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Everything posted by mirage

  1. Hope you don't mind if I chip in here. Blu is right on this. There is nothing at all insane about gaining purchasing power just by sitting on money, as you suggest. In a society of improving wealth (as would pertain in this natural deflationary state) then of course you should expect more for less with the passage of time. The point is that in that society you would gain more from investing in that productive development than sitting on the cash. I.e. there would be opportunity cost. You are clearly worrying about a deflationary "spiral" of saving. This is a chimera. Debt deflation is indeed a negative feedback loop, but requires unsupportable debt for its mechanism. Simple deflation can't lead to a negative "spiral" since why exactly would you defer purchasing? OK, your computer will be cheaper next year, but then you will be richer next year. And to participate in the improving productivity cycle you will need the latest equipment. Even if a few weirdos do defer purchase and save, saving is not destructive - their funds will go towards things like capital expenditure on productive ventures. And the saving will average out over time and be limited by lifespan considerations in each individual. Your very reference to first adopters and the technology market, which has been deflating impressively for decades, shows that this concern is total ********. People have been buying new tech at ever increasing volumes throughout that period of deflation. There is nothing wrong with deflation, so long as it is fairly predictable. Debt-deflation spirals are destructive because of the debt part.
  2. That's OK Sceppy, I often agree with you too!
  3. I entirely agree. Don't get me wrong - Japan is screwed. I just question the "20 years of non-existent growth" argument and "look how bad periodic mild deflation is" argument given that it has basically held its living standards and GDP ranking in purchasing power parity terms. I guess the answer to that it is that the GDP "growth" that the other "better managed" countries have enjoyed has a large component of unadjusted-for inflation in it.
  4. Do you have figures for that? In purchasing power parity terms, Japan GDP through the 1980s was 996,534 1,135,448 1,245,389 1,334,264 1,446,180 1,584,323 1,665,188 1,783,902 1,977,052 2,161,891 1990s: 2,370,439 2,536,040 2,617,437 2,679,850 2,759,942 2,872,170 3,003,263 3,105,048 3,077,222 3,116,278 2000s: 3,255,600 3,341,002 3,404,927 3,535,115 3,706,027 3,889,582 4,083,240 4,293,825 4,343,339 4,146,584 So from 1989 to 2009 a rough doubling. In the same period the US went up about 250%. With a larger population increase ( 24% vs 3% ) Adjusted for that population increase vs Japan the US gain would be 207%. The UK was up 235%, also with more population gain. Is that the damage from being held up as the textbook example of economic stagnation for the last two decades? http://en.wikipedia....uture_GDP_(PPP) http://en.wikipedia...._since_1872.svg http://en.wikipedia....e_United_States
  5. If Japan has been in such an economic funk for 20 years why is it still up there on the podium of the GDP league table of nations? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_list_of_ten_largest_countries_by_GDP Eh? Eh? I call Shenanigans!
  6. That sounds intuitive but it's not true. Money flows around an economy - interest being payable on debt no more requires an increase in the stock of money than everyone requiring a salary for their labour.
  7. It would be massive printing for the following reason. Much of the outstanding debt is bad and needs to default. It does not circulate with any velocity. If you replace it with fiat, you are boosting the effective (ie moving) money supply massively. The reason we have a zombie world economy is unwritten off bad debt. This plan would monetize all of it. In the long run I feel it is a good idea to have 100% reserve banking. But let's not kid ourselves this can be achieved without going through the pain we have stored up for ourselves.
  8. So you are still a moron Sceppy? Of course a 20yr rate is a bet on the evolution of short term rates. That's what a 20yr rate is supposed to be since, er..if you just invest short term you will earn the cummulative return of those short term rates. It is "risk free" because it guarantees you whatever that bet price is. If you step out of it (and I'm sorry to break it to you but he ability to easily sell 20yr bonds has been realised for some time) then you immediately lose the locked in price for that 20yr bet and so you are taking a risk relative to your earlier guaranteed return. What you have written above is total drivel.
  9. Not much security - I know a few "Freegans" around here!
  10. But people expended vast labour to improve it and provide infrastructure that gives much of its value. OK so actually you libertarians are radical left land redistributionists! Who'd have thunk it. By the way, there are no "poor" who have access to significant productive land, by deinition, since that access is valuable. I think you would get less pushback from lefties if you just stated from the outset that you would first allow chavs all over the 9th Duke of ******youshire's family acres before cutting off all welfare.
  11. Right, so a bunch of peaches you have picked up from the ground and put in a basket is all yours. If they are still on the ground, they are the first person to turn up's? If you are hinging property rights on labour then this is a very trite distinction with a million grey areas. What if i have improved the land? What if I planted the seed? What if the seed just fell out of my pocket? What if I defended the peach tree from animal predators? Yes, just like my land. ********. You clearly have no real world experience of producing food, but you are happy to pontificate upon it with all the sophistication of a sixth former. Most amusing.
