Archive for the ‘economics’ Category

America number two

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

In recent years both the Chinese and American economies have been fundamentally transformed.”

In fourteen years, America went from three times the size of the Chinese economy to slightly smaller, and the rate of relative decline shows every sign of quite rapidly accelerating.

Chinese GPD per capita is still substantially lower than American GDP per capita, but the number of Chinese with middle class lifestyles is arguably larger than the number of Americans with middle class lifestyles, and will soon become a great deal larger.

Heroic entrepeneurship after the Restoration

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

According to the Whig/Marxist version of history, the roots of the Industrial revolution were in the Glorious Revolution, which represented the rights of man and the rising political power of businessmen.

There are several problems with this story. One is that the rise of China decisively proves that the rights of corporations matter a whole lot more for economic development than the rights of man, and if you are looking for the origin of the rights of corporations, you are looking at the Restoration. (more…)

No Peak Oil

Friday, November 21st, 2014

World Oil production, millions of barrels

If you ask what are total estimated reserves of some resource, and divide by the amount produced and consumed, the answer is usually about ten years or so – and has been about ten years for the last several thousand years, because people who look for resources look for resources that they intend to use in the near future, and if they find more than they can use in the near future, they forget about them or conceal them, for fear someone else will go after them.

Famous Barbie realism

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

A commenter draws my attention to the Barbie book “I Can Be an Actress/I Can Be a Computer Engineer (Barbie) (Deluxe Pictureback)“, which appears to be directly and accurately based on the actual careers of real life affirmative action female engineers in the gaming industry. Barbie is off away in the the art harem, to keep her out the hair of the boys who do the actual programming.

I urge those of my readers with experience in the gaming industry to commend the book for imitating life so well and preparing girls for the reality of affirmative action careers in engineering.

Almost immediately after I posted this, the book was, unfortunately, suppressed, for giving entirely accurate information about female careers.

Gamergate and corruption

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Gawker media’s primary audience is nerds.

Their primary income comes from advertisers, who pay them to show ads to nerds.

And this is what Gawker has to say about nerds.

Ultimately GamerGate is reaffirming what we’ve known to be true for decades: nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission

Upon receiving a hostile reaction from their audience:

@hamiltonnolan @Based_Tet@max_read Max just told me I’m getting a raise because I made gamers cry

And, when the advertisers did not like that, that is nothing compared to what they said about advertisers.

Intel is run by craven idiots. It employs pusillanimous morons. It lacks integrity. It folded to misogynists and bigots who objected to a woman who had done nothing more than write a piece claiming a place in the world of video games. And even when confronted with its own thoughtlessness and irresponsibility, it could not properly right its wrongs.

And, did I mention that Gawker is anticapitalist?

It is apparent that many of the writers attacking gamergate do not have skin in the game with their own publications. They are willing to burn their boss’ companies and quite likely it will help their career. They’ll keep riling up the mob because they think it means greater notoriety and promotions later on. The longer that they keep riling up the mob, the worse terms that they will get for the companies that they work for, but they are fine with that.

To bypass the first amendment, the government has been systematically installing political commissars in every company. This has the unintended effect that nominally private companies tend to wind up controlled by the state sponsored left.

In any nominally private organization controlled by the left, people get power and promotions not for actions that benefit shareholders, but for actions that benefit the left.

If shareholders lose control, the logical behavior then is to max out every company credit card and company line of credit, pile up everything moveable and take it to the pawnbroker, rip the copper wiring out of the walls, and set fire to company headquarters to collect the insurance.

Hollywood has long been controlled by the left, and by and large, for the most part there are no longer continuing corporations, Hollywood studios, that own production assets, have valued brand names, and regularly produce one movie after another.  Rather, people usually get together case by case to produce a movie.

Surviving Hollywood corporations tend to be notoriously under attack for insufficient leftism, for example Disney, and often their movies contain subtle hints of less than total capitulation  But even they are tending to outsource their real production to off the radar contractors, while they stuff their nominal production departments with politicals, a process that ends in the company being eaten out by the politicals, and replaced by teams of contractors that come together contract by contract, project by project.

Tim Cook has not ripped the copper out the walls and set fire to Apple headquarters – not yet, but he has rather casually burned Apple’s major asset – that it was the high quality, high status brand name, that its stuff just worked.

The modern world was created by the joint stock corporation with the CEO kept answerable to the shareholders by double entry accounting.  When King Charles the Second let joint stock corporations off the leash they, in addition to pillaging the third world, used science to build technology, and the resulting technology enabled science, massively raising everyone’s standard of living, including that of third worlders and even of slaves shipped from the third world to the first.

