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Tiger Woods?

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  1. Do you? As an Australian I initially thought of going with these guys, but there have been way to many rumours (for example) concerning how long people have had to wait for allocated pms from them or payouts, let alone unallocated. In a crisis, do you think the WA government won't invoke the force majeur clause with respect to their backing? At the height of the crisis in 2008 I was going to buy silver through them, but as I was in Europe at the time, I had to go through their Irish dealer. I would have made a killing, but at the risk of losing all if the dealer or their Irish bank had gone under during the (probably extended) transaction period. Not a risk I was willing to take. In the end I chose to hold my pms as a mixture of bullionvault and "in my hand" physical.
  2. Please don't do that ever again. It takes forever to clean coffee and toast from between the keys. Underwhelming isn't it. A "free chicken in every pot", especially if you are an Aussie battler with kids.
  3. That's because everyone knows that when the sums are done at the end of the year, it will not be a surplus. Last year the deficit was 22 billion greater than had been predicted in the budget.
  4. Or worse, they might say NO because they do...
  5. The chutzpah and/or stupidity is beyond belief. Buy gold. Bury it. Wait for a few decades for this insanity to blow over. It is the only way.
  6. And whose benefit is that for? Not yours I am sure. The world would be a better place for workers without such contracts.
  7. Jesus wept. Only in England would anyone think it a breach of their human rights for their wife/husband to know how much they earn. In Australia a lot of benefits are tied to joint family earnings and it is normal to include your partner's earnings on your tax return. No one bats an eyelid. I mean, what sort of relationship do you have if you feel you have to hide your earnings from your trusted life partner! Having to include your partner's earnings on your tax return is not the beginning of an Orwellian state. How about focussing your rage on the thousands of other laws and regulations the government are imposing which are?
  8. It depends what you mean by prosperity. Certainly we are materially wealthy, but the fact that we aren't having so many children (of extreme positive emotional utility, as expected from evolutionary theory) makes me wonder whether our current definition of prosperous isn't a little misguidedly one dimensional. The middle class in the west are having trouble replacing themselves with "copies." Just about every female friend or ex I know has had fewer children than they want(ed) because of financial reasons. Yes, they could have dropped their quality of life significantly, but humans don't want to do that, I suspect in our species' distant past, dropping status or wealth meant you were more likely to die in the next famine/be pushed to the outside of the group where the leopards prowled. In this simplified theory, people's happiness is made up of two components - children and status/material possesions. We trade them off against each other to optimise our happiness within the constraints imposed upon us by our society and the physical world. Measured in the ability to make children in the images of ourselves, the middle classes are poor. My suspicion is that given how important children are expected to be (from an evolutionary perspective) the low number of children we are having suggests that the social/economic constraints currently imposed upon us within which we are making our reproductive decisions are bad for average human happiness. This is why I find the "prosperity begets fewer children" misleading. "Our particular social and economic structure which brings a lot of material wealth begets fewer children" would be a statement I would accept...but to call that "prosperity" doesn't sit well, and reeks of an Orwellian abuse of language. (There are a number of models in the demogrpahic/biological literature that frame this argument in terms of the technical concept, "reproductive value." The fertility decisions made by someone will very much depend on the cost to their long term reproductive success of having one more child. WIll it decrease the sum total reproductive success of the current children by more than the extra child will increase it. The outcomes of these demographic models depend very much on the assumptions one makes, but the important point is that they show that there are quite a range of circumstances where people will trade quantity for relative quality.)
  9. I'm not talking about the top 10%. I'm talking about the top 0.1%, families in which only one person has to work. (and the bottom 10%.) Yes you can, and there has been quite some research on it. Virginia Abernathy (a demographer) for one caused quite an upset at an AAAS conference a decade or so ago when she applied the concept of reproductive value (instead of just plain number of children) to understanding reproductive decisions. It was good research and quite convincing. (I happened to be working on a related topic at the time.) See her wikipedia page. Of course there is an emotional utility of children, otherwise the middle class wouldn't have any at all, but this utility is not limitless. Speak to some people about their fertility decisions. (Go and look at the demography/anthropology literature on fertility decisions.) Most people will have children if it costs them, but not if it costs them too much. In brief, my point is that children have positive emotional utility, hence one has to ask the question, why are people having so few?
