Wednesday, 28 December 2016

"Germany's record trade surplus is a bigger threat to euro than Greece"

Interesting (or rather, boring by now) how Germany is allowed to break Maastricht rules, but the Periphery is immediately stomped if it does. Wanting to be a net importer of Aggregate Demand is fine, but allow the Periphery to be a net exporter of Aggregate Demand for Christ's sake. Recirculate the money. Recycle the funds back into the system - otherwise you force people in the Periphery to spend from private debt, which they can no longer due because they're tapped out & are seeking to deleverage. And imposing on them austerity (aka pro-cyclical fiscal policy) isn't going to help the Periphery, and in the long run it's not going to help Germany either. Things as they are only contribute to higher poverty and unemployment and only benefit extremist parties and the corrupt establishment who's making a killing in the process.

My thoughts on MGTOW

I only recently heard about MGTOW (men going their own way). At first, I was led to believe that it's about men wanting to stay single for various reasons (because of financial reasons, because they're not interested in sex etc). Instead, what I found in most of these videos is men bitching about gold diggers. So far so good, but then they enter into all this sophistry about history, gender, and culture. And while they do so, they betray their ignorance and vitriol. Needless to say, the sexism and double-standards are obvious. Guess a lot of people want to "Make women great again", when men controlled women's vaginas. They think that the biology of women is somehow incompatible with societal tranquility. Ironically, these people seek to bring back the patriarchal system, while at present, the patriarchal marriage and alimony laws are the things that are fucking them in the ass so badly. Just look at Dave Foley. His account shows clearly the inequity of these laws.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Examples of your typical fascist logic:

-"Yes, spreading culture and ending racism in Ethiopia is so horrible"

-"Fascism could be easily improved without personality cult (Duce). It requires a Politburo with several equally entitled people in the leadership. We must learn from past mistakes."

-"I think that in addition from a Rex elected by the People, a new fascism should also have a Senate with Patricians to occupy the high offices and govern under the supervision of the King, and an Assembly for the Plebeians to aprove or disaprove of the Senate's Laws.
Just like it was during the Regnum Romanum, that in my opinion was the purest form of Fascism."

-"Impossible! Fascism is Hierarchical. The Leader is the best man in the country for the job. He rises through a hierarchy of merit. Workers work. Leaders lead, and the best leader leads us all. The first Fascist Leaders may have inculcated a personality cult, but only in opposition to enemies, who also had their cults, of democracy and materialism. But an order of merit would be self-perpetuating, after it is established."

-"Real Fascism just works! the same can never be said about demoncrazy and capitalism and their brother the bolshevism"

-"When men were real men and women were real women. The perfect lifestyle: God, His Word, family, and work with purpose, something today's societies lack."

-"I know. What a great time for the Italian people! I wish us Americans got along better with the fascists..."

-"The problem was that Mussolini ended Stresa and allied with Hitler, if he had continued in the allies fascism would still be a savior ideology until today"

-"I would say the issue was not Hitler. Weren't it for Churchill and the zionist jews he conspired with, Germany and Italy would both be quite well off today. But that's just my opinion."

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

There are only 3 types of Government

There are only 3 types of Government (mechanically-speaking):
-Transition phase between the two

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

How to fix Syria

Make the West & its allies (Israel & Saudi Arabia included) stop funding islamic fundamentalists. Strike a deal with Assad (basically, don't prosecute him and his cronies). Send out the Army Corps of Engineers from all NATO members to Syria, to rebuild it in something like half a year (if people aren't shooting at them). Then put the refugees on planes and trains back to Syria. Naturally, this goes against the agenda of any hawk, regardless of political colour. Peace in the Middle East = the formation and consolidation of regional power blocks, and no empire wants that. But that's the only real pragmatic solution I see. You might call it wishful thinking - and it probably is, but it's a lot better than trying to integrate them in Europe. It will simply lead to political instability, and we'll end up with a divided continent, with regimes in power that won't shy away from using extreme means to "bring things under control."

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Elevating Trump, the DNC's strategy all along

Richard Moser absolutely nails it. Original kudos to Wikileaks of course.
Read the whole thing here:

Force all Republican Candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election…
The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right. In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream Republican Party. Pied Piper candidates include, but aren’t limited to:
Ted Cruz
Donald Trump
Ben Carson
We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Disappointing article from The Jacobin on the UBI


Here's my take on it.

The article mixes in a number of faux-problems. Firstly, it assumes that Government must increase taxes somewhere and or cut funding from somewhere else in order to implement the UBI (regardless if it's livable or not).

Secondly, it assumes that with more leisure time, people will be more emancipated and be more engaged socially and politically. An ironic consequence might be that reactionaries will gain in free time too (and be more engaged in social activism of a different kind), leaving things more or less neutral.

Thirdly, it brings in ethics in a very flawed manner. "While a basic income would compensate those who spend countless hours doing unpaid reproductive labor, men who don’t engage in reproductive labor would receive the same amount." By this line of reasoning, old people might not be deserving of the UBI because they don't engage in 'reproductive labor', or they don't engage as much. Never was a fan of LTV lingo.

Number 4, it assumes that we can have the type of social relations humans used to have in hunter gatherer societies. "By shortening working hours, a basic income expands the realm of freedom and encroaches upon the realm of necessity, taking us closer to a society where we can hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, criticize in the evening, and wash dishes after dinner." Yeah, no. The realities of cities is very different. If you're in the countryside and you own land, things might be different. But so long as you have the phenomenon of private rent seeking, stemming from private ownership over natural monopolies (over non-man-made things, such as land, forests, rivers, minerals etc) - then the hunter gatherer society can't be revived.

And finally, it assumes that capital can only turn a profit by exploiting people. That's just not true. And as for capital flight. Man, they can't leave with the land. Ok? What matters is the land, its riches, and its people. Not someone's nrs on an electronic balance sheet.
"The only way out is to continue producing even if one can’t make a profit. Thus, an LBI would sooner or later force onto the stage the age-old question of the ownership of means of production."
Alright, so we can deduce from this that Government owning the means of production doesn't need to make a money profit to operate industry and infrastructure. So why then is the UBI fiscally incompatible without tax increases and or budget cuts?
Now, if you're die hard on ethics, then the UBI isn't for you. Why? Because why should the rich, the uber rich, and the moderately well off get an extra income, unlike the poor who have none?
In case you don't know. I'm not big on ethics. I'm interested in whatever gets the job done. That being said, I'm not a Machiavellian. Genocide today to achieve utopia tomorrow is not my credo. Onwards...

It would be better to implement the Freeland reform, in which Government takes ownership of all the land and natural monopolies, leaving man-made things (like buildings) in private possession. This alongside Universal Health care should be the top priorities in my view. The BIG and the JG can take a back seat. Unemployment is caused by Government money taxation, anyway, and it's exacerbated by the inequitable flow of funds within the economy. Through money taxation, the Government creates a pool of unemployed from which to draw labor so that it can provision itself. If there's an excess of unemployed, there are two options. 1) for the Government to hire them (see the JG). 2) for the Government to lower the tax. Instead of preserving the highly inequitable flow of funds from high MPC households to low MPC households - let's do away with the FIRE sector in its entirety. Have asset side discipline for the banks and provide a public banking option ONLY, which would issue loans to consumers and business without interest. We'd eliminate the drag and inequality in the economy, produced by compound interest and mortgage debt.
In conclusion, I want to say this. Regardless of what you implement, regardless of how good it may be - at the end of the day, people are fucking stupid. And they're everywhere in every strata. Stupid rich people. Stupid middle class people. Stupid poor people. Stupid working people. Stupid unemployed people. Stupid men. Stupid women. Stupid trans people. Stupid heterosexuals. Stupid homosexuals. Stupid theists. Stupid atheists. Etc. At the end of the day, that good system which was in place will erode, and people will allow it to fall because they're fucking stupid and greedy.
I'm not being a fatalist here. I'm simply using Ibn Khaldun's theory on society.

