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Comment: Re: Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (Score 1) 240

Monetary policy is all but moot for people who simply have no capital to spare. Deflationary currency isn't going to do any better than inflationary currency + investment on this point.

The other thing -- and I am surprised you did not touch on this -- is that a deflationary currency is anti-consumerism. Why buy something when saving that money makes it worth more in a year or ten?

I touch very greatly on this. It's anti-consumerism and anti-investment. Why waste money upgrading or properly repairing the combine in the field when you're better off just letting that money enrich itself over time? Sure, you might get a better crop yield, but then again, you're sure to see your money increase in value, so just kinda run things by the skin of your teeth, and only spend when it's absolutely, entirely necessary.

You end up with a society where the people who can afford to not produce do just that: they live entirely off the fact that their money is going to be worth more tomorrow than it is today. Their lives are enriched by very literally doing nothing with the enormous wealth they have, whereas the people who actually are doing the work see their incomes steadily drop and reap virtually no deflationary benefit, owing to their near total lack of wealth.

A deflationary monetary policy, by its very definition, rewards people for hoarding their wealth instead of investing it in a productive fashion. Classes calcify; the wealthy take no risks and become wealthier as a result, and the poor have to make ends meet with an ever shrinking portion of the total wealth of the society, because the majority of money is locked away and earning value for itself. There is ample historical precedent for this. It almost always ended badly.

And with bitcoin, you keep your own coins, you don't deposit them in a fractional reserve bank that uses it to stimulate business.

...and yet we have all these exchanges for Bitcoin cropping up everywhere. It's almost as if there's inherent and significant value in institutionalized finance even in the Bitcoin world. It's almost as if banks actually provide an array of useful services that people are willing to pay good money for. As if most people acknowledge that yes, I could simply carry a wad of legal tender around on my person, but this bank over here enables me to transact my business so much easier and in so many ways. Odd.

This is what the Earth needs. We cannot go on consuming our childrens' futures. We must end our senseless consumption in the name of "progress" or the Earth will lose enough of its ecological web that we can no longer survive. Some say it is already too late. I maintain there is hope but we must adopt a more sustainable civilization or we will perish.

Oh wait, so your recommended vector to ecological stability is through a generations-long process of grinding productivity down via deflationary monetary policy? That is inane. After singing praises--lower costs for food! Greater saving! Helps the poor save!--you're now going to turn right around and sing the praises of how it naturally destroys productivity.

There exist far more direct, far more effective, and--despite the fact that we currently have a snowball's chance of getting them enacted--far more realistic and implementable ways to improve and protect the ecology of our planet than convincing everyone to throw sand in the gears until things eventually fall apart.

At the end of the day, the biology of deflation means our money more closely matched natural systems governed by scarcity.

You wish to align to a state of nature. On this, I will defer to Thomas Hobbes:

"In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

The life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. This is the direction you think we should move.

Comment: Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (Score 1) 240

by American AC in Paris (#46365059) Attached to: WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

A deflationary currency helps the poor because the prices of goods go down over time.

The price of labor also goes down over time. Or, to put it another way, the amount of money you earn for the same amount of work goes down over time, since the money is worth that much more. Now, unless libertarians are also going to defend maintaining a constant minimum wage (ha!) this becomes an issue for people who rely on paychecks as their primary source of income--or, put another way, the vast majority of households out there.

Whatever you can save, no matter how little, becomes more valuable over time.

This is perfectly true, and perfectly useless to the poor. When you need to prioritize whether to feed your family, keep the electricity hooked up, heat the house, or be able to take the bus to work, saving $10 a month is a flat-out luxury. There are millions of working households in America living in this state[1]. MILLIONS.

Even when you can save $10--or even $50--a month, and even when your family manages to avoid savings-rending life events for several years, (like an illness or injury that knocks an earner out of commission for a couple of weeks, or the car breaking down, or needing to move for a new job, or needing to move because your landlord is converting to condos, or getting downsized, or you have another kid, or needing a prescription medication for a chronic condition, or wanting to send your kid to college, etc, etc) you'll have a stack of money that is worth...very little. Keep it up for a few decades, (with the number of dollars actually saved constantly shrinking, thanks to the fact that you're earning fewer of them,) and you'll have a stack of money that could maybe sustain you for a few years of retirement. That's winning.

[1] http://www.prb.org/Publication...

Comment: Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (Score 1) 240

by American AC in Paris (#46362889) Attached to: WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

It's not your greenbacks or gold coins that build a factory; it's the people, equipment and raw materials that do it. If Joe McDuck doesn't want to buy them, then all that means is that Joe Glamgold gets them cheaper.

Do you think that the class that controls wealth controls only monetary wealth? They own the land, too! They own the resources, too!

Where do you, plucky upstart, get the land and resources to build your factories, when the land and resources are part of the wealth of the hoarding class? I can answer that for you: you don't. The people who control the world's resources--for there no longer exists a rich frontier from which a plucky upstart can carve an existence--get to dole and rent them out as they see fit. They're not going to indulge you, plucky upstart, with the chance to knock them from their perch; that would be stupid of them. They might let you run the things that they own, as the world will still need foremen, but they won't have any incentive to cut you in on the big action. That would be a needless risk.

