technology, on the other hand, is most of the time "stolen", in the sense that an outdated, labor-intensive and cheaper technology is employed and almost no technological breakthrough happens.

In contrast, for an economy in the late stages of advanced capitalism, cost of capital is low thanks to the abundant capital stock accumulated over the earlier stages of capitalism. Wages are typically high thanks to automation and lack of slack in the labor market. Technology, shielded by intellectual property laws, is constantly improved and adapted.

It is worth to note that in a hypotethical economy where real interest rate (the return to capital) is zero, communism prevails. In such an economy, you can only create value by "consuming labor" or "producing technology". Capital is definitely necessary but the marginal utility of capital is zero.


Posted by Morgan | October 18, 2008 3:45 AM

The marginal utility of Cheney is rapidly approaching zero.

Posted by Morgan | October 18, 2008 3:55 AM

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