Archive for the ‘economics’ Category

Holiness and corporate performance.

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Notoriously, corporations that are Social Justice converged behave in ways that are not only evil, but self destructive, leading to loss of shareholder value.

It is difficult to objectively assess social justice convergence, but we can expect it to have a pretty good correlation with the company’s business model – a green energy company is going to be full of social justice warriors, and receive lots of investment from fund managers who are trying to earn brownie points from the government, rather than brownie points from investors, whereas a gun company is probably trying to make good money by making good guns.

“Watts Up With That” recently did a ten year comparison of such companies, and found that over ten years, holiness investing lost nearly all your money, while sinfulness investing doubled your money.

Twelve years ago, holiness investing consisted largely in investing in providing mortgages for single women, Hispanics, and blacks. And all that money disappeared also.

However, while holiness investing is terrible for investors, it works extremely well for management, as for example Jon Corzine, the world’s most regulated and regulating financier, who without informing his customers proceeded to use their funds to rescue Greece.

Jon Corzine’s customers were eventually paid back by burning JP Morgan, illustrating that when you do business with progs, someone gets burned. The short of it was that various financial entities who were improperly paid with money belonging to Jon Corzine’s customers had to give it back, so that they are out of the money, they got burned, yet somehow Jon Corzine is still smelling of roses.

Corporations that go left tend to disappear or get hollowed out, unless they have some kind of state protected monopoly.

No enemies to the right

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

No enemies to the left has been working great for the left, and no enemies to the right has been working great for us.

If you declare someone to your right your enemy, you wind up dancing to a tune called by leftists.

Supreme Dark Lord Vox Day recently criticized Spencer and the Nazis as fake right – criticized them not for being too far right, but for being too far left, for being socialist. He did not criticize from the left, but from the right. He is correctly maintaining a position of no enemies to the right. You can argue that his criticism was too harsh, that he was cutting off communication, but his action was not an example of enemies to the right. Socialism is leftist, and Nazis are leftists who have been left behind by the rest of the left as the rest have continued to move further left.

People who want to smash or steal stuff belonging to Jews are mistaken. That never makes us rich, it makes us poor.

Non Jews should be removed from state and quasi state power in Israel, and Jews should be removed from state and quasi state power in the US. But if you go smashing up a Jewish pawnshop or a Jewish distillery, you are allowing covetousness and envy to distract you and make you do stupid things. Taking or smashing other people’s stuff is a bad idea. Land and women can be usefully and effectively stolen, but the trouble with socialism is that more complicated forms of wealth tend to get messed up in the transition. Jews in exile tend to specialize in precisely those forms of wealth that are not usefully confiscatable.

Peak Oil

Friday, July 21st, 2017

If you discover more than ten years of reserves, politicians are apt to take it away from you.

So for the last hundred years or so, the world has only had ten years worth of proven oil reserves left and has been about to run out in ten years or so. In fact the world has only had about ten years of anything left for the past hundred years or so.

King Hubbert created a composite, mega-decline curve that predicted U.S. crude oil production would peak in the 1965-70 time period. But, of course, it did not decline. So his prediction was retroactively relabelled “Lower 48 states Oil Production”. Which retrodiction was true – for a while. Retrodictions always are. See global warming for example.

Well, for some time US oil production in the lower 48 states has been increasing. So it was re-relabelled “Lower 48 states conventional oil Production” The new story was that fracking has intolerable environmental and financial costs, so is not a practical replacement for old type oil production.

When Trump stopped the government from funding and organizing people to protest fracking, the intolerable environmental costs mysteriously vanished in a puff of smoke, and when Trump made it easier to get permission to frack, so did a large part the economic costs, with the result that US frackers are now giving the Saudis a hard time.

For a given technology, and a given price, a given oilfield or group of oilfields does indeed follow a Hubberd Curve, and you can use the curve to estimate what the real reserves are. (They are usually enormously greater than the official reserves.)

Although science has been stagnating since Harvard got the upper hand over the Royal Society, technology that makes money continues to advance. We have a problem with new blue sky technologies. No one in the west is developing new technologies any more, just polishing up existing profitable technologies. We are not getting any replacement for chip patterning usin one hundred and ninety three nanometer excimer laser lithography, just ever more minute improvements in excimer laser lithography, with the result that Moore’s law has run out of puff. People keep talking about ten nanometer, but it is just not going anywhere. They keep saying they will use both one ninety and ten. If ten was working, would not use one ninety. If they were talking ninety nanometer, rather than ten, then I would be impressed. If someone could make money out of supersonic jets, we would get better and better supersonics, but instead, planes are slowing down, not speeding up. But people could make money out of drilling and stimulating oil fields, so drilling and oilfield stimulation got better and better, and continues to improve.

Physical resources are effectively infinite, in that physical limits to growth are unlikely to be a significant problem in the reasonably foreseeable future. The problem is social decay.

Not a dog barked

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Remember all those mighty and entirely spontaneous protests demanding that the Obama regime do what it quite obviously wanted to do and was quite obviously looking for justifications for doing, protests demanding that the government block every form of energy production in every white country, which obstructions have made the US into an energy importer for sixty years or so.

And, of course, with deep reluctance the Obama regime would invariably yield to the justified and entirely spontaneous and genuine rage of the mighty masses. </sarcasm>

Overnight (well, over the first one hundred and fifty days of the Trump regime), the US has become an energy exporter. Trump would repeal a regulation by executive order, and the next day coal miners would be digging coal, repeal another regulation, and the next day drillers would be pumping oil. One day he makes an executive order, the next day Americans in flyover country are back to work. The next day after that he makes another executive order, and the day after that, more Americans in flyover country are back to work.

You did not hear of this.

Probably because the mighty and justifiable enraged masses strangely failed to spontaneously show up to spontaneously demonstrate their might and spontaneous justified rage. They were always demanding that Obama shut down energy, but somehow, when Trump turns the energy policy of every previous Democratic and cuckservative president for the last sixty years arse over tit, no protests happen.

Funny thing that.

By the way did you know that there is overwhelming support for impeaching Trump? It must be true, I read it in the newspapers. </sarcasm>

Leftism has been a mass movement under both Democratic and cuckservative presidents, been a mass movement since nineteen sixty three. But Donald Trump gets elected, and suddenly and quietly it just is not a mass movement any more. Funny thing that.

Yes, the permanent government is giving Trump a hard time. Trump has not won yet, and maybe the permanent government will win. We are, or recently were, right on the edge of the special counsel impeaching Trump without bothering with that old fashioned two thirds vote in the senate. But Trump has cut off the permanent government at the knees, in that the mighty and justifiably enraged masses are no longer spontaneously demanding whatever the permanent government wants them to spontaneously demand this morning and no longer spontaneously enraged about whatever the permanent government wants them to be spontaneously enrage about this morning.

Reagan talked about defunding the left, Trump has actually made a start on defunding the left. Obviously there is a lot more defunding to be done, but suddenly leftists that do not yet have social justice warrior jobs are no longer expecting that they will get social justice warrior jobs in the very near future as a quid pro quo for the latest protest. That funding for the left has stopped its endless and open ended increase and has actually decreased, even if only a by a little, has resulted in leftism as a mass movement vanishing in a puff of smoke.

This has resulted in an intense search for other sources of social justice warrior funding. Thus for example, we see complaints that venture capitalists that control large amounts of other people’s money should be subject to destruction at whim without evidence by social justice warriors. Cheryl tell us: “This is where it has to be fixed – the fact the burden of proof always falls on the person reporting the incident.”

“Fixing” this, of course, will have the effect that Silicon Valley venture capital will wind up funding social justice, rather than technical advance, which we already see happening with Uber, Airbnb, and Apple. Uber and Airbnb are committing social justice suicide. Apple has such deep pockets that it will likely survive, but probably not Airbnb and Uber.

Airbnb is trying to prevent Filipinos and Chinese from being racist. Would have more success preventing water from being wet.

Their power base in Silicon valley derives from appointments made by the Obama regime. Thus for example Cheryl, who is currently shaking down the management of Silicon Valley venture capital firms with sexual harassment allegations for which there is a curious lack of evidence, worked for a Malaysian startup fund funded by the Obama administration and the Malaysian govt. Not a tech person, not a startup person, a political commissar. In the course of accusing a venture capitalist of inappropriate sexual behavior, she depicted herself as engaging in behavior that I find entirely inappropriate in a woman – for example this evil venture capitalist somehow caused her to be alone with him, and, while alone with him in a private flat with a nice bed, somehow caused her to consume very large amounts of scotch. Pretty sure that if sex did not ensue, it is because he fought her off.

The bitcoin crisis

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

There can only be one.

There can only be one money, at the root of all others. Money is a measure of value, a store of value, and a medium of exchange, and you want to uses the same medium of exchange and measure of value as everyone else.

