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Comment Re: Things to solve (Score 4, Insightful) 253

Nonsense. You're still thinking with a 20th century mind. We're not that far off from being able to launch autonomous drones into space to harvest the asteroid belt and construct a dyson swarm - it's now more of an engineering challenge than a science challenge. As long as you get your materials outside the gravity well of a planet like Earth, constructing massive space based living platforms would be relatively trivial. No need to travel anywhere to be able to reach a carrying capacity many times that of Earth. And assuming we're never able to reach speeds greater than a fraction of the speed of light, we can still hop from star system to star system until we have engulfed every star in the galaxy. Even if we reproduced at premodern rates, we'd be more limited by the age of the galaxy than any carrying capacity we couldn't engineer around. But, as the standard of living increases and people find other sources of enjoyment in life, the rate of reproduction has dropped below 2 per couple. The galaxy is just so massive and our capabilities are so limitless that over population will never be a wide spread problem, as has been demonstrated time and time again.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 255

And ending slavery also had a negative impact on employment rates. I bet North Korea is damn near full employment too! Rates of employment are meaningless if they are achieved in exchange for a lower standard of living - you're much better off wealthy and unemployed than poor and working 7 days a week. But you're absolutely wrong anyway - tech markets have been incredibly deflationary yet unemployment rates in STEM have been consistently low driving wages through the roof.

Right, so because the wealthy can hedge against inflation, it's not theft, even though the bulk of the working class who depend on wages see their purchasing power constantly reduced over time. And if I try to create or use a competing non-inflationary currency in the US, men with guns will come and throw me in a cage or murder me if I don't comply. Nope, definitely not theft.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 255

First of all, look at the technology sector to see that most of your claims about a consistently deflationary market are flat out wrong in real world practice. Costs are constantly falling and products are constantly improving, yet we don't see any of the horrors you predict. Instead, the result is more people have access to technology than ever before and the explosion in standard of living AROUND THE WORLD has been enormous. Even though devices get cheaper and quickly become obsolete, people still gladly throw their money at both consuming goods and investing in capital. Strange how the most successful market today is extremely deflationary, huh?

I would also argue that a deflationary economy would most likely have interest rates set by the market - the supply vs demand of real money - and just some board of elites from the ruling class. In this case, you are absolutely crazy if you think people won't invest. If people start hording their money under their mattresses instead of investing, interest rates will naturally go up to spur investment. The reality is people are greedy and most certainly will still invest, just with a higher effective ROI - the horror. Furthermore, I would argue the currently inflationary market makes every Tom, Dick, and Harry trying to save for their retirement a speculator - if you want to accumulate wealth today, you have to 'play the markets' in addition to whatever your day job is. If a working stiff can just throw his money under his mattress and not have to worry about it losing value or what the markets are doing, that's excellent and a good thing. Everyone like to bitch and moan about speculators being horrible yet fail to realize inflation makes speculators out of the bulk middle class.

You're also confusing money and wealth. Just because you have less money doesn't mean you have less wealth. This is hard to understand for someone who has lived their entire lives in an inflationary market. The real goal of a capitalist market is to increase wealth - AKA standard of living - the size of the number in your bank account is irrelevant. Money is just an IOU to consume some real good or service.

Wages aren't set by how much an employer can afford to pay - you should be embarrassed for even making the suggestion - they are set by supply and demand like any other price. Unlike other capital goods, you can't just manufacture more people, instead you have to enable them be able to produce more with less time and effort if you want to increase your wealth. Price deflation actually comes from improving production efficiency and increasing worker productivity through capital investment, thus enabling businesses to actually be able to afford higher wages.

And don't give me the nonsense about automation replacing jobs - automation has always resulted in greater total employment as the demand for goods is driven up by their now reduced scarcity, or the demand for some new good is driven by the extra money left in everyone's pockets because of the now cheaper original good. Greater productivity also means people need to work less to maintain a given standard of living reducing the supply of labor and further driving up the price.

Forget all of that - the greatest problem with inflation is that it is not just a hidden tax, but it is what enables the warfare state. The state's ability to just inflate the money supply as it sees fit is what allows countries like the US to pay for its endless mass murder. They are effectively leaching productivity from the market so instead of producing food, housing, and gadgets for us plebs, they're STEALING capital to manufacture bombs and guns to SLAUGHTER brown people on the other side of the world. When people see their wealth being taken by the war machine, war becomes incredibly unpopular as it was in the US before the world wars - inflation elegantly hides that making war seem clean and easy. This is just fascism with a different name - you and your other Keynesian ilk are no-shit-there-I-was Nazis and the blood is on your hands. I'm sorry to break congeniality, but seriously, fuck you, go die.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 255

Right, price deflation has been so terrible in the technology market, bringing the price of goods down so low that even members of the working class in the poorest of nations can now afford pocket sized super computers. Prices on tech have fallen at incredible rates while the products have gotten increasingly better, yet the demand for goods is still high and the increase in standard of living because of it has been incredible.

