Regular Features Sandpit March 4, 2019 John Quiggin29 Comments A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on. Like this:Like Loading... Related
29 thoughts on “Sandpit”
Smith9 & Svante re my comment “Hi grandkids – sorry…” i was being, in the spirit of diplomatic vs doomsday, a very doomsday-er heading I’ll admit…” (victim trolling?). Too many links, so replace spaces.
Let’s deal with McKinsey first.
Smith9 said “Not exactly “a future for the planet if emissions stay as they are”.
Svante “Nature bats last, sure, but how would you like your toast?”
Forbes! does it better ( see below).
McKinsey! Bedtime story for clients. “they assert [ read: Storylines ], used their global expertise [ read: harvesting money for others as we have clean hands not agw ] to compile a ‘Reference Case’ ” [ read: projections to calm bau clients ]. Their use of logic in this disgusts me. Oh McKinsey tell me how my finances will be in 80 yrs – they’d be rofl. Malfeasance and propaganda. Ipcc – “marker scenarios'”. McKinsey – a case for pollution and slowest possible actions imo.
Not even the ipcc will assert for a day.They use the correct words “Storylines and emissions.. and projections.
“The greenhouse gas forcing used by the AR4 models are derived from SRES emissions scenarios. The SRES report discusses emissions projections produced by a range of Integrated Assessment Models for a range of socio-economic storylines. Four ‘marker scenarios’ are recommended as the basis of climate model projections, together with two further ‘’:” http://www.ipcc-data.org/observ/ddc_co2.html
Search for visuals:
“Full Mauna Loa CO2 recordNATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION”
“670 ppm CO2 INDCs Strict’
As to 1,200ppm – yes extreme but a marker of effect via science. I like clouds.
“”Year 2100 Projections
ClimateInteractive org – Based on climate action pledges of UN member countries”
As of March 1, 2011
4.0°C – 800 ppm CO2
As of December 14, 2015
3.5°C – 670 ppm CO2 855 ppm CO2e
As of October 27, 2015
475 ppm CO2
485 ppm CO2e
As of December 14, 2015
1.8°C 450 ppm CO2 455 ppm CO2e
As of December 14, 2015
1.5°C – 425 ppm CO2 420 ppm CO2e
www co2 earth/23-co2-future
Abc science show had Prof Tom Crowther on Saturday – 2nd March – saying;
“1.2 trillion trees needs to restock trees and soak co2.” Crowther noted he has never been attacked as badly by deniers. He also pointed out boosters. They didn’t complain or attack.
Search “Tom crowther climate science show abc australia” and see page full of deniers are linked more than science. They know how to tweak algorithms. Pity not the science algorithms.
“”COP21: ‘A trillion trees to the rescue’
“Tom Crowther garnered international interest in September when his group published an estimate for the number of trees on Planet Earth – 3,041,000,000,000. “”
Ipcc a nightmare to search. Nor do they do tipping points. Dead links everywhere. But this was of interest althought dated it has all the tipping points and potential runaway feedbacks:
“IPCC Predictions: Then Versus NowDecember 11th, 2012″”Reality: We are currently on track for a rise of between 6.3° and 13.3°F, with a high probability of an increase of 9.4°F by 2100, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
“”Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Set New Record
“Even those who don’t accept the science behind climate change should be concerned about this rise, because it continues unabated. At what point might it become a concern? 500 ppm? 1,000? If you look at the rate of steady increases, this curve should concern everyone on the planet because the increase is slowly accelerating over time:” … “Part of what is unknown about the effect of greenhouse gases on climate is the impact of feedback loops. These can be both positive and negative.” … “There are also moderating influences like the oceans, which can absorb a certain amount of carbon dioxide. This means that the temperature increase could be less than what might be expected based simply on the amount of carbon dioxide that was released.”
forbes com /sites/rrapier/2018/06/29/global-carbon-dioxide-emissions-set-new-record/amp/
your post is hard to follow, but let’s put it this way. There’s no point worrying about 1200 ppm, because the world will be cooked well before then, let’s say at 800 ppm. It’s like worrying about WW4, when WW3 is fought with nuclear weapons.
Svante. Yes I agree my post is hard to follow. The topic -AGW – and the knowledge that at 1,200ppm co2 will deplete our cloud cover was hard to find anything to directly link to see if that was a possibility.
Apologies for dumping a gish gallop. Yet it was a revelation to see how tricky for any say politicians to deal with agw.
You said ” It’s like worrying about WW4, when WW3 is fought with nuclear weapons.”. It wasn’t like that for me at all. It was like:
cosmic microwave background or
Poincaré- conjecture. A piece of detailed knowledge to learn from.
JQ, Svante, Smith9, all, I feel disrespectful of this blog and disgusted I posted above comment which was a scratch pad of bits and pieces with unfiltered emo mckinsey re annactual comment. I admit it. Mea culpa. I didn’t check what I posted. 3am this morning my subconscious caught up. Minor family mishap took my attention but in no excuses not even bothering to check. Yellow card. Benched myself.
join the club.
i do it all the time— a 3am “oh no” moment is not mine though.
mine come generally just after i’ve clicked “post comment”
Immortality can be a bitch.
