LENR Tests claiming positive

I’ve become somewhat jaded about LENR / Cold Fusion. The initial P&F flush of excitement, then followed by the slow crushing disappointment. Now decades later. Still nothing. So I’ve gone to Missouri. “Show me.”

Then Rossi had the constantly slipping testing Real Soon Now…

“Show me.”

Now we’re close. Very close. The “Show me.” is starting to show. That is, there are claims that independent tests and validations are complete. Just waiting for the write ups / certifications / publications.

So where does that leave us?

In a somewhat anticipatory “show me soon!” state.

Defkalion

First up, those folks in Greece. I would find it incredibly ironic if the country that is the poster child for lazy dependence on welfare and retirement pay, producing little, were to hand the world its first LENR reactor and copious low cost energy. Note that this is from October 2012, so a good 5 months ago.

http://ecatnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2012-09-07_Test-protocol-signed.pdf

Claims to be a semi-clandestine (i.e signatures not redacted) copy of a test report from the Defkalion reactor testing.

It won’t let me copy / paste text, and it is late enough that I’m not interested in breaking the copy protect right now, so just download the whole thing and skip down to page 18.

Says it is working.

It all looks more or less like what I’d expect. Yet I find myself thinking “show me someone driving a car from one side of the country to the other non-stop no fuel, maybe then…” Once burned, hard to believe again…

Original Article, short though it is. It has a couple of videos in it.

This story claims to find that at least one of the ‘catalysts’ is potassium. (In some long gone posting I’d speculated on Potassium as important, largely based on a nuclear shell filling argument, IIRC)

http://ecatnews.com/?p=2464

Much of the stuff we’ve seen before, but the claim that Potassium is a catalyst is new to me. Reading between the lines, they seem to say that it changes the Ni powder in some way to enhance the reaction. I find it curious that they would include such a detail but at the same time also note that they claim at least one other secret ingredient to maintain the mystery.

Rossi

I was tipped to this in an email, and found a copy on line, so not breaching any email privacy to post it.

Rossi is claiming that the independent test of the E-Cat is done and was positive. Results to be published Real Soon Now.

http://www.e-catworld.com/2013/03/rossi-on-the-third-party-tests/

Down in comments:

Nixter on March 25, 2013 at 5:09 am

Looks like Rossi just announced the release of the test;

Rossi’s all caps, not mine.

THE TESTS OF THE THIRD INDIPENDENT PARTY HAVE BEEN COMPLETED YESTERDAY.
I DID NOT ATTEND, THEREFORE I DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY THE RESULTS, THAT WILL SURELY BE PUBLISHED BY THE EXAMINATORS, PROBABLY AROUND THE HALF OF APRIL. I MET THE 11 PROFESSORS AND EXPERTS THAT MADE THE TESTS WHEN THEY ENDED THEIR WORK AND THEY WERE VERY POSITIVE. ONE OF THEM TOLD ME ” WE GOT EVIDENCE THAT THE ‘ EFFECT’ IS REAL BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT”.

A longer version:

Andrea Rossi
March 24th, 2013 at 10:53 PM

DEAR {redacted}:
YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE OPENS THE GATE FOR THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

THE TESTS OF THE THIRD INDIPENDENT PARTY HAVE BEEN COMPLETED YESTERDAY.

I DID NOT ATTEND, THEREFORE I DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY THE RESULTS, THAT WILL SURELY BE PUBLISHED BY THE EXAMINATORS, PROBABLY AROUND THE HALF OF APRIL. I MET THE 11 PROFESSORS AND EXPERTS THAT MADE THE TESTS AND THEY WERE VERY POSITIVE. ONE OF THEM TOLD ME ” WE GOT EVIDENCE THAT THE ‘ EFFECT’ IS REAL BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT”. I COULD NOT GET MORE INFORMATION, BECAUSE THEY NOW HAVE TO ELABORATE THE DATA TO PREPARE THE PUBLICATION. ALL THE PROFESSORS SAID THE TEST IS GONE WELL, VERY WELL. THE LAST TEST ENDED AFTER 120 HOURS OF UNINTERRUPTED OPERATION OF THE REACTORS ( THE NEW GENERATION OF HOT CATS IS MADE BY A TWO STAGE SYSTEM, MADE WITH AN ACTIVATOR WITH RESISTANCES COUPLED WITH A KIND OF CHARGE, WHICH ACTIVATES THE E-CAT WITH A DIFFERENT CHARGE). THE EFFECT IS STUNNING, WE SAW IN OUR PRIVATE TESTS, AND HAS BEEN REPLICATED BY THE THIRD INDIPENDENT PARTY.

NOW WE PASS TO THE INDUSTRIAL ENGAGEMENTS: WE HAVE TO DELIVER OUR PLANTS BY THE END OF APRIL.

WARM REGARDS,
ANDREA ROSSI

So supposedly it, too, is working and we’re just waiting for some folks to write and do a press release. OK…
Tick tick tick tic …

Overall, it is looking like Ni with K added, warmed to hot, H2 added and perhaps made into mono-H via heat / spark? The spark as trigger seem important (making?… EMF pulse? X-rays? Radio waves? Phonons in the crystal lattice as it vibrates?)

Still, part of the mind says “Show ME!”. I want “Film at 11″ with a steam car driving around using only one of these things. No panels over anywhere big enough to put a fuel tank. Rolling along so no wires attached. Lots of folks with RDF gear looking for energy transmission via microwave or IR beam. I want the Calorimetry Police giving it a proctology exam and an end to end disassemble reassemble. Maybe then I’ll believe it.

For now, it’s just one more promise of a real proof Real Soon Now.

Sidebar: RSN

In Silly Con valley, the phrase “Real Soon Now” is used sarcastically to mean “I have no idea what the schedule will be”. So your boss comes in and says “I need that report by tomorrow noon, can you make sure that happens?” and your response of “I’ll have it Real Soon Now.” informs that you are doing your best, long hours and all, but have no clue when it will really be done.

Could be minutes. Could be next decade.

I have a strong Real Soon Now reaction to the perpetual reports of testing soon, and results soon, and write up Real Soon Now.

But, sometimes things happen. So maybe it will be soon.

We’ll see. Soon. One way or the other.

Nasa out of the closet and bringing up the rear

Per this article: http://coldfusion3.com/blog/media-finally-discovers-nasa-lenr-experiments

NASA is starting to smell money and claims to have something going on.

Media Finally “Discovers” NASA LENR Experiments
Published February 22, 2013 | By jennifer

The mainstream media or at least tech media has finally picked up on the low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion work being done at NASA and some of its implications. At least three stories about Joseph Zawodndy’s work at the Langley Research Center in Virginia are floating around online.
[...]
This media attention indicates that NASA is serious about LENR and might soon be able to produce some sort of credible evidence to back up these claims. Zawodny would not be talking openly to the media if he couldn’t. The Gizmag piece quotes Zawodny’s boss Dennis Bushnell as saying that 1% of the world’s nickel production could meet the world’s energy needs at a quarter of the cost of coal if LENR is perfected. Bushnell wouldn’t be saying that unless he had something he could use against critics.

So this means that we might expect some sort of LENR surprise from NASA in the near future. Perhaps a public announcement or a big press conference, it might also be at Congress. NASA is among the agencies facing budget cuts because of the fiscal crisis in the United States and it needs to justify all the money it spends on research. A new energy source would be the perfect way to do that.

Perfected? That implies they have something at the “toy / demonstration” level. If a Manager is talking about something, they are smelling money in it. It may never work, but they can see enough to get funding.

In Conclusion

So we are still in a ‘waiting game’, but at this point all the delay “tactics” that could be played have been played. The reviews are supposedly done. Just waiting for the ink to dry. That’s not a 3 month process… So “time is short” to our answer…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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298 Responses to LENR Tests claiming positive

  1. mrsean2k says:

    I followed the progress of Rossi’s various claims through threads on the http://www.moletrap.co.uk forum, where some very knowledgeable – “Alsetalokin” for instance, a man frequently called upon to evaluate “free” energy claims – have pointed out the numerous flaws in his protocols and test results, and contradictions in his written claims.

    Although for other reasons I no longer post or read there (the host is an outright CAGW alarmist and we clashed on this basis), I urge you to register for free and ask around. You will find a great deal of convincing background information that his is smoke (or not-very-much steam) and mirrors.

    As an taster, consider this analysis of a visit to see one of Rossi’s eCat’s in operation:

    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/Failure-of-Rossis-Energy-Catalyzer-Caught-on-Video.shtml

    from this page with a good deal of background, on a site which is not hostile to seriously evaluating claims of this sort

    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/Andrea-Rossi-Energy-Catalyzer-Investigation-Index.shtml

    of course there’s always a chance he’s stumbled across something, but weigh accordingly

  2. mrsean2k says:

    (apologies if this is a double post, please delete if so, slightly confusing WordPress validation)

    I followed the progress of Rossi’s various claims through threads on the http://www.moletrap.co.uk forum, where some very knowledgeable – “Alsetalokin” for instance, a man frequently called upon to evaluate “free” energy claims – have pointed out the numerous flaws in his protocols and test results, and contradictions in his written claims.

    Although for other reasons I no longer post or read there (the host is an outright CAGW alarmist and we clashed on this basis), I urge you to register for free and ask around. You will find a great deal of convincing background information that his is smoke (or not-very-much steam) and mirrors.

    As an taster, consider this analysis of a visit to see one of Rossi’s eCat’s in operation:

    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/Failure-of-Rossis-Energy-Catalyzer-Caught-on-Video.shtml

    from this page with a good deal of background, on a site which is not hostile to seriously evaluating claims of this sort

    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/Andrea-Rossi-Energy-Catalyzer-Investigation-Index.shtml

    of course there’s always a chance he’s stumbled across something, but weigh accordingly

  3. EM – You wanted a steam car running on LENR? Dennis Cravens is intending to do just that:
    http://www.facebook.com/dennis.fusioncar.5?ref=ts&fref=ts
    Given time/money, I think he knows enough to make it work.

  4. Rob L says:

    Closer to home check out Brillouin:
    http://www.brillouinenergy.com/
    They are claiming a COP of around 2 as of 2 years back, and ~100 watts. They have quite a lot of funding, and have gone ‘dark’ in last year, believed to be working on a commercial device.

  5. A C Osborn says:

    On the loonier fringe we have Dr Judy Woods pushing John Hutchinson’s work and Directed Energy.

  6. omanuel says:

    LENR / Cold Fusion is only one in a long list of discoveries about nuclear energy that post-WWII (actually post-24 Oct 1945) governments under the United Nations tried to hide after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed on 6 and 9 Aug 1945, respectively.

    Frightened bureaucrats inadvertently ended up trying to hide the source of energy that also:

    a.) Made our elements
    b.) Birthed the solar system 5 Gyr ago
    c.) Sustained the origin and evolution of life after 3.5 Gyr ago
    d.) Endowed mankind with special talents and unalienable rights, and now
    e.) Controls our climate and a volume of space > 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 Earths

    http://orach24463.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/fear-and-loathing-of-humans-the-pathology-behind-the-climate-change-movement/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/papp-lenr-superatoms-fusion/

    I.e., post-1945 astronomy, astrophysics, climatology, cosmology, nuclear, particle, planetary, space and solar science became, unintentionally, opponents of religions in trying to hide the energy of the Creator, Destroyer and Sustainer of atoms, lives and worlds in the Solar System:

    http://tinyurl.com/ahfx8kl

  7. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM,
    I was persuaded by Dr. Levi’s comments following the test he did on the original E-Cat, using water, a couple of years ago. As far as one could tell Levi, with many years left as a professor, was not about to risk his future career for no payback, by saying what he did.

    There is a good 43 page summary of LENR here http://www.lenrproof.com/ that gives lots of references. LENR is real beyond reasonable doubt. The actual COP of Rossi’s various E-Cats remains to be proven.

  8. Gail Combs says:

    I’m from Missouri too.

    Let’s look at this from the political point of view.

    Thorium Nuclear was shown as viable by the Aircraft Reactor Experiment. The ARE went critical for the first time on November 3, 1954… Design and construction of the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) began in 1961… went critical on June 1, 1965 and operated for 4.5 years… (From Singapore and worth the read)

    Now interest in thorium nuclear has revived. Because it has decent safety features and does not produce CO2, some of the Warmists and Peak-oilers are interested.

    …A growing number of environmentalists have come to learn the error of their former ways, and have been converted to supporting nuclear power. James Lovelock, Stewart Brand, Patrick Moore, James Hansen, Mark Lynas, and Barry Brook are among the recent converts. Hansen and Brook in particular were convinced by the promise of the Integral Fast Reactor, a passively safe nuclear breeder reactor unlimited by fuel supplies, with a waste product sharply reduced both in radioactive lifetime and amount….
    http://www.examiner.com/article/is-nuclear-power-green

    For the movers and shakers this interest in a plentiful energy supply does not support the dual purpose agenda of a carbon tax and scarce energy.

    ENTER Cold Fusion. It is the Chimera all the rank and file greenies have been chasing for years and the reason many will not consider thorium nuclear.

    We know that ‘scientists’ at NASA will lie through their teeth to protect their jobs, it is now part of the new job description. So do I believe NASA? Like I said I’m from Missouri too.

  9. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Further to your comment about NASA you might review this piece linked from lenrproof.com
    See http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government/NASA/20110922NASA-Nelson-GRC-LENR-Workshop.pdf

  10. omanuel says:

    Hi Gail,

    Thanks for your comments and welcome to a fellow Missourian!

    Until constitutional limits on government are restored, federal agencies must lie in order to keep getting federal funds: EPA, NASA, DOE, NOAA, etc.

    http://orach24463.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/fear-and-loathing-of-humans-the-pathology-behind-the-climate-change-movement/

    Lies about the solar source of energy began to be published in 1946, the same year George Orwell moved from London to the Scottish Isle of Jura to write Nineteen Eighty-four (“1984“)

  11. Gail Combs says:

    I should note I am a Yank transplanted to North Carolina, I was referring to the Missouri “SHOW ME” motto. Wouldn’t mind having a Missouri Fox Trotter though and I have been underground in Missouri.

  12. Zeke says:

    The ecat is a home unit and can have applications for existing heating systems. To convert the steam to electricity would require some kind of Carnot engine and Andrea Rossi has expressed his hope to produce electricity on the spot with the steam.

    He has broken the barrier for the technology by using powdered nickel. George Miley of Illinois has already gotten a patent for LENR that NASA can use, and his patent acknowledges Rossi’s powdered nickel and the presence of a catalyst.

    The key is that cold fusion reactions have been observed in the heavier elements when it does occur. Deuterium packing in lattices is all anyone has considered for decades and it turns out that it is not an H-H to He reaction. The heavier elements are what are transmuted in the palladium rods.

    The cat is out of the bag. And it does not hobble thorium, blacklight, or focus fusion; our energy should be diversified.

  13. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke says:
    28 March 2013 at 5:57 pm

    The ecat is a home unit and can have applications for existing heating systems….
    The cat is out of the bag. And it does not hobble thorium, blacklight, or focus fusion; our energy should be diversified.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Even if ecat works and can be brought to market you still have to get past the powers that control the bureaucrats. Anyone who has dealt with the bureaucrats and an idea outside the box will tell you it takes power and money to get anywhere. A bureaucrats default mode is to say NO! to everything. If it is not familiar good luck budging them.

    “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” ~ Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

  14. Zeke says:

    A simple and fair third party test is excellent progress. Andrea Rossi has been researching, modifying, and running continous tests for years, and he is now asking academic and industry experts to provide the independent validation that a discovery of this magnitude deserves. The paper will answer more questions. The UL and patent issues are also tied up, but sometimes punctuated with success.

  15. J Martin says:

    Maybe papp is more likely to come to fruition.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/papp-lenr-superatoms-fusion/

  16. P.G.Sharrow says:

    No amount of effort can stop an Idea whose time has come. This cat is out of the bag, ;-)
    After 20 years of “this is bunk” and only for fools, LENR is up to an official maybe,
    This is the way GOD powers the Universe.
    Time for humans to receive their new gift. Prometheus will be pleased.
    This gift has a hidden attribute. It will passivate radioactive isotopes. pg

  17. j ferguson says:

    Wow, Gail! Was it Grace Hopper that said it first?

    As an aside, in my 30 years of dealing with bureaucrats and construction projects. I found that it might be easier to seek forgiveness than ask first, but that you wouldn’t get it. Sometimes if they thought your heart was pure, they would at least chuckle a bit as they shut whatever you had done down.

    E.M.
    Why wasn’t Rossi present at the testing of his system? Unless there was a “Wizard of Oz” exclusion, it seems odd to me. I sure as hell would have been there, had I been Rossi.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    I don’t know.

    Perhaps just to prevent claims of influence and / or hidden manipulation. (I.e. turn on microwave transmitter with pocket remote at just the right time to make ‘excess power’ show up).

    I’d not want the “inventor” running the show, telling me how to operate “the trick”, or standing around with a hand in a pocket…

    I do get the feeling that something significant is happening… at last.

  19. Zeke says:

    I would like to chime in about the UL permits for the ecat home units which Andrea Rossi is applying for, and why they are so important to him. As you know, the 1 MW plant has been sold and there is an Italian Patent for the process. The ecat, on the other hand, is a small unit which would be operated by the owner of the ecat:

    ” the substance of the problem is not the power, is the LENR system that has to be certified for a utilization made by unskilled persons. The difference between an industrial plant and a domestic plant, from the point of view of the liability, does not depend from the power, but from the fact that an industrial plant is operated by certified operators, that will have to study the manuals and make an exam to obtain our license to operate, while a domestic plant can be bought and operated by persons that are not even supposed to read ( let alone study) the instructions manual.” ~Andrea Rossi

    As an inventor and scientist, he seems committed to the idea that his “cat” is for everyone, and continues to work to make it affordable and operable to all people.

  20. Zeke says:

    I do not like to bring attention to the importance of this aspect of the ecat because of the “evil eye” – those who are always committed to sabotage the work of good scientists.

    But the principle is good. I think he has had rigorous standards for himself and his invention. And the manufacturing sector necessary to get this to voluntary worldwide markets is in danger because of wasteful and expensive green policies – particularly the Smart Meter and expensive intermittent renewables mandates.

  21. Zeke says:

    The Smart Meter and the new “efficient” appliances are remotely controlled and can be turned off. That is what the new grid is for.

  22. R. Shearer says:

    Rossi is a convicted felon and has been involved in several shady deals, at least one of which resulted in jail time. His science “degree” is from a diploma mill in California that was shut down by the state. I will find it truly “unprecedented” if his “work” is legitimate.

    Now from Zawodny’s personal website, last updated a year ago, he said, “There have been many attempts to twist the release of this video into NASA’s support for LENR or as proof that Rossi’s e-cat really works. Many extraordinary claims have been made in 2010. In my scientific opinion, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I find a distinct absence of the latter. So let me be very clear here. While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation, I remain skeptical. Furthermore, I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy.”
    http://joe.zawodny.com/

  23. Zeke says:

    Andrea Rossi, the ECAT developer, is an Italian inventor who has a Doctor’s Degree in Philosophy from Milan University 1975 (Dottore Magistrale in Filosofia) Università degli studi di Milano 1975) where he conducted his thesis on relativity. See the full PDF here

    ref: http://ecat.com/inventor-andrea-rossi

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @Zeke:

    Links to links to links… This story is about a year old:

    http://e-catsite.com/2012/03/04/dr-miley-re-emerges/

    From someone at a ‘name’ university that makes the claims rather remarkable…

    In October, Dr. Miley felt his cell did need some more development but not a significant amount. He stated:

    “At the moment we can run continuously at levels of a few hundred watts. We would like to go to a level of about 300 watts.”

    Accordingly to the above referenced abstract, the Miley cell can now reliably run at 350 watts/kg. Admittedly, 350 watts/kg is not a significant amount of power but Dr. Miley feels that this decisively provides proof-of-principle and…

    “While our present test units are at lab bench power levels (multi 100s watts), scaling up to RTG power levels seems quite feasible using larger amounts of nano-particles and an improved heat management design.”

    Since my house uses all of 300 to 400 Watts as “run of the day” only surging to 600 Watts when the whole herd is home and sporadic spikes of a few kW when cooking on the electric stove… that 300 W looks good to me. So get three of them, use the heat for ‘domestic heat’ after sucking 300 W electric out of it. I’m happy.

    As a final note, in addition to the planned presentation by Dr. Miley in Texas on March 23, Dr. Y.E. Kim of Purdue University is also scheduled to give a presentation. Dr. Kim is the author of the Theory of Bose–Einstein condensation mechanism for deuteron-induced nuclear reactions in micro/nano-scale metal grains and particles, another credible LENR explanation (yes, it has been peer-reviewed). It would appear, according to the slides from Dr. Miley’s presentation at the World Green Symposium in 2011, that this is his preferred theory for the reaction.

    Hmmmm…. So we have MIT and These folks both “names” saying “there’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear”…

    @R. Shearer:

    Some time back I’d stated my thesis about Rossi. There was another guy (who’s name escapes me at the moment) filed a patent app in Europe It is very similar to what Rossi did. My thesis was that Rossi was planning to do a “put up job” based on that patent, with some decorative tweaks, and do a rush for funding hustle. Then the damn thing worked! Probably sporadically or with poor control, and he’s been trying to hunt and peck his way to reliable and controllable since.

    Simplest and fits all the known facts. Including his, er, history.

    So while I don’t trust him much, I do think the other guy was reputable…

  25. R. Shearer says:

    Zeke, the diploma mill that I mentioned was Kensington University. Previously, Rossi included his “degree” from Kensington in his biography. You can still find references to it still on the net. In any case, Kensington was shut down by the courts because it was a fraudulent enterprise. You can find that on the net too, as well as a number of stories on Rossi’s checkered past. We’ll know the end of this story real soon, won’t we.

  26. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EMS “Some time back I’d stated my thesis about Rossi. There was another guy (who’s name escapes me at the moment) filed a patent app in Europe It is very similar to what Rossi did. My thesis was that Rossi was planning to do a “put up job” based on that patent, with some decorative tweaks, and do a rush for funding hustle. Then the damn thing worked! Probably sporadically or with poor control, and he’s been trying to hunt and pick his way to reliable and controllable since.”

    I find your speculation unworthy of your normal fact checking. He started working on LENR before the patent. The whole patent situation is a hell of a mess because basically the US Patent Office won’t consider patents for cold fusion, thanks to some narrow minded, highly medaled idiots at DOE. He sank his own not inconsiderable money into it, including selling his business and his home, before being able to make money from selling 1 MW plants and later a partnership. He only accepts money from companies large enough to do their own due diligence and won’t accept money from small investors. Hardly the style of a fraudster.

    There is little doubt a test that proved the operation of the E-Cat could have been run earlier. Why it wasn’t could be due to his eccentric behavior or more likely, it is not in his business interest to show that it does, except to potential investors. I’m pessimistic the test results will be published as early as mid April.

  27. Zeke says:

    The finding that the nickel in powder form is the key to a continuous reaction is what is being tested and verified, and utilized in other patents.

    If you wish to say that investment in new technology is a risky business I will grant you that. Let’s not give the impression that personal investment risks are the biggest public menace mankind has ever seen. I think it has worked rather well. Rather, forced public investment through energy mandates into worthless intermittent wind turbines are closer to the biggest public menace in my view.

    I personally like Andrea Rossi very much from reading his direct correspondences with anyone who has a question over the years. But I have always deeply disliked Thomas Edison. I try not to pay attention to what Bill Gates is doing with all of those billions – I could not bear to look.

  28. P.G.Sharrow says:

    I think anyone that attempts to discredit Rossi’s device because of a Italian Court action brought by bureaucrats at the demand of a Mafia business is much too lazy to examine all the facts. I have worked with independent inventors for many years, hell I am one. I see nothing fraudulent in his behavior. What I do see is that the level of his technology is about on par with the Wright Flyer. Hey! this thing actually works, after a fashion. And many people are demanding a jet fighter! Anyone that tells you that they going to build a jet fighter, just as soon as they get enough money, are the con-men. Let us examine this with an open mind rather then jumping to conclusion. pg

  29. P.G.Sharrow says:

    I have a post “Andrea Rossi” at my blog:
    http://pgtruspace.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/rossi/#comment-784
    Be sure to read all the comments as I have added many observations of information that have been gleaned.
    Also see Defkalion Letter:
    http://pgtruspace.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/defkalion-letter/
    This is a report of a letter I got from the Greek company “Defkalion” as the actual letter was copy restricted. Also read the comments.
    Be sure to read the “Christos Stremmenos” letter, Among the comments, to understand the Rossi – Defkalion connection.
    I also have a later letter that Defkalion has moved it’s Email connection to the US. pg

  30. P.G.Sharrow says:

    Sorry about the Rossi link that calls, comment-784, my bad :-( pg

  31. Karl J. says:

    Rossi is a hoax or just incompetent.

    Last year a group of swedish investors (Hydrofusion) had the swedish states “Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut” (Swedish research institute) supervise measurements on the Rossi contraption. They could not show that more energy came out than went in. The investors promptly dropped the deal to invest 65MSek.

    From the Hydrofusion pressrelease:

    “Hydro Fusion witnessed a new independent test of the high temperature ECAT prototype reactor on September 6th in Bologna. Although no full report has yet been received, early indications are that the results of the July 16th/August 7th reports could not be reproduced.
    Hydro Fusion cannot at this stage support any claims made, written or other, about the amount of excess heat generated by the new high temperature ECAT prototype.”

    http://hydrofusion.com/news/press-release

    Rossi meassured input current with an ordinary multimeter on just on phase. But when measuring with a true RMS meter the result was that no more energy went in than went out. Incompetence or hoax…

    The Swedish largest technical magazine had coverage of Rossi since he “came out”, in swedish:
    http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3535258.ece
    See the column for “Läs mer” with a lot of historical articles on the matter (google translate it).

  32. Karl J. says:

    Correction: Swedish investors were going to invest 65MSek in the Hydrofusion company.

  33. J Martin says:

    I would like to think that something positive will come of cold fusion, but I doubt that it will be any time within the next 20 or 30 years.

    Still, if a unit that produces 350 watts can be brought to market, at a viable cost, then along with ever improving battery technology to cover cooking, washing, fridge freezer spikes in demand, then it might be worth having.

    A minimum steady state output would need to be enough to run a central heating pump and some lights and TV / Hi-Fi / Laptop. So I guess how many units you buy would depend on family size.

  34. J Martin says:

    Surely cold fusion in the shape of a motor, ie. papp design is the way to go for house hold use, connected to a generator, running permanently, delivering power to the home with excess requirements catered for by the grid, and surplus electricity sent back to the grid. It would need to be rather more fail-safe than the so far single demonstration which went wrong.

  35. P.G.Sharrow says:

    The design of the Papp engine is not sound and will self destruct. The physics of it is interesting and may well cross the threshold to real fusion. The dance of Hydrogen / Neutron conversion is the key, however you get to it. Think matter / energy density. High enough density and the electron shell collapses to the Proton surface = Neutron. Reduce density, Neutron to Hydrogen yields change of size of electron shell at pi x ar x 10 to the 6 @ C A very large EMF spike results, gama radiation. At LENR energies mostly IR.
    Neutron Decay is the key to Nuclear Energy. pg

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Things go through a process. They start with an “Oh?” question. Proceed to a “thesis” or “hypothesis” stage ( I don’t get too worried about which word means ‘I have an idea’) then go through a “follow the chains of connection” and a “vet the basis / facts”.

    Your complaint amounts to saying that I stopped at the thesis point; which was what I said…. It’s just an unvetted idea about what might have happened. I’m allowed to have them too… ( In fact, I must have them as they are one step in the process).

    Had I made a full on posting asserting that was the case and true, then I’d need the chain of connections and vetted facts / basis.

    So you “have some facts”, fine. Present them to invalidate the thesis. Nothing wrong with that at all. (For about 1/2 of the “bright thesis ideas” I get, they are shot down in the first few hours of “dig here’ on the idea. It, too, is part of the process.)

    @Zeke:

    I fully admit that his action toward small investors is a point in his favor. Per his communications, well, they are pleasant and cordial, but sometimes a bit ‘scattered’ (that may just be the Italian / English transition). But when one is “running a sting” there is typically a script that is to be followed. If the “hit” is to be on big money, you don’t squander the set up on small money… (NOT saying that is what he is doing, just that that is how the game is played.)

    I also freely admit that my “thesis” is partly based on that somewhat scattered affect in the presentation and the “hide and seek” nature of “proof” and “demonstration” schedules and claims. Unfortunately, to “vet the facts” and prove the thesis is likely to require information only available from Rossie and from being at a demonstration. Things I can’t do, so I’m stuck at the “have a thesis” stage. Waiting. Like so many others.

    Per Edison and Gates… yeah, me too. Like Tesla a lot, but wish he had been just a bit less eccentric and a bit more practical… Oh, and yes, absolutely the case that once “Government Funding” begins the rate of progress comes to a near halt as the Rent Seekers jockey for best position at the feeding trough…

    @R. Shearer:

    I have a Doctor of Divinity degree from a “Diploma Mill”. Does that make me a fraud too?

    (Universal Life Church. Cost me $20 in the ’70s. They will ordain anyone and at the time, it was, er, useful as they didn’t send ministers to Viet Nam… A bunch of us “got the paper” just in case, and partly as a lark. I paid extra for the upgrade to D.D. The still offer the service. http://www.ulchq.com/ Oh, it is legal, BTW. I can open a church, perform weddings. The works.)

    If I fail to mention that in my bio of “real work” does that invalidate the real work? Would it mean my “Lifetime Teaching Credential in Data Processing and Related Technologies” from the State of California was now invalid? That I was unqualified to teach the classes I taught at the local college?

    One of my old bosses has a high school degree (he got nabbed and sent off to ‘Nam then came back to work with ‘computer experience’ from the military and never entered college). Over the years he has had to explain his ‘lack of paper’ and has considered getting a degree from a “diploma mill’ (but a high class one that actually requires work and classes on line). Would it invalidate his life of work if he did so?

    “Diploma mill” is an easy “word bomb” to throw, but doesn’t really say much… That, and what the State of California chooses to promote or shut down would not be the basis of any “moral high ground” I’d want to stake out. California is, after all, “The land of fruits and nuts”…
    ;-)

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    I agree about not jumping to conclusions. Just don’t see a good way to get to a conclusion. Other than simply waiting. If I had the time and space for it, I’d make a nickle precipitate from a potassium salt solution and soak it in hydrogen. Then see what happens under heat (300 F or so?) and pressure with various fluxes of x-rays, EMF etc. But don’t have the facilities.

    @J. Martin:

    You can get an easy idea of ‘size’ from the size of backup generators that are commonly sold. I have a 1 kW that is enough for emergencies. Not to run HVAC / washer / drier / AEK. I also have a “smart meter” that conveniently tells me the power consumed at the moment. It shows 300 W to 600 W depending on exact mix of TVs and lights and all, and if the Fridge is cycling or not. Most folks get a 2 kW to 4 kW unit. I had one, and during one outage ran AC & Washer Drier. It had lots of extra power left over. It was only the All Electric Kitchen that beyond what it would support. ( 2 x 1 kW , 2 x 2 kW, oven at 4 kW = 10 kW … now you know why I’m focused on the “Patio Kitchen” as an electricity avoidance device…)

    Some “monster houses” have 10 kW generator backup, but if you have a gas kitchen and water heater, you can avoid that level.

    As to “form”, a solid box would be best as folks don’t like moving vibrating noise making parts and they require oil and maintenance… But what ever works reliably enough and at low cost will sell.

    @P.G.:

    Maybe we should call it “neutron recycle” instead of “decay”… sounds better… besides, we could make pictures of an olive colored neutron and call it ‘green energy with recycling’!
    ;-)

    The Papp engine does look like it is depending on the statistically low functional conversion to stay below “boom range” and has demonstrated a tendency to not always stay there. It might be possible to stabilize, but betting your family car on a the statistics of a 3 sigma event never happening is, er, ‘uninteresting’ to me…

    @mrsean2k (From way back up thread where I fished it out of the SPAM queue – with no idea why it went there..):

    Well, failure of new and difficult to make tech is not unusual. I’d not count even 3 or 4 failed demonstrations as demonstrations of failure. I’ve seen too many things that didn’t quite work in the demo go on to be products. The PowerPC chip for one. The original project was one on which I worked. It didn’t see the light of day, but was merged with an IBM project and eventually became the PowerPC chip. I was the guy who connected Apple Engineer with a software emulator to an IBM box / Engineer with there RS(mumble) chip. Each had things the other needed. The result was a long collabortion and the PowerPC.

    Our Cray had a ‘speed switch’. If it wasn’t crashing often enough, you were not getting max computes (as restarts cost less than the added computes for ‘faster’…). So only when crash rate got too high did you set it back to ‘slower by 10%’ and call maintenance.. Being ahead of the pack often means higher intermediate crash rates…

    So a failed demo or two doesn’t worry me nearly so much as failure to grasp RMS vs peak and the ‘wandering in the dark’ changing schedules and claims..

    But in the end it will be a stand alone pre-production unit running the lights for a few weeks that will seal the deal…

  37. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM,
    @Your complaint amounts to saying that I stopped at the thesis point

    Not really. It was more why did you start out with such a negative thesis without anything to justify it. You don’t normally assume everyone is a lying fraud.

  38. Adrian Ashfield says:

    In Andrea Rossi’s own words on January 14,2012

    A.Rossi: ”I have made in Italy from 1970 when I started to work. I was born in 1950. I have made biomass energy, power and energy plants. And that has been my source of work. And when in 1989, Fleischmann and Pons made their press conference announcing their discovery, I had been fascinated from that effect. From that period I started to try to reproduce their effect, and I did not succeed to reproduce it with their system. So I have researched other systems. And around 2006 or 2007 we started to have an amount of energy produced using low energy nuclear reactions. And at that point I have focused the attention exclusively on this issue. I sold all my other businesses and financed this research. I asked the help of the University of Bologna through Professor Focardi, and I must say that initially I asked him to be a consultant to us, to show me that my system could never work. To make me free from it, because it was an obsession. It was too good to be true, so I said, “Please explain to me why it does not work.” And after some day he said, “I have some bad news for you, I think the system works.” And so it is worth it for you to stay in this track. We worked together, we asked his consulting mainly for the safety issues, to go ahead with the experiments in a safe way, and to make the prototypes so that they could be safe. And then we arrived to the presentation of one year ago, when we were ready to present an apparatus able to produce an energy that was usable in real industrial situations. I hope that my English is enough to let you understand what I am saying.

    The E-Cat we must put a distinction between the industrial plants, and what will be the domestic plants that we will start to deliver in the next winter. In any case, the kind of module of an E-Cat is made by a small box as big as a box of cigarettes to give an idea. Inside which there is a powder of nickel, and is compressed hydrogen. Inside this.. and there are also the catalyzers from which the name E-Cat, which is a shortcut for Energy Catalyzer, the differentials of pressure and temperature properly handled produce an effect that emits a low energy gamma rays. The gamma rays then hit the wall of lead, and the lead turns the gamma rays, the low energy gamma rays, into heat. The heat then heats the water that flows outside the reactor.

    Read the rest at http://pgtruspace.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/rossi/#comment-784 (scroll to the top)

  39. Karl J. says:

    There are no gamma rays. A couple of millimeters of lead is nothing at all for gamma rays. If the contraption worked by producing gamma rays everyone within the building would be instantly dead.

  40. omanuel says:

    @ J Martin (29 March 2013 at 1:29 pm) “I would like to think that something positive will come of cold fusion, but I doubt that it will be any time within the next 20 or 30 years.”

    Something positive has already come of cold fusion: The early reports were confirmed by several reputable researchers, as I recall, and too loudly protested by researchers with a direct pipeline to research funds flowing from Washington, DC.

    Cold fusion is another data point in the historical record that shows world leaders cannot lead society and adhere to their fear-based 1945 decision to hide or obscure the nature of nuclear energy that:

    a.) Made our elements
    b.) Expands the universe
    c.) Birthed the solar system
    d.) Sustained the origin and evolution of life
    e.) Sustained natural fission reactors on Earth
    f.) Generates heat in the interiors of some planets
    g.) Controls the constantly changing climate of planets
    h.) Maintains contact with each atom in a volume of space >10^19 Earths

    http://orach24463.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/fear-and-loathing-of-humans-the-pathology-behind-the-climate-change-movement/

    World leaders became rulers of the people, rather than servants of the people, when the United Nations was established on 24 Oct 1945 in the aftermath of the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 & 9 Aug 1945. Society reaped many benefits from that decision – reduced nationalism, racism, risk of nuclear annihilation – but lost civilian control over government,

    Integrity cannot be restored to government science unless constitutional limits are first restored on governments. - Oliver

  41. Karl J. says:

    Sorry guys, there is no cold fusion it’s just a fanatsy. If you think otherwise, you just have to prove it. How hard can it be?

  42. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Karl J.
    1. LENR is real beyond all reasonable doubt. See http://www.lenrproof.com
    2. The gamma radiation is of unusually low power and so can be stopped by lead.

  43. J Martin says:

    Is it real ? will it ever be anything other than an expensive camping stove ?

    ” The gamma rays then hit the wall of lead, and the lead turns the gamma rays, the low energy gamma rays, into heat. The heat then heats the water that flows outside the reactor.”

    Perhaps I am wrong, but it doesn’t take a lot of heat to melt lead.

  44. DirkH says:

    Karl J. says:
    29 March 2013 at 9:39 pm
    “Sorry guys, there is no cold fusion it’s just a fanatsy. If you think otherwise, you just have to prove it. How hard can it be?”

    Fermi thought that LENR are possible. Unfortunately he died early. But I am in no position to argue against Fermi.

  45. Adrian Ashfield says:

    J Martin,
    There are at least two types of E-Cat. The original, close to the type for domestic E-Cats, produces ~ 120C
    The new Hot Cat runs at 1200C with a usable output of 600C shielded by tungsten.

  46. R. Shearer says:

    E.M., I suppose one can get a degree from a diploma mill and not be a fraud, but the diploma could be used to commit fraud, such as practicing medicine without a license. Besides, Rossi spent time in jail for tax fraud and has had other legal problems.

    You will also find that he worked on a thermal energy conversion device and his “fantastic” results could not be replicated, which he blamed on “quality” problems. The lab doing the work mysteriously burned down. I gather all of this from the net, so take it for what it is worth, but I think Rossi acknowledges his previous problems with the law.

  47. Adrian Ashfield says:

    R Shearer,
    Rossi has a very legitimate doctorate. He probably took the diploma mill courser as a reasonable way of learning about chemical engineering. The tax and fraud business you should look up for yourself to see what the truth is before making accusations.

    I read that his work on trash to oil has in fact been duplicated and there are plans (already built I think) to duplicate the process in the US.

    There are some links further up this thread that give more of his history but I suppose that is not as much fun as quoting troll sourced ad hominems.

  48. R. Shearer says:

    I haven’t done any research on Rossi’s philosophy degree, however, I find his long list of legal problems troubling. I’ve read enough of some of the following to convince myself that Rossi has bbeen involved in numerous criminal enterprises.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2812007/posts?page=15#15

    January 8, 1992: Rossi indicted with 8 others, based on false invoices related to building a factory. [Italian] [English]

    April 12, 1992: Rossi found guilty, sentenced to 4 months, suspended, for illegal transport, storage, but acquitted on illegal dumping. [Italian] [English]

    March 24, 1993: Rossi sentenced to 8 months in prison, suspended, for violating the rules related to waste disposal. [Italian] [English]

    March 9, 1994: Rossi’s Petrol Dragon company forced to shut down over toxic waste issues. According to the story, there was no sign of Rossi actually converting wast into fuel, and one of his customers had claimed to be purchasing the fuel from Rossi well over a year after Rossi’s plant had been shut down. [Italian] [English]

    March 28, 1995: Another story describing the industrial waste left in silos by Rossi’s company, Petrol Dragon, which had supposedly been converted into fuel. [Italian] [English]

    March 29, 1995: Background of Rossi’s jewelery business, and the charges of fraud related to phony gold shipments. [Italian] [English]

    March 30, 1995: Rossi and four others accused of fake invoices for sale of tens of kilos of gold.” [Italian] [English]

    April 6, 1995: story about charges of money laundering and tax evasion related to false billing for the transfer of 46 billion ingots of gold (2,323 lbs.). [Italian] [English]

    May 24, 1995: Rossi arrested for “criminal association aimed at the false invoicing and tax evasion.” [Italian] [English]

    January 25, 1996: Rossi complains about the loss of Petrol Dragon, claims innocence. [Italian] [English]

    February 20, 1996: Preliminary hearing on gold fraud charges. [Italian] [English]

    April 25, 1996: Article with Rossi’s boasts of a process to convert waste into fuel, and description of the warehouses storing the unprocessed waste. [Italian] [English]

    September 25, 1996: Article about criminal conspiracy to commit fraud and false tax invoices, along with five accomplices. Rossi claimed to have shipped “60 billion” (Lira?) of gold which didn’t exist. [Italian] [English]

    March 19, 1997: Rossi’s conviction for illegal storage and disposal of toxic waste was upheld by the Court of Appeals. [Italian] [English]

    May 23, 1997: Rossi sentenced to 2 years, 8 months for tax fraud. He created fictitious invoices between four companies he managed. [Italian] [English]

    February 24, 1998: Two of Rossi’s employees get plea deal. [Italian] [English]

    October 23, 1998: Article about the cleanup efforts from the toxic waste sites left by Rossi’s company. [Italian] [English]

    June 1, 2000: Described as “Fugitive in the U.S.”, Rossi is arrested in Rome for aggravated fraud and bankruptcy fraud” Accused of being “on the run” for about a year. Accused of leaving “dozens of stores in Northern Italy overflowing [with] industrial sewage.” [Italian] [English]

    October 20, 2000: Rossi sentenced to 8 years for fraudulent bankruptcy. [Italian] [English]

    October 19, 2003: Article about how Rossi’s customers are having to pay millions of Euros to pay for the cleanup of the toxic waste dump sites left by Rossi’s company. [Italian] [English]

    November 27, 2004: Rossi acquitted on toxic waste dumping charges. 41 million Euros were spent to clean up the waste dump left by Rossi’s company. [Italian] [English]

  49. R. Shearer says:

    Adrian, you said, “I read that his work on trash to oil has in fact been duplicated and there are plans (already built I think) to duplicate the process in the US.:”

    I don’t think your statement is correct. I know this area of business quite well. It is clear to me that Rossi committed fraud and delivered conventional fuel that he misrepresented as that created from wastes. I would be happy to consider the “duplicated process in the U.S” if you could provide a reference but I don’t think you can. Thanks

  50. Zeke says:

    It appears to me that rising debt, unemployment, increased energy costs, and other factors have resulted in a very aggressive campaign in Italy, and Greece, to prosecute tax evasion. I hope this is not coming soon to a theater near us.

  51. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    ” You don’t normally assume everyone is a lying fraud.”

    You have misunderstood my words. A hypothesis or thesis is NOT an assumption. It’s a muse, a surmise, as possible, a starting point not an end point, a conjecture. A hypothetical strawman to give you a place to start tossing rocks to see what you find.

    To make it clear:

    I have ZERO assumption about Rossi. I have ZERO idea if he is lying, not lying, loves his wife, or beats his children (or even if he has a wife and children). I have ZERO expectation or assumption that he is, or is not, a fraud.

    I take the known facts ( prior conviction, but maybe trumped up. Decent behaviour since. Diploma questions raised by some. Odd behaviour on schedule slip on demos, etc.) and fit an Occam’s Razor search to it. What is the simplest explanation that fits the known facts. (That is, the facts known to me. So up thread someone said he has an earned Ph.D. Didn’t know that – in fact still don’t fully “know” it as it is not vetted / checked). That fit, for a starting point hypothesis is simply that maybe the guy looked around, saw what other folks were doing, and figured to hop on the gravy train. (LOTS of folks do that. Even legitimate companies. Look at Samsung and the iPhone…) Despite not being ready enough (though the above Ph.D. assertion argues he might well be ready enough), and maybe was surprised at the success. The prior Felony conviction means that as a starting hypothesis saying “He’s a reputable researcher of fine reputation” is not as good a “fit” as “Maybe he’s a bit dodgy.”

    Note that NONE of this is an “assumption of fraud”. It is an “optimized starting point for search” that is more likely to have more points of match than other starting points of search. That is why the word “thesis” or “hypothesis” is used and why I didn’t say “I assume he’s a fraud.” A hypothesis or thesis is a “working position to be strongly challenged and tested”, not an end point.

    So it’s like saying “set the thermostat on 7 and we’ll see if that’s too hot or too cold”, not assuming 7 is the ideal and correct answer.

    BTW, had we not had the experience of several years of ‘real soon now’ and his, um, checkered legal past, I’d have a thesis closer to “garage tinkerer not getting much done fast”. It is the observed facts that change the starting point of the search. (A search of what is known that I’ve not done due to doing all the other things I’ve been doing…) Though do realize that even someone from MIT on salary is not assumed free of fraud. It just changes the starting point to “likely not a fraud”. Only after looking into that person and what they claimed would I conclude not a fraud as most likely. Similarly, for Rossi, I may well conclude he’s a model citizen and a saintly contributor to human progress who has been absolutely honest and moral at all times… but that’s not the place to start from (given the always ‘real soon now’ proof and the ‘checkered’ legal past).

    Frankly, I think I don’t “assume” anything about folks. I make provisional assessments and then adjust as more data arrives and old data gets validated or discarded. If that sounds like I’m mighty tentative about things, well, yes, I am. Most things in the world and almost all of them about the nature of individuals is not really knowable in an absolute sense, so they get probability functions applied. MOST cops are good and moral, but many are not; and I can’t know which any given one is in advance. So the reasonable thing to do is to bet that most of the time a given cop is a “good guy” but not be too surprised if they are not. For Rossi, it is reasonable to bet that he’s wrapped up in things a bit beyond his depth and from less than stellar moral compass only due to the facts known to me and be quite happy and willing to change that “reasonable bet” if new facts become known that argue the other way. (Or even if no new facts about him show up, but he starts selling devices and they are shown to work. “Reality Constraint” or “Existence Proof” trumps all else.)

    Put another way, someone fills an opaque drink cup with soda for me. My “working hypothesis” will be that it is a cola (since more cola is sold than anything else and most folks get a cola). Yet I’d not be at all surprised to take a sip and find it tasted like lemon-lime. (If in Black areas, fruit flavors like grape or strawberry sell more, so odds of them go up. If in the South, odds of Dr. Pepper go up. So you can also do an area overlay of ‘working hypothesis by geography’ Note that NONE of those is “I assume I have a coke”. I assume I have a cold drink, and make a probability bet as to most likely flavor, but assume it could be any of them.

    @Karl J:

    Doesn’t that depend on how many gamma rays and what energy level?

    Near as I can tell, several folks HAVE proved it The demo running at MIT comes to mind…

    @J. Martin:

    I’ve melted lead (pots of it). It takes about 600 F (IIRC, but varies by alloy) and a decent amount of heat (though less than water). Enough gammas to melt lead would fry folks.

    @R. Shearer:

    Thus my working thesis does not start with “St. Rossi the Pure Redeemer”… but lots of folks with ‘legal problems’ have gone on to do good things.

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    “Trash to liquid fuels” has been done in the USA by several companies. Have no idea if it is the same method Rossi advocated.

    @Zeke:

    When countries get more hungry, that is one of the things they do. (Local government also goes for strict traffic code enforcement and all manner of fee enforcements). So expect it any where any government has income “shortages” (read “not rising faster than inflation”…)

  52. adolfogiurfa says:

    @All: It´s a reaction for the formation of an HYDRIDE, like H3Al (tri-hydrogen hydride), making react both elements with heat (>200ºC), where the “fuel” is, in this case aluminum metal. Reaction is controlled by the addition of Argon. Of course it is under vacuum conditions. What it happens, if there is a LENR reaction is that the atomic number of Al will grow by three units to become Sulphur (atomic number 16). But…it happens that sulphur is many times cheaper than aluminum, so it is something to see yet if this in an economical operation.

  53. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM,
    Let’s skip the fraud bit then. I read that implication in your earlier post but accept that was not what you meant.

    As far as proof and speed go, I thought the experiment Prof. Levi ran with water (not steam) a few days after Rossi’s initial public demonstration was pretty solid, unless you think everyone lied.

    As far as speed goes, Rossi claims to have had a 1 MW plant running over a year and has since developed the Hot Cat, upping the usable output from 120C to 600C. This strikes me as fantastic progress in a short time. Rossi has no incentive to prove the E-Cat worked beyond all doubt, for business/competition reasons. Maybe he now feels safe enough.
    Rossi has kept to his forecast demo dates pretty well.

    This give a bit of context….
    Andrea Rossi
    November 8th, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Dear Marco:
    I appreciate wholeheartedly the enthusiasm of our supporters, but sometime I have the impression that the difficulties we are fighting against are strongly underevaluated, just like to make a LENR industrial apparatus should be a normal thing. If I say that we will make a thing betwen October and November, this does not mean October 1st, could also mean Nov. 30st.
    Can also happen that new difficulties raise, so a delay comes up.
    The NUCLEAR FUSION ( ITER and the likewise) scientists had foreseen to put their plant in operation 20 years ago. After 100 billions of (taxpayer’s) money, they today foresee that perhaps they will have a plant in operation in the next 50 years, after further hundreds of billion dollars, and the scientific context is comfortable with this. Their present target is COP 1.1;
    we published our work in 2009 ( see Focardi-Rossi paper on this Journal). After 3 years and few millions ( of our private company, no public funding requested, no taxpayer money spent) we are manufacturing ( completely at our risks) plants of 1 MW, one of which will go in operation within February 2013 and will be exposed to the public after a period of operation ( 2-3 months). The plant will be put in the concern of a major world holding, which has signed with us an extremely important contract. The plant will heat a fluid. No electricity will be produced in the first plant, because the Customer wants to make thermal energy with the forst application,but obviously, due to the high temperature we are now able to reach, the coupling with turbines in a Carnot cycle is possible and will surely be made by the same Customer in the next plants. We still guarantee COP 6, even if the supposition that the COP can be increased is not groundless. The self sustained mode happens for approximatively the 50% of the operational time, regulated by a new concept remotely governed control system. Well, after all this, somebody talks of infinite delays…well, allow me to say that some scientific context sometimes gives the impression not to be very scientific. We don’t bother, anyway, just work.
    As you can see, the answers are not confidential.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

  54. There is not yet a widely-accepted theory of LENR that tells us what to do to make it work every time, though it will be interesting if Lewis Larsen can make good his claim to have a handle on it. All published experimenters have had similar problems of not knowing whether a setup that is, as far as they know, exactly the same as before will work this time, and if it works how well and for how long. There are clues that Rossi had any one unit running well for an hour or two, then stopping for a while (random waves of output), and this is likely why he built large arrays of units so that, overall, there was a good chance of a result. But of course, we don’t actually know that – just my guess.

    The main point to take from the published experiments is that finding the right conditions for LENR is very difficult, and without the theory the only way to get a result is running a lot of experiments and trying different ideas. It’s not easy.

    EM’s hypothesis also fits the published history, and I wouldn’t discount it. Rossi is working, as far as we can tell, along similar lines to people like Brillouin and Miley (and of course Defkalion) and they have shown some results, so it’s reasonable to think that Rossi has also seen some real results. As far as I know, Rossi has not asked the general public to invest, and his investors are still backing him – some evidence at least that he’s had enough success to be encouraging.

    Another hypothesis that fits what we’ve read is that Rossi thinks he’s very close to getting a process that works all the time, and just needs the final breakthrough to get there. How long before that breakthrough is, of course, somewhat stretchable. It may not happen.

    The main problem, that’s polarising people into lovers and haters, is that Rossi announced he’d got a product way too early. When people said “show me” he tried but wasn’t convincing – looking at the figures you still can’t tell whether or not there was any excess heat. It’s a bit like the Wright brothers showing something leaving the ground for a couple of yards – was that a long bounce or was it flying?

    In this case, I’m pretty certain that Rossi has seen more power out than in at times, but I’m not certain that he can do it every time for long periods on demand. Maybe the third-party reports, when they are finally issued, will give a better idea of the reliability of one such device (or array of devices). That would say that he’s got something that works, but does not say he can then go into mass-manufacture – does he yet know all the parameters to manufacture a device that works every time?

    Rossi himself seems pretty bright and somewhat larger-than-life, but on the other hand so were Marconi, Tesla and Edison. Could be that, like them, he’s actually going to give us something that will be very useful, but we’ll have to wait until it’s finished. Could be, of course, that he won’t.

    Popcorn required….

  55. R. Shearer says:

    It appears that Rossi’s Ph.D. advisor was Italian Marxist philosopher Ludovico Geymonat. I found it interesting that one of his biographies said granted in 1973 another says 1975. I suppose a doctorate in Marxist philosophy is legitimate but how is it relevant?

    Anyway, Rossi’s U.S. patent application here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=www.google.com/patents/US20110005506.pdf

    is a joke containing falsehoods and is technically very poor. He makes Peter Gleick look like a Saint. Come on skeptics.

  56. Zeke says:

    The link above I gave has a copy of a statement by the University of Milan that he completed his degree 10/12/1975. http://ecat.com/inventor-andrea-rossi (follow pdf link for image)

    Let’s clarify something right now. There are thinkers, and there are cooks. Plenty of thinkers believe it is their gift to humanity to control what questions are asked, and what possible answers you may get. But the cooks tinker with forces, materials, conditions, causes and effects, and live in a world of observations. The explanation for how the strong nuclear force is easily overcome under certain conditions is not understood by anyone. But experiments for decades have shown that conditions can be met for fusion at low temps. Andrea Rossi has gotten results by using nickel in a granulated form, in the presence of resonances, or catalysts, and gas. What we may be looking at is a very important development in the age-old conflict between observations and theory. But experiment and observation are the best arbiter. Thinkers may in this case not be very interested in acknowledging what the cooks have found, and may find it more comfortable to apply the principle of impotence – “You cannot do that.”

  57. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Simon Derricutt,
    Unless you believe Rossi is a crook and nothing he says can be trusted, it does appear that the E-Cats can be switched on and off reliably.

    As for long tests, the one conducted by Prof Levi using water to avoid the controversy of measurement with steam, was run for 18 hours if I recall. Rossi stated that the first 1 MW plant ran for 8000 hours in the first year of operation if I remember correctly.

    Of course it could all be made up but it is hard to believe this from Rossi using his own money and his backers not complaining. We should know soon enough from the third party test report. Apparently this has been under peer review since December, with later tests being run to satisfy the examiners and the final 120 hour test just to replicate the results, in order to be certain. So it could be published as early as April.

    I can’t imagine Rossi giving three Hot Cats to be tested by a third party if they didn’t work much as he claims.

  58. R. Shearer says:

    Thanks Zeke, according to Rossi’s patent application filed in late 2009, an embodiment of his invention installed on Oct. 16, 2007 “is at present perfectly operating 24 hours per day, and provides an amount of heat sufficient to heat the factory of the Company of EON…in Italy”

    When asked about this during interviews, he said that no the reactor was operating in the U.S.

    With regard to his Ph.D. in philosophy (Marxist philosophy, not science, advisor), you point out the discrepancy that I noticed. Your reference says the date is 1975, but according to his biography here: it was 1973. http://ingandrearossi.net/the-beginning/

    I’m not saying that just because someone has been convicted of crimes multiple times and after serving multiple jail sentences that they can’t turn their life around, I’m just cautioning people that the credibility of a known con man is not high. I’ll bet against the claims of a con man every time.

  59. DirkH says:

    It should be noted that EON is not the German power plant operator E-On but a company founded by Rossi himself and later sold for 1 million EUR.
    http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3123849.ece?service=mobile&content=main

  60. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Shearer,
    @I’m not saying that just because someone has been convicted of crimes multiple times and after serving multiple jail sentences that they can’t turn their life around,

    I know shutrossidown.com says that, but it is not what Rossi and some others say. You might check which convictions were reversed and what time he actually served in jail.
    From what I can see, all the accusations flow from the government retroactively classifying the waste he had collected as hazardous. The speculations is this was because the Mafia who previously ran the waste business had their noses put out of joint.

  61. Adrian Ashfield – I don’t know whether Rossi was a crook earlier on or whether he was misrepresented. The data is somewhat difficult to make good sense of, but certainly he’s had problems with the Law. Possibly, as he infers, with the Mafia instead.

    Earlier tests were not conclusive, because of the positioning of the sensors and fairly obvious problems with calibration. With a COP of 6, as stated, these should not have been much of a problem, but adding up the possible error bars makes the Null Hypothesis fit – could be it didn’t do what he said.

    With the new third-party tests, hopefully those problems will be gone, and we’ll have a rigorous test that we can hang our hats on. Before this point, it’s really been a case of “Rossi Said” and you can choose whether or not to believe him. Are there any other people coming forward to say that the 1MW plant ran for a year or that his factory was heated by a prototype? I’m still fence-sitting until the results are known.

    Since Rossi is an entrepreneur rather than a scientist, we should not expect the truth from him anyway. He is likely to say what he thinks ought to happen, and he’s looking for profit. Noting also the way climate scientists work, maybe we expect too much truth from scientists as well, and maybe those days have passed when we could believe the guy in the white coat.

  62. Zeke says:

    Personally I think anyone who gets involved in biogas and ethanol, in particular Congress, should serve a little time in the Pen.

  63. Zeke says:

    Look at Italy. This is why we need a flat tax.
    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-11-24/world/35280809_1_tax-evasion-property-taxes-tax-rates

    Our government is over burdened with so many functions – what with counting co2 and NH4 molecules, and setting up exchanges to tell my doctor and insurer what to do. We must relieve them of at least the burden of, having spent trillions of dollars, going after the citizens for “tax evasion.”

  64. Zeke says:

    Amid crisis, Italy confronts a culture of tax evasion
    By Anthony Faiola,November 24, 2011

    “Italian newspapers say that new budget measures were likely to be unveiled within two weeks, with a property tax abolished by Berlusconi set to return, plus moves to tackle tax evasion and a cut in payroll taxes to lift employment.

    IRS WhistleblowerHow to Report Tax Fraud. Get The IRS To Pay You. 30% Reward! http://www.Tax-Whistleblower.com

    ROME — In this nation where tax evasion can be considered part of a solid business plan, even dentists and hairdressers demand payment in cash — payments that then frequently vanish from accounting books like so many Cheshire cats.

    But as the world’s eighth-largest economy struggles to pull back from the brink of a debt crisis that has much of the financial world on edge, Italy may be on the verge of a national reckoning over one of its most vexing financial — and cultural — problems: tax cheats.

    Crisis-weary Maura Corinaldesi, for instance, joined a fast-growing Facebook group this month called “Friends of the Receipts” with more than 4,000 members naming and shaming tax-dodging trattorias and invoice-allergic plumbers. Corinaldesi, a 30-year-old public servant, took it one step further, calling the cops on a recent afternoon when a fruit vendor refused her a receipt.”
    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-11-24/world/35280809_1_tax-evasion-property-taxes-tax-rates

  65. DirkH says:

    Zeke says:
    30 March 2013 at 10:50 pm
    “IRS WhistleblowerHow to Report Tax Fraud. Get The IRS To Pay You. 30% Reward! http://www.Tax-Whistleblower.com

    How do you tell an honest snitch from a lying snitch? Great way to get the neighbour you didn’t like anyway into the locker! And getting paid for it!

  66. DirkH says:

    I remember days in Italy in the 80ies when you’d be buying an ice cream cone for 1000 Lira, 1 Deutschmark, and the stall owner would give you a receipt. It turned out that they had laws, and probably snitches that enforced that every tiny transaction would be entered into the cash register. AND I didn’t know that at the time but I was required to carry the receipt with me to be able to prove that I had bought the ice cone legally.

  67. Zeke says:

    I would go to Tuscany in a heartbeat.

    But I am a little worried right now that Obama is going to bring Italy here.

    “We’re going to close the loopholes.”

  68. omanuel says:

    @ Zeke

    World leaders face an absolutely impossible situation now after following the advice of fraudulent government scientists for sixty-seven years (31 Mar 2013 – 24 Oct 1945 = 67.4 yrs) with

    a.) Limited fossil fuels
    b.) Increasing world population,
    c.) Increasing demands for energy per person, and
    d.) A corrupt federal “scientific-technological elite” that hid information on the world’s most important source of energy, . . . exactly as Eisenhower warned might happen in 1961:

    With deep regrets,
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  69. Gail Combs,
    You are so right about the LFTR. It won’t matter that the USA does not want it. The Czech Republic or India will commercialize it.

    I am teaching at the McKimmon Center, NCSU next week (April 1-8). If you are interested in meeting, my public email is

  70. Chiefio,
    Thanks for finding all this fascinating stuff. As I said once before this is great fun as long as you are watching from a safe distance.

    Everything that Rossi does screams SCAM and yet there are people who take him seriously.

    The Defkalion “Report” was lacking in substance. If they had something they would not be issuing fuzzy reports.

  71. Gail Combs,
    I sent my email address but maybe the site snips things that look like email addresses so here it is in text:
    info(at)gallopingcamel.info

  72. Karl J. says, 29 March 2013 at 7:44 pm
    “There are no gamma rays. A couple of millimeters of lead is nothing at all for gamma rays. If the contraption worked by producing gamma rays everyone within the building would be instantly dead.”

    So true! For 10 kW of gamma rays from a “Four Pi steradians source” (energy in the 0.25-10 MeV range) you would need several feet of concrete to reduce the dose to acceptable limits for “Radiation Workers”:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/can-a-definition-shuffle-steal-cold-fusion/#comment-18535

    For more than ten years I was “Safety Officer” for an accelerator delivering 10 kW electrons/gamma rays at 30 MeV in a tight beam. In critical parts of our installation we had four feet of lead and ten feet of concrete. Even with all that shielding the radiation alarms would go crazy every time the beam was mis-steered.

    There is another crazy physicist from Wales who is prepared to give some credence to Rossi by suggesting that the lack of gamma rays may mean that “New Physics” is at work. While I disagree with him, he is the one with the “Nobel Prize” in physics.

  73. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Not familiar with the “Levi test”. Rossi-Watching has not been high on my todo list. More a check in every year or two.

    I’ve already said I think something real is happening, and that it is probable that Rossi has something that works (just that he doesn’t know – or didn’t know – how to make it stable and repeatable). Then speculate how he might have come to that point…

    As per a 1 mW unit running: It would be very nice to see public tours of such a thing and some power bills audited by a CPA… Letters asserting it exists hidden somewhere do not instill confidence. Hope, yes. “But hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith”. So it just puts me back into the “watchful waiting” state. (Which is kind of what I’ve said all along…)

    So no, nothing you say, no quoted pretty letters from Rossi, no “testemonials” from a few folks I’ve never heard of that they saw something that might have worked; none of that will ‘do it for me’. At this point, we need “extraordinary proof”. VERY public access to a working facility with lots of independent auditing…

    Until then, I’m NOT saying he’s a fraud or failure, NOR am I saying he’s got something that works. I’m saying “I dont’ know, but I’m watching and hopeful.”

    @Zeke:

    Interesting analogy… I’ve always been a cook… who thinks a lot ;-)

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    He handed 3 over to independents? Didn’t hear about that. Link?

    It’s a very promising thing, if true. It’s basically what I’m waiting to see…

    @DIrkH:

    Thanks… I’d made that (wrong) leap from Eon to EON…

    @GallopingCamel:

    WordPress tries to turn things that look like HTML into links and such. Don’t know that it does with email addresses but would guess it tries to make a link out of it and fails.

    Glad you like the stuff I dig up!

  74. E.M.Smith says:

    @GallopingCamel:

    That video does more to bolster Rossi as legit than most anything else I’ve seen. Yet… it says a 1 mW unit ‘by the end of the year’ and then we will know; and it is dated 2011 while now we’re in 2013. That’s sort of the problem in a nutshell. 2 years and Real Soon Now for an “end of the year” expectation.

    Oh Well. Either we know in a few months, or in 2 more years will be saying the same thing all over again…

    I also found it odd that (in one of the links) it said that the first customer was Defkalion, yet they have their own unit, so “why?” comes to mind…

    so we’re back to tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock…

    Though from the number of folks claiming ‘something is here’, it looks to me like something is happening. So eventually it ought to jell..

  75. P.G.Sharrow says:

    Defkalion had planned to obtain and sell Rossi’s device, then copy it. They did not have the ability to create their own device, They did think that they could easily recreate it and claimed they were running thousands of test configurations and formula to realize success.
    http://pgtruspace.wordpress.com/e-cat/stremmenos-letter/
    See Stremmenos Letter to get an idea of the Defkalion business model. Mr Stremmenos was the Greek ambassador to Italy and helped set up the Defkalion – Rossi connection. He was not happy about how he was used by Defkalion. pg

  76. Duster says:

    Gail Combs says:
    28 March 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Let’s look at this from the political point of view.

    One of the more troublesome problems in science is exactly that, and also looking at the problem in terms of patents and profit. Far too often, a scientific, empirical problem is addressed politically. While politics is essential to social function, the science it yields is usually suitable for mulching your garden, rather like the putative “consensus” concerning CAGW.

    When you really go over the experimental history of LENR beginning with Pons and Fleischman, it is clear that they really discovered a previously unknown phenomenon. It is also quite clear that what they found was not “cold fusion.” In fact “cold fusion” became a strawman in a pointless debate. Long before anyone had a handle on the real nature of the phenomenon “inventors” were out patenting crud, physicists who felt their ox was being gored were poo-pooing the entire thing in deliberate disregard of the actual empirical evidence, and the situation was so controversial that very few who depended on scientific work for a living dared touch the matter. If you heark back to the late 19th century you can see the very same pattern surrounding electricity and magnetism – and they weren’t even newly discovered. Anyone curious about just what looney things were being patented should look up “electric belts” in an old Sears catalog.

  77. J Martin says:

    Perhaps it’s time that a mainstream group of Nuclear Physicists from one of the countries with a significant nuclear establishment such as the US or the UK take this on as a government sponsored project. This competition to traditional hot fusion may also help spur new ideas in that area.

    These garden shed inventors seem to have done enough to get it to a level which has raised some interest and statements of support from mainstream physicists, but the garden shed inventors don’t have the wide range of resources and multi disciplines that an established government research laboratory or establishment has and has been shown to be needed when developing the nuclear reactors we have operating today.

    Perhaps describing these people as entrepreneurs raises expectations that they can somehow bring these projects to a commercial reality despite their limited resources, when in fact they may never overcome the instabilities or unpredictability’s that I assume plague their creations. They may need levels of process control that are way beyond their resources, the sort of thing that is involved in current commercial hot fission reactor designs.

    It is possible that unless a well funded and more importantly, well resourced government establishment which already exists to serve nuclear research becomes involved in LENR then a commercial reliable functioning cold fusion generator may never come to fruition.

  78. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM,
    Dr. Levi ran a test using water immediately after the first Rossi demonstration, following the skeptics comments about the way the steam quantity and wetness was measured. As Levi said afterwards, “Why would I risk my career at the University by making up something like this?” It was mentioned very briefly in the video you liked. Screen shot here:

    Cold Fusion: 18 hour test excludes combustion
    Av: Mats Lewan
    Publicerad 23 februari 2011 13:53 3 kommentarer
    In a new experiment, the Italian “energy catalyzer” has been run at Bologna University for 18 hours.
    “In my opinion, all chemical sources are now excluded,” physicist Giuseppe Levi told Ny Teknik.
    Läs mer
    • This is how Rossi is financing his E-cat
    • Cold Fusion: “You have to embrace this”
    • Cold fusion may provide one megawatt in Athens
    • Cold Fusion: Here’s the Greek company building 1 MW
    • Cold fusion: Observing professor wants more tests
    • Kall fusion – nu ska den vara klar för produktion
    Taggar
    • Cold Fusion
    • E-cat
    • English
    • Fusion
    • Kall fusion
    • LENR
    Verktyg
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    (Swedish version here).
    In the morning of February 10, the inventor and engineer Andrea Rossi initiated a new controlled experiment in Bologna, Italy, with the heat producing ‘energy catalyzer’ that could possibly be based on cold fusion.
    With him was the physicist and researcher Giuseppe Levi from the University of Bologna, who also supervised the public demonstration in January.
    Together they ran the unit for 18 hours.
    “It was extremely interesting. It is clear that this was an internal test that I needed to understand what parameters must be under control during a longer test, but frankly, I wanted to see the device work for hours,” Levi told Ny Teknik
    “It was pretty impressive in some respects. First, the repeatability. This is the third time I’ve seen the device, and again it produces energy.”
    “The second thing is that this time we loaded the unit with hydrogen at the beginning, and then the bottle was closed. It then worked for 18 hours with the bottle closed. Quite impressive.”
    “I weighed container before and after charging, and including the gas we let out to empty the tube of air, the consumption of hydrogen was 0.4 grams. That’s nothing!”
    “Minimum power was 15 kilowatts, and that’s a conservative value. I calculated it several times. At night we did a measurement and the device then worked very stable and produced 20 kilowatts.”
    “Now that I have seen the device work for so many hours, in my view all chemical energy sources are excluded,” said Giuseppe Levi.
    He explained that this time he chose to heat the water without boiling it, to avoid errors.
    Initially, the temperature of the inflowing water was seven degrees Celsius and for a while the outlet temperature was 40 degrees Celsius. A flow rate of about one liter per second, equates to a peak power of 130 kilowatts. The power output was later stabilized at 15 to 20 kilowatts.
    Levi explained that they did not have a peristaltic pump with sufficient flow, so instead the device was attached directly to the water tap. Therefore the flow was not constant, but by regularly noting the time and reading the input volume on a counter, he controlled the flow.
    At night the counter information was recorded with a camera.
    According to Levi, the input electrical power to ‘ignite’ the device was about 1250 watts for five to ten minutes. It was then reduced to about 80 watts, equivalent to the power consumption of the control unit.
    “This time I opened the control unit (and examined the interior), as someone said that it could contain a hidden battery. And I can swear in court that the box was empty, except for the control electronics – five very simple PLCs – and it weighed about seven kilograms,” said Levi.
    “I have also seen inside the reactor device itself – most of the volume is isolation, and most of the weight of about 30 kg is due to lead.”
    He confirmed that the reactor chamber, supposedly containing nickel powder, the secret catalysts and hydrogen gas, had a volume of around one liter. The reactor chamber was the only part he could not inspect.
    Levi is now planning more tests and a thorough analysis, before and after operation, of the nickel powder that the energy catalyst is loaded with.
    “If I then, using the most accurate methods possible, really see changes in the nuclei, then we have new physics. There is nothing you can say about it,” he stated.
    Giuseppe Levi has worked with Sergio Focardi, emeritus professor at the University of Bologna and Rossi’s scientific adviser since four years.
    NYT: What would you tell those who doubt your independence?
    “If I were an old professor with his career already done, then I would not have anything to risk. But any attempt at fraud on my part would be a terrible personal goal. What could I hope for? To have a title for ten days, and then be thrown from my own department. Because (the matter of) fraud comes up sooner or later. There is no hope for it. So if I … well, I would be really stupid. Honestly, I would be really stupid!” said Levi.
    A one megawatt installation with Rossi’s ‘energy catalyzer’, consisting of one hundred connected 10 kilowatt devices, is supposed to be inaugurated in October in Athens, Greece, run by the newly formed Greek company Defkalion Green Technologies (our inteview here).
    – – – –
    Related: A scientific discussion at the Ny Teknik newsroom on the ‘energy catalyzer’ with invited Swedish physicists Professor Emeritus at Uppsala University Sven Kullander, and Hanno Essén, associate professor of theoretical physics, entitled: “You have to embrace this”.
    – – – –
    READ MORE: Our complete coverage on Rossi’s E-cat can be found here.
    *********************************************
    It is possible all these people lied or have been fooled, but there are now too many people involved for this to be likely.
    The test run by Levi was for the original E-Cat with a reactor about 1 liter volume. It was not stable: elsewhere it was reported the heat output in the test rose to 320kW for a short period of time. The reactor size was then reduced (from memory to only 50cc) and then increased again to something smaller than a can of soda. The current design is two stage but no details have yet been released.
    Apart from the initial 1 MW plant Rossi said was sold to some confidential military customer, as already stated, another low temperature 1 MW plant is due to be delivered now in April (was to be February) and we are told will be open to public inspection after it has run 2 – 3 months.
    Rossi said he delivered 3 Hot Cats to the group of 11 people doing the current Hot Cat tests, that started October 2012, which are now completed and the results expected to be published in April.
    Rossi has repeatedly stated he doesn’t think any report will ever convince the skeptics, but only the delivery of working commercial units. It sounds like he is right.

  79. Adrian Ashfield says:

    ooops the screen shot didn’t transfer. It is at 2: 06 on the video.
    It seems I don’t know how to post images on this blog. What is the secret?

    [Reply: WordPress likes to 'steal' HTML tags and 'fix things up'. Often, you only need to paste in the link and it will put in the HTML wrapper. So if it looks like a link, just paste it. You can do the HTML tags yourself, long hand, but if anything isn't just the way WordPress likes it, it gets stripped. -E.M.Smith]

  80. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    I find it interesting that you are presenting “evidence of function” to counter my assertion that an Occam’s Razor evaluation of motivation can lead to a thesis of “was going to run a scam off the other guy’s patent and the damn thing worked”. I presume that is for the benefit of others? As I’ve already said I think it is working… (though with control issues – as your quotes also showed, with small size stable and going unstable at some larger sizes).

    It really is something of an “Angels and Pins” question: “What was his initial motivation?” as only he knows, and it is unlikely to ever be openly stated if “less than honorable”. It will be even harder / impossible to find out if he had questionable motives if the product works and is a commercial success. Frankly, I’d not see it serving much purpose anyway. Even if he had started out to be a charlatan, and found / developed real working LENR devices, well hell, give the guy a Nobel Prize and declare him a good guy – at that point he is, and has no reason to do other than good in the future. Lord knows the “initial motivation” of Rockefeller was not pristine, nor that of J.P.Morgan (both loved collapsing the empires of others) while Edison was a greedy Evil Bastard in how he treated his Wage Slaves (and was despicable in his treatment of Tesla). Dramatic success erases prior evil intent in the history books of our Evil Bastard Leaders… so why not Rossi, too ( if he had any such intent and was not just a misunderstood good guy on the wrong side of the Mafia…)

    I find this quote in particular quite persuasive:

    “Minimum power was 15 kilowatts, and that’s a conservative value. I calculated it several times. At night we did a measurement and the device then worked very stable and produced 20 kilowatts.”
    “Now that I have seen the device work for so many hours, in my view all chemical energy sources are excluded,” said Giuseppe Levi.
    He explained that this time he chose to heat the water without boiling it, to avoid errors.
    Initially, the temperature of the inflowing water was seven degrees Celsius and for a while the outlet temperature was 40 degrees Celsius. A flow rate of about one liter per second, equates to a peak power of 130 kilowatts. The power output was later stabilized at 15 to 20 kilowatts.

    3rd party of repute. Measured and inspected fairly directly. LARGE and hard to mistake power levels. 20 kW is hard to mistake from a few liter sized device.

    At any rate, if the assertion of 2 different 1 MW units ‘in the field’ and more smaller units ‘real soon now’ especially one of them to be open to pubic view; it all says we are reaching the end of the trail Real Soon Now… one way or the other. Either sales and production happening and folks running facilities on these with power bills and CFOs over their shoulder and facilities guys getting training on how to run / clean it; or Yet More Delays and real doubts turning into “Bah Humbug” as the promised open public display turns into more mud and muck. If it is a hustle, there’s a point where the “hype” reaches a crescendo and then the “sting” happens and “POOF!” the distraction and escape. It would be hard for Rossi to pull that off given his “Public Person” and wide publicity aspects. But we are reaching such a crescendo. “Fish or cut bait” time is here. Too many statements of “It is working in production at beta sites” to back out now.

    Though, frankly, my larger “worry” is just that the first “sale” was supposedly to an unknown military somewhere in the world. If this works as advertized, and has a tendency to uncontrolled ‘excursions’ into exponential energy flux increases; well… that’s a “bomb in the making” and military folks just love new “Boom Stuff”… but like to hide and classify it Can you imagine the “utility” of a bomb that leaves as residue nickle powder? (Much of which could even end up combusting in a Fuel Air Explosion to Ni Oxide). That gives off no nuclear nor chemical signature to present detection equipment? I could see a Large Military (say, the US) leaning on UL to hold off on certification, then “classify” the whole thing, hand Rossi a $10 Million check to STFU, and hope to keep it for their own private use.

    At any rate,

    Rossi has repeatedly stated he doesn’t think any report will ever convince the skeptics, but only the delivery of working commercial units.

    That is “exactly right”. I’ll be convinced when that happens. Until then, it’s “interesting speculation of what might be” of various levels of veracity.

  81. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM,
    I thought what I posted on 29 March 2013 at 7:19 pm gave as much insight into what he was thinking when he started, as we will ever get. He could be making that up too, but why would he bother?

    I don’t think there is much potential to make big booms because the action is self limiting when the nickel melts. Obviously with a pressure vessel and H2 at 320psi there is danger for home use. We don’t know anything about the new two stage design except the inference it made the whole thing more stable/controllable.

  82. P.G.Sharrow says:

    Indications are that, The Rossi device is not a fusion machine. It works by the dance of Neutron / Hydrogen conversion. Any Fusion is secondary to the main action. Physics Books will need major revision. Old professors and scientists will need to die off. Applied science will once again trump over theoretical science.
    Science is generally advanced by accident that is recognized and improved on, Not by deliberate actions “well thought out” by educated men. Educated men study the successful devices and then write theories and books to explain the results to one another. This is one such device. Old theories and formula on nuclear energy will need to be revisited. pg

  83. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Real soon now?

    Andrea Rossi
    March 31st, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    Dear Rosemarie Ainslie:
    1- no, the delivery of the 1 MW plant will be exactly on the 30st of April. Has been fixed.
    2- Thank you very much for your kind expressions and Happy Easter to you
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

  84. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM,
    What do you think would be the result if the E-Cat test report was favorable in April?
    Do you suppose there would be chaos, or a relatively smooth transition as the hardware gets installed?
    Others have noted that Big Oil and Big Finance are getting out of oil fields and oil reserves. SIemens, who have worked with Rossi, have sold their nuclear interests and currently selling their solar interests (for a big loss.)
    Struck me that Rossi and friends would be in a good position to short oil ;-)

  85. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Well, if you can trust what the person says then you don’t need to have insight to their original motivation… that’s the whole trust dilemma… Once trust is broken, only external things can be useful.

    Per Explosions:

    By definition, they happen in very short time frames. Even so short that things don’t have time to melt. The Papp engine explosions (provided they were real…) argue strongly for explosions being possible. The ‘art’ of making bombs is to arrange it such that the “disassembly” proceeds more slowly than the energy release ramps up. Even nukes. So you have a need for “assembly” of the device to proceed at about 4000 ft / second for a uranium gun type (higher for Pu based) to prevent a ‘squib yield’ from premature disassembly… For the cold fusion variation, I’d expect heavily H loaded metal and an “EMP bomb” trigger, perhaps with an “explosive assembly” of the Ni powder into a hot dense mass would be a ‘reasonable’ path to investigate. If Ni / H works at 300 C with spark / UV / x-Ray triggering, I can make it into “boom stuff” with enough effort. (And likely not all that much…) It is unlikely to be harder than making a good Fuel Air Explosive (once you have demonstrated energy release in the 100 kW range from a coffee can sized reactor).

    If nothing else, just put it in the middle of a large boiler full of water, let it run to superheat and overpressure and get a steam boiler explosion. The greatest deaths in one explosion in the USA were on a paddle wheel steamer when the boiler exploded for a long time. Now it’s just the largest maritime disaster:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Sultana

    SS Sultana was a Mississippi River steamboat paddlewheeler that exploded on April 27, 1865 in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. An estimated 1,600 of Sultana’s 2,400 passengers were killed when three of the ship’s four boilers exploded and Sultana sank near Memphis, Tennessee. This disaster was overshadowed in the press by other recent events. John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln’s assassin, was killed the day before.

    If it can boil water, I can make a big bomb out of it. (Smith’s made boilers, so needed to know this…and how to avoid it.)

    But I’m pretty sure I can do it without the boiler too…

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    The terminology is a bit muddled. It could be fusion, in that there’s the potential for Ni -> Cu conversions along with K / H interactions. Yet those likely ought to be called transmutations more than fusions. Then there is the whole N, e-, P cycling. What to call that? Neutron Energy? So I just use “fusion” and figure when the rest of the world starts being more careful, so will I. I suspect mostly what we’ve got going on is Transmutations (and treat N->P as a very tiny transmutation ;-)

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Do keep in mind that Real Soon Now is computer Geek Speak for “An indeterminate schedule from minutes to years in length”… ;-)

    So yes, it will be Real Soon Now… one way or another ;-)

    Per What if Favorable:

    1) Rossi tries to buy a very large life insurance policy and finds he is ‘not ratable’…

    2) A load of patent suits are filed. On several continents. Rossi collects a few dozen lawsuits for all kinds of things from theft of IP to dandruff…

    3) Generally, nothing much happens to markets. Prices change when demand changes, and it takes decades to make a world worth of appliances.

    4) Various people with uniforms and guns start projects to assess what this means. Some will want to confiscate and classify. Others to assassinate (both character and person). Some will realize the benefits. To the extent that the “secret sauce” is on a dead-man-switch for release from a hidden location, Rossi lives. To the extent it is in his brain alone, he “has a stroke” after the stress of a Federal Investigation into his “Shady Dealings”.

    5) Assuming he and the process get through all that (i.e. it’s pretty clearly too late to hide it, or prevent it, or confiscate it for only one side): Several Very Large Multi-Nationals try to buy it up, threaten to make their own and break his patents, and generally keep him so tied up in court that he can’t make a company work. Eventually GE or Siemans buys him out. (Distant third – Toshiba buys him out).

    6) Production would begin with the most profitable space. Most likely process heat and domestic water heaters / space heaters. This would put pressure on natural gas and relieve pressures on electricity generation. Nobody notices much, as nobody pays much attention to the cost of their water heaters. In about a decade, the impact in very cold places (like Alaska and Minnesota and Norway and even Russia ) makes them lower cost places to live.

    7) After about a decade more development work, it is found that it’s hard to make a car sized unit that passes all regulations. Truck, train, and ship sized units are made, and over 40 years those markets slowly move to the new engines. Oil prices stabilize at modestly high during this process.

    8) About 2050 everybody remembers “the good old days” when oil was used for things other than airplanes. It is still used in them due to the great power / weight ratio. Some experimental very long distance airplanes ( Paris to Tokyo) are flying where the fuel weight was enough to mean the heavy reactors could be used instead with steam turbine engines. GE Posts record profits on sales of appliances. Standard Oil announces their new Ultra-Clean Long Life Hydrogen with home delivery. North Korea threatens to blow up the USA if more food is not shipped over. The USA says “No problem” as they have a 40% surplus of grains since the whole ethanol in gasoline thing didn’t work out… The EU announces the New-Nuevo Euro as the replacement for the 4th Euro in as many decades. Russia refuses to accept it in payment for Nickel from their mines, and demands payment in gold… The EU announces the nationalization of Swiss Banks, even though the Swiss are not in the EU…

    9) China announces a new LENR device in 2020, cheaper than anyone else can make. Demands payment in Nickle, Paladium, or Platinum. (Gold not so much. Recent shipments of Gold from China show odd isotope ratios and strange contamination levels…)

    10) Opec disbands in 2040. The key players announce the formation of the Global Equities Bank to manage their common ownership of 75% of the world, a holdover from all the holding company indirect buying of The West for Oil over 50 years and their large ownership in the companies that bought up the LENR patents. They use their remaining oil for petrochemical feed stock, as a hydrogen source, and to make a variety of plastic products in their robotic factories.

    11) The UN announces a terrible drought and famine in Africa and crushing poverty in Latin America and requests higher taxes to fix it. The Latin Socialist Block protests that everything is perfect in their Workers Paradise. Africa does not answer the phone. It’s Friday and they are busy at the big festival… But the Ministry For Aid Acceptance suggest sending the cheque to him in Orlando where he has a condo…

    12) An unexpected explosion happens in the capital of North Korea. It takes out the entire military headquarters just as Kim Jong Tinpot was visiting. Too large for conventional explosives, but no nuclear signature is detected. Several people are treated for Nickle Carbonyl poisoning. The US announces new conditions on the food aid, including an embassy grounds and exchange of ambassadors. The new President agrees. Suggests a meeting at his new condo in Florida. Lunch with the African Delegation is added to the schedule at the last minute…

    Or something like that…

    Essentially, the rate of “aw shit” in various industries is limited by the speed of product invention, certification, introduction, and adoption. It takes decades. Cars were invented in the late 1800s but horses were still very common in W.W.I while the airplane was not dramatic in war or commerce until about 1930 to 1940. Nuclear power took how long? The first computers were around at the end of W.W.II, yet “silicon valley” didn’t really change the world until the ’70s. It’s all rate limited on manufacture / acceptance, not invention…

    The present fleet of vehicles does not cease to exist if a ‘new fuel’ comes along. It’s about a dozen years to turn over the car fleet after the new vehicles are 90% or so of sales, that comes about 5 years after wide introduction that comes about 5 years after first designs… So you have abut 20 years more high oil demand, even IF a wonder engine were made tomorrow. Oil price won’t even notice. What the Little Dictators in the Middle East do in terms of saber rattling will matter more. At least until about 10% of vehicles are using some LENR engine… Call that 15 years. IFF all goes well.

  86. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM,
    Per explosions.
    I don’t think blowing up a water boiler counts. You could do that easily with an electric water heater, you don’t need an E-Cat. I don’t know whether the LENR processes so far provide much opportunity. Could be you’re right. There doesn’t seem to be a chain reaction. The problem would be how to get most of the volume up to the point of reacting simultaneously. As I don’t know what is required for it to react I can’t speculate. That there is such high potential energy makes the odds in your favor I suppose.

    The rest of what you wrote is a hoot. Gave me many chuckles, although more logically one should cry at the stupidity and greed of our fellows.

    2. I had already written elsewhere I expect the lawyers to make more money than Rossi, for as you probably know the US Patent Office refuses to grant patents on cold fusion to this very day, and the patent situation is a real mess. Rossi would be well advised to stay out of the argument completely, particularly when he feels right is on his side. Justice has little to do with the outcome.
    5. Apart from Rossi now being in partnership with a large company (anonymous of course), to which he has already entrusted his I.P. he has said he expects his patents to be broken and others to make competing LENR products. His stated plan is to set up a highly automated plant to make them at lower cost than anyone else and compete on price even with China. That together with becoming the name brand he hopes will be enough.
    6. Rossi states the current plan is to make industrial products for the next two years. Not what he said when he started but domestic sales have a raft of problems, not least getting UL certification.
    7. Rossi says he thinks it will take 20 years to get LENR powered cars. I think he is pessimistic here.
    8. Twenty years for airplanes I’d believe, but the fundamental problem is not that difficult. Consider a jet engine where the current combustion is simply replaced by LENR reactors heating the air. So the temperature would not be as high (the Hot Cat runs at 1200C) and the efficiency low, but who cares if you don’t have the weight and cost of fuel?
    11. One of the best future potentials for LENR is to be able to make low cost water from salt water. Water may otherwise become the next thing fought over. Of course the plants would likely get diverted for turning California into one large swimming pool and the greening of Navada.
    12. No comment

    I puzzle over the speed of implementation of new technologies. For example, there is no cost advantage to buying an electric car yet. The initial extra cost is more than most would spend on gas yet they are being sold in increasing numbers. Sometimes it seems the perception is more critical than the facts and certainly the perception of successful LENR for most people would be the end of oil.

    Something like a new iPhone or iPad spreads like wildfire. Apple sold 14.1 million iPhones in Q3 2010. It wouldn’t take that long to spread the use of E-Cats if they caught on like that.

    LFTRs look like they would be the cheapest, cleanest and safest way of making electricity (unless LENR really works.) The US has known that for fifty years yet still has not started planning the first commercial plant. Instead we subsidize expensive wind and solar power.
    You only have to open a newspaper or look at the news from Congress to wonder if we’re not all doomed by terminal stupidity. We need black swans like LENR if we are to keep our standard of living.

  87. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    “Doesn’t count”? A kind of explosion that killed more people than just about any non-military event in the USA until 911 and THAT kind of explosion “doesn’t count”? Look, I just said I could make a bomb out of it, and I can. “How” doesn’t really matter to the dead…

    One of the problems with all the ‘ban FOO weapon’ laws is just that kind of thinking. The “Only guns count”. Well, no, that’s not the case. The fools who ban 2 inch pocket knives on airplanes let nice metal ball point pens on. Easier to kill with a 6 inch dirk than a 2 inch pocket knife…

    The “conditions” to make the reaction go seem to be: High hydrogen loading. Metal powder. Temperatures above 200 C with 300 C being easier. Pressure above a few Bar. A trigger pulse of EMF / photons. (It is unclear what part of the EMF spectrum is the ‘trigger’, with UV, X-rays, and generalized electromagnetic pulse (i.e. photons) being present in a massive “spark” and from coils. A “catalyst” is supposed to be involved, and I think it is potassium, but not relevant to making a bomb. If it is known what it is, so as to make a reactor, it is known to add to the “boom stuff”.

    Anyway, I’m pretty sure that given the demonstrated instability excursions (per the stories) there’s a non-linearity going on that can be exploited. If not, then you put the non-linearity into the onset of reaction conditions and triggering event. ( i.e. preload metal dust with hydrogen, then do an explosive inertial confinement along with a compressive temperature spike and an EMP trigger pulse from a copper coil wrapped around the compression charge and energized just before detonation. I’m pretty sure that will work, if the stated conditions for reaction work at all.) Just run the “trigger and operation” conditions to “crazy high levels” and you ought to get a big pulse energy release. (Typically, control is the hard part, runaway energy production easier.)

    (Hopefully I’ve not just invented a new class of micro-nuke and the rest of eternity the Smith-Bomb will haunt the world and dog my progeny ;-)

    One does not need a chain reaction to have a massive trigger event. Think Fuel Air Explosive instead of fission bomb.

    Glad you liked the humor… can you tell I’m getting jaded by our political farce of governance? ;-)

    It takes many years to design and test a new car. Just think on this: AFTER you have it all designed, assembled, tested, etc, THEN you hand a few over to the government for crash testing… THEN you may, in 6 months to a year, be able to address whatever concerns them… After acceptance, you can order your parts and set up factory time to start making them. In about 6 months after you start, they will be on sale. It’s a several year process even for cars where most of the parts don’t change at all from prior models…

    Just figuring out what departments in the government need to give approval will take a couple of years and $1 Million of lawyer and lobbyist fees…

    To take an already approved airplane and get it type certified for a new engine or fuel can take $1 Million and a few years. The things required to get something certified for flight use are an insane burden. It’s a decade to design and certify a new aircraft that is more or less just moving the present design forward incrementally. It would take a few years of flight tests to get a radical power source approved. That’s AFTER you have one flying…

    It’s so bad, that folks will find a certification plate for an old airplane and rebuild it from parts as that is cheaper than making a new one and trying to get it accepted. That’s why so many aircraft are licensed as “experimental”. So you can fly them for less than a few $Million and couple of years of “approvals process”.

    I’d figure 5 years to design and test the engine, then another 5 of “government time” as a bare minimum. Most likely double that. (There will be things like regulations requiring that you check the fuel tanks for condensed water. How do you do that without fuel tanks of petroleum products? Or mandatory engine de-icing procedures and explaining that the engine has no air intake so can not ice up. Or… It will take 5 years just to identify all the rules that presume a regular fuel engine and get exceptions written from them.)

    Per water: Regular desalinizing is already economical (in use in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and California, among others. In California, it is now cheaper than building a new pipeline from the mountains). Israel is even cheaper however they do it. Graphene will knock another 50% to 80% off the costs. LENR isn’t needed (but can help). We are already into the realm where wars over water need not happen as long as their is access to the sea.

    Per “new tech” adoption rates:

    Depends a whole lot on the product category. E-cars are a fad, so ‘trendy’. Folks with more money than brains will buy them, as then added cost is a ‘feature’. It will be decades before they are a significant percentage of the fleet. (We’ve had e-cars since the very first cars. Gasoline and Diesel cars came later and displaced them via superior performance and economy. That has not yet changed.) Things like iPhones are small and cheap. Nearly disposable. Also the cost is hidden from the end consumer, so adoption is fast. But water heaters? No “sizzle” so folks generally don’t care.

    It’s all about the cheapest and least trouble. As long as the one in place works, I’m not going to spend $1000 to swap it out. Further, spending $20,000 for an appliance that will have payback over 20 years is a non-starter. Thus all the subsidy schemes to get folks to buy solar panels even in places where it is economical. California had to make it a law to use solar for pool heating to get that adopted, even though the payback was something like 5 years.

    So, unfortunately, a LENR water heater is just not going to be dinner conversation status talk and the average folks will not rip out a working heater to put in a new untested by time one at a $Thousands price tag even if it saves them money over a 5 to 10 year period.

    Adoption will be low, and at the normal rate of replacement. Unless, of course, you can get a few $Million Lobbyist program to make it mandatory… ( See the ‘low flush toilet’ scam as an example). Best bet is to make a deal with a new home builder who can bundle it into the mortgage costs and advertize the “zero heating bill” feature on the subdivision. So, how good is that whole new housing market lately?…

    I know folks want to believe their product will sweep the world, but it just doesn’t work that way from infrastructure / appliance goods. Licensing it to somebody like GE or Siemans has a better shot at getting wide distribution / adoption faster. And yes, marketing is all about selling the Sizzle. Perception is everything. (Though lately the only perception that matters is the Congress Critters who make it mandatory…)

    Per molten salt reactors: That was military driven. They wanted a source of plutonium and breeding / reprocessing facilities, so sent us down the U path. They also wanted low proliferation risk, so advocated light water reactors. Molten Salt and even heavy water CANDU reactors “have issues” with letting folks do “interesting things” with the reactors, and being independent of the U.S. Thumb… India made a bomb out of U233. I can make U233 (in fact MUST make it) in a Thorium reactor. It can be chemically separated. Oh Dear. Chemical separation of “boom stuff”… no massive centrifuge farm needed… So of course they don’t want folks taking that path… (and deny that U233 is a path to a bomb, even though the USA made one as has India…)

    So I hope Rossi has ‘the real deal’, but don’t expect the world to change much in the first decade…

  88. P.G.Sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; I think that you are right. The Ecat domestic water heater appears to me to be a dead issue. Too much red tape and the proposed distribution/service network is a real deal killer. Damn! I could have used 2 to heat greenhouses. Maybe a 2-5 Kw E-fusion Electric gen-set is in the future. Electricity and hot water would be doable from a cost and logistics point of view. pg

  89. Adrian Ashfield says:

    What I meant by a boiler bomb not counting, was that an E-Cat adds little to the design. It can be done with most sources of heat. Yes, it can make a big boom and be very messy.
    As I said, I don’t know how the E-Cat works. That it seems related to doing something with neutrons doesn’t help very much. So I have no idea if a boom is feasible. Obviously something with that energy density has potential.

    Re cars. I think Elon Musk started Tessla in 2003, so it can be done in less than 20 years. Particularly if you had a major car company involved that was pally with the government.

    Re planes. Again, partnering with an existing engine company would help. You still need an air intake for the turbine I proposed. The LENR reactors would just heat the air instead of using fuel. It might be worth starting with a hybrid design, that is fitting one or two of these engines to a plane that has sufficient conventional power fly on its own. Would be useful to have conventional engines for take-off too. But then the LENR engine could be used on its own for cruising. I do think the cost of fuel would be a strong incentive. Domestic airlines in the US spend about $3 billion on fuel per MONTH.

    Re desalinization. I read of a new experimental single molecular thickness graphene filter that is super efficient, but that is not in commercial used yet. Do the Israelis use a thicker version? Whether wars need to be fought over water isn’t the question. Greed is sufficient motive.

    Re domestic E-Cats. It looks like one could get a two/three year payback (and then virtually free) for water and house heating up here where it’s cold. The way the cost of energy bills keep rising here is a topic of conversation. Having to pay the monthly bill a constant reminder.

    Rossi agrees with you. He thinks the transition will be quite slow and painless. Why do you people keep spoiling my dreams?

    I know about the history of LFTRs and don’t buy the argument that the danger of proliferation should stop development. Heck, I wouldn’t lose sleep is Iran developed a nuclear bomb either. I think MAD still works. In passing, I have wondered why Iran didn’t go down the Thorium route as it is easier than thousands of centrifuges.

  90. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    OK, several things.

    Per Tesla: If you want to sink $Millions into a “toy company” selling ‘road-jewelry’ to a few filthy rich people with a load of government subsidy then you, too, can sell fewer vehicles in a year than just ONE of the local dealerships:

    “Since 2008 Tesla has sold more than 2,400 units worldwide through September 2012. ”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster#Sales
    “About 2,650 Model S vehicles were sold during 2012.”

    “The base price for the 2010 models, which began shipping to customers in July 2009, was US$109,000.”

    “In June 2009 Tesla was approved to receive US$465 million in interest-bearing loans from the United States Department of Energy. The funding, part of an US$8 billion program for advanced vehicle technologies (Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program),”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_motors#History_and_financing

    So in somewhere over a decade (from 2003 to 2013), after something near $200 Million in private money from a load of other car companies and investors, with about $1/2 Billion of “low interest loans” from the government (there’s another $100 M in the wiki listing) and with another $200 M or so from the IPO, they can sell a trivial number of cars at outrageous prices to people who want to look cool and have more money than brains.

    Um, I’d not use that as a model of converting the mass car market to a new power source.

    So, I said “that’s a several year processes even for” cars that use the same parts… don’t see where that is in conflict with a decade scale process that has sucked up near $1 Billion so far.

    Now consider that we’ve made electric cars since about 1897..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car#1890s_to_1900s:_Early_history

    So it’s not like there is a whole lot of unexpected and unfamiliar problems here. ( I’ve been to a presentation on the Tesla back before it was trendy and seen “the guts”. I visited their factory when they were hand assembling them in Palo Alto. I love the technology and would love to have one…) Mostly what they did was create a new battery pack out of a large number of mass produced cells leveraging the economies of scale of consumer products. That will not exist for LENR cars. The motor is nicely done, but just an enhancement (packaged for car use) of standard electric motor technology that has existed for decades (centuries?). They have a very intelligent controller. Not hard to make, but needs a person who wants to pay computer programmers to make one. Again, not a big challenge.

    Frankly, other than their battery management / design, it’s just not a very big technical leap.

    Oh, and it is not at all clear that it will survive much longer…

    Per Airplanes: A friend is a pilot. I suggest looking into how hard it is to get a Cessna recertified to run on automobile gasoline… He has the one WITH the cert. Added considerably to the value of the airplane (as Av-gas is getting hard to find in many places and is hideously expensive in any case). The difference between it, and the ones not so certified, is paperwork and an inspection… Oh, and lots of money… Just to change the kind of gasoline that can be used in an engine that is already known to work well on automobile gas…

    Now you want to put an entirely new, untested and with no experience base, engine into commercial flights with hundreds of lives depending on it? Look at what Boeing just had happen from a lithium battery failing. Whole fleet grounded for months. AFTER a decade or so of development work, flight testing, acceptance testing, etc. etc. etc.

    Further, you advocate direct LENR heating of air. So you are expecting this thing to run at temperatures that melt copper. (The hotter it is, the more thrust you get, and you will need a LOT of thrust…) It will take at least a decade just to work out the materials issues. A steam driven prop could be done much faster and cheaper (and be faster to certify) as you work on those materials issues…

    Salt: To the best of my knowledge, nobody is using graphene other than in lab tests. Israel is using other technology. (The most recent advance I know of was a power recovery pump unit that recovers pressure from the waste stream and cut costs a lot.)

    Graphene will make this even lower, but again, we’re talking decade scale time for adoption.

    Heat: Early adoption would be in places like military installation in arctic places and folks in northern frozen places. It will never happen in Los Angeles for domestic heat. ( I looked at renting an apartment there once. It had a 2 kW electric resistance heater in the wall. The rentor didn’t know if it worked… so I turned it on. It worked, but the burning dust smell indicated long lack of use. They said “we never needed to use it”…) Best first sales would likely be into large facilities with high fuel costs ( like, oh, airport terminals in Minnesota, or anyone in Fargo ;-)

    Per LFTR & U233 (and all MSRs and Thorium in general even in CANDUs):

    The military has odd ways of thinking. They learned things that are now, literally, “written in blood” (rather like FARs and other aviation regs…) so they “have their reasons”… For U233, it is easy to breed from Th. It is also rather “hot”. So making a bomb from it is not particularly safe, nor is it a particularly good bomb. (It is physically hot, it is slowly cooking itself with radiation so has a short shelf life, folks making it or around it are slowly cooking too…) so not exactly a ‘proliferation’ risk in terms of normal military nukes. HOWEVER, you can cook up U233 easily in what looks like a normal power reactor (or research reactor as India did it) and then do a simple chemical separation (not isotopic) and proceed directly to making the bomb. (The excess radiation acting as a bit of a bonus as it gives a built in ‘trigger’, but a PITA as you need very rapid “assembly” to prevent squibbing…) So it is more an issue for preventing folks from making a “one off” demo device. (Being very radioactive, they will be hard to smuggle undetected, so less useful to non-State military). What is the worry is that it lets a lot of little States join the nuclear club fast (and get out from under The Thumb) at relatively low cost. Then they have the street cred and can work on the better bombs over time. “See, we already have a bomb. Now we can buy centrifuges.”… Now add that in the ’60s we wanted to make tons more Special Nuclear Materials, we needed a large nuclear industry; and small efficient reactors that don’t make a lot of Pu / U rich “waste” was not so interesting…

    Why Iran would not go that way? They want small bombs that can go on missiles and be practical for military use (and smuggling). That’s a Pu bomb. U233 is about the same as Pu in terms of size of pit, conditions, etc, so personally, I’d use U233 to “practice” making a Pu bomb while the centrifuges spin… BUT, for a field deployable bomb, I’d want Pu. Now add in that Iran basically bought it’s nuke plans from Pakistan. They were not interested in a new invent create R&D operation. They wanted to use the Paki design and path as it is deterministic and proven. (It is also not all that hard, really. Hell, 3rd world poverty ridden places like 1970s India and Pakistan could do it…)

    BTW, your faith in MAD is seriously misplaced. Mutually Assured Destruction only works if the other guy does not want destruction. The Shia sects WANT the destruction and return of the 12th Imam. It is their desired end goal. They WANT to die martyrs. They WANT “mutually assured destruction” as that means they all get Paradise. Thus the suicide bombers. Now one can hope that their leadership doesn’t want MAD right now, “But hope is not a stragegy. -E.M.Smith”… Take some time to learn about Shia and their belief in an “end times” kind of process. MAD will not work with them. ( I’ve come up with a strategy that I think WILL work with them. S.A.D. Swift Assured Destruction. Though sometimes I like Swift Asymmetric Destruction better… Making it clear that if they even start to use nukes, they are destroyed and we are not. No Paradise for failure.)

    Now, realize, all that is historical perspective. Going forward, the military has more Pu than it needs (in fact, is blending the inventory into MOX to use in reactors to get rid of it) and we’ve already got new Nuke States popping up like daisys… (It is 3/4 Century old technology… designed with slide rules and pencils…)

    So at this point, it is more just the regulatory barriers to entry erected to protect the incumbent companies and the “Green” resistance to anything with the word “nuclear” in it. (Even Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging has been renamed… )

    IMHO, the biggest issues are still the materials issues. We have had MSRs in production. We know how to do it. The first large commercial power reactor was a Thorium reactor. We know how to do that too. The MSRs have some corrosion / erosion issues. Probably something that can be fixed without too much trouble. BUT, when you have 10 years just to get permission to build a reactor, and all the political pressures are pushing to shut them down, and you have $Billions invested into the present designs; exactly where is your motivation? Think about it from the point of view of the regulators and the GE / Westinghouse / etc. established industry. How does it improve THEIR profit to obsolete their present products and take on $Billions of new R&D / regulatory compliance / PR effort burden?

    That’s why most radical changes take “Creative Destruction” and a “Disruptive Technology” startup. The “new guy” can upset the apple-carts and not care.

    So don’t expect LFTR from GE or even from any major company in the USA. Look to China and India. One of them will do it first, then the cart is tipped and the rest of the industry can justify “catch up”.

    Essentially, you are looking at the technical benefits; what drives implementation is not the technical benefit, it is the contribution to existing profit / loss statements. LFTR doesn’t do that for the present industry players. It’s just a big 10 year+ cost center. Not going to get that V.P. Corner Office and a fat bonus from bringing a $Billion scale cost center for a decade to the P/L planning meeting…

    Please don’t get me wrong on this. I am not saying I like this state of things. I would rather be in a world (like we had in the 1940s and 50s) when regulatory barriers were not killing change and where disruptive new tech was common. I’d rather live in a world where GE or ‘whoever’ could put together a LFTR in a year and work out the bugs, then go to production, without $Billions of costs and regulatory burden. Where a guy could build his own airplane, hop in, and fly it (like in the 20s). But that world is gone. The reality is just not like that any more. We live in a Lange Type Socialism world with central planning via regulation of major industries. In that world, you get a Government Sugar Daddy, or you die. (or you are in such a small industry that you are left to compete – like hot dog carts). Central Planning and Government Sugar Daddy industries value “stability” over improvement and value keeping profits steady for the well connected over the virtues of “creative destruction”. BTW, that “ossification” is the method by which Socialism tends to failure. That’s how the USA of the ’70s and ’80s brought down the USSR (and how the future economies of the emerging States will bring down the present structure of the USA economy. EU is already well down that path in Greece, Spain, etc.)

    So while I do like and want MSRs (of several kinds) and think Thorium would be an ideal solution now, and even advocate for using High Temperature reactors for process heat (to make Diesel and Gasoline from trash and coal very cheaply): that does not change how our economy actually works and how I must evaluate it.

    Have I mentioned lately that Economics is called “The Dismal Science” for a reason?…

  91. DirkH says:

    @ChiefIO:
    ” BTW, that “ossification” is the method by which Socialism tends to failure. That’s how the USA of the ’70s and ’80s brought down the USSR”
    An Examination of Key Factors in the Collapse of the Soviet Union , Robert Wenzel

    Wenzel points out von Mises’ argument that price calculation in socialism is impossible and that socialism uses up the pre-existing wealth and infrastructure FROM THE START; the USSR has been propped up at various times by the West and managed to cling to life with the oil and gas they found in the 60ies… It didn’t need ossification. Socialisms are born unfit to survive.

  92. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @ E.M.Smith.
    Per Tesla. The point was it IS possible to come out with a new car in ten years. Their first car was sold in 2008, well under ten years. You may call the Model S jewelry but it is outselling the Volt. Is his other company Space-X a toy too? When you visited Tesla they may have been primitive but I saw a video of their current factory that is fully automated.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/business/new-wave-of-adept-robots-is-changing-global-industry.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    For mass production Tata might be a better bet both for speed and cost. The Tata Nano is the world’s cheapest car.

    Re planes. I think the Rossi turbine would run cooler than a traditional turbine so materials should not be too big a problem. Mainly a question of developing a good heat exchanger. Possibly Pratt & Whitney could get the air force interested when most of the problems would disappear. We must agree to differ on the incentive of so many billions of dollars.

    Re graphene. You said the Israelis were using it. Hence my question.

    Re heat. I believe there are many industrial opportunities. One in particular is retrofitting coal fired stations with Hot Cats. Of course if the turbine works we could have lots of distributed power. Rossi hints he is working with Siemens, using their small efficient steam turbine, as a next step.
    Re bombs. I didn’t know anyone had actually made U233 bombs: I thought the stuff was sufficiently unpleasant that people would choose a better route. Wiki states it was never used for nuclear weapons.

    Of course I agree with the problem of present cost for LFTRs such that it will be a government funded if it ever happens. I would rather spend the money we currently do on ITER to make an economic LFTR plant. My beef is with DOE for not doing the basic research over the last couple of decades. They were formed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Great job they have done.

    India was going to develop a LFTR but now they have found a rich deposit on uranium it is not clear if that program will continue. China is pressing ahead from what I’ve heard.

    Re Iran. We have been through this before. I don’t think Iran has aggressive tendencies. Their present leadership has a sense of self preservation. Their large growing young population will change the politics soon enough anyway. If Iran really wanted nukes we couldn’t stop them, even if out chicken hawks would like to try. All they would achieve is a burning desire for revenge.

    Basically if we stopped aggravating foreign countries this would reduce the risk of terrorism. What we are already doing to Iran is really an act of war. Seems like we are trying to prove the only way from under the Big Thumb is to have deliverable nukes. Pretty sad really.

  93. Adrian Ashfield says:

    ps. re Tesla. Tom Villars writes:
    ” Today, though, that future looks bright enough that the naysayers holding more than 30 million shares short may be wishing they were betting against something else. CEO Elon Musk mentioned on Twitter last week that he had a big announcement to make regarding Tesla (due tomorrow) and clarified last night that this isn’t it: “Also, some may differ, but imo the Tues news is arguably more important,”he wrote. Depending on the nature of that, I may be back with another post.

    Tomorrow we finally find out what Elon’s big news is. I still think it will have something to do with the supercharger network but with a 22%+ spike in the stock you have to wonder.”

    I gather they are forecasting a profit.

  94. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @DIrkH,
    How do you explain Norway then? Recently rated the best country in the world to live in.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Norway
    I think you are not considering how bad it is for the many people at the bottom and what I think is an inevitable, permanent unemployment rate above 20% here in the US.

  95. E.M.Smith says:

    @DirkH:

    Um, I think we are saying the same thing… I’m NOT saying it was vital and alive at the start and did great until it froze up. I’m saying that whatever it has at the start tends to rapidly solidify and then ossify / stop working.

    (There is an ‘edge case’ at the very beginning where things can go better, provided it has been very badly managed to begin with by despots and kings… then anything is better… for a while… In all cases, a free and independent people doing what they see as good works best. Distributed emergent systems are best.)

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    “You may call the Model S jewelry but it is outselling the Volt.”

    Just what I needed, a nice full belly laugh! Thanks for that!

    (“Well, it’s better than being completely dead”…)

    Then you run off to SpaceX for unknown reasons… Got anything without a large chunk of government money being involved? You can do anything with large pots of government money, as long as you don’t mind having the society collapse after a couple of decades…

    I’ll be back with some more detailed answers in a minute. Right now the tea wants milk and sugar… Just one quick note: Socialism takes time to die. Typically about 50 years. Some, much faster (such as the National State Socialism of Germany) others more slowly (like the tepid Socialisms that keep running back for a little fix of capitalism when things start going badly). Once you find one that has been stable, productive, and free for two generations (60 years) let me know. So far it’s the empty set. A capitalist republic can run for several hundred years. (Empires for 1000, but not so much ‘free’…)

  96. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Did you even read what you linked? It tells you right in it.

    The economy of Norway is a developed mixed economy with heavy state-ownership in strategic areas of the economy. Although sensitive to global business cycles, the economy of Norway has shown robust growth since the start of the industrial era. Shipping has long been a support of Norway’s export sector, but much of Norway’s economic growth has been fueled by an abundance of natural resources, including petroleum exploration and production, hydroelectric power, and fisheries. Agriculture and traditional heavy manufacturing have suffered relative decline compared to services and oil-related industries, and the public sector is among the largest in the world as a percentage of the overall gross domestic product. The country has a very high standard of living compared with other European countries, and a strongly integrated welfare system. Norway’s modern manufacturing and welfare system rely on the financial reserve from the resourcefulness exploitation on the North Sea oil.

    Socialism is fine until “you run out of other people’s money to spend” or the resource you are mining runs out. Like Chavez in Venezuela, if you happen to find yourself sitting on a multi-$Billion piggy bank of oil to raid, you last longer. Not a big surprise at all, and certainly not evidence that it makes for a resilient and robust economy. “Agriculture and traditional heavy manufacturing have suffered relative decline”… So when the oil runs out, they will be making little and importing their food, and needing a bit of “spare change”…

    But yes, I fully agree, given a large enough piggy bank to drain, Socialism can be very comfortable for a generation. Until it collapses into ruin and despotism.

    As for the US Unemployment rate:

    Entirely an artifact of three things:

    1) The Socialist agenda of a “Living Wage” / “Minimum Wage”. Markets will create full employment if left alone. For some folks, the wages will be very low, as they do not contribute their keep. Trying to “fix that” by mandating a high minimum wage just assures they are unemployed instead. “The Left” doesn’t like to hear that, so they close their eyes and ears. The reality is simple. If it costs me $10 / hour (as it is in San Jose now) to bring in $9 / hour of revenue, your ass is fired. Added mandatory “other stuff” like medical costs and paid vacation just gets your ass fired sooner. Try running a business for a while and meeting a payroll. I have. I closed it down due to it being too much trouble. 12 folks, out of work.

    2) The Fed and their “Bubble and Bust” socialist influenced “management” of the business cycle. Trying to keep “full employment” just causes the natural adjustment process to fail. It’s great on the bubble side, but one the bust side, it just causes business to clam up. Then the inflation cycle kicks in and makes it worse.

    3) We, too, are not a capitalist economy. (Yes, I can hear you all preparing to say “No!”… but it is true.) We are now a Lange Type “3rd Way” Socialism. Key markers are “Avoidance of Bankruptcy” and “Government ownership of key industrial segments”. With the GM “wet kiss to labor unions / screw the bond holders / abrogate the rule of law” we met the first condition. Yes, technically it ran past a bankruptcy court, but only AFTER the government structured the deal to not be what a bankruptcy would do. BTW, bankruptcy does NOT mean GM would cease to exist. Only that the bond holders would take over THEIR company, and union contracts could be voided. With the cash positions taking in {AIG, Goldman Sach, BofA, GM, and a half dozen others} we met the second condition. Government ownership. Now we have ladled on our own peculiar twist. We are “regulating to death” private enterprise to force Central Planning via regulatory agency. Central Planning being the key bit that assures failure.

    So, sorry to say, your “USA Structural unemployment” is entirely an artifact of our “3rd Way Socialism” and not an artifact of capitalism. (Clinton actually is on tape saying he is all for “3rd Way”… or Lange Type “Market Socialism”…)

    As per “Folks on the bottom”: Ahem…

    I come “from the bottom”. My mother was a waitress working for 35 cents an hour +tips. Dad was selling used cars. We ate a lot of white beans with ketchup and cornbread… (Which I still dearly love… but can’t have the cornbread anymore… an allergic response now.)

    I’m presently unemployed. I’ve maybe worked one whole year out of the last 10. (Thank you H1B visa flood and “Bubble and bust” economy)… The spouse is a school teacher. Not exactly “living the high life”, now are we?

    Please get down of your high horse and realize that THE thing that helps a person on the bottom more than anything else is a smoothly functioning capitalist economy with minimal regulation (just enough to prevent Evil Bastard Monopoly) and NOT all this Central Planning “Managed Market” crap that kills jobs, sends industry to other countries, and destroys income. Oh, and taxes at the 50% level is lethal too… ( 11% California, 39% Federal, more or less).

    So you want to “fix it”? Simple: 10% to 15% Flat Tax. Eliminate about 80% of present Federal agencies and staff. Dump the Central Planning, and give folks their freedom back. Move The Fed to a FIXED discount rate of 2%, a FIXED reserves ratio of 10:1 and a FIXED growth of money supply of 2% and close the doors. In about 5 years you will be at functional full employment with rapidly rising prosperity for all.

    Per Tesla:

    It’s always rosy as long as the government subsidy keeps coming. It’s those pesky sales that screw it up in the end, though… But maybe if they can buy enough laws they can keep it inflating… But if you think I’m going to buy an electric car when my California cost per BTU from electricity is double that from gasoline, try again.

    We get spanked for using electricity here. Somehow the “Green Lobby” doesn’t understand that quadrupling electric costs while pushing electric cars is a very bad idea…

    I did NOT say the Israeli were using it. I said their system was low cost, whatever it was.

    Planes: Thrust is proportional to heat added. Cold in vs Hot out. Lower the Hot Out, you get less thrust. Those are going to be honking big engines if 1/2 the temp delta (and they are already as tall as a house…)

    The E-Cat will make a nice steam engine. After that, it gets very hard very fast.

    Per nukes: Two have been made from U233. (Technically, the USA one was a bit of hybrid). I think it was Able-Mike? Or teapot mike?

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/japan-nuke-plant-explosion/#comment-14257

    For example, the “can’t make a bomb” part isn’t quite true:

    http://www.radiochemistry.org/history/nuke_tests/teapot/index.html

    Teapot MET used U233, as in made from Thorium.

    The Indians have done that too.

    Don’t have the Indian link right now, but theirs worked better, and was pure U233. Part of the Shiva? series? A bit of google time NOT using wiki will turn it up. It’s not a secret.

    BTW, wiki articles on anything with any political dimension are pretty much guaranteed wrong.

    India has more Thorium than anyone else on the planet. They WILL and ARE doing Thorium reactors. Any U they find just reduces the breeding of U233 for seed material.

    Since you note we’ve been through Iran before, I’ll not cover it any more and instead wait while you do the homework of learning Shia doctrine. While at it, look at the arms industry in Iran, the arms flow to Syria and Iraq, the total arms aimed at the Persian Gulf, and note the closely working with North Korea (they had an observer at the last nuke test there). Then look up the total number of children the Iatolla sent to die in waves against Saddam… Then tell me they are all peace and sugar…

    Now I’m very “mixed” on this next point. On the one hand, I very much am in favor of packing up and leaving the rest of the world to kill each other off without our help. Yet I also know from painful history that the result will be a Large Dictator trying to kill us. (It happens regularly through all of history). THE only way to stop a bully is a swift and powerful boot to the groin or fist to the face. It’s the pacifists dilemma.

    Now realize that Islam is “not your friend” if you are not muslim. I’ve read their book. (Many postings here, more not posted.). They have ONE goal. Kill or convert everyone. Period.

    Look at their history. Look at the present wars of infiltration. They have not changed.

    There is not, nor can there be, a “live and let live” outcome.

    Now I personally despise that conclusion. Yet “Reality just is. -E.M.Smith”. And if you do not internalize that, understand it, and accept it; you and yours will either end up dead, or Muslim. Period.

    It is their stated goal, and every action taken supports it; and supports that conclusion.

    So either we do “containment” or get ready to be a convert or a slave. There is no ‘separate peace’ option.

    FWIW, I’ve met and worked with many Muslims. Generally nice folks. I’d work for them again, and hold no personal ill will toward them. Just like I don’t have ill will toward the Seventh Day Adventists that want to convert me, nor the Mormans who want to convert me, nor the Rabid Atheists who want to force everyone else out of the public square. IFF they would choose to just let it be an issue for “discussion in the public square” and “the free marketplace of ideas”, I’d ignore them entirely (rather like the rest). HOWEVER, they want “conversion by the sword” and it is in their Holy Book as a mandate. NOT negotiable. So it’s not me setting the terms, it’s them. That puts me in “Be The Mirror” mode. Conversion by force is met by resistance by force.

    BTW, if you don’t agree with that assessment, try this: Take a Bible, go to Tehran, and preach Christianity on the street corner. Within the day you will be in jail. They will then decide if you die, or get traded (provided enough money and pressure can be raised, and after a few years of beatings…)

    Your view of Iran is seriously broken.

    They have publicly stated that once they have a nuke, Israel is gone.

  97. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, looking around so far all I’ve found is an Indian test with Reactor Grade Plutonium (that is very similar to U233 in behaviour and problems / risks):

    http://www.nuclearweaponarchive.org/India/IndiaShakti.html

    Shakti III Fission experimental device, reportedly made with reactor-grade plutonium.
    Probably a fusion boosted design without the fusion fuel, 0.3 kt design yield

    Not found the place saying one was U233, so at this point all I can point at is one using very similar materials in India in terms of ‘what must be dealt with’, and it may be I’m remembering someone saying that would let them make a U233 bomb.

    BTW, you will find assertions that “reactor grade” Pu can’t make a bomb too. They also are wrong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-233

    says

    n 1998, as part of its Pokhran-II tests, India detonated an experimental U-233 device of low-yield (0.2 kt) called Shakti V

    http://english.turkcebilgi.com/Operation+Shakti

    finds:

    Shakti V:
    A 0.2 KT experimental device that used U-233, an isotope of uranium not found in nature and produced in India’s fast breeder reactors that consume Thorium. This device too was used to collect data.

    So it’s out there. Just have to dig..

    http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/1043395#Shakti_V

    has what looks like the same thing. Wonder what the original source is…

    Shakti V

    A 0.2 kt experimental device that used U-233, an isotope of uranium that is not found in nature but is produced in India’s fast breeder reactors that consume Thorium. This device too was used to collect data.

    An interesting one here:

    http://indiandefenseresearch.blogspot.com/2011/12/indias-nuclear-weapons-program_15.html

    The 0.3 kt yield for the third device is appropriate for the unboosted yield of a boosted fission design – that is, a device that is fired without the deuterium-tritium boost gas. It suggests that India now as the ability to employ full yield fusion boosted weapons using less-than-weapon grade plutonium. This could be fuel grade plutonium as is produced by India’s power reactors or perhaps an intermediate grade. In the first case all of India’s considerable holdings of plutonium could be used for weapon manufacture, in the second case the stock of weapon grade material could be extended by mixing it with fuel grade plutonium. The reasons given for the second group of tests are entirely credible and are consistent with the objectives of other nuclear weapons nations in recent testing activities (either nuclear tests prior to the CTBT signing, or sub-critical tests afterward). India’s stated interest in gathering high quality physical data for use in simulations is quite consistent with a well planned weapon development effort.

    Hadn’t thought of that… Make the “dinky” bomb out of reactor grade stuff, then boost the hell out of it. You don’t really care how big the first fission “boom” is, as long as it is over the lower bound… so the tendency to lower yield from slightly early dissassembly doesn’t really matter then. Clever.

  98. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    1 April 2013 at 8:58 pm
    “@DIrkH,
    How do you explain Norway then? Recently rated the best country in the world to live in.”

    One of the most expensive countries to live in, funnily, with butter shortages due to a socialist fiefdom in the Butter market. Wait, I gotta link about the difference between full blown stalinist socialism and small fry european social democracy; about the same difference as between child s3x trading and housewives having s3x with the milkman….

  99. David says:

    E.M. says…”THE thing that helps a person on the bottom more than anything else is a smoothly functioning capitalist economy with minimal regulation (just enough to prevent Evil Bastard Monopoly)”

    Yes, straight to the point. Obama wrote a book, “Dreams from my Father.” As your writing skills far exceed mine, and you are not currently employed, I humbly suggest a book for you, “Dreams from our Fathers”. Although I would be happy to help with sections. (-;

  100. David says:

    Dreams from our Fathers” ( A classical liberal’s outreach to his left leaning brothers) A beautifuly written essay on the philosophy of America’s founding Fathers, and how their wisdom could be applied to todays seamingly intractable problems.

  101. Gail Combs says:

    E.M. says…”THE thing that helps a person on the bottom more than anything else is a smoothly functioning capitalist economy with minimal regulation (just enough to prevent Evil Bastard Monopoly)”…

    So you wan to “fix it”? Simple: 10% to 15% Flat Tax. Eliminate about 80% of present Federal agencies and staff. Dump the Central Planning, and give folks their freedom back. Move The Fed to a FIXED discount rate of 2%, a FIXED reserves ratio of 10:1 and a FIXED growth of money supply of 2% and close the doors…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is EXACTLY what the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 did. It set the fractional reserve at 18% but it did not last. Bankers and Politicians will never leave well enough alone because FRB is a great method for fleecing the general population without them even knowing it. Unfortunately the end result is always the same. The steady draining of the life blood of the economy and hyperinflation.

    Fiat Currencies and Hyperinflation
    When a government moves to a fiat currency that is backed only by government decree there is a great temptation that occurs for most politicians to spend wildly.

    Like drunken sailors they encourage the rolling of printing presses to pay for huge public works projects, entitlement programs, funding wars, political luxuries and other extravagances.

    These are frequently unpopular with the tax paying public, but creates greater power for the government politicians.

    This incredible spending power eventually leads to huge debts.

    This occurs without inflicting major taxes on their citizens. And for awhile, there is a sense of prosperity.

    However an insidious inflation is always lurking in the background. When left unchecked, inflation can lead to hyperinflation

    I thought about it for a few days and I am back to get rid of Fractional Reserve Banking. FRB is like CAGW. It is a smigden of truth wrapped in a whole lot of lies. The BIG LIE is the economy will stagnate without FRB providing loans. The banksters made darn sure that this was the lie shoved down the public’s throat by endowing (and controlling) the economics departments in Universities and by J.P. Morgan buying up the most influential newspapers in 1917.

    You and I both fell for that lie but since I am self-educated in economics, their brainwashing did not stick.

    Why is FRB a lie? Because it creates NOTHING. FRB is just a sophisticated system of theft that takes the wealth from the poor and middle class to finance all the problems you and I both dislike. Without FRB the government could not have a bloated bureaucracy without screaming from the tax payers. They would be hard put to raise the money to finance continuous wars. Without FRB it all of a sudden becomes a lot more difficult to finance the bloated bureaucracy, and the subsidies and regulations that favor the growth of monopolies and cartels.

    Mises nailed it.

    Mises concluded that money is neither a consumption good nor a capital good. He argued that production and consumption are possible without money (p. 82). Money facilitates both production and consumption, but it is neither a production good nor a consumption good. Money is therefore a separate analytical category….

    Because money is not capital, he concluded that an increase of the money supply confers no identifiable social value. If you fail to understand this point, you will not be able to understand the rest of Mises’s theory of money. On this assessment of the value of money, his whole theory of money hinges.

    “As the operation of the market tends to determine the final state of money’s purchasing power at the height at which the supply of and the demand for money coincide, there can never be an excess or deficiency of money. Each individual and all individuals together always enjoy fully the advantages which they can derive from indirect exchange and the use of money, no matter whether the total quantity of money is great or small.”

    The conclusion is obvious, and he makes it: “The quantity of money available in the whole economy is always sufficient to secure for everybody all that money does and can do” (p. 421). [This is BIG LIE #2 "the quantity of money must expand. - GC]

    …a fundamental aspect of Mises’s monetary theory that is rarely mentioned: the expansion or contraction of money is a zero-sum game. Mises did not use this terminology, but he used the zero-sum concept. Because the free market always maximizes the utility of the existing money supply, changes in the money supply inescapably have the characteristic features of a zero-sum game. Some individuals are made better off by an increase in the money supply; others are made worse off. The existing money is an example of a “fixed pie of social value.” Adding to the money supply does not add to its value. [This is the basis for the FRB BIG LIE, that by creating fiat debt they add something of value to the economy when it does not. - GC]

    Economists argue that in a conventional economic exchange, both parties win. One person does not benefit at the expense of another unless there has been fraud. The “pie of social value” has grown because there are two winners. The conceptual problem begins with a fixed social pie.
    Mises argued that the losses of the late-coming losers are the source of income for the early arrival winners. This inescapably identifies the monetary system as a zero-sum game. [This is how FRB works, it steals from the late-coming losers, that is Main Street so by the definition of economists it is FRAUD. -GC]

    …his [Mises] entire theory of money rests on this dogma’s complete applicability in the matter of increases and decreases in the money supply. The economic benefits obtained by the early users of new money, even gold, are made at the expense of those who gain access to it after it has altered the array of prices.

    Again, here is his theory, briefly stated. Money is neither a production good nor a consumption good. Thus, increases or decreases in the supply of money cannot scientifically be said to create or destroy wealth in general. These changes distribute wealth.

    ….Mises recommended no “scientific” government monetary policy whatsoever. He recommended private ownership, the State’s enforcement of all contracts, and legal sanctions against private violence. As he wrote in his 1927 book, Liberalismus, “This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to the state: the protection of property, liberty, and peace” (Liberalism in the Classical Tradition [1985], p. 37). Providing money of stable purchasing power was not on the list.

    No government agency or committee can design and operate a monetary system that would avoid the problems associated with wealth redistribution from those who gain access to new money late in the process to those who gained access early.

    The first step must be a radical and unconditional abandonment of any further inflation. The total amount of dollar bills, whatever their name or legal characteristic may be, must not be increased by further issuance. No bank must be permitted to expand the total amount of its deposits subject to check or the balance of such deposits of any individual customer, be he a private citizen or the U.S. Treasury, otherwise than by receiving cash deposits in legal-tender banknotes from the public or by receiving a check payable by another domestic bank subject to the same limitations. This means a rigid 100 percent reserve for all future deposits; that is, all deposits not already in existence on the first day of the reform (p. 448).

    …Mises said that the government’s task is to enforce contracts. Among these contracts are contracts for redeeming money-certificates for money metals on demand. He defined a money-certificate a receipt for a money metal that has 100% of the promised metal in reserve. He said that banks should not be favored by the government. They should not be allowed the right to break contracts, which is what a refusal to redeem money-certificates on demand is. “What is needed to prevent any further credit expansion is to place the banking business under the general rules of commercial and civil laws compelling every individual to fulfill all obligations in full compliance with the terms of the contract”

    Money transmits value, Mises taught, but money does not measure value. This distinction is fundamental in Mises’s theory of money….

    Mises was adamant: there is no measure of economic value….
    Economists define scarcity as “an excess of demand over supply at zero price.” The goal of production, economists assure us, is to increase consumption. Put differently, the goal is to reduce scarcity. Put differently again, the goal is to approach the price of zero as a limit for all scarce economic resources. The goal of production, in short, is to achieve constantly falling prices. Yet only Mises and his disciples defend this outcome of a free market monetary order coupled with capitalism’s productivity: falling prices.

    All other schools of economic opinion recommend monetary inflation as the only way to overcome increased productivity’s outcome in the macro economy – falling prices – which they proclaim as the goal of production at the micro level: falling prices. They do not believe that the free market endogenously supplies the correct quantity of money to facilitate voluntary exchange…

    They want Big Brother and the holding company (the central bank) to supply new money scientifically, so that the market pricing process can function properly. This is true of the Keynesians, the monetarists, and the supply-siders.

    Mises on Money: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north83.html

    When I talked of reining-in the government bureaucracy and war I was talking of this:

    Dependence of the value of money on the production of gold does at least mean its independence of the politics of the hour. The dissociation of the currencies from a definitive and unchangeable gold parity has made the value of money a plaything of politics (pp. 17-18).

    The excellence of the gold standard is to be seen in the fact that it renders the determination of the monetary unit’s purchasing power independent of the policies of governments and political parties. Furthermore, it prevents rulers from eluding the financial and budgetary prerogatives of the representative assemblies. Parliamentary control of finances works only if the government is not in a position to provide for unauthorized expenditures by increasing the circulating amount of fiat money. Viewed in this light, the gold standard appears as an indispensable implement of the body of constitutional guarantees that make the system of representative government function (p. 416).

    The major reason everyone cites for allowing FRB is the creation of loans. But what really is happening is a bank loans out the wealth of the general population and then pockets the money and interest when it is paid back! The general population is not allowed to determine the use to which their accumulated wealth is to be put nor are they allowed to benefit from it as inflation transfers part of the capital and all of the interest to the pockets of the bankers and the wealthy who are the first to get their hands on the ‘New Money’

    As I showed in my comment, If the wealth is left in the hands of Main Street they will reinvest it as they see fit. Also the excuse ‘business needs the loans’ gets shot out of the water by the study showing none of the FRB created loans go to small business. Small business creates over 50% of the jobs, is more responsive to the customer and creates more patents. Archer Daniels Midland Co is an example of how a big business is actually in the business of scamming the tax payer with the politicians blessings, all facilitated by FRB.

    The “We need FRB” is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

    Sen. Daniel Webster, during the debate over the reauthorization of the Second National Bank of the U.S. in 1832, summed it up:

    “A disordered currency is one of the greatest of evils. It wars against industry, frugality, and economy. And it fosters the evil spirits of extravagance and speculation. Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effectual than that which deludes them with paper money. This is one of the most effectual of inventions to fertilize the rich man’s field by the sweat of the poor man’s brow. Ordinary tyranny, oppression, excessive taxation: These bear lightly the happiness of the mass of the community, compared with fraudulent currencies and robberies committed with depreciated paper.”
    http://whiskeyandgunpowder.com/a-suggestion-of-bankruptcy-part-i/

    This is the SAME quote used by ~ Nelson W. Aldrich, United States Senator, at a New York City dinner speech on October 15, 1913 IV Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science #1, at 38 (Columbia University, New York (1914)). I am sure he was looking at it from the point of view of the ‘rich man’ and not that of the poor man.

  102. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gail Combs,
    While I agree with most of what Mises wrote, I see some problems. For example, as pointed out in “The Debt Virus,” do the simple thought experiment of total money =$100 loaned out at say 10%. After the end of one year it is impossible to pay back the $110 owed as there is still only $100 in the world.

    So some system is required to increase the money supply to reflect the increase in real assets. One could argue the need to acknowledge any large increase in population too. The problem is that is not what any government does. They will always spend more and short of electing better leaders, and even then, I don’t know how you can stop it. It is another example of Pournelle’s “Iron Law of Bureaucracy.”

  103. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    Interesting idea, and title… I’ll think about it…

    @Gail Combs:

    Generally, yes, the money supply need not grow at all for economic growth to happen. The only reason to set the growth of the money supply to 2-3% is because that is close to the natural rate of growth of economic production from technological advance.

    In a static money supply world, that natural growth leads to a 2-3% deflation per year. Doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that means you must work 2-3% more each year to pay off your “constant” mortgage… So a $100,000 mortgage has $3,000/year of increased debt value to repay… in addition to any interest rate.

    In a Gold Standard, this is taken care of by mining adding to the gold supply. It’s a poor match, but it is better than none and frequently better than the unlimited printing press…

    Essentially, all economic growth comes from advancing technology and increased labor / capital stock (real physical stuff that makes other stuff). Basically, more tools, more labor, or smarter use of each. Any money supply will do, just the amount that changes hands at any one step needs to shift.

    FWIW, Islam forbids interest. They go to great lengths to get around this in an ‘acceptable’ way. But in theory, Islamic Banking is more in keeping with your desired system. Though it isn’t a complete match.

    BTW, I think the way you use FRB and Fractional Reserve Banking strongly implies what you really don’t like is Fractional Reserve Central Banking. Would you be bothered if you lived in a farm town of 2000 people with a small community bank; that took in deposits of gold coins, and made home loans from them, only keeping 1/10 of the gold coins in the bank? That is Fractional Reserve Banking. It creates 10 times the home loans as total gold deposited (i.e. “fairy dust money” in the loan values). It is largely how banking was done during times of history that you have endorsed.

    Just wondering, looking for a finer grained understanding of your position. Is it the Central Bank that’s the Evil One, or ANY Bank lending out “the same money” more than once?

    (If it is the latter case, then there can be NO loans, as some loan will be redeposited at some point and you end up back in the Multiplier Land… Even person to person private loans as “chain loans” can create a multiplier of notional money…)

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    In that case, one of two things happens.

    1) You have deflation, and folks are willing to accept zero or even negative interest rates. So that 10% rate either doesn’t happen, or is offset by negative rates elsewhere. (Say $20 of it is at 10% and 80% of it at -2.5% rate). That may sound crazy to us, being steeped in inflation, but a couple of recent bond sales have happened at slight negative interest rates… interest CAN go either direction.

    2) Somebody is declaring bankruptcy and clearing the board for a new round of play.

    There are some other potentials, like rolling over the loan, but they tend to violate the spirit of the “thought experiment” as that technically becomes a kind of “chain loan” so is creating “notional money” that is forbidden… (Your $100 loan becomes a $110 loan, so you created $10 of new money…)

  104. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    2 April 2013 at 3:05 pm
    “Gail Combs,
    While I agree with most of what Mises wrote, I see some problems. For example, as pointed out in “The Debt Virus,” do the simple thought experiment of total money =$100 loaned out at say 10%. After the end of one year it is impossible to pay back the $110 owed as there is still only $100 in the world.”

    The interest rate is the price of money. Given that the interest rate is freely negotiated, in your example nobody could offer 10% interest as he had no money to pay the interest. Therefore, the owner(s) of the money would not find any partners who could offer them interest.

    They could of course loan money to each other at interest – but that is outside your scenario.

  105. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    2 April 2013 at 4:50 pm
    “In a static money supply world, that natural growth leads to a 2-3% deflation per year. Doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that means you must work 2-3% more each year to pay off your “constant” mortgage… So a $100,000 mortgage has $3,000/year of increased debt value to repay… in addition to any interest rate. ”

    Again, the free negotation of credit conditions would alleviate that. In a world where money gains value by 3 % each year, a lender could not find many borrowers that could pay high interest rates; but he would not need to – maybe another 2 % interest rate on top of the normal appreciation of 3 % would satisfy him – depending on how many lenders and how many borrowers there are.

    Like investors in our world, he would be interested in getting a better return than the risk-free return. That’s the reason he wants to lend.

    That world BTW is not too dissimilar from our Old Normal, when government bonds achieved 5% or so and were the yardstick, the “risk free” normal.

  106. Adrian Ashfield says:

    What happens now (I think) is that the interest the banks charge gets turned into new money. It is just digits in the computer, not even paper.

  107. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith
    Firstly, I’d like to thank you for an unusually interesting debate.

    Re government. I agree socialism doesn’t work, but then I don’t think pure capitalism does either. We can debate the latter if you disagree. I think we have reached the point where it is not acceptable to let people die because they can’t afford food, shelter or other necessities of life.

    We need a modified capitalism. But that is very difficult to do. One suggestion that is growing on me is for the government to provide everyone with a fixed amount of money each month, sufficient to keep body and soul together. If you make money yourself, this fixed income is not reduced, which is the problem with the present welfare/disability schemes that are disincentives to work. The tax structure to pay for this is another story (flat tax sounds good), but it would eliminate the present huge bureaucracies dealing with welfare and I’ll now argue will be necessary in the future for other reasons.

    Consider the changes now this side of the horizon.
    Very cheap energy LENR – possibly Rossi’s E-Cats
    3D printing – allowing you to make almost anything.
    Automation of most manufacturing
    Vertical, automated farming
    Automatic pilots for not just planes but ground transport.
    Computerized medicine, including most surgery.
    Computerized law.
    Much better power storage – possibly ultra capacitors like the EESU.
    Automated building construction.
    Huge increase in the percentage of old people.

    The real cost of living should go down. Do you really think there will be full employment? I expect 20% permanently unemployed in the relatively near future. Easy to visualize 50%. Who is going to be able to buy all the new goodies? With capitalism the wealth would be concentrated in a decreasing percentage. Politically hard to sustain because of the perception many of the rich don’t do enough to justify their pay. Why do the Wall Street bankers get bailed out and then get million dollar bonuses when their bets go bad? Why should the CEO of a hospital be paid $2.5 million a year?

    The conventional solution is to have a war. I hope there is a better solution. Obviously these new technologies could usher in a much higher standard of living for the general population IF the government can figure out a way to deal with it. I’m not optimistic. My local Congress Critter is not interested in thinking/talking about it.

    Re Tesla. I wasn’t arguing the benefit of electric vehicles, but that it was possible to get a new car on the road in less than 10 years. In passing, it looks like Tesla is now profitable and won’t need government handouts.

    Re graphene. You wrote “Israel is even cheaper however they do it. Graphene will knock another 50% to 80% off the costs.” I failed to understand what you wrote and jumped to a wrong conclusion.

    Re planes. I understand about planes and turbines. I don’t see why it has to be that huge. As I pointed out, inefficiency doesn’t matter if you are not burning jet fuel. Take off power would be a problem.

    Re nukes. I see from your linked Teapot piece, under MET, the US detonated a composite plutonium/U233 device. So I’ve learnt something new. Not clear whether India used U233 or plutonium. Anyway, U233 is a real pain and certainly not a first choice for bombs.

    Re Iran. I haven’t suggested they are all sugar but they get undeserved bad press in the West. I know some Iranians and have seen enough of typical life there to know being called part of the Evil Empire is pure Bush speechifying. Remember they had a working democratically elected government that the CIA had a major hand in taking down in 1953. And they shouldn’t be pissed enough to attack a US embassy after the US installed dictator left?

    You wrote. “They have publicly stated that once they have a nuke, Israel is gone.”
    They have never said that. What they have said is they don’t want nuclear weapons. That they think Israel will eventually disappear from the map. The famous remark was actually a quotation from a previous leader, never a direct threat.

    Don’t get me wrong. I dislike Islam and particularly sharia law. Some of the nastiest bits were inserted by religious scholars. Talmudic law has some nasties in it too. “Sanhedrin 58b. If a heathen (gentile) hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.” “Sanhedrin 57a . When a Jew murders a gentile (“Cuthean”), there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.”

    The fact is religious fanatics will do diabolical things. Christianity is no exception.

  108. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    So some system is required to increase the money supply to reflect the increase in real assets. One could argue the need to acknowledge any large increase in population too.

    This needs a separate treatment. It is, pardon my being blunt, just wrong.

    It is based on the fallacy that that “money” has some inherent value and that total value must be kept in balance with the total value of goods and services produced. It also implies a constant velocity of money. ( You can trade $1000 of “goods” with a single $1 of “money”, in one day if you let that $1 change hands 1000 times. The “velocity of money” is a very key concept.)

    Not one of those implicit assumptions is the true state of affairs.

    (Yes, even for Gold and Silver “hard money”…)

    First off, anything can be used for currency. (“Money” is a medium of exchange AND a store of value. Currency is only a medium of exchange.) People have used all sorts of things. Some of them do have inherent worth of some sort. Like various metals and decorative beads or blankets. Even cigarettes in prison or in battle zones. (Cigarettes have many virtues as a form of money, not the least of which is that there is an inherent reduction in standing stock over time that tends to balance against new supply…) Some folks have used large carved rock donuts. Little ones like necklace charms for small currency, large ones many feet tall for big money. Heck, some folks even use pretty pieces of paper with dead people pictures on them…

    So there is no inherent “value” in money to be balanced against total goods and services. Especially so for “soft money” currencies and completely so for fiat paper money. Please please please people, let go of the notion that “money” means “value”… (Even for Gold, though it has some inherent worth for decoration and electric contacts, the price of gold has varied from $250 / ounce to $2000 / ounce while the value of everything else didn’t even change by a “double”. )

    Second, the velocity with which money / currency changes hands can be wildly variable. During a “business panic” or “banking crisis”, you can get bushels of Euros or Dollars of Gold Coins stuck in boxes in closets or under mattresses or in jars in the yard and having a zero velocity. During good times, those same units of exchange can be swapping hands twice a day or more.

    So take your total production of goods and services. Call it 1,000,000 “units”. It WILL change hands during that year (otherwise it would not be counted). Now say you have 100,000 “units” of currency. 1,000,000/100,000 = 10. Each unit of currency changes hands 10 times in a year in this case. Now say that currency changed hands only 5 times. One of two things can happen.

    1) You have 1,000,000- 500,000 = 500,000 “units” of stuff is left unsold. Business “slows down” and you enter a recession. Folks are laid off and production slows or stops.

    2) You have 1,000,000 / 500,000 = 2 you get twice as much “stuff” per unit of currency traded. (This is the dreaded “deflation” that FRB Central Bankers print to prevent).

    In reality, it is usually a mix of both. Business slows down AND prices deflate a bit.

    The problem comes in where that #1 starts a feedback loop. More folks not working makes less money velocity leads to more folks out of work and more unpaid bills and less investment and lower velocity and… Everyone starts to sit on their assets… velocity heads toward zero.

    For #2, the only real negative is that folks in deep debt end up crushed by escalating debt VALUE for the same nominal debt. Off to debtors prison… especially as many are also out of work due to #1.

    Clearly this is a situation most folks want to avoid.

    Keynes “made his bones” over simply pointing out that V (the velocity of money) had two parts. Public and private. That you could stabilize V when private V was falling, by increasing public V. i.e. more Government Spending. In essence, you could offset the money going into mattresses by printing more that the government spends. This would keep aggregate demand up and folks working, breaking the negative spiral of business contraction from #1 and preventing the “deflation” of #2

    Keynes also said that during times of plenty, the government needed to move in exactly the opposite direction. Pulling back that excess supply of money and reducing spending to balance the excess swings of the business cycle to the positive side and dampening the overly fast V that comes with it. Politicians love to remember the first paragraph, and always forget this one… That, then, leads to structural inflation and, eventually, stagflation from a boated public sector that causes the economy to collapse… so the politicians answer to too much government and too much government spending and too much government money is… more government spending and “jobs programs” as they only remember the other paragraph…

    So, in short, your ‘money supply issue’ of not enough money can trivially be met with a change in velocity of money.

    The major problem with that, of course, is that nobody is able to control the velocity of money. It varies broadly with what various folks all over the planet choose to do. It rises when they feel good (spending on credit cards money they expect to get in the Friday Paycheck so spending even before they get it…) and it drops a lot when threat looms (a friend gets laid off, so this paycheck goes in the cookie jar ‘just in case’ and the credit card gets the scissors… )

    That is the central problem facing central bankers. The are charged with varying the quantity of currency (notional money) to manage changes in the velocity of it, so as to maintain a stable “value” (average price for stuff) and stable economic activity (people with jobs). Yet they can’t control the V, have trouble measuring it, and have politicians that only let them use 1/2 of Keynes Formula…

    Once you accept that Fiat Money in particular has no value, there is no constant to preserve, it all makes much more sense… in a bent kind of way… ;-) So it really doesn’t matter if you have $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or if you have $1,000,000 as the total “money supply”. All that will happen is that prices and velocity will adjust. (Rapid changes in how much money supply exists can cause economic activity to bubble and bust, though, so change slowly if possible…)

    The problem is that is not what any government does. They will always spend more and short of electing better leaders, and even then, I don’t know how you can stop it. It is another example of Pournelle’s “Iron Law of Bureaucracy.”

    This, unfortunately, is very very true.

    I’ve reached the conclusion that the only way to “fix it” is to periodically just abolish whole agencies and start over. Failure to do that will just put the problem off until it is the abolishing of the entire government and starting over that is the “Fix”. Call it “Smith’s Iron Law Of Revolution” if you like. You can have periodic small revolutions inside the existing government by things like Regan nuking “things it does”, or Stockton declaring bankruptcy; or you can have wholesale collapse / revolt. But due to Pournelle’s “Iron Law of Bureaucracy” we know that Government will grow to exceed all sustainability, so some kind of Revolution must happen. It’s just a matter of when and how big.

  109. Adrian Ashfield says:

    ps. Re planes. I should have explained that current jet engines are so large because they have a large air “bypass” to increase efficiency. No need to do that with LENR when what you need is power rather efficiency.

  110. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Glad you are enjoying the discussion. I’m going to address a couple of your points now, then make tea and come back… (Also need to do a ‘news and market check’…)

    Pure capitalism doesn’t work well. It does work, but you have the Evil Bastard Monopolist problem. Look at the history of Standard Oil as one prime example. Or the history of the railroads. Or the steel barons. Or…

    Your “modified capitalism” is classically called “The Mixed Economy”. Read Samuleson introduction to economics for a great treatment of it. (A bit heavy on pro-Keynes, but still pretty good). The problem is that the “light regulation” that works, thanks to the Iron Law of government growth naturally grows into “3rd Way Socialism” via expansive Central Planning via regulation. So you need to find a way to prevent that which can not be prevented…

    Have I mentioned lately that Economics is called “The Dismal Science” for a reason? ;-)

    It looks to me like you are a Tech Utopian in your general outlook (not a slam, just a category to organize understanding). I tend that way too, but have learned “the hard way” that reality is a bit different. The notion that we will have a hoard of unemployed ‘useless eaters’ has been around since Malthus (the “first” Economist by some reckonings). It has never panned out.

    Why is pretty simple. We only need one pair of shoes and a bus ticket. We want a dozen pairs of shoes and 2 cars plus a truck and a vacation in Bimini. Demand is functionally unlimited. So there is no ‘excess labor’, just a shortage of ‘clearing price’ for labor.

    Oh, and I think a bit more ‘circumspect’ enthusiasm for the miracle of Tech is in order. 3D printing, for example, lets you make “anything that can be made from selected plastics” and not just “anything you want or need”. I’m sure the range will increase over time, but it’s not going to make a gold ring, nor a copper pipe, any time soon… and certainly not without those metals as input.

    What happens now (I think) is that the interest the banks charge gets turned into new money. It is just digits in the computer, not even paper.

    Well, “yes and no” ;-)

    Interest is just counters coming in the door. It can go anywhere. Depending on where it goes, it can be ‘more money creation’ or it can be a reduction.

    If they lend out that increase in their net worth, the fractional reserve creation cycle happens and more money supply is created in accord with the reserves ratio needed.

    If they spend it for salaries, it depends on what the recipient does with it. It’s net neutral for the bank actions vs money supply.

    If they add it to ‘reserves’, it does not increase money supply (and might even represent a decrease if the person sending them that money got it from a leveraged chain of money… So I cash in a CD and send in the money as interest that goes into ‘reserves’. At the bank where I cashed the CD, they now have lost a “deposits” have gone down and they need to call back in some loans (not make new ones) and that contracts notional money supply.

    What they do with it will depend on their overall business activity “lately” and what The Central Bank is doing to reserve requirements, along with any upper managment directives about wanting more or less excess reserves above minimum mandated.

    In short, money is fungible, and depending on where you put it, you get expansion or contraction of the money supply.

  111. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith
    Re money supply. The feeling is mutual I think you are wrong too.
    What you wrote has much truth in it, but I prefer Mises to Keynes. I think the amount of money one needs depends on more than the velocity of use. I take it you are an advocate of just-in-time.
    Things would be very different in an ideal world, in which case we wouldn’t even be having this debate, but in real life one needs more with age, for a growing family, in order to meet emergencies and for insurance like gold because the government can’t be trusted to control inflation. Now if most people do this you need more money than our forefathers had between them. QED.

  112. Adrian Ashfield says:

    ps. I consider gold real money although you may argue the cost goes back to the mine and so on. But what happens if that paper becomes valueless?

  113. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    2 April 2013 at 5:56 pm
    “We need a modified capitalism. But that is very difficult to do. One suggestion that is growing on me is for the government to provide everyone with a fixed amount of money each month, sufficient to keep body and soul together. If you make money yourself, this fixed income is not reduced, which is the problem with the present welfare/disability schemes that are disincentives to work. The tax structure to pay for this is another story (flat tax sounds good),”

    That was what the German Pirate Party and maybe all Pirate Parties wanted; maybe you are one of them, I don’t know.
    Like you they never explained where the money would come from but I can tell you.
    I’m taking about 4 times the money home that a long term unemployed in Germany gets via Hartz IV – he gets rent paid and 350 EUR and heating , that’s about 800 EUR worth in a month.

    Now you and the Pirates want to give everyone that kind of money, lets say 1000 EUR per month and person so you have to find 80 bn EUR a month in Germany with 80million inhabitants.

    We have 40 million working people, half the population (kids dont work, Hartzies dont work, old people dont work). So each one of them will have to pay 2000 EUR extra in taxes – on the other hand each working person will get 1000 EUR a month like everyone else, so they pay net 1000 EUR a month under the new regime.

    So that leaves me with about 2000 EUR a month for a full time job and 1000 EUR a month for my neighbour who could work but does not want to.

    Guess what? I’d quit my job immediately.

    Your price fixing of the value of my time has made it uneconomic for me to work. The value of my time is higher than what you will give me. So I stop working under your regime. You allowed it; I will get 1000 EUR for doing nothing. It is much more economic for me to cut back consumption – even easy! I won’t need my car anymore; I can prepare my own food, the whole list…

    I will use my idle time to prepare for the collapse of your system because collapse it will.
    You and the other techno-utopians seem to have no concept of the current wage differential between an idler and a working person, whether in much of the EU or in the US. Maybe you think we working persons all earn a million a year. That is not so.

    Politicians all over the Western world have created a lot of benefits for nonworking people to buy their votes. – and lots of highly progressive taxes for the working population to pay for it.

    You want even more of that? You would accelerate the collapse that is currently going on.

  114. Adrian Ashfield says:

    DirkH,
    I live in the US and the idea of a fixed minimum income to all was not mine. I haven’t seen a detailed analysis so don’t know if it would work. I was looking for a way to solve the high rate of permanently unemployed I see coming, unemployed because there simply aren’t jobs for them. Maybe you think with everything made by machine and many of the better paying jobs like accountants, lawyers and doctors, being done by computer, will leave full employment. If so, could you explain how?

    Presumably it would be paid for by taxes. I don’t know how but I like the idea of a flat tax to keep the cost of collecting it low and minimize cheating. It would probably mean those in the top 20% would pay a lot more, but the overall cost shouldn’t be that different if current welfare payments are replaced by this. There would be some incentive to work because otherwise you couldn’t buy a car or the latest TV etc.

    As an engineer I liked working. It was fun. The first three years in a senior position I worked seven days a week, 365 days a year, seldom home before 9 because the company was going under. I had a hand in reviving it. Not everyone is as lucky.

  115. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    2 April 2013 at 8:09 pm
    “I live in the US and the idea of a fixed minimum income to all was not mine. I haven’t seen a detailed analysis so don’t know if it would work. I was looking for a way to solve the high rate of permanently unemployed I see coming, unemployed because there simply aren’t jobs for them. Maybe you think with everything made by machine and many of the better paying jobs like accountants, lawyers and doctors, being done by computer, will leave full employment. If so, could you explain how?”

    When the computer was first used in companies it was expected that the first kind of job to be automated would be that of the manager. As dealing with numbers was the only thing the computers of the day could.
    As we have seen, this hasn’t happened.
    Similarly, the speed with which accountants, lawyers and doctors are automated away is best described as glacial.
    We create new jobs all the time. Think of all the delivery driver jobs created through Internet shopping. In the 70ies this idea would have sounded ridiculous.
    Tattoo parlours. Naked cat breeders. With an aging and crazier population, more nurses (With crazier I mean young drug victims etc. not the aged).
    We have mountains of demand for labour. IF the labour is not priced out of the market by a minimum wage or by a scheme like you suggest or by high tax rates for the working and big allowances for the nonworking. Which our current creed of politicians just love to do.

    You might not like tattoos or naked cats , neither do I, but bizarrely, these businesses exist and serve a need and make money.

    WHY is US unemployment stubbornly high? Because Bernanke does not let the failure of malinvestment happen; and so capital has no incentive to find the new opportunities. Capitalism as the creative destroyer after Schumpeter; prevent destruction and you prevent a re-orientation towards new businesses.

    WHY is EU unemployment exploding? Because the unproductive states in the South cannot become competitive – their only way to become competitive against Germany would be to slash wages and prices by 30 to 50% BUT this would also slash their GDP; catapulting their debt to GDP levels beyond 130%, bankrupting the states.

    The Euro is like a Chinese fingertrap. The EU visionaries have created themselves a problem that they cannot solve. The idea was always to create crises and exploit them (to create the United States Of Europe). It looks like it doesn’t work so well at the moment.

    You mentioned 3D printers. There are businesses that provide 3D printing as a service.
    Bitcoin payment services. Gold-based credit cards. There are already businesses that provide that. I could go on and on.

  116. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says: @ 2 April 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Gail Combs,
    While I agree with most of what Mises wrote, I see some problems…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually Mises solved that with the idea of the rule of law and contracts. He was not specifically against 100% fractional reserve banking. He just thought that if bankers were not protected by government strict adherence to contracts, the rule of law and the free market would push them towards 100% Fractional Reserves. It was Murray Rothbard who advocated 100% gold money and 100% reserves because he considered FRB to be fraud.

    There are two things left out of the $2,000 dollars (1 oz of gold) lent at interest must be paid back with $2200 (1.1 oz of gold) but there only exist $2,000 dollars (1 oz of gold) argument. First is mining. The stock of gold (and silver) will increase over time. The second is ‘attrition’ or ‘failure rate’ or ‘bankrupcy’ or what ever the correct name is. Money is lent out/used to purchase stock/bonds to 1000 people. Out of those 1000 people only 990 will actually pay all the money plus interest back. For start-up companies about 80% fail within the first two years so those lenders/venture capitalists lost. So not only will no interest be paid the entire loan is lost too.

    With 100% gold money no fractional reserve system, you essentially have a warehousing bank with warehouse receipts for gold, that could be redeemed in face value on demand. You would pay for the services of warehousing, checks debit card and whatever else. The second type of bank would be a true ‘Savings ‘n Loan’ It would work the way a mutual fund now works with all the risks associated with a mutual fund. This is not banking as we know it today. It is investment/brokerage/management and depending on the investment, the bank would presumably earn fees for what it provides on a fee for service, or even contingent basis. All transactions and investments would also presumably be governed by a contract that completely spelled out all signatories expectations and obligations, Because of these risks you will get a percentage of losers so the problem of the 10% interest is not going to happen. For example foreclosure rates are running from 1 per 183 households to 1 in 294,382 link Business closures were 17.1% out of the 14,405,210 firms operating in 2006 and who ceased operating in 2007. link

    You are also looking at a dynamic not a static system. If you place money in a ‘Savings ‘n Loan’/mutual fund type institution the money would not be in the bank it would be out in circulation.

    Last, 100% gold/silver money and 100% real money lent out is the historic norm and has been used since before biblical times up to the Renaissance era.

    ….the Medicis in Italy and the Fuggers in Germany, were “bankers”; their banking, however, was not only private but also began at least as a legitimate, non-inflationary, and highly productive activity. Essentially, these were “merchant-bankers,” who started as prominent merchants. In the course of their trade, the merchants began to extend credit to their customers, and in the case of these great banking families, the credit or “banking” part of their operations eventually overshadowed their mercantile activities. These firms lent money out of their own profits and savings, and earned interest from the loans. Hence, they were channels for the productive investment of their own savings….
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/frb.html

    ….The Austrian School has provided the most comprehensive analysis of the effects of bank credit expansion and has shown most conclusively why more inelastic (‘harder’) monetary systems offer greater stability. Expanding the money supply always has disruptive effects as the inflow of new money must distort interest rates, and interest rates are crucial for the coordination of investment activity with voluntary saving. The question the ‘Austrians’ ask is not, who should control money creation, but should anybody control money creation? Should anybody even create money on an ongoing basis? Once a commodity of reasonably inelastic supply, such as gold, is widely accepted as money, any quantity of this monetary asset – within reasonable limits – is sufficient, and indeed optimal, to satisfy any demand for money. Demand for money is demand for purchasing power in the form of money, and can always be met by allowing the market to adjust the price of the monetary asset relative to non-money goods. No money creation is needed, and any ongoing money creation is in fact disruptive.

    ‘Austrians’ tend to be critical of fractional-reserve banking but they are equally critical – in fact, even more critical – of fiat money and central banking. The problems they studied would also occur – and are even more likely to occur – if the fractional-reserve-banking system was replaced with one gigantic state central bank…..
    http://www.cobdencentre.org/tag/100-reserve-banking/#

    The above is a really good read.

    FWIW There already are one gold and one silver 100% reserve banks Business Idea: A Gold/Silver 100% Reserve Bank

    other links of interest
    http://mises.org/resources/1082/Man-Economy-and-State-with-Power-and-Market

    http://mises.org/resources/1022/History-of-Money-and-Banking-in-the-United-States-The-Colonial-Era-to-World-War-II

    http://mises.org/money/2s12.asp

    The major objection against 100 percent gold is that this would allegedly leave the economy with an inadequate money supply. Some economists advocate a secular increase of the supply of money in accordance with some criterion: population growth, growth of volume of trade, and the like; others wish the money supply to be adjusted to provide a stable and fixed price level. In both cases, of course, the adjusting and manipulating could only be done by government. These economists have not fully absorbed the great monetary lesson of classical economics: that the supply of money essentially does not matter. Money performs its function by being a medium of exchange; any change in its supply, therefore, will simply adjust itself in the purchasing power of the money unit, that is, in the amount of other goods that money will be able to buy. An increase in the supply of money means merely that more units of money are doing the social work of exchange and therefore that the purchasing power of each unit will decline. Because of this adjustment, money, in contrast to all other useful commodities employed in production or consumption, does not confer a social benefit when its supply increases. The only reason that increased gold mining is useful, in fact, is that the large supply of gold will satisfy more of the non–monetary uses of the gold commodity.

    There is therefore never any need for a larger supply of money (aside from the non-monetary uses of gold or silver). An increased supply of money can only benefit one set of people at the expense of another set, and, as we have seen, that is precisely what happens when government or the banks inflate the money supply. And that is precisely what my proposed reform is designed to eliminate. There can, incidentally, never be an actual monetary “shortage,” since the very fact that the market has established and continues to use gold or silver as a monetary commodity shows that enough of it exists to be useful as a medium of exchange.

    The number of people, the volume of trade, and all other alleged criteria are therefore merely arbitrary and irrelevant with respect to the supply of money. And as for the ideal of the stable price level, apart from the grave flaws of deciding on a proper index, there are two points that are generally overlooked. In the first place, the very ideal of a stable price level is open to challenge. Hoarding, as we have indicated, is always attacked; and yet it is the freely expressed and desired action on the market. People often wish to increase the real value of their cash balances, or to raise the purchasing power of each dollar. There are many reasons why they might wish to do so. Why should they not have this right, as they have other rights on the free market? And yet only by their “hoarding” taking effect through lower prices can they bring about this result. Only by demanding more cash balances and thus lowering prices can the dollars assume a higher real value. I see no reason why government manipulators should be able to deprive the consuming public of this right. Second, if people really had an overwhelming desire for a stable price level, they would negotiate all their contracts in some agreed-upon price index. The fact that such a voluntary “tabular standard” has rarely been adopted is an apt enough commentary on those stable-price-level enthusiasts who would impose their ambitions by government coercion.

    Money, it is often said, should function as a yardstick, and therefore its value should be stabilized and fixed. Not its value, however, but its weight should be eternally fixed, as are all other weights. Its value, like all other values, should be left to the judgment, estimation and ultimate decision of every individual consumer.[34]

    Professor Yeager and 100 Percent Gold

    One of the most important discussions of the 100 percent gold standard in recent years is by Professor Leland Yeager.[35] Professor Yeager, while actually at the opposite pole as an advocate of freely-fluctuating fiat moneys, recognizes the great superiority of 100 percent gold over the usual pre-1933 type of gold standard. The main objections to the gold standard are its vulnerability to great and sudden deflations and the difficulties that national authorities face when a specie drain abroad threatens domestic bank reserves and forces contraction. With 100 percent gold, Yeager recognizes, none of these problems would exist:

    Under a 100 percent hard-money international gold standard, the currency of each country would consist exclusively of gold….
    The problems of national reserves, deflation, and so forth, Yeager points out, are due to the fractional-reserve nature of the gold standard, not to gold itself. “National fractional reserve systems are the real source of most of the difficulties blamed on the gold standard.” With fractional reserves, individual actions no longer suffice to assure automatically the proper distribution of the supply of gold. “The difficulties arise because the mixed national currencies—currencies which are largely paper and only partly gold—are insufficiently international. The main defect of the historical gold standard is the necessity of ‘protecting’ national gold reserves.” Central banking and its management only make things worse: “In short, whether a Central Bank amplifies the effects of gold flows, remains passive in the face of gold flows, or ‘offsets’ gold flows, its behavior is incompatible with the principles of the full-fledged gold standard. Indeed, any kind of monetary management runs counter to the principles of the pure gold standard.”

    …“Sooner or later we must abandon the pretense that we can eat our cake and have it, that we may have money on deposit ready to be withdrawn at any moment, and at the same time loaned out in a thousand diverse enterprises, and recognize that the only assurance of liquidity of bank deposits is to have the actual money waiting on the depositor at whatever moment he may appear. This would not mean the extinction of credit, nor the disappearance of lending institutions. But it would mean the divorcement of credit from the money mechanism, the cessation of the use of credit instruments as media of exchange. It would mean the disappearance of the most insidious form of fictitious credit. We could still have investment banking providing credit at long term, and bill brokers and finance companies, providing credit at short term; but such credit would not be the transfer of a fictitious purchasing power drawn from the reservoirs of a banking system whose own sources derive from the use of the bank check; the credit available would be true credit that is, the transfer of actual, existing wealth in exchange for wealth to be created and returned at a future time. Such credit would not be inflationary, as is bank credit, for every dollar made available as purchasing power to the borrower would be the result of the abstinence from the exercise of purchasing power on the part of the lender; it would be merely the transfer of purchasing power, not the creation of purchasing power by fiction” (Money, The Human Conflict [Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1934], pp. 178, 273).
    http://mises.org/daily/1829

  117. Adrian Ashfield says:

    DirkH wrote. “When the computer was first used in companies it was expected that the first kind of job to be automated would be that of the manager. As dealing with numbers was the only thing the computers of the day could.
    As we have seen, this hasn’t happened.
    Similarly, the speed with which accountants, lawyers and doctors are automated away is best described as glacial.
    We create new jobs all the time. Think of all the delivery driver jobs created through Internet shopping. In the 70ies this idea would have sounded ridiculous.
    Tattoo parlours. Naked cat breeders. With an aging and crazier population, more nurses (With crazier I mean young drug victims etc. not the aged).
    We have mountains of demand for labour. IF the labour is not priced out of the market by a minimum wage or by a scheme like you suggest or by high tax rates for the working and big allowances for the nonworking. Which our current creed of politicians just love to do.”

    Watson, head of IBM, is supposed to have said, “”I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” I owned my first in 1978 before the IBM PC. A huge amount of accounting is already done by computers. Computerization of medicine and law is held back by the “unions” but clearly the ability is there and it is just a matter of time.
    The delivery jobs will be automated too, although not for some time. I don’t think tattoo parlors, cat breeders and the like will do much for the GDP but is the sort of things people will enjoy doing and make a certain amount of money doing it. People would be able to start such jobs more easily if the government gave them enough to live on while they started.

    I can see it coming. The highly paid white collar jobs are very vulnerable. Perhaps a universal paycheck is not the answer but some kind of dramatic change in how money is distributed will happen or there will be wars and revolutions. Take your pick.

  118. Gail Combs says:

    EM Smith says….
    BTW, I think the way you use FRB and Fractional Reserve Banking strongly implies what you really don’t like is Fractional Reserve Central Banking. Would you be bothered if you lived in a farm town of 2000 people with a small community bank; that took in deposits of gold coins, and made home loans from them, only keeping 1/10 of the gold coins in the bank? That is Fractional Reserve Banking. It creates 10 times the home loans as total gold deposited (i.e. “fairy dust money” in the loan values). It is largely how banking was done during times of history that you have endorsed.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No I do not like Central Banking. I also do not want the politicians in charge of the printing press (Do you really trust politicians?) So that leaves us with 100% metal backed money Gold/Silver/maybe copper.

    Instead of using banking I will use other words. Two types of institutions.
    1.) A warehouse that stores your gold/silver/copper. You pay storage fees and fees for checks, debit card, ‘travelers checks’ electronic transfer and what ever else. All this is covered by a contract AND the warehouse can not change that contract once signed!

    2.) A mutual fund. You deposit your gold/silver/whatever and have a contract on how the money will be used. You discuss and agree to the type of mortgage/stock/bond instrument you will invest in and the earnings potential/ expected rate of return, risk and the time period the money will remain in that vehicle. All of this will be spelled out in a contract.

    3.) Those running these businesses are just as liable to contract law as any other business. The people using these businesses are aware of all the fees AND RISKS associated with handing their money over to someone else to manage. If money is stolen then the contract covers that risk and who loses.

    The system is 100% gold backed and based completely on contracts with a wide open assumption of inherent risk by the depositor. (No one guaranteed life was without risk.)

    Get rid of the bloated bureaucracy, get rid of hyperinflation, get rid of over regulation and taxation that follows FRB/central banks and people will be able to save up and buy a house outright as I show in my comment in T10.

    As far as seeing your wages go down…. You have to be kidding. On top of the decrease in real wages due to inflation/wage depreciation you also have the actual dollar amount decreasing because of H1B visa holders depending on the type of job. A lot of job categories have simply disappeared.

    Ask the guys in my area about what happened to the wages in the construction industry since NAFTA increased the flow of illegals. That doesn’t include all the jobs cut and replaced by Kelly Temps with no benefits. For example Tech writers have gone from $70/hr as consultants down to $25/hr thanks to the laws passed to ‘protect’ workers from companies that fired and rehired you as a contractor. Now you have to hire-on with a consulting firm that takes 2/3 of the fees. IF the job was not outsourced to India.

    So I do not see where FRB has done ME a darn bit of good. The paying back of loans with depreciated dollars just mean you are paying a much higher price for everything else and paying higher taxes on your wages. All that myth does is encourage people to become beholden to the bankers.

  119. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    2 April 2013 at 7:01 pm
    ….. I take it you are an advocate of just-in-time…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    As a QC engineer I HATED just-in-time. No time to check quality. You have to shut down the line or used substandard raw materials and if the plant you depend on for raw materials has been snowed in or worse burn down in a fire caused by an explosion (real life examples from work) you are really up the creek. I really hated Juran and his just-in-time and six sigma crap. I had the honor of taking him down a peg at a conference where Juran, Drucker and Deming were speakers. (A posthumous thank you to Dr. Deming for reading my comment to the audience.)

  120. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith.
    Re modified capitalism. The thread is getting a bit disjointed and I missed this comment at first.

    I’d like to be a “Tech Utopian” but have been around too long and too far, particularly consulting in the old Eastern Block of Europe, to see any way of it happening with the present lot. It is infuriating because one can see the possibilities. I suppose one day a benevolent dictator will manage it in a small area and it will spread. I won’t be around to see it.

    Re 3D printing. I thought we’d covered this already, might be somewhere else. I know my memory is fast deteriorating. One can get metal objects made already by specialized expensive printers by simply sending them the CAD code. I don’t see any practical limit but it will be some time before a versatile machine is cheap enough for the home. Will always be more expensive for making long runs I suppose. One can do quite a bit just using plastics of course.

    Re money creation. You brought up some points I had not considered. I assumed if the bank just gave someone a loan based on the reserve ratio as they are allowed to do, it is essentially creating money. But where is the money coming from that is used to pay back the loan and the interest? It should matter but then I don’t see why it does.

    You said ”If they spend it for salaries, it depends on what the recipient does with it. It’s net neutral for the bank actions vs money supply.”
    I don’t follow this. Why is it not money out of thin air no matter what the recipient does with it? I’m sure you will enlighten me ;-)

  121. Adrian Ashfield says:

    ps. I tried simple code for italics that didn’t work. Point me in the right direction please.

  122. Gail Combs says:

    I just realized after writing the above comment that just-in-time, ISO,(both hand control to the vendors) HACCP (new international food safety system that hands control to the corporations) fractional reserve central banking (hands control to the bankers), and socialism (hands control to bureaucrats) all have one crippling point in common. They all are based on the assumption that people are honest when history has show the sociopathic b@$t@rd$ (human predators) are normally the ones who climb over the bodies to get to the top of the heap.

    How people like those in Occupy Wall Street can miss that glaringly obvious fact floors me. They want to correct the problems caused by too much government with MORE government??? The mind boggles.

  123. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    2 April 2013 at 11:38 pm

    ps. I tried simple code for italics that didn’t work. Point me in the right direction please
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    instead of [ use < (Hope that shows as not code)

    SEE: http://www.html.am/html-codes/
    or bottom of this page http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/

    Hope that helps (from a computer challenged little old lady)

  124. Gail Combs says:

    The greater than and less than signs did not show. They are used instead of brackets.

  125. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says: @ 2 April 2013 at 5:56 pm
    …. I agree socialism doesn’t work, but then I don’t think pure capitalism does either. We can debate the latter if you disagree. I think we have reached the point where it is not acceptable to let people die because they can’t afford food, shelter or other necessities of life.

    We need a modified capitalism.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    As far as I can figure out the major problems were caused by FRB and $$$ used to buy political power. Anti-trust laws, the old 20 yr life for a corporation, maximum size limit…. Perhaps something like the depression era banking laws that did not allow the same bank to be located in more than one state. It is very very tough to limit power accumulation once a certain level of $$$ has been reached. Al Gore is a glowing example.

    Social welfare:
    Again go small. I am not religious but the churches have done a great job on the charity issue WHEN the government gets out of the way. In Fitchburg MA during a very severe winter, a church took a member’s empty warehouse and with donations turned it into temporary quarters for street people. The town had a hissy fit over building code violations and shut them down so the street people froze to death outside instead. (Story is from church members I knew who were livid about the situation. Never made the news)

    I didn’t save the link, but US citizen private donations to Africa outstrip that of the government’s. If you have a healthy society like we used to have in the USA, and a sense of community, welfare happens automatically. I rather see WWF and Greenpeace funds actually go to helping people in need as the Salvation Army does.

    The problem is the absolute waste, fraud, and red tape when you get a government system. Worse bureaucrats want to expand their power base so the focus is to get people onto welfare and keep them there and not to help them become independent. I know third and fourth generation welfare types and their mind set is focused not on getting independent but in how to work the system. One guy just fathered his baby #52 and he gets a slice of each welfare check from his ‘stable of brood mares’ (They are terrified of him) Why the heck work if you can sit on your rear and get paid to do nothing?

    Heres a link
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/international/us-donations-to-africa-outstrip-europe-by-15-to-1-1-1391499

  126. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says: @ 2 April 2013 at 5:56 pm

    ….I expect 20% permanently unemployed in the relatively near future. Easy to visualize 50%….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Ain’t going to happen. Think about it. Once mankind invented agriculture advances in innovations sped up then we really hit high speed as the industrial revolution took off. We went from horse drawn vehicles to putting a man on the moon in one life time.

    The more inventions the more mankind is freed from scratching out a bare existence the more time he has as a group to invent more stuff.

    It is idiotic regulations and taxes that are the drag on innovation.

  127. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    I’m a bit rushed right now (finishing dinner in the Butterfly Oven over Kerosene stove. A first time for this for me, so taking close tending). Haven’t had time to read the whole thread yet, but this bit jumped out at me.

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    E.M.Smith
    Re money supply. The feeling is mutual I think you are wrong too.
    What you wrote has much truth in it, but I prefer Mises to Keynes. I think the amount of money one needs depends on more than the velocity of use. I take it you are an advocate of just-in-time.

    Um, how to say this politely… It isn’t a matter of what you think or what I think. There are parts of economics that are definitional and descriptive. (Most of it, actually, only at the outer edges does it become more doctrine related and that is called “political economy”. Micro-Econ is more like the applied algebra of management decision making optimization problems, for example.) As I’m “soaked in it” (since it was my major) I can forget that regular folks are not so familiar with the details. Sorry, but you are one of those. The “Velocity of money” description has nothing to do with Keynes. It is descriptional. It’s the only choice you have. It is a description of what folks do. So neither what you think nor what I think about it matters. When people are worried, the velocity of money slows down. It is an “observable” and is measured. It is not a Mises nor a Keynes “thing”. It just is.

    What one chooses to do about it is a Mises vs Keynes thing. But that does not change the fact that the quantity of money need not change for an economy to grow or a population to grow. (There are very many “existence proofs” of this as well in Economic History.)

    Then you run off to Yet Another Nonsequitur with a reference to inventory management methods. “Just in time” is a way of managing inventory in manufacturing. Has exactly zero to do with Macro-Economics or money policy. Complete disconnect. Not relevant. Pointless distraction. Orthogonal topic. (But, just so you know: I have no advocacy nor disparagement of it one way or the other. It’s like asking “Do I advocate blue”. Well, for some things yes, for others no. It is right for some things, horridly wrong for others.)

    But back on Mises vs Keynes: I think you will find that you need to look deeper into what Keynes actually said, not what he is interpreted as saying nor what present advocates of “Keynesian Economics” claim. He actually said that the government stimulus idea would only work for a little while, and only while in a significant recession, and that if folks tried to use it after recovery he would be publicly reprimanding them. Unfortunately, he died shortly after that and didn’t get to do the reprimanding part. So, in fact, Keynes was not an advocate of an open printing press in any circumstance other than significant recession. To go further into Mises vs Keynes vs “Keynes Warped Today” really requires about 4 weeks…. but do realize that Keynes was quite right about what can be done with Fiat Money, but mostly wrong about the ability of “responsible government” to do the right thing and remove money supply during boom times.

    Well, I have to plate and serve dinner now, so must go for a while, but please do realize that your statements about economics show a significant level of “opinion in excess of background”… Which is fine, we all go through that stage in any field we explore, but its, um, a bit much to claim that velocity of money is a Keynsian idea or that velocity of money is an opinion. It is the observable upon which the theories of what to do about it are raised…

  128. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    2 April 2013 at 8:09 pm

    …..I was looking for a way to solve the high rate of permanently unemployed I see coming, unemployed because there simply aren’t jobs for them. Maybe you think with everything made by machine and many of the better paying jobs like accountants, lawyers and doctors, being done by computer, will leave full employment. If so, could you explain how?…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Much of the problem of high unemployment in the EU and USA is from the ratification of the World Trade Organization and the no tariff agreement. The problems also goes back to FRB, The Bretton Woods system and different currencies not being based on gold. see http://mises.org/daily/1829 for the game playing that happens with currency valuations.

    Tariffs are used as a source of income and to protect domestic industry. As long as you have slave labor wages and no regulation competing with domestic industry cursed with high taxes, high regulation costs and a mandated minimum wage, the domestic industry is going to move or go bankrupt if not protected.

  129. Zeke says:

    Let’s see the successful examples of guaranteed welfare checks.

    If a company promised a model in which you paid next to nothing, or received free benefits altogether, and did not disclose the future rationing, strict control and oversight by gov’t boards, lack of ability to leave the contract, or any other hidden micetype, it would be rightly named a gimic.

    And yet progressives repackage free energy and free health in such a way as to hide the enormous changes to current standards this will necessitate. It is truly a scam; it deceptively and dishonestly hides the fine print of the offer. And it also counts on the youthful lack of awareness about failed collectivist systems. It is not honorable to convince young people of free services; they must work to develop their own committed relationships, skills, spiritual life, and material well being.

  130. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke says:
    3 April 2013 at 1:00 am

    Let’s see the successful examples of guaranteed welfare checks….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Depends on your definition of ‘successful’ I can show you some very intelligent people parasites who are excellent at working the system and have never done a useful days work in their lives.

    However the current crop in control of the world governments seem to have forgotten the first rule for parasites “DON”T KILL THE HOST!”

  131. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith,
    I didn’t explain want I meant clearly. I understand the role velocity of money plays. But saying all you need is the right velocity reminds of the joke about the physicist, engineer and economist on a desert island, with one can of beans between them. The economist’s suggestion to get at the beans was. “Let us suppose we have a can opener.”
    Take it to the limits. Once upon a time the world had a population of a million. Do you really think the money they had then would be adequate for 8 billion? Money would have to travel near the speed of light. Maybe a better way of putting it would be .because of the ways people handle money you need more as civilization/population expands.

    The just-in-time comment wasn’t a non sequitur it was a dig because you seemed ultra keen on getting velocity up. The concept was invented by a bean counter and causes all kinds of problems and hidden costs in practice that said bean counters don’t see. The chances are the money “saved”just sits for a day or two anyway. There is a happy medium.

  132. P.G.Sharrow says:

    High unemployment is due to the cost and difficulty of creating jobs, NOT due to the lack of work. Welfare needs to be connected to work. You must create wealth to consume it or BEG, BARROW or STEAL it from the creators. Bureaucrats work to prevent wealth creation and redistribute all wealth that comes within their reach, First to themselves. Guarantee people a living without working and many will work at NOT working. I know many of them. Surprise how many work the system and then also work something for cash. The real cost of living in this country is quite low, if you must. The perceived cost of living is high, if you want. Modern Westerners have a lot of wants that they consider as NEEDs. The minimum wage IS a living wage, Just no fun!. pg

  133. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gail Combs,

    I wasn’t talking about the current unemployment although that is a serious problem. Right now there is probably enough slack in the system to get back to “full” employment. Charles Murray wrote a book (name?) that explored how culture had changed in the US and what a high percentage of young men were no longer particularly interested in having a job, when not so long ago they would have been ashamed not to have a job.

    What I see coming is further automation and loss of white collar jobs when there won’t be any alternative employment. It will probably take longer than I think because government is so bad. Some things, like computerization of medicine will take the government to implement it. The AMA will not be too keen to do it.

  134. Zeke says:

    No, he sees the need for “modified capitalism,” and produces unemployment as the result of automation as inevitable and as evidence of the need for his solution. He is a ringer.

  135. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    OK, I learned something. Looks like as of about last year metal “printing” became more functional. (Personally, what I saw was more “Robotic micro welding”, but OK, call it a ‘printer’ if you like, it’s still a gas shielded laser welder.) Looks to have a few advantages, but a lot of costs.

    To the substance of your concern, though, the notion that we will soon all be unemployed due to a world of robotic “makers”:

    That concern has been around since the dawn of manufacturing. I’ve already told the story of Granddad being a Village Smith, displaced by manufactured nails (that were then replaced by manufactured nail making machines…). It just never does happen.

    There are many reasons why, and probably this is all getting way too far away from a thread that is supposed to be about LENR (so I’ll likely not be able to find the discussion again in a few years when I want to look up something we discussed ;-) But pressing on…

    Does anyone buy hand blown glass any more? Machines can do it far better than people.
    Does anyone buy hand drawn pictures or paintings? Photos are much more accurate.
    Does anyone buy hand made shoes? Shirts? Custom cars and motorcycles?

    That’s one class of things. The “prestige” of a hand made thing. There is even a surviving Smithy in San Franciso (I’ve been in it ;-) So there will always be someone doing “craft work”. The Camera was supposed to eliminate artists and painters as it was so much more efficient. Instead we got the movie industry ( that makes $Billions and employs most of Hollywood / Burbank / etc.) The Movie industry was supposed to end theatre, as it was so much more efficient and you could just do a play once instead of every night, then just show the film.
    Last I looked Broadway was thriving.

    Does anyone repair computers? Install them? Write leases for them?
    Does anyone repair robots? Install them? Configure them? Write leases for them? Sell them?
    Does anyone remove and dismantle robots when they are worn out?

    So instead of making nails by hand, like Granddad, or being a delivery guy from a nail factory, I’m a computer programmer. No matter what new technology you create, there will always be a need for someone to sell it, do the paperwork and accounting, install it, do maintenance, and take it out when it is finished. The amount of “stuff” made per employee goes up, but the employees remain working, just in different work.

    Does anyone go to movies? The TV (and especially cable TV) were certainly going to end that… but didn’t.
    Does anyone travel for business to conferences? Or commute to work? Teleconferencing was supposedly going to end that. Instead it gave MORE meetings and MORE conferences, some “tele” and many not.

    I could go one for many more pages. The entire history of economic development is FULL of folks, certain that the next tech creation was going to result in massive unemployment. It never does. There are dislocations within individual industries. Nail making moved from village blacksmiths to factories to nail making machines. (A friends Dad owned a “screw making machine” locally. His “job” was to sell screws and then set up the machine to make them. Worked places like NASA and the local tech folks a lot. Special materials. Special sizes or custom ‘whatever’. The screw making machine did not put him out of work, it put him to work.)

    Even without the massive increase in the amount of “stuff” we all can accumulate now, it doesn’t put folks into unemployment. It creates more jobs than it removes. So we don’t have as many horse shoers. (GrandDad did that, too) but Dad sold cars instead. And someone has to fix and service those cars. Now instead of one horse, I have 4 cars. And someone else has a job making tires and making lubricants and transporting / distributing / selling and installing them…

    In short: Your worry is entirely unfounded. Economies just don’t work that way.

    Now, yes, if you are a guy who puts tires on cars, and REFUSE to ever change, when, someday, the ‘flying car’ takes over, you WILL be unemployed. The smart ones will learn to instal “floating pads” instead…

    At this point I’d insert a diatribe on markets, clearing prices of markets, labor rates and clearing labor prices, cost / price supply / demand curves and all and point out that unemployment is entirely a matter of setting the wage rate higher than the market clearing rate, but frankly I’ve spent too much time on this already, it would be long and tedious, and it will not change your mind. You know unemployment is a production cost issue, and nothing I can say will change that. So sit back and watch the economy. It just doesn’t do that. Watch too, that the more “insurance” for the unemployed you have, and the higher you set the “minimum wage” and the more “requirements” you put on business (like mandatory vacation, sick pay, etc.) the more unemployment you get. The costs of labor exceed the benefits of labor and the labor is told to go home.

    It really is that simple.

    BTW, use angle brackets, not square brackets, and your code for italics would be correct.

    @Gail Combs:

    WordPress will steal the angle brackets and try to make html out of them if you use them with the open bracket first. >< is not HTML, so ought to go through.

    http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/3008/index.htm
    says the "left angle bracket" is HTML code & a hash # then 12296 and semicolon.
    HTML Entity (decimal) 〈
    (Or hex x3008;)

    http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/3009/index.htm
    Right angle bracket is & a hash # then 12297 and ending with a semicolon.
    HTML Entity (decimal) 〉
    (or hex x3009) so hash then x3009;
    〈i〉 to open italics. (For fun, figure out how to show the actual strings typed and not put spaces in them… I've done it before, but it's late now and I'm tired… but & amp ; without the spaces gives an ampersand and you can look up how to get a hash…

    I'm going to stop this comment here, and test it, then fix if needed and then continue trying to catch up the comment thread… but might just go have ice cream instead.. ;-)

    Interesting… Angle Brackets are NOT the same as less than / greater than for unicode. OK… looks like what is really needed is lt gt, which have simpler unicode as they have mnemonic as well as decimal and hex representations. SO LT is & lt ; and GT is & gt ;.

    < &lt;
    > &gt;
    http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/3c/index.htm

    Less than sign:
    HTML Entity (decimal) & #60;
    HTML Entity (hex) & #x3c;
    HTML Entity (named) & lt;
    (I inserted a gratuitous space after the & so you could see the code rather than the < symbol)

    http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/3e/index.htm

    Greater than sign:
    HTML Entity (decimal) & #62;
    HTML Entity (hex) & #x3e;
    HTML Entity (named) & gt;
    (same inserted blank after the & so you can see code not > symbols)

    Now, about that ice cream…

  136. Zeke says:

    “Depends on your definition of ‘successful’ I can show you some very intelligent people parasites who are excellent at working the system and have never done a useful days work in their lives.”

    Hi Gail, it goes without saying that this system of wealth redistribution is a trap, and it is not an innocuous “hand up” or little temporary fix in transition. Adrian is painting it that way, but I suspect he knows that the allure of a check from “government” is an attractive idea to young people who have their lives ahead of them. Welfare is already known to have deleterious affects on lives, families, and communities – even across generations. The only people who are not aware of the horrors of welfare in inner cities are exactly the young people who will be taken in by Adrian’s deceptive and manipulative suggestions of the need for it.

  137. David says:

    Re. Gail Combs says…Let’s see the successful examples of guaranteed welfare checks….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Depends on your definition of ‘successful’ I can show you some very intelligent people parasites who are excellent at working the system and have never done a useful days work in their lives.
    =======================================================================
    Yes, they work hard at not working. (-; OTOH, if the homeless and unemployed in a society (regardless of why they are homeless and unemployed) are left with no “safety net”, (your previous points about churchs and individulas giving the welfare are very valid) that society risks rebellion of some sort. The idea of giving money is a bad idea for many reasons.

    I do think that at minimum we can agree to provide simple shelter, and very basic food, at costs far lower then exist now. However if we have millions of unemployed, why are not those million building, cleaning and maintaing their own shelters, cooking and growing their own food. Working and educating each other in skills for needed areas. The entire management of the unemployed should be done by the unemployed. We have unemployed trained in almost every area of expertise. Soon, they would develope their own economy of serviceing each others needs. A little stimulus here and there, like permission to farm an area, or build a dam, or cut some wood, and they would be off and running on their own little economic world, which could then use money to simplify the bartering process, and reintegrate into the economy as a whole.

    The above is a prime example of why there is never a real shortage of work. All people have “necessary necessities”, and these material requirements require work and energy and products. As our host has well pointed out, there is no practical shortage of materials or energy to do things with materials. A group of educated people sitting around homeless saying they are unemployed and impoverished is a psychological condition, flying in the face of material reality. Beyond “necessary necessities”, their is an endless supply of “unnecesary necessities” which people develope and will pay for. Once “necessary necessties” are supplied by a society, the list of other potential service jobs is fairly endless.

    People that just collect a welfare check and food stamps, often lack the joy of doing for themselves and others. Instead they eat, drink, and live, a sad life. People need to work to be happy. They need to be useful to others. Children who are deeply spoiled often grow up to hate their parents. Likewise, many welfare recipents hate “the man”. The current welfare societies of this world, just giving someone food and shelter, is insulting and debasing to human happiness and dignity.

  138. David says:

    E.M., thank you for considering my earlier idea. If you wish for a very basic outline of my thought process in such an endevour please e-mail me at
    [Reply: I can get the email address from the posting header. You probably don't want your email address public readable so spam bots pick it up and flood you with more SPAM... -E.M.Smith]

  139. E.M.Smith says:

    @Zeke:

    “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Hanlon’s Razor, IIRC.

    Yup, but boy, have a lot of folks figured out the same basic thing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

    Origins and similar quotations

    The quotation first came from Robert J. Hanlon of Scranton, Pennsylvania, according to his friend Joseph Bigler, as a submission for a book compilation of various jokes related to Murphy’s law published in 1980 titled Murphy’s Law Book Two, More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong. The name was inspired by Occam’s razor.

    A similar quotation appears in Robert A. Heinlein’s 1941 short story “Logic of Empire” (“You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity”); this was noticed in 1996 (five years before Bigler identified the Robert J. Hanlon citation) and first referenced in version 4.0.0 of the Jargon File, with speculation that Hanlon’s Razor might be a corruption of “Heinlein’s Razor”. “Heinlein’s Razor” has since been defined as variations on Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.

    Yet another similar epigram (“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence”) has been widely attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte. Another similar quotation appears in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774): “…misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.”

    A common (and more laconic) British English variation, coined by Sir Bernard Ingham, is the saying “cock-up before conspiracy”, deriving from this quotation:

    Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory.
    —Sir Bernard Ingham

    Another similar instance from politics is the attribution by First Minister of Scotland, Henry McLeish, of financial irregularities that led to his resignation in 2001, to “a muddle, not a fiddle”

    Economics has many subtle bits, and lots of it have a (often well proven) result that is backwards from “common sense”. Add in that there are LOADS of people who make a good living off of deliberate distortion and “misunderstanding” of economics; and often teach their beliefs… Then stir in that Marxism and Fascism and all the other flavors of Socialism are economic systems, so their beliefs need to be understood and explained, even if they are wrong in practice… It is a very fertile ground for folks to be wrong, rather than malicious.

    Oh, and everyone seems to think that participating in the economy means they are qualified to understand it. The same folks who would never think that having an appendectomy makes them qualified to diagnose or do surgery, are quite happy to think that paying the bills and having a job qualify them to describe and predict how international trade and finance work or how Macroeconomic monetary policy will effect the balance of trade, or how barriers to trade will change net national product. Go figure…

    So I’ve gotten quite used to all sorts of folks having all sorts of fanciful, and often demonstrably wrong, ideas about Economics. And advocating for them vociferously. (Often the less well founded, the stronger the assertions… most trained economists are far more willing and likely to say “Well, it might be THIS, or THAT, or possibly the OTHER THING, it’s hard to say”. Oh, and the general populace often advocates for the One Simple Answer, when the reality is often very multifactorial and usually not clear at all what’s the major element of importance. (Partly because the “most important element” is often a dependent variable on other things… so “unemployment” can sometimes be mostly an issue of macro policy screw ups, but sometimes a result of a tech shift, or occasionally the result of geopolitics, or… but usually a result of making the price of labor higher than the clearing price in that particular market…)

    It makes for long, wandering, and often entirely pointless “He said / She said” discussions of the “Angels and Pins” sort; but such is the nature of the field.

    So absent some proof of malice, the odds are very very high that it’s just a novice understanding of economics without the needed background in the more complicated bits.

    So, take “Minimum Wage”. There are MILLIONS of folks dedicated to the notion that making it higher is better. It’s obvious. There are more MILLIONS who are certain that a “Living Wage Law” is a great idea. Just require that everyone gets enough money to live on. Easy peasy, problems kept away. It’s just so OBVIOUS. Give the people with jobs enough money to be living the American Dream and more folks will be living the American Dream.

    Except…

    There’s hair on that dog. But going through all that hair takes at least a few days, to do it right. At every turn when some hair is pointed out, a new (broken) argument is trotted out. It’s just OBVIOUS that it’s the right thing to do… it MUST be right… Yet it isn’t.

    So, for example, a discussion of “Market clearing price” typically never arises. Yet it is absolutely foundational. For every market there is some price where supply and demand are in balance and the market “clears”. If price is too high, not enough is sold and some is left over unsold. If the price is too low, there are folks who want to buy more, and don’t have any to buy. Talk about Gasoline, people “get it”. $1 gas, you sell out and have lines of folks but not gas. $10 gasoline, folks don’t buy. It’s cheaper to stay home. But say the same absolutely fundamental property of all markets is key to labor markets; folks suddenly “don’t get it’ and say “But they NEED a LIVING WAGE! It’s ONLY FAIR!!!”. Emotion trumps reality.

    So we get a minimum wage law, that makes unskilled labor cost more than the clearing price, and the market does not clear. For labor markets, that is called “unemployment”.

    It doesn’t matter how much stuff is made.
    It doesn’t matter how much is made by robots.
    It doesn’t matter how much energy costs.
    It doesn’t matter how “rich” your society is.
    It doesn’t matter how “needy” labor is.
    It doesn’t matter …

    All that matters is: “Is the price of labor at the clearing price in that market?”

    If the answer is “no”, you have unemployment (if price is too high) or employers who can not fill positions (if price is too low). BTW, we are already having a ‘price too low’ problem for General Care physicians. Doctors are all running off to specialties instead. Ditto geriatrics. As Government has been “managing care” and cutting payments, labor is leaving for a place that has the “clearing price for M.D.” set right…

    So just do “wage and price controls”. It’s so OBVIOUS. If you control it, you can make it do what you want. Except that you can’t control it. Set the prices wrong, for wages or for products, and markets do not clear. Non-clearing markets signal other folks to change their behaviour. The whole system “gums up”. Some things are in shortage (if “control” set price too low) and some things are made to excess (if “control” set price too high). So we are getting gobs of uneconomical solar panels installed all over the globe due to “control” setting subsidy prices that are too high. Wasted resources going into non-economic goods, so NOT going into their “highest and best use”. We all lose a little bit.

    Unions force the price of automobile assemblers too high, it makes robotic assembly the lower priced option. Unions shrink. Unions demand too much in benefits and retirement, the cost of cars rise too high, sales fall off, the company goes bankrupt (i.e. GM) and there are fewer union jobs. The clearing price will not be ignored. (GM instead for political reasons was shuffled through a ‘not-quite-a-bankruptcy’ where the bond holders were screwed and equity was given to the unions, who now have stronger “control” of the company. Recent news has GM sales not recovering like Ford or other makers… the clearing price will not be ignored…)

    Oh Well.

    Particularly noxious are the Lawyers in Politics who absolutely believe that understanding how to lie in court and not get caught at it makes them smart and an expert in everything. They, too, believe in the OBVIOUS (but wrong) economics of what they want to believe, rather than what is accurate. (Lawyers are trained to believe that what they want matters more than truth, so that they can ‘win impossible cases’ and so that they can some up with new ideas for tort. That’s part of why they do such a bad job of listening to Engineers when they say “that can’t be done”. To a lawyer, anything can be done if the ruling is in their favor… It’s worse with Economics, since it is something they OBVIOUSLY know, after all, they make and spend a lot of money… Sigh.

    Then there are the ones that have figured out it’s a broken lie, but use it to advantage. Many of the Democrats are in that camp. Vote for a minimum wage raise, so low income voters love you and elect you, then rail against “Big Business” for letting folks go, then print money (causing inflation that wipes out the Minimum Wage hike over time) to buy votes from the unemployed. Rinse and repeat… It’s just all so stupid.

    So having been through this particular wringer for about 40 years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that for most folks, it’s just simple ignorance of the real basics of economics. Supply demand curves. Clearing prices. Price elasticity of supply and demand. Etc. They really make political decisions about economic systems, not economic decisions. That’s just the way it is. Not malice.

