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Everything posted by ralfy

  1. In a way, yes, because it implies that each individual is equivalent, esp. in light of elections. In addition, it may be part of declarations that imply similar, like a Bill of Rights.
  2. You may consider ecological footprint per capita vs. biocapacity per capita. There's criticism about biocapacity but they imply that it underestimates resource availability.
  3. In relation to what was previously shared, "Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility: Only 1 of 9,136 Recent Peer-Reviewed Authors Rejects Global Warming" http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/01/08/why-climate-deniers-have-no-scientific-credibility-only-1-9136-study-authors-rejects-global-warming
  4. I looked at results from various testing groups, such as AV Comparatives: http://www.av-comparatives.org/ and AV-Test: http://www.av-test.org/en/home/ Then I considered the free version of the antivirus that did best overall. Given these results for Win 7 home use: http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/windows-7/julaug-2013/ I selected the free version of Bitdefender.
  5. "About That 'Bull Market Til 2016' Call: Before You Buy the Dip, Check Out This Chart" http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2013/12/about-that-bull-market-til-2016-call.html "Nope, No Bubbles Anywhere" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-13/nope-no-bubbles-anywhere
  6. About food production, "Dramatic decline in industrial agriculture could herald 'peak food'" http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/dec/19/industrial-agriculture-limits-peak-food As suggested at the end of the article, farming as part of localization will be important in the long run. The implication is that not just the poor but even the middle class will be employing these suggestions in the long run.
  7. Localization and skills connected to it, such as permaculture, organic gardening or small-scale farming, herbal medicine, recycling, etc.
  8. Total debt, including public debt. It was easy credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Recession#Causes That actually reinforces my views. Don't forget that you can also create money without increasing productivity. Tax cuts led to increasing public debt, but it was easy credit that led to higher total debt. In fact, the latter is feeding the former, as seen in tens of billions a month in quantitative easing. But contrary to fantasies of kicking the can continuously, http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-federal-reserve-taper-ben-bernanke-stimulus-20131218,0,4171964.story Also easy credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_Great_Depression#Austrian_School No, it's not. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy Not initially: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704436004576299421455133398 Yes, you do, unless by "productivity" you mean something like investing in financial markets. Your last point is completely wrong. No, they're not, which is why oil prices tripled. The first phrase makes no sense at all: "measured in economies"? The last part of the sentence proves my argument. 200 links? I gave only six for that point. And it's not my job to spoon-feed you on that. You wanted an explanation? I gave it. Tripling since 2005 (from 30 dollars to almost a hundred), when conventional oil production peaked, according to the IEA. The last time that took place was during the early '70s. Good thing Saudi Arabia was there to help. Now, we have almost double the population and increasing consumption for the rest of the world. At a 2-pct oil demand increase per annum the last three decades, we'll need the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years just to stay afloat. And we're relying on unconventional oil which has low energy returns and steep decline curves to solve that issue, not to mention a transition to renewable energy that will require decades. Given that, good luck with the fantasy of continuous bailouts. Actually, that was what YOU were doing. I tried to resolve the issue by referring to a real economy involving resources such as oil. You kept ignoring that. Thanks for proving my argument. Notice how this paragraph CONTRADICTS your previous one. In the previous one, you argue that I was conflating income and wealth with money, which is what you've been doing as you ignore the importance of oil and other resources for the economy. See what I mean? You prefer to talk about income and wealth in terms of money, which is why you're not interested at all in understanding how energy and material resources are critical to an economy. Why do you keep insisting on holding on to such a narrow world view, especially given the fact that the Fed is running out of steam? http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-federal-reserve-taper-ben-bernanke-stimulus-20131218,0,4171964.story Finally, I am clearly wasting my time having to explain problems in your argument, which is why I am putting your account and Overtone's in my ignore list.