It is the sandpit, guys. Post what you want (within the limits of defamation and decency)
Since JQ has said “Post what you want (within the limits of defamation and decency)”, I will post a short excerpt from my unpublished philosophical work in progress. It will never be published of course except in this vanity-publishing manner facilitated by JQ’s hosting generosity. This excerpt of two short sections, in a sense, stands on its own. I hope some may find it of interest. Comments welcome if anyone manages to read it.
3.3 – Further Notes on Method with reference to Boundaries.
Given its general aim, this paper must investigate the boundary between philosophy and science. The specific focus will be the boundary between metaphysics and complex systems science. The focus on boundaries is methodologically consistent. In physics, chemistry and biology boundaries are generally definable and it is at boundaries that discrete systems interact. Admittedly, there is a “by definition” element to this statement. What occurs at boundaries and what crosses boundaries are phenomena both observable and diagnostic. Boundary phenomena give us information about the interacting systems. Indeed, it will be argued in this paper that system boundary phenomena are the only phenomena empirically available to humans from their senses and instruments. Information or sense data (termed “impressions” in older philosophical terminology) cross our bodily boundaries – in various manners according to the modes of operation of the different senses – and are thence transmitted to the brain where the information undergoes further operations and transformations. A good understanding of boundary interactions facilitates the process of making inferences about the system-internal structures and processes for each interacting system under investigation. A metaphysics of the boundary as empirical interface and of all-existence (the cosmos) as being able to be most effectively modeled by humans from the stance of complex system priority monism should facilitate a resolution of metaphysics in Empirical Philosophy.
Philosophical method of course proceeds from a priori justification and it is worth reviewing and clarifying the concept. “A priori justification is a type of epistemic justification that is, in some sense, independent of experience.” – Kant. That is to say, an a priori justification will either not have any apparent empirical justification (though it may have a dogmatic one) or it will have an imperfect or incomplete empirical justification. An a priori justification will be stated either as an absolute knowledge claim, or as a provisional knowledge claim, and thence be used as a starting point for philosophical investigation. Absolute knowledge claims are characteristic of dogmas; religious or ideological dogmas. Provisional knowledge claims recognise their own provisional nature and such claims are often made as relatively modest and pragmatic starting points for investigation; for inductions and deductions. Provisional knowledge claims will tend to have some incomplete empirical justification and some basic plausibility, perhaps as an Occam’s razor (simplest possible) explanation. Philosophical argument should then proceed by rational induction and deduction; it will follow the methods of pure reason, to some extent, as “the cognitions after which reason might strive independently of all experience,” – Kant. There is an apparent claim in such method that reason alone can deduce at least some truths independent of experience.
3.3.1 – Evolutionary Justification for Asserting the Sometime Efficacy of Pure Reason
This treatise, as it progresses, will adopt the general position, and provide demonstrating examples, that pure logic and pure reason can sometimes function effectively to deduce truths, as correspondences or congruences, to be later possibly confirmed, or refuted, by empirical observation and testing. If this were not so, logic and mathematics as disciplines would be useless to non-existent. Applied mathematics would fare no better in assisting both engineering design and scientific prediction than the reading of entrails. The sometime efficacy of pure reason, pure logic and pure mathematics can be found to have an evolutionary explanation. Certain valid logical operations have an explanation for their cultural transmission and persistence by virtue of the conferral of better survival and reproduction chances upon the individuals and cultures whose minds employ such forms of “reality-congruent” logic. Long term survival advantage and short term pragmatic advantage are the general proofs of such congruence. There will be a necessity, in the course of this treatise, to separate out issues of language-logic evolution and transmission from issues of somatic evolution and heredity; essentially as a memomics versus genomics discussion in the broad co-evolution sense.
The assumption that some valid deductions are “pure reason” and “independent of all experience” will be found to be an incomplete description. These deductions only appear to be independent of “all experience”. Sometimes, they will be found to be dependent on as yet explicitly un-noted or unexamined aspects of personal experience. Where they are genuinely independent of all proximal and personal experience, they will be found to be dependent on distal species experience, as ancestor experiences culturally transmitted as surviving memes of operational logic contained in language. There must exist, at the least, a rudimentary universal logic, by which the human brain and mind interpret or rather model the world to make some communicable sense of external reality (for humans as a social species) and to pragmatically interact (in mutual cooperation) with external reality; the latter being defined as systems external to brain and mind systems.
The broad idea of brain and/or mind evolving in response to, and to successfully respond to, the environment was elucidated at least as early as Hume and his was the very philosophical induction which suggested the essence of evolution to Darwin. Darwin himself acknowledged this. It is wonderful demonstration, if one is needed, of the real use of good empirical philosophy in the development of science. (Note: still searching for the references to support this statement but IIRC they certainly do exist.)
3.3.2 – Boundaries – Seen Surfaces, Hidden Interiors.
Classical systematic philosophy, as pre-scientific philosophy, found its raison d’être in wonder and its method in systematic doubt. The combination of the two leads to the apprehension that thorough-going truth and knowledge are seldom immediately obvious and are thus matters worthy of extensive investigation and profound thought. Scepticism, of received or dogmatic authority, but also of data from the fallible senses and the deceptive appearances of the world, must be systematically applied, as methodical doubt, to beliefs and to purported knowledge. Methodical doubt mandates and facilitates methodical investigation. In this context, two domains present themselves for investigation, the world and what humans say about it. Further, there is a sensed split between the appearance of the world and the deeper reality of the world and indeed this split appears in many human discourses about the world. Appearance is of the surface; superficial, incomplete and often misleading. The full reality is that which is hidden beneath; deep, complex and often unknown.
