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Comment Re:Expected it to suck, and it did (Score 1) 788

But the debt is really just a savings account provided by the federal government for people who don't want to spend their money right now. It is rather unfortunate that terms like "debt" are used at all in that context, since they just confuse what is really going on.

MMTers are crackpots.
They can only claim that private savings is equal to the government deficit by redefining 'savings' as 'net savings' which means 'savings less investments', i.e., 'savings that is held in government debt' which of course it a trivial tautology: Obviously the private sector can't acquire a net position in government debt unless the government runs a net deficit.
Did US households have lose their savings when Clinton was running a surplus? Yes, but only if 'savings' means 'government debt'.

Comment Re:Expected it to suck, and it did (Score 1) 788

It has to be, before any other spending can take place, and that's constitutionally guaranteed. It was the trump card that Obama didn't have to use -- he -could- have unilaterally raised the debt ceiling, but it would have torpedoed any sort of chance he'd have for being re-elected.

No. I think you are misreading the 14th amendment. It does not talk about prioritization of payments. And It sure as hell doesn't authorize the president to unilaterally issue debt.

Comment Re:The phone I've been wating for . . (Score 1) 252

There are several aspects of the device and/or software that are absolutely stellar. Incomparably better than anything else I've seen. I hope that journalists and bloggers recognise those when they finally get their hands upon one. . . . Of course, there's one reason why I have the views and insights that I do

Could you just tell us what the subtly stellar aspects are?

Comment Re:No surprises here (Score 1) 391

And how precisely is the amount, in US dollars, of taxes that one owes calculated?
What I'm getting at is that there is no real declared value of the dollar.
What has been declared is that the dollar can be used as currency.
Even things like the minimum wage don't really set the value of the dollar since the minimum wage is supposed to be based on actual (market set) cost of living.

Comment Re:Bitcoin to revolutionise economy (Score 1) 642

This is why the whole gold standard people are nuts. Yes, gold is worth a lot of money today because people value gold. If all the world paper economy really did crash tomorrow, gold would crash with it. It would crash because nobody would give a shit about shiny metal, everyone would be worried about food, water, guns, and ammunition.

I'm not out to make exact predictions on the value of gold, but I'm pretty sure we have several millenia of data from many cultures to support the claim that people consistently attach value to the shiny metal, even in time of major upheaval.
You basically have to be at the point of imminent death before gold becomes just another rock.

Comment Re:Bitcoin (Score 1) 768

I know it is common knowledge among economists that deflation is bad, but I have always wondered whether this is true in a system where deflation is the expected behavior.
In an economy where everyone is banking on 2% inflation (so e.g., interest rates on loans have this factored in) suddenly experiencing deflation will certainly cause economic slow down as the market adjusts to the new reality and a lot of people will get screwed.
But in a market where deflation is anticipated, it seems like the economy would have adjusted to this and keep on moving: People have money to buy things, people will forego (some) future wealth in order to meet present needs and desires. Take a real world case of inflation: Technology. Everyone knows that in 2 years $x will buy more hardware than it will today. Traditional wisdom re: deflation would dictate that everyone would then stop buying technology, and wait indefinitely to get the most for their money, thereby destroying the tech sector. But in reality, people buy a lot of technology anyway, and overall the tech sector is growing fast. This is just because people don't want to wait their whole life and go without technology, so they can buy the most amazing smartphone in the world right before they die.
Seems to me an economy with relatively stable, constant deflation could work just the same. People will still buy food, housing, and other important or necessary stuff because they need it. And they will buy luxuries because they want to have them now and use them.
The main differences would be that savers would benefit from saving, and you would have fewer bubbles caused from artificially low interest rates, and unnaturally low ROI leading to too aggressive investing (as inflation does).

Comment Re:Retailers (Score 1) 142

Okay, first, yes updates do always bring the possibility of breakage. There is always the possibility of some weird configuration or corner case. (This is why stable generally demands relatively few updates, the more often you change things the more likely something is to break). So no, I'm not implying that a stable distro will never put out an update that breaks something for someone.
I am saying that if I'm using a distribution that sells itself as being for mass consumption and stable, then these broken updates should be rare and each one should affect relatively few users. Rare enough that the end user shouldn't have to research the updates before hitting 'okay'.
After all, if some patch is broken, and the typical user is able to find this out, that means the maintainers (who after all are supposed to keep up on this sort of thing) can find it out too and thus--this being a stable distribution for mass consuption--the update should have already been yanked by the maintainer or distribution.

Comment Re:Retailers (Score 1) 142

But that falls on the user to ensure what is or isn't updated, which seems to be asking too much from many.

Am I reading this right?
If I'm running sid, then sure, I should watch out for broken updates. But if I'm running a distro that doesn't brand itself as pre-testing and unstable, it isn't my job as user to monitor the updates for potential breakage. Rather, it is the distro's job to test its updates before it pushes them out for general consumption. I think it is asinine to suggest that the users of a stable distribution shuold need to check the stability of updates that are pushed by the distribution.

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