Monday, 26 September 2016

How pro-immigration policy is a boon to capital

I began thinking about this after I watched Bernie Sanders early in the campaign talk about immigration policy in an interview. And he said that pro-immigration policy is a right wing policy. He argued that it serves to bring down worker's wages. At first, I disagreed strongly with him. But after giving it more thought and putting the matter into a larger context, something which Sanders didn't do, I nonetheless came to his conclusion. And later on I was well surprised by George Galloway's stance vis-a-vis the Exist referendum; and his motivation was very reasonable in my opinion. Galloway said that the last straw for him was Greece (of how it was treated by the Troika). And he maintained that a sovereign country ought to be able to decide on its own immigration policy. When I heard him say that, I immediately thought about Palestine under British mandate, which was precluded to decide on its immigration policy. We all know what happened. Lots of American and European immigrants came in and settled down. The British Empire promised the land to both sides. Then they retreated. Conflict erupted. Might made right. And the Palestinians were screwed over by both the Arab powers and the British.

Now, to the issue at hand.

Let's take into account the other side of the balance sheet, namely, the countries from which people are emigrating from. Regions in these countries are being depopulated through this phenomenon. I shall use my country (Romania) as an example. A significant portion of the adult population has left the country to work abroad. Most of them work, others steal and beg, what can you do... They left their children in the care of their grandparents. The consequence of this massive emigration takes a heavy toll on families, and children in particular. The grandparents are too old to take care of them, or the grandparents don't work or have very low pensions... and bringing up the children is very hard. Sure, the money the parents send back home helps out, but it's not enough. And households have it particularly worse in the rural regions or in towns in which the local industries are dead. To offer up my personal view, I don't like the fact that Romanians are emigrating just to find work that pays well, when they could be working here - and the gods know this country needs a lot of work. Now, let's look at what happens in the countries who are the desired choice of immigrants.

How does capital benefit off them?

Well, more people in creates more demand to be covered and consequently, higher saving desires. More people willing to take on jobs for lower pay decreases labor's bargaining power and puts downward pressure on wages. So capital benefits from an inflow of non-skilled workers, skilled workers, and workers of higher specialization (such as doctors, for instance). In my country, there is no law which precludes public school graduates to leave the country immediately after they obtained their degrees. So the Romanian government covers the cost of their training, while countries in the West reap the benefits of that free training. So on the one hand, you have depopulation, and on the other, you have overpopulation - which in turn gives birth to racial and ethnic tensions, which in turn give birth to the usual debate between right and left - which split the middle class. And that debate most of the time is plagued by various views on morality, while the mechanics side of it, which produces actual effects, is lost in translation. So overall lower labor costs for capital makes it easy for Western firms to compete with producers from developing countries.

Romania, for instance, has been a net importer for a long time. The country imports a lot of things which could produce domestically, while it exports natural resources like timber (mostly illegally cut), minerals, and fuels. Recently in my country, foreigners may acquire land. Our hospitals are understaffed, underequipped, and underfunded. While more and more doctors are leaving the system, seeking to emigrate, with the students hot on their trail. Now, don't get me wrong. It's only natural for people to go out and seek the best life for themselves and their families. That's not what the issue is about. The issue is about pro-immigration policy being in fact a pro-capital policy, to the detriment of labor. Capital wins economically, or financially if you will. And it also wins politically, because it manages to divide the working class via identity politics. It exploits racial and ethnic tensions. Make no mistake, the mainstream left is also interested in keeping people divided, keeping capital on top of the hierarchy, defending rent seekers and economic parasitism. Hear out Michael Hudson in this great speech of his.

One way of dealing with this, in my opinion, is for Western governments and international organizations to take steps to reverse this process. One way of doing it is to promote full employment in the South and East, so that people will have an incentive to return to their homeland - and enjoy a good living there. It strikes me odd to concentrate so many people in one particular major region, instead of having them spread out and maintaining a comprehensive network between countries/societies. The problem of immigration will be solved once full employment will be the norm in every country. So when the mainstream left says, oh, we welcome immigrants. It's going to be great. And when they're asked about money. They'll say, oh, we'll cut here and there, increase tax there and over there, we'll have a balanced budget, lower government debt, and it will be great for both domestic labor and immigrants. When they say that, it's utter bs. It won't work. They won't deliver on their promises, and from their failure, the right will profit in the polls, and nothing's going to change - it will only get worse.

Let's remember that the Great Depression produced by the Roaring Twenties was not solved in the US by the New Deal. The New Deal alone wasn't enough to do it, because the program simply wasn't big enough - and Keynes told FDR this in his letters, telling him that he's not spending enough. When finally the US Government spent enough, it was because of war motivations. So the decision to enter WW2 was the political motivation to pursue fiscal policy for full employment.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Churchill was a genocidal maniac

"Churchill was a genocidal maniac. He is fawned over in Britain and held up as a hero of the nation. He was voted ‘Greatest Briton’ of all time. Below is the real history of Churchill, the history of a white supremacist whose hatred for Indians led to four million starving to death, the man who loathed Irish people so much he conceived different ways to terrorize them, the racist thug who waged war on black people across Africa and in Britain. This is the trial of Winston Churchill, the enemy of all humanity.


Bengal had a better than normal harvest during the British enforced famine. The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people to ship to the Middle East – where it wasn’t even needed. When the starving people of Bengal asked for food, Churchill said the ‘famine’ was their own fault “for breeding like rabbits”. The Viceroy of India said “Churchill’s attitude towards India and the famine is negligent, hostile and contemptuous”. Even right wing imperialist Leo Amery who was the British Secretary of State in India said he “didn’t see much difference between his [Churchill] outlook and Hitler’s”. Churchill refused all of the offers to send aid to Bengal, Canada offered 10,000 tons of rice, the U.S 100,000, he just point blank refused to allow it. Churchill was still swilling champagne while he caused four million men, women and children to starve to death in Bengal."

Thursday, 1 September 2016

My review of this brilliant non-fiction title


by Jacques COULARDEAU & Ivan EVE

Grab the ebook here:

Review by Serban V.C. Enache

Note: this piece was considered ineligible for publishing by the reviewers at Indialogs for the following reasons: "This review is written in a colloquial, non academic style and it is full of personal opinions, inappropriate for an academic journal. It seems more a journalistic insight."

The Review itself:

This book tackles the New Silk Road from a number of different perspectives, historical, social, economic, and from the standpoint of geopolitics. The reader is given a background regarding the Old Silk Road – its human cost and the socio-economic implications in the present, typified by what is called Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder and Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

We learn about the 13 centuries of slave trading done by the Muslim powers, and of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which lasted 300 years, but produced approximately the same number of casualties. We learn about slavery in India and about the slave-trade in the Indian Ocean. That it had existed since probably the emergence of agriculture, something like 12,000 years ago. Slavery existed in America before the arrival of Europeans. And the book concludes that slavery was and still is a global or universal phenomenon. Religious motivations for slavery are also highlighted, alongside the changes in thought and values, from Judaism to Islam, and of course, Christianity.

It’s always a pleasure to read an objective take, no matter how brief, on slavery. Because there are myths flowing around out there, which claim that slavery and the slave trade are purely an invention of “the white man”. And these two evils are not only an invention of secular institutions and practices, but they are also enshrined in mythology, dogma, religion. To sum it up in a humorous expression, treat thy neighbor as thyself if he’s not a foreigner or a heathen. But if he is, then kill the bastard or take him in thralldom.