The difference between a surface and the reality beneath, turns out to be precisely of the nature of a difference between a system’s boundary and the internals of the system. Examples of such boundaries are available to ordinary perception everywhere in the natural world. One can note the surface of a lake or the skin of an apple as examples of surfaces and thus of system boundaries. Boundaries immediately present interesting and sometimes contrasting characteristics. A boundary may be permeable, semi-permeable or impermeable. We might also use the broader terminology of penetrable, semi-penetrable or impenetrable. The act of penetrating a boundary leads to a discovery of some things beneath or beyond the boundary, which otherwise could not be known. Diving through the surface of a lake may reveal fish or no fish in the middle depths and a lake bottom of sand, mud or weed. Biting through the skin of an apple will reveal edible pulp in the case of a good apple or inedible pulp in the case of a bad or unripe apple. Details of the skin (colours, wrinkles, depressions) may or may not have already revealed some information about the nature of the pulp in the apple. A surface or boundary may convey almost no information, some information or considerable information about the system’s “depths”, depending on the boundary’s nature and its relation to that which lies below or beyond it. Sooner or later we reach boundaries where we cannot penetrate further into the nature of things.
This common and repeated human experience, that boundaries are both revealing and concealing, can (along with “over-philosophising”) lead to a “second order reification” of something which is posited to be beyond all boundaries. To reiterate, reification (also known as the fallacy of misplaced concreteness or hypostatization) is a fallacy whereby an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a physically real process or entity. A second order (and inverted) reification, in my definition, is the fallacy whereby the mind’s models of concrete real objects, real processes or real systems, especially the mind’s most abstract philosophical, mathematical or mathematico-deductivist models, are intellectually fetishized and then considered and treated, not as concretely real like an ordinary reification, but as ideally real (existing in an ideal realm external to the mind and beyond all boundaries) and somehow “more real than the real” in some pure or idealist sense. A prime candidate for a general instance of second order (inverted) reification is Plato’s Theory of Forms. It is assumed that, beyond the presumed final boundary, which we cannot penetrate, there must be a fundamental difference from ordinary nature; a fundamentally different realm where there exist only ideal forms without substance, like the perfect sphere for example, which somehow inform or determine all of detectable nature and somehow participate in creating real forms which are imperfect reproductions of perfect or ideal forms.
The state or nature of reality beyond that final boundary is assumed to be qualitatively and profoundly, that is to say absolutely, different and in all ways ideal. Yet these pure, ideal forms posited to exist outside all reachable or detectable reality look suspiciously alike, indeed identical, to the most abstract models in the human mind. The Occam’s razor alternative is to assume that right across the system of existence a condition of complex system monism pertains; a single system of systems without any assumption of substance difference or connection difference even at unseen levels or at space-time distances beyond the bounds of experience.
Second order, inverted reification, growing out of the ambiguity which the experience of knowable surfaces and unknowable depths presents to the enquiring mind, is very possibly the psychological, and perhaps even the evolutionary-psychological (evo-psych), precursor of religious and mystical feelings as qualia and of dualism as a philosophical response. The brain, or rather mind-processes in the brain, seek correlative certainties for pragmatic survival reasons. The mind further seeks, it can be argued, for a meta-certainty; that is a certainty that its set of certainty and reliability models for interacting with the world possess cross-consistency. Unresolvable ambiguity in this arena potentially involves the mind, which is seeking for certainty and equilibrium, in endless loops or recursion difficulties, manifested as paralysing indecision, inaction or crises of confidence or faith (faith being no more than belief in dogma without any evidence other than the authority claims of the dogma itself).
Endless loops require error handling. Error handling in turn can be and is implemented in an essentially arbitrary but pragmatic (or evolved) manner, such that when a certain value or quantity is reached, the looping or recursion is terminated. After a given number of loops, or a given amount of recursion generating a rising discomfit potential, reaches some sort of pre-set biological limit, a new potential must flood the nervous system and terminate the recursion. To put it neurologically, newly released neurochemicals can swamp thought processing which is caught in an endless loop and thus terminate the processing. This loop termination could easily be an anger outburst, a depression episode or some displacement activity involving strong and usually physical sensations, meaning pleasures for the sybarite and pains for the masochist.
Ikonoclast. Thanks for sharing.
“Boundary phenomena give us information about the interacting systems. ” immediately reminds me of permaculture as edge effects are one of its main points.
This blog :
… has some great papers eclecric systems etc and is serious enough you may find some good chaff for you mill.
And what a short bio – ideas man!
Robert Searle was educated in Windsor at the Royal Free, the Tutorials, and East Berkshire College. He is the originator of two major “work in progress” Paradigms known as Transfinancial Economics (TFE), and Multi-Dimensional Science (MDS).The former believes that new unearned money could be electronically created without serious inflation notably for key environmental, and socially ethical projects. Multi-Dimensional Science though presents an unique “scientific” Methodology by which claimed psychic, and spiritual “phenomena”could possibly be “proved”. Apart from the above, Searle has proposed the development of the Universal Debating Project, a structured interactive “encyclopedia” of virtually “all” pro, and con arguments for practically any subject in the world.He is the creator too of a tribute blog on the musician, and broadcaster David Munrow (1942-1976), and a pioneering one on Contemporary Early Music.Furthermore, he has a very large audio-visual collection of Medieval, and Renaissance Music (manually created as Searle8), and has an “unusual” musical project notably involving improvisation that could open up a “new” approach to music.”.
