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NowThis | Liberal schools Fox News on taxing the rich 63% Posted Nov 2020

NowThis | Liberal schools Fox News on taxing the rich

Comment: 22 days ago

There is no option of "climate change" on a death certificate. Read the article and you'll understand how scientists come up with numbers for deaths by climate change.

NowThis | Liberal schools Fox News on taxing the rich 63% Posted Nov 2020

NowThis | Liberal schools Fox News on taxing the rich

Comment: 22 days ago

It's probably much higher.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2003/dec/12/climatechange.climatechangeenvironment

Krystal and Saagar | Michael Moore: why I still think Trump could win 53% Posted Nov 2020

Krystal and Saagar | Michael Moore: why I still think Trump could win

Comment: 26 days ago

Be sure to vote, that's the only way to be sure.

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis 63% Posted Sep 2020

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis

Comment: 35 days ago

You forgot to answer the question. Where does the trillions of dollars in bank accounts all around the world come from? If it's an IOU, then who is the money owed to, and when can it be paid back?

To answer this effectively, you NEED to step outside the contents of your textbook. Please keep your answer short. My attention span is inversely proportional to the number of your words.

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis 63% Posted Sep 2020

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis

Comment: 39 days ago

"Money is a medium of exchange, in an economy, out of an economy, in all contexts.  That really is a first principle, and if whatever theory you conjure up breaks away from that, you know you're on the wrong lines." 

Just step outside your textbook for a moment. I'm asking where does the trillions of dollars in bank accounts all around the world come from? If it's an IOU, then who is the money owed to, and when can it be paid back?

Here's a pretty good analogy that even an 8-year-old should fly through.

In Monopoly (I hope I correctly remember the rules), the bank is 'outside' the game. When a player passes GO, they receive new money for free from the bank. Apart from the occasional gift card or when a house is sold back to the bank, new money only enters the game from players passing GO. 

Money leaves the game through fines, utility bills or when houses are bought (ie. any time money is paid to the bank). There is no link between a player buying a house (paying money back to the bank) and a player passing GO (a player receiving new money from the bank). The house purchase is not required to finance the player passing GO, because the bank can never run out of money (there really is a magic money tree). WITHIN the game, money acts how your textbook describes. When a player pays rent, money moves from one player to another. No new money is created or lost by transactions within the game. 

MMT could be Monopoly Money Theory. I think we ask the wrong question. It shouldn't be "can we afford a new hospital?", it should something like "is a new hospital a good idea considering limited manpower, time and resources." If so, the money is there to make it happen. 

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality 57% Posted Oct 2020

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality

Comment: 40 days ago

'Embracing' is not woollier than 'acting', it’s a clarification. ‘Embracing’ is a subset of ‘acting’, not the other way round. It suggests that the act is not just any old act, it’s action that ‘embraces’ Griffywocks as true even when there’s no evidence. Does that make an irrational act 'stupid'? I think so, but maybe it's the smart thing to do. You decide.

With atheism there’s nothing to embrace. It would be stupid for an atheist to embrace the space left free by the absence of Griffywocks. Atheism is a REACTION to claims that Griffywocks exists. Atheists don’t go around trying to persuade people that Nunnybrunts don’t exist. That’s because nobody is claiming they do.

And I didn’t miss your point, I bypassed it. It was one of these philosophy class discussions, you know, “is it possible to discuss something we can’t define?” Of course it is. We discuss god all the time. Next week: “can god create a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?” All interesting stuff, but nobody cares.

I wasn’t trying to make any particular argument. Just saying - you can think what you like, however irrational - there’s no thought police. But acting on what you think has real-world consequences. It’s Confucius level wisdom, something to ponder over while you're waiting for the train.

The astute among us will point out that praying to Griffywocks has no real-world consequences because Griffywocks doesn’t exist. I would argue that allocating time to praying is a real-world consequence. Instead of wasting their time praying to Griffywocks, they could be praying to Nunnybrunts.

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality 57% Posted Oct 2020

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality

Comment: 42 days ago

No, not yet. 

Discussing irrational thoughts - like ‘do you believe griffywocks are seashells in Papua?’ is fine, even fun. Embracing irrational thoughts - like praying to seashells in Papua, that’s stupid. 

If you can’t agree that praying to seashells in Papua is stupid, then I give up, palms firmly embedded into my face, and a 'Do Not Disturb' sign hanging around my neck.

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality 57% Posted Oct 2020

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality

Comment: 42 days ago

What I'm saying is that it's fine to have irrational thoughts - like believing or not believing griffywocks exists even if you can't even define it, but to act on irrational thoughts - like praying to griffywocks, that's stupid.

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality 57% Posted Oct 2020

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality

Comment: 42 days ago

It is irrational to believe griffywocks exists because there is no evidence. Heck, it's not even defined.

