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    Default Economics

    This article, and a recent PBS program on immirants/refugees, make me rethink what I don't think I have enough of (what I think I need to spend on):

    http://thetruthdivision.com/2016/03/...r-obliterates/
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
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    The next wave of layoffs:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/...obs-china.html

    All I can think of is Neal Stephenson’s novel The Diamond Age, with its Vickies and Thetes.

    https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Age-Neal-Stephenson/dp/1455884650



    Last edited by Adam Strange; 03-20-2017 at 05:28 PM.

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    For @FDG today, and the rest of us tomorrow:

    Italy at the Grim Edge of a Global Problem

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/...l-problem.html

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    Economics has a lot of formula's and even more variables, none of them is named 'fun'.

    So why would economics be of any benefit for us. It is just a bunch of formula's to help the rich get richer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    It is just a bunch of formula's to help the rich get richer.
    Eh, there's penty of leftish leaning economics around.
    fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza

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    More on Italian banking (@FDG, move your money), and its potential to affect Europe:

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/03/30/how...are-insolvent/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    Economics has a lot of formula's and even more variables, none of them is named 'fun'.

    So why would economics be of any benefit for us. It is just a bunch of formula's to help the rich get richer.

    Economics is actually an incredibly vast field of study and it looks out on the well being of all. General economics is based on supply and demand which is a free market. We very rarely interfere with the natural way that supply and demand work together and often times when governments or people interfere drastic consequences occur and we transition back into letting supply and demand govern themselves.

    Not sure what in god's name you're talking about but it isn't economics friend.
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    Also economics is very fun and thrilling and exciting. It's incredibly interesting because essentially it is self-dictating.
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    Economics is actually an incredibly vast field of study and it looks out on the well being of all. General economics is based on supply and demand which is a free market. We very rarely interfere with the natural way that supply and demand work together and often times when governments or people interfere drastic consequences occur and we transition back into letting supply and demand govern themselves.

    Not sure what in god's name you're talking about but it isn't economics friend.
    Um, actually, I don't know of any markets which are free. I only know of markets which are managed for the advantage of certain players.

    In a truly free market, I could buy people. Or endangered animals. Or heroin. Or weapons-grade plutonium. Or car insurance from another state. Or stock in companies about which I had special knowledge. Or prescription drugs from Canada. Or movie CD's from China. The list goes on, ad infinitum.

    Having said that, I agree that the study of economics looks out at the well being of all. Not always with an eye toward making that well-being better, but certainly to understand the interactions better.

    *edit*
    You might think that my example of buying people is extreme, but it really is not. When economists studied the appearance of slavery, they found that it occurs under one condition, and that is when there is an abundance of land and a scarcity of labor available to work the land. This labor scarcity raises wages to the point where it instead becomes profitable to buy politicians and hire a police force to enslave people, who will have to work without wages. This happened in ancient Greece and Rome, and in Russia in the 1500's, and in the American south. It would be silly to assume that, given the right economic conditions, slavery would not return.
    Last edited by Adam Strange; 04-04-2017 at 07:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    Economics is actually an incredibly vast field of study and it looks out on the well being of all. General economics is based on supply and demand which is a free market. We very rarely interfere with the natural way that supply and demand work together and often times when governments or people interfere drastic consequences occur and we transition back into letting supply and demand govern themselves.

    Not sure what in god's name you're talking about but it isn't economics friend.
    It doesn't look out at the wellbeing of us. For example you could work 3 hours and provide for yourself like in 5000 bc. But nowadays we burn ourselves out on 8 hours, because economics talks about maximum output and that kind of shit.

    Show me one formula that includes the variable "Fun" or something similar. Instead of just 'Money' 'Output' 'Capital' and 'Taxes'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    Um, actually, I don't know of any markets which are free. I only know of markets which are managed for the advantage of certain players.

    In a truly free market, I could buy people. Or endangered animals. Or heroin. Or weapons-grade plutonium. Or car insurance from another state. Or stock in companies about which I had special knowledge. Or prescription drugs from Canada. Or movie CD's from China. The list goes on, ad infinitum.

    Having said that, I agree that the study of economics looks out at the well being of all. Not always with an eye toward making that well-being better, but certainly to understand the interactions better.
    You can buy all of those things you've listed sir. Like I said we very rarely interefere, think of how many products there are. Very few of them have regulations. You need to look at the big picture.
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    It doesn't look out at the wellbeing of us. For example you could work 3 hours and provide for yourself like in 5000 bc. But nowadays we burn ourselves out on 8 hours, because economics talks about maximum output and that kind of shit.