  9. I already explained to you why high debt levels are bad. There are multiple links given in previous messages. Go over them carefully. Oil prices tripling is not "a bit of inflation." You can only make investments when you create more dollars. All you did was prove my point further. One more time: you can only make more investments when you create more money. That's your "stimulus." http://www.bloomberg.com/video/quantitative-easing-is-a-ponzi-scheme-dever-qm3k_g8xRbyhUGGvYgxIjA.html http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qe2-a-ponzi-scheme-says-pimcos-gross-2010-10-27 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/bill-gross-fed-ponzi_n_774849.html http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/an-idiots-guide-to-quantitative-easing-what-is-quantitative-easing-is-qe3-a-looming-apocalypse/ How much are we looking at now? Around 850 billion dollars every month? Demand has been going down for the U.S., EU, and Japan since 2008, but has been going up for the rest of the world: http://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/04/11/peak-oil-demand-is-already-a-huge-problem/ Again, you're just repeating my arguments. Also, the IEA confirmed that conventional oil production peaked in 2005: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2010-11-11/iea-acknowledges-peak-oil When you refer to alternatives, then that shows that we are at peak oil. Otherwise, there'd be no need for the former. Worse, if you look at it in terms of population, then oil production per capita peaked back in 1979: http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2013/07/peak-oil-what-peak-oil.html All of these were explained in the peak oil thread, but you are not bothering to find out what is taking place by yourself. Instead, you make me waste my time explaining the basics of this issue and others to you. No, they are not non-sequitur, as explained in links given earlier. The problem is that you got it the other way round: quantitative easing IS what is peripheral in this topic. You're not looking deeper into this issue and instead find comfort in that. The high debt level has been explained to you multiple times, and you still don't get it: high debt levels means more money has to be created to pay for previous debts. The material resources needed to buy those goods do not go up as easily, and in the case of conventional oil production, is going the other way round. At the same time, you see more market volatility. Put simply, we now have a credit market that is twenty times larger than the real economy: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/top-derivatives-expert-finally-gives-a-credible-estimate-of-the-size-of-the-global-derivatives-market.html Take not that "only" one trillion dollars' worth of that, in the form of subprime lending, led to the 2008 crash. That crash led to over thirty trillion dollars vaporized worldwide, with government scrambling to bail out banks. Most of the bail out money came from public debt, while in the case of the U.S., the bailout money was used by the rich for the rich: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/the-rich-get-richer-through-the-recovery/ How do you explain these points from the same writer? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/opinion/krugman-rich-mans-recovery.html Debt levels had been going up before the crash and primarily because of deregulation, from 1981 onward: http://blogs.reuters.com/rolfe-winkler/2009/09/30/krugman-and-the-pied-pipers-of-debt/ The whole scheme fell apart by 2008 with fallout from the subprime lending market. Completely wrong: you cannot have one without the other. Your second point about speculation and consumption proves my argument. The third point also proves my argument, except that "standard economic theory" did not predict this. Not even close. In fact, those who did were criticized by most: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/magazine/17pessimist-t.html I am referring to material resources. You need energy to obtain those resources, to have higher productivity, and even to gain market access. The reason why energy is not seen as a "single dominant factor" is because economies are measured in money. Ironically, it's the same money that is causing problems for the global economy. Hence, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/apr/04/japan-quantitative-easing-70bn
  10. It's obvious that we're borrowing at low costs because that's part of bailouts and quantitative easing, i.e., decreasing interest rates. But that also increases debt levels significantly, burying the country in more debt and leading to fewer cents for every dollar borrowed. Only the incredibly naive can imagine that to continue, especially given oil supply issues. The first point is exactly what I mean. In order to back the value of increasing credit created, more goods need to be produced and sold. But because oil supply is not barely catching up with demand, then we see higher prices. Want to create more dollars to deal with that? Demand went up because more dollars were created. The creation of more dollars was the "solution" that led to "recovery." But because oil production has barely caught up with demand, we now see a tripling of oil prices. Given high oil prices, we should be seeing oil production ramping up considerably so that producers can take advantage of the former, right? Why didn't that happen? Because of peak oil. No matter how many dollars you create, you cannot ultimately set aside the physical limitations of oil production. That's why the world is now relying on unconventional oil. That's why when you look at the data, you will see oil demand destruction in the U.S., EU, and Japan, increasing oil consumption in the rest of the world (where more of the money that was created is being used), conventional oil production in an undulating plateau and dropping for the six major players, and more expensive unconventional oil used to meet increasing demand (which are exactly what happens when you have peak oil). More details are available in the peak oil thread. I demonstrated the first point multiple times in previous messages, complete with links. High debt levels, especially for a consumer spending economy like that of the U.S., and coupled with high oil prices due to peak oil, does not make the situation any safer. That's why much of the good news you are seeing is based on fudged numbers, e.g., month-by-month unemployment rather than broad unemployment, equating part-time with full-time employment, no economic recovery but simply Keynesian economics involving lowered interest rates leading to more investments in an already overpriced stock market, etc. That's why thanks to such conditions and the bailouts, the rich have not only recovered what they lost they even profited. And the rest of the country? See one of the links I gave for details. As for your last point, the need for credit won't be a problem. Remember, we're dealing with money, which essentially has no value and can be created readily. In fact, much of it worldwide consists of numbers in hard drives, and the largest level of credit globally has a notional value of over a quadrillion dollars. The problem is the real economy, i.e., the one that involves energy and material resources. That can't be increased readily in the same way as money, and definitely not given the amount of credit we now have. The two major factors are energy and resources. Your last point is easy to explain: our definition of prosperity is based on money. We have lots of that and can create it easily. You can only get the first by having the second, and the second by the third.