Sarbanes Oxley has destroyed double entry accounting, and politicizing corporations has disempowered the shareholders.  In America and Europe, the social technology that brought us science and the industrial revolution is being dismantled.

The social technology that made the west wealthy and knowledgeable survives in Hong Kong and Singapore, and is spreading to China. It has been successfully transplanted to Dubai by their high IQ aristocracy (Some aristocracies eugenically breed themselves smart), and, surprisingly, is doing fine in Nigeria. (I conjecture that in Nigeria a hidden consortium of white and east asian capitalists bribe the government into doing the right thing, always a dangerous mode of existence since the government is always tempted to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.)

Despite official truth that GDP per head is rising, everyone can see the reality that it is falling.

Chinese growth prospects

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

A politically correct Harvard paper “Asiaphoria Meet Regression to the Mean” by the politically correct authors Lant Pritchett and Larry Summers tells us, or seemingly tells us, that China’s rapid growth is unlikely to last. They examine fifty or so periods of rapid growth, and, almost always, sad to say, there is regression to the mean. In the long run, the periods of rapid growth make little difference.

These are, unlike your usual Harvard intellectual, genuinely smart people, and, for smart Harvard people, surprisingly truthful. And, if you take a powerful microscope, read between the lines, read what is unwritten, you will read the truth. If you listen to what they are not saying, you will hear the truth.

There are a near infinite variety of ways to have bad or negative economic growth. There is one way to have good economic growth, and if your country is Cathedral Compliant, it is not allowed to do things that one way.

Instead of just noticing that periods of rapid economic growth tend to come to a sad end, Lant and Larry took a look at these sad ends.

nearly every country that experienced a large democratic transition after a period of above-average growth (more than the cross-country average of 2 per cent) experienced a sharp deceleration in growth in the 10 years following the democratizing transition.

In other words, the reason that periods of rapid economic growth come to a sad end is that the Cathedral comes after you. It is not regression to the mean, but Cathedral reconquest.

Lant and Larry notice that China is anomalous, different from all their other examples, in that unlike all their other examples, with the partial exception of Singapore, large and long economic growth has not resulted in “Democracy” – their prediction that China will not continue to grow is not a prediction that some mystery factor like “exhaustion of the low hanging fruit” will end China’s growth. It is in fact a highly pious prediction that the Cathedral will soon enjoy its inevitable victory, due, no doubt, to the forces of history.

When making highly pious predictions, Lant and Larry are less reliable than usual.

China’s real GDP passes US

Monday, October 13th, 2014

For many years, US statistics have been obviously fake, understating inflation by about two and a half percent a year, thus overstating real GDP growth by about three percent a year, and understating the fall in living standards by about three percent a year.

Thus, according to official statistics, US real GDP is still higher than that of China.

Yet, by every measure of actual stuff and technological capability, Chinese production is substantially greater than US production, though Chinese GDP per head is still below the US. China produces more cars, more concrete, more electricity, Chinese buy more cars, more concrete, more electricity, China exports more stuff, China imports more stuff. China produces and consumes more beer, more pork, and far, far, far more steel.

And it is not just tee shirts. China exports twice as much high tech stuff as the US does. China produces and consumes more high tech stuff than the US does. We sell them low tech stuff like wheat, we import high tech stuff like phones. China has the fastest trains in the world, and very large numbers of ordinary people using those very fast trains. China has the coolest airports, and these airports have far more people using them than the US.

OK, what about GDP per capita?

Officially, US GDP per capita is growing. In actual fact, it is obviously falling. Last time I walked around familiar places in America everything was shabbier, older, dirtier, more in need of a coat of paint. US GDP is falling at about two percent a year (used to be falling at about one percent a year, but the decline is visibly accelerating).

US population growth is about 0.6% per year (white population collapsing rapidly due to inability to reproduce without an enforceable system of marriage) so real GDP per capita is falling at about two and half percent per year. This represents a rapid acceleration in the rate of decline.

Chinese real GDP per capita is rising at about seven and a half percent a year. Assuming current trends continue, rather than continuing to accelerate, Chinese real GDP per capita will exceed US real GDP per capita in sixteen years, in 2030.

The Spandrellian trichotomy

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

trichotomy

Technology capitalism: libertarianism

As the left gets ever lefter, it gets every crazier.  Since the libertarian tries to make a separate peace with the left on behalf of capitalism, its craziness necessarily flows into libertarianism.