At the very beginning, I said the trouble with bitcoin, as originally designed, is that it does not scale. Everyone, to be a peer, to be an equal participant, has to store and process everyone else’s transactions, thus the cost of each transaction increases with the number of peers. I estimate the current cost of a transaction to be about a thousand dollars, most of which is carried by people speculating in bitcoin, hoping that as the USG empire collapses, bitcoin, rather than gold, will replace the dollar.

Bitcoin is reaching, indeed has substantially exceeded, its inherent limits. For it to become the one, it has to get away from a system where everyone processes everyone’s transactions, and stores everyone’s transactions.

The sidechain proposal is a way of getting away from that without a hard fork, so that your transactions are not seen by everyone, merely by enough people, and not stored by everyone forever, but only by a very small number of people forever.

Altcoins are hard fork proposals, which if they fix the scaling problem could become the one. At present the total value of altcoins is roughly equal to the total value of bitcoins.

At present, the true cost of bitcoin transactions is so outrageously high it cannot possibly become the one. It must die, and everyone invested in bitcoins will lose all their money, unless the sidechain proposal provides a forkless path to a world in which the true cost of bitcoin transactions is reduced to something reasonable.

But the interest in crypto currencies is so very great, the amount of money invested in crypto currencies is so very great, that one shall succeed. The amount of serious money invested is so very great that it looks overwhelmingly likely that as the USG empire falls, crypto currency, rather than gold, will replace the US$.

And that one shall be one that allows low, rather than hidden, transaction costs. Likely an altcoin rather than bitcoin, because the weight of special interests in bitcoin makes it hard to get to there from here.

But the wise investor should invest in gold, should invest in bitcoin in the hope that the scaling problems can be fixed without a hard fork, and should invest in an altcoin that has solved the scaling problem. And the last time I took a good look, none of them had actually solved the scaling problem, though many of them were hoping to solve it, claiming they had solved it, or had plans for eventually solving it.

The sidechain proposal has been kicked around for three years, and bitcoin’s transaction cost has been getting rapidly worse all this time.

Anyone who invests in bitcoin, is investing hoping that scaling can be fixed, for if scaling is not fixed, bitcoin will surely die. The current true cost of bitcoin transactions is absolutely unsustainable.

The true cost of renewable energy

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Because the cost of renewables is falsified, installation of renewables causes power crises. Renewables are installed. The cost of renewables is hidden in some other part of the system, renewables continue to be installed, that part of the system does not get increased funding, collapses, blackouts and brownouts ensue. Fixing the blackouts and brownouts costs money, the cost of electricity then rises to reflect the actual cost of renewables that no one will admit.

The cost of renewables is assessed without regard for the fact that renewables are intermittent and unpredictable. Sometimes the sun shines, some times it does not, sometimes the wind blows, sometimes it does not, sometimes it blows too hard and the windmills must shut down. This creates a burden on the grid, and the need for backup power, and this backup power and grid load is not costed or funded

So the overburdened grid shuts down, and you get blackouts, or there just is not enough power, and you get brownouts.

Eventually industry threatens to up and leave for lack of predictable power, and then, and only then, only after major threats from major industries, the additional generating capacity and grid capacity is built – and people have to pay for it. And then, and only then, the true cost of renewables becomes apparent.

Generating electricity costs very little. What is expensive is generating it when it is needed, and not when it is not needed, and transporting it from where it is generated to where it is used.

The rational way to charge for electricity would be like internet – charge by the size of the pipeline, not how much goes through it. Most of the cost of household electricity is the grid and power stations idling for times of peak demands.

The trouble with wind and solar is that sometimes the wind blows, and sometimes it does not, and sometimes the sun shines, and some times it does not. So it puts an unreasonable load on the grid and requires some kind other power source for times people want power, but the sun is not shining and the wind stops blowing.

If you have solar power on your roof, then when you feed excess power back into the grid it costs the power company money, because they have to have the extra grid capability to support unpredictable power being fed back into the grid at inconvenient times.

Hydroelectric is OK, provided one has a decent sized dam behind it, so that one can run water through the turbines when one needs power, and not run water through the turbines when one does not. It is the dam that is expensive, and the dam that makes hydroelectric power useful. Without a large enough dam, it is as useless and expensive as wind and solar.

If we had a cheap and effective means of storing power, then wind and solar would be great, and every household and every business would cheerfully go off grid and use solar for everything. High temperature batteries relying on molten sodium, molten salt, and beta alumina membranes are promising, but they are not yet economical in sizes small enough for household use, or even use by ordinary businesses.

The only cheap and effective means for storing power is pumped hydro. You need two large dams close together, one much higher than the other, and when the sun shines you pump water uphill, and when it is dark you run water downhill through the turbines. If you have rivers suitable for pumped hydro, then wind and solar is pretty reasonable. It is costlier than carbon and nuclear, but compared to the cost of the grid, not enough to make a huge difference.