    Otherwise there would not be a constituency for increasing unemployment by raising the minimum wage above the clearing price of the unskilled labor market. (And, incidentally, also causing inflation increases in the process…) And there would not be a constituency for wage and price controls (even if called “Government paid medical care”… or “Medicare reform” or..)

    Oh Well…

    Dirge over, I’ll now go back to trying to teach Econ 1A and 1B to Adrian…

  140. Gail Combs says:

    ….Particularly noxious are the Lawyers in Politics who absolutely believe that understanding how to lie in court and not get caught at it makes them smart and an expert in everything…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    This I think is the best statement I have ever seen from a politician. I can remeber reading in the WSJ

    A Politician’s Dream Is a Businessman’s Nightmare: A 1992 column on the realities of running a business

    …In 1988, I invested most of the earnings from this lecture circuit acquiring the leasehold on Connecticut’s Stratford Inn. Hotels, inns and restaurants have always held a special fascination for me. The Stratford Inn promised the realization of a longtime dream to own a combination hotel, restaurant and public conference facility — complete with an experienced manager and staff.

    In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business, especially during a recession of the kind that hit New England just as I was acquiring the inn’s 43-year leasehold. I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.

    Today we are much closer to a general acknowledgment that government must encourage business to expand and grow. Bill Clinton, Paul Tsongas, Bob Kerrey and others have, I believe, changed the debate of our party. We intuitively know that to create job opportunities we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities…..

    SEE It was malice….

  141. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    You claim to like Mises more than Keynes, yet think we need money supply growth and that the velocity of money is not relevant to the issue of quantity. Those are mutually exclusive positions, so you need to jettison one of them…

    Up thread, in a comment from Gail, is a salient quote from Mises:

    Because money is not capital, he concluded that an increase of the money supply confers no identifiable social value. If you fail to understand this point, you will not be able to understand the rest of Mises’s theory of money. On this assessment of the value of money, his whole theory of money hinges.

    “As the operation of the market tends to determine the final state of money’s purchasing power at the height at which the supply of and the demand for money coincide, there can never be an excess or deficiency of money. Each individual and all individuals together always enjoy fully the advantages which they can derive from indirect exchange and the use of money, no matter whether the total quantity of money is great or small.”

    So notice that Mises explicitly states that the quantity of money is not relevant. Either the goods per unit of money shifts (as I noted above as option #2 IIRC) or the velocity changes. EITHER one, or both together.

    Mises says you don’t need growth of the supply of money. You endorse Mises, therefor…

    OK, back way up thread, you state:

    We need a modified capitalism. But that is very difficult to do. One suggestion that is growing on me is for the government to provide everyone with a fixed amount of money each month, sufficient to keep body and soul together. If you make money yourself, this fixed income is not reduced, which is the problem with the present welfare/disability schemes that are disincentives to work. The tax structure to pay for this is another story (flat tax sounds good), but it would eliminate the present huge bureaucracies dealing with welfare and I’ll now argue will be necessary in the future for other reasons.

    I’ve pointed out that we already have “Modified Capitalism” and it is called the “Mixed Economy”. (See Samuelson “Economics”). The rest of this is a plea for Welfare. OK, the “welfare topic”…

    The more common way to phrase this “problem” is as “income disparity” (with some emphasis on the notion that the lowest income strata, folks in “poverty”, need a helping hand to survive). This is problematic from both sides.

    1) The “poor” in America make the “rich” in many other parts of the world look poor. Most “poor” here have a color TV and a car and their largest health problem is obesity. (Yes, there are some “bag people”. See:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/ocean-baths-bag-ladies-and-truckers/
    for my emotional ‘take’ on one such.

    Yet the reality is that most folks here, even the incredibly poor, are astoundingly well off by global standards and by historical standards. So you want to give them even MORE money, largely based on some hypothesis that there will be ever increasing structural unemployment from robotic manufacturing. (In other comments I’ve covered why that hypothesis is wrong).

    The real problem is not solved by handing checks to the “poor”, it is solved by raising their skill levels to a point where they can get a job that pays for what they would like to buy. I have offered “street people” a free meal. They had signs up saying how desperate they were and needed money for food. I offered a meal. I’ve been doing this for about 30 years. So far, I’ve gotten 3 folks to take me up on the meal. The conclusion? Handing out money induces scamming the system. Handing out what is really needed is far more efficient and dramatically reduces the scams. (BTW, one ‘street beggar’ in San Francisco was interviewed and admitted he made $50,000 / year doing panhandling, and had a nice apartment. He would “dress the part” when ‘at work’, but otherwise had nice clothes… I now “check out the details” on pan handlers. Many have a “tell”. They forget about the nice shoes, or are smoking expensive cigarettes, or the dog is way too well fed, or they are saying “need food, starving” with fat cheeks and a bit of a paunch… Offer those folks a job, or a meal, you find the truth.

    Now my spouse works with a lot of “special needs” folks, and it is very clear that some of them simply can’t hold down a ‘real job’. (Many of them ought to be institutionalized…) For folks on the very bottom, there does need to be some way to prevent them being trodden under foot. Yet we’ve presently built such an Entitlement System and Welfare State that loads of folks who do NOT have that level of need are just willing to take the check and call it a day. Hell, I’ve looked at it. Taking in $2K / month is possible, and I’d be happy living on that. Why bother with a job and boss who’s a PITA? I have too much assets right now, but I’m spending them down in my “mid life retirement”. So what’s the “net net”? I don’t have an URGENT need for a job. I can see that nice cozy “safety net” just waiting if I can only squander my wealth fast enough. Were I at “$10K to go” instead of much more than that, hell, I’d be working that system right now for all it’s worth.

    Now there is also plenty of evidence that exactly that has happened. There has been a giant spike in folks going onto “Long term disability” lately. I don’t know all the details, but the stats are clear. As unemployment insurance (the constantly extended kind…) ran out, a flood of folks moved over to the other dole. Disability. We have a load of systems already in place for “the needed” and have made them so beneficial that folks are rushing onto them

    The problem then is that those folks move from “making” to “taking”. Guess what, your worry about too much “making” is entirely unfounded. The “making” is only increasing at about 2% / year to occasionally 3%. The rate of “taking” is going up far more than that. So much faster, in fact, that the tax burden is astronomical to pay for it (over 1/3 nationally, more in States like California) AND we are borrowing $1Trillion by the Federal Gov’t alone every year to keep that “taking” going. States, local, and private debt are also rising at astronomical rates. Add in that a load of folks expect to retire “soon” and become full time “takers” and that there are ever fewer “makers” in the USA, and the true state of affairs is that “taking” is set to rise at about 20% / year while “making” is rising at an average 2% (but right now at about 0%).

    So right at the time when we most NEED all that “robotic making” and most NEED making to grow at about 20% / year for a few years, it’s not happening. Nor will it. So on top of that, and on top of all the other “new takers” in the wings, you want to have even MORE money given to “takers”? From some kind of “oversupply of makers” argument? Um, no. Just wrong.

    So while I strongly endorse the need to provide a bare minimum of life support to the really needy, the notion of doing it via Government Money and checks does not work well.

    FWIW, my solution would be to define the “bare minimum” of particular STUFF and provide that, if the person wanted it. So everyone could be issued a mess kit, sterno stove and matches. One pound each of beans, rice, bread, eggs, canned vegetables and SPAM per week, plus vitamin pills. A government “efficiency room” available on demand ( Murphy bed for one. Spartan bath. NO TV. Communal phone for incoming calls, outgoing limited to 1 / day average and then only to respond to job interview calls. (Calls monitored). ALL building maintenance, operations, etc. done by residents. When you check in, you have a mandatory skills assessment and you get assigned a job. If you have no usable skills, you are assigned to mandatory training / classes. Think of it as “Boot Camp & School” combined. You don’t want to live that way? Fine, go get a job on your own. If not, inside a couple of weeks you will be a trained {cook, doorman, receptionist, janitor, heck, even administrator or accountant. AND have a phone number and address with receptionist… Oh, and a bus ride for any resident to any job interview or job they land. (So some residents will become trained bus drivers and repair folks. Others will learn how to make and clean cloths, pump gas, whatever.)

    Think that is too harsh? Pardon, but “boot camp” was good enough for my Dad. The dorms at school and a commons dining area was good enough for me at school. Heck, I’ve even lived out of my car for several months once. If it’s good enough for my family, it’s good enough for others.

    In short:

    Institutional care for folks who are destitute and need it.
    Communal minimal housing and food and training for those who need it.
    Everybody learns a skill and learns both self reliance and community building.
    Money, not so much.

    The other side of the problem is the Filthy Rich. Unfortunately, most of the system is rigged so that the “middle class” gets soaked and not the Filthy Rich. Since they control the game, I can see no way to change that. Good luck with it. BTW, soaking the middle class back into poverty does not raise the bottom tier. SO basically, you can’t really fix it with more taxes and transfer payments.

    Finally: You want to hand out chunks of “Government Money”. There isn’t any.

    Government gets the money from someone. They take it by force from the middle class (who don’t have the lawyers and accountants to legally dodge like the rich do). They print it (that takes value from everyone holding cash). They borrow it from someone else (binding those same middle class “makers” ot a debt wheel they can not escape). So just where are you going to get that “Government Money”? They already take between 1/3 and 1/2 of the GDP. The rest is needed for keeping the productive parts running. We’re already at near zero growth. Take more, by any means, even inflation we have LESS growth and LESS wealth. We are way too far into the Dark Side of the Laffer Curve for any added “taking” to work. It will cut economic activity faster than it creates income and the net will be LESS “Government money”, not more.

    So please tell just which part of the private “maker” part of the economy is going to provide that money? Will it be extracted by force? What “making” will then stop as those folks can no longer provide that money to investment opportunities? How will that ongoing reduction in economic activity and “making” change future Government income? (Remember, we are on the part of the Laffer Curve where more tax RATE gets lower tax REVENUES…) As the “maker” side contracts and fires more people, what will that do to your “taker” roles? How will you stop that cycle of feedback decent into economic ruin?

    Have I mentioned lately that “Economics is called the Dismal Science for a reason?”…

    You see, the basic problem is this:

    Economic growth depends on investment. Marginal propensity to invest goes up with income level. (Poor people spend ever cent they have on consumption, rich people can’t consume all they have if they try, so investment comes from the middle class and rich, more as you get richer.) So “taking” from The Rich or even the middle class and giving it to folks to consume will reduce investment in future growth and productivity and you start a disinvestment descent into shared poverty.

    You can not tax and redistribute your way to equity in wealth, or even equity in middle class. You can only tax and redistribute to equity in poverty. Due to the marginal propensity to invest.

    So what really works is more investment and more economic growth leading to more labor demand and more jobs and more increasing personal wealth. (Though at the expense of the rich getting richer. EVERYONE gets richer, but the faster at the top, as they invested more).

    What does not work is taking from the middle class or the wealthy to give it to the poor for consumption. That results in a short burst of consumption as investment decreases and future income shrinks, that eventually leads to more poverty, and less resources. But also less ‘income disparity’ as we all rush to the bottom in poverty…

    So that’s the basic thing that’s wrong with your idea of handing out lots of “Government Money” to the poor. (As much as I’d love to have one of those checks… as part of the ‘long term unemployed’ I could likely qualify for a new program…)

    If you don’t concentrate on wealth creation but only on wealth redistribution you get more wealth consumption and less creation. Create less, consume more, you end up in poverty when it is all gone. Thanks to "Marginal propensity to invest".

    "IF the government can figure out a way to deal with it. "

    The government is NOT the solution. The government is the PROBLEM.

    Per Iran: I'm sorry, but I've watched the Iranian leaders on Al Jazeera state their intent to wipe Israel from the map. Now I don't don't speak Persian or Arabic, but I'm pretty sure their translation was accurate with that many folks watching. They have said it. I have seen it.

    As one quick example:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/10/26/ahmadinejad/

    TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Iran’s new president has repeated a remark from a former ayatollah that Israel should be “wiped out from the map,” insisting that a new series of attacks will destroy the Jewish state, and lashing out at Muslim countries and leaders that acknowledge Israel.

    I think that’s pretty clear…

    Per jet engine size:

    Since this is a hypothetical engine based on a non-existent power source, it comes down to “Given these assumptions what conclusions can you draw”. I’m assuming temperatures like what has been stated in public ( 300C) you seem to be picturing higher temps (so small engines). OK, No longer interesting. Playing my hypothetical assumptions are better than your hypothetical assumptions is a fools errand. Go design and build your engine. Come back with it when it is powering a 747 and we’ll talk more about it then.

    Things would be very different in an ideal world, in which case we wouldn’t even be having this debate, but in real life one needs more with age, for a growing family, in order to meet emergencies and for insurance like gold because the government can’t be trusted to control inflation. Now if most people do this you need more money than our forefathers had between them. QED.

    This is based on the fallacy of thinking “money” has any particular inherent value. It does not. (As shown in some comments above). The QED is, in fact, an error. In history, there have been times of deflation when the same money bought MORE stuff. You don’t need more money in old age, you need more claims on labor and stuff. Deflation gives you that with the same money. Similarly all the other “examples”.

    While we’ve not seen any real deflation to speak of since Keynes became trendy, in our (increasingly) hypothetical world of fixed money supply, that’s what you get.

    “Money” really IS a “rubber ruler”. The “value of money” is flexible. In both directions.

    Also, please read what I’ve already written. Repeating it gets very tedious.

    ALL PAPER MONEY IS ALREADY WORTHLESS.

    It is only of use as a temporary medium of exchange. Gold (or any commodity backed money) has a modest amount of ‘inherent worth’, but even there, the inherent worth of gold is far less than the notional ‘value’ attached to it by “Gold Bugs”.

    Which “value” was correct: The $300 / ounce in about 1980, or the $2000 / oz in about 2000? (I’ve linked to the exact numbers and charts before and don’t feel like doing the same work 3 or 4 times for folks unwilling to use it the first time…) Other goods had about a double in $US terms, while Gold went up about 7 x. So which was “right”? Or was it right at $1500 / ounce just a while ago?

    Even Gold is a “rubber ruler” and varies with demand…

    @DIrkH:

    “It is much more economic for me to cut back consumption – even easy! I won’t need my car anymore; I can prepare my own food, the whole list…”

    I’m an ‘existence proof’ of sorts for that. I’ve ‘self funded’ out of saved money, but the paradigm holds. It became “easier” to not work, than to work. Folded the company and walked away. My employees were given plenty of time to find other places to be, but still, 12 jobs wiped out. All because the amount I could “make” vs the effort to get it, was a worse deal than “make do with less”.

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Re money creation. You brought up some points I had not considered. I assumed if the bank just gave someone a loan based on the reserve ratio as they are allowed to do, it is essentially creating money. But where is the money coming from that is used to pay back the loan and the interest? It should matter but then I don’t see why it does.

    You said ”If they spend it for salaries, it depends on what the recipient does with it. It’s net neutral for the bank actions vs money supply.”
    I don’t follow this. Why is it not money out of thin air no matter what the recipient does with it? I’m sure you will enlighten me ;-)

    OK, Fractional Reserve again…

    The bank has $100 deposit. They loan it out. (Assume a 20% reserve requirement as it makes the chain math shorter ;-) But can only loan out $80 as they need to keep $20 in reserves.

    What happens next to the money determines how much new money gets created…

    The classical example has the $80 redepositied (by whomever the borrower spent it with), so is available to ‘relend’ (and you get that chain of fractions ending in 5:1 leverage and $500 total “money” out of the $100 initial).

    But say that $80 gets deposited and the bank does NOT loan it out. Say it must hand it over the The Fed for repayment of some loan or to The Government in taxes or to an employee as wages. Now that entire chain of loan / redeposit / loan / etc. is truncated. $400 does NOT get ‘created out of thin air’. (Assuming the employee turns it into cash and buys a gold coin to stick in a safe deposit box… and does not just leave it in a savings account..)

    So while a ‘loan chain’ will create one “multiplier’ worth of total money, if the chain is broken then the multiplier is truncated. (In reality, some of the money may be deposited in a different bank, but that just changes where the money creation happens, not how much).

    ” Why is it not money out of thin air no matter what the recipient does with it? ”

    Once again: Paper money (or the electronic ‘bits’ analog) is always made out of thin air and is always of no inherent worth. I keep detecting strains of the belief that “money” has some real inherent value. It absolutely does not. Metal “hard money” has some small tangible value, but most of the ‘price’ of it is just notional based on human beliefs.

    It does not matter if the Treasury prints pictures of dead people on paper, or puts bits in a computer in the basement.
    It does not matter if The Fed creates money via ledger entries or via loans for “Tier One Capital” submitted as collateral ( or the recent use of non-Tier One – like mortgage package).
    It does not matter if A Member Bank creates money via fractional reserve lending.
    It just does not matter. It is ALL of no inherent value and it is ALL ‘created out of thin air’.
    (Well, the printed paper does use a few cents worth of paper and ink… but the money value is all hypothetical…)

    Once you let go of the notion that currency has any value what so ever, things will go a lot easier… It is just an agreement to exchange and a fantasy counter value that we all agree to use.

    That’s also why it doesn’t matter how much you have. Just change the notional value applied to the counters you have. (Yes, people do that… it’s called inflation and deflation…)

    So, back at the bank: It is allowed to ‘create more’ (in addition to the creation at The Fed from their ledger entries) but only inside a limit. The “reserves ratio” or “multiplier”. HOW that multiplier works in practice can cause a difference in how much is created. IFF the money goes through a cycle of repeated loan / deposit / loan / deposit, you get the full multiplier. IFF that chain is broken (a borrower does not end up making a deposit nor does the person to whom the gave the money when spent; or the money returns to The Fed; or an employee does not deposit their pay, or….) then the multiplier truncates at that point.

    IN ALL CASES, all the money is “fairy dust money” and not one slip of paper has any real tangible value or inherent worth. They are ALL just pretty pieces of paper with pictures of dead people on them.

    The just-in-time comment wasn’t a non sequitur it was a dig because you seemed ultra keen on getting velocity up.

    Then you have misread me, again.

    Generally, I’m not “keen” on anything. Attributing emotional / desire motivations to me is typically an error. I’ve been accused of being an ‘emotional dead fish”. Probably some truth in that…

    To be clear: I do not care at all what the velocity of money is, has been, or will be. I have no control over it (nor does anyone else). It is a measured observable and not a hypothetical or theoretical thing. It is a consequence of the decisions of millions of people acting individually, and I don’t care what they do either.

    I do care to describe accurately what the velocity of money is, and how it works, and how the parts of the “money machine” interconnect and move. Beyond that (and maybe a tiny bit of desire for an optimally functional money machine) I really don’t care a all if we use gold coins, pretty pieces of paper with dead people on them, computer bits, rock rings, or anything else as currency. Nor do I care how fast it must move, or how much goes into mattresses. I don’t care what you do with your currency or how you use it, just so long as the description is accurate.

    Velocity of money changes in fairly well measured and characterized ways. It is an observed property, and has observed effects. There are a few things that can be done to change it, but only a little. Most policy accepts that and instead tries to change quantity so that the Q x V product is a constant over time. (So as money slows, more is created, as money speeds up, more is destroyed. – destruction can come from changes in reserves ratio, for example, shrinking the multiplier that is allowed.)

    Beyond that Q x V item, velocity of money isn’t very interesting.

    BTW, doing “digs” at me is usually a bad idea. First off, I usually don’t ‘get them’ and just figure the person is being stupid. Second, if I do get them, I enter “Be the Mirror” mode. I indulge in a reflective style behaviour. Probably not what you want…

    @P.G.: Yup!

    @David:

    Well, someone else with “my idea” ;-)

    I really like the ‘self tending commune’ form of welfare. You want a new mattress? Show up at the mattress making shop and learn to make one…

    It’s how the whole economy worked at one point.

    But now the whole welfare, socialism, Rule Based system is just anathema to it. It also doesn’t put enough Dead President Portraits in the right pockets…

    It’s now well after 2 AM. More will have to wait for another time…

  142. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith,
    “It doesn’t matter how much stuff is made.
    It doesn’t matter how much is made by robots.
    It doesn’t matter how much energy costs.
    It doesn’t matter how “rich” your society is.
    It doesn’t matter how “needy” labor is.
    It doesn’t matter …”

    Philips is repatriating to Holland the manufacture of some electronics goods that were previously made in China, because it is cheaper to make them with robotics than by hand, even with the low wages in China. Multiply that by a few thousand. According to you, all you need to do is reduce the labor rate in China in order to get people employed? Actually jobs are already moving from China to other countries with even lower wages but one day you will run out of those too. I somehow doubt you would get many lining up for jobs in the US for that wage rate. I think the fallacy is that the situation has changed from lose your job at the farm and go to the city to get a better one. There won’t be enough alternative jobs worth having anymore.

    I couldn’t agree with you more in your following dirge about lawyers and politicians. But that is how the world works. People will vote for more bread and circuses. It doesn’t solve the problem in a democracy.

    You probably know this, but most Americans don’t. See the distribution of wealth.
    http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/
    Do you suppose this is because of government meddling in the free market and our new “welfare state”? I don’t.

    You write about doctors moving to specialties in order to make more money.
    Have you read this 12 page piece in Time? http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2136864,00.html#ixzz2LXvgbhwc
    Americans are sicker and die younger, paying twice as much. as in other wealthy nations.
    There is no way this is a free market and never will be. Not because of government meddling either.

    If you have time, it is interesting to see what has happened to the middle class.
    “Coming Collapse of the Middle Class” (skip the first 5 minutes)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A (Skip first 5 mins even go to 20:30 if short of time)
    This gives the breakdown of expenses for a 2 adult 2 kid family from 1970 to 2003.
    Let us suppose we have a can opener….

    I haven’t got to your later piece, I will do so shortly.

  143. adolfogiurfa says:

    Wake up O´little Susy!!

  144. Gail Combs says:

    EM, a couple random thoughts on your last post.

    Welfare:
    We had a system in place up to the 1960’s. It was called the ‘County Home’ or ‘The Poor Farm’ (Mom used to volunteer at the local one.) You got a room and a communal kitchen and classes given by local volunteers like my Mom. It was a working farm run using the labor of the people in the home as much as possible. They grew all their own food and made everything they could on site. In the 1980’s there was a ‘County Home’ near some friends in MA. It ran much differently. It was determined by the socialists in Massachusetts that it was demeaning to make the residents actually WORK so the state had to hire people to look after the farm while the residents sat on their butts and enjoyed the country air. The socialists also have been filling everyone’s ears about how the poor are ENTITLED to the wealth of others – any surprise we now have a rampant ‘Gimme’ attitude including out right theft?

    Street People:
    Originally vagrants were picked up and carted off to the county home, evaluated and some were sent to state mental institutions. However a law was passed that made it illegal to commit the mentally disturbed to a mental institution without jumping through major hoops. The reason given was the advances in medication that allowed outpatient treatment.

    On Feb. 5, 1963, 50 years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy addressed Congress on “Mental Illness and Mental Retardation.” He proposed a new program under which the federal government would fund community mental-health centers, or CMHCs, to take the place of state mental hospitals. As Kennedy envisioned it, “reliance on the cold mercy of custodial isolations will be supplanted by the open warmth of community concern and capability.”

    President Kennedy’s proposal was historic because the public care of mentally ill individuals had been exclusively a state responsibility for more than a century. The federal initiative encouraged the closing of state hospitals and aborted the development of state-funded outpatient clinics in process at that time.

    Over the following 17 years, the feds funded 789 CMHCs with a total of $2.7 billion ($20.3 billion in today’s dollars). During those same years, the number of patients in state mental hospitals fell by three quarters””to 132,164 from 504,604″”and those beds were closed down.

    From the beginning, it was clear that CMHCs were not interested in taking care of the patients being discharged from the state hospitals. Instead, they focused on individuals with less severe problems sometimes called “the worried well.” Federal studies reported individuals discharged from state hospitals initially made up between 4% and 7% of the CMHCs patient load, and the longer the CMHC was in existence the lower this percentage became…..

    So people in mental health hospitals were dumped on the streets into ‘half-way houses’ (CMHC’s) later they ended up on Medicare/Medicaid. Then Regean shut down the CNHCs in 1981.

    …The federal takeover of the mental-illness treatment system was complete.

    Approximately half of the mentally ill individuals discharged from state mental hospitals, many of whom had family support, sought outpatient treatment and have done well. The other half, many of whom lack family support and suffer from the most severe illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have done poorly.

    According to multiple studies summarized by the Treatment Advocacy Center, these untreated mentally ill are responsible for 10% of all homicides (and a higher percentage of the mass killings), constitute 20% of jail and prison inmates and at least 30% of the homeless. Severely mentally ill individuals now inundate hospital emergency rooms and have colonized libraries, parks, train stations and other public spaces. The quality of the lives of these individuals mocks the lofty intentions of the founders of the CMHC program.

    Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this 50-year federal experiment is its inordinate cost. In 2009, 4.7 million Americans received SSI or SSDI because of mental illnesses, not including mental retardation, a tenfold increase since 1977. The total cost was $46 billion. The total Medicaid and Medicare costs for mentally ill individuals in 2005 was more than $60 billion….
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2013/02/04/fifty_years_of_failing_america039s_mentally_ill_301246.html

    What the statement “… half of the mentally ill individuals discharged from state mental hospitals, many of whom had family support, sought outpatient treatment and have done well…” doesn’t mention is the major toll on those families. A Coworker with two grammar school age sons often had to take off at the drop of a hat to chase his wife across the country after she hopped a plane to the other coast. She often refused to take her medication because she liked the high of the manic state. He also had to deal with her calling the cops and accusing him of harming/trying to murder her. Unfortunately the judge would not agree to committing her for treatment or forcing her to be medicated. Another friend had a similar problem with his little brother who was living with him. My nephew’s daughter is very intelligent and normally fine until she goes ‘off’ gets angry and grabs a big kitchen knife…

    If you look at the statistics of incarceration the number of people in jail exploded after this experiment was initiated graph. From WIKI “The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, at 754 per 100,000 (as of 2009)”

    However the socialist got what they wanted. A population of street people and an increase in violence, often with guns, that they could use to hammer us over the head with. If there are no visible poor how the heck are you going to promote socialism as the ‘Cure’?

  145. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith,

    Re money. I never said the velocity of money was irrelevant. Of course it is relevant.

    Re Mises. I said I preferred him the Keynes, not that I agreed with everything he said.
    In particular, I disagree that the quantity of money is irrelevant. It is a question of degree, a little more money is convenient as civilization expands. Printing the stuff and handling it out like candy, that the government does is fatal.

    Re inequality of income. See my previous post for data on wealth distribution. Do you think that is reasonable? Consider also the coming demise of the middle class. Does not bode well for the country.

    Re poor. I know about that better than most. I have been to Africa a number of times. I got to know a kid in Mombasa whose arms and legs had been chopped off by his parents, so he could make a living for himself (and help his family a little) by begging. He wheeled himself around on a small square of plywood with casters on each corner, using the stumps of his arms.

    Note I have NOT advocated “handing out more to the poor.” The growing problem is now living on “disability” payments. What I have tried, and failed to explain, is that there is some logic to paying people enough to live on but not reducing that by taking it back should they get a menial job.

    Yes the system is hopelessly milked by the undeserving. Yes a lot of those at the very bottom have mental problems “and should be institutionalized.” Nobody wants to pay for that. Instead of providing cheap living and food, you have to have highly paid psychologists and certified what-evers who do no better than said cheap housing and food. Either a patient will get better with time (small chance) or they won’t be cured. W don’t know how to cure the major mental illnesses. I know there are a few exceptions.

    Re takers. The “takers” would seldom be useful to make robots. That they are not being made fast enough has nothing to do with corrupted state welfare. We need the increased productivity to cover government spending.

    Re bare minimum. Very open to corruption without some choice of where to get your food and shelter. In essence I don’t disagree. How to do it is another matter.

    Re In short.
    “Institutional care for folks who are destitute and need it.
    Communal minimal housing and food and training for those who need it.
    Everybody learns a skill and learns both self reliance and community building.
    Money, not so much.”

    Agree with the first two (but see above) but don’t think the third item is practical. It will help but like coming out of college with a degree, doesn’t help much to getting a job these days. My wife thinks I’m too pessimistic. Maybe she’s right and it will be all roses and sunshine in the future.

    Re filthy rich. Agree you can’t completely fix it but taxing them more would help. They were taxed more before and it didn’t seem to do much harm. Look at that graph of wealth distribution again. There is something really wrong. If you start with the premise it can’t be fixed it never will be.

    Re economic growth. A brand new government, or benevolent dictator could make the needed investments. The problem is covered by Pournelle’s Iron Law. In a decade or two the system becomes very inefficient and things grind to a halt. The question is how do we throw all the bums out and start again every ten years?

    Re misquote me. I haven’t said I’m in favor of “handing out LOTS of money to the poor.” The idea of everyone being paid a basic sum was not mine, and as I said I haven’t seen a detailed analysis. BUT, if I’m right and the permanent unemployment rate rises, something will have to be done. Unless you want riots or war. What we are doing right now doesn’t work very well.

    Re Iran.
    _TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Iran’s new president has repeated a remark from a former ayatollah that Israel should be “wiped out from the map,” insisting that a new series of attacks will destroy the Jewish state, and lashing out at Muslim countries and leaders that acknowledge Israel.
    I think that’s pretty clear… “
    Re Yes, it clear to me. You have been suckered in by the propaganda. Did you also believe Saddam had WMD?

    “Ahmadinejad’s alleged condemnation of Israel came at a “World Without Zionism” conference in Tehran in Oct. 2005, in which he was quoted by an English-language Iranian news site as saying “Israel must be wiped off the map.” But as several analyses of the original Farsi statement show, this appears to be a mistranslation.
    Arash Norouzi of the Mossadegh Project noted in 2007 that Ahmadinejad “never… uttered the words ‘map,’ ‘wipe out,’ or even ‘Israel'” in his statement. Rather, he argued, the translation should have been that “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” (Both The Washington Post and The Atlantic came up with similarly variant translations.)”
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0608/Iran-s-nuclear-program-4-things-you-probably-didn-t-know/President-Mahmoud-Ahmadinejad-never-said-that-Israel-should-be-wiped-off-the-map.

  146. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    ….If you have time, it is interesting to see what has happened to the middle class….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Your comments on unemployment remind me of the Luddites and The Luddite Fallacy “….But, what Happens when Robots are created that can do Service Sector Jobs?…’

    This is what actually happened to the American middle class:
    Clinton is the one who gave the USA and the rest of the world the present economic crisis.

    If you want to know why read WTO Director-general Pascal Lamy articles on Global Governance

    – “All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty ” – Pascal Lamy: Whither Globalization?

    Lamy and Clinton are major supporters of the Fabian London School of Economics ‘Third Way’ philosophy. Al Gore is a big name in the ‘Interdependence Movement’ Both want to wipe out US prosperity and the US middle class.

    How Clinton trashed the US Economy.
    NAFTA:

    For Mexico it meant the loss of 75% of her farmers. For the USA it was a loss of 766,000 jobs. A lose-lose for the people of both countries. It resulted in resentment of the USA and a flood of immigrants.

    Then there was the ratification of WTO:
    Since establishment of NAFTA and the WTO in the mid-1990s, the U.S. trade deficit jumped exponentially from under $100 billion to over $700 billion — over 5 percent of national income. We lost 2.8 million jobs since China joined the WTO. We are now exporting US jobs, wealth and technology. Clinton was caught taking campaign funding from China and repaid that funding by turning over US technology as well as military secrets. (see: http://www.artistmarket.com/writers/piraino/clintonchina.htm )

    However the most crippling blow were the banking laws he signed that undid the safeguards put in place to prevent another Great Depression and allowed the unregulated credit default swaps to exist without adequate financial backing.

    1.) The McFadden Act of 1927 – Prohibited interstate banking. The Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 – Permits bank holding companies to acquire banks in any state ( Beginning June 1, 1997) This allows interstate mergers and set-up the ‘TOO BIG to FAIL’ scenario.

    2.) The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 – Separated commercial banking from investment banking, establishing them as separate lines of commerce. The Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 – Prohibited bank holding companies headquartered in one state from acquiring a bank in another state.

    Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 – Repeals last vestiges of the Glass Steagall Act of 1933. Modifies portions of the Bank Holding Company Act to allow affiliations between banks and insurance underwriters. Law creates a new financial holding company authorized to engage in: underwriting and selling insurance and securities, conducting both commercial and merchant banking, investing in and developing real estate and other “complimentary activities.

    3.) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 – Also known as FDICIA. FDICIA greatly increased the powers and authority of the FDIC. Major provisions recapitalized the Bank Insurance Fund and allowed the FDIC to strengthen the fund by borrowing from the Treasury. (Seems they KNEW ahead of time the laws would collapse the housing industry.)

    4.) Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 and RTC Completion Act – Implement provisions designed to improve the agency’s record in providing business opportunities to minorities and women.. Expands the existing affordable housing programs of the RTC and the FDIC by broadening the potential affordable housing stock of the two agencies.
    Increases the statute of limitations on RTC civil lawsuits. In cases in which the statute of limitations has expired, claims can be revived for fraud and intentional misconduct resulting in unjust enrichment or substantial loss to the thrift.

    5.) Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 – CDSs, credit default swaps were exempted from regulation.
    (All descriptions from now defunct link: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/important/index.html Seems the Federal Deposit Insurance Company doesn’t want people to know the laws or what really happened.)
    …….

    The CDSs, credit default swaps were used to guarantee mortgages. More than one ‘Insurance policy’ could be placed on your home mortgage. Therefore when jobs fled from the USA thanks to NAFTA and WTO the inevitable foreclosures netted the banks not only your house but the money from the insurance policies. This placed AIG into bankruptcy and Congress bailed AIG out with tax payer money that went to pay off on those houses that were foreclosed.

    Obama’s loan modification poured fuel on the fire. There was no law backing up his plan and the decision on modification was up to the bankers. If your property wasn’t worth much AND there was no CDS on it you got a modification. If there was a CDS then you were strung along with ‘lost paperwork’ for months and then hit with a huge bill due in 30 days. The bill includes all back payments owed, penalties AND Lawyers fees. If you managed to beg, borrow or steal the money, dance #2 started. The bank then claims it can not give you an answer to the question of just how much money was needed to keep the house from being foreclosed on because they did not know what the lawyer fees were. So additional thousands have to be spent on lawyers to get the banks to cough up the answer to the simple question HOW MUCH. This takes months with additional penalties and lawyers fees piling up (From personal experience)

    See: http://onthefrontlinesofamericanswarwithdebt.wordpress.com/making-home-affordable-horror-stories-a-look-at-how-banks-are-misusing-the-government’s-75-billion-housing-program-and-why-it’s-not-working/
    And: http://www.realtytrac.com/content/news-and-opinion/how-the-aig-bailout-could-be-driving-more-foreclosures-4861

    Is it any wonder Obama’s Home Affordable “HAMP” Program is a huge failure? http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/06/obamas-home-affordable-hamp-program.html

    Those are the facts surrounding what happened in the USA. Robotics had nothing to do with it.

  147. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian,

    May I suggest you read History HACCP and the Food Safety Con Job 5 pages of text, five pages of references. It is the tale of the intentional destruction of farmers and rural America. “…CED’s plans resulted in widespread social upheaval throughout rural America, ripping apart the fabric of its society destroying its local economies….” The plans were made just after WWII and we see the final step with the Food Safety Modernization Act.

    “The Socialist Revolution in the US cannot take place because there are too many small independent farmers there. Those people are the stability factor. We here in Russia must hurry while our government is stupid enough to not encourage and support the independent farmership.” ~ V. Lenin, the founder of the Russian revolution (quote from Cry Out of Russia…escape from darkness by Anna Fisher)

  148. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gail Combs,
    I have much sympathy for what you wrote about the state of mental health treatment, and could write pages on it myself.
    But I think it is too far away from the topic of this thread.

  149. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gail Combs,
    Re Haccp. It was probably helped along but the demise of small farmers was somewhat inevitable, just like small shops being squeezed out by Walmart.

    Anyway, what I suggested earlier is more in the future. I think farms will become vertical and automated. It has already started in a small way such that the potential can be seen.

  150. Adrian Ashfield says:

    ps. It looks like meat will be grown too…

  151. DirkH says:

    Adrian, why is inequality a problem?

  152. Zeke says:

    Thank you Chief for the reminder not to answer sharply and attribute to fiddling what can be attributed to muddling. You are absolutely right. It is just that on this thread, where people may be interested in an energy innovation which allows independence from a collectivised electrical grid, we have one ol grey progressive fox promising free checks, in a specific dollar amount, 1100USD.

    Meanwhile, on a Youtube channel near you, there are other ol grey progressive foxes promising free energy. And simultaneously there are progressive grey foxes promising free college tuition, free contraceptives, along with free healthcare. In Australia, Labor is promising free high speed internet access.

    What I am protesting is the the fact that young people are taken in by these grey progressive foxes promising free services and goods. In any business model, these kinds of promises are gimics, because they do not disclose the past failures of these systems, and they do not disclose the differences in the services and goods you will actually be receiving; youth just assume that the services and goods will not be rationed and limited, and strictly controlled by boards. It is inherently dishonest and it takes advantage of young people. The system of welfare by an 1100 check is a thralldom, and once in place will cause complaining about increased numbers of people who join the system; and there will be complaining about the old, the premature babies, the family of 7, the person with the larger home because of the collectivised systems which everyone has been forced to participate in, in order to deliver the free stuff. People who promise free stuff should be held accountable, just like any business swindle that takes the money and then cuts services down to tiny rations.

  153. Adrian Ashfield says:

    DirkH,
    “Adrian, why is inequality a problem?”

    HOw would you feel if one person owned the world?
    Everything in moderation.

  154. Zeke says:

    And that is another little detail in the fine print. Did anyone mention that the fwee checks require an aristocracy to write them?

    Here, it is as old as Plato:
    “Plato, through the words of Socrates, asserts that societies have a tripartite class structure corresponding to the appetite/spirit/reason structure of the individual soul. The appetite/spirit/reason stand for different parts of the body. The body parts symbolize the castes of society.[46]

    Productive, which represents the abdomen. (Workers) — the labourers, carpenters, plumbers, masons, merchants, farmers, ranchers, etc. These correspond to the “appetite” part of the soul.
    Protective, which represents the chest. (Warriors or Guardians) — those who are adventurous, strong and brave; in the armed forces. These correspond to the “spirit” part of the soul.
    Governing, which represents the head. (Rulers or Philosopher Kings) — those who are intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love with wisdom, well suited to make decisions for the community. These correspond to the “reason” part of the soul and are very few.

    According to this model, the principles of Athenian democracy (as it existed in his day) are rejected as only a few are fit to rule. Instead of rhetoric and persuasion, Plato says reason and wisdom should govern.”

    But first the aristocracy must convince you of the desirability of being part of the class that supports you. So Plato has been repackaged as Hobbes Leviathan and Marx’s proletariat utopia. But it is just another thrust by the aristocracy to convince you of the benefits of a vassal status – to it.

  155. Zeke says:

    ~correction

    But first the aristocracy must convince you of the desirability of being part of the class that supports the aristocracy.

  156. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Zeke,
    Exactly. The question is how to get 51% to support the government. Preferrably without riots.

  157. Zeke says:

    What I want progessives to be forced to admit when they offer or suggest in any way – implicitly or explicitly – that there can be free energy, free checks, free tuition, free anything, is that the free goods and services are continually reduced and limited with every new person that joins the system.

  158. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Zeke,
    Of course. Politicians just don’t mention that however.

  159. Zeke says:

    On the other hand, the scientific and technological advancements, and the accompanying elevation of living standards, have all been brought about by nutty people here in this country, where there is individual liberty and freedom from a dead aristocratic class. The first goal of the aristocracy is to keep society from changing. The Precautionary Principle allows the scientistic aristocracy to use science to halt change in the name of the environment.

  160. Zeke says:

    Adrian, we agree. Perhaps you can explain to me if this is related in any manner to the “Third Way.”

  161. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Zeke,
    The point you are avoiding is that in the future, with new technology and the increase in productivity that could bring, only half the work force will be needed to produce more than we do now. The question is, what do you do with the other half?
    Assuming we don’t kill ourselves off meanwhile.

  162. Zeke says:

    The “Third Way” appears to be a new incarnation of Plato’s Republic. Let’s look at some more micetype:

    “Plato describes these “philosopher kings” as “those who love the sight of truth” (Republic 475c) and supports the idea with the analogy of a captain and his ship or a doctor and his medicine. According to him, sailing and health are not things that everyone is qualified to practice by nature. A large part of the Republic then addresses how the educational system should be set up to produce these philosopher kings. Additionally, Plato asserts that among the Guardians and the Auxiliaries (soldiers), there must be a communism of property, women and children, which he believes are sources of conflict. Men and women will call those a certain age above them “Mother” and “Father,” those similar in age “Brother” and “Sister,” and those younger “Son” and “Daughter.” Additionally, rules of mating will be established so that no incest will occur, given that no one will have knowledge of his or her genetic family.

    However, it must be taken into account that the ideal city outlined in the Republic is qualified by [Plato] as the ideal luxurious city, examined to determine how it is that injustice and justice grow in a city (Republic 372e). [T]he “true” and “healthy” city contain[s] farmers, craftsmen, merchants, and wage-earners, but would be lacking the guardian class of philosopher-kings as well as delicacies such as “perfumed oils, incense, prostitutes, and pastries”, in addition to paintings, gold, ivory, couches, a multitude of occupations such as poets and hunters, and war.”

    Does the “Third Way” claim to bring peace by removing family relationships, and reserving luxury only to the guardians, so that everyone will be “equal” and thus not be in conflict?

  163. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Zeke,
    Re On the other hand.
    You are sorely mistaken to think the scientific and technological advances have all originated in the US.

  164. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Zeke,
    Re the Third Way. It is a fairy story. Even if you had a wise philosopher king type, I doubt he would be electable with our present culture.
    I think we are drifting too far from the topic.

  165. Zeke says:

    I have made an historic generalization Adrian. But when it comes to historicism, you certainly allow yourself full license. You assert that there is certainty that “in the future, with new technology and the increase in productivity that could bring, only half the work force will be needed.”

    What I have done is generalize about the past, but what you are doing is making sweeping prophetic statements about the future. Which is the lesser of the two errors if wrong?

  166. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    3 April 2013 at 7:04 pm
    “HOw would you feel if one person owned the world?”

    You’re describing Cuba. Are you saying that Obama has enough snitches already to achieve that?

  167. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith,
    Re your later piece on the Fractional Reserve. I don’t have any problems with your description of it.

    I do have a problem understanding the implications of this:
    Once again: Paper money (or the electronic ‘bits’ analog) is always made out of thin air and is always of no inherent worth. I keep detecting strains of the belief that “money” has some real inherent value. It absolutely does not. Metal “hard money” has some small tangible value, but most of the ‘price’ of it is just notional based on human beliefs.

    If that were true, why can’t the government simply erase the national debt with a click of the keyboard? I gather a lot of the borrowed money was made out of thin air anyway. To me that is increasing the amount of money in circulation that should lead to inflation according the text books. I don’t see how you can claim money has no value but it does when you make it. Is it just perception?

    Re velocity of money. What is the difference between a little money moving fast and a lot of money moving slowly, if the total per unit of time is the same?

    Apologies if this is naive to an economist.

  168. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    3 April 2013 at 7:45 pm
    “Zeke,
    The point you are avoiding is that in the future, with new technology and the increase in productivity that could bring, only half the work force will be needed to produce more than we do now.”

    This has been projected by Technocracy Inc. in the 30ies already. They said that the standard of living is defined by availability of energy, and that the entire energy needs of the American Technat (their word for USA plus Mexico plus Canada) could be met by hydropower. (No surprise there; hydropower was the hot technology of the day)

    They suggested that to bring wealth to everyone it would be sufficient if every citizen would work for half a day a week to “earn” his share of the energy. As energy is the primary resource, we can use it as a fair measuring stick instead of money or Gold; so instead of paying with USD you would pay with MJ; that’s conceivable.

    Now why didn’t we do that? Leave the hydropower question aside for the moment; one could say coal power or wind power or nuclear power.

    We simply started to consume much more energy and many more goods. The Technocrats (who were engineers, and I have no reason to doubt their maths) made the assumption that a society needs as much energy (and derived resources) as was available per head in their day.

    We could have done what they proposed, BUT we could NOT have done what they proposed and at the same time all get fridges, TVs, computers, holidays on the opposite face of the Earth and so on and so on. We collectively preferred to have all these things – maybe just because industry offered them to us.

    So you think industry will stop offering new products in the future. You know what, I LOVE internet advertising, I really do – I reward some of my favorite blogs by clicking on my favorite ads, and they’re offering me great products for tiny prices… they make them in China and they fly them over here… You should look at the tonnage of air freight, it’s been growing exponentially for decades now…

    So… with all those crises going on I still have very firm evidence that there are multitudes of companies around the globe just dying for me to buy their latest product…

  169. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Zeke,
    Re generalizations. I don’t say automation will half the work force is certain, but from present trends it is likely. Heck I will go further and say I see no reason why computers won’t become “conscious” in the future. Kurzweil, who is brighter than me, forecast the singularity would occur in 2045.
    Much depends on if we can avoid war, or a likely catastrophic plague, or other nasties that make mockeries of forecasts..

  170. Adrian Ashfield says:

    DirkH,
    Sure, many early forecasts didn’t pan out. Why don’t I have a personal flying machine?
    But the power produced did indeed rise to meet demand, it just wasn’t hydro.
    I think LENR is a game changer though. We should know in a couple of months if Rossi has what he claims.

  171. Adrian Ashfield says:

    ps. Actually, I nearly did have a flying machine in the 1970s. I was seriously thinking of buying a Campbell Cricket, but my brother, who was a keen pilot, talked me out of it. They had a nasty habit of dropping out of the sky if you turned downwind too fast.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/77175657@N00/7118977183/

  172. Zeke says:

    Automation, mass production, and shipping lowers prices for basic necessities, and allows new technology to become affordable and available to buyers. Therefore, it raises every person’s purchasing power. The cheap and abundant energy that allows mass production and world wide shipping is what brings prosperity. This was not anticipated by gloomy forecasters of the past.

    The history of forecasting future economies is a failed science. It is not even a science at all. It is a lesson in how little any one knows, esp. about the future.

    Automation, or mass production, should not be framed as a menace because it has not been a menace in the past. The real menace is the threat to automation, to mass manufacturing, to energy, and to shipping, that are being introduced through environmentalist sabotage.

    Your forecasts should have included the many items I can buy from any individual and any country on ebay; Locally internet connections and good shipping rates can grow a small economy by 25%.

  173. Zeke says:

    (Any comments about economics by me subject to review and correction by Chiefio, DirkH, Gail and others. Limitations and knowledge gaps abound. I only bargain at the table if I am affected by policies, not because I have a deep understanding of economics. Thank you.)

  174. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Zeke and DirkH,
    Have a look at wiki’s Timeline For The Future here.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_future_in_forecasts
    You really don’t think the size of the workforce will be reduced?

  175. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    3 April 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Gail Combs,
    Re Haccp. It was probably helped along but the demise of small farmers was somewhat inevitable…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You missed the entire point. The CED is one of the Milner’s Round Table Groups as is the Council on Foreign Relations. The wiping out of US farming was cold bloodedly planned and carried out over 6 decades and this was just one facet of the US economy. ChiefIO thinks it is ‘random’ but after reading that I do not and I went looking. Carroll Quigley was the mentor of Bill Clinton who was a Rhodes scholar. Quigley point blank documents these planners starting with Cecil Rhodes prior to 1889 and the merchant bankers of London. I have already pointed out Clinton’s very active roll in the current economic collapse link (may still be in moderation)

    If someone is ‘off the grid’ as ChiefIO is trying to accomplish you can not make money off him. He is not your serf/wage slave. You have no control over him because he is independent. American farmers and rural villages were mostly self-sufficient. The aim was to drive these self-sufficient people in to cities where they became completely dependent on the system for a job, housing, food…. Then increase regulations so that the barrier to starting a business is too high for most people. If they do start a business and get in your way use regulations to stomp them. Refuse to hire anyone who ‘Dropped out’ of the work force for over six months especially if it was to run their own business.

    Once you realize that many of the idiotic laws that are passed are not random but carefully planned to remove the independence of the individual and place him under the control of the government/giant corporate cartels you can start seeing the threads.

    What many people do not realize is the giant corporations are actually too big to be economically competitive without government help and the theft via Fractional Reserve Banking. Woolworths was displaced by K-mart was (briefly) challenged by Two Guys and Spags and now there is Walmart. Of high patenting firms (15 or more in a four-year period), small businesses produced 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. Large companies have large overhead, ‘deadwood’ and inertia. The president/CEO is often not even aware that the line speeds are too high and he is sending chicken out the door with feathers and bloody thigh joints and that is why sales are suddenly falling and he is losing market share. Small firms in my experience, are much more responsive to customers and to the ideas of their employees because of the very short lines of communication.

    Massive paperwork requirements by government such as HACCP (food) and cGMP (drugs) favor large companies because they have to have all that paperwork/tracking to be able to function. Small firms do not need fifty forms when the owner is talking to his employees on a daily basis therefore government paperwork requirements divert scares resources in to nonproductive work. (Do I really need to record the types, lot numbers, manufacturer and date used to feed my sheep properly?)