I wholeheartedly agree on how the authors tackle the issues of Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder and Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome. They insist on a process of proper information and open dialog. And they emphasize the requirement of meritocracy. If we are to have true equality and meritocracy, then the rise and fall of individuals within the hierarchical system of any civilized society must occur based on their own merits, not based on favor or prejudice. Any system or policy that’s designed to ignore a merit-based argument in favor of a non-merit-based argument can only be of a discriminatory nature. One cannot be granted favor without someone else receiving an injury as a consequence. One is either an egalitarian, or one’s not. One either believes people should be judged based on their own merits, or one believes that they should be judged based on favor or prejudice. Like the authors, I count myself among the former.

There is also a worrisome phenomenon occurring, particularly in the USA, in which unpopular speech is being censored, not only by right wing reactionaries, but by left wing progressives as well. The latter are called mockingly as “regressive leftists” or “the regressive left”. I will quote the Thomas Jefferson Center on this issue.1

"An epidemic of anti-speech activity swept across the campuses of American colleges and universities in 2015 and shows little sign of abating in 2016. Not long ago, these same institutions were at the vanguard of First Amendment issues; students demanded—then made powerful use of—expanded speech rights on campus, and administrators held academic freedom sacrosanct. These positions reflected a shared understanding that intellectual inquiry requires an environment in which debate is uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, even if it occasionally results in unpleasant or offensive exchanges.

Today, however, the focus seems to be on limiting rather than promoting the open exchange of ideas. Students who once protested to have their voices heard now seek to silence those they disagree with or find threatening. Meanwhile, university administrators appear locked in a competition to determine which school will take the toughest stand against offensive, unpopular, and hurtful speech. First Amendment principles have given way to identity politics, trigger warnings, and so-called “safe spaces,” and the Free Speech Movement has, at many colleges, become the Anti-Speech Movement.

Since 1992, the Thomas Jefferson Center has awarded Jefferson Muzzles to those individuals and institutions responsible for the more egregious or ridiculous affronts to free speech during the preceding year. Our usual practice has been to select eight to twelve recipients each year, reflecting the unfortunate reality that threats to free expression regularly occur at all levels of government. This year, however, we were compelled to take a different approach.

Never in our 25 years of awarding the Jefferson Muzzles have we observed such an alarming concentration of anti-speech activity as we saw last year on college campuses across the country. We are therefore awarding Jefferson Muzzles to the 50 colleges and universities discussed [...] both as an admonishment for the acts already done and a reminder that it is not too late to change course."

Afterwards, the book presents the Old Silk Road proper, the ancient network of trade routes that were central to economic and cultural interactions among different regions of Asia, connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea. The religious implications associated with the various countries and trade interests are also approached (Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam).

We learn from that ancient epoch and we’re moved to the 15th century, to Admiral Zheng He, his great fleet of merchant ships – and the reader learns of his visits to foreign lands. Most notably, his repeated journeys into India, Africa, and Arabia.

Past that point, the book moves the reader into the present and reveals great information regarding planned investments in new port infrastructure and upgrades, new trade routes, cross-judicial and economic cooperation between countries for safety and development. Figures regarding freight capacity and throughput are given for some key trade nodes in China, Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, and South Korea.

The authors make important observations, especially regarding China. This nation isn’t placing its eggs in the same basket. The Chinese are preparing different scenarios. China is open to the Indian Ocean. In maritime trade, it’s investing in the port of Colombo and in Hambantota. It is developing the hub-and-spoke model; but China is also developing alternatives to it. To reach America, the railroad option via the Behring Strait. To reach Europe, via the Arctic approach and westward along its ancient route – by linking virtually the whole of Europe through railways, down to Spain.

I’d like to add that there are many ideas on the table, ready to be carried out with Chinese help. For instance, a second Panama Canal in Nicaragua, to connect the Pacific and the Caribbean (albeit voices of skepticism and dissent haunt this proposal).2-3 The Brazil-Peru transcontinental railroad – a massive undertaking meant to link via rail the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast, and thus open Brazilian exports to Asian markets.4 There are also plans for China to create an alternative transcontinental route from Brazil, through Bolivia and Peru.5

Deals between India and China are also underway. Collaboration on atomic science, especially regarding the thorium-based nuclear reactor and the Chinese pebble-bed solid fuel 100Mw demonstration reactor.6 It’s also important to note that atomic power still remains an important outlet of investment and energy generation with near zero CO2 emissions, particularly when looking at 2 billion souls seeking to attain western living standards. India holds around 25% of the world’s major thorium reserves, and it is actively developing the thorium fuel cycle.7-8

Coulardeau and Eve take special note of India and Sri Lanka, and do not dismiss them from the greater scheme in the wake of such big projects like the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal – which, for political reasons that the authors identify, are left outside by the main geopolitical power. We’re referring of course to the USA.

Globalization is a multi-door street, but some doors are bigger and wider than others. Such free trade agreements can only push for lower sovereignty at the regional and national level, enforce strict intellectual property laws, and diminish the collective bargaining power of labor. Supposedly, consumers and firms are the ones who profit from such deals – but history shows that’s not really the case everywhere all the time. Otherwise protectionism would not have resurged in the West. And Britain would not have practiced protectionism to grow its own industries first, before projecting the comparative advantage doctrine (whilst ignoring absolute advantage) upon others through threat of violence and outright war.9 I am, of course, referring to the British Empire’s bloody tally in imperialism and colonialism. The exploitation of India’s people and the artificially-induced famines, and the Opium-wars with China leap to mind.

The so-called race to the bottom is a true phenomenon. It manifests itself when governments of signatory countries (pacts of free trade or ‘fiscal responsibility’) implement policies meant to keep domestic purchasing power lower & living standards low, in the hope of gaining market share for their export-oriented enterprises. These countries are thus deliberately keeping their domestic levels of Aggregate Demand low, and they rely on imports of Aggregate Demand from abroad in order to keep their economies working (albeit with considerable unused capacity to spare).10 Aggregate Demand means income plus the change in private debt.11 Private debt inflation adds to Aggregate Demand – it translates into more spending, more sales, more income. While private debt deflation (what much of the world is experiencing after the Great Financial Crisis of 2008) decreases Aggregate Demand – it translates into less spending, fewer sales, less income. Accounting-wise, every net exporter of goods and services is a net importer of Aggregate Demand and vice-versa. Spending is income. Debt is equity. All government debt in the world represents world-wide private sector financial savings (equity).12-13

Issues of flags of convenience are explored in the book, alongside those of safety. Ships and harbors require protection. Merchandise requires tracking. Elements of corruption, bureaucracy, and the relationship between capital and labor must not endanger the flow of goods and services, or add undesired and unnecessary costs to it. The authors state that what’s required for true security is the existence of an international agency, with satellite monitoring capabilities, and with the legal mandate and military means to combat terrorism, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and illegal weapons trade. Whether one is personally in favor of globalization or not, the soundness of the above proposition is indisputable.

I believe the many countries involved in the New Silk Road must follow the two principles behind the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, which ended successfully 150 years of religious war and established the notion of co-existing sovereign states; peace between them being reached through diplomatic congress.14 The first tenet said that for the sake of peace, the crimes of all sides must be forgotten. While the second tenet maintained that foreign policy must be carried out with the “interest of the other” in mind. What relevance do these Westphalian principles have on our present imperfectly globalized world? It is geopolitics that makes or breaks progress. That makes or breaks nations. That promotes war and strife, or peace and development. And it is precisely this lack of Westphalian sovereignty among nation states today, as well as the desire to severely outsource national and local sovereignty to super-state bureaucracies, that endangers the peaceful process of globalization – and turns it into a deliberate phenomenon of exploitation carried out by financial interests for the interest of financial elites, rather than for the shared benefit of countries as a whole.