And price inflation has been so great for college students as education prices have shot up due to federally subsidized and non-dischargable student loans. Kids are now straddled with ever increasing amounts of debt for increasingly worthless pieces of paper. Yep, price inflation is working great there. And lets not even mention the price inflation the drove the housing bubble!

Your argument is basically that inflation is good because it makes the working class poorer so they have to work harder to maintain a given standard of living, and that's somehow good for the economy. Like seriously, who voted you insightful? Deflation just means people can afford to buy more with their money over time and the standard of living increases without wage increases. I would argue that the price inflation over the past 50 or so years is one of the greatest drivers of market inequality - workers are stuck with 'sticky wages' that don't increase as quickly as inflation making people poorer over time unless they constantly switch jobs. Meanwhile, those who depend on capital gains - AKA the rich - are much more well hedged against inflation so their savings and earnings aren't hurt as much as the rest of us. Furthermore, when inflation is driven by loose monetary policy or excessive government spending, the initial holders of this new money - ie banks and large corporations - get to spend it at the old, discounted, pre-inflation rate, and by the time the money gets to the workers it is worth less.

Oh, and besides all that, it's not just an effective hidden tax, it is THE tax that makes endless war (AKA mass murder) possible. Why did the US close the gold exchange window and go off the gold standard? Oh right, to pay for the Vietnam war!

And the economic loss of recessions has increased sharply between the period before and after the 1920's. Banking and market failures used to be much more localized and relative losses were much smaller than what we see today. They might have happened more frequently, but they weren't nearly as bad. Like seriously, we just lived through two horrible economic down turns, both far far worse than anything that ever happened pre-1920s (relatively of course, as % of GDP). Don't have time to look up the numbers right now, but you're free to do so.

TL;DR; Inflation makes the working class poorer, the rich richer, it is the life blood of war, and our economy is actually more unstable now than it was under a sound monetary policy. Please put down the Keynes, he wasn't an economist and had no idea what he was talking about - this whole school of economic thought is only accepted because it appears plausible to the plebs while giving limitless economic power to the ruling class.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 468

People have been saying the same thing for the past 150+ years, and most economists alive today agree Hawking has no idea what he's talking about. Every single time automation has simply resulted in greater productivity per person and in turn a greater standard of living for less work. Yes each person will have less to do, but goods will be cheaper and there will be an even greater demand for goods and thus a greater need for employment. Every time people have bitched and moaned about people losing their jobs, the result was more people employed earning more for their labor. Maybe someday there will no longer be any scarcity in labor, but a scarcity free market would be a good thing.

And I want to puke every time I hear about how the income gap is growing. So what? The gap in real standard of living is the smallest it's ever been - do you seriously think anyone in the middle or lower class would be better off living 50 or 100 years ago?

But seriously, I can suggest quite a few economic texts that explain why the populist crap Hawking is spewing is absolutely wrong.

Comment Re:Here come the science deniers (Score 3, Informative) 560

I'm all for the science, so how can the researchers claim their observations indicate marijuana has 'significant negative effects on brain function'? They didn't study that, they studied regional cerebral blood flow. What that reduced blood flow means is a whole different topic.

Marijuana use is at an all time high, yet dementia rates are at an all time low and falling. And psychosis rates are fairly steady. I have the same issue with these studies as I do with the antivaxxer studies - where are the impacts of this observation in the population and why don't we see changes in public health line up with changes in usage?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying marijuana is good for you nor do I believe it is some magical cure all. I just tend to distrust and question studies on such politicized topics, especially when it makes suggestions contrary to popular observation.

Comment Re:Nature varies (Score 2) 244

You miss understand what E=mc^2 means - it has nothing to do with converting mass to energy or energy to mass. It is stating the fact that energy has mass, and that the majority of the mass of an atom comes from incredible amounts of potential energy in the nucleus (and thus nuclear energy). If c varies it would just mean the mass of a given amount of energy would vary with it, assuming E=mc^2 holds true.

Comment Re:Taxes, regulations etc ... (Score 1) 471

The fact that certain companies can get lower effective rates is really really bad. This creates distortions in the markets that help the politically favored rather than the most productive. If anything, the rate should be lower and the same for everyone - showing that the average effective rate is on par with other countries just further underscores how fucked up the US tax code is. To make the average appear OK, it means some people are paying a fuck lot and others are paying very little if anything.