  11. A high debt level is bad because it leads to more financial speculation and consumption of resources, with the first leading to a credit crunch and the second to predicaments like peak oil. This is precisely what happened, as seen in the 2008 crash with "recovery" consisting of bailouts and oil prices tripling. For more details, read my previous messages.
  12. I'm not referring to credit availability but debt levels. Keep in mind that debt goes up when the amount of credit increases: Hence, from October: "U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion — tops $17 trillion for first time" http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/18/us-debt-jumps-400-billion-tops-17-trillion-first-t/ A few days ago: "Debt Up $3T In Less Than 3 Yrs Under Boehner's Deals; More Than Under All Presidents from Washington Through Reagan" http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/debt-3t-less-3-yrs-under-boehners-deals-more-under-all-presidents Gross and public debt, etc: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_United_States For long-term and global trends, total debt went up by 300 pct during the last decade: http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2011/10/unemployment-and-deleveraging And now three times what is earned: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/05/11/number-of-the-week-total-world-debt-load-at-313-of-gdp/ and that doesn't include the notional value of unregulated credit that has to be covered: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/top-derivatives-expert-finally-gives-a-credible-estimate-of-the-size-of-the-global-derivatives-market.html It's increasing globally, and for the U.S.: http://blogs.reuters.com/rolfe-winkler/2009/09/30/krugman-and-the-pied-pipers-of-debt/ The reason why I'm not forcing but adding these two points is that ultimately the amount of credit created should be seen in light of what is currently taking place (e.g., bailouts, billions of dollars of quantitative easing, debt ceilings reached, ultimately boiling down to "recovery" based on increased credit created to deal with a problem caused by too much credit created), and oil in terms of the economy: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/the-110-effect-what-higher-gas-prices-could-really-do-to-the-economy/254386/ http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/02/23/what-do-rising-oil-prices-mean-for-u-s-economic-growth/ http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/The-Devastating-Economic-Impact-of-Constantly-High-Oil-Prices.html and that's because in the end, what drives economies isn't money but oil and other resources that give value to the same. But unlike money creation which can be done easily, resources have physical limitations. Hence, http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/08/our-oil-constrained-future http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/07/18/how-much-oil-growth-do-we-need-to-support-world-gdp-growth/ That's why one has to see the economy, if not the global economy, amid conventional oil production in an undulating plateau and more expensive (energy-wise) unconventional oil now being used to meet increasing demand. I think what has been presented is incomplete, and more factors (such as oil prices) have to be considered. I think that allows for an objective approach to this issue, not to mention additional points, such as those raised at Zero Hedge and other sites (e.g., unemployment based on monthly layoffs and unemployment benefits still received versus broad indicators) Finally, if one wants to summarize all of the data presented, then how about something like the EFI? http://www.businessinsider.com/the-imf-economic-performance-index-2013-10
  13. It's the other way round, as energy is the main driver of a real economy. What we are seeing now is growth based on increasing credit, and that's something that can and has been created easily. Hence, http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/top-derivatives-expert-finally-gives-a-credible-estimate-of-the-size-of-the-global-derivatives-market.html See if you can figure out where to get the oil and other resources to keep that propped up. That's because the deficit isn't the only problem for the U.S. It has over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/06/139027615/a-national-debt-of-14-trillion-try-211-trillion http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/ronald-cooke/will-america-ever-pay-of-its-debt And that's not the only problem: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-09/37-reasons-why-economic-recovery-2013-giant-lie
  14. It might become part of localization, permaculture, etc., as societies face multiple predicaments ranging from a resource crunch to environmental damage.