John Maynard Keynes said that the unregulated movement of international capital endangers that self-governing experiment we call democracy.15 How prophetic his words were, especially if we look at the wealthiest and strongest nation on earth – at the extreme income inequality in the US today, which resembles not a capitalist economy, but a feudal economy.16

In short, if households are doing well, then so are the firms. GDP growth not seen in wage growth appears in profit growth.17 As an adept of Chartalism18, I can tell you that macro fiscal policy is more important to public purpose than trade. Whether a country is practicing free trade or protectionism, so long as it has monetary sovereignty (so long as the national government spends and taxes in its own free-floating nonconvertible fiat currency) it can do away with permanent and involuntary unemployment. The currency sovereign faces no solvency risk. He can never miss a payment.19 The real constraints are of a physical nature; unused physical resources, available labor (people willing and able to work), and know-how.

Brazen corruption, political instability, and natural disasters are conducive to high inflation or hyperinflation episodes for countries, alongside fixed exchange rate regimes with strong currencies. Inflation is not always everywhere a monetary phenomenon, like mainstream (orthodox) theory likes to claim.20 The overproduction of money is always a consequence of a crisis of hyperinflation, never the cause of it. The Weimar Republic had to print (deficit spend) many figures as % of GDP in order to purchase foreign currency with which to make war reparation payments. That money didn’t go to the creation of roads, railways, industries, schools, or hospitals. In Zimbabwe, a favorite example employed by inflation mongers, a number of different factors triggered the hyperinflation episode. First, Mugabe’s failed land reform, which crippled agricultural output. And secondly, persistent political instability and brazen corruption and the need to import more food from abroad contributed to the overproduction of money.21

And of course, in all aspects of human society, one cannot ignore or reject that great element called geopolitics. When powerful interests converge, either deliberately or through random opportunity/chance, the weaker party incurs the terms of the stronger ones.

I would recommend this title to any investor or public servant that is looking to familiarize himself or herself with the historical realities of the Old Silk Road, and with the challenges posed by the New Silk Road in proper context. People seeking to invest in the New Silk Road – either in a specific supply chain, in a particular technology, service, or financial institution – must realize the complexity of this trans-national region and the many competing geopolitical and economic interests within it. Public servants, those placed in key government agencies that hold important positions, must also study carefully this tapestry of interests, challenges, and must weigh all the potential consequences (both positive and negative), if they are to draw up pertinent national policies that take into account not only the interests of wealthy lobbying parties, but also the interests of the common citizens and their natural environment.



2-Michael D. McDonald, Bloomberg, 2015…/china-s-building-a-huge-canal-in…

3-Lily Kuo, Quartz, 2015…/why-is-a-chinese-tycoon-building-a-50-bill…/

4-Brianna Lee, International Business Times, 2015…

5-China Daily, 2015…/2015…/17/content_21031116.htm

6-Fiona MacDonald, Science Alert, 2016…

7-Stratfor, 2016…/gauging-indias-nuclear-power-pot…

8-BBC News, 2006

9-John M. Legge, 2016…/comparative-versus-competitive…/

10-Warren Mosler, 2011…/the-euro-zone-race-to-the-bot…/

11-Steve Keen, 2012…/economics-in-the-age-of-del…/

12-Steve Keen, Private Debt Project, 2016…

13-Bill Mitchell, 2015

14-New World Encyclopedia, 2015…/Peace_of_Westphalia

15-Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival, page 138

16-Laura Tyson, The Huffington Post, 2015…/us-income-inequality-costs_…

17-Anna Louie Sussman, The Wall Street Journal, 2015…/inside-the-fight-over-productivity-…/

18-Bill Mitchell, 2009

19-Brett W. Fawley, Luciana Juvenal, St Louis Fed, 2011…/Why-Health-Care-Matters-and-th…

20-Antonella Tutino, Carlos E. Zarazaga, Fed In Print, 2014

21-Edward Harrison, Naked Capitalism, 2010…/mmt-fear-of-hyperinflation…

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers

Any sensible person would agree that inter-temporal arbitrage (aka banking) is LESS important than trash disposal. Read this great piece by Rutger Bregman at Evonomics.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

How a bloke & his property got ruined

Andy Thompson, a tale of a debtor screwed by his lender & by the judicial system. It might sound tedious at first, but you'll find that it really is disgusting...

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Pathetic emotional response from TYT against Alex Jones, the troll

Ana was completely unprofessional & super rude. If you can't take a little bit of trolling whilst remaining calm, then you're in the wrong profession. Dore's stunt was foul as well. Emotional responses are exactly what trolls are after. They're counter-productive as hell too. If you need to shout, curse, and spit cause you can't land a good burn on a right wing troll, such as Jones, using wit, then... the left is doomed.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

George Galloway OWNING the UK Parliament!

George Galloway OWNING the UK Parliament, earlier this year, - speaking about Iraq, ISIL & western interventions.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Like him or hate him, Farage is so good in this

Like him or hate him, Nigel Farage correctly brings up the Mediterranean & the Lisbon treaty & big business. And he also throws some barbs against the rest of the MPs.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

My review for Mehreen Ahmed's The Blotted Line

Great sketches

The Blotted Line contains several sketches, each one a depiction of struggle, a story of loss, sacrifice, and unjust odds. The author is able to capture and expose human emotion and weakness – and the conclusion of each short story is always fulfilling. To name a couple (without giving any spoilers), The Wager’s ending will make you shudder. Charade might give you a pesimistic outlook about single life and trivialities between friends. The Black Coat will give you a most intimate journey into the yearning heart of artist painter Piccolo-Xavier. The Anomalous Duo is the only sketch in the collection with an actual happy ending, and it explores the deep love between Minah & Sidu, two young souls, hindered by their different backgrounds and social status. Of Note starts with a dark premise, and equally dark or more is its ending. In some places the writing is slower, in others it’s faster. But it’s always worth your while to finish each sketch.

Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Blotted Line, links:
Amazon Author profile
Mehreen Ahmed

Friday, 10 June 2016

Germany's political elites, narrow unenlightened self-interest

This is why German political elites won't change their unreasonable stance towards the Periphery. And until that capital account starts shrinking dramatically, things are not likely to change.


Also, the European Commission Macroeconmic Imbalance Procedure states that ALL COUNTRIES have to meet the following constraints: a) The three-year average of the current account balance as a percentage of GDP should remain within the boundaries of -4% and +6%. b) Private sector debt as a percentage of GDP should be less than 133%. c) Private sector credit flow as a percentage of GDP, consolidated, should be less than 14% of GDP d) General Government Sector Debt as a percentage of GDP should be less than 60%. We clearly see that there's a double-standard.

Someone asked the EC on this issue. And the answer was: "the indicators and the thresholds should not be read in a mechanical way." They're psychopaths anyway, so hypocrisy is built into their thinking & speech. For more on this, read this great piece

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

My 2 cents on the attacks against the UBI from supporters of the JG

I see some folks engaging in sermons like "People without jobs are not free", and "Work is a blessing." The UBI supporters believe that toil is a curse. It's a big difference between these two words (work & toil). However, nobody is against people doing work, serving each other, opening up firms, hiring people etc. The UBI doesn't hinder people from going out to work. Those who like volunteer work will have more freedom to do it. Those working minimum wage jobs & working long hours, who shoulder a lot of physical & psychological stress, are going to have their situation augmented. It increases labor's bargaining power. Money velocity will be raised at healthier levels.
And even if say 10% of the workforce decide to become bums, the technology level (and its productivity) is more than enough to cover them. People operating manufacturing plants, computers, health services... these people won't be content to stay at home, doing nothing on the UBI. The UBI (which doesn't make you rich) needs to be viewed not as a Government handout, but as a social dividend - the result of society's gains in technological progress & productivity.