    “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people; control money and you control the world. “ ~ Kissinger (1970)

  176. P.G.Sharrow says:

    If you believe in those wikipedia time lines for future events, You will have a life of disappointment. pg

  177. P.G.Sharrow says:

    I remember , while he was president, LBJ said part of his agriculture policy was to get rid of 2/3 of the farmers. His Department of Agriculture got rid of most of the African American farmers that existed at that time by cutting them off from all funding and loan programs. pg

  178. David says:

    A.A. says, “Philips is repatriating to Holland the manufacture of some electronics goods that were previously made in China, because it is cheaper to make them with robotics than by hand, even with the low wages in China”
    Adrian, please reread what our host said about all this idea that robotics will make all unemployed. Please think about each sentence he wrote.

    Now, can people in China build their own robots? Yes, let us cut to the chase. Suppose all “necessary necessities” were done one hundred percent by robots, and automated, including the delivery systems. Your home, your food , made, grown, processed, delivered and assembled by robots. You say, crap, what will people do, all the truck drivers, farmers, construction crews, etc.

    Now think for a moment. All this would do is allow for a far more vast service economy catering to unnecessary necessities. Peoples desires are damn near endless. People will pay to fulfill those desires.

    reread my post here. April 3rd 5:55 ….;there is no practical shortage of materials or energy to do things with materials…. Beyond “necessary necessities”, their is an endless supply of “unnecessary necessities” which people will develop and will pay for. Once “necessary necessities” are supplied by a society, the list of other potential service jobs is fairly endless. ( the real danger of such a society is not unemployment, but people getting the things they want, the “unnecessary necessities.” I have witnessed dozens of people get a well paying job in my field, and the subsequent destruction they have wrought with their free time, and adequate money to fulfill their desires, has been painfull and sad to see.)

    And yes, our host already said that in the transition some people are displaced, until they adapt, And they will adapt. However, if you make their displacement painless, IE govt welfare demanding nothing, they will not adapt. Pain is a prod to learning.

    Adrian, please slow down your reading, and try to really think about what others write.

  179. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    There is a peculiar aspect of behaviour that shows in folks who have made up their mind and will not be shaken from it, no mater what reality is put before them. You are manifesting that greatly.

    Part of it is dragging in emotional issues to justify what they feel is the right answer.
    Part of it is running off to orthogonal issues.
    Part of it is NOT reading or thinking about what the other person has said. To find in it that which is foundational or of merit.

    Frankly, it gets very old, very quickly. I don’t have any desire at all to indulge in “debate for debates sake”. You can learn what I have to offer, or leave me alone. (Or I will stop responding… which is the same really).

    So you have completely ignored the point about “Market clearing price”. Either “didn’t get it” or chose to ignore it since it does not support your POV. Frankly, I don’t care which.

    You have a “hobby horse” of 50% unemployment from loss of manufacturing to robots. Perhaps a number will help show you that is an impossibility

    http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/ci12-2.pdf Yes, The Fed… possessor of more and better economic statistics than anyone else on the planet…

    Over the past three decades, the United States
    has lost almost 5 million manufacturing jobs.
    As a result, the share of the nation’s workforce
    employed in this sector has dropped sharply, from
    20 percent in 1979 to about 11 percent today.

    At MOST a 100% elimination of ALL manufacturing jobs can increase unemployment by 11% IFF every single one of them can not find any other job at all or retire.

    Can you see how silly it looks to be predicting 20% to 50% unemployment from that?

    I will try one last time, then I’m giving up on you as a lost cause. Please try to keep in mind that what you want or what I want or what is good or desirable to you or to others is NOT RELEVANT. Economics just doesn’t care if you want a Rib Eye Steak every night. It doesn’t care if you think you can fix the world. It doesn’t care if Democrats or Republicans control congress. It has Economic Laws that are as immutable as Pi.

    There won’t be enough alternative jobs worth having anymore.

    That may very well be. Or not. “worth having” is a personal value judgement that does not enter into market clearing price.

    There is a demand curve for labor. There is a supply curve for labor. They cross at ONE POINT. That is the equilibrium price for that labor in that market. Set the price artificially above that point, you will get unemployment. Set the price below that point, you will have unfilled excess jobs. Let a free market operate, the wages / price of labor will hang out very close to that point, wobbling back and forth a bit as the market searches for equilibrium.

    It doesn’t matter what you want, what I want, who is in what party, what is “worth having”, or what is a “living wage”, or what makes you feel all happy inside. That point ‘is what it is’, and no amount of “wanting at it” will change it.

    So you have a simple, and very clear choice:

    Be unemployed, or take that wage, or change your skill set to move to a different market.

    Got it?

    Most folks move to a new and different labor market. (I.e. do something new)

    So folks in China will work for 1/10 th of what folks in Alabama will take. Fine. There are exactly two choices.

    1) Let the jobs move to China and find something else to do.
    2) Put in place protective tariffs that make the goods from China cost more than those from Alabama. (In this I include all manner of Mercantilist and Protectionist acts including outright bans on importation, effectively an infinite tariff, and things like bans on particular components or regulatory hurdles that can not be met. They are all ‘raise the price to non compete levels’ by various means).

    It does not matter if you LIKE that. It does not matter if you WANT that. It does not matter if you IGNORE that. It does not matter if you “vision” a better world…

    You can accept the change and move on, or you can erect barriers that increase your costs to support the folks in Alabama as a kind of welfare via trade barriers.

    (Realize this is not a hypothetical to me. I’m largely out of work due to the H1b visa program and a hoard of Indian programmers who will work very cheaply.)

    It is simply imperative to understand and accept market clearing pricing to make any progress either in understanding what is happening in the world, or in how to change it to what you think might be better. Policy from ignorance makes things worse, reliably, not better.

    Per changes over time:

    No, I have no crystal ball. Neither do you. You are working from paranoia about change. I am working from all of past economic history. I’ll take real history over imagined fear any and every day.

    Agriculture WAS the dominant employer. Now it’s single digit percents.
    Manufacturing WAS the dominant employer. Now most of it is off to China.
    (So your ‘worry’ about what automated manufacture will do is something to direct at China, not the USA…)

    That’s just how things go. Folks “move on” and find other things to do.
    The market clears.
    (Until some A-hole mucks it up with mandatory non-clearance rules and prices…)

    It doesn’t matter how many “stories” you bring up about what moves where due to lower labor or cheaper robots or “whatever”.

    “There’s always a story. -E.M.Smith”

    That’s just observing the details of what the markets do as they have changing prices and move to equilibrium at a clearing price.

    ONE more time:

    Grandad made NAILS, one at a time by hand. Cost was a dollar or two per nail in present $US. He was replaced by a machine in a factory and moved to farming. Dad left the farm (as automation and machinery moved most folks out of farming) and went on to sell Real Estate and run a restaurant. (and teach me how to make nails..) I am able to program robots to make nails. (And so are cheaper guys from India) I’m likely to finally be disciplined enough to become an author instead of griping about things and “move on”. At no time does any of that negate market clearing nor market clearing prices nor the need for folks to “move on”. Everyone gets nails for pennies now…

    You can 100% automate ever single scrap of all manufacturing and it will not change one iota the macro-economics nor the equilibrium labor employment rate. IF, right now, we automated the last 2-3% or so of the labor folks in “Ag related labor”, it would not change a thing about the economy, other than that those folks would need to “move on”. IF, right now, we automated the last 11% or so of the labor force in manufacturing, it would not change a thing about the economy other than that those folks would need to “move on” (perhaps to being bus drivers or accountants or robot repairmen or…)

    Some would retire.
    Some of their kids would not go into farming or manufacturing but would become doctors, lawyers, salesmen, waiters, insurance underwriters or robot repairmen.
    Some would go get a plumbing apprenticeship and start making $100,000 /year.
    Some would go into politics and become Senators.
    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    And at the end of the day, it would not matter at all.

    The same thing is true of mining. Or “whatever”.

    At some price, the labor market “clears” for each type of labor.

    People go out and train / educate for what they expect to be a higher paying field. Folks leave dying areas and moving into new ones. It is called “change”, and it has happened forever.

    Your position amounts to asserting that folks building cars can not or will not learn to be plumbers or welders (both in short supply… despite the robotics entering welding… you need skilled experienced welders to set up the machines and to test their work.) Or move into nursing (also in very short supply).

    In short, you are simply ignoring all of economic history and present labor market trends.

    Please, let go of the notion that there is some impending doom from robots… It’s been around since the Luddites and it just isn’t true.

  180. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail Combs:

    Good points… Remember that I’m from California. Where that Icon of Republicans, Ronald Regan, sold off the State Buildings to lease them back again (assuring future costs, but less in HIS term) and emptied the nut houses onto the streets… It was a very sad day when that happened…

    And folks wonder why I say “A Pox on both parties”…

    And the idea that any of it ought to be Federal is just SO wrong…

    @Back to Adrian Ashfield:

    Re inequality of income. See my previous post for data on wealth distribution. Do you think that is reasonable? Consider also the coming demise of the middle class. Does not bode well for the country.

    Reasonable? Is Pi “reasonable”? It’s a mindless question.

    How much investment do you want? Rich people invest more. Poor people consume more. Move money from rich to poor, you WILL get more consumption and less investment.

    “coming demise” is like the “coming rapture”. Get back to me when you see Christ on the hill…

    Then a bunch of “stories”… “There is always a story. -E.M.Smith”… really rather useless, story telling…

    “Re economic growth. A brand new government, or benevolent dictator could make the needed investments.”

    When you find a “Benevolent Dictator” please, let me now, I’ll take pictures for the history books… (And keep an eye on his kid… )

    “Re Yes, it clear to me. You have been suckered in by the propaganda. Did you also believe Saddam had WMD?”

    So a direct quote of an event I SAW on TV (Arab TV, BTW) is me being “suckered”? I’d like to know what you are smoking… And yes, Saddam did have WMD and used them. Chemical weapons are “weapons of mass destruction” and there are photos of Kurds killed by such weapons, along with records of stockpiles made and destroyed. To claim they did NOT exist is to indulge a fantasy or warp definitions for personal ends.

    ““this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”

    That’s just SO much better … /sarc;

    BTW, I think that may be from a different event. He’s said such stuff several times… There is exactly ZERO doubt that Islamists want Israel GONE and DEAD.

    (It’s in the Koran. Any land ever consecrated to Islam MUST be returned to Islamic rule. Not negotiable. God Himself is demanding that Israel be driven from, well, Israel and be replaced by “good muslims”. So no surprise that good muslims want to do what the Koran tells them to do… The only mystery is why you are in denial about it.)

    @Gail Combs:

    Very nice list of references for the planned “take down” of the USA. Only thing missing is pointing out that the “Capitalists” are in on it too… The Republicans did their part to undo what had kept the USA sound.

    @Zeke:

    Let me give you some free advice…

    ;-)

    Beware of any government lackey offering free help… Your points are well made…

    On the whole “past / future / topic” issue:

    The topic of this thread is LENR. I’ve already abandoned all hope of anything in this thread staying even remotely near the same quadrant as LENR…

    It is a surprising parallel of Plato and the “3rd Way” folks… Maybe I need to dig out some Plato… BTW, “Democracy” was held to be a bad form of government by them, and generally, it is… precisely because of the tendency to vote to eat the seed corn, abuse minorities, and destroy wealth (and with it, the propensity to invest…)

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    “If that were true, why can’t the government simply erase the national debt with a click of the keyboard?”

    They can.

    There are some “niceties” in the present law that would need to be changed, or they could use a peculiar “loophole” having to do with coinage.

    At present, The Treasury does not print money. It has The Fed print money. (The Treasury issues Bonds that The Fed buys with the printed money or with the electronic bits that stand for it; nominally putting the US Govt into “debt” for those bonds.) Yet at various times (up to and including 1971) the U.S. Treasury has directly issued its own currency.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Note

    The last time a large batch was issued was by JFK… then he was assassinated… I’m sure there’s not connection….

    http://www.prolognet.qc.ca/clyde/kennedy.html

    It was in 1963 that John F. Kennedy, who was then the reigning president of the United States, made the decision to create his own money to run the country, for he knew the Federal Reserve Notes that were being used as the legal currency of the country went against the Constitution of the United States. He must have thought to himself: “Why should a rich country like the United States, a country full of all kinds of natural resources, of all kinds of human potential and know-how, become enslaved with a debt-money system ?”

    President Kennedy issued what they called “United States Notes”, in the amount of approximately $4 billion, to be used as the legal currency of the country. This was an interest-free, debt-free money. It was issued as money was needed to finance new production, and withdrawn from circulation when this production was bought and consumed.

    In the illustrations, we can compare a “Federal Reserve Note” issued from the central banks of the United States, with a “United States Note” issued by President Kennedy. They almost look alike, except one says “Federal Reserve Note” on the top while the other says “United States Note”. Also, the Federal Reserve Note has a green seal while the United States Note has a red seal.

    Unfortunately, President Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. The “United States Notes” he had issued were taken out of circulation, and the Federal Reserve Notes continued to serve as the legal currency of the nation, even though the original Federal Reserve Act of 1913 could still be declared unconstitutional.

    There were then some laws changed so that it was harder / forbidden to issue more ( I’ve not cared enough to keep pointers to the details. If you care, “Dig Here” …

    One door was left a bit ajar, though. In the interests of commemorative coins, a law was passed that said the USA could mint gold, silver, and platinum coins and set the value of the platinum coins as they saw fit (god and silver having historical values). So some folks have suggested that the USA mint a few Platinum Coins and declare them each to be $1 Trillion in value. Then deposit them at The Federal Reserve Bank (which, by law, must accept US minted money…) and then write checks to pay off the debt.

    It can be done, and it is all quite legal.

    Though with a few minor changes to make the law what it was in 1960, the Government could just print $1 Billion U.S.Notes and use them to pay off the debt. (Or any other denomination of interest.)

    It really really honestly is all just “Funny Money” and “Pixie Dust”…

    The problem with doing that, of course, is that it would be pretty obvious what was happening and inflation would rise to something mighty fierce while the “Foreign Exchange” rate would plummet. Much better to keep lying and saying that the debt is good and will be repaid and just keep racking up more of it while inflating it away at 3% to 6% / year…

    Is it just perception?

    At last! A glimmer of understanding! YES! It is all “just perception”!

    It is a kind of “contract” to agree to use these “counters” to represent real value. The “counters” are worthless, but as long as we share an implied perception and contract to use them, it works. Just don’t tell anyone that it is really a 1 ¢ piece of paper with a picture of a dead person on it, and all will be fine…

    Re velocity of money. What is the difference between a little money moving fast and a lot of money moving slowly, if the total per unit of time is the same?

    Nothing.

    Take a world with 10 beers, and 10 dollars. Each dollar changes hands one time to get the beers into other hands and the dollars moving the other way. Make that a world with 10 beers and 5 dollars. Now they just have to move 2 x as fast to move the beers the other way. (There is an implied closing of the circuit via the person spending the dollars for beer doing something, like moping the floor, to get them back…)

    Perhaps a more complicated example can be simpler ;-)

    One person has 10 beers and $5.
    Another person has 10 pizzas and $5.

    Each pizza person sells 5 pizzas for $5 and uses it to buy 5 beers for $5.
    Each beer person sells 5 beers for $5 and uses it to buy 5 pizzas for $5.

    In the end, everyone has 5 beers, 5 pizzas, and a $5

    Now make it 10 beers, $1 and 10 pizzas $1.

    The beer person hands a dollar to the pizza person, and gets a pizza.
    The pizza person hands a dollar to the beer person, and gets a beer.
    The beer person hands a dollar to the pizza person, and gets a pizza.
    The pizza person hands a dollar to the beer person, and gets a beer.
    The beer person hands a dollar to the pizza person, and gets a pizza.
    The pizza person hands a dollar to the beer person, and gets a beer.
    The beer person hands a dollar to the pizza person, and gets a pizza.
    The pizza person hands a dollar to the beer person, and gets a beer.
    The beer person hands a dollar to the pizza person, and gets a pizza.
    The pizza person hands a dollar to the beer person, and gets a beer.

    Each person has 5 beers, 5 pizzas, and $1.

    In the second case, you just need more transactions happening faster. The velocity of that one lone $ must be faster.

    Apologies if this is naive to an economist.

    No need for apologies for asking questions. (Most economists are thrilled if anyone has any interest at all in Economics rather than just tossing out beliefs as facts… )

    “Much depends on if we can avoid war, or a likely catastrophic plague, or other nasties that make mockeries of forecasts..”

    Um, like that’s gonna happen (or not happen…)

    We’ve had a major war somewhere on the planet more or less continually since at lease W.W.I that I know of. Korea blended seamlessly into Viet Nam into Iran (a ‘2 fer’) and Afghanistan (where the UK, Russia, USA, NATO, etc. et. have been at it forever…) Not to mention the Arab Spring and the Revolution Du Jour in South America and Africa… Mali anyone?

    Don’t get me started on multiply drug resistant diseases (including TB and Malaria..) It won’t be pretty…

    The future is always an unwritten book…

    “Sure, many early forecasts didn’t pan out. Why don’t I have a personal flying machine?”

    Um, because you are too cheap to buy one? It runs about $5k to $10k depending on age and what it does and licensing class. $20k for nicer ones. (Ultralight, hot air balloons, old Cessnas)

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    You site wiki as an authority about the future? Wiki? I’d trust the local drug dealer more than wiki…

    Hell, I’d lay odds that the local drug USER would be more accurate than the ol wiki…

    @David:

    Exactly.

    Personally, I’d like to visit every country in the world, and the moon. I’d like to have a private jet, a mansion of about 20,000 square feet (with maid and butler in historical costumes) and a dozen cars, plus a small factory in the garage to make experimental projects. (And a lot more)… There is no limit to what is desired. Robotic assembly just lets us get a couple of more percent out of that 100…

  181. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    3 April 2013 at 9:45 pm
    “DirkH,
    Sure, many early forecasts didn’t pan out. Why don’t I have a personal flying machine?”

    Because you didn’t buy one?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna

  182. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    3 April 2013 at 10:12 pm
    “Zeke and DirkH,
    Have a look at wiki’s Timeline For The Future here.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_future_in_forecasts
    You really don’t think the size of the workforce will be reduced?”

    I’m a big fan of Ray Kurzweil. I’m working in one of the most highly automated industries on the planet – at the moment. We gradually replace this or that activity that a human does with a machine. Germany has nearly full employment, though. The jobs are not the same as in the past.

    A while ago the German government has lifted a restriction on bus travel. To protect the state run railways, Germany in the past prohibited bus operators from offering city-to-city travel; bus operators could only make money by offering tourist voyages. The law had one exception for bus travel to and from Berlin. SO you would pay about 50 EUR to travel by rail from Frankfurt to Hamburg.

    Now, that bus travel prohibition has been dropped, and bus lines pop into existence. You can now drive for 10 EUR from Frankfurt to Hamburg (about 500 km). We need bus drivers now. And buses. And bus repairmen. And bus company managers, salesmen, website programmers, and cold drinks that we sell in the bus. And fridges. Oh, and the travelers have 40 EUR leftover. They need opportunities to spend that money.

    What’s not to like?

  183. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith,
    Re peculiar aspect of behavior.
    It seems I don’t write clearly enough.

    I understand perfectly the concept of market clearing price.
    I forecast 20% permanent unemployment. 50% in the distant future.
    You maybe right. I maybe wrong about that.
    It is not a question of what I like either, it is what I think will happen.

    I do not think automation is impending doom. Quite the contrary, it has the potential to make life much better for many. My concern was that this will lead to higher unemployment, and what to do with those unemployed. You are certain it will never happen, so end of story.

  184. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    3 April 2013 at 9:45 pm
    “DirkH,
    Sure, many early forecasts didn’t pan out. Why don’t I have a personal flying machine?
    But the power produced did indeed rise to meet demand, it just wasn’t hydro.”

    And I think you have not understood my remark about Technocracy Inc.
    Technocracy Inc., as you should know, was not in the business of forecasting. They were a political movement with much the same ideas and goals as you. The plan to supply civilisation with hydropower was not a forecast, it was their suggestion. Like you, they said capitalism doesn’t work.

    So, Techno-Utopians with quasi-socialist utopia ideas have been around for a while. For some reasons these engineers, like you, had no grasp of market forces and development of new products and markets, even though they knew the technology of their day very well.

  185. David says:

    AA, says….You are certain it will never happen, so end of story.”

    what he really said was it will never happen for the reasons you list. Massive unemployment can happen. Way up the thread somewhere many of those those reasons were discussed. Many have to do with Govt actions. Dirk gave you one example just above your comment.

  186. David says:

    AA, one more example about Govt action creting unemployment; from the H.F.
    .The last point I want to make is about the energy sector and the federal government’s attempt to micromanage it. Never has there been so much promise—or so many hurdles—to exploring and developing the nation’s natural resources. Energy production on private and state lands is thriving, while production on federal lands has slowed or is nonexistent, because large swaths of land and water are completely off limits.

    Congress and the federal government need to open access to America’s resources on federal lands and ultimately transition the permitting and regulatory process to the state regulators where that energy lies. This is one of the keys to getting our economy going again”

    I agree 100 percent with this, and this is what scares the fear mongers more then anything. Energy is the life blood of EVERY economy.

  187. adolfogiurfa says:

    The best technological gadget ever imagined and capable of incredible feats has been already produced….We use to call it MAN.

  188. adolfogiurfa says:

    @David: Any government property, in any country of OUR world, is by definition, a property of the PEOPLE…. just to begin with. I guess you have conceived and created a monster, out from your psyche, which exists “out there” and which you call “federal” and that you think it is different from you and superior to you, like a father or an invisible “boss”, kind of a GOD you must “pray” to. You must convince yourself that IT IS A CREATION OF YOUR PSYCHE: IT DOES NOT EXIST!.

  189. Gail Combs says:

    Gail Combs:

    Very nice list of references for the planned “take down” of the USA. Only thing missing is pointing out that the “Capitalists” are in on it too… The Republicans did their part to undo what had kept the USA sound…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Captialism is dead except for small business (real wealth =>more wealth), but I agree. Good ole’ Ronny Reagan presided over the Hostile Takeover/Leverage Buyout mess that destroyed so many good American companies. For example Gillette treated their employees very well, had NO DEBT even their medical insurance was self insured. A corporate raider came along (Perleman) and tried to take it over and failed. The second attempt succeeded.

    The leveraged buyout boom of the 1980s was conceived by a number of corporate financiers, most notably Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. and later his protégé Henry Kravis. Working for Bear Stearns at the time, Kohlberg and Kravis, along with Kravis’ cousin George Roberts, began a series of what they described as “bootstrap” investments…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leveraged_buyout

    A leveraged buyout is similar to placing a “mortgage” on a piece of someone else’s property. (If you take out a loan with YOUR property as collateral and then use the borrowed money to invest in a company it is a different matter and is self limiting. )

    ….the 1982 Supreme Court decision striking down state antitakeover laws (which were resurrected with great effectiveness in the late eighties); and deregulation of many industries, which prompted restructurings and mergers. The main economic factor was the development of the original-issue high-yield debt instrument. The so-called “junk bond” innovation, pioneered by Michael Milken of Drexel Burnham, provided many hostile bidders and LBO firms with the enormous amounts of capital needed to finance multi-billion-dollar deals…. http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/TakeoversandLeveragedBuyouts.html

    Corporate takeovers became a prominent feature of the American business landscape during the seventies and eighties. A hostile takeover usually involves a public tender offer—a public offer of a specific price, usually at a substantial premium over the prevailing market price, good for a limited period, for a substantial percentage of the target firm’s stock. Unlike a merger, which requires the approval of the target firm’s board of directors as well as voting approval of the stockholders, a tender offer can provide voting control to the bidding firm without the approval of the target’s management and directors…..

    Because it allows bidders to seek control directly from shareholders—by going “over the heads” of target management—the tender offer is the most powerful weapon available to the hostile bidder. … Although hostile bidders still need a formal merger to gain total control of the target’s assets, this is easily accomplished once the bidder has purchased a majority of voting stock.

    Hostile tender offers have been around for decades, but they were rare and generally involved small target firms until the midseventies. Then came the highly controversial multibillion-dollar hostile takeovers of very recognizable public companies. By the late eighties there were dozens of multi-billion-dollar takeovers and their cousins, leveraged buyouts (LBOs). The largest acquisition ever was the $25 billion buyout of RJR Nabisco by Kolberg Kravis and Roberts in 1989. [Editor's note: this was written in 1992.] …. http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/TakeoversandLeveragedBuyouts.html

    So Reagan was also part of the ‘Death of America’

    The senior Bush started the negotiations for NAFTA and WTO that Clinton finished. The Shrub put in the Patriot Act that Obama has since expanded….. They play tag team. Animal ID was started by the Bush Boys and Clinton and Obama are shoving it down our throats too.

    Jo Nova’s husband, Dr Evans has it correct the real battle is between Main Street (us) and the Regulating Class the group who benefits from tax dollars or regulation. Rasmussen Reports uses The Political Class/Mainstream Index. for a definition they point to this article 67% of Political Class Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction, 84% of Mainstream Disagrees

    From the little history I have read (I hated history in school) it seems a civilization lasts about 200 years before the serfs/wage slaves have had enough and push the reset button. By setting up a republic the founders of the USA hoped to side step the reset button (revolution) by making the ‘revolution’ bloodless.

    The Rothschilds had a different method for sidestepping the reset button. They moved to the position of the power behind the throne and got out of the line of fire.

    Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild famous quote:

    I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, …The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.

    Carroll Quigley expanded on that:

    The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank…sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.

    [ Quotes from link ]

    As Pascal Lamy has made clear the final objective is ‘Global Governance’ The method is re-education aka brainwashing and complete control of energy, food and mobility of the people aka Agenda 21. By shoving everyone into closed cities where THEY control the jobs, food, and transportation everyone becomes a defacto slave. P-O the corporations and you get blacklisted. They have learned enough from the ‘welfare’ experiment to know that if you keep the populus happy with ‘bread n circuses’ they will not revolt and we have enough excess production to support some parasites though I doubt that will last long.

    The UK has already come up with methods of getting rid of ‘undesirables’ fuel poverty causing death of those on fixed incomes, some as young as 50, and the Liverpool care pathway for killing off the old and ‘useless’ babies and children State controlled health care is so useful for such things as euthanasia and forced sterilization.

    Up into the 70’s the UK and the USA was using forced sterilization of ‘undesirables’ too. Now governments are taking DNA samples of newborns in the USA and in the UK We know that Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren advocates control of reproduction so the issue is not dead.

    The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge,… They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”

    “The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being. Where any of these essential elements is lacking, the resultant individual will be deficient in some respect.”…

    If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility—just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns—providing they are not denied equal protection….

    although there exists ample authority under which population growth could be regulated. For example, under the United States Constitution, effective population-control programs could be enacted under the clauses that empower Congress to appropriate funds to provide for the general welfare and to regulate commerce, or under the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Such laws constitutionally could be very broad. Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution…

    Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems….

    quotes from books co-authored with the Ehrlichsh from link 1 and link 2 – Zombietimes who has many passages from Holdern’s books.

    Once you grasp the concept that CONTROL of food, money, energy and ultimately every aspect of your life is the goal of those intent on ‘Global Governance’ then the baffling moves make by government become clear.

    The underlying goal of complete control means any attempts to provide cheap energy are going to be squashed. That is what happen to nuclear. The ‘Protesters’ against the Seabrook plant were paid $10/hr when the minimum wage was $3.35/hr. The news papers carried horror stories that were outright lies. We saw the same thing after Fukushima.

  190. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith,
    Re is Pi reasonable?
    By taking it to extremes it may be possible to demonstrate some middle ground is desirable.
    You say wealth inequality is just a fact and imply it doesn’t matter. Suppose just two people, A & B, have the entire world’s wealth. I doubt their trading with each other would lead to high money velocity, so the GDP would be low. Unless A & B were benevolent, some of the rest of the world would scratch out a living and many would die of starvation.

    It doesn’t matter to an economist whether A and B are benevolent of not.
    In real life that would not happen. A democratic government would not allow it. Dictators fall or are killed. A and B would probably fight each other, providing precious jobs in the armament business and armies.

    I know socialism doesn’t work. I know anyone able to become a dictator won’t be benevolent. I think some kind of mixed economy could work but most don’t. The problem is Pournelle’s Iron Law. If the voting population were more knowledgeable ossified government departments could be closed, but they are not. So we muddle along from crisis to crisis.

    Re Iran.
    Propaganda has to be seen or heard to be effective. Because you saw something on TV doesn’t exactly prove it is true. I showed you that it wasn’t.
    That Saddam used chemical weapons is open to the same dispute that the British used poison gas in Iraq in 1920. Possible, but I don’t consider either proven. So Saddam had stockpiles of poison gas. So do most countries. I don’t consider those a true WMD and it was certainly no threat to the US.

    Iran has been designated an evil country so no more proof is required. /sarc:
    You already know what I think of religious fanatics.

  191. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith,
    Re national debt.
    You agreed that a large amount of money moving slowly can be the same as a small amount moving fast. What do you have against increasing the amount of money as civilization expands? So Mises says you don’t need to, but it seems to have some advantage to me. If only to allow many to keep some reserve for a rainy day without slowing down the daily money velocity.

    I hadn’t heard of the United States Notes. I wasn’t in the US at that time. Interesting.
    The idea of trillion dollar coins I had seen before.

    Re the future.
    Of course the future is not certain but the chances of an educated guess being right is better than random. For example I think the spread of automation is highly likely. I didn’t think and wasn’t implying that the wiki forecast was more than just interesting to see some possibilities over the horizon.

    It was not being too cheap to buy one that put me off the Campbell Cricket, it was the accident rate. But that is not the flying car forecast for the future in my childhood.

  192. Gail Combs says:

    ChiefIO I agree about labor moving to a new opportunity.

    Again take farming. Mass production of the basic food stuffs happen during the 20th Century. So we had small farmers move into the niche markets: Organic veggies, heritage veggies vine ripened (YUM!), grass fed beef, free range chicken and eggs. However as long as you have competition from these niche farmers the Ag cartel can not jack up the prices sky high because of the competition. Who is going to buy Walmart tomatoes for $5.00/lb when the local guy with a green house has much better tasting heritage tomatoes for $3.00/lb?

    Enter regulations:
    Once you regulate farming and the corporate cartel owns the USDA/FDA anyone who is real competition gets singled out and fined out of business. The ‘Hobby farms’ give up out of frustration and the family farms have their break-even prices hiked up to where ever the corporate cartel wants just by adding more regs they are ‘exempt from’

    The same thing happen to the childcare business through scare tactics like was used with farming link It also happened to the homecare business (housekeepers/lawncare/maids/chauffers) and to independent contractors via tax code changes. Regulation made the ‘bar’ for entry into the business and the paperwork so difficult that only corporations or franchises can manage it. Heck they are even going after little kids selling lemonaide and little old ladies at church bake sales.

    So Adrian’s 50% unemployment or todays 23% unemployment is not caused by Robots replacing humans, it is caused by Red Tape and government strangling human ingenuity. …members of the National Federation of Independent Business consistently rank government regulations and red tape as the most important problems facing businesses today. One in five business owners explain that red tape is their single biggest concern — even over taxes, inflation, and the cost of labor.

    Investors.com Editorial: How Big Gov’t Strangles The Job Creators
    The secretary of the Treasury says taxes must be raised on small business so the federal government can stay big…. Even more appalling is the fact Geithner didn’t back off his position when Ellmers told him that 64% of new jobs in this country are created by small businesses. …we believe the rate is actually higher, around 85%. We base this estimate on our own database of public companies, which shows that over the last 25 years, big businesses created no net new jobs. That leaves small business as virtually the only job creator.

  193. Gail Combs says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    4 April 2013 at 12:44 pm

    The best technological gadget ever imagined and capable of incredible feats has been already produced….We use to call it MAN.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You have got that one right!

  194. Gail Combs says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    4 April 2013 at 12:50 pm

    @David: Any government property, in any country of OUR world, is by definition, a property of the PEOPLE…. just to begin with. I guess you have conceived and created a monster, out from your psyche, which exists “out there” and which you call “federal” and that you think it is different from you and superior to you, like a father or an invisible “boss”, kind of a GOD you must “pray” to. You must convince yourself that IT IS A CREATION OF YOUR PSYCHE: IT DOES NOT EXIST!.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Tell that to the powers that actually OWN the US government.
    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place,”

    Carroll Quigley For the first time in its history, Western Civilization is in danger of being destroyed internally by a corrupt, criminal ruling cabal which is centered around the Rockefeller interests, which include elements from the Morgan, Brown, Rothschild, Du Pont, Harriman, Kuhn-Loeb, and other groupings as well. This junta took control of the political, financial, and cultural life of America in the first two decades of the twentieth century.

    Sir Josiah Stamp Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.

    Mayer Amschel Rothschild Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.

    Baron Nathan Mayer Rothschild I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, …The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.

    Lysander Spooner The Rothschilds, and that class of money-lenders of whom they are the representatives and agents – men who never think of lending a shilling to their next-door neighbors, for purposes of honest industry, unless upon the most ample security, and at the highest rate of interest – stand ready, at all times, to lend money in unlimited amounts to those robbers and murderers, who call themselves governments, to be expended in shooting down those who do not submit quietly to being robbed and enslaved.

    ChiefIO mentioned what happen to JFK when he defied the bankers. Justice Martin Mahoney who found against Morgan in First National Bank of Montgomery vs. Daly (1969) …died less than six months after the trial, in a mysterious accident that appeared to involve poisoning

    My favorite Congressman, Louis McFadden lost his election when that didn’t shut him up he died of “heart-failure sudden-death” on Oct. 3, 1936, after a “dose” of “intestinal flu,” “Pelley’s Weekly” of Oct. 14 said:

    Now that this sterling American patriot has made the Passing, it can be revealed that not long after his public utterance against the encroaching powers of Judah, it became known among his intimates that he had suffered two attacks against his life. The first attack came in the form of two revolver shots fired at him from ambush as he was alighting from a cab in front of one of the Capital hotels. Fortunately both shots missed him, the bullets burying themselves in the structure of the cab.

    “He became violently ill after partaking of food at a political banquet at Washington. His life was only saved from what was subsequently announced as a poisoning by the presence of a physician friend at the banquet, who at once procured a stomach pump and subjected the Congressman to emergency treatment.”

    “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the Field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” ~ Woodrow Wilson,The New Freedom (1913) from his book found here

  195. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    4 April 2013 at 2:00 pm
    …. You agreed that a large amount of money moving slowly can be the same as a small amount moving fast. What do you have against increasing the amount of money as civilization expands?…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The answer to that question is again Mises.
    WHO GETS THE NEW MONEY???

    New money does not appear magically in equal percentages in all people’s bank accounts or under their mattresses. Money spreads unevenly, and this process has varying effects on individuals, depending on whether they receive early or late access to the new money

    It is these losses of the groups that are the last to be reached by the variation in the value of money which ultimately constitute the source of the profits…
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north83.html

    I showed above that bankers actually keep the deposits and use that as the ‘reserves’ to lend out money. All the bankers I quoted agreed they actually lend out 100% fairy dust. Money created out of nothing.

    Now where does the money come from that is used to pay back the principle and interest? The money is EARNED through your LABOR, you do not print it up in your basement. So you are exchanging banker money (printed by the magic of computers) for ‘real money’ that represents your labor. Money is supposed to facilitate the exchange of goods and services but the exchange of your asset/labor for a computer entry is not commerce it is FRAUD.

    G. Edward Griffin explains it best:

    …Another interesting thing about this is that when the bank loans you money which it created out of nothing, it costed nothing to make it, it wants something from you. It wants you to sign on the dotted line and pledge your house, your car, your inventory, your assets so that in case for any reason you cannot continue to make your payments they get your marbles, they get all of your assets. They’re not going to lose anything on this. Whether it’s expansion or contraction, inflation or deflation the banks are covered and we like sheep go right along with it because we haven’t figured it out, we don’t know that this is a scam….

    ….Thomas Edison said, “People who will not turn a shovel-full of dirt on the project nor contribute a pound of materials will collect more money than will the people who will supply all the materials and do all the work.” I wondered when I read that if Tom was exaggerating so I got my calculator out. I assumed that there was going to be a $100,000 house built. I assumed that $30,000 would have to go for land, architect’s fees and permits and that kind of thing. $70,000 would go for the actual construction of the house, building materials and labor. I assumed that the buyer would go to the bank and put 20% down and then borrow the balance at 10% over 30 years. I punched in the numbers and discovered that the borrower will pay to the bank in interest $172,741 compared to $70,000 paid for the construction of the house. In other words, about 2 1/2 times as much money will be paid to the bank in interest than will be paid to those who provide all the labor and all the materials. And you may say to yourself, yes but that’s fair, after all a 30 year loan is a long loan and people work for their money and sacrifice its use and loan it and so forth and deserve to be compensated. No. Not this money. Nobody worked for this money, nobody saved this money. There was no sacrifice of any kind for this money. This money was created out of nothing and I suggest that $172,741 interest on nothing is excessive!
    http://www.bigeye.com/griffin.htm

  196. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gail Combs,
    I agree with much of what you posted above. Of course the banks argue that they have losses and costs to be covered, like the buildings and staff. There is some competition in that not all banks charge the same interest rate, but mostly collusion.
    If you follow the trail, that money ends up with the shareholders and a few top executives who do little to justify their huge salaries and bonuses.

    It is not very different from many large corporations that charge what the market can bear. Did you read that piece I linked earlier about medical practice in the US? How do you justify the drug company marking up the price x10 and the hospital multiplying that by 10 again? You don’t have a lot of choice if you are ill and need the drug.

    It’s just the market clearing price so not to worry…

  197. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Gail Combs: As we are living in “interesting times”, i.e. a literal apocalypse (in Greek, a revelation from the above, or a disclosure what was hidden before, a “lifting of the veil”), then, and thanks to the Internet, we are knowing now that a few (less than 10) bankers own the majority of world´s GDP, and that it was most probably acquired through actions, we commoners, having a peculiar psychic characteristic called “conscience”, we never resort to as : Funding wars (both sides) while making and fooling people “fight for freedom”, drug trafficking, gambling, speculation, manipulating elections and governments, etc. (but never, ever, working as we do).
    As we are becoming aware of this situation, we are arriving at the conclusion that this unfair (to say the least) situation cannot longer continue any more, and as they are really very few individuals, they will be appropriately identified and being “treated” as to impede them to continue with these unbecoming for a man activities.

  198. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Adolfogiurfa,
    The problem is that most of the “cures,” like communism, have turned out to be worse than the disease.
    I think there is a better way, some mixed economy, but it doesn’t look like it has been found yet. It’s the same problem as capitalism, greed is both good and bad.

  199. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    4 April 2013 at 3:42 pm

    …It is not very different from many large corporations that charge what the market can bear. Did you read that piece I linked earlier about medical practice in the US? How do you justify the drug company marking up the price x10 and the hospital multiplying that by 10 again? You don’t have a lot of choice if you are ill and need the drug….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is why monopoly and cartels are so very bad. Add in collusion with the government bureaucracies and it gets down right EVIL. Thanks to laws and regulations the competition in banking, drug manufacture and the medical profession has been pretty much killed. An individual does not have a snowball’s chance in Hades of starting up a drug company. The cost of finding, developing and passing FDA testing is astronomical. On top of that the FDA can just tell you NO we will not allow you to bring a West Nile vaccine to market or a cure for rheumatoid arthritis (I know the doctors involved in both cases One is a research vet @ Fort Dodge [vaccine] and one was my doctor in the 60’s who used the drug overseas to cure her arthritis)

    As far as mark up goes, if I recall correctly for personal care products it was about 2X but stores do not have the regulatory nightmare to deal with that hospitals do. Also the supply of doctors and vets is strictly controlled. Again I know of a college who started setting up a medical college and was told by the AMA they would not certify any of the doctors that went through their program. (Well before the internet this is the closest link I can find. )

    Once you wrap your mind around the concept that the government acts to promote the wishes of the wealthy who contribute to their campaign funds things make a lot more sense. The fact that some of the same people have an agenda just makes it worse.

    ADM ( Archer-Daniels-Midland Company) is a great example.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1995/07/dwaynes-world

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/president/players/andreas.html

    http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2010/08/04/adm-profits-soar-550-percent-as-ethanol-margins-improve/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/keyraces98/stories/keycash061198.htm

  200. Gail Combs says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    4 April 2013 at 3:54 pm

    @Gail Combs: As we are living in “interesting times”…. As we are becoming aware of this situation, we are arriving at the conclusion that this unfair (to say the least) situation cannot longer continue any more, and as they are really very few individuals, they will be appropriately identified and being “treated” as to impede them to continue with these unbecoming for a man activities.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is my sincere hope. It is why I take the time to post the amount of information I do. I even print pointers to important links like ~ Lamy “Global Governance” ~ on business cards and give them to the strangers I meet.

    It used to be people did not care but with a bad economy, the high number of job losses and foreclosures, people now want to know what in Hades is happening and they are finally willing to listen. It does not matter if they are ‘liberals’ or ‘conservatives’ the concerns are the same as is the information I hand out. I just tailor what I say to the person’s political leanings. (Since I am neither ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ I drive people nuts trying to stuff me into a pigeonhole)

  201. Gail Combs says:

    OH, I forgot to add this little gem on the concentration of wealth/power:

    WASHINGTON — A recent analysis of the 2007 financial markets of 48 countries has revealed that the world’s finances are in the hands of just a few mutual funds, banks, and corporations. This is the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power, and point out the worldwide financial system’s vulnerability as it stood on the brink of the current economic crisis….
    http://www.insidescience.org/research/1.861
    new link: http://www.livescience.com/9704-world-stocks-controlled-select.html

    Mutual funds vote the stock your money buys where as if you buy the stock direct you vote the stock. This was a big help in the corporate raider/leveraged buyout days of Reagan.

  202. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    4 April 2013 at 1:21 pm
    “That Saddam used chemical weapons is open to the same dispute that the British used poison gas in Iraq in 1920. Possible, but I don’t consider either proven.”

    I can understand that when you don’t accept this…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack
    …that you then don’t accept anything anybody says about Iran’s intentions as well…

    or ANYTHING else for that matter.

  203. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    4 April 2013 at 4:10 pm
    …. The problem is that most of the “cures,” like communism, have turned out to be worse than the disease.
    I think there is a better way, some mixed economy, but it doesn’t look like it has been found yet. It’s the same problem as capitalism, greed is both good and bad.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Once you understand that government will be taken over by the moneyed interests no matter what its form, you kick out FRB, monopolies, useless regulations and laws and you make government as small and as local as possible (same with businesses). That is the correct interpretation of the US Constitution. It was only when the banker’s puppet, FDR threatened to stuff the Supreme Court that things really changed and we got the Commerce Clause reinterpreted to mean exponential growth in bureaucracy all paid through the magic of FRB loans to the government. A win-win for politicians and big business and a major lose for the general population who pay for it.

    A small and local government like a small business allows the ‘customer’ – us – to have a much greater impact and to actually talk directly to the man in charge. With huge bureaucracies you do not even know WHO is actually in charge (JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto, Bayer…) and the petty hitler you are trying to deal with goes by the CYA philosophy of “the answer is NO” will never get me in trouble and I don’t have to do any research to find the real answer.

    In other words complete constipation of the system unless you have big money lawyers and political pull to provide the enema. (Oh to be able to make that a political cartoon)

  204. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gail Combs,
    Re ADM, the link you gave (rather old) stated “1994 reported sales of $11.3 billion and profits of $484 million.” I don’t have any problem with that. Sounds like a reasonable return on sales.
    For all their real and imagined faults, can you imagine what would happen if that organization were run by the department of agriculture? I’d bet on the prices going up and the company running at a loss somewhere between 10 and 20 years.

  205. Adrian Ashfield says:

    DirkH

    re Poison gas.
    I wasn’t thinking of the Halabja massacre with my comment, but a later smaller claimed attack when both sides blamed each other. There is no doubt that Saddam used poison gas there.

    The US killed many more civilians in Bush’s war than that nasty attack, and depleted uranium, we spread all over the country, does nasty things for a long time. Do you get worked up about this too or doesn’t this count?

  206. Zeke says:

    Thread bomb.

  207. Tim Clark says:

    So everyone could be issued a mess kit, sterno stove and matches. One pound each of beans, rice, bread, eggs, canned vegetables and SPAM per week, plus vitamin pills. A government “efficiency room” available on demand ( Murphy bed for one. Spartan bath. NO TV. Communal phone for incoming calls, outgoing limited to 1 / day average and then only to respond to job interview calls. (Calls monitored).

    I agree with the entire post that this section comes from. I would only add that a mild degree of derision would be incentive enough in many cases to get some off their lazy arse. (call it welfare, not entitlements to begin with)

  208. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    It’s not that your writing isn’t clear enough, it is what you say…

    I understand perfectly the concept of market clearing price.
    I forecast 20% permanent unemployment. 50% in the distant future.

    Those two statements are incompatible. Pick ONE.

    The only way you can have “20% permanent unemployment” is via NOT having the market clear. That comes only when government intervention prevents prices and quantities from shifting along the supply / demand curves. Absent legal meddling, you can not have 20% “permanent” unemployment. Only transitory surges that resolve. THAT is what it means to have a “clearing price”.

    Simply put, you have stated an impossible set.

    (An orthogonal question is what one thinks of the clearing price the market settles upon, and if you think it “livable” or “socially just”. All I can say there, is that as a society has growing economic productivity and higher levels of automation, labor has been MORE in demand and wage rates higher. Historical fact. Currently happening in the USA if you read all of that NY Fed paper, with manufacturing jobs going “higher skill” and higher wages go with higher skills. It is places with low levels of automation, like India, where wage rates are very low.)

    My concern was that this will lead to higher unemployment, and what to do with those unemployed. You are certain it will never happen, so end of story.

    It can be, at most 11%, since that is ALL of the manufacturing labor force in the USA. Many of them will just retire (and their kids will do other kinds of work, like be rock stars or wait tables). Others will go back to school and learn some new, in demand, job; like nursing (where we have a severe shortage of nurses who meet the government mandated requirements). A market consists of a self organizing system. YOU don’t need to worry at all about “what to do with them”. THEY will do 1000 and 1 things that you have never imagined. That is “Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand” in the labor market.

    What happened to the 85% of the US Workforce that WAS in agriculture? It’s now 2% to 3%. Did anyone have to ‘worry’ about that change? Or did it happen on its own as my Dad left the farm and built houses, then a restaurant, then sold houses? (And his siblings too… One is an electrical contractor in Iowa, for example).

    But yes, “end of story” not because I imagine nothing will happen, but because that is the nature of markets and labor demand changes over time; as indicated by all economic history and economic theory. In short, “Where are all the unemployed hod carriers and buggy whip makers? Where are the 80% unemployed farm workers?”

    Government programs and generalized “meddling” to “Fix” things like labor markets that were never broken has caused most of the problems. Your ideation about how to “fix” it is exactly what leads to the things that break it.

    It ain’t broke. Don’t “fix” it. Leave markets to function and they function well. “Manage” them and the markets work poorly and the Evil Bastards find ways to siphon off personal gain via buggering up the function.

    @David:

    “what he really said was it will never happen for the reasons you list. Massive unemployment can happen. ”

    Exactly. The 20% unemployment right now in Spain is largely due to government rules, laws, actions, and mandates. Absent those things, unemployment tends to about 4% with a wobble of a couple of percent each side.

    For some / many of those folks, the wages might be less than they want, but the clearing price “is what it is”. So you can take it, or be unemployed (which then motivates to enter a new line of work and / or get new skills – where more government laws, mandates, and labor unions often act to prevent such labor movement and lead to more unemployment…)

    Unemployment can, very short term, be a product of changes of technology. Over a couple of years, unemployment is not due to technological changes and largely an artifact of laws, policies, regulatory hurdles, mandated cost structure (i.e Obamacare) etc. I.e. Government trying to “fix” things…

    @Adolfo:

    The Government is a distinct legal entity with ownership and contract rights. Just like a corporation. It can, and does, own property. (For some reason known only to Latins, they are fond of the idea of a grand collective ownership of ‘public’ goods and lands. Ignoring the “polite legal fiction” of the “legal person” of corporations and governments. Yet they do exist, and they do have legal rights. Yes, created by people in legislatures and courts, yet real all the same. Ownership of property is one of those rights.)

    @Gail Combs:

    I’m going to need more coffee to wade through all those links… ;-)

    I’ll be back in a bit to pick up the rest of the comments… I need some added “zip” if I’m going to wade into the whole “Social Justice Wealth Redistribution” thing… just note in passing that when a topic “shifts” (like from, say, unemployment caused by mandatory wages not by technological change; to “is it just?”, that usually means someone is abandoning the original “issue” and looking for a new one hang their hat on…)

  209. David says:

    Re Adolphi.. says…”@David: Any government property, in any country of OUR world, is by definition, a property of the PEOPLE…. just to begin with. I guess you have conceived and created a monster, out from your psyche, which exists “out there” and which you call “federal” and that you think it is different from you and superior to you, like a father or an invisible “boss”, kind of a GOD you must “pray” to. You must convince yourself that IT IS A CREATION OF YOUR PSYCHE: IT DOES NOT EXIST!.”

