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The Forum > Article Comments > Let’s kill welfare > Comments

Let’s kill welfare : Comments

By Everald Compton, published 3/7/2018

Around a decade from now, robots will be our prime source of productivity and we will lose control of them as robots will produce more robots without human input.

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Sorry Everand,
I read this first paragraph and couldn't read any more, it was just total fearmongering garbage.
What we actually need are new systems that safeguard and ensure human usefulness.

Unfortunately, I fear you'll probably be right in the end whatever you wrote because it's acually a design to centralise power and enslave us.

The people won't hold politicians accountable, who also couldn't sit down a devise a good policy if their lives depended on it, and are all globalist sellouts anyway, so we're pretty much stuffed.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 9:29:39 AM
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Thank you.

I am so tired of delusional libertarians who think we can abolish "welfare" when these inevitable trends to automation will continue replacing human labour.

But...

"The key issue is that no matter what is the otherwise infinite capacity of robots, they will never ever be able to have or exercise a conscience. This remains our greatest asset in the quest for relevance in the years ahead."

It's also a potential threat.
Robots and AI computing data in purely rational ways may make decisions and conclusions totally unacceptable to real humans, with their instinctual and spiritual dimensions.

I agree with the redefinition of "welfare" as simply a living costs necessity for *citizens*.

And that's the dilemma.
We cannot allow immigration to continue with such a scheme.
We also cannot permit dual citizenships, that may allow double-dippers claiming payments from more than one country.
Posted by Shockadelic, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 10:39:05 AM
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AC,

I am not even going to read the first paragraph. This man is another "blowie".
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 11:14:32 AM
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Not necessarily! To be sure the future will be very different. we can and should own it or allow a few self-serving self-centred deplorably stupid, selfish people to kill it and all life as we know and understand it.

Around the sun, there are three planets in the habitable zone. One is Venus, the HOTTEST planet in the solar system its atmosphere made dense and heavy by oceans of evaporated oceans And our virtual fate as its second hottest sister without a change of course.

No, I am not bagging Automation. Just the dolts at the helm, guiding the ship of state toward just two possible futures, Shangri-La and universal wealth for all Or coal-fired hell!

And like Autonomous cars, we will always need a hand on the wheel to control outcomes and anything we or our metal servants create or repair.

The only thing missing in the first option is both affordable carbon-free baseload power and cooperative capitalism. That we will need to activate the economic miracle that makes the first projected future possible.

Albeit, rigidly resisted by the current ruling class.

Ruled or intellectually crippled by their own fundamentally flawed avaricious ambition/appetites!? POVERTY CONSCIOUSNESS!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Tuesday, 3 July 2018 11:16:50 AM
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Plenty of jobs pulling coal out of the ground in order to give other nations power. Unfortunately we are to dumb to give ourselves cheap electricity.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 11:34:59 AM
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When did we stop calling Government workers public servants? Maybe we should go back to it.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 12:31:16 PM
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ttbn,
If you don't bother to read the article, you shouldn't comment on it. Bragging about your own arrogance is tiresome, and so is insulting its writer even if you disagree with him as much as I do.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Armchair and Shockadelic (and Everald)
There's no shortage of things that would make life better if they were done, even if there's no absolute need to do them. The government has the power to create as many new jobs as there are workers available. But to do so they must abandon the balanced budget meme. Automation is highly deflationary, and to balance that we need a large increase in the money supply, which the private sector isn't always able to create.
Posted by Aidan, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 3:21:59 PM
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If what the author describes is correct, then the question of welfare or no-welfare dwarfs in relation to the real problem:

STOP THE ROBOTS!
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 3:34:42 PM
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Yuyutsu,
Spot-on !
And, while we're at it why not do away with the hordes of economy stifling bureaudroids.
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 5:28:53 PM
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There's an awful lot of "wills" in that article - "robots will be our prime source of productivity"; "we will lose control of them"; "robots will produce more robots without human input"; "millions of Australians will be unemployed" etc etc. Thirty-three 'wills' in total.

The author is very very certain of the future. But the only thing inevitable about the future is that inevitably, it inevitably won't happen as we think.

Replace all the 'wills' with 'maybe', 'perhaps' and 'might' and we get a much better idea of just how urgent these changes will be.

Just one example. Robots "will replace all Taxi and Uber drivers". That was the claim as recently as a year ago. But those working on automated cars are becoming far less certain that it'll happen any time soon. Whereas it was thought of as being 5-10 yrs away, its now talked of as being 20-30 years away.

there's no question that the next 50 years will see dramatic changes in society. Think of the difference in the world between 1967 and 2017 and double or triple it. But that doesn't mean we have to panic right now and start making wholesale changes based on what we think might happen.

I'm old enough to remember the failed claims of the past 50 years and to understand how disastrous things would have been had we acted on those claims. We just need to be alert to the potential changes and ready to implement new policies when they become necessary. The future will arrive in its own time. We don't need to hurry it and we certainly don't need to implement societal upheaval based on assertion about the future that are almost certainly wrong.
Posted by mhaze, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 5:36:22 PM
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mhaze,
Just one more will if you please. They never will see logic because they don't have the will & so they will just continue willy nilly.
Remember if there's a will there will be a bush !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 7:50:28 PM
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Hey Aiden,
"The government has the power to create as many new jobs as there are workers available. But to do so they must abandon the balanced budget meme."

No, they don't have to abandon balancing budgets.
What they actually need to do is START doing the jobs they're paid for properly and come up with policies that work.
We'd be better off with a dictator, so long as they were a good one, had ethics, we're dedicated to creating policies that were fair and benefitted all our citizens, then this 'democracy' of idiots on opposing sides constantly squabbling and achieving nothing except steering the country down the toilet.
And they spend all their time arguing over minority issues to earn voters (and stirring us all up against each other in the process) rather than sitting down and working out policies that benefit all.

The nature of opposing sides means all we get is lip service whilst they achieve nothing, except pile on debt.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 1:29:54 AM
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opposing sides means all we get is lip service whilst they achieve nothing, except pile on debt.
Armchair Critic,
That is exactly what Trump is facing in his joint & look at the trouble is getting flung at him for trying to sort out the corruption. In Australia the verbal to-ing & fro-ing is meanwhile throwing fertiliser onto the debt heap.
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 8:29:36 AM
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"The government has the power to create as many new jobs as there are workers available."

Governments can't create jobs only destroy them. At best governments can help create the business and economic environment wherein jobs can be created.

OTOH, although they can't create jobs they can, for a time, create employment. That is they can create circumstances where people are paid to turn up at some location to do things that aren't of any particular benefit to anyone. These things are called jobs but they are really just welfare by another name. Governments can perform this function for a period but as with all things, they eventually run out of other people's money.
Posted by mhaze, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 8:41:58 AM
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I'll believe it when I see it Everald.

Way back in the 60s we were told the computer would eliminate the office girl within a few years. Well it did eliminate the Comptometrist, but we had to hire many more to run the computer & fix it's stuff ups.

We have been hearing about the robot taking over all the work for decades, hell they even did a TV series, The Jetsons, but we are still waiting for flying cars, & talking ovens.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 1:23:45 PM
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Immagine a future where ALL interstate trucking is done by self driving trucks. Running 24/7, day and night, only stopping for fuel and servicing/mechanical repairs. Its’ ‘just around the corner’, say 5-10 years. It is already being donein the Pilbarra mine sites, all being ‘driven’ by a couple of folks sitting in an office in Perth. I agree with Ereralds comments/concerns with ‘getting ahead’ with the socio-cultural changes ahead.
Posted by Prompete, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 3:19:27 PM
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Armchair,
>No, they don't have to abandon balancing budgets.
Yes, Armchair, they do.

To create enough jobs, there's a limit to how much can be done with monetary policy (lowering interest rates so that the private sector puts more money into the economy). When that limit is reached, if the government wants to create more jobs it has to use fiscal policy (putting the money into the economy itself). And even if that limit is reached, monetary policy is sometimes the best option.

Coming up with, and implementing, policies that work looks like a big improvement compared to the status quo, but it's no substitute for expansionary fiscal policy
_______________________________________________________________________________

mhaze,
>Governments can't create jobs only destroy them.
That statement is truly idiotic. A job is a job whether the employer is the government, or a private business under contract to the government, or a private business with no government involvement.

>That is they can create circumstances where people are paid to turn up at some location to do things that aren't of any particular benefit to anyone.
They could, but it would be stupid to do so because they can instead pay those people to do things that are of great benefit to many.

Our government is a sovereign currency issuer; it has unlimited credit so can't run out of money.

And government money is government money, not "other people's money". When you pay taxes, the money that you pay ceases to be yours.
Posted by Aidan, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 4:50:47 PM
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Funny isn't it. Trump has managed to set the jobs flowing in just a year in power.

Black & Hispanic unemployment is at it's lowest rate ever.

One of the car makers was planning to shut a US factory, & build a new one in Mexico. Trump told them if they did, he would slap a tariff on them so high, they would never sell any of the cars in the US.

If we had leaders worth their salt we would be telling fuel retailers that they must produce their petrol & diesel in Oz, & they won't be allowed market imported fuel.

Our fuel supply fiasco is the time bomb that will probably kill us.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 9:23:29 PM
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Hi Aiden,
I've just jumped on the keyboard rather than my phone for this reply.

I'm going to start where you started:
"To create enough jobs, there's a limit to how much can be done..."

I want to jump in to firstly counter your argument with this:

"There's a limit to how much can be done - if you restrict yourself to not thinking outside the box".
Furthermore, "If you only think about this problem in the way you've trained yourself to think economically, you're not going to find a solution."

I don't need more money from the private sector, and I don't need to abandon balancing budgets.

All I need do is modify policies and make current spending more efficient.
"Its not what you've got it's how you use it."

Whats the current Welfare expenditure?
35% of our total budget?
Posted by Armchair Critic, Thursday, 5 July 2018 12:34:39 AM
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well wouldn't that just follow Americas liability of liberties. How about we get Donald Trump to run Australia through Tony Abbott?

So that the 1% that own the majority of the worlds wealth has a total strangle hold on the worlds goings on's, so it could finally became the 1% dictatorship that we all don't want it to become.

Free will; I don't know you. I only know of you. If I ever knew myself at all. Say what you mean and mean what you say is not mean it's meant from the heart. Sometimes we need to be cruel to be kind, but don't forget the golden rule.
Posted by 2far4u2, Thursday, 5 July 2018 10:12:39 AM
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Armchair,
If you make spending more efficient and not increase spending, you will get more done but not employ more people.

I'm all for efficiency, but it is not a substitute for spending.

As for current welfare expenditure, take a look at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-08/federal-budget-2018-sliced-diced-interactive/9723604#spending/breakdown/2019/social-security-and-welfare to see how much they're spending and what they're spending it on.
Posted by Aidan, Thursday, 5 July 2018 11:08:38 AM
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So is it any wonder that the break down in communication has escalated to where we all stand within the united nations today throughout the world it's all so over governed with all sorts of taxes, fees, rates and insurances with foreign deficits still looming over our children's future putting our air and water quality at risk because of our blatant disregarded upon nature which affects the essentials of life that are becoming more so prevalent with obvious climate change.

Religion and beliefs over time corrupt their own fundamental principles, when they try to become a governing force. People then break away and create their own governing rule.

All religions and beliefs belong between the people and governing rule. Credibility is kept in check of both positions of authority at the people's discretion.

So how is it that the leaders of the towers of Babel (established religions and beliefs of today) have so much wealth and treasures while people are starving to death? So many wealthy individuals upon the tree of monkeys (today's worldwide economics') would pay billions for these trinkets as to say the least about the wealth held under the authority of all religious leaders. And the doors structures of worship are closed to the homeless people freezing on the streets.

While extremists intentionally pick up that big stick to defend any integrity that is left of any book/text about any sort of existence creator. The complete truth of any war; "it's not about who was right. It's about who is left" While philosophy and psychology continue to sift through the bias recordings of history left by the victors.

The tongue is as a double-edged sword it cuts both ways. Practicing; Empathy, Humility, Sympathy and Cooperation throughout life, creates an understanding of the surroundings that we are subjected to, doing this teaches us to talk to each other, so we can speak with each other and not at each other.
Posted by 2far4u2, Thursday, 5 July 2018 11:30:19 AM
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Welcome, 2far4u2!

«Religion and beliefs over time corrupt their own fundamental principles, when they try to become a governing force»

Spot on!

You will find that many participants here want the separation of church and state in order to protect citizens from religion - but I want it no less, in order to protect religion from corruption.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 6 July 2018 12:35:47 AM
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35% of our total budget?
Armchair Critic,
If you really want to go down to the nitty gritty of the definition of welfare then you'll find it'll be closer to 50%.
Take into account the benefits, allowances etc that everyday worker don't get then this rate just goes up.
The biggest welfare of all is negative gearing because it can reach ten's millions for just a few.
Posted by individual, Friday, 6 July 2018 11:02:01 AM
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"Our government is a sovereign currency issuer; it has unlimited credit so can't run out of money."

This 'Magic Pudding' economic theory is nothing more than an attempt to avoid the question of affordability of big government. The idea that we can merrily spend on any notion that comes to mind with no potential adverse consequence is something that could only be conceived in the absence of any historic understanding of the results of such recklessness.

At the very least, this results in increased inflation AND reduced currency strength both of which result in a downward economic spiral and ultimately impoverishment of the middle class.

"That statement is truly idiotic. A job is a job "

Well I was paraphrasing John Stone, ex head of Treasury. In the days when I used to visit in the old Soviet Union, there was saying I heard often - that the unemployed in the West were outside the factory gates, while the unemployed in Russia were inside the factory gates.

Governments spending money they've taken from others to create the semblance of work is an unsustainable project. It never works, it always ultimately fails - but only after it does severe damaged to the country silly enough to go down that path.
Posted by mhaze, Friday, 6 July 2018 2:41:55 PM
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mhaze,
"The idea that we can merrily spend on any notion that comes to mind with no potential adverse consequence"
...Is indeed idiotic.

However the potential adverse consequences are nowhere near as adverse as you think they are, and nor is there anywhere near as much as potential for them as you think there is.

"At the very least, this results in increased inflation AND reduced currency strength"
No, that's what happens at the very MOST.

"both of which result in a downward economic spiral and ultimately impoverishment of the middle class."
Dubious, for as I explained before, devaluation makes our industry more internationally competitive. It's the penalty for failure, not the cause of it.
Inflation does have adverse consequences, but it's relatively easy to halt by raising taxes or cutting government spending. Or of course raising interest rates but that, rather than the inflation itself, risks impoverishing the people (regardless of class).

"Well I was paraphrasing John Stone, ex head of Treasury."
Fair enough, but considering his original opposition to the floating of the dollar, I'd advise against taking his claims at face value (despite his sharing my opposition to the GST). And of course a false statement is false whoever it's from.

"In the days when I used to visit in the old Soviet Union, there was saying I heard often - that the unemployed in the West were outside the factory gates, while the unemployed in Russia were inside the factory gates."
When did you start hearing it?
One thing I still don't understand about the USSR is how it got to that situation. They used to be interested in efficiency, but they obviously weren't by the end. So why did they become so indifferent? What prevented those factory managers making better use of their workforce?
Posted by Aidan, Saturday, 7 July 2018 12:41:39 AM
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mhaze (continued)

"Governments spending money they've taken from others to create the semblance of work is an unsustainable project."
Yes. But governments using that money to create real work that benefits people and businesses is sustainable and desirable. And more to the point, so is governments creating money for that purpose. At first glance that may seem too inflationary, but remember two things: firstly they can spend it on infrastructure that's deflationary because it makes businesses more productive. Secondly, automation is highly deflationary - and if there's as much of it in the near future as Everald predicts, there's going to have to be a big increase in the money supply to counteract that.
Posted by Aidan, Saturday, 7 July 2018 12:42:54 AM
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Secondly, automation is highly deflationary
Aidan,
Agree, but super salaries for negatively effective bureaucrats are even more deflationary.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 7 July 2018 7:28:16 AM
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individual,
No they're not. Do you even know what "deflationary" means?
Posted by Aidan, Saturday, 7 July 2018 11:07:12 AM
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Aidan,
There's deflationary for workers & there's deflationary caused by highly paid parasites. Which one do you doubt I know the meaning of ?
I have realised long ago that just simply keeping on supporting a systems that favours some but not all will never serve all. That's why we need change & negative gearing, immoral benefits, selling out to & exploiting cheap labour outside Australia practices need to be changed. The kind of commerce that'll bring about sustainability can never be achieved by a growth that depends on selling the house to pay for the mortgage. It's a mentality that has not worked yet unless you believe rorting, corruption & exploitation are fit policies to base a country's economy on.
Posted by individual, Sunday, 8 July 2018 12:06:10 AM
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" devaluation makes our industry more internationally competitive."

Devaluation is always a detriment to the economy. Sure, it makes exports more competitive but that is a good by-product to a bad outcome. We export to pay for imports. A devaluation means you need to export more to pay for the same amount of imports. Its effectively taking a pay cut and then cheering that it makes you more employable.

Nations should always...always.. try to have a strong currency, not adopt policies that make a weak currency inevitable.

"Inflation does have adverse consequences, but it's relatively easy to halt by raising taxes or cutting government spending. "

Well this is just fantasy-land thinking. Really, imagine a situation where the dollar is falling, real income is falling, inflation is rising. Do you really think that a politician in that situation is going to successfully propose, let alone implement a tax rise and/or cut government spending. We can't even do that in relative good times. What chance in growing bad times.

The more likely response, and this has been seen time and again throughout history, is to double down on unfinanced spending via the printing press. And the downward spiral takes off.

Your notion that "governments using that money to create real work that benefits people and businesses is sustainable and desirable" is equally fanciful. If government get the chance to buy votes while not being held to fiscal rectitude, they'll spend it without concern for outcomes eg NBN, pink batts.
Posted by mhaze, Sunday, 8 July 2018 9:26:09 AM
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mhaze,
"Devaluation is always a detriment to the economy"
No it isn't; it's the result of a detriment to the economy, but it in turn results in increased production. I don't dispute it's a bad outcome; but as I said, it's the penalty for failure not the cause of failure.

"Nations should always...always.. try to have a strong currency,"
RUBBISH!
All other things being equal, a strong currency would be better than a weak one. But all other things are not equal, and sometimes having a weaker currency is the least bad option. Greece would be in a much better situation today if it had stuck with its own weak currency rather than joining the strong European one. And China would never have become the world's leading manufacturer if it had kept its currency strong.

"not adopt policies that make a weak currency inevitable."
We have to make a distinction between short term and long term strength. In the long term, the best strategy for increasing the currency value is to make the nation more productive and more efficient, and that approach is what I advocate.

If you instead try to keep the currency strong, it will cause businesses to fail and production to fall. The currency will end up far weaker than if you hadn't tried to keep it strong.

"Well this is just fantasy-land thinking"
No, it's economic reality and it's politically plausible. Governments like to portray themselves as good economic managers.

:The more likely response, and this has been seen time and again throughout history, is to double down on unfinanced spending via the printing press. And the downward spiral takes off"
Those are not the circumstances in which that has been done.