And this idea that if somehow you introduce UBI & it creates bad effects to the economy that Government won't be able to get rid of it is nonsensical. Look what they did to Greece. Look throughout the Periphery and see what neoliberal politicians have done. They cut pensions. They increased VAT. They increased income taxes. They increased the retirement age. They privatized public assets and laid off workers. They cut social safety net programs. Why? Because government deficit & debt levels went over arbitrarily defined ratios. A completely natural symptom of private debt deflation, households seeking to deleverage - and they can only deleverage if either the foreign sector or the government sector increases its debt (or both). The simplest, safest, and quickest solution is for the government to operate with higher negative equity in the downturn.

Now, I would like to point out the empirical results of Dauphin Canada, in which a UBI experiment was carried out. Economist Evelyn Forget of University of Manitoba conducted an analysis of the Dauphin experiment in 2009 which was published in 2011. The paper is titled The Town With No Poverty.

"MINCOME, a Canadian Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) field experiment ran in the province of Manitoba between 1974 and 1979, and ended with no final report and no analysis of data from the saturation site. This essay uses a quasi-experimental design and routinely collected health administration data to revisit outcomes for the saturation site. We found a significant reduction in hospitalization, especially for admissions related to mental health and to accidents and injuries, relative to the matched comparison group. Physician contacts for mental health diagnoses fell relative to the comparison group. A greater proportion of high school students continued on to grade 12. We found no increase in fertility, no increase in family dissolution rates and no improvement in birth outcomes. Our results document the value of health administration data for historical analysis, and demonstrate that a relatively modest GAI can improve population health suggesting the possibility of health system savings."

For those who claim that the UBI has a built-in inflation mechanism because of its design, I haven't found in the articles I read about the UBI a single paragraph that talked about indexing the UBI with inflation. I would like to touch on minimum wages now. Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland don't have a minimum wage, but they have good social safety nets (money velocity at the bottom).
The Job Guarantee, which I support, has a conundrum. If we don't want it to compete with private sector jobs, then it must provide jobs that the private sector is not interested in carrying out; but if the JG pays a higher wage than the minimum wage, it WILL destabilize private sector employers. And I'm not concerned about big companies who can cover the costs, but I am concerned about small businesses and cooperatives not being able to. I am much more in favor of payroll tax rebates. I favor minimum wage increases too, but I prefer that be left in the hands of the local governments & be accompanied by reductions in fiscal drag. It's easy to get lost in the macro picture & not care about the micro one; but that means ignoring a lot of people.

Realistically speaking, someone who might, under a UBI, just sit at home and refuse to work. How is he inflationary? And someone who goes to the JG and obtains the same paycheck for, say, reading to the blind (a very noble activity) is not inflationary? Or easing inflationary pressures?
Answer, they're not. The CPI stays the same. Someone who just sits at home, not bothering anybody doesn't make the CPI rise. Someone reading for the blind, clearing out garbage, or building swings for kids in the JG is not making the CPI rise, or fall either. People say the JG is a price anchor. They say it's a better price anchor than the NAIRU (the non-accelerating inflation rate of the unemployed), which is a deliberate policy of keeping a certain % of the population in a state of permanent & involuntary unemployment in order to keep the economy from ever reaching full capacity. Unless you're putting people in the JG to produce things like food, fuel, and electricity, the JG is NOT a real price anchor. And if you do put people to produce such things, then the JG is actively competing with private sector employers - which is counter to the official aim of the program, so say its authors.

Those who sermonize that the UBI is guaranteed to be "inflationary & dangerous" start from an invalid premise. The value of the currency needs to be understood on average (i.e. the average amount of labor power being commanded by a unit of the currency, economy-wide), not at the margin - like these people insist. A lot of productive activity occurs outside the workforce and a lot of unproductive activity occurs within it. But by the marginalist logic on currency value, there should already be hyperinflation because some people are getting an income outside of a job. Measured at the margin, the value of the currency is already zero. Now, if the UBI as a policy proposal gains momentum, let it pass into law. If it's bad for society/the economy, lower the guarantee or abrogate the program. And like I stated earlier, this CAN be done.

If people are really scared of inflation & afraid that the UBI will make output very inelastic, let's tackle the beast's many hearts. Abolish patents. Regulate the banking sector on the asset side to serve, not sabotage public purpose. Cease taxing labor & man-made goods. Focus on taxing land & capital gains. Invest today in education, in the creation of capital goods, and in the implementation of eco-friendlier technologies to replace antiquated ones in order to have a future worth living in. Our children won't be burdened with higher taxes, instead they'll be burdened with a poorer economy, with a less bright society, and with a far more decayed environment if we don't act in the present to bring about a better future.

In short, I am in favor of experimentation. That creed which is against experimentation (in this case, experimenting with the UBI alone) is not a creed worth following. That's my opinion. I am not an economist. I'm not an academician. I'm just a pleb from Romania. A famous person (J.M. Keynes) said that when the facts change, I change my opinion. If the empirical results (on a nation-wide scale) will prove me wrong, then I will change my opinion regarding the UBI. I fear, however, that some of its opponents are so stubborn that even if the UBI will prove to have positive or neutral effects, they will still sing their song of venom towards it. So pass it into law, and we'll see what the dice read.

John Bolton trashes Obama’s Hiroshima visit & he's full of shit

John Bolton is full of shit.
The political elites in Kyoto wanted a negotiated surrender. The US wanted an unconditional surrender, an alien term in the geopolitics of those days. The US elites certainly knew that the Japanese government would never agree to such a thing. They calculated that they would flex their muscles to the rest of the world by using the atom bomb, and at the same time, obtain what they wanted from the Japanese government. Geopolitics is never about morality or human life. The reasoning is simple, and all means are taken into consideration. The US didn't want to preserve life on both sides, it simply wanted to accomplish its goal of obtaining the unconditional surrender of Japan. For that, they nuked civilians (twice) and they accomplished their goal. Make no mistake, if the situation were reversed, the Japanese elites would have done the same.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Paul Keating on Mabo, 1992

Rare politicians actually acting as statesmen. At least, Keating was in the right here. Sadly, Aboriginal Australians still are treated as second-class citizens & kept in poverty. Just watch John Pilger's documentary Utopia.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Elites vs. Too Much Democracy: Andrew Sullivan's Afraid of Popular Self-Government

Mike Lofgren, May 24th 2016

The trouble with Trump isn't because of too much democracy; it's decades of political malfeasance that have made Americans furious.

British expatriate writer Andrew Sullivan recently returned to the public eye with a piece that has aroused considerable comment, some of it reasonably on point, and some bloviatingly incoherent.

What is all the fuss about? Sullivan, in critiquing the Donald Trump phenomenon and the political factors that gave rise to it, makes a few good points, but buries them under a ridiculous premise: The culprit responsible for Trump is too much democracy, and the cure is more elite control of the political process.

Sullivan gets everything backward. It is as if a safety inspector had gone aboard RMS Titanic, minutely examined her watertight hatches, boiler and steam turbine, and then declared her safe because he judged that the lack of lifeboats reduced the chances of capsizing from too much top weight. Read the whole thing here

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Is uber sexism & bigotry tolerable because it's your religion?

Is uber sexism & bigotry tolerable because it's your religion? People who hide under the umbrella of islamophobia to escape rightful criticism of religious fundamentalism are those who are infantilizing the word 'repression' & who are in fact arguing for the right of families to fuck up their children.