    Show me one formula that includes the variable "Fun" or something similar. Instead of just 'Money' 'Output' 'Capital' and 'Taxes'.
    Do you know how specialization and trade work?
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    I really do not think you guys have studied much into economics, at least not compared to the extent that I have. I suggest taking a few courses or reading a few books like the wealth of nations, or the secrets of the temple, or the creature from jekyll island, or all of them plus more to have a better understanding.
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    You can buy all of those things you've listed sir. Like I said we very rarely interefere, think of how many products there are. Very few of them have regulations. You need to look at the big picture.
    All the food you buy that doesn't come directly from a farmer is regulated in some way, whether it is required to have a list of ingredients or to have been inspected by the FDA to be free of harmful components or to have been produced by an approved country that has paid tariffs to get the food into the country.
    All the electrical equipment you buy has to have a UL rating to ensure it is "safe".
    The water you drink has to have met government requirements for purity. Its sale is regulated.
    Cars are regulated to ensure that they meet certain government-mandated safety standards.
    Insurance companies are regulated by the government.
    Taxi licenses are regulated by the government.
    The price of corn in this country is not set to what it would be in a free market. The world price of sugar, particularly from the Phillipines, is much lower than the price of corn-syrup, but tariffs imposed on imported sugar by corn producers has meant that the market for sugar, and therefore corn, is not freely set by market conditions. The market is managed for the advantage of big farmers.

    I could go on, but it would be easier if you would just list a market for goods or services which is not regulated, and is therefore "free".

    Maybe deals struck between individuals, but even in those you usually have legal recourse, and they are therefore not strictly "free" and unregulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    Do you know how specialization and trade work?
    Yes, very good example that you give, which actually proves my point. Let me explain maybe we can get on the same page.

    Specialization is more effecient, somebody could be fixing his bike, house, clothes, but he would do that pretty slowly. If he would just focus on his best job, like for example fixing bikes, he could make more money, and then he can let the rest (house clothes etc) be fixed by someone else and still have money left to buy expensive shit. Right? This is what you meant.

    Now tell me, where is the fun in fixing other people's bike 8 hours a day, every day of your life, instead of just fixing a lot of different things, and things that belong to yourself. That is way more motivational. Sure it is not effecient. But if you have created a world where you only survive by being effecient, you have created the wrong world. I think you get my message now. Economics is a great study on the wrong subject. It learns you how to best survive in a fucked up world and keeping the world fucked. I would like to change to a world where we don't need economics, but where we can actually have fun living our life. Just like 5000 years ago. But economics never understand this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    Yes, very good example that you give, which actually proves my point. Let me explain maybe we can get on the same page.

    Specialization is more effecient, somebody could be fixing his bike, house, clothes, but he would do that pretty slowly. If he would just focus on his best job, like for example fixing bikes, he could make more money, and then he can let the rest (house clothes etc) be fixed by someone else and still have money left to buy expensive shit. Right? This is what you meant.

    Now tell me, where is the fun in fixing other people's bike 8 hours a day, every day of your life, instead of just fixing a lot of different things, and things that belong to yourself. That is way more motivational. Sure it is not effecient. But if you have created a world where you only survive by being effecient, you have created the wrong world. I think you get my message now. Economics is a great study on the wrong subject. It learns you how to best survive in a fucked up world and keeping the world fucked. I would like to change to a world where we don't need economics, but where we can actually have fun living our life. Just like 5000 years ago. But economics never understand this.
    Hi, @Jarno.
    Here's a link for you:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/...ooms-grim.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    It doesn't look out at the wellbeing of us. For example you could work 3 hours and provide for yourself like in 5000 bc. But nowadays we burn ourselves out on 8 hours, because economics talks about maximum output and that kind of shit.

    Show me one formula that includes the variable "Fun" or something similar. Instead of just 'Money' 'Output' 'Capital' and 'Taxes'.
    You can include a stronger preference for leisure in the labor function, it´s nothing new.
    fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    More on Italian banking (@FDG, move your money), and its potential to affect Europe:

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/03/30/how...are-insolvent/
    Oh, most people in Italy knew that already...

    Anyway, @Birdie , economics faculties nowadays are often ideological in nature, especially in the fields of micro- and macroeconomics. I believe those faculties where most of the staff comes from maths, like game theory, IO and such tend to produce less obfuscated kind of research.
    fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    Yes, very good example that you give, which actually proves my point. Let me explain maybe we can get on the same page.

