Jon Steward vs. Edward Conard

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by citizenzen, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. citizenzen, Jun 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012

    citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    Very interesting interview. I'll count on the brilliant minds here at MR to make more sense of it than I can. It just seems as if there's a fundamentally different perception of reality at work here.

    A couple of thoughts ...

    Conrad says that there is not innovation happening in Japan or Europe. That just can't be true.

    He also says a number of times that capitalists want the middle class and the working man to have as much money as possible. Stewart never asks him to back that statement up, but I'm curious what he could offer as evidence for that.

    Stewart on the other hand stumbles when he tries to portray Americans as uniquely pioneering in spirit. I think that's b.s. American exceptionalism at its finest.

    In the end, I thought Stewart more than held his own, and if I could, I would gladly bear his love child.


    Edit: interesting book review at BloombergBusinessweek.
  2. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    What, so all that money we spent on CERN was a waste? Switzerland is gonna be pissed...

    Just us, little Norway, invented the first object oriented programming language, the GSM phone band and bluetooth. But I guess that doesn't count as innovation?

    Oh, and btw. Compared to the rest of Europe, Norway sucks at innovation.
  3. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    The University of Oslo and NCC can boast more than Simula. ;)
  4. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    True, I was just mentioning a couple of things. :)
  5. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    I think Conrad is so into money turn-around that he is out of touch w/ reality. His thinking is stupid, biased and out of touch w/ world economies.

    He is just trying to make a point that gov should lower tax for the rich so that banks and hedge funds get to keep the banking system intact the way they want to w/out the worry of losing; His way of thinking has proved to be the wrong way and doesn't work in the long run. Banks & Funds guys like him just want to keep making their huge bonuses w/out worrying about losing everything.

    People like him need to change their ideas or else we will have another economic downfall in a couple of years from now.
  6. classicaliberal macrumors regular


    Jul 19, 2011
    Stewart's interview (as usual) dives much deeper than almost any other news source is willing to dive. I applaud Stewart for his depth of knowledge on the topic, and at least giving the appearance that he has read the author's book in great detail.

    I don't think the implication that there is NO innovation going on in Japan or Europe, just relatively little... Seems inarguable from my perspective. Every country is clearly behind the U.S. in innovation in the internet/technology world, especially considering Silicon Valley, etc.

    I felt that Stewart was quite right not to question the morality of his interviewee. It's not the way to hold a conversation, or to find any sort of common-ground or truth. I was actually a bit disappointed... I thought Stewart was a bit to confrontational and (admittedly) demagogic in this interview than some of his others with notable conservatives (such as David Barton). If you ask any conservative, I think they'd tell you that they simply want people to be compensated fairly based on the value of their labor... the value they add to society as determined by a relatively free market. They want everyone to be as rich as they possibly can be w/out government intervention - and that they feel free markets are more capable at making this happen than intervention, etc. Right or wrong, that's the view... to suggest that their views are based on ill-intent is quite ridiculous in my mind.

    Agreed. It's not America's people that make her unique and exceptional... we are the same flesh and blood as the people in any other nation. It's our constitutional republican form of government that makes us exceptional, our focus on liberty, property rights, and justice that makes us exceptional.

    The biggest flaw I saw in Stewart's argument, besides how demagogic it was at times, was that he seemed to be making the assumption that every entrepreneur in the world started their businesses purely off of a desire to build something, and that a 5% increase in taxes, etc. would have virtually no effect on whether or not it was built. The problem is... you're not dealing with one person or even thousands of people, you're dealing with hundreds of thousands even millions of people looking to start businesses... some of them are cutting it so close financially that minor changes could mean the difference between survival and death of the company. Creating a more start-up friendly business climate would OBVIOUSLY statistically increase the number of survivors. This is what Conrad was trying to point out, while Stewart counter-intuitively claimed that more regulations and taxation would have no effect whatsoever on the marketplace of innovation. Furthermore, Stewart at times seemed to be attempting to divorce completely the notion of venture capitalists and the value they add to society via the efficient allocation of capital, seemingly out of fear that this any credit they got would somehow take away from the value created by the entrepreneur or worker instead of creating their own value independent of the others.

    At any rate, perhaps the biggest reason I watch Stewart on a regular basis, besides the fact that he's funny as hell - is that he is able (better than blowhards like Hannity, Matthews, Shultz) to put himself in a position where he can listen, absorb, and learn as the interview is taking place. I really get the sense with him that he's open to having his opinions changed, while at the same time asking the hard questions of the interviewee.

    Anyway, thanks for posting the full interview links. I was actually out of town that night, and probably wouldn't have gone back to watch them had I not seen your post.
  7. citizenzen, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012

    citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    Even if this were true then he should have used the term "relatively little" or something along those lines. There may be less, but there isn't "no" innovation going on. that's just a ridiculous way to frame an argument and damages his credibility.

    Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and instead of "no" assume he means "relatively little," then there is evidence that calls that into question as well.

    The top 20 countries in patents granted shows Japan and Europe on top! So by this measure of innovation his (and your) point is refuted.

    I'll address some of the other points you raised, but I'm out of time and will have to continue this later.
  8. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    People in this country are so full of themselves it's amazing. We're clearly behind Japan and Europe- and the more we ignore education and other problems, we'll continue to fall further behind.
  9. classicaliberal macrumors regular


    Jul 19, 2011
    An an educated viewer, I consider it my job to put comments into context. The author was clearly attempting to draw a contrast between the relative amount of innovation between the locations in question. In additino, the man is obviously highly intelligent... I'm sorry, but no educated viewer could possibly take from that conversation that Mr. Conrad honestly thinks there is "NO" innovation in Japan or Europe. ;)

    In what context do you speak? Technological/Web Innovation? What's the Japanese/European equivalent of Facebook, YouTube, Google, Twitter, Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, IBM, HP, etc.?

    I do agree with you however, that the gap is shrinking, and that focusing on 'how much better' we are, is a fruitless cause. I would suggest that Mr. Conrad is especially focused on this, as his book seems to be solely focused on pinpointing ways we can maintain or grow our competitive advantage and criticizing the policies he see's as reducing our competitiveness in the world... regardless to whether or not you think he's right.
  10. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    The Americans may not come up with an original innovation, but they sure know how to monetize one. The only nation that can match that particular ability, as far as I'm concerned, is China.

    Although thinking about it, maybe also South Korea.
  11. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    I agree with Queso, I've always thought of the US as great at innovation (as opposed to invention) and wonderful at marketing.
  12. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Why are you limiting the conversation to only tech/web? Look at the big picture.
  13. citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    No doubt. But why would a seemingly intelligent person even go there in the first place? By spinning his point in such an irrational way he sabotages his credibility and his argument. Had he said, "America leads the world in innovation," I probably would have believed him and been more receptive to the conclusion he was attempting to build to. But by overselling his premise I immediately became suspicious of his agenda and less likely to be swayed by his argument.

    Then to top it off it turns out the facts actually refute his premise.

    How intelligent is he supposed to be again?

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