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Comment: Re:Japan Went Keynesian (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26456269) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

"Really? How come only 18 percent of Japanese polled believe the 2 trillion yen plan by the Aso government will work? A full 71 percent don't think it will do anything to stimulate the economy."

Hard to blame them after, what, 11 or so failed "stimulus packages" so far since the beginning of 1990s. I lost count, really.

Comment: Re:As if the New Deal was successful, it wasn't (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26456193) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

"In aggregate economic terms Roosevelt's pre-war policies, including the New Deal, appear to have worked pretty well; the recession that begain in 1929 ended in 1933, and 1933-1937 saw fairly strong aggregate economic growth; the 1937-38 recession, while substantial, was much shallower than the 1929-1933 one."

In aggregate Roosevelt has done horribly badly: were it not for his idiot policies, recession would have been over in 2 years at most. 10 years recession combined with permanent high unemployment (reduced during war by National War Labor Board I think that forced unions to knock off wage demands, and that helped to increase demand for labor) *just do not happen if not caused by policies making them last*.

Comment: Re:As if the New Deal was successful, it wasn't (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26456109) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

"1933: 20.6%
1937: 9.1%
1938: 12.5%
1941: 8.0%" ...except if that idiot Roosevelt didn't conspire with unions to keep the labor prices artificially high and didn't force retailers to keep the prices artificially high (he publicly berated and regulated the "bad shopkeepers" who dared to reduce prices - just imagine what that did to consumer demand), the recession would have ended in 2 years *at most*, not in 10 years.

Just ask any semi-competent economist, really.

And get it once and for all: correlation is not causation. What you cite is not the proof that New Deal helped reduce the unemployment, what you show is that New Deal kept unemployment *artificially high* for 10 years! In most not very high regulated economies, recession is over in 1-2 years. All by itself. Provided central bank doesn't strangle money supply, and idiot like Roosevelt doesn't prevent prices of labor and goods to naturally adjust.

Just because you stop systematically beating someone doesn't mean you help his health, even if his health improves.

Comment: Re:Japan Went Keynesian (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26455877) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

Japan didn't have deflation (well strictly speaking there were some points in 1990s where they had negative _real_ interest rates, but generally it doesn't count as deflation).

There is much simpler explanation to what you write: Japan was simply unwilling to write off the bad loans resulting from their speculative real estate bubble in the 1980s (any similarities to today situation? naa) and in result they couldn't get consumer spending off the ground. That was really the factor behind deferring spending or investment, and not "fear of current situation / uncertain future" which is a psychological factor that doesn't last permanently.

Most likely, all the stimulus packages made their situation even worse, bc they used up money that Japanese consumers could have used to kickstart the investment & consumption cycle again. So yes, no "stimulus" package (which is just a rhetorical hyperbole for taking away money from consumers and spending them on roads & bridges to nowhere) probably would have made them exit recession sooner.

Comment: Re:Possible Concerns (Score 2, Insightful) 365

by bbdb (#26455043) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

What I meant is not that you advocated socialism. You may or may not do so; but that is orthogonal to the problem that all govt-backing proposals have so called "socialist calculation problem", in that not being individual purchases they do not have collective wealth of opportunity cost estimation done for them by the large group of people each evaluating utility of the solution in question and voting with dollars accordingly. You don't have to advocate socialism to have an economic calculation problem!

And ugh, Lotus Notes, the worst program ever written (even though as I write I'm forced to use it). Believe me, such crap is best rewritten from scratch. Judging what I can see at work (big computer corporation) software vendors acquiring and selling other software makers are largely trading in crap...

I really don't think that opening Notes source would create healthy open source project. If Mozilla experience is any guide, that is, and even then look how many years it took them, and even then a spinoff project of Firefox was meant to be complementary product while it took off as main thing. Let's even assume IBM would let Notes go for $150 mln, which I don't believe it would.

Making Notes "free product" would certainly have some utility, but without healthy open source project on one hand, and without fee-paying customers supporting development on the other, how much time would it take for it to undergo "bit rot"?

The question remains, how *exactly and in detail*, without hand-waving, you select the programs worth turning into public domain / OSS, and how you provide for their development? I'm afraid you're wishing for good business and would not get one...

Comment: Re:Not good (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26454821) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

"The supermarket will close, leaving a small number of people out of work, which will be offset by the new people employed by the government store, and the government store may even employ more people resulting in a net win... Meanwhile, every single person in the town benefits from the lower prices."

Is this sarcasm on your part or have you reached new depths of economic illiteracy?

Comment: Re:Open Source is Socialism (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26454709) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

Socialism == System of production owned by State.
Communism == System of production owned by the People.

GNU == System of production owned by voyeuristic developers pissing on 99% of users and 99% of users pissing on GNU software. The People declared war on Microsoft and Microsoft won.

P.S. Communism == Silly sentiment system of castles flying in air, believed into by economically illiterate and sociologically hopelessly dense and impervious to experience, all wrapped in pink package.

Meanwhile, I say, Ubuntu or DEATH! Err, that was socialism or death.

Comment: Re:nope (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26454395) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

Most important point: it is not hard to estimate that city A needs to be connected to B. Just look at the map.

This largely deflates Socialist Calculation Problem. A road is also comparatively easy to build, technology is established and not much different than it was before, and there are many other reasons why roads are pretty much exception to "govt production".

Software doesn't have any economic properties of a road: it definitely isn't easy to flesh out, design, monitor its development and evaluate skills of people developing it. A better comparison of software would be to aerospace work or perhaps weapons development. Check the prices and efficiency of those.

Comment: Re:When will they "get it" (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26454205) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus
Obama, we are going to learn if you really are intelligent right out of the gate.

Politically, he's dead duck: can't do anything without infringing on grounds of *some* important (ideological, economic, etc) majority, simply because he doesn't lead simple majority big enough, while govt tools he has at his disposal have been historically proven as ineffective.

Obama - the Change You Can Forget About.

Comment: Re:Economic Stimulus, not Private Investment (Score 1) 365

by bbdb (#26454101) Attached to: FOSS Development As Economic Stimulus

A tax cut makes people invest more and spend more. It is true that character of spending matters: private spending doesn't have Socialist Calculation Problem http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_calculation_problem which is why it is efficient and develops economy, even if that means some money ends up in China (hint: this is because Americans have better things to do than manufacturing cheap shoes, read up on comparative advantage, intl trade, mercantilism and such). People estimate opportunity costs in their lives, which drives them to spend money on A and not B. This in turn drives companies to deliver A and not B.

Public spending has political problem on top of Socialist Calculation Problem: it just *doesn't measure opportunity costs and doesn't adjust production accordingly*. Got it? Private economy is directed. Public one isn't. Not in any reasonable sense of the word "direction".

In comparison to economy driven by private needs, public sector is a headless chicken: it just *isn't directed well enough*.

This ultra-short recap should remind some why traditional economy works and New Deal / stimulus packages don't and haven't worked.

Churchill wrote smth about new generations forgetting the experience of previous generations and repeating the same mistakes all over again. You're a living proof he was right.

Our policy is, when in doubt, do the right thing. -- Roy L. Ash, ex-president, Litton Industries

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