    Specialization is more effecient, somebody could be fixing his bike, house, clothes, but he would do that pretty slowly. If he would just focus on his best job, like for example fixing bikes, he could make more money, and then he can let the rest (house clothes etc) be fixed by someone else and still have money left to buy expensive shit. Right? This is what you meant.

    Now tell me, where is the fun in fixing other people's bike 8 hours a day, every day of your life, instead of just fixing a lot of different things, and things that belong to yourself. That is way more motivational. Sure it is not effecient. But if you have created a world where you only survive by being effecient, you have created the wrong world. I think you get my message now. Economics is a great study on the wrong subject. It learns you how to best survive in a fucked up world and keeping the world fucked. I would like to change to a world where we don't need economics, but where we can actually have fun living our life. Just like 5000 years ago. But economics never understand this.
    People didn't have fun living years ago. Life is not fun. Life is dangerous and to be quite honest with you I cannot produce all of the things I need to survive and I don't think you could either. We would also lose so much technology. I mean just think about it, do you know how how to build a house? Do you know how to find water to dig a well? Do you know how to construct a sewage system for your home? Do you know how to wire your home for electricity? Do you know how to generate electricity? Do you know how to make light bulbs? Do you know how to use oil and convert it to gasoline? Do you know how to build a car? Do you know how to create all of the parts that go into creating a car? Or do you just want to tunnel into a hill and revert back to cave times? Do you know how to raise sheep? Sheer the sheep? Make wool? Make clothing out of the wool? Raise cows? Slaughter cows? Tan the leather so you can have clothing to protect yourself from the elements? I could go on and on and on and on. We do not live in a singular world. We have evolved into needing each other and that has increased our standard of living significantly. Do you get what I am saying? The fun in fixing other people's things for 8 hours a day comes from the remaining 16 hours of the day you get to do the "fun" things you want to do. Without the help of others we wouldn't get to have most luxuries in life?
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Oh, most people in Italy knew that already...

    Anyway, @Birdie , economics faculties nowadays are often ideological in nature, especially in the fields of micro- and macroeconomics. I believe those faculties where most of the staff comes from maths, like game theory, IO and such tend to produce less obfuscated kind of research.
    I could be misunderstanding you here, but are you saying that economics isn't a real science because there is no way to test ideas before trying them for real and we have to base our current and future decisions based on economic decisions of the past?
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    All the food you buy that doesn't come directly from a farmer is regulated in some way, whether it is required to have a list of ingredients or to have been inspected by the FDA to be free of harmful components or to have been produced by an approved country that has paid tariffs to get the food into the country.
    All the electrical equipment you buy has to have a UL rating to ensure it is "safe".
    The water you drink has to have met government requirements for purity. Its sale is regulated.
    Cars are regulated to ensure that they meet certain government-mandated safety standards.
    Insurance companies are regulated by the government.
    Taxi licenses are regulated by the government.
    The price of corn in this country is not set to what it would be in a free market. The world price of sugar, particularly from the Phillipines, is much lower than the price of corn-syrup, but tariffs imposed on imported sugar by corn producers has meant that the market for sugar, and therefore corn, is not freely set by market conditions. The market is managed for the advantage of big farmers.

    I could go on, but it would be easier if you would just list a market for goods or services which is not regulated, and is therefore "free".

    Maybe deals struck between individuals, but even in those you usually have legal recourse, and they are therefore not strictly "free" and unregulated.
    You are right. However would you rather live where those things aren't regulated?
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    You are right. However would you rather live where those things aren't regulated?
    No, for the most part, I like regulations and rigged markets, especially when they benefit me.

    However, they don't always benefit me, and that's when I object to them. Probably everyone is like this.

    What bothers me is the use of the term "free markets" in the press, which is usually used when someone is trying to limit other people's rights or choices. For example, telling a person that state-controlled health care interferes with the free market act of being able to choose your doctor is the worst kind of lie, because
    1.) it implies that any person opposed to this is against personal freedom,
    2.) it makes the listener think that the bad outcome (for them) is some kind inevitable result of natural law, when it is really the result of a managed (by others) legal process, and
    3.) it completely changes the game in the sense that a person often doesn't even realize what choices they really have. This would be like me asking you, "Do you want to drink the poison or give me all your money?" Those aren't your only choices. When Thather said "There is no alternative" to policies which transferred wealth from the poor to the rich, she was engaging in this same kind of lying.

    So, I am opposed to regulations which have an overall benefit to a minority of wealthy people.
    This includes a lot more regulations than you might think.

    Take a look at this chart, which shows how productivity (and GDP wealth) has diverged from worker's wages:

    gdp wealth-vs-wage-graph.jpg

    How does a small segment of the population get to have all of the benefits of worker's increasing productivity? Do they themselves work longer or harder? No. They pass regulations which transfer money from the average worker to those making the rules and then tell you that it's a free market.

