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Comment: Re:I think more people would be interested... (Score 1) 194

We have trouble answering such questions because of the poor ways we pose them.

The semanticists have a rule I find useful here:

The verb 'to be' carries no information. It functions as an empty vessel into which we pour our assumptions.

When we reword the questions to make our assumptions explicit, they also become specific and (usually) falsifiable, lending themselves to rational inquiry to a much greater degree.

Also, the question 'why' admits an infinite recursion into the line of questioning.

The question "Why is there X ..." has both of these big problems. I call it unanswerable based on its structure, without needing to resort to its content.

Here, as in software projects, we produce the best results when we get the specs right at the beginning.

Comment: Re:Been there. (Score 1) 172

2% inflation robs a worker of half his wealth over 30 years.

Calling that a 'capitalist' economy whitewashes the very real fraud, malfeasance and misdirection that drains that worker's wealth even as the grifters exhort all to 'produce more and reap the rewards!" ... next budget cycle, of course, since we're a little constrained just now ... aaaaaand it's gone.

Our debt-hyped economy goads employer and employee alike to settle for a pittance of what they produce, while rentier parasites skim off huge undeserved rewards.

Comment: Re:Debt ceiling fix (Score 1) 634

by AkkarAnadyr (#45135317) Attached to: China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World'

The debt ceiling has nothing to do with default (yet).

The Constitution has only one budget priority in it - that US debt gets honored first.

We collect 10x in taxes what we owe in interest on the Treasury debt.

If Treasury fails to pay the interest (a *real* default, in other words) the Congress has immediate cause to impeach the Treasury Secretary, as well as his boss. Obama isn't that stupid.

Neither are the people who seriously care about the worthiness of Treasury bonds. The media, however, has a giggling good time throwing around 'boo words', and has managed to fool some commentators.

The debt limit means we can no longer spend what we do not tax. Since 1/6 of GDP now depends on that (the 'temporary' 'stimulus' has become a structural part of current GDP), stopping 14% of other .gov spending exposes the actual state of GDP, and betrays the 'recovery' as a fake.

We've been in a contraction of >10% (a Depression) since 2008, we've just covered it up with the credit card, trailer-trash style.

Comment: Re:Summary says it all (Score 1) 634

by AkkarAnadyr (#45134645) Attached to: China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World'

Borrowing, even to 'stimulate', is a spending cut.

Read that again.

Pressing a claim on future productivity (i.e. paying on Tuesday for a hamburger today) means by definition that tomorrow's wealth is shanghai'ed to debt service (and thus deflated away) instead of contributing to GDP.

'Massive government cuts' have already happened. The inevitable recession simply exposes the fact.

Borrowing, even to 'stimulate', is a spending cut.

And our Wimpy government is discovering that Tuesday is REAL SOON NOW.

Comment: Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (Score 1) 674

by AkkarAnadyr (#45072981) Attached to: The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Yeh, it sure will be great to see kids under corporate management, free from the awful dysfunction of an incompetent, indifferent bureaucracy full of power-hungry sociopaths trying to make themselves look good, without regard to the quality of their product.

After all, corporations have always treated children very well indeed.

Comment: Re:long term view missed, as mentioned (Score 1) 270

by AkkarAnadyr (#44992527) Attached to: Central New York Nuclear Plants Struggle To Avoid Financial Meltdown

So we should take this market signal as the cue to habituate our large-scale energy systems to the results of accelerated harvest of a finite resource, then?

Good thing that signal doesn't have any distorting factors, like .gov-mandated cost externalization ... and that we're so good at a national level at preparing for sudden drop-offs in supply ... and that we understand compound growth so intuitively as a species ...

Comment: Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (Score 1) 241

by AkkarAnadyr (#43805267) Attached to: Curiosity Rewarded: Florida Teen Heading to Space Camp, Not Jail

Preventing this type of idiotic heavy-handed action will require bigger changes than one administrator growing a brain and/or balls.

One administrator can and should start the system on this road by growing a brain. They're in that business - growing people's brains. If they can't provide a good example, they deserve a review of their competence, let alone whether they ought to sleep comfortably at night, or look anyone in the eye afterwards.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain