9 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. The era of negative interest rates for government bonds puts pressure on monetary policy. In times of stagnation and deflation the effectiveness of monetary policy is questionable. This ties one of the arms of macroeconomic management. Domestic economies are now exposed to external shocks. The use of foreign exchange manipulations can make this worse for fringe economies. As yet there is no way out for most economic managers. Economics needs to address this real dilemma.

  2. “In times of stagnation and deflation the effectiveness of monetary policy is questionable.”

    What you are calling monetary policy is merely a variation on the subsidies afforded to various parasites. There are only two valid forms of monetary policy. Increasing the reserve asset ratio of the banks to dampen demand. And buying up debt with freshly printed cash when you want to increase demand. Not with promises to supply cash on demand. But with freshly printed cash, sent out at the first available convenience, in security trucks. These two methods are always effective. But this system of real monetary policy is not in place. Because we are stupid enough to give the parasites a seat at the table.

    Because monetary policy has been conceived as just the banks shoving their snouts in the trough, we have all these people whom logic forgot, proposing the spilling of red ink everywhere, as a form of demand management. Which is a disaster. We cannot compromise with bankers. We have to establish rational demand management. Under 100% backing the authorities can readily hit any gross business revenue targets they want, no matter how large the surplus budget. Keynes was deified because he made the parasitical sin of usury seem like a good thing. Certain people have the habit of setting up personality cults. Never for good purposes.

  3. I’m a much worse fusion skeptic than most people because I don’t believe in energy/mass equivalence. I don’t think that the hydrogen bomb was a fusion bomb….. I see that as misinformation. I think fusion is easy and natural, and happens in cold conditions and conditions of low pressure. I just don’t think its an energy winner. But this video is worth watching even despite all that. Because Eric here has the right idea about big projects and R&D. He realises that these things require more time than money. His requirements and requests are very modest.

    The powers that be are throwing huge taxpayer resources at projects that they believe won’t work, since the goal is to keep oil margins high. In furtherance of these goals they got rid of street cars (trams) dirigibles (with their false flag attack on the Hindenburg) the trompe (going so far as to withdraw books on the trompe out of the libraries) and even inner city living. These measures to bring up the margins on oil production seem to have gone ahead in the 1930’s.

    Its better to override the plans of the oligarchs and just give very modest daily cash allowances to a range of projects. Spend many years of time in development, before the interest free loans come forward to kick these projects along to production.

    This presentation from Eric Lerner is worth listening to just for his slow and steady approach to R&D

  4. Is it political correctness or signs of social awakening?

    Or our… “Prevalence-induced concept change in human judgment”?

    …”As it turns out, abstract concepts can creep, too. For example, in 1960, Webster’s dictionary defined “aggression” as “an unprovoked attack or invasion,” but today that concept can include behaviors such as making insufficient eye contact or asking people where they are from (1). Many other concepts, such as abuse, bullying, mental disorder, trauma, addiction, and prejudice, have expanded of late as well (2). Some take these expansions as signs of political correctness and others as signs of social awakening. We take no position on whether these expansions are good or bad. Rather, we seek to understand what makes them happen. Why do concepts creep?

    …”Alas, research suggests that the brain computes the value of most stimuli by comparing them to other relevant stimuli (17–19); thus, holding concepts constant may be an evolutionarily recent requirement that the brain’s standard computational mechanisms are ill equipped to meet (20, 21).

    …”But our studies suggest that even well-meaning agents may sometimes fail to recognize the success of their own efforts, simply because they view each new instance in the decreasingly problematic context that they themselves have brought about. Although modern societies have made extraordinary progress in solving a wide range of social problems, from poverty and illiteracy to violence and infant mortality (22, 23), the majority of people believe that the world is getting worse (24). The fact that concepts grow larger when their instances grow smaller may be one source of that pessimism.”
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6396/1465

    Such as the future being “not much different”[see below]. Imho Joshua Gans and Tom Switzer’s concepts relating to capitalism and socialism were certainly expansive, and I’d say creep into many areas the concept of ‘socialism’ need not apply.

    KT2 said;
    “Your last answer JQ re, as tom switzer put it …if a socialist pm in next 10 yrs what will Australia look like… you casually said “not much different”, and in an even tone delivered the points re less hours etc so denying Josh and Tom a real leverage point.

    Pity your “not much different” point – ! after agreement of definitions ! * – wasn’t the starting point of a dialogue / conversation.”
    https://johnquiggin.com/2019/06/25/radio-appearances/#comment-212101

    *And I will now add – “and also definition of concepts”.

  5. “Is it political correctness or signs of social awakening?”

    The oligarchy has never weaponised anything that didn’t contain an element of a neglected good cause. Thats why in the face of their hateful campaigns, we need to resist them, but quickly race about cleaning up all the injustice in any place it may be found.