    You might have been sold on charter schools because you were told you can have a choice of for-profit schools to send your kid to. But how can a private school do the same job of educating a kid as a public school, plus pay off the shareholders with a profit? The teachers are not unionized, and therefore charter schools can be seen as a way to break the public teacher's unions while providing profits to the wealthy shareholders. Thus, what was once a building and institution which was built and owned by the citizens has been transferred into private hands. Money goes to from the poor to the rich through rigging the game.
    Last edited by Adam Strange; 04-04-2017 at 11:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    No, for the most part, I like regulations and rigged markets, especially when they benefit me.

    However, they don't always benefit me, and that's when I object to them. Probably everyone is like this.

    What bothers me is the use of the term "free markets" in the press, which is usually used when someone is trying to limit other people's rights or choices. For example, telling a person that state-controlled health care interferes with the free market act of being able to choose your doctor is the worst kind of lie, because
    1.) it implies that any person opposed to this is against personal freedom,
    2.) it makes the listener think that the bad outcome (for them) is some kind inevitable result of natural law, when it is really the result of a managed (by others) legal process, and
    3.) it completely changes the game in the sense that a person often doesn't even realize what choices they really have. This would be like me asking you, "Do you want to drink the poison or give me all your money?" Those aren't your only choices. When Thather said "There is no alternative" to policies which transferred wealth from the poor to the rich, she was engaging in this same kind of lying.

    So, I am opposed to regulations which have an overall benefit to a minority of wealthy people.
    This includes a lot more regulations than you might think.
    I agree with you on all of this. Also, it was very well put.
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    There has actually been a study on how free-market principles and economies don't work on health care and health insurance, and it's very interesting.

    Reasons why free-market principles don't work on health insurance:

    1. Adverse selection (which is less healthy, high-risk people buying more expensive and premium health care plans, which leads to "Adverse selection death spiral" coined by the health-care economist David Cutler https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-ad...n-death-spiral)
    2. Moral hazard (consumers demanding more than what they need/pay for)

    Reasons why free-market principles don't work on health care:

    1. Imperfect and asymmetric information (patients don't have nearly enough information on what they need, due to complexity of medical treatment)
    2. Non-competitive market (e.g. people are less likely, if not impossible health-wise to travel for hours to another hospital, which tend to create monopolies in densely populated big-city hospitals. Health care is more a local market.)
    3. Many illnesses need urgent and emergency treatment, as well as it's unpredictable. There will be no time or luxury to "choose" a better option.
    4. Market distortion due to health insurance
    5. Externalities (Positive externality, e.g. An individual receiving a vaccination for a communicable disease not only decreases the likelihood of the individual's own infection, but also decreases the likelihood of others becoming infected through contact with the individual)

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    Another interesting thing about insurance is that it basically requires "redistribution of wealth" from all the payers to pay for those who need insuring. You can do this in two ways. 1) is by redistributing from high-income earners to low-income earners, and 2) is by redistributing from low-risk, healthy people to high-risk, unhealthy people. If you do it by the 2) way, then the cost of insurance for healthy people will become too great, and it will fail.

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    I don't think a genuinely 100% free market could ever be ideal, you always have to consider the "social" element. If humans were robots, it would be acceptable to take the booms and busts as they are, but a system that sometimes leads to people losing their life savings and which leads to the very poorest not having a basic standard living needs a little bit of political engineering.

    It is certainly true that you could have such considerations costed into a free market and still have it be 100% free, but in practice, political situations involve compromises where perhaps most people do not get exactly what they want, except the goal of living in a society that maximizes everyone's happiness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    I could be misunderstanding you here, but are you saying that economics isn't a real science because there is no way to test ideas before trying them for real and we have to base our current and future decisions based on economic decisions of the past?
    No, what I meant to say is that the economics being teached in most faculties has an ideological rather than pragmatic orientation. Its hypothesis and (sometimes) empirical results are pre-determined by the political affiliation of a given professor.
    This does not hold true for all economics but say macro is mostly politics now.
    fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    People didn't have fun living years ago. Life is not fun. Life is dangerous and to be quite honest with you I cannot produce all of the things I need to survive and I don't think you could either. We would also lose so much technology. I mean just think about it, do you know how how to build a house? Do you know how to find water to dig a well? Do you know how to construct a sewage system for your home? Do you know how to wire your home for electricity? Do you know how to generate electricity? Do you know how to make light bulbs? Do you know how to use oil and convert it to gasoline? Do you know how to build a car? Do you know how to create all of the parts that go into creating a car? Or do you just want to tunnel into a hill and revert back to cave times? Do you know how to raise sheep? Sheer the sheep? Make wool? Make clothing out of the wool? Raise cows? Slaughter cows? Tan the leather so you can have clothing to protect yourself from the elements? I could go on and on and on and on. We do not live in a singular world. We have evolved into needing each other and that has increased our standard of living significantly. Do you get what I am saying? The fun in fixing other people's things for 8 hours a day comes from the remaining 16 hours of the day you get to do the "fun" things you want to do. Without the help of others we wouldn't get to have most luxuries in life?
    I think our main difference is that I'm fine with living without luxuries and with more freedom, and that for you sacrifice of freedom is ok to get all these 'luxuries'.

