I'll admit you are right on most of what you say; you pretty much have me over a barrel, as my grandfather probably said at one point in his life before dying at age 99*. So I'm not going to debate you on this stuff. In some cases we even agree on a few things.
Does that mean that you agree that the optimal solution to a deficit probably involves both expense cuts and revenue increases, raising taxes can increase revenue, the government can provide some goods and services better than the private sector, and the US economy is currently improving by several measures?
You asked for a few sources, such as the nine trillion dollars lost by the Federal Reserve
You had said that the Federal reserve had ""lost track of" something like nine trillion dollars of the bank bailout money". "Bank bailout" usually refers to TARP, which, as I implied before and the article
referenced in that video says, was about $700 billion, not something that $9 trillion can be lost from. As the Bloomberg article (dated Feb 9 2009) says, that total lumps together things attributed to the Fed, the FDIC, lending, and stimulus, with few details given. For one, the FDIC increased its coverage limit from $100k to $250K in 2008, which could account for some trillions. Or, as mentioned in this video
, short term loans (which that and the Bloomberg article imply should have been mostly paid back by early 2009, with the amount lent at any given time much less than $9 trillion) can account for trillions more. Note that the guy asking the questions in the video you linked basically says "I read in some article that the Fed is doing some stuff with a value of trillions of dollars. Are you investigating it? I'm shocked that you don't know specifics of what's going on with the things I vaguely alluded to."
All right. Note that the drilling moratorium only affected deepwater wells being drilled - production and shallow wells were unaffected, meaning that the moratorium affected ~1% of the Gulf oil wells. Naturally, this wasn't good for companies that specialize in drilling, but it didn't affect other parts of the economy very much. The spill itself (which was caused by shoddy well construction) was causing much greater problems for the rest of the economy, and the moratorium was supposed to give time to check that other wells were up to spec. In retrospect, probably not necessary, but still a decent attempt at risk reduction (there have been several spills since then, after all
). The political pressure to be perceived as doing something to help the situation probably helped.
So there you are. I hope that clarifies things...
Citation? How have you reached these conclusions?
By "these conclusions" I was referring to "All [Obama] cares about is pushing his agendas. He's demonstrated that he doesn't care who stands in his way, he will shove them aside without a thought." That could still use some clarification.
Indeed. That's why instead of oscillating between Democrats and Republicans in the president's chair that switch each 5 or 10 years and thus never having the time to finish anything properly I would consider monarchy or tyranny more efficient than democracy. Democracy makes the system too fluid for deep change and long-term plans/goals to be pursued. Lest both/all sides taking office through that time agree on something, but that's rare.
in theory, a benevolent dictatorship works great. The problem with implementation is that reliably benevolent and competent dictators are in short supply. There seem to be a lot more Caligulas than Marcus Aureliuses in the world, and as such, dictatorships in practice tend to be less efficient than democracies, as they lack self-corrective mechanisms.
Money is one of the most useful inventions of the world. It's been developed by every known isolated civilisation at some point independently.
Useful, sure, but there have been non-monetary economies through history. Mostly barter and gift economies, which tend to be small and simple by modern standards.
(But then BR will come and say that people are good and hard-working by nature, so it would work anyway.)
good and hard-working by nature. Not enough to make large scale anarcho-communism work, but enough to make capitalism work, especially as part of a mixed economy.
Say what you will about the application of real value of things, if we make an assumption that a government of even a tribal level of complexity has a fairly stable economy of real goods, it is much harder to play the stock market against itself to generate wealth from the system itself when all the capital being invested has a real world application. I'm all for the "gold standard", if you will, in a world without money. :\
An economy with a "tribal level of complexity" probably doesn't have a stock market or financial system. As such, while it may be stable, it probably has a very low rate of growth, as most tribal societies through history have had. If you had a stock market or financial system based on real assets or commodity money, they would be as vulnerable to shenanigans as real markets that use fiat money, though the currency itself may be somewhat more stable. For example, we've talked some about short selling in previous discussion. Short selling is just as possible in an economy that uses commodity money or a barter system. The wealth to be had by mediating economic transactions is why traders have been wealthy through history, even in barter situations.
A quick tangent into Valhallen's vague sort of admonishment against me for us vastly wealthy first-world commoners: it is a given that we have pretty nice lives. Would it be more useful to give people the world over the resources of our relatively wealthy lifestyles, or more useful to go a step beyond that and press, as a cultural issue, that people should strive to make the billions of dollars it takes to snort expensive drugs off of your own slaves?
It was more an admonishment against your point ("I badmouth the vastly rich who are not contributing most of their fortunes to helping people.") than you. Once you get past the amount of wealth that lets you meet basic needs pretty easily, rich is just a matter of degree, and that typical first-world people are "vastly rich" by historical standards. As such, the Biblical bit I alluded to has some interesting implications, since typical modern people are at least comparably wealthy to the rich guy in that passage. My point was that, like in that passage, though it would be nice if people gave as much as they could to help the less fortunate, it's not realistic to expect people to do that. If you want to draw a line above which people should be obligated to help others, you should justify it.
people's natural inclination would be to cooperate.