Norway uses hydro, and hydro works fine. Austria uses hydro and pumped hydro. Portugal uses pumped hydro, and for them, wind and solar works fine. But most of the EU just does not have enough suitable dams for pumped hydro. And for them, renewable power sources are very expensive.

I took a list of EU countries that use widely varying amounts of renewable electrical power sources, leaving out Norway, Portugal, and Austria because of hydro and pumped hydro.

The cost of electricity in the remaining countries is, to a good approximation, proportional to the proportion that is generated renewably. Extrapolating to 100% renewable, it would cost 55 cents per kilowatt hour, extrapolating to 0% renewable, it would cost about 10 cents per kilowatt hour.

Trumpcare passes the house

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Still has to pass the Senate, but already the Democrats are terrified.

The essential and important feature of Trumpcare is that it “denies insurance to millions of Americans”. In other words, when you seek medical care, when those who pay for and operate our system of medical care seek medical care, they will not find one hundred drug addicts looking for free drugs and one hundred bums looking for free food, a free bed, and human contact in front of them. Those people, drug addicts, criminals, and suchlike, are still going to get subsidy, but they will go literally or metaphorically through a different door to the people who are paying.

Now even if Trumpcare passes the Senate, we still have to pass it to find out what is in it. The details are going to be filled in by regulators – regulators who are theoretically under Trump’s supervision, but are in fact far more answerable to the permanent government. So we still could be screwed nine ways from Sunday.

But like Trump himself, Trumpcare offers remote possibility of success, as compared to the absolute certainty of failure.

A possible outcome of this vote, a successful outcome of this vote, is that the marginal voter, the swinging voter, gets reasonable healthcare, or at least healthcare that is less outrageously terrible, and the Democrat voter core (vagrants, drug addicts, whores, single mums, and criminals) loses out – which of course is going to mean a major swing to Trump and Republicans, and a major swing away from Democrats. Hence the widespread abject pants-wetting terror among democrat politicians.

Trumpcare protects people with pre-existing conditions, without however giving them the same insurance you get. Which may in practice mean that people who don’t pay go in through the same door you do, or may not mean that. If it means that people who don’t pay go in through the same door, then that means that people who pay get treated like criminals, vagrants and drug addicts, in short like Democratic party core voters, that being the vast majority of non paying people showing up at hospital. People say that the very old are costing us a bundle, that the very sick are costing us a bundle. No, it is Democratic Party core constituencies that are costing us a bundle.

Not needing to pay for healthcare and having plenty of time on your hands makes a vastly greater difference to how much healthcare you consume than being old and sick does. In short, being a Democratic core constituency is the major variable determining how much healthcare a person is going to consume.

Any system that guarantees that some morbidly obese alcoholic on the street is going to get the same standard of healthcare as an affluent middle class person is going to guarantee that that affluent middle class person is going to get very little healthcare. If Trumpcare is going to provide a reasonable standard of healthcare for the median voter, it has to deny a reasonable standard of healthcare for the modal Democratic party voter. Whether it will do so is far from clear, but it is absolutely certain that Obamacare will not provide a reasonable standard of healthcare for the median voter.

Fixing healthcare

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Obamacare is in a death spiral.

Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but then ran dead on it, allowing Ryancare to fail and washing his hands of it.

Trump then announces he has to compromise with the Democrats on medicine.

Single payer for everyone, as in Britain and Canada, is a horrible disaster, but despite being a disaster, once in place it seems impossible to remove. If we get single payer, we are screwed.

The key problem of US healthcare is absurdly high and completely unpredictable health costs – you stroll into hospital for something trivial, and if you are white and male, get hit for three hundred thousand dollars for no apparent reason. Routine and standard health care procedures like a colonoscopy typically cost twenty times what they cost in the rest of the world, and even though they are absolutely routine and standard no one will tell you what they are going to cost.

So, America has to copy from countries that have attained low and predictable health costs, and most importantly, up front health costs, where you know what you are going to be charged: These are Singapore, India, and Thailand, which have single payer for poor people. Which means that when some bum shows up at the rich people’s hospital, they send him over to the poor people’s hospital.

The reason America has no market in healthcare is cross subsidies – white males pay for everyone, and this requires opaque prices. The government decrees that hospitals will take care of the poor and female, that insurance companies will take care of the poor and female, which in practice winds up as cross subsidies, white males taking care of the poor and female, which results in a system with no prices and no markets.

