The fair weighting of laws

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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:

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‘Developing country’ vs ‘Third World’

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[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To some it is simply outdated, and like ‘retard’, ‘cripple’ or ‘negro’, this once perfectly polite moniker has gradually come to mean what it really means, thus a new term has to be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

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Keynes/Hayek: the final word

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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

Suicidal third world economic policies

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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

Deliberately crash the economy to oust Trump?

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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:

  1. Elites hate Trump.
  2. They are willing to publish fake stories and clutch straws to impeach him.
  3. They would be willing to crash the economy to make him lose the next election.
  4. They are able to crash the economy.

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Hayek vs. Keynes DEATH MATCH!

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.

  1. 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

There won’t be a collapse

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

The arrogance of non-profits

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!

Okay, done.

Of course, like the rest of humanity, when adulthood finally arrived to smash the stupidity out of me in the form of Read More

The Retard Cafe

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

Why did so many Hispanics vote for Trump?

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

Mah-nee

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

The Other End of the Exodus

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

The Free-Market Case for Socialism

There is an old libertarian case for socialism that I’ll briefly outline before getting to my new one. It goes like this:

  1. Property and economic rights exist in and of themselves.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Childcare Economics

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

Sexual Arbitrage

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Arbitrage means profiting from price differences in two different markets.  A super simple example: bonds in Vladivostok Fish (VVF) are selling slightly cheaper on the Nikkei than they are on the Dow Jones.  A canny trader buys them in the former market, sells in the latter, and spends his tidy profit boasting of his exploits to an opulent hotel room full of multicultural call girls.  Don’t get excited; such low hanging fruit is long since gone and today cutting-edge algorithms race to detect minute, intensely complex market imbalances to exploit.

Similar, simpler phenomena are observable in the sexual marketplace.

Example 1:  A fat, balding Canadian of middle income moves to Read More

You’re Not Contributing Nearly As Much As You Think

The original inspiration behind American democracy was the creed, “No taxation without representation.”  Some still think it’s a workable idea: those who pay tax should vote and those who do not should be deprived of the privilege.

But just because you’re paying tax doesn’t mean you’re a net contributor.  You might be a member of the Underclass and not know it.

Most people think they are net contributors because they pay income tax and don’t receive any welfare.  Such people might need to pull out a calculator and check their numbers Read More