One of the propositions for why humans are so intelligent is runaway selection for smartness due to socialization. Humans are enormously better at social dynamics than anything else, and a major driver there is working within a group for personal benefit. So while cooperation is a natural inclination, so is politics and treachery.
I just cannot imagine how global trade would work without a common currency. Most likely it would just become one huge clusterfuck.
Global trade works now without a common currency. Different currencies can be exchanged fairly easily though.
And actually all we need to do to make you stop feeling bad for having a better life than a Somalian, is for all countries in the world to merge into one, with equal laws, opportunities, and social standards.
While a single world government may look good on paper, I think that it should wait until after there is a significant self-sustaining offworld presence. Having all of humanity under one government represents a single point of failure for bad policy, and different nations doing different things can help show what works and what does not as circumstances change. For the current situation, continent/subcontinent scale government and economic blocs are probably about right. Merging things together too quickly would cause all sorts of economic problems, even ignoring all cultural resistance (which I think you are simplistically underestimating there).
But now more importantly, it's true that cooperation is awesome to maximise achievements and efficiency.tl;dr: My Little Pony: Friendship is Pareto Optimal
But as you mentioned it yourself, to push people to cooperate, even to work, they must have a need, or a desire for something. ... Learning something new, satisfaction of achieving something, discovering something new, doing something completely unproductive yet difficult for the sake of achieving it, that's all your idea has to offer as incentive.
Turns out that those can serve as sufficient incentives in certain situations, especially creative work. The problem is that it doesn't seem to be applicable to everything, so a working economy would need to be able to provide other incentives.
ya see my only real thing is that positive reinforcement seems to get better results than negative reinforcement!
For encouraging good behavior, sure. Negative reinforcement works pretty well for discouraging bad behavior too.
but once everything is one government, the money wouldn't be competitive. no competition. so absolute transparency is required for every single action, otherwise the inevitable margin of error could lead to a bunch of consciously intended malcontent.
How does a lack of competition follow from the establishment of a single government? And how is the point about transparency different than the real world at present?
I feel like an MMO model is a good way to approach it, like world of warcraft's in-game structure (barring the actual business outside of the game's universe). everyone can exist and contribute to the extent that they wish and based on their efforts they get more stuff, but they aren't actively maligned by the world if they don't try things. you can stay level 1 forever and not do shit, but then that's really boring, so people will be there saying "heh yeah this is my 800th top level character, i've seen it all, you should level up and put in the time and effort to achieve something".
This rather depends on the MMO. For example, in Eve Online
, those motivations produce an anarcho-capitalistic dystopia of ridiculous violence. The bulldozer in that picture is the established power blocs, which sometimes take delight in obliterating smaller organizations for fun and profit. WoW is different because the game mechanics prevent that sort of thing, analogous to regulation in the real world.
so to help with that underlying problem, it would be best to make money at least less important, even if you don't get rid of it, Q.U. Money not being the ends to which you justify any means would allow people to more freely abandon their money in the act of getting more people to be in a less bad state.
so i mean ya you don't have to get rid of money right away, but making it less tied to the very lives of people seems reasonable to me. :X
Problem: fiat money, like power, is by definition a means to other ends. If it's treated as an end itself, it indicates an error in the goal system somewhere. Because money can be used to provide necessities, how would you propose making it less tied to the lives of people? That's kind of intrinsic to its use as a medium of exchange.
money in that GOLD STANDARD sort of way (as I said), and an economy that is simplified, without the complex algorithms of a stock market or complicated needs for banking profits, is effectively a point system for valuing things. That is as you put it fine and dandy. Adding more and more rules about the system itself is what I dislike.
The problem is that a simple system without rules is easy to exploit. That's a big reason for the complex rules governing real markets.
BR, Q.U. is "more right than you are." I'm sorry.Right enough to let you begin
hey hey man I am all fine with money as I said once you eliminate everything but the 1:1 point system, because then you can just give people a credit card that marks transactions and weighs them against everything else.
In other words... fiat money?
Having money as a marker to hold against any particular level of resources is not what I am against, Q.U., so just having a system of exchange based on that marker that people are allotted, say through points on a credit card that regularly accumulate every day/week/month/year, that's fine.
The problem is that with fiat money, a continuous supply without a sink or comparably increasing real goods to spend the money on will lead to significant inflation.
I just disagree with the ability to influence that value exchange system through the rules for more complicated exchanges, like the individual stocks for companies being pitted against one another for profit.
Except that the profitability of such transactions derives from the basics of the market system. Suppose your diet is eggs and wheat. You maintain a personal stockpile of both to last you through the less productive seasons (you're in an isolated village). One day, one of the two chicken coops burns down, reducing by half the egg supply. Being savvier than the other villagers, you can exchange your wheat stockpile for eggs, and get wheat back as you need it by exchanging eggs later on. Because of the reduction in supply, the price of eggs increases, so you can get back more wheat than you used to buy the eggs. Meanwhile, because of your stockpiling and supplying of eggs, the egg shortage and price spike has been moderated.
Is that undesirable? If so, how would you propose preventing it?