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aa3

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Everything posted by aa3

  1. Sometimes I wonder how much it really matters to an individual. Lets say you are a very smart and hard working person. You get top marks wherever you are and become a dentist. Whether you are in Mexico, Britain, Thailand, Korea, Switzlerland or most places, things are looking pretty good. If you are an average person, well lets be honest it looks pretty bleak your future chances of being able to buy a home and support a family on your income. Even to have a non-minimum wage job in Britain seems questionable.
  2. If we want more people employed in the creation of knowledge we need to have longer and stronger patents. And be more willing to accept wild new ideas even if they are outside the current scientific orthodoxy. Trust me if the money is big enough, corporations will form to go after it and employ however many people they can at whatever it costs to get smart people while still making money off of them. See the pharmacuetical industry, or the software industry. In medicine the pharma paradigm is slowing down, but new fields that could be even bigger are just in their infancy, like stem cells, genetic engineering, medical devices. Britain can be a dominant player in all those areas. Trust me rich people from around the world will choose British genetic engineering and medical devices over their local unpatented knock-off versions. A huge problem I see is many people who choose the perpetual student route are not natural thinkers. They are smart worker bees. They are able to memorize what they are taught, even solve known problems in ways they were taught. But they are not people to think outside the box or to think of a new way to solve a new problem.
  3. I think the 1950-1980 period was the anomaly in history. Where the big middle of people actually made a good income and such. Throughout history home ownership has averaged ~10% of the population. It looks to me like we are going to return to that period. Backed fully by all the major political parties and the majority of voters. The 10% will be made up of successful small businesspeople, successful career people and professionals.. and then a tiny sliver of the big landowners. Some of the landlords will possess tens of thousands of houses.
  4. In 2010 there were 31 million cars on the road.. in 2011 that fell to 30 million cars on the road. Will be interesting to see how 2012 plays out. Although I feel in this day and age fuel is not a big cost compared to the main problem which is housing. I mean dropping a mere £100 off of peoples mortgage or rent would be 2.5 times bigger than a £10 a week rise in fuel.
  5. On a world level it makes sense for smart Brits to spread out. This was happening all the way back in the empire days too. If a British engineer shows up in like Nigeria, it is a godsend to the people there. While in Britain that same engineer may be competing against other engineers for a lowly paid job. The British engineer in Nigeria can put at least hundreds of people there to productive purpose, and create desperately needed infrastructure and development projects for the people there.
  6. I think you are right that there are multiple factors. Like the rentiers and tax man getting too greedy and pushing the base costs above what the marketplace is capable of bearing.
  7. I notice the nanny-statists with their smoking ban to save us.. and their gambling restrictions to protect us from ourselves.. played a large part in this. The do-gooders in time kill off all civil society and business.
  8. In time maybe we will have robots that have wants. Right now computers are not concious thinkers. But in time they will be. They also don't seem to have emotions, but in time they likely will. Emotions give beings a moral framework to make decisions.. as not every possible eventuality can be programmed in. For example a mating couple of humans feels sad when away from each other. This is the programming guiding them to go back together, to fulfill their darwinian purpose. So robots could be programmed with jealousy, craving, appetite, hoarding, possessing of items. Imagine a robot art historian, who is purchasing art and storing it. Of course this is great for the human holders of art as robots bid up the price.. the problem comes after they have sold all their artwork. At some point no human will be able to compete against robots in the marketplace. But what if the robots appetite for art was so large, it just had to buy the latest art being produced by humans. Another cigar afficionado robot just had to have his cubans.
  9. In time citizens will demand changes, and even businesses will demand changes to the system as customers get fewer and fewer. (actually it mainly when the rich put their weight behind reforms that they happen). Right now governments are still using all sorts of tricks to hide the millions of unemployed and underemployed. But its getting harder to hide. Like half the students who graduated university in the USA are still unemployed a year later. Parent's basements are filling up with adult children one by one. At first parent's were blaming their own child, but when half, and then in time three quarters never get a job, it turns from blaming their child to admitting that the reality has changed.
  10. I am not sure it probably does not include them. For a lot of workers they probably want to keep the insurance. What everyone should agree on is like you said taxing people below living wage is absurd. Let alone 30%. The only argument I have heard is a small tax on people who make a modest income, is so they know the services don't come for free. But maybe 5%, not 30%.
  11. I read Northern Ireland 77% of the economy is government today. Compare that to East Germany where 60% of the economy was government. Essentially a private economy ceases to exist there. A problem less populace areas face is to compete on a world level today you need serious scale in population. Like think if you were setting out to make your career in the pharmaceutical industry. It would be crazy to locate to a place where only one company was in operation. And that company itself would not have the depth of talent pool in the area.
  12. I wonder if it is consumers running out of cash to buy so many pre-made things. Or even entire categories which are very expensive like salads. Say there is a 10% fall in demand in a segment across the nation. But the same number of players. They will fight it out to hold volume, until one of the companies goes to the wall, and dies. Then the survivors will gain pricing pressure again. Probably this process of changing buying habits has been going on for at least a year, we are just seeing the companies going to the wall as they finally exhaust their lines of credit.
  13. Tax on income brings in ~£180 billion of the government's £700 billion budget. In other words it could be comletely eliminated today, if the government budget was reduced to a mere £520 billion. £520 billion works out to £8,300 per citizen.. £33,000 per family of 4. We should be able to provide a first world government for that amount of money. And simply not have a tax on income, or a tax on wealth.
