Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

The Flaw in Moldbug’s proposed dictatorship.

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Obviously democracy is not working, is failing catastrophically.  The productive are outvoted by the gimmedats, in large part non asian minorities and white sluts. Moldbug’s solution is simple:  Dictatorship, evolving into Monarchy.  The dictator, he hopes and expects, will fire all government employees, except for military, police, and some tax collectors.  What use are all the rest of them to a strong dictator?

A good government is a stationary bandit, since a stationary bandit has an incentive to shear the sheep, rather than flay them.  A bad government is a mobile bandit, and the government service in democracies increasingly approximate mobile bandits.  Each bureaucrat seeks to increase his power and wealth, even if the total burden is well above the Laffer limit.

The trouble is that a dictator is not necessarily a stationary bandit:  A secure dictator, for example a martial and charismatic monarch of a long established dynasty, is a stationary bandit.   Unfortunately, not only are long established dynasties in short supply, but when you have one, the legitimate heir to the throne is seldom martial and charismatic. (more…)

Inflation

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

If we believe the official inflation figures, supposedly living standards in the US are rising: Yet the proportion of people with cars is falling, the proportion of households with a car is falling faster, and the amount of meat people are eating is falling – consistent with a cpi rising at about the rate that shadowstats claims, about six to ten percent (more…)

Inflation

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Total sales are rising ten percent a year in nominal terms.    Surprise surprise, shadowstats estimates ten percent inflation per year if we use the measure of inflation that was used in the the 1980s.    Hawaiian Libertarian reports that that is pretty much what he is seeing when he puts his money down.

So what is the true rate of inflation?

There is no one true rate of inflation, since to estimate inflation, one has to compare apples and oranges, and there is no one valid way of doing this.

But if inflation is substantially less than ten percent a year, we are consuming substantially more goods this year than last year.  Do you think we are consuming substantially more goods this year than last year?

But whatever the true rate of inflation might be, it is increasing.  It is not increasing fast as I expected, not increasing very fast at all.  It is increasing at about two percent a year, so if this year inflation was not ten percent, but eight percent, next year it will be ten percent a year, and the year after that, twelve percent a year.  The rate at which prices increase, is itself increasing.

This does not sound all that terrifying, but recall that hyperinflation begins as the collapse of a paper bubble.  Everyone wakes up one morning realizing that inflation is a lot higher than they thought and will only get worse, so they all try to unload their paper at the same time for tangibles:  Land in productive use, gold, ammo, guns, non perishable food items, alcohol,  and suchlike, also overseas non tangible assets, paper assets regulated by solvent governments.

Only to discover that they cannot all unload their paper money at the same time.

If the rate of inflation is high and increasing, sooner or later, it suddenly starts to increase a lot faster.  Suppose inflation this year was seven percent, then next year it will nine percent, which is not imminent doom.  If people are not panicking today, they are unlikely to panic tomorrow. The end is not nigh.  But the end, nonetheless, is in sight.

 

Stultum facit fortuna

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Whom fortune wishes to destroy, she first makes mad.

Consensus leads to the madness of crowds, not the wisdom of crowds.  As we move to a government ruled by consensus, and intrusively pervading every aspect of society with its power, madness and evil prevails. (more…)

Repression

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

A conservative blog by an anonymous right wing academic announced that it had been suppressed, shortly after he was outed. And then, predictably, the announcement of censorship was itself censored. (more…)

Who called the financial crisis before it happened?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Among others, Ron Paul, in his speech to the house, proposing amendments to the laws that caused the crisis

… the government’s policy of diverting capital into housing creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.

The connection between the GSEs and the government helps isolate the GSEs’ managements from market discipline. This isolation from market discipline is the root cause of the mismanagement occurring at Fannie and Freddie …

I hope my colleagues join me in protecting taxpayers from having to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when the housing bubble bursts.

… The flip side of regulatory capture is that mangers and owners of highly subsidized and regulated industries are more concerned with pleasing the regulators than with pleasing consumers or investors, since the industries know that investors will believe all is well if the regulator is happy. Thus, the regulator and the regulated industry may form a symbiosis where each looks out for the other’s interests while ignoring the concerns of investors. …

… the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market. …

Needless to say, there was only one vote for addressing the looming financial crisis.  Looking at the tea party candidates, I think if the Tea party did a clean sweep, if every single congressman had belonged to the tea party, I think there would have been two or three votes for addressing the looming financial crisis.

Gabrielle Giffords needed killing

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

And so do most of congress, most of the regulators, and most of the businessmen in the revolving door between business and regulation.

All the conservative criticism of her seems to be disappearing off the web, but what the hell, she stank, critics pointed out she stank, so someone killed her.   It might have been a leftist who did not think she was left enough, but chances are, was a conservative. Yes, chances are that unkind remarks by conservatives got her killed.  Pity it was not someone who mattered more.  Her platform was to create lots of high paying jobs in government and quasi governmental activities – in other words, to transfer wealth from productive people who mostly voted against her, to unproductive people who mostly voted for her, thus moving the nation generally leftwards.

As the nation plunges into bankruptcy, as the Cloward–Piven crisis approaches, we might kill enough similar wrongdoers to eventually get out of the crisis.  I don’t really see any other path to resolving the crisis other than watering the tree of liberty in the usual fashion.

astroturf “anarchism”

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

The Belmont club reports on left “anarchism”, taking the movement at face value, as if it was what it appears to be.

the purest and most uncompromising of which are the anarchists.

In fact, left anarchists are astroturf. They are the government threatening those that would restrain its growth.

Repeating my previous post on the Greek riots:

Observe the recent firebombings in the Greek riots, where the “rioters” murdered three people.

Here are a couple of videos of the “rioters” firebombing police.

The “rioters” charge the police, and bang on their shields with light sticks, making no attempt to jab through the gaps at the actual bodies of the cops, nor using sticks heavy enough to even shake the shields.    No axe handles or baseball bats.

Hey guys, if you want to bang on armored cops, I have a sledgehammer that would make a pretty good mace. It goes through concrete mighty fast.

They then fall back, and hurl firebombs – but they do not not hurl firebombs at the police, but at the ground in front of the police.  One cop gets one of his boots splashed with burning petrol.  He rolls around, and a couple of other cops put him out.  In the second video, same scene shot from a different angle, we observe that the cops make not the slightest attempt to arrest the firebombers for attempted murder, and the rest of the mob for assault and as accessories to attempted murder.  It is all theater.  When they see that one of the firebombs has actually hit, the theater pauses.

When right wing militia listens politely to an FBI provocateur provocateur at a meeting proposing that they bomb someone, they all go to jail for plotting crimes.  The “rioters” firebomb a cop, and everyone acts like it is an unfortunate accident – which of course is exactly what it is.

The “rioters” in the Greek riots are government employees put on the streets by government sponsored unions that are themselves as much part of the government as the police were.

Decline of the west

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The last man on the moon left in 1972

The tallest building in the united states was finished in 1974.

Cars are becoming humbler.

US electricity production was growing exponentially until 1972.  After 1972 it grew more slowly.  Per capita electricity consumption  seems likely to have peaked around 2007 or so.

Supposedly GDP is still growing rapidly, just as supposedly inflation is zero, but it seems improbable that GDP is growing when per capita electricity consumption is not.

One could present all sorts of rationalizations for the decline in manned space exploration – for example that manned space exploration was a polite way of demonstrating superior capability to nuke the other side, and supposedly we are so much more civilized and mature now that the need for such chest beating has diminished.

However, by 2000, we have more compelling evidence of decline.  The buildings damaged or destroyed in 9/11 have not been repaired or replaced.

The west is the past. America sinks into Eurosocialism, while Europe becomes the western satrapies of the new Persian empire. Every rising civilization was a lender, innovator, and investor, every declining civilization a borrower.  California used to be the place where the future was invented, but no longer.

The west’s lead was California’s lead.  And California is no more.

Where, for example, was the netbook commercialized?  Who invented and built the “Amazon” Kindle?  Who is today creating the blue light lasers that are the core of every DVD reader and writer?

The Kindle was developed in Taiwan, by Eink.   It is some standard computing parts wrapped around a new display technology invented, developed and manufactured by Eink.

Indians looking to study abroad rate Melior in Singapore higher than Stanford in the USA.

Today, our universities turn out people trained in political correctness and “diversity”.  Every male CS graduate can parse a boolean expression, but most female CS graduates cannot, indicating that a male needs to be able to parse a boolean expression to get a CS degree, and a female does not. The end stage of this process is that no one needs to be able to parse a boolean expression, but everyone needs to be able to hate dead white males.

China leads the world in coal to liquids technology.

China leads the world in internet based transactions.

The simplest explanation for the fact that western research seems to have fallen off a cliff is that we are now reaching the point where hating dead white males is a more important academic qualification than anything else.  Doubtless it is in reality more complicated than that, but the simplest explanation works quite well:  Consider, for example, the recent demonization of Chagnon.  The most striking factor was the ignorance and stupidity of the academic associations condemning him.  They just did not know stuff.  It was as if they don’t read books by dead white males, as if they feared that reading such stuff might contaminate their minds with dangerous thoughts.