But to follow griffywocks as if it is god, that's stupid.

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality 57% Posted Oct 2020

Isaac Asimov | Superstition, religion and why he teaches rationality

Comment: 44 days ago

There are degrees of emotional responses. Atheism is far less emotional than religious ideas, most of which are off the spectrum.

At least everyone can agree on one thing - that there is no empirical evidence YET for the existence of god. Tip for the day: don't hold your breath.

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis 63% Posted Sep 2020

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis

Comment: 44 days ago

"Money is a medium of exchange - for it to have value , it has to be exchanged with something of value (even debt). Build outwards from that." Yes, but no. What you're on about is WITHIN the economy. Rather than building out, step outside and look at the whole. 

The problem with building out is this. Every step is biased by the step before. So when you build out, detail biases the bigger picture - eg. your understanding of the economic system as a whole is biased by a textbook description of inflation. 

Much better to step outside the whole and look in. So then, your understanding of inflation is biased by your understanding of the economic system as a whole.

We've been here before when we discussed 'context'. I was arguing that when someone utters the n-word, context matters. It is the context that dictates the meaning of the word. It's the same idea in first principles thinking, that the outer layer biases the inner layer.

It's like you are drawing a face and you started by detailing the eye. And now you have a beautifully drawn eye, better than I could ever draw. Then MMT comes along and points out that the eye is too far to the right. Since you invested so much in drawing the eye, understandably you are reluctant to move it. So you distort the rest of the face to fit. If you sketched the face out in the first place, you wouldn't have made that mistake.

Fiat money is not an IOU because it can never be paid back. If it was paid back, there would be no money to run the economy. 

It's like the oil in the machine. The machine (economy) requires oil (money) to run. If you drain the oil to give back to the oil company (pay off the national debt), the machine seizes up. And where did the oil company (bank) get the oil (money) from in the first place? Answer: thin air, aka magic money tree.

TYT | Cenk Uygur: 2020 election is over 55% Posted Oct 2020

TYT | Cenk Uygur: 2020 election is over

Comment: 48 days ago

It's only over if young people come out and vote - come rain or shine or hangover.

NowThis | Katie Porter grills big pharma CEO over price-gouging 47% Posted Oct 2020

NowThis | Katie Porter grills big pharma CEO over price-gouging

Comment: 52 days ago

OK, sounds like you're saying we should nationalise health services but the government is the problem. I'm with you.

So we could learn from other governments around the world who provide health services much more effectively - like Canada, Germany, Sweden, France, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Austria, South Korea, Greece, Iceland ... and many more.

Bernie has a plan. Why not give that a listen?

NowThis | Katie Porter grills big pharma CEO over price-gouging 47% Posted Oct 2020

NowThis | Katie Porter grills big pharma CEO over price-gouging

Comment: 52 days ago

That's why health services should be nationalised.

In other industries the consumer has a choice. If you don't like Tesla, you can buy Ford. Heck, you don't even have to buy a car, you can choose to walk away.

But if you can't afford your medical care, you die. That's not a choice, it's more like armed robbery.

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis 63% Posted Sep 2020

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis

Comment: 54 days ago

"The IOU comes from.... the value of whatever is being exchanged." You didn't answer the question, or you're trying to spin out of it. Your analogy is of a transaction between between two fiat currencies within an economy.

I'm asking, where did Walter get Walter dollars from in the first place? 

Also, the value of a currency and the quantity are not interchangeable. The value of 5 Walter dollars can be anything. 5 Walter dollars is a fixed quantity with a varying value. I'm asking: where did 5 Walter dollars originate from, not why was 5 Walter dollars created rather than 3.

If you're saying that fiat money is not new because we pay it back later (ie. our children will pay back what we print today), that is not correct, because we cannot in principle pay back the national debt.

The easiest way to understand this is to move from textbook mode to first principles mode.

All legal fiat currency enters the economy via the banking system, and leaves the economy when a payment is made to government - eg. taxes. So when a company makes a profit - that is NOT new money - it is a redistribution of money already in the economy as a whole.

The books are balanced by creating a debt. So we print money to build a hospital, and pay back that money from tax. Therefore no new money is created. Right? Wrong. Because we can't pay back the money even if we could - because if we did, there would be no money in the economy.

Unless you can show me where else new money legally enters the economy, then it's just simple maths. If we pay back the money that's created to balance the books, there is no money left to run the economy. And if we pay it back with interest, where does the interest come from?

The requirement to pay off the national debt is just a constraint that we adhere to because it's so ingrained that nothing comes for free. Yet creating a new account in a database is free - it comes from thin air. All that is required is a decision to do it.

So back to the original question, where did Walter get Walter dollars from? Did he just invent them out of thin air, or did he convert something else into Walter dollars?