This is the kind of reaction from muslims that I like to see. ++Switzerland's Muslim community had largely refused to support the boys' refusal to shake hands, pointing out that it was a Swiss tradition that many Muslims quite happily accept. To "the students and parents I would suggest the following reflection: Can the denial of shaking hands be more important than the Islamic commandment of mutual respect?" Montassar Ben Mrad, president of Federation of Islamic Organizations in Switzerland, had said in the statement.++
Read more about it here:

PS: Someone told me I should get a pet to get my mind off of policing people with different "values". Values which he never explained why they are worthy to be kept & not discarded. So I decided to get a woman; because Islamic fundamentalism says man's best pet is a woman. :))
At any rate, the norm will have to hurt a bystander (for lack of a better word), until the whole dumbass ritual gets eliminated. And plenty of people will point the finger to the backwards reactionary for bringing about the ire of the authorities on all of them.By the way, I don't believe fines are the way to tackle this (which are way too high). But I do believe in verbal admonishment. "Hey, Abdul, you're an asshole for not shaking my hand just because I'm a woman (subhuman in your religion). See you tomorrow." :))))
I'll conclude with these beautiful words by Ibn Khaldun, an intellectual titan.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Ancient ways for determining counter-cyclical fiscal policy

American and Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a rare structure called a nilometer in the ruins of the ancient city of Thmuis in Egypt’s Delta region. Likely constructed during the third century B.C., the nilometer was used for roughly a thousand years to calculate the water level of the river during the annual flooding of the Nile. Fewer than two dozen of the devices are known to exist.

“Without the river, there was no life in Egypt,” says University of Hawaii archaeologist Jay Silverstein, a member of the team who works at the site where the nilometer was found, near the modern city of El Mansoura. “We suspect it was originally located within a temple complex. They would’ve thought of the Nile River as a god, and the nilometer was this point of interface between the spiritual and the pragmatic.”

Before the completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1970, the Nile flooded the surrounding plains each year in late July or August. As the waters receded in September and October, they left behind a blanket of fertile silt that was essential for growing crops such as barley and wheat.

But the volume of the yearly flood varied widely. If the inundation was inadequate, only a small area of cropland would be covered with the life-giving silt, often resulting in famine. If the water level was too high, it would sweep away houses and structures built on the plain and ruin the crops. It’s estimated that the flooding was either inadequate or excessive roughly once every five years during the pharaonic period.

Water Gauge and Tax Table
Made from large limestone blocks, the nilometer was a circular well roughly eight feet (2.4 meters) in diameter with a staircase leading down into its interior. Either a channel would have connected the well to the river, or it would have simply measured the water table as a proxy for the strength of the river. Seven cubits—roughly 10 feet (3.04 meters)—was the optimum height for prosperity.

“During the time of the pharaohs, the nilometer was used to compute the levy of taxes, and this was also likely the case during the Hellenistic period,” says Robert Littman, an archaeologist at the University of Hawaii. “If the water level indicated there would be a strong harvest, taxes would be higher.”

Read more here

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Can never get tired of this

Conan Learns To Dance Cuban Rumba 

White & Black Doll Test & idiotic conclusions

I actually read a comment that insisted these children are "self-haters". I don't pity the children, cause children say stupid shit all the time. I pity the adults who come up with this sort of idiotic conclusions, because they're dumb as fuck & are likely to never change. The kiddies chose the paler dolls because it's easier to contrast detail from background. Sure, it has to do with the parents too, with the myths/stories they teach their children, and other exogenous factors such as television & interaction with peers - linking the appearance of others with their behavior & ideas. Daylight is clear. Night time is unclear/scary. Light is good. Shadow is bad. But my opinion is that the former is the main driver. To know for sure, it would be good to conduct this test in an all-black region in Africa (where black is the norm, and non-blacks are the rare exception) to see what doll the children pick.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

New Minimum Wage study finds no correlation with employment levels

Seven decades of historical data find no correlation between minimum wage increases & employment levels. You can download the pdf of the study here:
Also, see Nick Hanauer's comments about the study here.
Nick Hanauer is a billionaire venture capitalist who is in favor of the 15$ minimum wage, progressive taxation, government spending for public purpose, and is against trickle down economics.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Kinetic wind sculptures, got to love these...

Super troll right winger Jesse Lee Peterson vs ignorant BLM activists

The bloke has a Moses complex & he's full of shit. It's not "your people", because nobody designated you to speak for them. A white man talking about white power DOESN'T represent white people everywhere. Individuals are individuals. Once you start aggregating individuals & start personalizing those aggregates, you run into all kinds of problems - which naturally stem from flawed reasoning.
As for the host saying "so-called racism" as if racism is a fairy tale or an antiquated concept no longer employed by a great majority of people, in one way or another, to one extent or another - that's just a lame goading tactic at best, and stark ignorance at worst. And instead of sticking to combating his arguments (ultimately, that's how a debate is won, not with paralogisms or sophistry), the girl asks him what nationality he is. LoL. She suspects he's a white man in disguise. :))) As if all whites are the same (aka devils). And by all the gods, her personal discrimination story is so laughable. She herself admits it wasn't discrimination, and that she quit because she didn't feel "herself" at work. Why? Because the employer has a code of how employees can wear their hair? Geez, someone call the black & gothic metal gals & guys - they're discriminated as hell in America.
If you truly want to be fair, you judge people based on their merit, not based on favor or prejudice. If you want to address racism, attack deeds, not people's choice of language. Attack inequitable legislation & the think thanks & politicians who push for it, not the right to free speech. Indulge variety over prejudice, regardless of how justified your aversion might be to the notions uttered and to the people who utter them. There are better ways to deal with Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome. The realm problem in the US threatening people indiscriminately of their skin color is feudalism. Just look at income inequality, it's all the data - and the trend started with Reagan in the US, and with Thatcher in the UK.
The easy & fallacious way to deal with dissent is to label it with a bad word. For example, if someone criticizes the Israeli government's policies - they're either labeled as self-hating jew (if the dissenter is jewish), or an anti-semite (if he's non-jewish). If Peterson was white, I guarantee you they'd all be yelling racist & racism up and down. Well done SJWs, political correctness, and George Soros, well done in giving the left a bad name; it wasn't enough that the international left sold out 50 years ago...
PS: Beginning with 13:22 the girl tries really hard to abstain from doing a full-fledged yawn. :)))
And mega lol at the end, "You're traumatizing her." EPIC! FAIL!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Understanding money, a reply to a response :))

Someone in the Ars-Regendi forums had this to say in regard to the former entry's article, the one that dealt with Landau's fable.

The person states:

Yes, this is good argument in support of the complete abolishment of money.

My reply is this:

Your conclusion is a non-sequitur.
The money is the convention. The money is the IOU. A promise made & unfulfilled we call a debt. The loan appears on someone's ledger (denominated in something), after a good or service has been taken by the debtor (the one who makes the promise). By denominating it in money (in this case, a Gov's unit of account), rather than in a commodity or a particular favor, we overcome the limitations of barter in the narrow & broader society/economy. Someone's promise is money, but his promise (his IOU) is money of a lower hierarchy. The Government's unit of account becomes the universally accepted unit of account within the territory which it governs because everyone owes financial obligations to the state, extinguishable only in Gov currency. And the Government's money things (banknotes, coins, reserves, securities) sit at the top of that hierarchy.

Ludwik Landau's fable, understood by too few & it's brilliant

In an impoverished Jewish shtetl in Eastern Poland, whose residents were mired in debt and living on credit, a wealthy and pious Jew arrived one day and checked into the local inn, taking care to pay his hotel bill in advance. On Friday, to avoid breaking the Sabbath injunction against carrying money, he handed over to the inn-keeper for safe-keeping a $100 note. Early on Sunday, the wealthy and pious Jew left the inn before the inn-keeper had had a chance to return the banknote.