    Sometimes you confuse me. I consider all govenment to be a “necessary evil.” And I can very convincingly define that evil, it is power, specifically power over others. No I have not made them into any kind of God, but they are most certainly not a creation of my psyche.

    Try to tell that to several hundred million people murdered. Google Rummel, and “democide” death by government. Government have killed more of their own people then most any other form of death including wars. And guess what else, while you may define statist tyrants as property of the people, they are not your subjects, and often consider the people their property. They do not recognise your property of the people claim.

    Of course your words can be somewhat criptic, so perhaps you are saying somethin to esoteriic for me to grasp. However, I have an above average capacity to grasp the esoteric, so perhaps you need to speak more plainly.

  210. Tim Clark says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    ….I expect 20% permanently unemployed in the relatively near future. Easy to visualize 50%….
    >>>>>>
    Gail Combs says:
    Ain’t going to happen. Think about it.

    Well Gail, considering my vision of the not too distant future, I have to agree with Adrian with on this one with one minor caveate; ignoring the Schwartzenegger/terminator robotic takeover, if you take out the word “permanently”, oh yes I expect the same.

  211. Adrian Ashfield says:

    David,
    A.A, says….You are certain it will never happen, so end of story.”
    E.M.S said was it will never happen for the reasons you list.
    But this was what was being debated, so it is end of story.

    Of course there are many other things that will cause unemployment.

  212. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian, I do not have a problem with the return on sales, I have a problem with them having their tame Congress Critters pass laws so they can profit by those laws especially when the laws are designed to wipe out small business people or to funnel tax payer money into ADMs bottom line.

    ADM and Monsanto are the ones who get most of the tax payer $$$ from corn subsidies. ADM gets the tax payer $$$ from the bio-fuel law. Because of monopoly selling and buying the farmer is squashed in the middle and his ‘share’ of the profits has constantly erroded (can’t find link)

    …According to a 1995 article by James Bovard of the Cato Institute, ADM heavily bankrolled the American Sugar Alliance, which successfully lobbied for high tariffs and quantitative restrictions on sugar imports, raising the domestic sugar price to a substantial multiple of the world market price and ensuring that ADM could profitably produce high fructose corn syrup at a substantial discount to the cost of sugar. According to Bovard’s article, “At least 43 percent of ADM’s annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM’s corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30.” The numbers have no doubt changed over the past 15 years, but the underlying practice has not…
    http://www.emergingmarketsoutlook.com/?p=1469

    That is what I have a problem with. It would be cheaper just to have everyone hand over the $1ADM earns in profit instead of the actual $40 we end up paying.

    Can’t find the links I was looking for but here are some others (old)

    August 20, 2009 Independent Farmers Feel Squeezed By Milk Cartel
    …The price of raw milk paid to farmers has dropped to its lowest level in 40 years. Dairy farms are going under across the country, and a few dairymen have grown so desperate they’ve taken their own lives.

    As the crisis deepens, criticism grows that dairy giants are trying to monopolize the industry….

    Shorty Miller owns a small dairy in central Texas. Like nearly every other dairy farmer in America, she’s angry. Milk prices in the supermarket have come down only slightly, but the price she gets for the raw milk from her Holsteins has dropped nearly in half…

    Because of monopsony (one buyer) farmers are now stuck with what ever price the mega-corporations will pay. Dairy farms are just the latest, chickens and pork are pretty much completely under the corporate cartel control and cattle is targeted.

    …Today, large corporate farms account for nearly ¾ of all farm sales in the U.S….. to address some concerns and ensure the future sustainability of agricultural production, researchers are starting to emphasize “agro-diversity” – a combination of smaller-scale, locally-based polyculture production methods…. http://www.enviroliteracy.org/subcategory.php/296.html

    (This too is old but the game has not changed)

    … For more than five years now, prices for nearly all agricultural commodities – including corn, soybeans, wheat, hogs, and cattle – have persisted at levels well below break-even for most farmers. Congress has responded to the crisis by providing annual “emergency” supplemental government payments to farmers. Year-after-year low prices have persisted and year-after-year American farmers have relied on additional “emergency” payments to keep their farms afloat financially. These “emergency” payments, ranging from $5-$9 billion each year, have done nothing to address the roots of the crisis. For most farmers, government payments simply helped them scrape together enough cash to farm another year….

    The new Farm Bill was not designed to meet the needs of farmers, but instead, to meet the needs of the Agricultural Establishment. The Agricultural Establishment is comprised of corporate agribusiness, the commodity organizations, USDA, and the Land Grant Universities. The general farm organizations, particularly the Farm Bureau, also tend to support the Agricultural Establishment, rather than representing the bulk of their farmer members. Congress tends to respond to the demands of the Agricultural Establishment – considering it to be representative of American agriculture – regardless of the consequences for family farms and rural communities.

    All of the “dominate players” in the agricultural policy process have vested interests in maintaining high levels of production. Profits of agribusiness corporations depend on margin and volume, not farm-level price. Surplus production means a higher demand for marketing services, resulting in wider margins on a larger volume of sales. Thus, surplus production depresses farm prices more than retail food prices, and generates more profits for processors, distributors, and retailers. Surplus production also means more sales of seed, fertilizer, pesticides, etc., and more profits for input suppliers, even if farmers are losing money….

    So far, corporate agribusiness has been the only major benefactor of the new global agricultural economy. Agribusiness has prospered while American farmers have been made unwilling “wards of the government.” The only industry more profitable than food processing and distribution during the decade of the 1990s was pharmaceuticals. The farm commodity organizations and the Farm Bureau have come under increasing criticism from the rank and file of their farmer members, as their true allegiances have become more widely known….
    http://web.missouri.edu/ikerdj/papers/FarmBill.html

    Destruction/control of the food supply is one of the oldest weapons of war.

    Before joining the EU, the UK fed itself. One Englishman said “The EU’s policies seem to be a deliberate plan to put the UK in a position where it can be starved out in very short order.” Top brass at the EU have admitted that they have already removed 60 percent of Portugal’s farmers and planned to shift one million Polish farmers off their land.

    ….Farmers, however, stand in the way of land acquisitions; so they are best removed. Corporations….set about intensively lobbying national government to get the right regulatory conditions to make their kill.

    Farmers, once having fallen for the CAP subsidy carrot, suddenly find themselves heavily controlled by EU and national officialdom brandishing that most vicious of anti-entrepreneurial weapons: ‘sanitary and hygiene regulations’ – as enforced by national governments at the behest of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. These are the hidden weapons of mass destruction of farmers and the main tool for achieving the CAP’s aim of ridding the countryside of small- and medium-sized family farms and replacing them with monocultural money-making agribusiness.http://www.i-sis.org.uk/savePolishCountryside.php

    ..Although famines are associated with widespread crop failure, most are the result of social or political processes that disrupt traditional agricultural production strategies….Why are so many million hungry and malnourished when there is more than enough food produced in the world each year, and which is adequate to feed everyone? There are a number of social, economic, political and environmental reasons. War, the ownership of land and the structure of agriculture, commercialisation, poverty, the geography of food production and food aid are some of the important reasons. The hungry throughout the world have one common trait that they are poor. The landless and unemployed do not have means or money to acquire food…
    wwwoa.ees.hokudai.ac.jp/~rocksea/upload/ncert/ncert_XII_fundamentals_human_geography.pdf

  213. Zeke says:

    David says “Google Rummel”

    Rudolph Joseph Rummel (born October 21, 1932, Cleveland, Ohio[1]) is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He has spent his career assembling data on collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. Rummel coined the term democide for murder by government (compare genocide), and his research claims that six times as many people died of democide during the 20th century than in all that century’s wars combined.[2] He concludes that democracy is the form of government least likely to kill its citizens and that democracies do not wage war against each other[3] (see Democratic peace theory).

    Rummel is the author of 24 scholarly books, and published his major results in Understanding Conflict and War (1975–81). He then spent the next fifteen years refining the underlying theory and testing it empirically on new data, against the empirical results of others, and on case studies. Power Kills (1997) sums up Rummel’s research. Other works include Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocides and Mass Murders 1917–1987 (1990); China’s Bloody Century: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900 (1991); Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder (1992); Death by Government (1994); and Statistics of Democide (1997). Extracts, figures, and tables from the books, including his sources and details regarding the calculations, are available online on his website. Rummel has also authored Understanding Factor Analysis (1970) and Understanding Correlation (1976). He is the author of the Never again series of alternative-history novels, in which a secret society sends two lovers armed with fabulous wealth and modern weapons back to 1906 with orders to create an alternative, peaceful century. These works are available online.”

    Thank you very much for posting this. I have tried to express similar ideas and often feel like a “folk curiosity,” easily dismissed. Glad to find this scholar. I am amazed at how often the scientific elite play a role in “democide.” It would be interesting to see if he treats that subject. The “two lovers” in Rummel’s history novel series is an ancient theme in myths – they are often twins – who bring fire, agriculture, crafts, and marriage to primitive societies.

  214. Gail Combs says:

    ChiefIO on the subject of employment and market clearing price….

    President Obama used his State of the Union address to call for a national minimum wage of $9.00, up from the current $7.25.

    Democrats in the House and Senate to press for a minimum wage hike as high as $10.

    And the newest:

    President Barack Obama wants to give low-wage Americans a raise. Actually, he doesn’t plan on writing anyone a check. Rather, he wants to force other people to write checks.

    It’s a bad idea, no matter how popular.

    ….Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer was even more fulsome. He advocated more than doubling the minimum, to $15 per hour, which, he contended, would “stimulate the economy, narrow the gap between rich and poor, and end the ridiculous subsidization of private low-wage companies by taxpayers.”

    It would be the ultimate free lunch.

    But if government can make the poor rich, enhance consumer demand, boost the economy, and heal the human spirit, why stop at $9 an hour? Why not set the minimum at $90 per hour? Or $900 per hour? The difference between $9 and $900 is one of degree, not kind.

    Alas, profit-making companies must earn more than they spend. Workers must produce more than they are paid. As government raises the minimum wage, it prices some employees out of the market….

    The bulk of economic studies—“most of the academic evidence,” as Wilson put it—demonstrate that raising the minimum wage destroys jobs. He explained: “The main finding of economic theory and empirical research over the past 70 years is that minimum wage increases tend to reduce employment.” The only question is how much.

    The Department of Labor concluded that the first minimum wage, 25 cents per hour in 1938, cost the jobs of 30,000 to 50,000 of the 300,000 workers who were covered and had previously earned below the minimum. In following years, noted Wilson, “economists began to accumulate statistical evidence on the effects” of minimum wage increases, which found a disproportionate impact on lower-skilled workers….
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2013/04/01/the-minimum-wage-typifies-much-that-is-wrong-with-washington/

    Now combine that with the report i mentioned above that says in the last 25 years small business has supplies ALL the job growth, add in Obummercare and we just might go from 23% unemployment to the 50% Adrian has been worried about.

  215. Zeke says:

    Inre: raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. You have got to be kidding me.

    “This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:

    The few plunder the many.
    Everybody plunders everybody.
    Nobody plunders anybody.

    We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.

    Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism.

    Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.

    No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate).” ~Frederic Bastiat

  216. Gail Combs says:

    Tim Clark says: @ 4 April 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Well Gail, considering my vision of the not too distant future, I have to agree with Adrian with on this one…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Oh it will happen because that is part of the plan for moving towards ‘Global Governance’ however the 50% unemployment will be caused by government not robots although robots maybe blamed.

    If you look at Shadow Statistics the information is not encouraging Ongoing Year-to-year Contractions in Real Durable Goods Orders Signal Renewed Economic Downturn and the unemployment graph is trending up slightly.

    The game playing withe US unemployment statistics (The USA is in the same shape as Spain maybe worse)

    …Up until the Clinton administration, a discouraged worker was one who was willing, able and ready to work but had given up looking because there were no jobs to be had. The Clinton administration dismissed to the non-reporting netherworld about five million discouraged workers who had been so categorized for more than a year. As of July 2004, the less-than-a-year discouraged workers total 504,000. Adding in the netherworld takes the unemployment rate up to about 12.5%.

    The Clinton administration also reduced monthly household sampling from 60,000 to about 50,000, eliminating significant surveying in the inner cities. Despite claims of corrective statistical adjustments, reported unemployment among people of color declined sharply, and the piggybacked poverty survey showed a remarkable reversal in decades of worsening poverty trends….
    http://www.shadowstats.com/article/employment

    The real world effects of Red Tape.

    …. In every city studied, overwhelming regulations destroyed or crippled would-be businesses at a time when they are most needed….

    Along the way, the dreams of individuals are repeatedly crushed:

    • In Chicago, Esmeralda Rodriguez tried to open a children’s play center, paying rent month after month while she waited in vain for the government permits she needed to open her business. After a full year of bureaucratic red tape, she finally exhausted her life savings and closed down for good….

    •In Miami, an accidental loophole in state law allowed jitney van transportation services to flourish briefly. As soon as Miami-Dade County got the opportunity, however, it shut down the new jitneys and ensured no others would open by requiring any new business to prove it wouldn’t hurt its competitors. It even allowed those competitors to object to any new businesses, which is like allowing Burger King to veto the building of a new McDonald’s….

    •In Washington, D.C., hundreds of people have waited more than a year to take the required class and test to become a taxi driver. Rather than encourage these individuals to create jobs for themselves, the city has simply stopped offering the class and test….

    When governments actually get rid of barriers to entrepreneurship, new businesses open almost immediately. Indeed, removing even a single law can unleash entrepreneurial energy and create hundreds of jobs. Mississippi finally got rid of its requirement that African hair braiders get government-issued cosmetology licenses to practice or teach. The result? A single entrepreneur — Melony Armstrong — trained dozens of women to braid hair and open their own businesses….
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-21-mellor26_st_N.htm

  217. Gail Combs says:

    Prof. R.J. Rummel link to some of what he wrote: http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

  218. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke says:
    4 April 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Inre: raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. You have got to be kidding me….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That was my thought when I saw it. The problem is the ignorant worker will praise the politician who does it and curse the business who has to lay him off.

    I tried to explain a bit about economics to some Union workers but they were not having any, so they struck, got their wage hike and then the company shut down the plant within a year. It was the only unionized plant they had and they just transfered production to other plants and used the facility as a warehouse/transfer station.

    You can’t get blood out of a turnip but try telling people that.

  219. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    4 April 2013 at 7:02 pm
    “The US killed many more civilians in Bush’s war than that nasty attack, and depleted uranium, we spread all over the country, does nasty things for a long time. Do you get worked up about this too or doesn’t this count?”

    Did I sound worked up? You said it is controversial whether Saddam used poison gas. I tried to find a link that documents what happened. Now you say he did use poison gas. It sounded like you believed that that attack never happened.

    I don’t get worked up because a quasi-socialist on the Internet says he wants more socialism. I had my communist landlord in Hamburg scream at me because I calmly pointed out some failures of communism.

  220. Zeke says:

    Gail says “I tried to explain a bit about economics to some Union workers but they were not having any”

    It is possible that when we talk about free markets and economic freedom, it may be the first time a person has ever heard of it. Sometimes all they can take is a thimble full. That would be true of most union workers and high school graduates. And Hollywood actors and actresses. And probably many University grads. And just about anyone under 30. Did I leave anyone out? (:

    Freedom Foundation has a good video series that helps to frame things simply, step by step. And thank you for your high level research also.

  221. Gail Combs says:

    Thanks for the pointer Zeke. You are correct that the level of economic training is “But I still have checks in my checkbook, how can I be overdrawn?” (overhead in a bank in the 1970’s)

  222. Zeke says:

    That’s right Gail. (:

    Oh and in-laws. In-laws have never heard of free markets.

  223. David says:

    Re Gail Combs says:
    4 April 2013 at 8:16 pm
    —————————————————
    Raise the minimum wage to what!;, and now they want the banks to move towards the easy money policy that manifested the last housing crisis, all the while holding the banks to the fire to not release their houses, which are often being lived in for free, or rented out for more income, for well over a year now, by people that made little down and took out massive seconds. And how will the feds get the banks to make easier loans to SOME people. by promising to pick up the mess if those unqualified people default, and Obma is doing all possible to raise the cost of fuel, and shut down energy developement. Sheesh, when the SHTF moment comes, we may have 50% unenployment. That is except for about forty % of those who may find govt work, especially for the “well funded” nat security force.

    But the lack of real jobs will damm sure will not be because of rebots. I think however robots may be the fall guys if they can work that. That will be the headline. MASSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT AND CIVIL UNREST, DUE TO ROBOTS, GEORGE BUSH, CAGW, AND HATEFUL WHITE GUYS, ALL OF WHICH FORCED OBAMA TO HIRE MILLIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL.

    E,M,, thanks for all your patience, and your answers to long winded debate really have helped me. I LENRED a lot. ( -;

    Zeke, I am glad you know of Rommel’s important work. He really helped solidify for me some concepts with regard to the importance of liberty, property rights, and the dangers of governemnt power.

  224. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Either you are very very poor at actually reading what I’ve said, or you are being deliberately obtuse.

    “Propaganda has to be seen or heard to be effective. Because you saw something on TV doesn’t exactly prove it is true. ”

    Did you miss the part where I stated I was watching the leader of Iran as he spoke the words in question? That is was on Al Jazeera (owned by Muslims and “Muslim Friendly” and with good and accurate translators and a large “native language speaking audience who will know if they are getting a broken translation so have good “QA”.)

    So I saw both the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad independently say Israel was to be destroyed, removed from the earth, pushed into the sea, and several other variations. Now you want to tell me it isn’t so and it was all made up. You are acting either as fool, or propagandist in your own right. I don’t know which, and frankly, don’t care.

    There is no doubt what so ever that most sects of Islam want to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. Sunni, Shia, Wahabi, whatever. It is in their core doctrines. (Yes, I have personally read them. Both the Koran, and several of the Hadith of different sects.) It is not at all out of character for the leaders of the more “vociferous” Islamic states to say so to their own people in their own language (usually Arabic is used as it can give ‘cover’ via selective ‘reinterpretation’ of the vowels used…) while typically denying it to the west in English. S.O.P. So I listen to THEIR news in THEIR language (with decent Q.A. of the translation via the target audience). If you think Iran does not want to destroy Israel, you are quite quite wrong.

    ““this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”

    Or “Israel must die”. Or “Israel must be wiped from the map”.

    All mean the same thing. (Translation is typically best when NOT literal. Every language has various idioms and conventions that often convey the same idea in very different words. “Would you like to be knocked up in the morning?” Means “would you like a wake up call?” in New Zealand, something else between spouses in N.Y.C. “All translation transforms” so it is the intent that ought to be communicated. “Occupying Jerusalem” is often used by Muslims who can not bring themselves to even utter the name Israel. Watch “Mosaic” (a collection of native language local news programs from various middle eastern states). It’s almost comical some times how many circumlocutions they will use to avoid “Israel”. You get “Zionist State” and “Occupied Palestine” and a half dozen other. “Vanish from the page of time” is just another metaphor for “kill” “destroy” “eradicate” “nuke to oblivion” or yes, “wipe from the map”. Since “wipe from the map” is the typical English metaphor using it to convey the same meaning as the Persian “vanish from the page of time” is good translation. One could just as accurately, but less metaphorically, said “be destroyed”.

    That you offered that as a “correction” to show Iran didn’t intend to destroy Israel is at best an error, at worst deliberate deception. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to “too much zeal in self defense”. But do realize, Iran wishes to destroy Israel and the USA too if it can. It has directly said so. (Which part of “Death To America!” is unclear?… )

    @Gail Combs:

    Once you realize that many of the idiotic laws that are passed are not random but carefully planned to remove the independence of the individual and place him under the control of the government/giant corporate cartels you can start seeing the threads.

    Per “thinking it random”… that isn’t quite right. I’d thought it “unorganized”. i.e. the result of individual decisions (some by Evil Bastards, to be sure). What you might not have noticed was my “shift” after “digging into” Agenda21. Since that point I’ve simply been silent on motivation. It is ever more clear that there are “organizing bodies” coordinating activities. Climategate shows that too. But my usual “style” is be silent on a point while I “integrate and discover new understandings”. Silent means “I’m working the point and changing understanding”, however slowly.

    In short: You might be having an impact on me. ;-)

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    “You say wealth inequality is just a fact and imply it doesn’t matter. ”

    That is not at all what I said. I said it is important in one BIG way. That wealthy people invest more and poor people consume more. The “Marginal Propensity To Invest”. You can take wealth from wealthy people and give it to poor people, but ONLY if you accept that you will have lower levels of investment and lower future production. I then also said that the morality or “justness” of it was an orthogonal point. (That is, unrelated to the reality of it. Perhaps a very important question, but not one that changes the effect on Marginal Propensity To Invest or that you WILL have lower investment with wealth transfer to the poor.)

    I’ve said NOTHING in this thread about my opinion of the virtue of it. Only the technical impact of it. (On other threads I have stated that one of the vexing problems inherent to Marginal Propensity To Invest is that “the rich get richer” and that I’ve tried to find a ‘good solution’ but been unable. An inheritance tax of some kind is as close as I can come, but it has other negative and distorting effects. So emotionally I don’t like the world being owned by a few Mega-Rich Evil Bastards either. But I do recognize that just taking their money to raise the minimum wage will result in LESS wealth in the future, not more, for everyone.)

    You then make up some fantasy Toy World with two people in it and want me to play in your doll house. No, thank you. I have a more accurate and better world to play in.

    There is no doubt that Saddam used poison gas.

    http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2013/3/state6926.htm

    Witness of poison gas attacks in Halabja : Halabja is the unfinished story of the Kurdish nation. It’s also a symbolic city of a crime committed against the humanity at whole. Unfortunately, there are many more victims from Halabja who are still suffering from the mustard gas exposure.

    March 16, 2013

    BRUSSELS,— Ali Zalme from the Kurdish city Halabja eye witnessed the tragic events on 16 March 1988, when 5 000 Kurds lost their life and more than 7 000 people were injured or suffered long term illness by the poisonous gas attack of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Interviewed by Lorin Sarkissian.

    Could you shortly present yourself ?

    Ali Zalme: I was born on 11 March 1972 in Khormal-Hawraman town of Halabja, city of Sulaymania in Southern Kurdistan. My mother died when I was only 5 years old and my father re-married. At that time my family consisted of five brothers and six sisters, but unfortunately during the mass exodus in April 1991, I lost one of my brothers and later, during the American invasion in Iraq I lost another young brother who was only 19 years old.
    [...]
    Ali Zalme: If we want to have a real picture of the Halabja massacre, we should understand all the aspects of this tragic event. First of all, Halabja chemical attack came just before the end of the Iraq-Iran eight years war. Halabja was a symbolic city of the Kurdish recent resistance against the Ba’ath regime in Iraq. Saddam and his brutal regime were looking for an opportunity to take revenge on the people of Halabja region (Hawraman and Sharazoor ). Particularly just 10 months before the Halabja attack, on 13 May 1987 people from the city of Halabja and the surrounding areas including Khormal, Sirwan Hawraman and Sharazoor had rebelled, which is known as May Uprising against the Ba’ath government.

    I and thousands of other mostly young Kurdish students came to the streets and demonstrated to stop razing Kurdish villages and rural area, while the regime was forcing the local people to live in controlled camps. For at least 5 hours we all celebrated the short freedom in the Halabja, but soon Saddam’s army came back with assistance from other Iraqi army units and they were able to control the area. They used heavy artillery and helicopter gunship. Many innocent people were killed and many others were injured, in addition the army randomly arrested hundreds of people, who were instantly killed by the Iraqi army and buried in mass graves near the town of Sayidsadq. Three of my cousins and one of my closed friends were among them.

    Now you can go and claim that’s all just propaganda, as are the photos of the event and all the mourning relatives and … Oh, and all the poison gas facilities and munitions Saddam had…

    ” I don’t consider those a true WMD and it was certainly no threat to the US.”

    Um, it was a very real threat to the US troops in Iraq. But more importantly, there is a standard definition of WMD and it includes poison gas. No, you do not get to change standard definitions that were used by the folks involved to suit your own agenda. Poison gas IS WMD as the term was used at the time by the people involved so yes, Iraq did have and did use WMD. Poison gas on Kurds. Get over it.

    (It is an orthogonal question “Was the US justified to invade Iraq?”. In my opinion, no. Not our problem. His country, his neighbors problem. “the locals” ought to have dealt with it, not us. But nobody asked me… BTW, I regularly “take rocks” for my desire to have a more isolationist self defense oriented US Military. But all of that is unrelated to “Did they have WMD and did they use them? ” That answer is “yes”. But IMHO did not mean the USA had any business on that side of the world. Saudi could have hired the EU armies to defend it ;-)

    “You agreed that a large amount of money moving slowly can be the same as a small amount moving fast. What do you have against increasing the amount of money as civilization expands? ”

    Um, I didn’t “agree”. I stated it as a fact. Other folks (that I think included you) jumped on me asserting that it was not the same. Seems to me you were the one saying we needed a growing money supply, and I’m showing “No we don’t. Any size will do. It just changes what happens.” (You may not like what happens, but that is orthogonal to the question of “can a static money supply work”. Yes, it can.)

    Now you assert that I’m “against increasing the amount of money” when I’ve regularly said I’d increase it at about 2% – 3% / year (about the same as economic growth). Please, at least keep the players straight…

    I have nothing against a growing money supply and think having it grow at the rate of real GDP growth from technical advance is about right.. (I’m also quite happy with MODEST amounts of Fractional Reserve Banking and even the “dynamic money supply change” that happens when folks load up the credit card in bad times and pay it off in good as that is counter cyclical.)

    At least get my positions right before attacking as “straw man” things I didn’t advocate.

    (But a static money supply will work fine too… In fact, anything from about 2% contraction through static to about 4% growth works OK.)

    “Of course the future is not certain but the chances of an educated guess being right is better than random. ”

    Um, actually, no. It’s been studied. (Sorry, no link. I’m already about 2 postings behind due to the time being sunk into this comment thread and don’t care to get more behind). Turns out that “experts” and “educated” folks guesses are WORSE than random and worse than just average folks guesses. If you want a good prediction about the future do not ask an expert or ‘educated person’ in the field. Counter intuitive, but true.

    Turns out that the best prediction is “It will be about the same tomorrow as it is today” and that is what most non-experts pick… though the non-educated non-experts will often be a tiny be more right than simply “same as today” as they will make accurate short term extensions of present trend.

    BTW, remember my warning about gratuitous “digs”? I’m now entering “be the mirror” mode… I strongly suggest you avoid the urge to goad people it will get you bit bucketed. You have been warned.

    Did you read that piece I linked earlier about medical practice in the US? How do you justify the drug company marking up the price x10 and the hospital multiplying that by 10 again? You don’t have a lot of choice if you are ill and need the drug.

    It’s just the market clearing price so not to worry…

    First off, medical care is about as far from a free market as you can get. It is an intensely regulated, government managed, and highly “socialized” fee structure unrelated to a free market at all and even worse than most “managed markets”. So your “dig” via the sniditude of “just the market clearing price” is either pig ignorant or deliberately combative. In either case it is incredibly stupid and shows astounding ignorance of the medical field and the intensely government managed and screwed up nature of it.

    Please stop being so stupid.

    It is not a “market clearing price”, it is a “3rd way socialized artifice”.

    Further such deliberate “stupidity for effect” or attempts at goading will put you into the “carping comments” and / or Troll category. You don’t want to go there.

    @Adolfo:

    On of the things I’ve occasionally pondered is that the few manipulators at the center of the spider web depend entirely on a very few means of control. Laws and indirect ownership. It all comes down to long lines of control that ought to be modestly fragile and easily broken.

    Some times I wonder if that’s what folks in Latin America see when, as in Venezuela they nationalize a load of stuff, or in Ecuador they just say F-off to the international controls. It does seem to disrupt the spider web… Argentina keeps playing an ‘on again off again’ game of footsy with the IMF, and I’ve not figured out quite why … I’d expect them to either get in, or out, of that game.

    @Adrian Asfield:

    “Adolfogiurfa,
    The problem is that most of the “cures,” like communism, have turned out to be worse than the disease.
    I think there is a better way, some mixed economy, but it doesn’t look like it has been found yet. It’s the same problem as capitalism, greed is both good and bad.”

    Finally something decent. Yes, the “mixed economy” worked fairly well in the ’60s and ’70s in the USA (and a few other places). The problem is that it looks to be unstable. It drifts toward “3rd Way Socialism”. (Where we are now with Lange Type – even if only the bare minimum to meet the definition – in the USA).

    I don’t know if it is an inherent instability, or driven by “outside actors” as Gail posts about.

    I call it The Evil Bastard Problem. In Laissez-faire Capitalism, the Evil Bastards can use a variety of nefarious means to take over and Monopolize some parts of business. Then lever off of that until they are so large they can monopolize pretty much everything. (This is not a hypothetical. We had it during the Robber Barron era when a few dozen of them were fighting for dominance and everyone else was getting trampled). At the other extreme, in Communism or National Socialism, you get The Evil Bastard Premier / Central Committee running the whole country as a giant monopoly. No better (worse in some ways…)

    In between, you have the “Mixed Economy”. ( a couple of times now I’ve told you to read Samuelson. I can see you have not. It would save you a lot of time. http://www.amazon.com/Economics-Paul-A-Samuelson/dp/0070579474 looks like the current rewrite, but I like the 8th edition from 1970 better.)

    The only things really wrong with it are the tendency for “regulatory capture” by the regulated industry and the tendency to slide into “3rd Way Socialism” via that “Iron Law” causing government to grow to excess and start “managing” things…

    So now we have the Evil Bastards taking control of the government and making “laws for themselves” in that evil “3rd Way Socialism” way that has a “government / private” partnership that leaves out The People… (See the history of Fascism and “3rd Way”…)

    Have I mentioned lately that economics is called “The Dismal Science” for a reason?…

    So yes, it would be great to have the legal and regulatory structure of the USA in 1960… (or maybe 1950). But we don’t, and it clearly wasn’t stable against a political drift (or push?) into a “3rd Way Socialism For The Rich And Connected”…

    There may not be a ‘good solution’ and it may be that we simply must keep taking that turn around the wheel from freedom to democracy to tyranny to revolution to freedom…

    @Gail Combs:

    That is why monopoly and cartels are so very bad. Add in collusion with the government bureaucracies and it gets down right EVIL. Thanks to laws and regulations the competition in banking, drug manufacture and the medical profession has been pretty much killed.

    BINGO! (I’d also add “tort for effect” via pre-planned “verdicts”… )

    “(Since I am neither ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ I drive people nuts trying to stuff me into a pigeonhole)”

    Me too. Must be why we ‘get along well’ ;-)

    “FDR threatened to stuff the Supreme Court”

    Um, he DID pack the Supreme Court! Look how long he was in office picking judges!

    @Tim Clark:

    Thanks! Was starting to wonder if anyone was actually reading what I was spending time writing… ;-)

    @DirkH & Zeke:

    I read your comments and like them… but don’t have much to add… Just don’t feel left out in the flood of “Trying yet again to get a straight answer from Adrian” ;-)

    Saddam used poison gas before he didn’t and it was a WMD unless it isn’t convenient and money supply vs velocity can’t work until it can but it’s just a little growth of it that’s needed and can’t get a personal flying machine when tens of thousands of folks have them and…

    Loved this bit from the Mafia connection:

    Police seize $1.7bn in assets which include 43 wind and solar energy companies, 98 properties and 66 bank accounts.”

    Elsewhere this is spinning more as windmill charging.

    Wonder if there are any emails involved ;-)

    @David:

    Glad to be of help. Having sunk several years of my life actually getting good at Economics and many more unraveling the real history of Political-Economics buried under all the lies and deception of the current crop of “3rd Way Socialists” trying to hide their connection to their tap root in Italian Fascism; it’s nice to know it wasn’t all wasted time…

    Well, finally reached the end of this thread… Now if I can just catch up the OTHER threads, maybe I’ll have time left to look at a new posting… or that “market check” I was supposed to do… Sigh.

    FWIW, I spent part of today doing some “homework” and a “final exam” that ought to land me another degree. In Religion, no less. That’s the last piece (along with the Druid Masters) that I needed for background to make The Church Of The Sacred Carbon a bit more properly founded. (In the theological sense, not the legal sense. I’m already a legal minister…) So “paperwork sent in” and now I wait. But at least now I think I can do a decent job of laying out a proper calender and have a good theological basis for things, instead of just “pontification and puff” ;-)

    So much to do, so little time…

  225. Ralph B says:

    EM

    Time for another posting? Heck this thread in itself is worth at least 3. How many keyboards do you go through a year? I may be wrong but I assume they get quite the workout when replying to Adrian.

  226. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ralph B:

    Strange you would mention that… I bought this laptop about a year ago. At the 8 or 9 month point, many keys had the letters worn off. Some are getting a small “dimple’ in the key. I’m not sure if that is where the fingernail hits, or the plastic is wearing into the hollow part… but it got me wondering if HP was making cheap non-durable keyboards, or if I just type fast ;-)

    FWIW, I don’t really think about typing at all. I just think the words. I first learned to type in “Typing class” in high school in about 1969 or 1970. I was either the only boy, or only one of 2 in the class. At that time it was taught mostly to girls to be secretaries. IBM Selectrics, IIRC, for the final exam. We started on manual typewriters with ribbon changing and lever return and all. I think there were 6? Selectrics in one ‘special’ row of the class. Very formal teaching. To pass you needed to touch type from copy without ever looking at the keyboard, including special characters and numbers, at minimum of 25 wpm with 70 being A territory. (IIRC I got up to about 50 wpm). Oh, and no errors on a page in ‘production’ and only 1 or 2? in “speed tests” (and you got dinged for them…)

    So I’ve been ‘touch typing’ for about 44 years now… Does it show? ;-)

    At one time I typed up admission papers for a hospital where I was a clerk, 7 page carbons. You just don’t make mistakes on 7 page carbons… My rate dropped to something like 25 wpm… Names, addresses, insurance companies, medical terms.

    (Still bugs me that I have to take my fingers off the ‘home row’ to use the mouse on the computer… it’s just ‘wrong’ to leave the home row ;-) But at least the ‘carriage return’ isn’t a funky lever any more ;-)

  227. Ralph B says:

    Heh I remember my sister practicing by putting little red caps over the keys. That old typewriter is still back in the old homestead, you really had to press down hard to get a good strike. Whenever I see bold stressing a point I always imaging hammering the keys that much harder.
    I never learned to type proper..I am a 4 finger pecker..(that doesn’t sound right…)
    You should get a cheaper usb keyboard rather than wear out the laptop. Much easier and cheaper to replace.

  228. E.M.Smith says:

    I assume that “4 fingers” is when not, er, at attention… ;-)

    I have a bluetooth keyboard. But as I’m rarely at a desk, balancing a laptop and an outboard keyboard at the same time is a bit, er much…

  229. Gail Combs says:

    EM Smith…
    … I’m not sure if that is where the fingernail hits, or the plastic is wearing into the hollow part… but it got me wondering if HP was making cheap non-durable keyboards, or if I just type fast ;-)….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Another FWIW.

    I took a short course in plastics at NYPRO INSTITUTE in the mid 80s. I got into a real knock down drag-out fight with the instructor over durability. (Think of the 1960s indestructible AT&T black phone.) It used to be the ASTM drop test was minimum 3/4ft (falling of desk/kitchen counter) the guy I was arguing with was calling that ‘abuse’ So even back then there was a drive towards more ‘fragile’ products. (At 0.02/pound raw material cost for a light weight $10/part one wonders why.)

    That was the first reason for the cheap junk now a days. The second is recycling. Think of plastics as spaghetti. Each time you expose a plastic to heat in reforming it you chop up those long chain hydrocarbons and your spaghetti gets shorter. This means you go from hard plastic =>wax => liquid, the shorter the chain the more you move toward liquid since plastics are not crystalline in structure.

    At the company I worked for, we found that adding over 10% regrind caused weakening of the plastic. (I did the experimental design and testing) Most companies have LOTS of regrind, bad parts/ mold runners/flash…. All of it goes into the regrind hoppers and if there is more than 10% it is sold off for less critical parts like cheap toys. Now think what the push for adding all that post-consumer plastic did to companies that were already using 10% internally produced regrind.

    I have a few muck buckets from the early 80’s, I still use them. The new ones I buy last about 2-3 yrs. The ‘recycle craze’ has been a real boon to ‘built in obsolescence’ Interestingly, it used to be black plastic was the most UV-resistant and therefore durable. (Yea, I did the testing here too) Now Fortiflex warranties colors for 5 yrs, and black for 1 yr. I think I know where all that mandated post consumer crap is going in their factories. An interesting way to keep the quality up and protect their fine reputation.

    You might want to make sure the keyboards you buy do not have black keys.

  230. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.Smith
    Re Iran. I think you are generalizing from what a few people have said. I can find you equally obnoxious statements by Christian or Jewish leaders. I really don’t like Islam, think that it is a disaster in several countries, and think it more dangerous than most other religions. But I’m not too keen to start another Crusade. Probably best we just agree to differ.

    Re Wealth distribution. I think you have over simplified the effects of wealth distribution by saying.
    “..take wealth from wealthy people and give it to poor people, but ONLY if you accept that you will have lower levels of investment and lower future production.”
    Of course it will happen in that case. What happens if more money is available for middle class and entrepreneurs? In other words allowing more people to start new businesses. I tried to make it more obvious by taking it to the extreme where those decisions were made by just one person, that it would be better by more people, that there is some happy medium, but you dismissed it as playing in my doll’s house.

    Have a look at the later graphs on the link I posted before. http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/ Slide to 4:30 if you are short of time.
    Do you really think this is a good situation? That if the present trend continues it won’t lead to violent political unrest? How else do you correct it without some form of wealth distribution?

    Re Saddam and poison gas. I said he used it at Halabja, why go on about it? Was he the only bad guy?
    He was never any threat to the US. I believe we were suckered into attacking Iran by Israel. I know you disagree. The “mushroom cloud over here” was pure propaganda. Glad that we both agree with the writers of the Constitution, that the US should be more isolationist. Pity the government doesn’t.

    Re money supply. As we both think the money supply should be increased to match economic growth, it seems to be a case of misunderstanding. I probably read something into your comments that you did not mean.

    Re forecasting. (Experts vs. random) What you say is only true about getting the date right. There is little doubt about things like automation increasing in the future. In passing I need to give more thought about the aging population and whether that will provide a lot of (unproductive) employment or whether robots will help significantly.

    Re market clearing price. For the individual not covered by medical insurance unfortunately it is. I feel very strongly about the subject so will refrain from commenting.

    Re mixed economies. I suppose I will have to get over my feeling of “Let’s suppose we have a can opener” and read Samuelson.
    I’m not really persuaded by the conspiracy theories yet. I think much of it can be explained by how little it takes to bribe a politician.

    I am not conservative nor liberal either. Looking forward to seeing more of The Church Of The Sacred Carbon.

    LENR. Can you believe getting back to the thread’s subject?
    Sterling Allan has interviewed the CEO of Defkalion. They are claiming to be actively working on many applications including:
    • Water Desalination
    • Boilers
    • Trains
    • Ships
    • Airplanes
    • Satellites
    • Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Hotels
    • District Heating
    • Mining
    • Telecommunications Towers
    • IT
    • Metals
    • Cements
    • Pipes
    • Tires
    And will be making a live demo at the NI-Week in August. First commercial application forecast for 2014.
    Defkalion lying low, preparing for some big splashes
    Interview by Sterling Allan
    Alex expects that the price for a retrofitted nuclear plant will be 12 times lower than what they presently operate at. They expect to be able to produce power for around 0.35 cents per kilowatt-hour.

    Once these units are available for home heat and electricity, the energy cost is expected to be less than $300 for six months, for a 550 square meter (6000 ft2) home. Heat alone costs that much per month in the winter in many of the colder climates. Then think of the robustness of having your heat and electricity both independent of the grid. No longer would natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes effect thousands or even millions of people for days on end. Your power simple doesn’t even go off at all, unless your house is hit directly by the disaster.
    http://pesn.com/2013/04/04/9602290_Defkalion-laying-low-preparing-to-make-a-big-splash/

  231. DirkH says:

    @Adrian, re your video (unfortunately their graph has no units. Too bad.)

    a person who saves money accumulates money.
    A person who spends everything has no savings.
    With me so far?

    After a while the person who saves money has quite a heap of money.
    The person who spends everything still has nothing.

    Now you propose taking away some from the person who has the heap of money to give it to the person who spends everything.

    I’d call that an old idea, it has a name, it’s socialism.

    The person who gets something, BTW, will probably proceed to spend it all again. Rinse, leather, repeat. After all, under your system, him having nothing is what entitles him to get something for free, so he will take care to not ever have something. Lest he would become a person from whom is taken.

  232. Adrian Ashfield says:

    DirkH,
    A person who inherits a lot of money can make lots more without lifting a finger.
    A person who leaves college with a high debt and can’t get a job finds it hard to save.
    With me so far?

    You write like you think I’m an idiot. I’m not.

  233. Zeke says:

    “First off, medical care is about as far from a free market as you can get. It is an intensely regulated, government managed, and highly “socialized” fee structure unrelated to a free market at all and even worse than most “managed markets”.” ~EM Smith

    There is an article about the “failure of the American Dream” I read not too long ago; as evidence of the failure of a free system based on individual initiative and independence, and of the need for more government guarantees (ie fwee stuff), the author pointed to the inner cities and their failing schools. He actually used the failures of the government schools and the government poverty programs to demonstrate the failure of the “American Dream.” This is I think the kind of illogic that supports “Third Way” socialists, who believe that their politics are so transcendent.

    It also comes to my attention that the way that China’s “reformed” communist economy is being lionized in the press is the root of many myths and problems here. With the right hand, their economy is made to look comparable to ours by adjusting for Purchasing Power Parity. And with the left hand, socialists are killing our purchasing power with sustainability/AGW policies. So I am beginning to think that our belief in China’s economic power may be a trap and another argument for “modified capitalism,” when in fact this is based on inaccurate portrayals in the press. This argument for China’s economic power may also buttress up the “Third Way” socialist delusions.

    ref: http://thisiscommonsense.com/2012/09/25/dream-weavers/
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-samuelson-the-american-dreams-empty-promise/2012/09/23/e630946c-0428-11e2-8102-ebee9c66e190_story.html
    ref: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/04/the-united-states-vs-china-which-economy-is-bigger-which-is-better

    (And I do take your “free advice.” That was a riot (: )

  234. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    5 April 2013 at 4:31 pm
    “A person who inherits a lot of money can make lots more without lifting a finger.”

    It is surprisingly difficult and hard work to multiply money; especially in a zero interest rate environment. I lift a lot of fingers doing just that. After I lifted my fingers a lot at work.

    ” A person who leaves college with a high debt and can’t get a job finds it hard to save.
    With me so far?”

    Yes I’m with you. That person was not forced to take on 199K USD debt to get a PhD in the history Of German Polka Dancing. At least I hope she wasn’t.

    ” You write like you think I’m an idiot. I’m not.”

    I will henceforth assume that you are a highly functioning yet entirely humourless person.

  235. P.G.Sharrow says:

    I find that most that are born with a lot of money just spend it and complain that it is not enough. Large inherited fortunes generally disappear in 3 generations. A few make the family fortune their business and WORK to increase it. Some like Buffet and Gates take a small fortune and make it huge by stealing the wealth and dreams of others because they can.
    Family farms generally take 3 generations of work to become successful. Great way to live and raise children, poor way to make money.
    Government works to level the field by making everyone the same, POOR, except for the select few that control the governance. WE DON’T NEED THEM! The very rich NEED government control of others to make up for their inefficiencies of scale. Very large business can only exist if small businesses can’t start or exist due to government restrictions. Free people are prosperous, governed people are poor. When government control costs exceed 40% of wealth creation, wealth disappears as it’s creation is suppressed, then the need to continue feeding the “Beast” causes collapse. It is them or us. We don’t need them. They need us. They are the servants, not the masters. They must serve us not the rich. pg

  236. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.S.
    OT but where else to say it?
    I have just had reason to reread your piece on temperatures http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/summary-report-on-v1-vs-v3-ghcn/
    What a great piece of work! What a shame the AGW folk won’t read and inwardly digest it.

  237. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    Re Wealth distribution….

    Have a look at the later graphs on the link I posted before. http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/ Slide to 4:30 if you are short of time.
    Do you really think this is a good situation? That if the present trend continues it won’t lead to violent political unrest? How else do you correct it without some form of wealth distribution….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You ask how else to correct the problem. EM and I are sort of in agreement.
    1.) Quit printing gobs of money and giving the rich first access and thereby moving wealth from the poor to the rich.

    2.) THE major method: Get rid of regulations and the bureaucratic red tape that stifles small business. Put in place anti-monopoly and anti-monopsony laws AND ENFORCE THEM.

    3.) New Idea: Have a citizen’s tribunal where a bureaucrat is tried if he has complaints against him for improper enforcement of regulations. If you get some petty little hitler that insists that the Animal Welfare Act means you have to put TWO 5 ft high chainlink fences (3 or more feet appart) around 90 acres of lob-lolly pine forest where the animals never go you have some recourse besides going out of business or worse paying a huge fine or lawyers fees. As it is now regulations are pretty much completely outside the regular judicial system and the petty hitlers are a major hurtle for the wealth creating small businesses of the poor and middle class. The tribunal to be open only to those of modest means perhaps and NO LAWYERS especially for the accused bureaucrat. The idea is to wrestle this part of the legal system away from the big boys where wealth and power create a different rule of law. This would also be open to anyone else running afoul of the bureaucratic red tape.

    If you want to give people a chance to climb out of poverty you have to quit slamming the door in their face:

    When governments actually get rid of barriers to entrepreneurship, new businesses open almost immediately. Indeed, removing even a single law can unleash entrepreneurial energy and create hundreds of jobs. Mississippi finally got rid of its requirement that African hair braiders get government-issued cosmetology licenses to practice or teach. The result? A single entrepreneur — Melony Armstrong — trained dozens of women to braid hair and open their own businesses. link

    The secretary of the Treasury says taxes must be raised on small business so the federal government can stay big….

    While testifying Wednesday before the House Small Business Committee, Timothy Geithner told Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., that hiking taxes on small businesses is the only “alternative” that will allow “a balanced approach to reduce our fiscal deficits.”…

    Small businesses are America’s jobs engine.

    Even more appalling is the fact Geithner didn’t back off his position when Ellmers told him that 64% of new jobs in this country are created by small businesses. In fact, he acknowledged that she is correct.

    While the number Ellmers used is compelling, we believe the rate is actually higher, around 85%. We base this estimate on our own database of public companies, which shows that over the last 25 years, big businesses created no net new jobs. That leaves small business as virtually the only job creator.

    Geithner’s unabashed statement helps explain the sorry situation in which America finds itself….

    Socialists what to regulate, tax and micro-manage everything and then wonder why the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

  238. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gail, we all agree on the perils of printing large gobs of money.
    Nothing seems to stop the government spending though. Not that I think it a good idea to stop suddenly, now. So it is not the printing it is the spending that has to be reduced.

    A lot of the stupid regulations come about through industry associations, really rather like unions, that want to restrict competition. Like around here forcing people to get a degree in cosmetics before operating a beauty parlor.

    As for your new idea, those in power won’t let anything like that happen. You would have to change the politicians en masse and how do you propose doing that? Educate the people? Good luck with that.

  239. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail:

    The HP keyboard has black keys… and HP is a politically correct “Green” company…

    I have an old PC keyboard from about 1985 that I still use sometimes. It got the same workout for several years. Can’t see any wear on it at all…

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Glad you liked some of the more “analytical” work I’ve done. There’s a lot of it… see the sidebars / categories on “AGW whatever…” also dT/dt and GISS whatever…

    BTW, I am not “generalizing from what a few people have said”. I am accurately reporting what the leaders of the country have said and what the mobs i the street have on their signage and what their key foundational documents that drive their religion says. I make no generalization from it to the people of the country writ large. (A good friend is married to an Iranian and I regularly shop at a “Mediterranean Store” run by Iranians where I buy my favorite Persian Tea – though how they get it in here is beyond me… and I don’t ask…) As I’ve said several times, that you have either not read or choose to ignore: I work well with Muslims. They can be good folks. I’d work for them again ( was in a Muslim owned company on contract for a year or so). The “average guys” are just about like everyone else

    It’s the LEADERSHIP that runs countries off the rails and into wars. That’s why listening to what the LEADERSHIP says matters more than how much I like Moroccan food or think my workmate was a good guy and trustworthy.

    “But I’m not too keen to start another Crusade”.

    Then don’t. Also, as I’ve said a few times (but your comment implies I do want to start a war…) I am for a more isolationist US military posture and think foreign wars are stupid. Let the Europeans police the world. Not My Problem.

    “Probably best we just agree to differ.”

    That’s a polite deflection. It implicitly assumes that the two positions are just the same in value, only a matter of opinion. It is typically quite false. But it is a “socially accepted convention”, like telling your grandma she looks good today when she’s about ready to die and looks it.

