How little the MSM knows about economics

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Milo
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Re: putting it on the slate - US Federal (national?) debt; then and now.

Post by Milo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:36 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:40 pm
Milo wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:14 am
What changed was that the US became and remains so powerful that it doesn't have to try very hard.

Debt means nothing when you can accumulate all you want and nobody can collect.
I think it's more that debt means less when people will keep lending you more, which is not the same thing.
But those lenders do not feel they have a choice.

neverfail
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Re: putting it on the slate - US Federal (national?) debt; then and now.

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:45 pm

Milo wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:14 am


What changed was that the US became and remains so powerful that it doesn't have to try very hard.
That's the sort of complacent hubris that always leads to the downfall of empires and once great nations.

For America, the clock is ticking.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: putting it on the slate - US Federal (national?) debt; then and now.

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:43 pm

Milo wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:36 pm
SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:40 pm
Milo wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:14 am
What changed was that the US became and remains so powerful that it doesn't have to try very hard.

Debt means nothing when you can accumulate all you want and nobody can collect.
I think it's more that debt means less when people will keep lending you more, which is not the same thing.
But those lenders do not feel they have a choice.
Of course they do. It's a market, depending on investor appetite the interest rates fluctuate.
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neverfail
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:50 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:42 am

As to health care, Portuguese live longer than people in many capitalist countries (for instance, the US). The fact that people in Singapore live two years longer may have many causes other than our economics.
Sertorio, cassowary is gung-ho proud of his nation of Singapore for its tangible achievements. Singapore is an extremely young country - even younger than Australia (would you believe?) so he is unaware of the consequences (both good and bad) of being the citizen of a country that "carries little historical baggage". Also a mystery to him why countries of ancient lineage cannot replicate the apparently untroubled growth record of his young republic.

Cass fails to mention that Singapore pays a price for its otherwise laudable growth record. The same price the Japanese paid for the halcyon rise in their living standards during the half century following after the end of World War Two. It is the same pattern in all of the eastern Asian countries that have risen into the ranks of the recently affluent during our lifetimes. The price lies in unrelenting hard work of a kind most of us would find hard to endure; impossible to sustein.

The rat race!

With hindsight, I have often marvelled as to why they have not had a pandemic of nervous breakdowns by now!

I have never been to Portugal but I get the impression that it might be a more relaxing place in which to live. A country where they are not driven by an almost neurotic obsession with achieving materialistic goals; where they take time out to enjoy life.

So if I had to live my life all over again and were offered the choice of either Singapore and Portugal, despite the chances that I would likely end up materially poorer, I might be tempted to choose Portugal.

A life well spent but shorter is still a better life than a longer one squandered.

:D :D :D

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cassowary
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by cassowary » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:35 pm

neverfail wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:50 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:42 am

As to health care, Portuguese live longer than people in many capitalist countries (for instance, the US). The fact that people in Singapore live two years longer may have many causes other than our economics.
Sertorio, cassowary is gung-ho proud of his nation of Singapore for its tangible achievements. Singapore is an extremely young country - even younger than Australia (would you believe?) so he is unaware of the consequences (both good and bad) of being the citizen of a country that "carries little historical baggage". Also a mystery to him why countries of ancient lineage cannot replicate the apparently untroubled growth record of his young republic.

Cass fails to mention that Singapore pays a price for its otherwise laudable growth record. The same price the Japanese paid for the halcyon rise in their living standards during the half century following after the end of World War Two. It is the same pattern in all of the eastern Asian countries that have risen into the ranks of the recently affluent during our lifetimes. The price lies in unrelenting hard work of a kind most of us would find hard to endure; impossible to sustein.

The rat race!

With hindsight, I have often marvelled as to why they have not had a pandemic of nervous breakdowns by now!

I have never been to Portugal but I get the impression that it might be a more relaxing place in which to live. A country where they are not driven by an almost neurotic obsession with achieving materialistic goals; where they take time out to enjoy life.

So if I had to live my life all over again and were offered the choice of either Singapore and Portugal, despite the chances that I would likely end up materially poorer, I might be tempted to choose Portugal.

A life well spent but shorter is still a better life than a longer one squandered.

:D :D :D
Neverfail,

What you say is true. Life in Singapore is stressful and it starts in kindergarten. A friend of mine who works in social services told me that they are seeing more teens needing psychiatric help.

However, the good thing is that lower taxes allows you to save more and accumulate more wealth faster. I have a friend who retired at 40! He achieved this by selling his apartment and moving to Auckland, NZ where property is cheaper. He is now staying in a 10,000 square foot landed property in the North Shore of Auckland. In Singapore, all he could afford was a modest apartment and a HDB flat. He still has the HDB flat in Singapore which he uses when he visits his parents.

So this is what I am going to advise my kids. Earn as much as you can. With strong economic growth, their salary should grow quickly. Then save as much as you can. Your savings are helped by the low taxes we pay. Lastly, invest your savings as well as you can. Then retire at 45 by moving to a country with cheap property prices and a generous welfare state.

Australia is nice. It has cheap property. But its welfare state is not as generous as some places. I hear Portugal has a more generous welfare state, thanks to people like Sertorio. No doubt it gives generous unemployment benefits. ;) :lol:

Jim the Moron
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by Jim the Moron » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:13 pm

Appropriately droll commentary . . .

neverfail
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by neverfail » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:57 am

cassowary wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:35 pm

Australia is nice. It has cheap property.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

If you venture to some remote outback dump you might find some these days Cass.

