I’m not the brightest spark.
I decided to bypass Amazon and buy a Terror House ebook direct from their store. I had to get instructions from Matt on how to get it onto my Kindle.
At first he thought I was joking but then, when I insisted that I was serious, he gave me the steps with palpable embarrassment.
Turns out it’s easy: download the file, send it to your Kindle email address (they all have one), perhaps fiddle with one last thing if required, and there it is.
I always bought ebooks via Amazon because that’s all I knew. Go to the Kindle store, search, press the ‘buy’ button.
In fact, I didn’t even know that you could read non-Amazon books on Kindle. I’d wondered about it but never actually tried it. You can read anything on those. If a mate sends you a manuscript as a Word doc, you can forward it to the Kindle to read there – much easier on the eyes. You can copy and paste long articles from the onlines, too.
Of course, Amazon could still reach into your device while the WiFi’s connected and delete anything they find objectionable but I’m not too worried about that at the moment and can’t physically obtain or store paper books right now anyway. I know others are building paper libraries and that’s a good idea.
Probably all this has not taught my reader anything he didn’t already know, but the anecdote may illustrate something interesting: consumer inertia.
As the US circles the bowl, I’ve noticed for some time that Australia seems to be in slightly better shape. Not good shape, but better.
It’s certainly true that Based America put up much stronger and more effective resistance against Covidian tyranny. If one of youse crosses the Rubicon, I may apply for asylum there on the grounds of being a Stateless Person.
Overall, however, Australia has outperformed the US on these measures:
- The population is not so fiercely divided along political lines. I think; been away a while
- There were BLM protests but little resulting violence or property damage
- While race-baiting media campaigns continue apace, the racial situation on the ground is calmer
- There are no massive homeless populations as in some US cities
- There is widespread faith in the electoral process on all sides
- The national debt is much lower
On this last, Australia is suddenly catching up to our cousins across the pond. The latest federal budget will plunge Australia into a level of debt that may drown us.
Big business got too many free kicks in 2020, and it wasn’t the first time.
Amazon, major supermarket chains and big box stores have been able to keep operating while many small businesses have been closed down.
The big boys have also been getting obscene amounts of ‘stimulus’ from the government while little guys got bugger all.
Here are a few random ideas that might even things up a bit. I have no idea if these are good ideas or not, nor whether they are practical. With that said, here we go:
Here it is:
The results speak for themselves.
[Written in Africa]
Some of my colleagues, who are much better people than I, take umbrage at the term ‘third world’. There are several reasons for this.
To some it is simply outdated, and like ‘retard’, ‘cripple’ or ‘negro’, this once perfectly polite moniker has gradually come to mean what it really means, thus a new term has to be invented.
Further, the word originates from the time of
Book review of Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, by Nicholas Wapshott.
[Written in 2019]
I went into this book knowing that my sympathies already lay heavily with Hayek because I’d read more of his work and because I HATE HATE HATE inflation. It eats directly into the fruits of my hard work and parsimony. Few things fill me with such murderous rage. I see Bismark Germans carrying wheelbarrows full of marks to the shops and my hearts softens slightly towards Hitler.
But preening that I am an open-minded chap, I decided to give Keynes the most generous hearing possible. I would do this by leaning slightly towards his side, just like a fair under-12s umpire does towards the visiting team when his son is on the home side.
But actually, what struck me most about this book was not the triumph of one side or the other, but just how Read More
Many countries have economic policies that are harmful, but nevertheless do okay overall. Until recently, Japan protected its rice with a 778% tariff, making this staple more expensive to consumers, but they could afford it so no one starved.
On the other hand, bad economic policies in third world countries can cost lives. Indeed they do cost lives – probably millions of them, if you counted them over the decades. I have already provided you with an entire series on one country so let us consider some other examples.
In Ethiopia, there is a Read More
Book review of Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell.
I can’t do any better than Thommo’s first paragraph, so here it is: Read More
I feel myself making an economic prediction, which is exactly what I warn youse NOT to do in my upcoming book. I was in the middle of shifting money around for rational reasons, and then . . . I could not bring myself to move some bonds into shares as planned.
I should not be timing the market. I am the worst investor in the world, and the only way of protecting myself is to play it dumb. But still, if I cannot physically make myself move the funds, perhaps my risk profile is lower than I thought it was.
Here’s the thing:
- Elites hate Trump.
- They are willing to publish fake stories and clutch straws to impeach him.
- They would be willing to crash the economy to make him lose the next election.
- They are able to crash the economy.
Book review of The Essential Hayek by Donald J. Boudreaux
Let’s jump straight in and consider some of Hayek’s main points, as outlined in this brief book.
- Things are really, really complicated, but that’s okay because you only need to know your own little tiny bit of it.
Right now I’m drinking beer. It is good. It’s very cold because, as is my habit, I left it in the freezer for ten minutes before drinking. Sound pretty simple, right? Well, consider: it is in a bottle, and I have no idea whatsoever how to make glass except that it involves sand (I saw that in an episode of Read More
I’m on the record as being skeptical about a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
I still am, but I’ve read some better arguments in favour of it since then. While I am still 90% sure that it is a dumb idea, I am now 80% convinced that it would be Read More
I like survivalists. I’m a bit of one myself. Of course, a total failure of electricity, water, gas, internet, telephony, television or security over here is just business as usual, so one does not have to be a Gulf War I vet with a twitch in the eye to make some basic preparations.
I feel a slight stirring in my loins when I look at my two huge Read More
Back when the mighty Stegosaurus roamed the earth I was a skinny, long-haired uni student wondering what to do with my life. I knew that I wanted to make a difference, and I was quite sure that I would, but the problem was that I had no particular skills nor did I stand out in any way. However, I was me – surely I’d land on my feet and end up working for some glamorous department of the UN or in some wonderful NGO or maybe as an ethics advisor to an enormous global corporation, making the world better bit by bit every day that I rode to its campus on my mountain bike.
Now, I understand at this point some of my readers want to pull my ears and punch my nose but you can’t because this is the internet. Fair enough. I will pull and punch them for you because I know how much I deserve it: Ow! Arr! Yowza!
Of course, like the rest of humanity, when adulthood finally arrived to smash the stupidity out of me in the form of Read More
Recently the ingenious government of this nation that will soon be Africa’s Singapore except better decided to shut down about a fifth of all businesses.
Those with connections or who managed to fly under the radar are still open.
So you are thinking, what a profiteering opportunity! They can grab all the customers off the other businesses in the meantime. It will take three to eight months for them to reopen – what could possibly go wrong? Read More
Wages and conditions for foreign English teachers in Japan are much worse in cities than they are in the countryside, and this is most apparent in the Kanto region (Tokyo and surroundings) where a single job may not be enough to live on. Why is it so?
It’s because of supply and demand. Simply, there are too many gaijin (foreigners) in the cities. With so many unqualified, fly-by-night, alcoholic gaijin to choose from, schools can set whatever terms they like. There are fewer gaijin willing to live in the countryside so schools need to offer them a better deal.
Gaijin used to find themselves very popular with the Japanese ladies but not so much any more. Why is it so? Well, they used to Read More
Hiking in Australia, even just outside Sydney, you could walk for days and never see another soul. Here one always encounters boys herding goats, dusty villages, women collecting water and the odd camel train.
How much English does a local, twelve year old goatherd know, you might wonder. Well there’s one word he always knows very well and will repeat to you over, and over, and over, sometimes for hours, until you either leave the area or he can follow you no longer. He puts out a brown palm and says, Read More
You’ve seen the footage of those foreign hordes charging across Europe to Merkelistan? Many of them come from here.
This country is positively hollowed out. There are a disproportionate number of children and elderly, with an oddly high percentage of the remaining working age population seeming to suffer from disability or lunacy. Pretty much anyone who can get out, has.
Much has been written about the effects on Europe. This article focuses instead on the push factors that made them go and the effect the exodus has had on the country left behind.
There is almost no economic activity here and the only money around is Read More
There is an old libertarian case for socialism that I’ll briefly outline before getting to my new one. It goes like this:
- Property and economic rights exist in and of themselves.
- Everything everyone presently has, has been stolen heaps of times, including the land you’re living on that cave men endlessly fought over tens of thousands of years ago.
- You might as well spread the wealth around a bit because by taking from the rich and giving to the poor you’re probably just giving stuff back to the rightful owners.
Okay, so now my own free market defense of socialism. This is largely devil’s-advocate and not necessarily what I really think.
I am an idiot. As such, there are many things I don’t understand. I am only just clever enough to notice this fact.
One of the things I don’t comprehend is child care. In many developed countries people are always screeching about child care. Feminists are screeching about it. Opposition parties are screeching about it. UN agencies, productivity commissions, business councils and mothers are all carrying on like pork chops.
“More child care!” they say. “Without it we shall return to the Dark Ages of beer soup for breakfast and the dunking of nags.” Plus some bad things, I imagine.
Let me explain what I don’t get. The Read More