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  1. #121
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    Here is an excerpt from "General Kenny Reports".General Kenny was MacArthurs commander of the Fifth Air Force in the South Pacific during WW2.
    This describes one method payment to New Guinea natives at the time.It is online for free,a great read for WW2 USAAf buffs.generalkenneyreports_0248-pg231.jpggeneralkenneyreports_0249.jpg

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  3. #122
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    YouTube

    A perspective on $

  4. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demon73 View Post
    Duplicating posts will not be tolerated!

    OT: Money! What is it? What does it mean to you?
    Oh dear, this lockdown is obviously getting to me.

    Regards Tyrone.

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  6. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    You might be interested in the book "Debt - The First 5000 Years" by David Graeber.

    He pretty much starts the book saying that just about every economics books gives the same answer -- money is just something handy to replace barter. However, in actually looking back, per Graeber, that's pretty much never what happened.*

    Instead, he says, it was a way of elites making sure the people under them paid their tribute, crop shares, taxes etc. He has a bit of an axe to grind, but a lot of it makes sense.

    *Pulled out the book. Here's the first paragraph of the back cover blurb "Every economics textbook tells the same story. Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems - to relieve ancieint people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There's not a shred of evidence to support it."

    Graeber is an anthropologist. He's apparently looked for that shred of evidence, not found it, and come to other conclusions based on how money has actually been used in various cultures up to the present.
    " Demon " and I were discussing these issues on the phone the other day. I recommended he read a book called " The Admirable Crichton ". I think it's by JM Barrie.

    The premise of the book is a very wealthy British Lord and his family go on a South Sea cruise. They take along Crichton, their butler, who is a " Jeeves " like character. The ship they are sailing on sinks and they are all cast adrift to end up on a small unininhabited island. The Lord and his family are useless at doing anything practical and only Crichton has the necessary skills to build a hut, find food etc etc. Before too long the roles are reversed and Crichton is the top dog and the Lord has to recognise the fact.

    It's a really amusing critique of the British class system. It was later made into a film/movie

    Regards Tyrone.

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  8. #125
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    Food, Shelter, Gold, Ammo.
    Everything else is currency.

  9. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    YouTube

    A perspective on $
    More about big government, waste, them n us than $ to my ears. Interesting points made though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    Food, Shelter, Gold, Ammo.
    Everything else is currency.
    Can think of the shells literally as gold coin. No ammo on island.

  10. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    YouTube

    A perspective on $

    So I took a look.

    I'd agree on the issue of debt being a problem, as it erodes trust.

    Bill Whittle's description of what $20 trillion dollars means was about as good as any. The guy was a theater major, who wanted to be a fighter pilot, and he's an engaging speaker.

    It went downhill from there. The description of the "four quadrants" sounds reasonable, right up until you apply a couple brain cells to it. Mostly ludicrous. Happy to tear it up if anyone cares.

    Next, if Whittle understood the Laffer curve, he'd realize it undermines his own argument.

    -----------

    His notion that government should only do what's specifically in the Constitution sounds good, until you think about it. The Constititution asks that government provide for the "general welfare" and "defense" but doesn't specifically mention anything we've managed to invent in the past 200 years.

    Conservatives have tended to think that "defense" includes such things as escorting oil out of the Middle East or bringing democracy to Iraq - but not things like a government-supported Post Office. Turns out the Post Office is specifically enumerated, the oil, nukes, jets, and aircraft carriers not.

    Liberals tend to think "general welfare" includes things like vaccinations and health care, but like spending trillions to get Arab oil, that's not specifically enumerated either.

    The Constitution mentions nothing of building a wall, as another example, or even of having an immigration policy. So, his notion that if it isn't specifically mentioned in the Constitution we shouldn't do it falls apart. What is in the Constitution is the Executive proposing expenditures and Congress deciding on both those and the taxes to pay for them.
    --------------------

    From there it's mostly cherry-picked examples to decide that we should shrink government to as close to nothing as possible.