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Sertorio
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by Sertorio » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:58 am

neverfail wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:50 pm

I have never been to Portugal but I get the impression that it might be a more relaxing place in which to live. A country where they are not driven by an almost neurotic obsession with achieving materialistic goals; where they take time out to enjoy life.

So if I had to live my life all over again and were offered the choice of either Singapore and Portugal, despite the chances that I would likely end up materially poorer, I might be tempted to choose Portugal.

A life well spent but shorter is still a better life than a longer one squandered.

:D :D :D
Few people will have asked themselves how a small country with about 1 million people could have built a maritime empire which lasted about 150 years (with significant leftovers all the way to the 20th century). Naval technique superiority and good weapons help explaining this success, but the most important thing was our enormous capacity to adapt ourselves to any environment and to any culture. We seduced whole peoples, rather than conquer them.

This flexibility wasn't much help in the 19th and 20th centuries, when our schooling and levels of competence fell well below the European mean. Now, that those problems have been mostly overcome, we see Portugal becoming a much more efficient and productive country, without having lost any of our adaptability. That's why our economy is growing, our exports are growing a lot faster than our imports, and we are attracting an increasing number of desirable investments. Being a very tolerant country and people, we are also attracting an increasing number of tourists, who want a peaceful and hospitable destination for their holidays. Or even for their permanent residence. That's why we can afford having socialist policies, which improve our quality of life, without affecting our competitiveness. And we have managed to retain a relaxed attitude in respect of work and life in general, which may explain why we are relatively happy and have a very low level of violent crime.

And you will not find here any bit of the Milo European Protestant culture. Very much the opposite. No sour Calvinists in Portugal!... :D

neverfail
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by neverfail » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:09 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:58 am
neverfail wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:50 pm

I have never been to Portugal but I get the impression that it might be a more relaxing place in which to live. A country where they are not driven by an almost neurotic obsession with achieving materialistic goals; where they take time out to enjoy life.

So if I had to live my life all over again and were offered the choice of either Singapore and Portugal, despite the chances that I would likely end up materially poorer, I might be tempted to choose Portugal.

A life well spent but shorter is still a better life than a longer one squandered.

:D :D :D
Few people will have asked themselves how a small country with about 1 million people could have built a maritime empire which lasted about 150 years (with significant leftovers all the way to the 20th century). Naval technique superiority and good weapons help explaining this success, but the most important thing was our enormous capacity to adapt ourselves to any environment and to any culture. We seduced whole peoples, rather than conquer them.

This flexibility wasn't much help in the 19th and 20th centuries, when our schooling and levels of competence fell well below the European mean. Now, that those problems have been mostly overcome, we see Portugal becoming a much more efficient and productive country, without having lost any of our adaptability. That's why our economy is growing, our exports are growing a lot faster than our imports, and we are attracting an increasing number of desirable investments. Being a very tolerant country and people, we are also attracting an increasing number of tourists, who want a peaceful and hospitable destination for their holidays. Or even for their permanent residence. That's why we can afford having socialist policies, which improve our quality of life, without affecting our competitiveness. And we have managed to retain a relaxed attitude in respect of work and life in general, which may explain why we are relatively happy and have a very low level of violent crime.

And you will not find here any bit of the Milo European Protestant culture. Very much the opposite. No sour Calvinists in Portugal!... :D
Yep! That Portugal of half a millenia ago literally changed the world. Beginning with the discovery and settlement of Madeira and the Azores, Portuguese ships of exploration and trade gradually pushed their way down the Atlantic coast of Africa until (spurred on by the news of a competing Spanish expedition - Columbus') the king of Portugal pushed one of his skippers to finally round the tip of Africa into the Indian Ocean. That opened up the wealth of maritime monsoon Asia (everything from India to Japan) to Portuguese commerce, trade and freebooting.

For at least a century after Portugal dominated the seaborne trade between maritime Asia and Europe - until pushed out by an agile, aggressive newcomer: the "sour", Calvinist Netherlands which took over the web of trading posts and sea lanes the Portuguese had previously pioneered.

Then there was Brazil. Portugal also got a lot of mileage out of its sole colony in the Americas: firstly from sugar and in later centuries from diamonds and gold. In the case of the first Portuguese enterprise pioneered the growing of sugar and the Middle Passage traffic in slaves from Africa. Sugar plantations in the Americas combined with seaborne mercantile trade with maritime Asia were the means by which for centuries afterwards European states located on the maritime western edge of Europe were able to progressively build up their levels of prosperity and sophistication and (to the point) their stocks of domestic capital for future investment in modern industry.

Alas for Portugal; it success inspired aggressive new imitators ot follow the same path to fortune at cost to Portugal.

Portugal literally supplied the key Western man's to entry into the modern World.

But Sertorio, please do not get lost in dreams of past glory. You realise, don't you, that Portugal can never have all of that back in real life?

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Sertorio
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Re: How little the MSM knows about economics

Post by Sertorio » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:58 pm

neverfail wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:09 pm

Portugal literally supplied the key Western man's to entry into the modern World.

But Sertorio, please do not get lost in dreams of past glory. You realise, don't you, that Portugal can never have all of that back in real life?
Of course not! My point is that a small non-Protestant European country with a very adaptable people can achieve a lot. In present days I expect Portugal to slowly become one of the most successful countries in Europe, because of our adaptability and tolerant frame of mind. But we will not become a powerful country. Nor do we want to.

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