I seriously like the idea of “Universal Debating Project,” so we dont forever has to listen to Christian Porter – debating champ and supporter of his staffers at toastmasters canberra.
Your work is not even searchable on the web buried in JQ’s commets.
Being presumptuous yet – If you DO intend to actually publish it, sent a short email icon to JQ at uq would you fwd it to me please JQ.
Thanks, KT2. What I am writing is not finished and I could never get it published. It’s still tentative, being worked out. It might be wrong and where it’s not wrong it’s probably unoriginal. I have no standing of any kind; not academic, not authorial, not professional and not as an intellectual. I’ve labored, driven machinery, pushed a clerical pen and done odd-jobs. That’s my resume. I do have an ancient and unused B.A. in media and communications; never worked in those fields though.
I’m lucky I can put a few ideas into a word processor and onto a blog or two. I veer between imagining I have a few decent ideas and thinking I am a complete crank. At least I am a harmless crank. Writing and blogging makes a change from the rest of my retiree day. One cannot live solely on household and yard chores, exercise, hobbies, entertainments, holidays, family engagements and the seemingly endless “duty” to be a consumer to soak up capitalist overproduction.* 😉
I will look at some of that stuff you recommend but I am not a fan of anything that goes by terms like “psychic” and “spiritual”. Color me very highly skeptical about such matters. An Ikonoclast is an eclectic-spelling, image smasher after all; orthodoxies, icons, shibboleths etc. are among my least favorite things. 🙂
* Note: I tried to volunteer in a few ways to “help society” but I found I was seen as a competitor who would take coveted positions from others or paid work from people. They were quite strange experiences. I could not deal with the coteries in the volunteerism sector. No doubt that was due to my own personality limitations. I’ve really always preferred working alone.
The good news is, according to someone I saw on German TV, is that a study that he did not source showed that when cows are seaweed 95% of their methane production an be prevented. He did not say if that means feeding the cows a diet of entirely seaweed or if that was a seaweed “pill” each day.
The bad news is that information seems to be far to little far to late to do humanity any good.
But if we want to remain possumistic we can hope that there will not be a massive disruption of agricultural harvests the first year that the earth’s temperature tops the 2°C mark.
In other news. Taxes to not finance spending. That is one point for MMT. Japan is a case in point that does not contridict MMT. That is another point for MMT. But if MMT was a cure all why in the hell is Russia such a basket case? That would seem to be a case that does contradict MMT. One point for its critics. Maybe corruption is the reason that Russia is a basket case and not MMT. Wait, maybe Russia is not really a basket case. Maybe that point for the critics has to be put on hold.
OK if it is not a basket case it is still a huge disappointment. After all it has huge amounts of natural resources besides oil and natural gas. Why in the heck is Russia even exporting oil. If it had been using its resources effectively it would have been using its entire oil supply? But maybe there is a piece to the puzzle that critics of the Russia government are unaware of. Maybe the costs of extracting the natural resources of Russia is much more complicated in Russia than elseware due to its geography.
But back to MMT. Ikonoclast is still right about 1 criticism. It is still a pro economic growth strategy.
One one hand a person might say, humanity needs rapid deindustrialization. To do that while maintaíning social cohesion can not be done with a market economy that can only be done under socialist leadership, I say socialist for lack of a better term. OK maybe the more generic left wing is better. And it will now doubt require marshal law as well.
Another person might say, hey the socialist idea backed up by marshal law was a good idea 20 years ago. But no one in any position of responsibilty thought of then. Now we are way past the point of no return on climate change. So as long as we are passed the point of no return the real logical thing to do would be to step on the gas of burning fossil fuels and get the process over much faster. That may seem cruel but when you crunch the numbers you will see that the amount of suffering will be much less if humanity goes extinct in 2 or 3 years rather than 20 or 30 years. Why because people are not very bright. They will continue having children and even though tens or even hundreds of millions of people will be dieing each year if we try to avoid extinction tens of millions will also be born each year who are going to live a life of pointless suffering. Of course religous people think that there actually is a point to suffering. All the more reason to stop them from breeding.
What EYE would say is that if there are people who want to make a last stand at the Alamo, (or Corregidor, I think Australians will get that one better) I will not get in their way. But I will say, let say that you fight to the last breath people are successful and manage to save half on humanity, is this the half of humanity that deserved to be saved, or will they be the half of humanity that was much more responsible for the problem in the first place?
Oh, and not that it probably matters, as our lives are short. But one other criticism that I have with MMT is that it implicitly weaponizes currency as a tool for nations to obtain the resources that they need to maintain or improve their economies. Although the supporters of mmt would say he we do not approve of weaponizing currency we are only reporting what has already happened and are encouraging all countries to use the same tools that now only some countries are allowed to use. Ok fair enough.
But why not go a step further and start explaining why it is crucial that the capitalist markets should not be allowed to make such crucial decisions in the first place. They may sound like a call for a world government. That is not exactly what I had in mind.
I just noticed that I wrote about seaweed cows when I meant to write about feeding cows seaweed.
