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Everything posted by Methinkshe

  1. Why worry about what may or may not happen 50 or more years hence, when we could be facing economic and social catastrophe within a few years due to financial meltdown and/or a collapse of supply lines and/or breakdown of global trade and/or terrorist attack etc etc - any of which could lead to a shortage of electricity and an immediate grinding to a halt of life as we know it in the western world? It's like a 20 yr old worrying about his pension when a tsunami has just appeared on the horizon.
  2. I'm with Injin on this one. When money was measured in weight - 240 coins = 1 pound weight of silver - there was some connection to the commodity that acted as the medium of exchange - which itself represented human labour and intellect. Now we use just numerals on a screen to represent money to represent human labour. It's a bit like trading with 1 and 2 and 9 and 54 etc. At least, that's what mathematicians appear to have done - abstracted money to mere numerals. And we know what mathematicians can do with numerals; I mean - what about imaginary numbers?!
  3. I think it's turned out to be exactly what we knew it was - a medium of exchange ultimately backed by human labour and intellect. What has happened over the past 10 years or so is that some clever bankers/mathematicians kind of forgot this and started playing with money as though it were an abstract concept amenable to mathematical modelling and manipulation. Perhaps because money ceased largely to be notes and coins and became figures on a screen, the concept of abstract money was more easily adopted to the extent that whatever mathematical contortions could be performed with numerals could equally be applied to money.
  4. Well, yes, I think I know where you're coming from. I used Zimbabwe as an example of how quickly an economically advanced nation can be reduced from wealth to poverty and third world status. In other words, there is nothing permanent about our precarious perch at the top of the global wealth tree. And our very height from the ground (the extent of our removal from basic survival techniques) guarantees a hard fall. I think we'd suffer a similar decline in this country if ever electricity were in short supply. It could even happen quicker than in Zimbabwe.
  5. It's not the running out of oil that bothers me. If all things remained equal, I believe we'd find a way to replace hydrocarbons - nuclear being the obvious one. No, what concerns me is our dependency on electricity - full stop. We have built a society that is dependent on electricity to the point that when it is cut off, everything - the economy, education, hospitals, banking, retail - you name it, grinds to a halt. So, even though I don't believe we'll run out of oil, I do think that we could find our energy supplies cut off for any number of other reasons - terrorism, economic meltdown, inflation, depression, etc, producing a self-feeding spiral of decline as we are simply not geared up to survive at a basic level. In fact, African subsistence farmers would stand a better chance of survival than we would in this country if such a calamity as a breakdown of electricty supply were to overtake us. Look what happened to Zimbabwe in a relatively short period of time. From first world status, economic growth and wealth, to abject poverty, starvation and third world status in less than a generation. Which is why I have one foot in the survivalist camp and, if things get much worse on the economic front, I'll have both feet in.
  6. I just heard a pundit on Bloomberg suggest that rising yields are good for equities since they indicate a recovery is under way. Not sure how he arrives at that conclusion, though.
  7. What effect would such volatility have a) on interest rates and b ) on stock markets? Or is that asking you to do a crystal ball prediction?
  8. My reasoning has nothing to do with either HPC or inflation and everything to do with the particular set of circumstances. The mortgage is small and covered by income from lodgers, he likes the house and llocation, digs are easily affordable - so where is the compelling reason to sell up? Now, if the morgage had been, say, 90%, that would have been a different matter.
  9. Not in the Fens, I hope. You know, GW, rising sea levels and all that.......! (Sorry, couldn't resist the dig!) Digs aside, sounds like your lodgers are trustworthy enough to leave them in care of your house during the week. You might even get a tax break - that is, if you're paying tax on income from lodgers (I'm not sure what the tax rules are.) But if you are away, then one or both could be house-sitters - an expense as opposed to an income. (I just made that up - but it sounds feasible!)
  10. How much do you trust your lodgers to take good care of your house during the week if you were to opt for digs close to your new job? I think that's what I'd do in your position, if I felt I could trust my lodgers not to throw wild parties or turn my place into a tip in my absences! Your mortgage is small and more than covered by income from lodgers so why sell? Especially if you like your house and its location.
  11. Add to that the fact that it was Gordon Brown who made the tax system so fiendishly complicated that it is now necessary for more people than ever before to employ accountants to help with tax returns. So we have to pay accountants (from taxed income) to help us pick our way through the minefield that is tax law, but government ministers - those reponsible for the over-complicated system - get the taxpayer to pay for their accountancy advice. And some on here think that's fair and reasonable!!!
  12. Sorry, can't give my full attention at the moment; not even half attention. Will return when I have enough minutes to put together to hopefully make a coherent argument. In the meantime, have to go....sorry...
  13. Dunno; so wide is his compass that he could even have meant Librans. Edited for typo.
  14. That is reductionist to the point of absurditiy. It does not correlate with life experience. We do NOT necessarily want to survive in the most comfortable manner possible; anorexic, alcoholic, paedophile....etc etc. Edited for typo.
  15. Interim posts notwithstanding, I still think you are shooting above base and not determining a cause.
  16. Edited to add: I think you have probably included that life has an end in your post - forgive me for my dull- wittedness.
  17. Interesting; however, I'm not sure that "fear" is the required term. What about "limited supply" or something along those lines, to reflect that life has boundaries. Edited for typos.
  18. Just adding to my own thoughts: The ultimate "commodity" for want of a better word, is human life itself. Without it, gold has no value, technology has no value, land has no value, there is nothing of value unless measured against human life. Thus, life in general, and man-hours in particular, is the standard against which we measure value. As an aside, I keep thinking "slavery" but my mind has grown lazy and dull so I've not yet integrated the concept into my general thesis. Nevertheless, it seems to me to have a place. Anyone care to pick up where my dulled brain sighs at the exertion?
  19. On the face of it, sounds like a good move. All the best.
  20. It was your "harrassment of the private sector" that threw me.
  21. Yippee - I think we have found some kind of agreement - even if only between thou and I! I think the salient point you make is: "we are only around for a bit". Within that comprehension lies the answer.
  22. Umm, I'm not sure that I understand exactly where you're coming from. Care to elucidate?
  23. How did you opt out - emigrate? Just interested................
  24. Btw, Injin, care to tell us whether after 24 pages of debate you are any closer to finding thye answers to the questions you posed in your OP. Or has it been one humungous waste of time?
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