    That's fine, we just have different wants.

    What I do want to mention is that your (self constructed) idea of living in the 'old days' like 5000 bc is different from what researcher have found out. Nowadays they call those times, the affluent society, when everything was in abundance, actually I could see how you would call it a luxury. Nowadays everything is called scarcity, especially in economics.

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    Economists get hard-ons from privatizing government just so the invisible hand of the free market can grab it by the pussy and violate every other orifice.
    Last edited by xerx; 04-07-2017 at 06:46 PM. Reason: less offensive wording
    Quote Originally Posted by Ecclesiastes 9:11
    I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    What I do want to mention is that your (self constructed) idea of living in the 'old days' like 5000 bc is different from what researcher have found out. Nowadays they call those times, the affluent society, when everything was in abundance, actually I could see how you would call it a luxury. Nowadays everything is called scarcity, especially in economics.
    Yeah, but there weren´s as many humans as today, and they were not in constant competition among each other all over the world.

    We´re still animals, subject to the same population-related pressures of other animals.
    fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza

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    How well economics models work on scale from utter crap to crap or do they go beyond crap?
    [Don't know a lot about it only remember solving some sort of systems of differential equations relating to employment and some other stuff.]
    It sounds more like boring politics to me.
    From me one can not demand and expect:
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    Anal Expulsive personality (no hyphens for you)

    So called false dual logic that actually reveals some remote potentials:
    "sure crocodiles can fly, but very, very close to the ground"
    Just think about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Yeah, but there weren´s as many humans as today, and they were not in constant competition among each other all over the world.

    We´re still animals, subject to the same population-related pressures of other animals.
    Yes we are with many now but then what i cannot understand why economists don't see overpopulation as a problem.

    It seems like they keep inventing formula's how to survive living in a swamp, but never come with the idea to get out of the swamp.

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    For anyone who wonders why the government taxes people when they can just print the money they spend:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/...ter-money.html

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    Builders, Finance, and Education:

    https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-ec...nomic-literacy

    The video points out (accidentally) why half of US business profits go to the parasitic Financial industry, with nothing to show for it, other than the creation of a loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires arrayed against a citizenry increasingly in debt.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...he-u-s-economy

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    Evidently, it is claimed that Obamacare reduced (and increasingly continues to reduce) the personal bankruptcy rate.

    http://angrybearblog.com/2017/05/con...ptcy-rate.html

    But I wonder if the shrinking number of pirates in the world is the actual cause of reduced bankruptcies.

    https://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

    Or maybe vice-versa!
    Which totally explains why every Republican in the House voted to get rid of Obamacare. After all, who doesn't like pirates?

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    I wonder why the government needs taxes. Ok, so in order for the government to invest in their society, like public infrastructure and public institutions, it needs people to work for them, since they can't just point guns at them to force them to work. So they have created "money", which is basically a metaphorical dangling carrot in front of them to use as a reward for the work that they do. Ok, that's good, but the government also prints money. So why don't they just print money to pay for them...? Or would that cause too much inflation, or perhaps be not much different than taxes. I feel like money should be a "use it or lose it" thing. Why should people... especially big corporations, hoard billions of dollars, sitting at their vaults doing nothing with them? So the value of the currency will be slowly devalued over time. I also think that perhaps consumer tax is not necessarily, just corporate taxes will do.

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    I think it's depressing that technology just becomes a new standard for economic competition.

    When we get to the point of having self-sustaining economies that doesn't require monotonous work or everything being a competition for wealth or basic needs, then yay technology; until then, I hate everyone and everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangeling View Post
    When we get to the point of having self-sustaining economies that doesn't require monotonous work or everything being a competition for wealth or basic needs, then yay technology; until then, I hate everyone and everything.
    I like your attitude.

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