Ultimately, you end up with a massive, destitute underclass that eventually snaps, revolts, and slaughters the hoarding class. This typically comes at the cost of very many lives needlessly lost, very many things needlessly destroyed, and very many institutions wiped out, regardless of whether or not they were dysfunctional.

You would create an entire class of people who would control the substantial majority of human wealth and would have strong incentive to completely disconnect themselves from productive activity.

That might be an improvement over the current situation where speculation and outright manipulation disturb said productive activity to the detriment of everyone.

There's historical context for this. It's called the landed gentry. In olden times, they controlled the vast majority of wealth in their societies, and despite the occasional fall from grace or meteoric rise, the landed gentry was quite stable, and landed families could maintain themselves over centuries.

As it happens, systems of landed gentry throughout history have had this nasty habit of having the destitute masses snap, revolt, and slaughter them, at great cost. Funny, that.

Comment: Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (Score 1) 240

by American AC in Paris (#46362243) Attached to: WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

The wealthy are getting more wealth and the poor are basically screwed. they are rapidly on the way to becoming a permanent dependent underclass.

...so how would implementing a deflationary currency, where people who control wealth are given strong incentive to simply sit on it, make this any better?

Today, the wealthy make more money by reinvesting it and reaping the benefits. While this perpetuates the increasing disparity between the wealthy and the poor, it at least forces their wealth to circulate through society.

You make things deflationary, then the wealthy will simply sit on their pre-existing heaping hoards of wealth, as it's effectively guaranteed to increase in value, risk-free. They'll have enough wealth to continue to live like gods, but instead of having to send their money off to other people as risky investments, they'll be able to simply make sure to never spend their hoard faster than it appreciates in value. It's like living off the interest, but they get that interest by doing exactly nothing with their wealth. You would create an entire class of people who would control the substantial majority of human wealth and would have strong incentive to completely disconnect themselves from productive activity.

How on earth does that make the disparity between rich and poor better?

Comment: Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (Score 1) 240

by American AC in Paris (#46359213) Attached to: WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

bitcoin is to banking what guns are to feudal castles.

Let's say, hypothetically, that we woke up tomorrow and the U.S. Treasury announced that they'd be abandoning the traditional definition of the USD and effectively re-launching it as a cryptocurrency.

Would the Bitcoin community, as it exists today, be happy about this?

If your answer is "no", then ask yourself: which is more important to today's Bitcoin community--the cryptocurrency itself, or the financial system that has grown around it?

Comment: Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (Score 2) 240

by American AC in Paris (#46357919) Attached to: WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess

Naw, we're still pretty squarely in the "laugh" stage. It's amusing to watch y'all rediscover the joys of bank panics.

We'll be at the fight stage once the Bitcoin folks start seriously introducing independent regulatory bodies; governments will likely not be on board with that.

Of course, being as the very soul of the Bitcoin movement is rooted in distrust of and independence from central regulation and oversight, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Comment: Re:Edge Cases (Score 1) 249

by American AC in Paris (#46110085) Attached to: Google Planning To Remove CSS Regions From Blink
I would agree that this improves what is currently--and will likely still be--middling accessibility support from Google as a whole. Getting accessibility right is challenging and expensive, and impacts a comparatively small user base. When your strategy is a core strategy, accessibility is not one of your leading concerns.

Comment: Re:Edge Cases (Score 1) 249

by American AC in Paris (#46104929) Attached to: Google Planning To Remove CSS Regions From Blink

Well isn't it theirs to do with as they please?

Of course it is, and I did not state otherwise.

My point is that Google is actively pursuing a core user strategy, and there are clear winners and clear losers as a result. I have my own personal biases on this topic, and I'll argue that leaving edge cases behind in an effort to solidify the core is not the best path to take.

My being critical of their decision, however, does not indicate that I think they shouldn't be allowed to make it.

Comment: Edge Cases (Score 4, Informative) 249

by American AC in Paris (#46103475) Attached to: Google Planning To Remove CSS Regions From Blink

Google is aiming more and more for the core, at the edge's expense.

They provide middling accessibility support, because it isn't something most people need. They dropped MathML support, because it isn't something that most people need. Now, they're dropping CSS Regions, because it isn't something that most people need.

It increasingly appears that you can have your Google product in any color, so long as it's red, green, blue, and yellow. One size fits most, and tough for you if it doesn't.

Comment: Perhaps not a time for DIY (Score 1) 384

by American AC in Paris (#45955051) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can I Improve My Memory For Study?

Choose the right tool for the job. The right tool for this job is not Slashdot.

Go see a doctor. A good GP will be able to point you to a specialist who may be able to better pinpoint exactly why you're having these issues and help you sort them out.

Do your research, by all means--you'll need to be your own advocate--but there are people who dedicate their lives to figuring this sort of thing out. Talk to them, not us.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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