I wrote a long post on the MMT thread if you can bear to read it. If not, this below is the most important thing I wrote.
“I certainly do not regard fiat money as neutral. Neither do I regard it as omnipotent which at least bowdlerized MMT does.”
With respect to your Climate Change concerns, I agree. Our actions are too little, too late. However, we need to continue making every effort to ameliorate GHG emissions. So, if feeding seaweed and probably certain bacteria to cows helps, then we should do it. More to the point we should reduce herds and consume less meat and milk and consume a more vegetarian style diet, in the main.
Whether a tough life is worth living or not, only those who experience such can decide. We (baby boomers born in the West) are a very soft bunch. We should not judge quality of life for all from our very effete and spoiled standards.
Icon… I have no standing of any kind; not academic, not authorial, not professional and not as an intellectual. I’ve labored, driven machinery, pushed a clerical pen and done odd-jobs”.
Your opinion and life is as valid as Donald T, Mark Z and the garbo and cleaner. I once went to a talk by an aboriginal social justice guy – he never raised his voice, sounded angry or seemed bitter. He was one of the stolen generation. He like you used to say that. I asked him a question and he said “anyone can write a paper and it got me into uni and succor for my people.”
Don’t stop until you’ve dead. Mountains are made of rocks.
Curt Kastens – a classic and the greens and wwf and acf should use “to remain possumistic “!
Woo hoo. History here. – we’ve witnessed, on JQ’s blog, a new colloquialism birthed by fat fingers, crappy spell check algorithms, and humans fantastic ability to read what is in our mind not what is written. More please.
And “criticism that I have with MMT is that it implicitly weaponizes currency as a tool for nations to obtain the resources that they need to maintain or improve their economies. ”
It is the gunpowder and lead. Some human decides to load it. The guy who started citibank used to say “money is just lead. You can stop the rain coming into your house with it, or make it into a bullet. Your choice. “
For those interested in MMT I created a FAQs page for it not long ago. It is based on the most common criticisms I hear about MMT from beginners. Whilst I would not consider myself a beginner nor am I an expert. You can see it at http://modernmoneyview.wordpress.com/faqs/
Here is the first one: What is the Modern Money View?
The Modern Money view is also known as Neochartalism, Modern Monetary Theory, Modern Money Theory and MMT. To put it simply, we have uncovered how money “works” in the modern economy. The findings have been reported in a large number of academic publications. In addition, the growth of the “blogosphere” has spread the ideas around the world.
According to L. Randall Wray, one of the original Modern Money academics, the Modern Money View consists of State Money/Chartalism (Knapp) + Credit Money (Innes) + Stock Flow Consistency (Godley) + Functional Finance (Lerner)
+ Endogenous Money (Schumpeter) + Financial Instability Hypothesis (Minsky) as well as input from Marx, Keynes, Veblen and other Institutional and Post Keynesian thought.
Ikonoclast, KT2, Thank you for your responses
I mentioned the study about feeding cows seaweed to prevent the production of methane to a Veterinarian today and she said, well if it is preventing the production of methane then it is preventing something from going on inside of the cow that normally does go on. That could have very serious side effects. In addition to the costs I would want to know what the side effects are.
A National Tax Code: Applicable to Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, the USA.
The important parts:
A.) Income Tax Table for married filing jointl, marginal rates no deductions
0-50,000 Dollars 0%
300,000 plus 100%
B.) For single tax payers the 0% tax rate will go only to 30,000.
200,000 plus 100%
But tax credits for young single people can be allowed for expenses that people have when they are starting out in life, such as paying for real estate agent costs or furniture for example.
C.) Unearned Income:
For married filing jointly both spouses under age 65.
18,000- 24,000 30%
42,000- 48,000 80%
48,000 plus 100%
For both spouses over 65,
0- 24,000 0%
D.) inheritance taxes any source, life time
a.) 250,000 0%
B.at each 50,000 dollar increase a 10% increase in marginal tax rates.
Medical and Dental supplies 0% (would apply to tourists at a minimum)
Clothing, household goods, furniture 14%
Everything else (except Real Estate) 21%
E.) Real Estate
Tax for the purchase of a family home
0-60 square meters 0%
60- 90 square meters 5%
90-120 square meters 7.5%
120-150 square meters 10%
150-200 square meters 12.5%
200-300 square meters 15%
300-500 square meters 20%
500 square meters plus 25%
Annual Real Estate Tax on assessed Value
300,000 plus 2%
A tax credit for those over 65 years old so it is not a burden to maintain a family home.
F. Fuel taxes
An increase in fuel taxes of 1 dollar per year for 5 years then an increase of 2 dollars per year.
A private automobil tax of 1000 dollars per year on the smallest class going up 500 dollars for each larger class, based upon weight with a 250 dollar increase each year in constant dollars.
This tax plan is based upon the goal of actually trying to address the world’s sustainabilty problem.
It is part of plan A. I suspect that it may already at this point be neccessary to employ plan B.
Plan B would be martial law. No one does jack shit except stay home, and ride bicycles, play games, chat,and other minimal activities.
The only people that would work would be those involved in the production and distribution of food, and the electrical system plus emergency services. People who live in substandard housing or whose houses get destroyed by natural disasters will be forced to move in with other families like was done in WW2 in Germany. Although unlike in Gemany they will get put in to the homes of the most wealthy people first working down from there.