    1) He gives Apple as an example of wonderful free market innovation, failing to list the dozen plus major innovations Apple appropriated from government research - and also how they depend on bandwidth that arguably belongs to all of us.

    2) He says we waste a lot of money on education (we'd agree); but doesn't bother to add that it's not just public schools that are failing kids; but also for-profit "schools" like Trump University are parts of the problem. My own take is that the problems with inner city and poor rural schools starts way before kids show up in classrooms.

    3) He says politicians will do what it takes to get elected. He doesn't mention the billions of hidden money that are arguably more dominant in politics than pandering to blacks etc.

    4) Far as I can tell, he thinks people should be here legally; with either guest worker status or a path to citizenship. Me, too.

    5) He raises the issue of Chinese IP theft, but doesn't have a solution.

    6) He raises the issue of terrorism, but doesn't have a solution.

    7) His notions of who's to blame for our 2x spend on healthcare is that it's government taking a third of the money, insurance companies taking another third of the money, and doctors having to spend a big part of the rest to deal with insurance companies. The percents are way off, but in the end he's blaming government not the insurance, pharma, etc. companies. He's pretty much wrong on most counts, but that's a much longer story.

    8) He says we spend too much on weapon systems. I'd agree that we're mostly building what defense contractors want, rather than what might have the highest return on investment to make us safe from foreign aggression. But, then, "defense" is in the Constitution and we're the world's biggest spender.

    9) He ends (it's a 2017 video) with a knock on Bernie Sanders and socialism; using Cuba as his example of what Bernie wanted the US to become. I'm not a Bernie supporter, but what Sanders said is that he wants the US to be more like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway etc. -- social democracies. So instead of painting a picture of what a crappy place Cuba has become, it would have been more honest to paint the better health, higher education scores, less inequality, greater innovation per capita, truly freer elections, and higher self-reported happiness in those countries. Lots of reasons why the US won't become one of those social democracies; but that and not Cuba was Bernie's aspiration.

    ----
    Back to the Laffer curve (itself with lots of problems), most economists figure that once taxes get beyond about the 70% level they become counter-productive in raising money for things like schools, defense, healthcare, R&D etc. The US once had a top marginal rate well above that and still grew -- but 70% might be about the most a country could extract and still have people pursuing their dreams.

    FWIW, 70+% is about what the founders of a venture capital firm give up to get their ideas funded. It is rare for the founders of a venture-capital-backed company to keep even half. In any case, a country like Denmark, with total (local to national) taxation around 50% of GDP has the highest taxes in the world, last time I looked. But, still well within Laffer distance. People in Denmark are still highly productive. Denmark invests in its people, their health, their education, and the infrastructure a business might need. They, sort of like a gentler, kinder venture capitalist, get to keep half.

    A country like the US, with total taxation around 26% is among the lowest in the world. It's about as close in real life to a tiny government as the speaker wants. Only Mexico among listed countries is significantly lower. These were 2015 numbers though (Obama) - since then Trump has been borrowing a trillion a year.

    How do US taxes compare internationally? | Tax Policy Center

    Toward the end the speaker made a comment about not being able to do the math. with some cash in hand. While I agree with some of his points, and thought him an engaging speaker, I'd say that's a metaphor for much of the talk.

    My own take is that our problem isn't that we're spending too much or too little on government at 26% or so of GDP, but that so much of it is either wasted through incompetent leadership or (even more) siphoned off by people gaming our finance, defense, pharma, education, patent, regulatory etc. systems. Countries like Denmark and Finland at least seem to get something (better healthcare, fewer terrorists hating them, better education, better infrastrucure, etc.) for their Bernie-beloved lifestyles.

    Whittle points out that Castro stole from his country. Seems that here we have a whole bunch of fraudsters working at that? Heck, at least four or five of them are now in our Executive branch, more in Congress with inside trading. We started with such immense resources and productivity it has only crippled our economy, not (yet) destroyed it.

  11. #128
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    what's money ? it's something if you have enough to live by . it allows you to say no.


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