To get health costs down you need a market and prices. Singapore and similar countries have a market and prices, and they can get away with this politically because there is a safety net for the poor, the feckless, and the unlucky.

If you have clear up front prices, someone has to pay for the poor people. If explicit up front prices then you need an explicit overt handout in place of the hidden handout paid for through hidden prices.

The trouble with single payer for poor people is that it is apt to grow into single payer for everyone, as has more or less happened in France and is happening in Germany. But Singapore has kept single payer under control, and single payer has not swallowed up the entire medical industry in Australia.

What I would really like is a system where you can just turn the poor and the sick away, but we cannot have that when we pretend to democracy, so some kind of single payer for poor people it has to be.

The trouble is, of course, the Democrats are going to demand single payer for everyone. But as the Obamacare crisis ripens, and the mid term elections approach …

Congressman Steve King’s solution to healthcare

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Instead of having a plan developed behind closed doors and then you have to vote for it to find out what is in it, you legislate the old fashioned way, congressional vote by vote. “A return to regular order“.

The great advantage of this is its great disadvantage. Congress cannot centrally plan the economy, or any significant part of the economy. No one central plan can receive a majority vote, or even a large plurality. Your are only going to get two or three percent to vote for one central plan, and four or five percent for another, and three or four percent for yet another, because there is a near infinity of possible central plans, any one of which is going to step on lots of people’s toes, each plan stepping on a different set of toes. You can never socialize medicine, or anything else, by congressional vote, except they vote for a closed box and discover to their big surprise what is in it when it gets implemented.

Before Obamacare, American medicine was unreasonably expensive by a factor of about ten or twenty.

After Obamacare, American medicine was unreasonably expensive by a factor of about ten or twenty, but bums, drug addicts, and vagrants were getting a lot more of this very expensive medicine, paid for mostly by white middle class males, and very shortly thereafter, white middle class males were getting a whole lot less of this very expensive medicine. Obamacare wanted more care for the poor, but it sought to prevent the total consumption of care from rising, for fear that would accelerate the already excessive price pressures, so a reduction in access to care by white middle class males was planned and intended from the beginning, though I don’t think anyone wanted to admit just how drastic and radical a reduction they had in mind.

The way to substantially reduce the cost of medical care is to have a free market in medical care with well known, well defined, and advertised prices, as in Singapore. At present, no one knows how much care is going to cost, and prices are frequently absurd by world standards. There is no good reason why a treatment in America should cost ten or twenty times what unsubsidized, for-profit, care, paid for out of pocket, costs in Taiwan and Singapore.

Genuine advances in medical care make medicine more expensive, as things can now be (expensively) treated that formerly could not be treated. But this fails to explain the enormous discrepancy in healthcare prices between America, and prices charged by private enterprise, for profit, healthcare businesses in Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and India.

Why Ryancare will not work

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Ryancare, like Obamacare, involves cross subsidies. Some people wind up subsidizing other people. The resulting landslide of rules and regulations will shut down competition, with the result that everyone plus the government winds up paying unreasonable prices.

Ryancare requires that insurance cover people with pre-existing conditions. That is not insurance, that is a handout. If the government is going to give people handouts, should be done openly through government funded hospitals and the like. If you rope private enterprise into giving handouts, you will find that this turns out to be a stupendously expensive way of providing handouts, not a cheap way.

You order private enterprise to give handouts, you wind up giving them monopolies so that they can fund these handouts, and they wind up abusing these monopolies. Further, people receiving handouts tend to be problem people. Some of them are unlucky, but most of them are no good. You don’t want no good people showing up to hospital in front of the good people who are actually paying for the hospital, or you get the Canadian situation, where no Canadian who can avoid it goes to a Canadian hospital but rather nips across the nearby border to an American hospital, because the Canadian hospital is full of homeless and drug addicts. And when I say full, I mean very full indeed, with beds in the corridors and urine soaked sheets, and not a normal middle class person in sight.

If the government is going to give handouts to people with pre-existing conditions, or handouts to anyone, it needs to keep the insurance companies and private sector hospitals out of it. Handouts need to be done openly and need to appear on the books as handouts. Hidden handouts inadvertently shut down the free market system, resulting in at best socialist levels of service, at worst socialist levels of service with staggeringly high costs.

Ryancare is the continuing ratchet leftwards, Ryancare is Republicans doing their jobs as tax collectors for the welfare state, where Democrats create unfunded entitlements, and Republicans proceed to make white middle class males pay for them.

Ryancare means that Republicans get to take the blame for Obamacare. If you are not going to repeal Obamacare, at least hang it on the Democrats.