  10. This piece of bs propaganda again! Have you ever noticed how top level bankers, movie stars, etc. often have very large families; they have enough money to be able to afford as many children as they want. Similarly, those at the bottom end of the earnings scale often have larger than average families as well, because each child brings in more money (from the state) than they cost. Population growth levels off when, for the majority of the population, the marginal cost of children outweighs their benefit (financial and emotional). Measured in terms of raising children (of a similar education etc.) to the parents, the middle class in the west is poor. I know dozens of middle class people who have limited their family sizes (or had no children at all, or delayed having children to an age where fertility became a problem) because they didn't feel they could afford another one without grossly affecting the quality of their life.
  11. £5 notes are difficult to get into the public's hands...hence they tend to look old and tattered and are not always easy to obtain. What Merv is talking about is that now the notes in circulation are newer and shinier etc. This has been a problem they have been worried about for some time. Nothing to do with the fact that you won't get change from your fiver for a mars bar.
  12. Without minions, how will they protect themselves from the revolting peasants with torches and pitchforks?
  13. I can relate to this. I'm 42 now (married at 40; first child at 42, and these two facts are not independent of what has passed economically since 1997.) I am no longer the person I was when I was 32, the age at which I truly began to realise that something was very wrong with the trajectory the economy was on. Angry at the venality that got us here and that continues to this very day, and feeling completely powerless to do anything about it. Impotent rage is not a great thing for your mental health. I was going through some old photos with friends a couple of weeks ago, and the thing that struck me most was how I used to smile. Very genuine. Not any more. Now, more often that not, I appear to carry the weight of the world, but that is what happens when a good future for you and your children no longer seems certain. My new daughter is wonderful. I see my old smile in her face. A truly happy little creature (90% of the time). It's great to see her smile and, as of yesterday, laugh, but always in the back of my mind are questions about what the f&*k the state of the world is going to be when she reaches adulthood. I'd like to "forget" what I know, but how can you when the lies, stupidity, venality, manipulation etc. are thrust in front of you every day, on the TV, newspapers, and spewing forth from the mouths of sheeple whose lives are so busy that haven't had time to really think and hence don't know any better.
  14. A test. From the attached chart, determine when the Labor party has been in control of Australia's finances.
  15. I've begun to wonder whether this may be an issue of definition, as Australia is a federation and the states have their own significant debts, e.g. Queensland (population 4 million, debt 70 billion, i.e. $15000 per man, woman and child) ,
  16. Looking at the figures you have presented, you have two options. Share your home with someone else, or share someone else's home. I doubt you will be able to rent your own place for the interest and service charges of your current home, so you will ahve to share one way or the other. If it was me, whilst not what I would want in the best of all possible worlds, I'd go for the former. As another has already said, renting a room is a good way to get tax free income up to £4300.
  17. What a rude, ignorant twit your mortgage advisor is! He doesn't happen to work for an EA by any chance?
  18. Really? That almost sounds like the definiton of malnutrition to me. Remember, these people also had lots of other indications of ill health, not just short stature. The evidence is there for all to see. It is difficult to have an optimal vegetarian diet, except in the modern world and even then you have to be careful. Turnips, apples and wheat just ain't going to cut it. Too much meat is probably bad for you though. I didn't say civilization was not good now, just that it had been suboptimal for most people until very recently.
  19. Now you get it. It took until the 20th century for the diet to be as good as it was in 7600 BC. That is how crap the civilized diet has been for most people. (There is also a small amount of height loss in sedentary societies due to inbreeding depression (a genetic effect that does not rely on gene frequencies changing, but on correlations between alleles. My understanding is that about 2cm of the height increase in the UK population during the 20th century cab be attributed to people marrying further afield. Prior to the 20th century, married couples tended to be born within 8 miles of each other.)
  20. Erm. No. This height loss was, from an evolutionary perspective, almost instantaneous - a period of a few hundred years. The height loss was mainly due to basic malnutrition.
  21. Health wise, until the latter part of the 20th century, we were better off hunting and gathering. (Iirc) the average height of a male in Turkey prior to the advent of agriculture was 5'11". When agriculture arrived it shrank to 5'4" and only recently reached its pre-agriculture average. For most people, civilization was a backwards step until very recently. edited to add: as chronyx said above, grain was the real problem. Very efficient form of growing energy, hence vegetable and livestock producers are out competed. Lots of sick dwarves with bronze tipped spears always trumps a few healthy giants with sticks.
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