Libertarians notice that capitalism, in particular the joint stock corporation based on double entry accounting, provides a great, humane, and highly productive system for creating wealth, advancing technological progress, and maximizing liberty. They therefore propose to accept the entire left wing program, only without its anti capitalist elements.  Supposedly the non aggression principle supports all left wing conclusions, except anti capitalism.

Thus a libertarian believes that people should be able to make binding contracts. So a young and naive woman can bind herself to an enormous debt for a PhD in hating dead white males and capitalism, a debt which cannot be expunged by bankruptcy

However, because leftists believe that female sexual autonomy is sacred, therefore has infinite utilitarian weight, absolutely trumping all other human, moral, and utilitarian considerations, a libertarian also believes that that same woman cannot bind herself to always be sexually available to one man, and never to any other, to submit to him, and to bear his children, in return for him protecting her, loving her, looking after her, supervising her, and fathering his children by her.

But it turns out that without the capacity to make a binding contract, it is mighty difficult to reproduce.  It also turns out that the reproductive contract has to be unequal.  A ship cannot have two captains, and neither can a household. (more…)

Why the art, literature, and science of decadent civilization is decadent

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Gibbon called the art and literature of the latter days of the Roman Empire “the second childhood of human reason”.

Back in the days when European art was the greatest the world has ever seen, the wealthy and powerful Cornaro family patronized the artist Bernini because he was a great artist.  Because high status people like the Cornaro family patronized great artists, great art was high status, and, circularly, the Cornaro family gained status by patronizing great art, such as The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, which features the Cornaro family as much as a Coca Cola advertisement features coca cola.

Similarly, in Restoration England, high status people patronized science because it was high status, and it was high status because high status people patronized it, starting with King Charles the Second.

Then the government gets into funding art.  But the large bureaucratic government funding organization inevitably gets captured by recipients, as Cornaro family could never be captured, as King Charles the Second could never be captured.  Funds are distributed for grantsmanship, not art quality.  The greatest experts in grantsmanship could draw no better than a small child.

So drawing like a small child comes to be deemed high status.

Neo reactionaries are fond of authority, but need to remember that there is lot that centralized authority cannot do, starting with operate a modern economy.  Large organizations suffer from diseconomies of scale, and a severe agent/principal problem.  Without aristocrats, kings are not much good.

The cure for IQ shredders

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Our best hopes for a high tech future, for avoiding a dark age, are consuming the genes needed for a high tech future. Smart people go to Hong Kong and Singapore and fail to reproduce.

Singapore has taken numerous measures, similar to those of the Nazis and Emperor Augustus, to improve fertility, which will doubtless be as ineffectual as those of the Nazis and Emperor Augustus.

Just as the cure for Chinese poverty was to import the economic laws and customs of Hong Kong into Shanghai, the cure for Singaporean infertility is to import the marital laws and customs of Timor Leste, where women cannot own property, because they are wards of their parents until they become wards of their husbands.

Dubai already has a system where low status expat workers are effectively wards of their employers. This typically applies to Indian construction workers (who are all male and unaccompanied by their wives and families) and Filipino “maids”, who are all female and normally single when they arrive. If an employee’s sponsor is her employer, the employee is effectively a ward of the employer. A higher status employee usually has the free zone authority is his sponsor, not his employer, even though his employer asked the free zone to sponsor the employee so the process looks very similar.

An employee sponsored by her employer normally resides in accommodation provided by the employer. The employee cannot change jobs without her employers permission. If the employer dismisses the maid, he normally cancels her visa, her bank accounts, her phone, and gives her a ticket back to her homeland. He has to give her a ticket out, because he paid a deposit to obtain her work visa, and because if she fails to leave by her employer’s fault, the employer is in trouble. If the employer cancels his employees visa, he is supposed to provide the employee with the means to leave. Often however, she fails to show up by her fault, in which case the employer still loses his deposit, so if he can, he drags her off to the airport whether she will or not.

Male Indian construction workers seldom do a run. If fired, they leave without any drama. “Maids” frequently do a run and fail to show up at the airport, because the usual cause of a falling out with her employer is raging hormones. If she does a run, her phone stops working, her credit cards stop working, her bank account stops working and if she does not withdraw any money in her bank account in a timely fashion, she loses the money. She cannot get a new phone, bank account or legal accommodation, and is subject to a large fine for every day she fails to show up. If caught, and unable to pay the fine, goes to jail for considerable time, then is sent out of the country and forbidden ever to return.