" If government get the chance to buy votes while not being held to fiscal rectitude, they'll spend it without concern for outcomes eg NBN, pink batts."
The NBN, if done properly with FTTP, would have been a wise and productive use of government money, boosting Australia's prosperity for many decades into the future. And the problem with Pink Batts wasn't economics.
Posted by Aidan, Sunday, 8 July 2018 11:18:23 PM
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And the problem with Pink Batts wasn't economics.
Aidan,
Agee, that was Labor. But, that does by no means mean that the Coalition is doing any better in other areas. Welfare is vital for those unfortunate who can not cope with the crap that life, other people & Governments throw at them.
It is criminal to give monetary aid to people who already have the best of both worlds but because some insipid policy makers & just as insipid bureaudroids money is withheld from the needy & given to the greedy. That is deflationary. Taking work away from your own & giving it to other countries is deflationary. Printing extra money due to mismanaging is deflationary, overpaying the non-productive is deflationary & on goes the list.
Anyone who wants to kill welfare should be made to depend on it first. Now that would deflate the Public service to an economically viable level.
Posted by individual, Monday, 9 July 2018 9:46:02 AM
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No, individual, the problem was safety. But in economic terms the outcome was better than doing nothing and keeping people unemployed.

> Printing extra money due to mismanaging is deflationary
Everyone else recognises it as inflationary. So what exactly is it you think "deflationary" means?
Posted by Aidan, Monday, 9 July 2018 10:44:51 AM
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"I don't dispute [devaluation is] a bad outcome; but as I said, it's the penalty for failure not the cause of failure."

Yes its the penalty for the failure of spending beyond the national means ie merrily printing money.

Your 'policy' is to spending our 'unlimited' credit on projects which may or may not pay off on the basis that if they don't pay off we'll 'merely' suffer the penalty of a weaker currency and a lower standard of living. The idea that we can recklessly bet the future on the good judgement of government and special interests is insanity itself.

Sure, Greece's devaluation was necessary and the best of a bunch of bad options. But the Hellenes were forced to make these decisions because they followed the policies you advocate. That's my point.

Perhaps a different analogy....its the same as someone saying they'll have unprotected anal sex because, worse comes to worse, drugs now mean AIDS isn't a death sentence.

" the best strategy for increasing the currency value is to make the nation more productive and more efficient, and that approach is what I advocate."

Yes, make the nation more productive. But the policy you advocate is one that has been shown time and again to do the opposite. It impoverishes the nation and destroys productivity.
Posted by mhaze, Monday, 9 July 2018 4:51:32 PM
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One thing I still don't understand about the USSR is how it got to that situation. They used to be interested in efficiency, but they obviously weren't by the end. So why did they become so indifferent? What prevented those factory managers making better use of their workforce?"

I don't think their main concern was ever efficiency except in those areas where the power of the party was at stake ie the army and the KGB/NKVD. Its said that most of the leaders since Yeltsin are ex-KGB because that was the only organisation where merit mattered.

As far back as the 1920's we can see that efficency ran second to power and control. For example, pre-war Russia was a net exporter of grain. But because the peasant class needed to be bought to heal, the Party introduced collectivisation which increased their control but destroyed the agriculture sector. They remained net grain importers throughout the Communist era - one of the reasons I was there.

Efficency was not the main concern of the managers. Their success signals were very different. Profit, our means of determining efficency, wasn't measured or measurable. But reporting on targets met was the measure. For a manager, staffing levels meant more prestige. Managers of 100 people had higher status than those managing 50.