After a few days, the inn-keeper decided that the wealthy Jew was not going to return. So he took the $100 note and used it to clear his debt with the local butcher. The butcher was delighted and gave the note for safe-keeping to his wife. She used it to clear her debts with a local seamstress who made up dresses for her. The seamstress was delighted, and took the money to repay her rent arrears with her landlord. The landlord was pleased to get his rent at last and gave the money to pay his mistress, who had been giving him her favours without any return for far too long. The mistress was pleased because she could now use the note to clear off her debt at the local inn where she occasionally rented rooms.

So it was that the bank-note finally returned to the inn-keeper. Although no new trade or production had occurred, nor any income been created, the debts in the shtetl had been cleared, and everyone looked forward to the future with renewed optimism.

A couple of weeks later, the wealthy and pious Jew returned to the inn, and the inn-keeper was able to return to him his $100 note. To his amazement and dismay, the wealthy Jew took the note, set fire to it, and used it to light his cigarette. On seeing the inn-keeper's dismay the wealthy Jew laughed and told him that the banknote was forged anyway.
Read more about it here 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Muslim Flight Attendant Refuses To Serve Alcohol

Remember the movie Gung Ho? When the american workers were complaining to the japanese managers why they weren't put in their old positions, doing the stuff they knew & were used to? The japanese manager's motive is: "Every man learns every job, then we are a team." This principle is simple & proven. If everyone knows how to do all the jobs, then if a worker becomes impaired in his position - the others can jump in and they'll know how to handle it. Of course, in this case, she knew how to serve a bloody drink - she just refused to because she cares more about a literal interpretation of her religion, rather than being flexible about the context she's in. Human resources should have thought of that before they hired her. It's entirely their fault for being so short-sighted, that they couldn't envision such a scenario could occur. Also, like Cenk said - the provider of the workplace DOESN'T have to ensure people can practice their religions. The business place/the workplace is not a fucking place of worship. You should be thinking about you work, your responsibilities, your lunch, and your paycheck; not about theism or non-theism. It's the same reason why a laic/secular government is the equitable option, and not a multi-religious government which hands out subsidies & preferential tax status to all religions.
As for christian bars refusing to serve gays. It's hypocritical, yes. But I reckon bars of other religions practice this kind of bigotry too. Equally hypocritical & wrong would be for atheist bars to deny service to theists.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Why People HATE Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear

Amber Scott is definitely NOT a true writer. A true writer keeps true to the universe, to the lore, to the world, to the characters. When you start pouring in your own political ideology into something it becomes a work of propaganda. Baldur's Gate is a work of fiction. It's not a political manifesto. It's not a political platform or party. It's not a political ideology. More so, Amber Scott doesn't care that people may (and for good reason) find her writing as fake or artificial. That shows tremendous disrespect for the universe of Baldur's Gate, just as much as it shows for the fans. At the same time, it also shows disrespect for the LGBT folk; because poor writing for gay or transexual or straight characters shows the superficiality of the writer. Like that review Boogie showed in the vid, nobody blurts out with vehemence about their sexuality - especially in a gratuitous way. Also, the "real world" is not Baldur's Gate. And Baldur's Gate is not the "real world." This is what happens when people take themselves too seriously. Introduce your SJW views in your own game, don't infiltrate them into an already established & beloved IP - and if you are going to do it, at least do it meaningfully & with style (don't moralize to readers). SJW views (or views of any kind) are no excuse for poor writing.

States Banning Travel To Mississippi

This is what happens when you allow the de jure freedom of people to discriminate (based on irrational precepts). This door swings both ways, as Mississippi is finding out after the fact.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Racism & stupidity at IHOP

Now, kids, what have we learned?

Freedom is important, but you don't have the freedom to speak non-English in the United States of America.

Very good, John. Anyone else?

Even though I didn't actually fight against the British Empire like my ancestors, we get to say "we did this & that" as if I was there in the 18th century, in actual combat.

Very good, Sandy. Anyone else?

The white lady in sunglasses should be reminded that the Bill of Rights had to be amended 17 times. With all of that hard-earned freedom, the Founding Fathers forgot a few things - such as slavery, and equal voting rights...

Very insightful, George. Someone else?

If you don't speak English in the USA, that means you want to bring in nazis & Castro.
Though, we had no problems with Batista.

Very good, Dennis.

Raising my voice & crying in front of a racist hag is a waste of time & effort.

Well said, Cindy.

The guy going on and on with "You can't do that" in a bothersome tone wasted his breath with cliches rather than employing logic 101 to debunk the hag's irrational statements.

Very good, Robb. You're always keen on details. Class dismissed. Have fun, everyone.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Money and the Myth of Barter

In the beginning, there was barter. Then, and forever after, there was money

That’s the myth every student of economics learns, that money grows out of barter. The idea is that monetary exchange solves the problem of the double coincidence of wants—that a person who is interested in trading needs to find someone who wants what they have and has what they want. Money makes trade much easier, so the story goes, and thus becomes a remarkable example of both human ingenuity and economic progress.

The fact is, as Ilana E. Strauss [ht: ja] explains, the story is false. Human beings did not invent money to solve the difficulties of barter exchange. Barter turns out to be a historical myth.

Read the whole thing here:

Friday, 12 February 2016

Economics: "It’s Not About Scarcity. It's About Efficiency."

From Ellis Winningham's upcoming book on heterodox economics
Economics: It’s Not About Scarcity. It's About Efficiency. 

“Money” cannot be scarce for any sovereign currency issuing government. The question is never about money, ever. Mainstream economists, politicians, the media and ‘free market” advocates enjoy making economics a question of scarcity. A scarce supply of money right along with scarce resources. When it comes to money, we must first understand what we're talking about. When people in the US ask us if we have enough money to buy an apple, they're asking about US dollars. US dollars are a currency. 

A currency can be scarce for those who use it. You, me, Walmart, Wall Street, the individual fifty states are all users of the US government's currency and these private entities can run out of it. A user of currency can also be another nation. For instance, China is a user of US currency. China cannot issue US dollars, so if it wishes to have them, it must find a way to earn them. Also, the EMU nations are users of currency. Nations such as Spain, Italy and Greece are users of currency, because they do not issue the Euro. The European Central Bank issues the Euro for member nations to use. So, like Illinois and Ohio in the US, the EMU nations must tax or borrow. They must have an income to spend. Without a central fiscal authority (a federal government), the EMU nations can face very real debts and involuntary insolvency. 

However, currency is never a problem for a sovereign government like the US, UK, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Australia. These governments issue their own currency which are non-convertible numbers that float on an exchange. “Non-convertible” means that these governments will not give you anything in exchange for their currencies but their own currencies. “Float on an exchange” means that the value of these government’s currencies are determined by the supply of and demand for currency (market forces) on an exchange. They are not pegged to another currency or gold, which is called a fixed exchange regime. They are fiat, issued at will by these governments and their supply of their own currencies is always equal to infinity. 

I've said it before and will say it millions of times again until every man, woman and child in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, et al., understands this one, simple, basic reality: Currency is just a bunch of numbers. It’s not paper. Even cash is just a reference to a number. Those numbers are defined by a chosen “unit of account”. The national government which issues a particular currency chooses the unit of account. In the US, that unit of account is the US Dollar “$”. In the UK, it is the Pound “£”. You do not run out of numbers, ever. Think for a moment. Does an engineer stop construction of a bridge half-way because he’s run out of meters? No. Does he borrow meters from another engineering firm to enable him to finish the bridge? No. And the US government doesn't tax or borrow its own currency so that it can have enough of its own currency to spend either. 