This tax plan is not designed to raise money for the government or to control inflation. I am not an inflation hawk. I luv inflation as long as it is below 5% per month.
It is CRUCIAL to admit that saving money might be good for an individual or a family but it unsustainable for a PLANET. When people save money they save so that they can have more and LARGER. People have to be encouraged to want less and smaller. Inflation is a flat tax on savings and checking accounts. Got that defenders of the rich. It is a flat tax. That should make you happy. You love flat taxes over progressive taxes. Inflation encourages people to spend their money by imposing a penalty for trying accumulate assets.
On a planet the size of earth with 1 or 2 billion people the accumulation of assets could probably be tolerated. It is intolerable on this planet with 7 billion people.
The chances that my plan A or B would actually be enacted are ZERO. But I think it shows what should have been done in 1970 or 1980 if this world had had decent leadership. Now it seems that we have either passed the point of no return or will soon pass the point of no return of being able to prevent a very rapid change in the planets climate in the next few decades. The stiuation seems to be like when a doctor tells a patient that he has stage 5 cancer and more than 99% of people die at this stage even with treatment. When this happens some people choose to continue treatment anyways hoping for a semi miracle and other throw in the towel and decide to just have as much fun as they can in the time that they have left.
I forgot a couple of key aspects of my plan B. One is that all money printed before the implementation of Marsshall Law is as worthless as Reichmarks or the currency of the Confederate States of America.
Two is that the production of solar panels would continue.
I came up with Plan B about one month ago. A few days ago I learned about another serious problem that I had forgotten about while I was writting. The problem seems to be that if the planet deindustrializes sulpher particles floating in the atmosphere would not be replaced. These particles block sunlight from entering the atmosphere. If they are not there there will be a rapid increase of one or two degrees C in the planet’s tempreture. All though the press reports that the planet has increased in tempeture almost 1° C since pre industrial times. The goal posts have been moved so that it does not have to be admitted that the world has already heated up 1.5° C since preindustrial times. Another half of degree is locked in. So if industrialization were to stop TOMMOROW we would warm up to 2°C
not taking in to account the loss of sulphur which would make it at least 3°. UNLESS a sensible way could be found to introduce Sulphur to the atmosphere without increasing CO2. I myself do not know of such a way.
So humanity is up to its neck in quicksand. Someone who can not admit that to themselves is fooling themselves. One question that I have is can normal humans handle the truth, or should it be witheld from them?
There will come a point where the biosphere, climate and ecological truths (crises) cannot be withheld from people and cannot be denied. The best idea is to keep scientifically researching these issues and educating the public. This will help bring action forward especially as real events validate scientific predictions.
Yes, we are in the zone where have to contemplate that we may have done too little and left action too late. Nevertheless, it still could be quite surprising what we can do if we fully mobilize for the climate emergency. A combination of public education and seeing the first large and undeniable crises attributable to climate change will galvanize action. It’s important that we do not jettison democracy in the crisis. Statist action will be necessary but the voting public can deliver that mandate to a government. It is best to avoid martial law for an extended period and over the whole nation, even in a protracted crisis. We do not want to inaugurate a tyranny.
“In the United States, martial law has been used in a limited number of circumstances, such as directly after a foreign attack, such as Hawaii after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor or New Orleans during the Battle of New Orleans, after major disasters, such as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 or the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, by renegade local leaders seeking to avoid arrest, such as Nauvoo, Illinois during the Illinois Mormon War, or Utah during the Utah War… ” – Wikipedia.
Unfortunately, I can’t find sources which indicate the geographic extent of these martial law declarations listed above. I doubt all of them covered the whole nation and ones that might have, such as the declaration after Pearl Harbor, would not have extended over the whole nation for the duration of the whole war. That is my guess. In addition there is the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military involvement in domestic law enforcement without congressional approval.
With Britain, I can find no sources which indicate it was under martial law for the whole period of WW2. I am open to correction. A democratic nation does not have to be placed under martial law to enable conscription of military and civilian personnel or requisition of property and materials for a national effort.
Martial law tends to be necessary only to quell riots and disorder in a immediate crisis and to expedite early control and requisition. An extended need for martial law indicates the nation is seriously disunited. Democratic nations, under serious crisis demand, can unite very well. I think WW2 proves that.
There are quite a few reasons that humanity was problems doing things the right way. For example one of the problems is borders. When you get right down to it we are all people tied together in one direction or another so the idea of human created borders cutting these ties is absurd. Yet the idea that there should be no human recognized borders between people is also absurd. We can go a step bigger and look at humanities macro economic choices a market economy, a state (worker?) planned economy, or some combination of the two. In all of human history those are the options that people have come up with. Has another option been overlooked? I do not think so. It would be very interesting if someone would prove me wrong.
So humanity if faced with choosing between two basic economic systems which tons and tons of studies have proven are deeply flawed. That leaves humanity trying to take some from this and some from that one to try to create something that works. Can anyone have much confidence that a bit of this and a bit of that from two original choices is going to turn out well?
Then humanity has to choose WHO gets to decide how we collectively live? Right now the consensus on the left is democratically. Again I think that if we are honest we have to admit that democracy is a really really bad idea. Allowing one person one vote allows every delusional, dishonest, and dumb individual have a say in national policies. I would like to see some evidence that people who fall in to at least one of these three catagories are not the overwhelming majority of the population.