    For example simple justice would have it that the tax free threshold should be a great deal higher than it currently is. And we should have had a system of registered dependents for tax purposes. Such that people could look after each-other by way of pooling tax free thresholds. Then two or more people, homosexual or not, partners or not, family or not, could work together to look after each-other ……. and we would not have been so vulnerable to these recent international manipulations.

  6. JQ, your story re 50yrs hence with Ali and your now famous [ to me ] quote ” not much different ” needs an update and detail as “we don’t yet have the stories to comprehend it.”

    Suggestion. As with a permanent compounding tax thread, how about a “story thread” to allow continual refinement of “Ali in 2070” or “2070: Not much different ”

    All the News Is Bad
    Francis Gooding
    The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future 
    by David Wallace-Wells

    “How on earth are we supposed to think about all this horror? How do we plan for the future or raise children knowing what we know? The magnitude and implications of climate change short-circuit the imagination. Wallace-Wells cites the novelist Amitav Ghosh, who has suggested that we fail to put climate change into proper perspective because we don’t yet have the stories to comprehend it. Even the refrains ‘by 2100’ or ‘by 2050’ seem more like magic charms, pushing the disaster into an infinitely receding future. Faced with a planetary-scale crisis that requires urgent collective action, contemporary minds and institutions are left embarrassingly exposed: imagining the necessary change within our political cycles, even our lifespan, appears to be an impossible leap.

    “What will real action look like, if and when it finally comes? Wallace-Wells reminds us that we have the tools to change things, and even – a rare moment of optimism – ‘to stop it all’. His remedy involves ‘a carbon tax and the political apparatus to aggressively phase out dirty energy; a new approach to agricultural practices and a shift away from beef and dairy in the global diet; and public investment in green energy and carbon capture.’ But whether the changes that are already underway could be stopped by such measures is presently moot: ‘We … haven’t yet discovered the political will, economic might and cultural flexibility to install and activate them.’ Depressingly, it could have been so much easier. If decarbonisation had started in 2000, only a 3 per cent annual emissions reduction would have been necessary to keep us below 2°C of warming. The figure now is 10 per cent per year. If we wait until 2030, it will be 30 per cent. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, believes there is only one year left in which to begin this reduction. The IPCC says that global mobilisation on the scale of the Second World War will be necessary.”

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n15/francis-gooding/all-the-news-is-bad

  7. Note the farm depicted below. Despite the incredible steepness of the property Sepp Holzer has it holding water on one level after another. Basically its trees on the steep banks, older vegetation and water features on the terraces. The opportunities for energy generation if this formula is followed ought to be obvious. Wind, Wind twinned with pumping water uphill, hydro, biofuel … (eg.woodgas, wood-fired steam) pressed plant oils in the place of diesel. All things are possible under permaculture. Renewable energy generation can be an whole-of-continent effort. In the example below Sepp uses hydro. He can drain a pond and then just go around picking up all the non-breeding crayfish. Its a beautiful thing.

    How about solar? Well you have the roads but solar roads are a deal for another century I would say, loveable idea that it is. You could have solar tiles on all the built structures. And you could have solar suspended above the water features. I really am not all that fond of solar because its hard to stack functions with it. But if the breathless pronouncements of Wimberley are close to correct one supposes solar has some interim function. Hopefully solar tiles get cheap enough that we can have them on all our roofing. I am not opposed to a government in surplus extending free interest loans to tile up any given roof owned by a real person (as opposed to an artificial person). If thats the only subsidy solar has then thats a good deal for everyone. But the seed is the lowest maintenance nano-technology we’ll ever have. So I’d be going for more biology based solutions in the longest run.

  8. Here is an idea that will be old hat to all of you until you think about the potential for stacking functions. Surely here is something we Aussies can all agree on. If we are pro-Nuclear, anti-Nuclear or caveated pro and anti nuclear. We should all agree that we need a humble CSP (concentrated solar power)/molten salt research station, using the Ghan railway to leverage this project.

    You don’t need to worry that its too far from major electricity markets. Because the potential for value added from the heat of molten salts is much higher than the revenues that the electricity markets can offer. So if we got really good with molten salts, the specific glass manufacture and construction needed, and heat containment in the face of corrosive molten salt … we could have these stations from Alice Springs, clean up to where the tropics kick in south of Katherine, and be happy for every one of them. This is the solar I can get fully behind. And because it would give our guys the experience and knowledge with molten salts and their containment, its setting us up to be able to smoothly glide in nuclear, into the same industrial farms, when everyone is good and ready.

    For Australia this is the perfect storm of awesomeness. There are so many potential spinoffs. The possibilities are ludicrously cool. And if you pitch it as POTENTIALLY building the skill-set and supply chain for nuclear, you should get bipartisan support.

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