  15. That's not a problem, but I would look at what has been taking place during the last few decades and see if there is any trend towards de-militarization. From what I've read, it has been the opposite.
  16. From what you wrote previously: Note "every country." I think it's the default, i.e., realpolitik. The same should apply to acting in favor of everyone, from which the government and Big Business always get something in return.
  17. What we have today, especially given unregulated derivatives with a notional value of over a quadrillion dollars, is the effect of free market capitalism. This should not be surprising as, given the New Scientist article shared earlier, much of the credit of the global economy is controlled only by a few powerful corporations. This also explains why the U.S. government bailed out Wall Street banks, as Wall Street, especially through the Fed (which is a private consortium of commercial banks) controls the money supply of the country. Will governments regulate these corporations? Likely not given such conditions and government reliance on continuous economic growth for tax revenues. This also explains why most do not want to talk about predicaments such as peak oil and global warming, as the belief is that the same free market capitalism will allow for innovation leading to efficiency and more resources available, thus rendering these predicaments meaningless. Meanwhile, the truth is that there has been no recovery from the 2008 financial crash, the world is now resorting to unconventional oil as crude oil production has been in plateau, and that more scientific organizations are warning of more problems involving global warming. With that, the continued existence of the three predicaments of debt-ridden economic crisis, peak oil, and global warming coupled with environmental damage is assured.
  18. That was between only two countries (not many nations) and focused on nuclear weapons (not "military capabilities" as a whole). Even then, both countries continued to use military forces to engage in proxy wars. Today, we see the same plus more nuclear powers. My argument is based on what iNow said, that countries operate based on their own interest.
  19. But the number of nuclear powerss grew, and the threat of nuclear war today may be as great as it was during the Cold War. Add to that proliferation of more advanced weapons, predicaments mentioned earlier, and more. Hence, "Nuclear Attack a Ticking Time Bomb, Experts Warn" http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nuclear-attack-a-ticking-time-bomb-experts-warn/ Don't forget to look at militarization in general worldwide. Feel free to explain what you meant. I am not referring to what people want. I am referring to the manner by which nations have been behaving the last six decades or so, and that puts to question the claim that they will suddenly decrease military budgets and cooperate with each other.
  20. You can look back and see many reasons why agreements or attempts at such failed, from the years before the start of WW2 to the Cold War years to the present. I am not sure how the future will be any different, especially given increased arms production, profits from the same, etc., not to mention predicaments such as peak oil, global warming, and financial crisis. About the example, the fight continues, which means both sides still have to beef up on military spending, and the costs are passed on to citizens. Worse, it's moved elsewhere, which means citizens of those places become collateral damage. The winners are the two armies that get their armaments and any financial elite that will profit from arms sales and from the effects of the war, such as control of various natural resources and deals struck with the government and elite in that area.
  21. It makes sense because its unlikely that "every country" will make "fair cuts."
  22. The U.S. military is currently engaged in the same: "Algae Fuel Could Help Solve The Navy’s Oil Dependence" http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/jan/17/algae-fuel-could-help-solve-navys-oil-dependence/ Because of the threat of peak oil: "US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015" http://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply A warning shared by others, such as the German military: "Leaked German Military Report Warns Of Apocalyptic Peak Oil Scenarios" http://www.businessinsider.com/leaked-german-military-report-warns-of-apocalyptic-peak-oil-scenarios-2010-9 not to mention business organizations: "Lloyd's adds its voice to dire 'peak oil' warnings" http://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/jul/11/peak-oil-energy-disruption and others: https://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/ The catch is that algae biofuels have low energy returns: "Algae biofuel not sustainable now-U.S. research council" http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/us-usa-biofuels-algae-idUSBRE89N1Q820121024 which means they will not allow for "business as usual," but should help in meeting needs, if not allow military and police forces to continue operations and control local populations.
  23. As governments are very likely not in support of the U.S. maintaining power, then they will not cut military spending. In fact, that is the case today, as China and others are now increasing military power.
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