But like our problem with the choice between markets and state planning if we do not live by democratic methods the only alternative that humanity has come up with so far is rule by elites. That means rule by military elites, financial elites, theological elites or what have you. Yet the people who end up as being members of these elites tend to be quite stupid, quite delusoinal, and a hell of alot more dishonest than the average member of the population. In addition to that the old adage that power corrupts seems to be true.
Most leftist say that democracy is the lesser of these evils. I myself am not willing to settle for that really really bad answer. If I could chose I would want to live in a society run by “confucian” elites. The idea of course goes back to Plato and Confucius. The big decisions in the world have to be left to people who have been selected at a young age, probably between 11 and 13 and given special training as philosopher warriors to rule society with the directive of doing the greatest good for the greatest number, except when that does not make any sense. Which means that ruling is an art not a science.
These potential rulers and rulers would have to be subject to testing in which they are subject to bribery and all manor of tempations to abuse their positions of trust to be able to maintain their positions in the system.
Do I really claim that that this system would work better than any system that is already in exstistance?
Hell NO!!! Because there is a CATCH. The CATCH is who the people are that implement the system in the first place. If a population is filled with delusional, dishonest, and dumb people (like planet earth)
why should anyone have any faith that a group of discerning, uncorruptable, and intellegent people could actually overcome all of the obsiticals that would be in their way and even take power in Singapore let alone even one major country?
But I do maintain that if such people were able to come to power that they should have implemented my tax plan before 1970. Yet no one here has commented on the pros and cons that this tax plan would subject a national economy to. So how can I know if my assessment is widely shared if NO ONE TELLS ME IF THEY AGREE OR DISAGREE!
I will tell you. I disagree, on all your points. However, I will restrict myself mainly to one, the issue of democracy. In our society, people are regarded as fit to govern their own personal lives; that is to decide on friends, partners, child rearing, work choices, personal finances, social causes, hobbies and past-times. “Fit” we can take to mean intellectually, emotionally and ethically fit. Of course, their choices are constrained; constrained exogenously by opportunities, social mores, laws and systemic limitations. and endogenously by intellectual, emotional and ethical capabilities and limitations.
In the main, most people make a functional go of their lives under peaceful and reasonably conducive conditions; that is they manage okay (sometimes with help as we all need help sometimes). Their lives and their close groups, families and friends, are in the main functional. This competence to govern their own lives is quite extensive and should not be minimized or devalued. Thence to deduce that these same people are not competent to have a say in running society, runs counter to their demonstrated competence in ordinary civil life.
Our main problem is that we do not have nearly enough democracy. Our representative democracy is imperfect in design, seriously incomplete by genuine democratic standards and distorted by the anti-democratic power of rich sectional interests. These interests possess excessive agglomerations of wealth and excessive ability to essentially buy politicians, parties and legislation. The discussion of why that is an issue and how to address it, is another discussion. Certainly, progressive taxation is an important issue. Perhaps more important is the issue of the distribution of ownership in the first place and the distributions of income from that ownership.
You do not know the same people that I have known. I have known a lot of people that are completely incapable of running their personal lives. Which shows that huge numbers of people are certianly incapable of making a positive contribution to debates about public policy.
Even if we conclude that personal incompetence is not a problem there are huge problems with translating the will of the people in to what the hell the will of the people would be. In societies at the scale that now exist representive democracy is the only potentially practical option. But no one can say WHY any particular party or person was elected. It is all guess work. There are so many planks of a platform. It elected we (I) want to do this that and the other thing. So one person agrees with one party on 6 out of 10 issues and votes for that party. Another person agrees with that party on four out of ten issues but votes for the party as well because those four issues are more important to that person. Were as some other voter might agree with that party on nine out fo ten issues but vote against it because they are a single issue voter. Furthermore how well informed are any of these three voters on any of the issues? Representitive democracy is a farce.
Besides whether or not a person agrees with me on that issue the issue at hand, what the consequences for an economy would be if my tax plan were to have been implemented are the real issue that needs to be discussed.
Because no one of any school of economics has chosen to address the consequences of my proposed tax plan makes me wonder if there is some sort of problem with discussing it. A problem that does not orginate with me. Or is the problem really with me? Perhaps something in my background that makes my proposal unworthy of discussion? Or is it something really simple, like because Curt does not support one person one vote any thing that he says is automatically discredited.
I agree that large absolute “numbers of people are certainly incapable of making a positive contribution to debates about public policy.”
In round numbers, 16 million people have the vote in Australia. A little more actually, but let’s keep it a round number. If one quarter (an estimate) fit your definition that’s 4 million people in absolute terms but 25% in relative terms. Most of this 25% will pay no attention to politics anyway and not contribute to debates. They will not vote, vote informal, vote at random or vote in a “rusted on” fashion. Of the rest, there are still many rusted on voters but even they change votes at times if they feel very strongly on a single issue. Then there are the “swinging” voters.
Overall, there’s a critical mass of people who are competent and who care. If they care about nothing else, they still care about their own self-interest and often enough this is enlightened self interest to some extent. If really bad policies are obviously hurting most people, then governments will be changed. I don’t share your apparent negative assessment of the intelligence and competence of most people. If the majority of humans were totally stupid and incompetent we could not run a modern society at all. Education may be lacking in some quarters but that’s a systemic, societal failing.