The authorities were aware of this which is why these problems never applied to the armed forces etc. But elsewhere, efficency and quality of output just weren't the priority and as far as I could tell, never was.
Posted by mhaze, Monday, 9 July 2018 5:14:12 PM
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One of my favourite Russia stories was the money exchange. I happened to be in Moscow when Chernenko died and was forced to stay longer than planned since the city closed down during the mourning period. So I ran out of currency and needed to exchange some. I go to the exchange counter in the hotel. The sign says they open at 9:30. Its almost 10. She refuses to serve me because she has other important tasks. I complain to the manager who advise that she does indeed need to complete her reports to the government on the previous day's conversions. The idea that her main function was to actually do the convsersion was alien to him. I used to relate the story around Russia but almost all Russians agreed that indeed her main function was to do the report to the government rather than actually do the job she was supposedly employed for. I did the exchange on the black market which by 1986 was fairly easy and safe.
Posted by mhaze, Monday, 9 July 2018 5:14:25 PM
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Everyone else recognises it as inflationary. So what exactly is it you think "deflationary" means?
Aidan,
You're right it should be inflationary. Didn't even notice when I typed it with all that jargon floating about. In a word it's no good for anyone because it deflated everything it should have boosted.
The Pink Batt saga was not a safety issue to begin with, it became a safety issue after Labor's knee jerk reaction. People have installed Pink batts for decades with no such tragic results.
I put this down as one of the many side effects to the removal of the National service in exchange for votes. When that happened common sense was literally outlawed & the education system literally began issueing degrees for compliance to incompetence.
Posted by individual, Monday, 9 July 2018 6:19:55 PM
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mhaze,
Firstly, thanks for the Soviet information.

Secondy, you completely misunderstand the economic policy I advocate. I certainly don't support reckless amounts of spending. I don't want us to live beyond the national means, but unlike you (and indeed unlike millions of others) I understand that the national means are nation's ability to produce things of value, NOT the government's budget.

Government spending is no more inflationary than private spending, and it's the aggregate of both that affects inflation. Thus in the boom times, the government shouldn't just aim for a balanced budget - that's far too inflationary. It should instead aim for a big surplus to control inflation without having to raise interest rates. Conversely in the bust (and even at a time like this) when the private sector's much weaker, the government should run a much bigger deficit. But in both cases (and in between) the size of the debt doesn't itself matter - it's the needs of the economy that are important, and we shouldn't let the debt figures distract us from that.

Your statement that "The idea that we can recklessly bet the future on the good judgement of government and special interests is insanity itself" is rather naďve as it fails to recognise that doing nothing can be the worst decision of all. When the government spends money, most of that money finds its way back to the government through the taxation system. Failure to spend that money can result in a loss of tax revenue (so it's hardly, if at all, better off financially), more unemployment, a bigger social security cost, a drop in production (which would be inflationary) and possibly a less skilled workforce (since most learning is done on the job). And that would lead to a much bigger drop in the standard of living than any devaluation that would otherwise result.

I'll explain a bit more about specific circumstances tomorrow, but meanwhile any questions are welcome.
Posted by Aidan, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 2:45:58 AM
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it's the needs of the economy that are important,
Aidan,
The above line is the all-encompassing crucial factor that hardly anyone & the academic background bureaudroids in particular have simply no concept of, hence the situation we're in since they infiltrated politics. They haven't got what it takes to understand these needs. All they do is play an age old game of take as much as you can & when it all goes to crap just blame everyone else. These Growth-dependent "experts" can't get it right yet they do their utmost to prevent sensible people from making it right. Their standard phrase of defencive excuse is "people don't understand the complexities...." It's not that people don't understand, it's that people are dumbfounded at the incompetence of our economists & policy makers & how they constantly get away with it. If only they focussed on being as competent in their job as they are in self preservation, we could be enjoying a lot less stress in our daily life.
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 6:16:06 AM
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mhaze,
I realise I owe you two apologies:
Firstly, sorry about the lack of a further response. The specific situation I had in mind was what would happen if a bank collapses, but I subsequently realised that was from another thread. Although if you want me to explain it (or any other specific situation) here, let me know and I will.
.
Secondly, sorry for exaggerating: I said "doing nothing can be the worst decision of all". This was incorrect, for while doing nothing can be a very bad option, doing the opposite of what's required is always worse.

__________________________________________________________________________________

individual,
> People have installed Pink batts for decades with no such tragic results.
Are you sure about that? Because (although I can't find a reference) I've heard the opposite: there were tragic results but nobody noticed because they were spread over decades.

Now that you comprehend the difference between "deflationary" and "inflationary", do you still think overpaying any bureaucrats (let alone incompetent ones) is deflationary? If so, how?
Posted by Aidan, Saturday, 14 July 2018 4:31:22 PM
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