What we have had for some time in academia is theocracy, not meritocracy, and theocracy tends to promote those whose faith is most zealous and reliable.  It is easier to have zealous and reliable faith if you are dumb as two planks glued together.

Who is at the top of Academia:  I suppose the tip top crust are the people who condemned Chagnon, and people like the leading scientists of global warming, Mann and Phil Jones, who are demonstrably not nearly as smart as I am.  Mann, for example, keeps making ludicrous and amateurish mistakes in his statistics, and any time Phil Jones wants something scientific done, he summons a post grad, and tells the postgrad to produce a chart that proves such and such, suggesting that Phil Jones cannot produce such charts, nor tell if the chart actually does prove such and such.

Mann’s work demonstrates he is simply stupid.  Mann’s power over other scientists demonstrates that simply stupid people are on top.  Stupid people on top provide a simple explanation of why science does not get done.

How did Mann get to the top?  By telling the state what it wants to hear, by political correctness.

Demonstrably, the people in charge of science and research are not the tip top crust.  They got where they are by hating dead white males more than anyone.

The fact that undergraduates are marked on the basis of race, gender, and political correctness is fairly harmless.  That academics get power over other academics on the basis of political correctness has not been so harmless, and we are today paying the price, in that western research is failing.

Singapore has sustained its rate of growth.  Taiwan has sustained its rate of growth.  Therefore China is likely to sustain its rate of growth.

Assuming China grows like Singapore from now on, and the US grows like Europe (counting European growth as real, even though such growth as occurs is government employees, whose product is valued at cost, which cost grows at astonishing rate) then China should surpass the US in total GDP by 2019 or so.

China should surpass the US in GDP per head, as Singapore already has, by around 2045 or so.  Taiwan should surpass the US in GDP per head in 2018 or so.

The financial system of the west is collapsing because the fed and its bureaucrats have the mission to replace financial panics with wise regulatory authority – which might work if wise regulatory authority had the will to punish elite wrongdoing the way financial panics did, and resist the desire of politicians to use the financial system as a piggy bank for vote buying the way bankers threatened by financial panics did.  Since brave regulators are not to be found, the replacement is not working.

The last time the west stalled, it stalled for four hundred years under intellectual stagnation induced by theocracy, from 1277 to 1648.

We are seeing multiple simultaneous crises.  Academia is a thousand loudspeakers controlled by one microphone, and that microphone in the hands of an idiot.

All the massive financial crime that the financial crisis exposed <http://blog.jim.com/economics/mortgage-fraud-predatory-borrowing.html> continues unpunished and unabated, foreshadowing another, even bigger financial crisis coming up fast.

The graffiti on the buildings that are now owned by the Federal Reserve foretells our future.

We are also seeing an explosive gold rush in government as rent seeking monopolies multiply.  Thus it used to be, for example, that the local council gave itself a monopoly of water and sewage, though there is in practice no rationale for the sewage monopoly – septic tanks and highly localized sewage farms are more economical.  Large centralized sewage facilities beloved of councils and council unions suffer severe diseconomies of scale due to the high cost of  piping sludge any reasonable distance. Seeing the lucrative flow of money, every other level of government gets into the act.  Just as to get anything done, a private individual needs multiple permits from the council, each requiring him to hire numerous “consultants” at $400 per hour, the council needs multiple permits from state and federal governments, requiring the council to hire numerous “consultants” at $100 000 per hour.  The tip is emitting methane!  Oh the horror.  Someone official comes to officially look at the methane, charges  $100,000 for looking, and issues an enforceable “recommendation” for an open ended and indefinite series of remediation measures, each of which will require another look.

Oh what did we do before there were people to officially and highly scientifically investigate the fact that tips are apt to pong?  What would we do without government to supervise government?  And surely any problems that might occur can be easily remedied by providing yet another layer of regulatory authority to regulate the regulators that are regulating the regulators that are regulating the local council.

This, like the housing boom is unsustainable.  A single monopoly will charge inefficiently high prices and produce inefficiently low product, which is indefinitely sustainable. Multiple layered monopolies suffer a coordination problem that results in them charging infinite prices and producing zero product, as each attempts to get the majority of the squeeze.

This problem is remediable only through collapse or foreign conquest.  As I have remarked several times, the reason that Dubai can build high towers and we no longer can, is that in Dubai, you only need the approval of one theocrat and one holy religion.