Comment Re: Dear Apple fans: (Score 1) 471

I know this is supposed to be a joke, but Apple doesn't pay *US* taxes because US taxes are stupid high compared to the rest of the world so they just don't bring their foreign earnings home. Apple instead invests this money overseas in countries that have more reasonable tax policies (read, anywhere else in the industrialized world). If you want companies to start investing in the US again, you're going to have to at least bring taxes on par with the rest of the world, if not lower. You can't just tax everyone into oblivion and not expect them to take their toys and leave.

Comment Re:Interesting idea, but flawed (Score 1) 471

1) You clearly don't understand how the economy works, but most people with your point of view don't. Thise taxes are paid by someone, either the customer through higher prices (which includes improving production efficiency and not passing the lower costs to the consumer), or through lower profits. Profits, even the ones that make people wealthier, are almost entirely invested. This investment is what fuels capital accumulation, economic growth, and job creation. We should be encouraging this since this is what makes EVERYONE weathier. Almost a century of keynesian idiocy and people forget that this capital investment is just as important (if not more so) as consumption. Look, if you didn't have the rich folk buying the equipment you use to make a living, you'd be stuck digging holes in the dirt with your bare hands trying to survive. See 100+ years ago or every Socialist utopia that ever existed.

2) So what? Again, using corporate funds for capital investment is a GOOD thing. Just because you're greedy and think you should be able to squander it on useless crap doesn't give you the moral superiority to take from someone else.

I know most people know shockingly little about economics. There's no such thing as Scrooge McDuck, the wealthy aren't just keeping massive vats of cash - they reinvest the gross majority of their capital gains which is what actually grows our economy. By pulling taxes from anywhere you are leaching away from this investment and making us all poorer in the long run.

While I have a lot of issues with Trump, especially on his apparent economic ignorance (which might just be a farce to appeal to the ignorant populist 'they're taking er jerbs' types), this is exactly what needs to happen - lowering or eliminating corporate taxes and reducing corporate regulations. This is how Sweden and co are able to afford their lavish social programs, by returning to free market capitalism and enticing evil corporations to come and grow. Fuck, I would be happy if we could drop all of this crazy govt manipulation of our economy in exchange for a flat consumption tax and universal basic income (as fucking stupid as that is, it would be way way better than the protectionist and corporatist madness we have now)

Comment Re:Drone Snowden's ass already (Score 1) 488

I am no fan boy, I couldn't care less about Trump and his overall business success rate, but you clearly know nothing about AC. In 1984 no one would have ever imagined PA would allow gambling - at this time it was still dominated by a strong religious puritan ethic that barely allowed alcohol sales in the state, much less gambling. Due to the political and economic situation in NJ over the next 20 years, there was a mass exodus into PA, gradually liberalizing the state. A lot of people were burned by this and it's a big issue in NJ.

So, did your business degree give you the ability to see into the future, or just sound like a pretentious ass? If you want to go on about how much your turd sandwich is better than the other guy's, at least try not to sound like a clueless jerk off.

Comment Re:Drone Snowden's ass already (Score 1) 488

Sigh... When Trump's casino opened in 1984, Atlantic City was still popular. Problems didn't start until PA granted a number of casino licences in 2006 and the casinos opened a couple years later. These new casinos are not only nicer and in much nicer areas, but also actually a lot easier to get to for most people in NJ and NY - tourist traffic to AC quickly dried up causing the economic collapse of the once great ocean town. His was actually the fourth major casino to close since the birth of the PA gambling.

If you have some way of knowing what's going to happen 22 years in the future, I would sure like to know. Otherwise, I'm all for hating on Trump, but his casino closing is a poor example of his failings.

Comment Re:Drone Snowden's ass already (Score 1) 488

You're missing the point - the GP implied Trump fucked up with the casino - he didn't, he made out well for himself, and dumping the casino was the best thing to do. That doesn't change all the shady dealings he has had in AC (and having done work for Trump Casino, I can assure you the whole thing was just a tax haven). If anything, the point is Hillary is no better at being corrupt than Trump. Or, at least, Trump Casio is a poor example of his failures - there are plenty others to choose from.

Comment Re:Drone Snowden's ass already (Score 1) 488

Yeah, AC has been a shit hole for as long as I can remember, but competition from PA casinos is fairly new.

And 'right across the border' means 'not far into PA'; no one cares how far PA is from AC. Plus, NJ is a tiny state and being on the other side means a whole 1 hour drive. But that's really beside the point - for anyone in northern NJ and NYC (aka the gross majority of people who would have gone to AC) the PA casinos are much closer and easier to get to. There's a reason PA casinos have been constantly building and growing while AC casinos fail.

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