Understand the simple fact that there's a number then a label to define that number:
10 meters10 feet100 yards1,000 miles20 light years
The same thing applies to currency:
200 US dollars = $200200 British pounds = £200
So, there is nothing special about these numbers that we call currency, except for the fact that these numbers can be used to buy goods and services.
200 US dollars worth of apples.500 British pounds worth of gold. 

“Worth of” apples or gold doesn’t limit the currency, rather, it's the thing that the currency can buy that’s limited. There are only so many apples. There's only so much gold. But for a sovereign currency issuing government, there's no such thing as “only so much money” and for a mathematician, there's no such thing as “only so many numbers”. Any restraint placed by Congress on the US government issuing currency is a voluntary restraint (“We will only allow” $2 trillion to be spent). 

Dollars, Pounds, Pesos; they’re all just numbers. The government chooses a unit of account to define those numbers and by doing so, creates a national currency. It creates “money”. Now if, say, the US Treasury opened Microsoft Word and typed “$200”, that act doesn't create currency. It is merely a reference to $200. But, when the US Treasury enters the banking system, goes into a bank account and types the number 200, that number becomes very real currency. It becomes US dollars. When the UK government goes into the banking system and types the number 200, it doesn't become $200. It becomes £200, because the unit of account in the UK is the pound. 

Let’s assume that I am in London England and I have a watch that I’m selling. A gentleman asks me, “How much for the watch?” I say, “two hundred” but nothing else. Now then, it's likely that since we're in London England, he will assume that I meant British pounds. But, since I didn't state the unit of account, meaning that since I didn't define the number two hundred, I could have easily meant two hundred US dollars, two hundred Australian dollars, or even two hundred Yen. Imagine his reaction if I said, “Two hundred Yen.” His eyebrows would scrunch down and he'd cast a puzzled look at me. The currency of the UK is pounds and here I’m asking for payment in Japanese currency. But you understand that since the unit of account has been defined, the number “200” is now clarified.
The watch costs two hundred.
Two hundred what?
Two hundred Japanese Yen. 

The reason why each nation’s currency is different from another's is because each nation’s government chooses what they will call their numbers. This currency is not a commodity dug out of the ground. Think for a moment: Canadian dollars are a rare commodity that is found buried in the Earth only within the boundaries of Canada? Really? At the formation of the Earth, how did this commodity know to place itself only where one day Canada would draw its borders? That’s a smart commodity. The same goes for the US dollar. At one time Alaska was part of Russia. So, I guess rubles are the only thing buried within Alaska’s borders. Or did those rubles magically transform into US dollars when the US purchased Alaska? Does the USGS know where we can mine for US dollars?

On the other hand, some people claim that US dollars come from the private sector or the rich. If so, where did they get them? The US Constitution clearly states in Article 1 Section 8 that only the US government is allowed to issue US dollars and that there is to be no counterfeiting. So why aren't the rich in jail? Why would the US government want to borrow or tax counterfeit US dollars so it could spend counterfeit US dollars?
Do you see how silly all of this talk about “there’s only so much money” really is? And by the way, this silliness extends to the US national debt.
“The US national debt is eighteen trillion.”
“Is that eighteen trillion Canadian dollars?”
“No. Eighteen trillion US dollars.”
“Ah, ok. I was going to say that if it were Canadian dollars, it would be an actual debt.”
Just let that reality sit there and burn in real good. The day that the US national debt is denominated in Canadian dollars and not in US dollars that the US government issues at will, then you can tell me all about how the US national debt is a real debt. Until then, the US national debt is all US dollars ever issued by the US government, from the founding of the nation until the present day, that it has not taxed away. It’s the national savings. 

Currency is just a bunch of numbers and because it is a bunch of numbers, these governments simply cannot run out of money. In fact, I will submit to you that no government that issues currency can run out of numbers. Even if that government pegs its currency to gold or to another currency, it cannot run out of its ability to issue its own numbers at will. Yes, doing so may violate a fixed exchange regime and cause problems. But, if the government vacates the fixed exchange, floating its currency and no longer agrees to convert its currency to something that it cannot issue, then that problem is eliminated and the government is free to do as it pleases. Further, any government can choose to destroy its economy if it wants to. Therefore, any government could continue to issue numbers even though it has far surpassed the real ability of its economy to produce. Why? Because as long as numbers are infinite, governments that issue their own free-floating, non-convertible currency can spend until they collapse the currency. The very existence of hyperinflation underscores the fact. It proves beyond all doubt that currency is just a bunch of numbers defined by the national government and those numbers can be spent far beyond any real output capacity. So, again, the governments of the US, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada cannot run out of “money”, ever. 

What they can run out of are resources. Labor, raw materials, water, food, land, etc., are all finite. The ability for the government’s currency to result in output is what’s at issue here, not money. What happens when an infinite currency runs up against finite resources? The possibility of demand-pull inflation. Demand-pull inflation occurs when spending is so great that it exceeds the real ability - not an imagined or assumed ability, but the very real ability - of its economy to produce goods and services. When government deficit spending has created a situation of total full employment where absolutely no more labor is available to hire and increase output, if it then continued to increase spending, the price level will begin to rise and inflation will occur. Using its taxing power, the government can then raise taxes, reducing spending power and stop the inflationary pressure. However, if it reduces the deficit too far by taxing too much, then unemployment will occur. Such a thing is inefficient. 

Refusal to allow labor to be productive and choosing to leave it idle, results in lost output and major social and individual problems over the long-term, such as:
- Crime- Domestic violence- Poor health- Mental illness- Racial tensions- Income inequality- Child poverty 

These issues are all the result of waste. Wasted time and output potential. Inefficiency, not scarcity, results in waste. Think about that. As the population increases, output can increase. In macroeconomics, maximum efficiency is created at full employment. When every last person that is willing and able to work is employed, then efficiency is maximized and waste is minimized.
As a side note, economic growth cannot increase perpetually unless we target our overall output to sustainability. For instance, how we grow depends on our natural resources. And no, I’m not saying that you must become a “hippy”. I’m asking you to think sensibly. Since our natural resources are finite and we do not wish to kill every tree, absorb every drop of water, or mine the last ounce of iron, then as we grow we must redirect some of our output to that which is renewable. Not all of it, but some of it. If you consider oil, there is only a finite supply. Demand for it is tremendous. Setting aside global warming or climate change, let's look at the economic reality. Transportation of goods and services depend on oil. Therefore, the overall price level can be dramatically affected by a shortage in supply of oil. When the supply of oil is reaching its end, the price will only increase. If we’ve no alternate in place, then the price of food, clothing, appliances – everything – will dramatically increase. That is why it is important that we begin to accept new technologies, such as electric cars and seek to make them more commonplace. As time progresses and the population increases, how we operate our economy must also progress towards even greater overall output directed at sustainability. 

Right now, whether you realize this fact or not, as Warren Mosler rightly points out, we are setting fire to the US food supply. How? The US government is paying farmers to grow crops, not for the population to eat, but rather, to make fuel for cars. Is this the best answer to dependence on oil – destroying the food supply? Is this efficient? No. The the most efficient solution available to us with the technology that we currently possess is to increase the food supply and build more electric cars and electric/solar powered public transportation. High speed rail and infrastructure work is also a necessity. As that technology advances, even better designs come about until one day, someone discovers a whole new method of transportation. Meanwhile, there's enough food. 

Because resources are finite is the exact reason why we cannot continue to depend on an 18th, 19th and 20th Century way of doing everything. The population increases and demands more of our natural resources. You cannot hope to grow an economy into the future living in the 20th Century. You have to move forward. We must, therefore, find new methods to become efficient with the resources available to us and maximize those new methods.
When you have an infinite supply of currency and finite resources to create goods and services with that currency, your concern is not scarcity, it is efficiency. 

That is economics.