  14. As robots are so amazingly productive and advancing year by year.. the possible output of them becomes vaster and vaster. With a finite amount of currency in circulation and ever growing production there will be deflation. Monetary authorities can solve this by simply printing more currency, which they are doing. This is essentially a tax on production, but as fair as can be. The only debate is on who should get that newly printed (or electronically created) currency. It amounts to between £250 billion and £500 billion each year. A problem with taxation is that the assumption is the robot owners will be highly profitable. An assumption I made ~2000, and then by ~2005 I realized it would not work out that way. By far the biggest holders of industrial robots in the world are the car manufacturers, and as we see many have actually gone bankrupt. The problem is that your competitors also end up with robots. What happens is the real value of what you are making falls.. while other areas of the economy not yet hit by robotics, like say medicine, charge the same or even more than before. You the guy fighting in the robot arena get crushed.
  15. Capitalism almost failed and ended in the 1930's. But reforms were made so that the marketplace, aka the masses could get cash in their hands again. And capitalism soared higher than before with all the new technologies of the day. All the advanced capitalist countries put in place the welfare state in that era. One writer called it the omega point. In that period it took old age pensions, employment insurance, 40 hour work week, maternity leave, statuatory holidays, tipping the scales to the unions, welfare spending, public housing, food stamps and national health care in most nations. It seemed to the right wing writers of the day unlikely that the state would be able to afford all of those new spending programs, considering the budget was already unbalanced and getting worse. However they failed to see that the economy is so interlinked. If everyone where you live starts making money, its a lot easier for you to make money (and pay net taxes). I could be wrong but I get the feeling we are nearing the next omega point. The point where capitalism breaks down from its own success in production.
  16. The fashion in the last generations was to live BIG. Big house, big yard, big bodies, big appetite, so much junk that they need storage lockers in addition to their mansion. But fashions change.. its something to realize with this austerity and so much of the young generation living in poverty, after a decade of this, they will not change. They will become like the depression era generation who valued thrift and savings. The fashion then was to live under your means. Like a rickety old farm house and an old tractor belie the fact that the owners are multi-millionaires. Personally when I was a single guy I had 600sq/ft apartment. That was huge for me.
  17. Mark Hurd is considered an extremely capable executive. He had an affair with some consultant woman, and the board of HP freaked out and fired him. She had a 1 million dollar contract with HP through Hurd. I said at the time if I was on that board I would chalk up the 1 million to 'executive compensation', and privately tell Hurd not to have affairs with people at work anymore. Instead they fired him. Then they went ballistic when Larry Ellision used the golden opportunity to immediately hire Hurd. HP even launched a lawsuit against Oracle for hiring Hurd.. which I do not know the outcome of. In my opinion this is the political correctness of the modern big organizations, versus Oracle which is owned by one guy and can do things not by consensus and not by political correctness. I did not know Hurd had turned down the deal representing Oracle, that adds a lot of irony.
  18. Yes as an observer of all types of organizations for many years this fate is hard to avoid. The only organizations I know of that have stood for generations are ones that one family runs. At creation the British ministries were actually quite efficient and successful. But over time they become just giant dysfunctional bureaucracies.
  19. Have a feeling your explanation is the reason for this company's problems. I rarely by bread as I can gain weight too easily on high carbs, but I did yesterday, and bought freshly baked bread at the grocer. It seems like the shelf bread is somehow more expensive than the freshly baked bread.
  20. Meanwhile when people do move in, the villagers complain about the traffic, local services not able to cope, overcrowding, post office running short of stamps, etc.
  21. Its very difficult to turn around at this point. HP will have generous pay packages for its employees from better days. It will have many layers of managers, and managers don't cut managers. When a company is growing rapidly its easy to keep people happy and make money. You just give the employees a raise that is less than the underlying growth of the company. Harder to give employees a pay cut more than the fall in revenues.
  22. I agree with Cameron that we are at war.. this time the enemy is here and amongst us, the millions of bureaucrats who make it their life's goal to get in the way of people trying to make a livelihood. Over the years this fifth column has multiplied and multiplied until its not just an annoyance, but it has made millions unemployed and those people have lost homes and families. To win the war if I was Cameron I would first off dramatically reduce the enemy ranks. And dramatically decrease the number of powers they had to interfere and stop progress. I would create a Secretariat of anti-British Activities, with war powers.. any business person in the country could anonymously identify bureaucrats or laws that were holding up their business, preventing them from hiring people, expanding production. And the Secretariat could swoop in and fix the problem, not having to abide by the normal legal processes. Also if needs be the Secretariat should be able to make new, business friendly laws, without having to go to Parliament. In a war, the normal, long and consensus building process just cannot be followed.
  23. Seems the usual small town planning.. poorly planned and corrupt. But I still say that is the law, they are the rightful authority in their small realm, and that is their final decision. Where that town may need some reforms is during the planning approval process.
  24. The demand is for residential high rises.. yet for one reason or another the city is very resistant to them.
  25. Hmm very good point. Maybe interest rates can go negative afterall. I hope that the next prime minister tries going to negative interest rates, so we can get a live test on a massive economy. I sort of viewed the zero interest rates as the lowest possible bound, so if faced with deflation at 0%, the next step to hit inflation targets must be creating more debt through the state through QE. (or bringing up the ratio of high powered debt free money). I guess if rates went negative enough, capitalists would be searching for investments that lost the least each year. Like if you borrowed at negative 4%, you would be doing well to find an investment that was declining at 2% a year.
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