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis 63% Posted Sep 2020

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis

Comment: 57 days ago

Your analogy is almost perfect. Just swap IOU for 'dollars.'

Walter visits a hipster cafe and wants to pay with Walter dollars. The cafe refuse payment because nobody accepts Walter dollars - in this hood, everybody accepts TheBob dollars. As it happens, TheBob thinks Walter is a genius so he swaps some TheBob dollars for Walter dollars - and now Walter can enjoy his mushy avocado coffee.

So, where did Walter dollars come from? Answer: thin air. 

And where did TheBob dollars come from? Answer: thin air.

That's because both Walter dollars and TheBob dollars are fiat currencies. The difference between them is that people believe that in the future, TheBob dollars will still be accepted but not Walter dollars. Like the difference between the US dollar and the Zimbabwean dollar.

So I ask you again - if fiat money is NOT invented out of thin air, where does it come from? 9-year-olds don't need a gazillion words, just a few will do. Like: Fiat money comes from the moon. Or, fiat money comes out of a rhino's arse.

Please answer on the dotted line: Fiat money comes from ...........

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis 63% Posted Sep 2020

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis

Comment: 59 days ago

Another gazillion words! And a perfectly good analogy totally bunged up with some machinist nonsense. Thanks a bunch. You never were good at analogies and you haven't improved. Can't you practice somewhere else?

If fiat money is not invented out of thin air, where does it come from? 

Please answer so a 9-year-old can understand.

Joe Rogan | The implications of sex robots 54% Posted Sep 2020

Joe Rogan | The implications of sex robots

Comment: 60 days ago

We can be sure the future will be weird. But when we're there, it will be normal. That's weird.

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis 63% Posted Sep 2020

The Rational National | CNN segment highlights eviction crisis

Comment: 61 days ago

"OK, maybe I do have to bring it back a few steps and simplify things." No, no, no, no! You're doing it all wrong. Simplifying doesn't mean going into endless detail trying to sound like you know more than you do. Just look at what you've written - a gazillion words, with fancy ideas like 'Fractional Reserve and Credit Creation Theory'. How is that simplifying anything? Imagine I was a 9-year-old who just glazed over. What would you do then? Break down Credit Creation Theory and hope I understand?

If you can't explain it so a 9-year-old understands, you don't understand it yourself. So let me "bring it back a few steps and simplify things" for you.

--------

All legal fiat money is invented out of thin air - it doesn't grow on trees, it's not dug out of the ground, or brought to us by aliens. Fiat money is the latest update of the system humans  invented thousands of years ago, initially to solve the problem of bartering.

Visualise money in an economy as one giant spreadsheet of all transactions - and trace where new money enters the economy, how that money circulates, and leaves the economy.

All legal fiat money is created by banks/government. I'm not sure the precise relationship between central bank and government, but that's not important here. What's important is to keep in mind that humans designed the system to create money - eg. FRB and QE - and so like any design, it can be improved on.

Once money is in the economy, it works its way around making real things happen. I need my roof fixed, so £1000 leaves my account and goes to the builder's account. Later that night, he spends a bit of that £1000 in a pub, who then use it to pay wages ... and so on. My £1000 filters through the economy making things happen, but it gets smaller and smaller along the way as some inevitably gets used to pay tax.

Paying money to the government, eg. tax, is effectively removing money from the economy. Paying money to corporations who stash it in the Cayman Islands, is also effectively removing money from the economy.

We imagine that the tax we pay is then used to build a hospital - that there's some kind of loop between taxes and government projects, but that's not what really happens.

Think of the economy as an enormous machine full of cogs, where oil (money) enters at one end (via banks/government), swills around lubricating the cogs (businesses), and leaves through the plughole (tax). There's no limit to the oil, but if too much enters the machine, pressure builds up and catastrophic damage can occur (eg. hyper inflation).

A healthy economy is when the rate of flow of oil, is just right to lubricate the cogs, big and small. The problem we currently have is that Covid has stopped most cogs moving, so oil is not moving around and many cogs are seizing up.

If we pump oil into the seized up rent cog, that will turn the landlord cog, which will keep the bank cog happy - important because they created the oil in the first place. That's the smart thing to do.

The alternative is 40 million people facing eviction, landlords facing empty properties, and banks facing bankrupt accounts. That's just dumb.

Why be dumb when we can be smart.

NowThis | Trump supporters explain why they aren't wearing masks 50% Posted Sep 2020

NowThis | Trump supporters explain why they aren't wearing masks

Comment: 64 days ago

I wasn't sure what vulnerable meant. Obviously you'd be vulnerable if there was a serious risk of death. But what about permanent brain damage from long Covid - is that serious enough to make you vulnerable? 

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