I hope for collapse, since foreign conquest is likely to be unpleasant.  Last time around, however we had stagnation for four hundred years.   Collapse would be preferable.

Democracy is self destructing, as it inexorably moves further and further to the left – the fate of the past democracies of Athens and Rome.

The cause of the crisis

Monday, September 13th, 2010

One of a series of posts titled “the cause of the crisis”, each discussing a different cause, but each of these causes caused or was caused by each of the other causes:

When the universal franchise was introduced a hundred years ago, people said the system would go to hell.  Now it is going to hell.

Obviously a government cannot go on forever spending much more than it collects.  For a while printing money and borrowing money will work, but eventually, it is bound to lead to trouble, and big trouble is approaching fast.

Government inexorably and rapidly gets more expensive and more intrusive.  No doubt more taxes could be collected if they went after the politically well connected, but overall taxes are close to the Laffer maximum – if they raise taxes on those whom it is easy to raise taxes on, for example a tax on luxury yachts, they will get less money, not more money.

A tax on gas, beer, and cigarettes would work, but be unpopular with the electorate.  A tax on bankers, educationists, and lawyers would work, but would be unpopular with the well connected – and even such taxes would merely postpone the day of reckoning.  Government’s existing commitments are unsustainable with any politically realistic, or even politically unrealistic, tax rise.

The welfare state is simply running out of money.

There are two related problems:  Theocracy and democracy.  The masses are stupid, the elite is theocratic.

Because the elite is theocratic, they compete for power by each being holier than the other, that is to say, more politically correct than the other – but because their religion is this-worldly, they are required to have religious beliefs about this word rather than the next, thus each member of the elite competes to be further out of contact with reality than the other.

Because the masses are stupid, they succumb to politicians promising that the voters can vote themselves rich.

A hundred years ago, progressivism was a sect of Christianity with ambitions for theocracy and world conquest.  To better pursue these goals, it discarded theism, becoming theologically indistinguishable from universalist Unitarianism, thus evading the restraints imposed by the first amendment.

Consider, for example, the doctrine that men and women are equal – therefore the same and interchangeable:  Women, supposedly, can be firemen and soldiers.  Men, supposedly, can marry other men.

The modern progressive theory of equality is in fact a variant of Christianity.

Equality of men and women, and of the races, makes no common sense or biological sense. Men and women, for example, are biologically so different, that pretty much however you decide to measure them, chances are slim that they will prove to be equal.

When I discuss the matter with leftists, the main argument is some kind of skepticism with regard to efforts to measure people (which always end up demonstrating sexual and racial differences). For example, Gould is skeptical about IQ and race.

Roissy wonders why the elites are so stuck on the obviously false idea of literal equality.  Understood as a species of Christian belief, it makes sense, because the Christians believe that the most important part of the self is immaterial. If it’s immaterial, then material differences have nothing to do with it. So Christians are free to believe pretty much anything they want about this most important part of the self, unconstrained by material evidence of any sort. They are free to believe that deep inside everyone, there is a core, an essence, that is not the slightest diminished by bodily infirmity etc. etc. I.e., the soul.

The progressives jettison God, replacing God with, presumably, Nature. So “equality before God” becomes “equality before Nature”. That is, natural equality (of some unspecified sort). And this could be how the progressives manage to believe in some unspecified “natural” (biological or whatever) equality even though no evidence backs them up. Their belief is derived, not from evidence, but from the Christian heritage of progressivism. Their belief looks superficially like a scientific hypothesis because all the terms in it could be interpreted as referring to natural things, but it doesn’t really have any empirical content, because “equality”, while it could refer to something measurable, does not actually refer to anything measurable. Any attempt to measure something to test the claim of “equality” is attacked by progressives.

Progressives are using naturalistic-sounding words to talk about equality, but they are behaving as though it didn’t make any sense to try to measure it, which is how Christians would behave with respect to attempts to rigorously test equality before God. Their reaction would range from skepticism that it could be done, to the sense that it doesn’t even make sense to try, and finally to the certainty that it is heresy to even suggest such a thing and the person suggesting it is evil and possibly a sorcerer and should be burnt at the stake.

The progressive reaction to naturalistic attempts to assess equality is exactly the same as the Christian reaction would be.

The Christian view of equality is entirely impervious to empirical evidence, and so is the progressive view. It makes sense, then, to interpret progressives, when they talk about male and female equality, and about black and white equality, as really talking about the Christian soul, even though they themselves do not realize this is what they are doing because they have forgotten why they are going through these mental motions.