I do share your negative assessment of our current system. A system can distort perceptions and especially perceptions of enlightened self-interest. Advertising, propaganda, lobbying money, the “buying” of political process and other issues do afflict our system. Our representative democracy system is also inadequate and somewhat antiquated. We need more proportional representation, perhaps like N.Z. More than that we need democracy in the workplace or “Democracy at Work”. Richard D. Wolff is a good source for ideas on this along with the democracyatwork website.
As to your tax system, I am in favor of a progressive tax system. Yes, the very rich should pay a marginal rate of like 95% on the highest levels of income. There should also be wealth taxes. I’d have to look at various proposals to see what I agree with specifically. But taxing to redistribute wealth is a bit like rounding up the horse again after it has bolted. It’s better to deal with the ownership of production issue and the distribution of income in the first place. I mean to avoid excessive profits and rentier profits, to have fair wages and so on.
You are certainly entitled to propose things economically and politically. I do all the time (on blogs). Other people are also entitled to ignore a person if they wish. I certainly get ignored a lot. One has to develop a thick skin or go fishing I find. Actually, I don’t fish, I just go for walks and try to read more books.
There was a method to my madness. A person could deal with ownership. But if the benifits of ownership have already been massively reduced it may not be neccessary to deal with the ownership issue. If the owners of massive wealth determine that the risks of owning massive wealth are greater than the costs plus risks then they should not have much interest in fighting to maintain their ownership.
Furthermore with their assets massivley diminished the means at their disposal to role things back will much less. In addition to that the ability to pass on massive ownership would be reduced to almost nothing. But of course Trusts have to be dealt with. The rules for Trusts have to be changed as well.
A discussion for Some other time perhaps
We have a few things in common. I have nothing more than an old BA in sociology. I work with dirt………in the yard and in the kitchen, so I prefer to refer to myself as an archeologist. In my spare time I mostly just walk and read. I spend a bit of time translating messages from aliens that look like trees. That is how I know that there are lots of delusional people in the world. Trees that speak are real. I saw some on a TV program. I learned that the TV program was filmed in New Zealand. So that is probably where the messages come from.
Your defense of democratic decision making was clearly from an Austrialian perspective. My attack on democratic decision making was from an American perspecitve. It also applies from a european perspective. Catalonian independence for example, what a bunch of hog wash. What is democratic about limiting the voting about Catalonian succesion from Spain to only the people who live in Catalonia? It would be even more democratic to allow all the people of Spain to decide if the people of Catalonia break away from the country. Better yet why not allow all of the people of the EU have a say in the decision.
The same is true in the British Isles. The Irish voted to be independent from the UK. But in 6 counties they voted to remain in the UK. So these six counties became independent from Ireland. But if these 6 counties could declare their independence from Ireland why should the predominately catholic areas of Ulster outside of the cities not be allowed to succeed from Ulster and join back with the Irish? But on the other hand why were the English not allowed to have a say, after all the question was about how things will be done in the British Isles. But wait the UK has been part of the EU for decades so perhaps everyone in the EU should be able to decide whether or not Ulster gets cut off from the EU by a border that is hard to cross.
What do these votes really change anyways? Were the Irish allowed to escape the capitalist world? would the Catalonians be allowed to escape the capitalist world? At best these votes just trade the new boss for the old boss.
Speaking of bosses which brings me to speaking of goverments. I think that there is a reason that we create these myths of governmental legitimacy such as the divine right of kings, or that government legitamacy comes from the will of the people. It is so that we can avoid or deny conflict. It is so that we can say that a decision is final and stop fighting about that decision and move on to some other conflct.
I say that real citizens understand that bad decisions are never final.
OK a democraticly made decision is no less legitimate than one made by a Monarch, or General, or a theogician. I do not find how a decision is made as being nearly as relevent as WHAT decision is made.
There is a huge amount of disagreement about WHAT people should being doing today or tommorrow.
When people look back 500 years they have a much better idea of what should or should not have been done. Therefore the legitimacy of WHAT one does (and why) has to be left for historians 500 years down the road.
“I spend a bit of time translating messages from aliens that look like trees. That is how I know that there are lots of delusional people in the world. Trees that speak are real. I saw some on a TV program.”
Three points for consideration;
(1) Irony requires an irony alert on the internet.
(2) I like trees but I have never heard one talk.
(3) Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
All the best,
I forgot to post my reccomendations on taxes for imports. No one pointed that out! That of course should be part of plan A. Of course it could have been a conspiracy on the part of the readers here to prevent the Dutch press from gettting wind of my tax propopsals. Very clever. You do not actually censor my tax proposal like Bill Mitchell did. Because he secretly loves it. NO you try to bury it under a mountain of other comments so that serious economists will not be able to learn what a serious economic proposal looks like when they see one. Because lets be honest for most of them this would have been the first time that they would have ever seen a serious economic proposal. How are they gong to learn real economics if they have only other economists to learn from. OK Bill Mitchell is an economist and he loves my proposal. He will not stand behind it though because he thinks that economists will be confused by it. That may be. I have never been one for denying truth however.
I am even willing to go so far as to publically say that Hasan Akbar not only does not deserve to be in prison. He deserves a Medal of Honor.
Maybe that does not count for anything if the only people who read this blog are from Australia and New Zealand as they would not have any idea who Hasan Akbar is.