  12. So what is the difference here between property rights for land and for food? You seem to be making a distinction. It's ok for starving to farm land claimed by another, but not to take food claimed by another?
  13. Wonderpup expresses beautifully the problem in terms of what happens when the market value of an average human brain drops below maintainance costs. When this has happened in the past, the brain often doesn't get maintained and dies. However there are other factors to consider beyond labour value. There is also political value and emotional "feel good" value to those better off. As long as voting masses have some power in the affairs of state, they will attract a dividend from the capital owning class. But how did they get a vote in the first place? Largely because of the increasing value of their labour, which started getting pricey compared to capital after the Black death, and got pricier when increasing productivity of capital allowed specialised jobs to proliferate. What may be "different this time" is if automation can actually replace that base commodity of a trainable socially adept brain, which has been the basis of labour wealth since the inception of the middle class. All the polyanna arguments about the adaptability of humans, about humans being freed up to do other things, miss this tipping point: when technology becomes more adaptable than humans. This has never happened before. I suspect, but may be wrong, that it will take some time for robots to undercut the market for human social skills. Maybe we can all enjoy fabulous wealth just chatting amongst ourselves, or "hosting" services largely performed by our automated assistants. Maybe the bleeding edge creative jobs will be a last bastion of human brainpower for a few. But when robots finally get better at the soft social things, we have another worry - when and why won't they eventually win political power? It is a statistical fact that if systems become self replicating, then there will be selection pressure for selfishly reproducing systems.
  14. Indeed, most of the property held today has some past causal connection with actual or threatened violence, of exactly the sort that Injin wishes to avoid.
  15. Precisely. Injin and other more lame-minded libertarians' blind spot is the moral justification of property rights. Injin has never to my knowledge explained why right to property and freedom from physical violence are alone sufficient to base an entire world order on. They simple-mindedly parrot that "stealing" and "force" are wrong, but do not balance right to property against other moral imperatives. You apparently have a valid and moral claim on resources through inheritance or luck, but not through need.
  16. That has not been my experience of ordering coffee in Italy. If that's the current usage, it's the Italians have adapted it to mean something different. I suspect you have just been hanging out with the wrong crowd. http://en.wikipedia....C3%A8_Americano
  17. Indeed, paper filters out many things, including flavour compounds. And in a filter coffee you have fever of those extracted to start with and you may end up with more bitter compounds because of the longer extraction time. A good espresso is not bitter but balanced. That's not to say I don't enjoy filter coffee, but it can't extract like 15 bars of hot water can and it doesn't make a crema. As to objecting to fine particulate matter, it is just like objecting to the bits in fresh squeezed orange juice - those people are objectively wrong!
  18. No it isn't. Espresso machines are the best way of extracting coffee and the proliferation of Starbucks, hate it as I do, has led to much wider awareness and availability of decent coffee. The degree of roast is option, and you are correct that medium is the the proper and high roast introduces more burnt flavours and destroys many of the volatile aromatic flavour compounds that we enjoy.
  19. Nonsense on at least two counts. Costa is not crap, at least not everywhere, and the best coffee around where I live is an independent specialist that actually costs less than Costa.
  20. Americano is an espresso diluted to roughly filter strength with hot water. Not instant coffee. Agree, Costa by far the best of the chains. You can actually taste coffee rather than a vat of warm milk, for starters. Also use a blend with 1/7 robusta. It's nice. And they do flat whites, which are the best kind of coffee that includes milk in it.
  21. Just remember there are no jobs in IT. Only "roles".
  22. That's not my problem with ToW though. It's the basic mistake s/he's making thinking that if a health care system says it will spend up to X per QALY then it must have already exhausted all cheaper interventions (as if this is ever possible). All the while pointing to a retrospective study that shows this doesn't actually happen in the NHS. I can accept different political views about healthcare but not from someone making childish errors of reasoning.
  23. And their feeling about that are "fair enough gov'nor" are they?
  24. What I find amusing is that most people that complain about it have just the same sense of entitlement to what they have. They are really just complaining they don't get as much. I try to resist this in myself but sometimes catch myself at it. Witness the rantings from our IT friends about off-shoring, or about immigration undercutting wages, or just about house prices not being set at a level that affords us a reasonable standard of living. It is very hard to find a group at any level of society that when offered a considerably worse deal say "fair enough govnor".
  25. Spent two minutes on that site and already discovered that the guy thinks 1. Nitric oxide itself could be a dietary supplement. 2. There are two sources of fuel for muscles, fat and ATP. Schoolboy errors. My advice: find someone who has a clue, not just a buff guy in Malibu.
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