    There is an objective reality that can be evaluated and it leads to better decisions and from that better results. In front of you is an Iran Hell Bent on nuclear weapons, that has repeatedly stated their intent do destroy Israel, and where the leadership has expressed a direct desire to attack America and American interests, likely has funded more terrorism and covert warfare in the north of Israel than anyone else, actively smuggles arms, is working with North Korea on nukes, and has a death wish cult as part of their core value system. All of those are “just facts”. Easily checked, easily observed. They are not opinions, they are observables. You wish to ignore that in favor of some “feel good” belief in how nice they will be if we ignore them. Fine with me. Just don’t tell ME that it is the right decision nor the best policy. The objective reality says otherwise.

    That maybe 75% of the population of Iran are good folks and hates their leadership doesn’t change any of that. Just like most Americans not liking crony capitalism and wars of adventure doesn’t let us control our leaders either. The reality is hell, and I’d love a solution where Moms and Dads can stop having other people send their kids off to die for political games and gain; but that “reality” doesn’t exist. (BTW, I have Amish grandparents so some of my values are colored by that “pacifist isolationist go along to get along leave me the hell alone” background. It is only through painful experience that I learned that a Bully responds best to a quick kick in the balls and a fist in the face and “playing nice” with them just gets you whacked. The leadership in Iran are classical bully types. I can smell them a mile away after a lifetime fo practice… )

    So no, we do not “agree to disagree”. You can “leave it alone” if you like, but the objective reality remains. “Reality just is. -E.M.Smith” and it cares not if you agree with it…

    My “solution” to Iran would be simply to remove all US forces from Europe, Africa, and Asia ex-Japan / Australia / Guam / Diego Garcia. Tell the EU “your problem, you get a lot of oil from there, not us”; and then sink that same expense into building coal to gasoline and coal to Diesel factories all over the USA. Oh, and I’d not give One DIme of “foreign aid” bribe money to any country in the world. I would sell arms to Israel at a discount, but theirs are better than ours anyway, so maybe we ought to just by theirs at ‘market rate’… I simply don’t see the “Old World” problems as problems for me or my kids. We have things here to fix.

    Folks “over there” have been killing each other off since Palestinians were called Philistines and Israel was called… oh, right, Israel… At least 4000 years now. We are NOT going to fix it, nor stop Persia for whacking on Greeks and Romans… Sell them guns and ammo for gold and watch from a well armed ocean away… Not My Problem. And NO participation in “crusades”… ( I would, however, publish a Standing Order than any country that uses a nuke against any US facility anywhere in the world was to be summarily nuked into a glow in the dark wasteland with launch authority at the “captain of ship” level – no ‘go code’ needed…S.A.D. doctrine Swift Assured / Asymmetrical Destruction. Maybe S.A.A.D ;-)

    “Re Wealth distribution. I think you have over simplified the effects of wealth distribution by saying.”

    It is not ‘over simplified’ to state ONE effect. It is “bite sized chunks”. It is a simple demonstrable FACT. Accept it. Embrace it. Understand what it means; then, and only then, move on to “more steps”. Far too often folks want to jump to the “feel good” part by skipping the “aw shit” part. That does not make the Aw Shit go away.

    So yes, there’s a lot of hair on the “wealth distribution” dog. So? FIRST, you must accept that if you reduce the wealthy, you increase consumption and decrease investment and decrease future productivity. It is just a part of the reality of Economics. IFF you can’t handle that, anything added just becomes pie in the sky “angels and pins” mental masturbation. Sorry, not interested.

    IF you can accept it and internalize it, then the basis exists for exploring questions like:

    1) Does a confiscatory wealth tax on death help, or hurt, aggregate captial stock formation?
    2) Does “charitable foundation” equal “tax free political clout” and is really NOT a social good?
    3) Will “capital flight” damage more than “wealth equalization” helps?
    4) Ought there be a “Jubilee year”?
    5) How can we stop the Middle Class form being destroyed by “soak the rich” laws that never soak the rich?
    etc. etc. etc.

    But until you internalize that The Rich Invest and The Poor Eat Their Seed Corn; everything else is a waste of breath.

    So get on the trike and pedal a while. We’ll get to the 200 H.P. Harley later…

    Per your Toy World vs Middle Class vs… See:
    http://www.amosweb.com/cgi-bin/awb_nav.pl?s=wpd&c=dsp&k=marginal+propensity+to+invest
    where there is a samle M.P.I. curve in it. It is largely flatish with positive slope in the income range shown (low / middle). As you get to Obscenely Rich it curves up more (as they simply cn not spend $100,000,000 / day on consumption). So your question about what happens with more middle class and less rich is … less investing. (It really does help of you study the Economic Literature if you want to play amateur Economist… much of this is already solved.)

    Even the wiki covers it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_propensity_to_consume

    Has a nice graph (typical of Econ, poor axis labels):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MPC.png

    You will note that the Consumption Function largely “goes flat” at an average of “pretty rich” and well before “filth rich”. So, IFF you want to play “redistribution games” and NOT reduce investment, you can. Just move money from the $Billionaires to those making over $200,000 / year…

    (The graph itself is not labeled as to currency, but the Wiki article is captioned in Rupee. A similar consumption function will exists for $US consumers. My opinion based on observing what folks do with their money is that the ‘knee’ of the curve is between about $200,000 and $500,000 / year income in the USA. I doubt that it is below $100,000 has ‘in good time” I made over that and spent most of it. California is an expensive place to get and keep a house…)

    So try convincing the Socialist Equalizers that you want to tax Bill Gates to give his money to the Doctors and Lawyers in town, and not to the guy running a gas station or taco stand….

    Have I mentioned lately that Economics is called “The Dismal Science” for a reason?… The REALITY is not what people WANT. What they WANT doesn’t work well.

    The middle class is more than ready and willing to start more businesses. Shortage of capital is not what stops them. Over regulation and legal / government burden is. You want to fix the wrong problem. ( I know that as I’ve made and run my own business a couple fo times…)

    Re Saddam and poison gas. I said he used it at Halabja, why go on about it?

    Because it demonstrates that he had, and used, WMD, which you denied, then tried to wave away via ‘redefinition’.

    “Was he the only bad guy?”

    Irrelevant distractor. Attempt to shift to moral argument from fact based. Flush.

    No, he had whole hoards of bad guys working for him too. (As do most governments in the world, likely to include ours.)

    He was never any threat to the US. I believe we were suckered into attacking Iran by Israel. I know you disagree.

    Another non-point. He was a treat to The House Of Saud and European Oil Supply and were are their (collective) rented army. Deal was likely cut after the ’70 Arab Oil Embargo, IMHO. Personally, I think it’s a bad deal, but they didn’t as me. ( I was NOT in favor of the Iraq wars. Either of them. A Saudi / EU problem and we ought to have handed it to them. But “the deal” that I think was made was that the USA would be “World Cop”, The House of Saud would assure stable oil supply and mostly stable price, we would guarantee their safety (and wealth) and the EU would not get all “Colonial power like” again… )

    Israel had little to nothing to do with it. It was Kuwait that was invaded, Iran that had been in decades of on again off again war, The House Of Saud (and the little emirates) that were next on the menu. Then Jordan would still be a buffer to Israel. Nukes from Israel would have kept Saddam out. But that would have been soo non-PC (and admit the reality of them). So tossing Israel into the mix is just a waste of propaganda points and anti-Israel bias.

    What happens in the Middle East has far more to do with what the House of Saud wants. We are their “Rent An Army”… They even paid for the first war… (The second one, I guess, was “warrantee repair” on the first one…)

    Be Advised that Samuelson, while the standard into text to Econ, was more ‘balanced’ in the 1970 edition has has gotten much more Keynesian in later years. Read it for general understanding, but take the Keynesian solutions with a pound of salt… Does good job on things like consumption functions and marginal propensity to invest and save. Also good coverage of the “Mixed Economy” (at least, in the 1970 version, haven’t read the new one).

    Folks WITH insurance get soaked on the hospital bill. Folks without often get a 1/2 knock off just by saying they have no insurance (and sometimes a complete write off if they are poor). I worked my way through school working hospital billing… It is NOT a market and does NOT have a ‘clearing price mechanism’. It is a socialism in sheep’s clothing system, pure and simple. I’ve watched / participate in the entire process from “simple market” in 1960 through gradual government involvement to socialism in hiding. To, now, blatant socialized medicine.

    The only thing hard about bribing a politician is keeping them bribed… (Forget who said it ;-)

    NI-Week? Oh boy, another term to look up… Yes, process heat and electricity are used all over the place. Not just house heating. Time lags will result from time to construct capital facilities and sales lags / depreciation schedules. (i.e. IF I have a marginal tire retreading operation in Ohio, I’m not going to upgrade my heat source. It will be “sunk cost” and I don’t need more costs. I’ll just run the shop into the ground and the new tech goes into the new shop in Mexico…)

    I presume that was “Slightly over 1/3 ¢ per kW-hr” and not a malformed $0.35 / kW-hr. If so, a very nice number indeed. Too bad it will be washed through the politically driven PUC Rate Setting process and end up being $1/2 / kW-hr by the time it gets to me… Per the “all will be cheap and self sufficient” idea: I’ll believe it when I see it happening, not before. Heard the same song a dozen time. Solar was going to do that too, and nuclear was going to be “too cheap to meter” (Yes, I clearly remember the propaganda workbooks handed out in 4th grade for us to color ‘Ready Kilowatt’ and his ‘too cheap to meter’ line – we figured it was true, too, since water was unmetered. Instead, they put meters on the water…)

    “A person who inherits a lot of money can make lots more without lifting a finger.”

    So you like class warfare. OK, please sell your home, tell your kids they get NOTHING. Consume all your savings, and go on welfare. We can all be equal if we are all on welfare…

    If you let ANYONE accumulate wealth, to ANY degree, you have the “Quarter Whore” problem. (“Who you calling a whore, she said, hitting him with her bag of quarters.”… and “A guy asks a woman if she will have sex with him for $10,000. She says yes. He says ‘How about for a Quarter -25 ¢ – ?’ She says ‘What kind of girl to you take me for?’. He says ‘We’ve already established that, now we are just haggling over the price…'”)

    So since anyone who owns a home is “advantaged”, better make them all “public housing”…

    See, once you get into the whole class warfare generational equality thing its gets very murky. BTW, usually an idiot generation comes along after a while and squanders the money anyway…

    ” So it is not the printing it is the spending that has to be reduced.”

    Two sides of the same coin, really. ;-)

    Beware the “Modern Monetary Theory” that holds governments can either print all they want, or better, borrow infinite money forever, and spend to riches. Yes, folks actually believe that… It’s 1/2 of Keynes (the spend to excess half) with the other half removed (the cut spending in good times and reduce government) seasoned with “feel good and BS”. But being pushed at high levels…

    @Deke:

    Good example, but don’t get me started on China. I’m already losing 1/4 of a day just keeping things straight in this thread. ;-)

    (Short Form: Changing away from Communism to a lot LESS socialism in “3rd Way Lange Type” does work better. That doesn’t mean “3rd Way is good”, it means communism is very very bad…)

    @DIrkH:

    Yup. It’s a full time job just trying to keep the money from being stolen. Mostly by the Government.

    @P.G.:

    Exactly.

    @Gail:

    OOOhhh! I like your New Idea! ;-)

  240. Gail Combs says:

    @Gail:

    OOOhhh! I like your New Idea! ;-)
    _____________________________
    I thought you might. Anyone who has had to wrestle a pig in mud deal with bureaucrats would love to have an independent hearing.

    I got the idea after reading stuff from the Fully Informed Jury Association information. WE as Jurorists have the right and duty to judge not only the case but the law itself. We as Jurorists CAN set aside laws passed by Congress. This is the ultimate power of the people over the government and the powerful want to keep it well buried. This is why we now have to deal with ‘Regulations’ instead of ‘laws’. It is a way of getting around the power given to the people by the Constitution and Amendments. The Constitution gives us the right to a trial by jury but the Supreme Court has slowly limited it over time.

    The Fully Informed Jury Association tells us why:

    …On appeal, however, the jurors’ action was upheld and the right of juries to judge both the law and the facts — to nullify the law if it chose became part of British constitutional law.

    It ultimately became part of American constitutional law as well, With only a few exceptions, juries are explicitly or implicitly told to worry only about the facts and let the judge decide the law. The right of jury nullification has become one of the legal system’s best kept secrets.

    Now a remarkable coalition has sprung up to challenge this secrecy as undemocratic, unconstitutional and dangerous…

    FIJA seeks to require that juries be informed of their nullification rights. Informed jury amendments have been filed as an initiative in seven states and legislation has been introduced in the Alaska state legislature.
    Merely raising the issue of nullification can make prosecutors nervous, for it takes only one person aware of the right in order to hang a jury. In Washington, DC, where the concept was discussed in connection with the Marion Barry trial, a local television station reported that the US Attorney was worried that a jury might nullify the law in that case……

    ….reporter Joan Biskupic stated, “Anyone accused of a crime in this country is entitled to a jury trial.” The Constitution may say so but, in fact, this is simply not the case — and becoming less so as politicians fiddle with legal definitions and sentencing standards in order specifically to reduce the number of persons entitled to a trial….

    The nullification principle involves the power to say no to the excesses of government, and thus serves as a final defense against tyranny. As Thomas Jefferson put it to Tom Paine in a 1789 letter, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” ….

    http://prorev.com/juries.htm

    Actual information from the US Constitution and Amendments and lastly an article on how the Supreme Court’s encroaching on our rights to a trial.

    U.S. Constitution – Article 3 Section 2

    (The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.) (This section in parentheses is modified by the 11th Amendment.)
    http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A3Sec2.html

    U.S. Constitution – Amendment 11
    Amendment 11 – Judicial Limits
    The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
    http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am11.html

    Annotation 23 – Article III

    Clause 3. Trial by Jury

    Clause 3. The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
    Footnote 1282] See the Sixth Amendment.
    http://constitution.findlaw.com/article3/article.html

    U.S. Constitution – Amendment 6
    Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    So that is pretty clear. BUT the tramplers of the US Constitution went to work again

    …The Seventh Amendment, passed by the First Congress without debate, cured the omission by declaring that the right to a jury trial shall be preserved in common-law cases, thus leaving the traditional distinction between cases at law and those in equity or admiralty, where there normally was no jury. The implied distinction parallels the explicit division of federal judicial authority in Article III to cases (1) in law, (2) in equity, and (3) in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. The contemporaneously passed Judiciary Act of 1789 similarly provided that “the trial of issues of fact, in the district courts, in all causes except civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, shall be by jury.”

    As Justice Joseph Story later explained in Parsons v. Bedford (1830): “In a just sense, the amendment then may well be construed to embrace all suits which are not of equity and admiralty jurisdiction, whatever may be the peculiar form which they may assume to settle legal rights.”

    The Supreme Court has, however, arrived at a more limited interpretation. It applies the amendment’s guarantee to the kinds of cases that “existed under the English common law when the amendment was adopted,” Baltimore & Carolina Line v. Redman (1935), or to newly developed rights that can be analogized to what existed at that time, Luria v. United States (1913), Curtis v. Loether (1974). Accordingly, in a series of decisions in the second half of the twentieth century, the Supreme Court ruled that the Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to trial by jury in procedurally novel settings, like declaratory judgment actions, Beacon Theatres v. Westover (1959), and shareholder derivative suits, Ross v. Bernhard (1970). The Court also applied the amendment to cases adjudicating newly created statutory rights, Curtis v. Loether, Pernell v. Southall Realty (1974). In addition, the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that when factually overlapping “legal” and “equitable” claims are joined together in the same action, the Seventh Amendment requires that the former be adjudicated first (by a jury); and that when legal claims triable to a jury are erroneously dismissed, relitigation of the entire action is “essential to vindicating [the plaintiff's] Seventh Amendment rights.” Lytle v. Household Manufacturing, Inc. (1990).

    The right to trial by jury is not constitutionally guaranteed in certain classes of civil cases that are concededly “suits at common law,” particularly when “public” or governmental rights are at issue and if one cannot find eighteenth-century precedent for jury participation in those cases. Atlas Roofing Co. v. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (1977). Thus, Congress can lodge personal and property claims against the United States in non-Article III courts with no jury component. In addition, where practice as it existed in 1791 “provides no clear answer,” the rule is that “[o]nly those incidents which are regarded as fundamental, as inherent in and of the essence of the system of trial by jury, are placed beyond the reach of the legislature.” Markman v. Westview Instruments (1996). In those situations, too, the Seventh Amendment does not restrain congressional choice.

    In contrast to the near-universal support for the civil jury trial in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, modern jurists consider civil jury trial neither “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” Palko v. State of Connecticut (1937), nor “fundamental to the American scheme of justice,” Duncan v. Louisiana (1968). Accordingly, in company with only the Second Amendment and the Grand Jury Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Seventh Amendment is not “incorporated” against the states; it applies only in the federal courts. In the federal courts, the parties can waive the right, but there is no longer a requirement, as there was in 1791, that civil juries be composed of twelve persons and must reach a unanimous verdict. Colgrove v. Battin (1973).
    http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/7/essays/159/right-to-jury-in-civil-cases

  241. Gail Combs says:

    Drat it I did not close the strike on the pigs.

    [Reply: You did, but WordPress "fixed it for you" by adding ANOTHER strike after your close, then ANOTHER close strike at the bottom. I don't know why it does so, but every so often it will do that kind of "double up" thing. It is trying to do QA and auto-closure on unclosed HTML, and ends up adding broken bits. Probably driving the programmer crazy as it is about a 1 in 50 event... At any rate, I've "unfixed it's wrong fix". -E.M.Smith]

  242. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail:

    I’ve found that I regularly get “pitched” from Jury Selection when, asked IF I have any question, I say “Will be be instructed about the Right Of Jury Nullification?”, and shut up, looking at the lawyers knowingly… One of them will pitch me if the Judge doesn’t… Usually I can get them to burn one of the discretionary “pitches”. It’s a small victory ;-)

  243. Adrian Ashfield says:

    E.M.S.
    Re Iran. My view of objective reality is different to yours. Only one of us is right.
    Here you state America should withdraw its troops from abroad and not undertake crusades. But in an earlier thread you said we should bomb Iran to stop them from getting nukes. I don’t accept they are making nukes (and the CIA agrees with me) but if we did bomb them you can be certain they would then go for one secretly as fast as they could. What is the point of signing the NPT if you can’t make nuclear fuel and power plants?

    Iran that had been in decades of on again off again war,
    Not much off about it. Iraq invaded Iran in by air and land in Sept 1980. Even though Iraq’s preemptive attack made them the aggressor and the war illegal, US supplied and helped Iraq and Saddam, who used poison gas on Iranians. At the time America claimed both sides were using poison gas even though the government knew this to be a lie. Iran lost a million armed forces and Iraq probably half that. Thousands of civilians were killed.
    It was a bloody, senseless war that Khomeini prolonged pointlessly for six years after the possibility of a cease fire in 1982. After the war Iraq sank or stagnated, while Iran has apparently developed one of the fastest growing scientific bases. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_Iran#International_rankings

    Wealth tax. No matter what economic can opener is assumed, civil unrest will follow further disparity in wealth, when investment would go down not up. Further, I think it is unhealthy for the country to have such disparity. You don’t like the suggestion I mentioned. The government isn’t going to reduce regulations fast enough to do any good, if ever. Clearly they aren’t keen to do so. Possibly 51% of the voters would not agree to that either. So what do you think is the solution?

    Re Hospitals. Folks WITH insurance get soaked on the hospital bill. Those without insurance are the ones that get really shafted unless they are destitute.
    Read the piece I linked earlier.

    NI-Week National Instruments Week in Austen in August. It has become a popular event and if you need to measure/control something that is the place to be. Last year they provided Celani with completely new, better instrumentation, on the spot. The Demo convinced NI LENR was real.

    Defkalion. Like Rossi they will be starting off with process heat but if you read the piece they claim they have started working with a dozen different industries. Perhaps you will believe it if they do a successful demo at National Instruments. Only 3 months to go for that. Rossi’s independent report should be out this month.
    Defkalion have not shown the derivation of the .35cents/kW but I assume that is running cost without the depreciation.

    Re “A person who inherits a lot of money can make lots more without lifting a finger.” No, that was in reply to what struck me as requiring a “mirror.” I didn’t appreciate your comment either.

  244. David says:

    Talk less, LENR more.

  245. Gail Combs says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:

    ….Wealth tax. No matter what economic can opener is assumed, civil unrest will follow further disparity in wealth, when investment would go down not up…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You can not get rid of the ‘poor’ all you can actually do is raise the standard of living for the entire nation. The poorest of the poor in the USA are much better off than many people in some African nations.

    The entire concept of ‘tax the rich and give to the poor’ is a ruse. Its real purpose is to strangle the middle class so they are never can become a challenge to the wealthy and to control the poor. Some people like Bill Gates are allowed to claw their way up but the operative word is ‘ALLOW’ most are crushed.

    One of the major principles taught to Quality Engineers is the Pareto Principle – The 80-20 Rule – because it holds true for so many aspects of life.

    Pareto Principle: In 1906 an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, discovered that 20% of the Italian population owned 80% of the nation’s wealth. Further studies revealed that The Pareto Principle, as it became known, affects us all in every aspect of life.

    Aside from that I think you are completely missing the point on Tax revenue => poor, or any of the many ‘welfare’ laws. They are all designed to increase the wealth of the rich and the control of the government over people. “Tax the Rich” does not happen. It is an excuse, a blind for hiding what really happens.

    First, INCOME tax is on WAGE EARNERS the rich are not wage earners so a raise in income tax only taxes the upper middle class. Heck the entire income tax is a tax on ONLY the middle class AND it is a replacement for the tariffs on incoming goods. As ChiefIO says it is a race to the bottom at least for the middle class. Since the rich control the Congress (and congress critters are also rich) there will ALWAYS be ‘loopholes’ that protect the wealth of the wealthy. If we can not get rid of the regulations strangling small business because of ‘undue influence’, how in Hades do you think a direct attack on the wealth of the rich would work?

    From the beginning of 1964 ($54 billion) to the end of 2010 the bankers have made $1961.967 billion dollars in fiat currency. That is the amount they increased the money supply

    This is a factor of 36. The minimum wage in 1964 was $1.15. Was the minimum wage in 2010 $41.78???? Or is it about one tenth of that? ($6.55) To add insult to injury the “progressive tax takes a much larger chunk out of the vastly diminished wages of the middle class. The elite and their direct reports of course do not suffer from inflation.

    In 1976 A typical American CEO earned 36 times as much as the average worker. By 2008 the average CEO pay increased to 369 times that of the average worker.
    http://timelines.ws/subjects/Labor.HTML

    The FED creates money to buy the government bonds that pay for these programs. The created money is a mechanism that moves wealth from the poor to the rich. That is how the USA got into the mess in the first place. Remember the 16 trillion dollar debt and rising? Remember inflation? It is the poor and middle class that pay the inflation tax as Mises explained.

    The Grace Commission report notes that 100% of personal income tax goes to pay interest on the national debt, the lion’s share of which goes to the banking cartel aka the Federal Reserve. How much of that interest actually goes into the US treasury and how much goes to the banks is completely dependent of the whims of the FED
    The Grace Commission report states:

    “Resistance to additional income taxes would be even more widespread if people were aware that:

    * One-third of all their taxes is consumed by waste and inefficiency in the Federal Government as we identified in our survey.
    * Another one-third of all their taxes escapes collection from others as the underground economy blossoms in direct proportion to tax increases and places even more pressure on law abiding taxpayers, promoting still more underground economy-a vicious cycle that must be broken.

    With two-thirds of everyone’s personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their Government.” http://www.uhuh.com/taxstuff/gracecom.htm

    A Primer on Money explains how the Fed controls the mechanism of who gets the tax payer money. (It is not the US government who makes any of these decisions)

    A PRIMER ON MONEY
    COMMITTEE ON BANKING AND CURRENCY
    HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    WRIGHT PATMAN Chairman 1964

    The Federal Reserve officials can always decide to create a large portion of any increase in the money supply themselves, though, of course, a larger portion of the supply will always be provided by the private banks under present law. Still the larger portion of Reserve-created money, the more the U.S. Treasury benefits-because all income of the Federal Reserve after expenses reverts to the Treasury. Thus the Treasury receives a good share of the income earned from the Government securities purchased in Reserve money-creating operations.

    On the other hand, if the Federal Reserve officials decide that the increase in the money supply they want is all, or substantially all, to be made by the private banks, the private banks acquire and hold more Government securities than in the first case, and the interest payments on these securities go into bank profits. So, whether the Federal Reserve officials decide to favor the U.S. Treasury or the private banks does make a difference-millions of dollars of difference-in the amount of taxes you, I, and all other taxpayers must pay. After all, one of the biggest items of expense of the Federal Government is the interest it must pay on its debt. [pg 36]

    The Grace Report also notes if you raise taxes beyond a certain point all you do is increase the underground economy and decrease the tax revenue. So the US government is very much aware that if you raise taxes too much you get a huge underground economy. That is why Obamacare had a one liner, the so-called 1099 provision, that required small business owners to file an additional 1099 form with every other business that they did more than $600 cash transactions with.

    ObamaCare’s 1099 Tax Reporting Provision Gets the Ax
    … The provision was supposed to raise about $17 billion in revenue over the next decade to help pay for all the new spending the law also called for. The repeal bill makes up for that revenue by taking money out of the law’s middle class insurance subsidies. Why is that important? Because it shows how tough it is to find new revenue raisers; all the remote plausible ideas (and some not very plausible ones) for coming up with easy revenue got jammed into the health care overhaul….
    http://reason.com/blog/2011/04/18/obamacares-1099-tax-reporting

    To pay of that debt to the bankers the US government wants to raises taxes. The are not about to tell you they are going to soak the middle class for more taxes so the lie is they are going to raise the taxes on the ‘Rich’ ROTFLMAO You just CAN’T raise the taxes on the rich. Remember GE, one of the largest companies in the world? The one who pays no US taxes?

    ….Thanks to a loophole Romney pays US taxes as “carried interest” which is taxed at the capital gains rate of 15%. That figure would not only include Romney himself who pays no income tax, but also all those corporate persons (remember Romney said, “Corporations are people, my friend”) such as Exxon Mobil and GE who not only pay no income tax but get a generous rebate thanks to American taxpayers….
    Here is a list of the top 10 corporate….
    1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

    2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

    3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

    4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

    5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

    6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

    7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

    8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

    9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.
    http://reason.com/blog/2011/04/18/obamacares-1099-tax-reporting

    If you really think the US government is going to close those loop hole you are nuts.

  246. Gail Combs says:

    While writing about taxes above, it occurred to me that the push for Agenda 21 and the closed citiesthat result is really all about collecting every last drop of ‘Taxes’ from the serfs. Closed city zoning will not allow small businesses for long and corporations take the taxes out of your wage before you ever see the money. Making corporations into tax collectors is the only thing that has kept the ignorant masses from a major revolt in the past. That and the skillful hiding of taxes as inflation and passed on taxes…. 151 taxes or half the cost of a loaf of bread….

  247. DirkH says:

    Adrian Ashfield says:
    6 April 2013 at 3:20 am
    “Wealth tax. No matter what economic can opener is assumed, civil unrest will follow further disparity in wealth, when investment would go down not up. Further, I think it is unhealthy for the country to have such disparity. You don’t like the suggestion I mentioned. The government isn’t going to reduce regulations fast enough to do any good, if ever. Clearly they aren’t keen to do so. Possibly 51% of the voters would not agree to that either. So what do you think is the solution?”

    51% of the population of the US will continue to vote for more freebies and regulations and wealth taxes. Wealth taxes are a reality in various forms in various parts of the EU. France has one for instance. Germany has none.

    Things are working your way, Adrian.

  248. Adrian Ashfield says:

    DirkH,
    It’s not my way. You can be really annoying.
    Looks like this thread has run its course.

  249. DirkH says:

    Obama wants to limit yearly savings into IRA’s to 200,000 USD.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-06/obama-proposes-retirement-account-limit-first-wealth-tax-salvo
    Says, more is excessive, bemoans that IRA’s can be passed on to heirs (historic reminder: taking the heritage was one of the 10 demands of the communist manifesto).

    So little wonder that IRA’s annoy them.

  250. David says:

    Regarding corporate taxes, well
    “It all depends on how you count.

    Exxon Mobil counts everything — not just federal income taxes, but also local property taxes, state taxes, gasoline taxes and payroll taxes. The Center for American Progress (CAP) and other analysts count only the company’s federal corporate income taxes.

    “But Exxon Mobil’s tax rate is “lower than the average American’s,” Daniel Weiss, an energy expert at CAP, countered in an analysis that put the company’s U.S. federal income tax rate in 2010 at just 17.2 percent.”

    The 2009 tax year was the result of audits giving valitity to past years deductions. Exxon is a multi national, and one cannot compare their gross income, verses their US tax; and Daniel Weiss does not understand that a tax on a corporation is a tax on the consumer. Daniel Weiss also does not count many other taxes corporations pay. ““We pay our fair share of taxes,” said Kenneth Cohen, Exxon Mobil’s vice president for public affairs, who in a conference call recently lumped more than $6 of sales, state and local taxes together with every $1 of federal income tax paid in 2010.” The more true competiton is allowed, and forcibly protected in any industry, the less sense any corporate tax makes, as the buyer pays it all. In any open field a net profit will be established between maybe two and 12% (WAG) excess profit will bring in more players, two little and loss, will eliminate players, true market forces will rule.

    The fed and state govt tax on fuel makes far more profit then the oil companies, with far lesss real work done to get that revenue.

    I am just saying one has to dig deeper then what appears to be sound bites. “Exxon’s total taxes and duties to the U.S. government” of $9.8 billion in 2010. But only $1.3 billion of that went to federal income taxes, the company said in SEC disclosures used by CAP. While that’s a big figure, worldwide income before taxes was $57 billion that year, and U.S. income was $7.7 billion.”

  251. David says:

    “ExxonMobil U.S. taxes of Fed and State taxes in 2010 to be 1.6 Billion dollars on 7.7 Billion in U.S. income before taxes.”

    This equates to a ~21% tax rate. If you believe Wikipedia, the German tax rate for corporations is 15%, and grows to 30% with some other items. So why do Schummer and Durbin continue to tell the public that ExxonMobil pays ZERO U.S. tax? The oil company execs all said that the US Tax code needs to be fixed….which is why on the books, the US Corporate Tax rates vary between 15 and 35% (again Wickipedia), but ExxonMobil can end up paying at a rate of 21% after complex deductions.

    On the other hand the real Fed taxpayer rip off goes to GE. who can end up paying ZERO tax, since they get Obama’s/Democratic subsidies for manufacturing wind turbines and the like. Federal induced mal investment.

    Between tax breaks for foreign investments, that allow larg corp to remain with US headquarters, and the democratic Obama GE tax breaks, I know which ones I would eliminate.

  252. Gail Combs says:

    David,
    Corporations do not pay taxes PERIOD none of them do. The CUSTOMER is the one who pays the taxes since a corporation either turns a profit or bankrupts. In other words Main Street gets stuck with paying ALL the corporate taxes. This is how all the poor and welfare types end up paying taxes at something like a 40-50% taxe rate.

    Sales tax alone is ~7% depending on the state.

    For a loaf of bread, a catalog of taxes
    ….So, it is the consumer who paid the baker’s taxes, along with the farmer’s taxes, the miller’s taxes and the taxes they withheld from all of their employees. From bread to automobiles to brain surgery, the price of everything we buy carries in it the hidden taxes of everyone who contributed to the production of that product or service to the tune of, on average, 23 cents of every dollar we spend for federal taxes alone.

    Our complex, pervasive and expensive tax code is, in reality, a scheme to draft businesses and individuals as unpaid and unknowing tax collectors to gather a hidden sales tax and to keep voters from realizing who really bears the burden of those high taxes.

    There is no way around this central reality that all income and business taxes are a deception and that all taxes are eventually paid by the consumer, hidden in the price of goods and services. It doesn’t matter what tax rate is applied to which tax bracket, or what deductions you receive. These devices change only the degree to which you are a tax collector, but the burden taxes place on your life depends solely on what you spend.

    Paying this hidden consumption tax is unavoidable, but the illusion of income-based taxing does a great deal of harm. First, it distorts our economic decisions. Goods and services that are provided by highly taxed individuals and companies, like health care, are artificially more expensive than necessary

  253. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail:

    Per “all tax is paid by the consumer” .. that isn’t quite true. (Or somewhat incomplete). But don’t worry, the ‘enhancements’ to the description that I give below are just as much a PITA…

    It depends on the health of the particular product market.

    In a highly competitive market, the clearing price of the product will not change with an added tax burden on the company. So adding a 10% tax will have to come from somewhere other than the consumer. Only in the case where there are some market inefficiencies will the price rise to pass on the tax.

    So take gold, for example. The price is set internationally. Put a 10% tax on gold mining in the USA, the world price of gold will not rise.

    So who pays it?

    First off, some mines will be making less than 10% profit, and have no money to cover the tax. (In this case I’m using a 10% flat rate tax on production, not a ‘just tax the profits’ tax). Those mines will simply close. Either disbanded, or production moved to other countries.

    A large corporate tax drives industry and investment out of the country leading to unemployment.

    For some other companies, they will be making enough to pay the tax. Yet they are subject to another market. When a company shows lower profit on the same revenue, their Price / Earnings ratio changes for the worse. A bad P/E is usually followed by a dropping share price. If the company was selling at $100 / share with a 10:1 PE and making $10/share; but the Tax now takes $9 of that, they now have a PE of 100:1 and will be seen as horridly overpriced. Shortly after that earnings report, the stock price will head toward $10 to reestablish the historical PE of 10:1 or perhaps closer to 5:1 as they just had a bad “earnings report shock”…

    A large corporate tax drives investments in retirement accounts and the stocks that back up insurance policies into the dirt. It increases the poverty of the nation and decreases the value of capital investments. There will, then, be a lower investment rate, and a decline in productivity and economic growth. A cycle of poverty creation happens.

    The consumer isn’t the only “stakeholder” who can be soaked. Nor is the stock holder. There are also suppliers and workers. A company faced with increased costs in one area (taxes) and a price that can not be raised (efficient markets) will try to cut costs in other areas. Suppliers will be squeezed for lower prices where possible. Labor will find lower wages offered, or expected raises unavailable due to unprofitability. Some labor will be replaced by machinery (especially with a tax code like ours that lets you take immediate tax deductions on “investment tax credits”…)

    A large corporate tax results in higher unemployment at lower wages; and it results in fewer companies making a profit, especially those earlier in the supply chain. That, then, results in even less investment and less economic growth and even more “offshoring” of labor and parts suppliers. The cycle of economic contraction accelerates and at best, you get stagnation.

    The product, itself, can take the hit. For things like gold, it can not. But not all products are like that. Some can be cheapened in several ways. Less chips in the chip bag. Use a less costly, but less healthy, spud or oil. Make shirts out of thinner material, or with fewer buttons. This list is endless. The cycle of product cheapening picks up.

    A large corporate tax rate results in more shoddy products at the old prices and smaller packages at the old prices.

    As taxes result in less of the thing taxed; when you tax a productive entity in a country, you get less of it. Often, it simply leaves. A significant part of why so little manufacturing is done in the USA is not the labor cost but the direct tax rates and the indirect regulatory burden (that acts like a tax in terms of effect on behaviour – rising costs for no increase in profit or a reduction in profit). So in many cases, an increased tax RATE will result in lower tax REVENUES as the company will simply move to where it is not taxed. In “Silicon Valley” we used to make loads of semiconductors. With high tax and labor costs, that has substantially entirely moved to other countries. (Some small R&D Fabs are still here, along with some highly specialized lines; but the huge assembly areas of the 1970s – when I was production planner for said lines – are long gone.)

    A large corporate tax results in fewer corporations doing less, fewer people working, less purchases of “inputs” (so even more companies leaving business) and a general cycle of economic contraction.

    That, BTW, is why folks are so hot on a “Global Governance” and “Global Transaction Tax”. So they can try to stop flight of industry to better climates by making all of them painful…

    But yes, for those markets were there is not perfect competition, say, automobiles or life insurance, and for those where all players are equally hit (like retail that can’t really leave and doesn’t make the goods) the first instinct is to raise prices to the consumer. Only later will they look to reduce staffing, pay less to employees, cut work hours, cheapen what products they carry at higher prices, etc. etc.

    A large corporate tax causes inflation, directly. Higher prices for less product.

    In all cases, it starts a cycle of decreasing wealth in the economy, or increasing poverty.

    But in exchange for that, you get an ever increasing overhead cost of petty bureaucrats who want to micromanage your life and the industry, despite no competence at it… leading to even more economic stagnation and decay of industry due to resource misallocation.

    The bottom line is that there is a maximum amount of production of wealth that any competitive industry can do. The more of it is taxed away to be used in unproductive sectors (and Government is about as unproductive as you can get) the more the industry will stagnate, and eventually shrink and die; taking with it all the jobs and investments and supply chain.

    In short: It’s not just a bad parasite that kills the host, it’s also a bad parasite that causes the host to be sickly and uncompetitive at growth. The less parasites, the better the herd will be. We all, workers, investors, customers, suppliers; are that herd. The whole economy stagnates, then dies, under high tax burdens.

  254. Gail Combs says:

    Thanks EMS, I knew there was a whole lot more to it but still long story short, Main Street ultimately pays. You can’t just ‘Tax the wealthy corporation’ without repercussions. The raising of prices, keeping prices the same but less in the package or cheaper raw materials are directly the customer pays. Loss of benefits/lower wages/ loss of long term corporate stability are where the the wage earner pays.

    Long term corporate stability is less money for R&D, less money for advertising, and ultimately the possibility of lay-offs or relocation or bankruptcy.

    Cutting the bureaucracy is the only real option but if Obummer wants to raise revenue then put in tariffs so off-shore products are the equivalent price to American made. Call it an ‘environmental tax’ or a ‘harmonization of tax burden’ if you will but level the playing field. This of course will never happen since too many off-shore transnational corporations would scream bloody murder.

    I agree that it is the transnationals that are pushing ‘Global Govenance’ or at least are happily on board. Harmonized laws, no quarantine, captive labor force and customers who are totally dependent on the corporations and government. The ultimate Company town.

    You would think the socialists pushing Agenda 21 could see that it is a 21st century version of the Robber Baron’s company town. Guess they never heard Sixteen Tons

  255. P.G.Sharrow says:

    @E.M.Smith says:
    7 April 2013 at 3:59 pm
    Very nicely said sir! ;-) pg

  256. David says:

    David said, just before Gails post… “The more true competition is allowed, and forcibly protected in any industry, the less sense any corporate tax makes, as the buyer pays it all”
    followed by Gails post stating the same thing in detail..

    Gail, clearly you understand the point I was making, but I am not certain you understood the difference between the Oil Co tax write offs on foreign investments, and the GE tax rebates on “sustainable energy” and the capitol gains tax Romney pays. It appears that they are all lumped into a general criticism of the wealthy.

    Earlier you stated….”To pay of that debt to the bankers the US government wants to raises taxes. The are not about to tell you they are going to soak the middle class for more taxes so the lie is they are going to raise the taxes on the ‘Rich’ ROTFLMAO You just CAN’T raise the taxes on the rich. Remember GE, one of the largest companies in the world? The one who pays no US taxes?”

    What then followed was a listing of corporations which make billions, which logically, per your introduction, were the very rich which have the system rigged. I object to the first line in your quoted text which then conflates a mixture of personal wealth of Romney with corporation wealth, and then further throws them all into the same tank with Obama’s favored companies avoiding all tax. ….”Thanks to a loophole Romney pays US taxes as “carried interest” which is taxed at the capital gains rate of 15%. That figure would not only include Romney himself who pays no income tax, but also all those corporate persons (remember Romney said, “Corporations are people, my friend”)

    I do not see a need to attack Romneys capital gains income, taxed at 15%, which you clearly know provides capitol for investments. I seee a clear division between capitol gains tax on investors, and oil company taxes, and special tax credits given to favored Federal Govt contractors participating in alternative energy scams. They should not be conflated together.
    The article you quoted appeared to do just that.

    It is also fair to point out that the banks at first resisted the governments plan for easy money loans to unqualified. Under Janet Reno , the Clinton admin. filed about a dozen law major suits, designed just to get banks to make unsafe loans. the GSEs led the way in bundling and over leveraging the mortgage backed securities. In a “if you can’t lick em, join em ” mood, the banks followed suit, with glorious stimulus for all, ie, huge bank profits, fantastic equity and leveraged individual loans for home owners, great corp profits, until it was time to pay the bill. Now to avoid paying that bill, we are blowing up the last bubble, our currencies almost world wide are in a huge least ugly contest. Unlike all previous bubbles, a currency bubble, when popped, has no rescue. I know you understand all this, but I just do not see the grand plan. I see wealthy people all trying to protect themselvestogether, sometimes in adversarial positions.

    .

  257. David says:

    Just read our hosts , as usual, excellent comments. Try to look past all my typos, as this was done after about i8 hours of work. Per quoting my own earlier statement please note the qualifier in that sentence. ““The more true competition is allowed, and forcibly protected in any industry, the less sense any corporate tax makes, as the buyer pays it all” The operative words here are “true competition”, and “forcibly protected”. I just wish the Fed Govt saw this as their only real role in business, and, other then of course national security, practically their only real justification for having force over others.

  258. P.G.Sharrow says:

    @David,Re: “the Grand Plan”

    They have none. Just “Greedy Evil Bastards” that want to get rich quick and to hell with the consequences on others. The moment is important not the future. I call it “Me WIN”
    There are others that want a severe crash so that they can “Take”control to save us. Much as Hitler and Lenin did. Now they have a plan that spans over a hundred years. And a last group that wants to take over the world because they are insane and have been for over 1500 years.
    But the only “Grand Plan” is the one of the “light spirit” vrs. the”dark” of “That which Is” or GOD. Enlightened Cooperation vrs. Survival of the Fittest. WE are winning because, We Don’t Need THEM. We don’t need Rulers. We can manage our own affairs. They are just destroying the means of their control. pg

  259. David says:

    Thanks PG, I do appreciate that.

  260. Gail Combs says:

    ….I do not see a need to attack Romneys capital gains income….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That was the author of the piece. However it still illustrates the point. It is WAGE earners aka Main Street that pays the most taxes. Corporations and the non-wage earning rich pay lower taxes, pay max of 15% on dividend income or protect their wealth via off shore accounts, foundations or tax exempt bonds.

    I just get sick and tired of the “Tax the Rich” slogan of the politicians when what they really mean is tax the middle class while we provide tax loop holes for ourselves and the rich individuals and corporations that bribe us. That is all I was trying to point out. The people with the power are not going to pick their own pockets to buy votes, they are going to pick YOURS.

  261. David says:

    Gail, I enjoy and learn from your posts. Yes, I think I differeniated between your words, and what you linked to. And I know that the UN, IMF, global elites, all have this “one world govt ideal”, and are making efforts and strides towards it. To a degree, what with incredible technological ability to communicate, and ever greater capacity for world trade, and world travel, this is inevitable.

    However, the painfull lessons of the requirements for liberty on a international, national, state , local, and individual scale, incredibly well done in my view by our founding Fathers, will have do be relearned, very painfully I am afraid, in our interconnected international world.

    I just have no problem with 15% capitol gains tax, or wealthy corporations and all the people and pensions they support, and as discussed, corp tax in a competitive market only gets passed to the consumer. As I pointed out the banks at first resisted the easy money policies. The main point I think is that it is the goverments primary responsability to promote business through the creation of fair markets, and streamlined business costs, and to protect the liberty so necessary for a truly vibrant economy. I think some of your links promote, by over broad generalization, an us against them mentality.

  262. Zeke says:

    David will have difficulty logically demonstrating how world government is “inevitable.” The reason it is indefensible is because it is merely a blanket assertion that would not stand up to refutation by those who are affected, and by those who know the best alternatives.

  263. E.M.Smith says:

    @David & Zeke:

    There is absolutely no need for “global government” and significant pressures against it (such as cultural differences). It might still be “inevitable”, but not for economic reasons; only because the Ultra Evil Bastards want it and have power.

  264. David says:

    I do not mean one goverment. It is simple observation of history that as populations, communication, trade, and human capacity for aquiring power over the forces of nature grows, systems, be it corporations, of governments, or religions etc, grow in size and scope. As more nations develope and have space capacity, then viable earth orbits get more crowded, and require greater cooperation to prevent problems. Same with shipping, air traffic, etc etc. As we grow in use of power we become ever more connected, and have need of systemic international cooperation. I have no doubt that we will have ever more international treaties and larger growing trade organizations.

    The great questions and challenge is, in my view, how long will it take a globaly developed poulation to understand the princicpals of free enterprise and personal liberty, as well as the need for national identity. The necessitie of limited government power will not be an easy lesson for the world to learn.

  265. P.G.Sharrow says:

    The World Wide Web and those things connected to have demonstrated that the people of the world can create and control a large and valuable thing WITH OUT Elite Central Control. In fact in spite of attempts to exert control over it.
    A World Wide Government, We don’t need them. pg

  266. David says:

    PG, what you are saying is, in my view, valid, but not conclusive. “Balace is 50% of everything” For instance, do we need controls and international power over who develops atomic bombs?

    300 to 2000 years ago the continents of the world were full of far smaller groups , each it own little nation. The US, like China, like Russia, etc, etc, in its expansion, swallowed many little nations. This

    Rummel, in his writing touched some key points. Nations that have elected leaders, and have, at a minimum, the individual liberty of property rights, do not for the most part attack each other, and are less inclined to practice democide on their own people.

    The truth of what system will function best is curious. Clearly ALL systems of government will fail if the people of them manifest the dark side of human nature, (the evil bastard syndrome) However only a system expressely devoted to, number one, protecting it people from external dominence, and two, protecting its citizens from internal dominence of any group, coorporate, religious, government, etc. can be most successful in preventing the evil bastard from gaining power. People of the world will naturally flock to such a system, if they understand the benefits.
    The so called Egyptian spring, started with a man setting himself on fire, because the govt prevented him from making a living. However I think the evolution to larger systems is not over. I know the only form however in which it will work on such large scales, is one of very limited central power.

  267. Zeke says:

    The “evolution to larger systems” has no demonstrable successes. But the failures of the UN and of the EU are plain to anyone who looks at it dispassionately.

    Rummel is not talking about “protection from corporate dominating forces,” he is saying that the more individual liberty is preserved, the less democide and state-to-state violence there is. He attributes peaceful conditions and peaceful resolution between states to democracy. The wars and internal murder by governments always occur in states where power is concentrated; in states where interests are thoroughly and structurally diffused and balanced (democracy) this does not occur. The data he has collected shows that this is the case.

    In fact, corporate, religious, and local allegiances are just as necessary and healthful to a democracy as dividing the government between 3 branches. Power remains decentralized.

  268. Zeke says:

    Death by Government by RJ Rummel, pg 22:
    inre: why war and significant democide does not take place in or between democracies:

    “…Two concepts explain this: (1) cross pressures and (2) the associated political culture. Where Power is diffused, checked, and accountable, society is riven by myriad independent groups, disparate institutions, and multiple interests. These overlap and contend; they section loyalties and divide desires and wants. Churches, unions, corporations, government bureaucracies, political parties, the media, special interest groups, and such, fight for and protect their interests. Individuals and the elite are pushed and pulled by their membership in several such groupls and institutions. It is difficult for any one driving interest to form. Interests are divided, weak, ambivalent; they are cross-pressured. For the elite to sufficiently coalesce so as to commit itnself to murdering its own citizens, there must be a nearly fanatical, driving interest. But even were such to be present among a few, the diversity of interests across the political elite and associated bureaucracies, the freedom of the media to dig out what is being planned or done, and ever present potential for leaks and fear of such leaks…brake such tendencies.”

    So the basic principle is that in open societies, people choose their own commitments – whether corporate or religious or political; and for many religious people, loyalty and responsibility to one’s own family is always greater than loyalty to the state. Communists and totalitarians, esp. since the Roman Empire, seek to destroy personal loyalty in order to unify service to the state, to the “public good.” So claiming that people need to be protected from business interests or religions does not acknowledge that people choose these loyalties voluntarily. And this preserves a culture of cross pressures, debate, negotiation, compromise, tolerance, and “democratic procedures at all levels of society.” Rummel says “the culture of democracy operates between democracies as well.”

  269. Zeke says:

    Death by Government by RJ Rummel, pg 24
    inre: the data shows the number of dead by democide far outsrips the battle dead – for example, WWII:

    “Moreover, even the toll of war itself is not well understood. Many estimate that WWII, for example, killed 40-60 million people. But the problem with such figures is that they include tens of millions killed in democide [death by government]. Many wartime governments massacred civilians and foreigners, committed atrocities or genocide agaisnt them, executed them, and subjected them to reprisals. Aside from battle or military engagements, during the war the Nazis murdered around 20 million civilians and prisoners of war, the Japanese 5,890,000, the Chinese nationalists 5,907,000, the Chinese communists 250,000 [figure rose to millions after the war], the Nazi satellite Croatioans 655,000, the Tito Partisans 600,000, and Stalin 13,053,000 (above the 20 million war dead and Nazi democide of Soviet Jews and Slavs). I also should mention the indiscriminate bombing of civilians by the Allies that killed hundreds of thousands, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most of these dead are usually included among the war dead. But those killed in battle versus in democide form distinct conceptual and theoretical categories and should not be confused. That they have been consistently and sometimes intentionally confounded helps popularize the 60 million figure for the number fo war dead in WWII, a figure that is way above the calculated estimate of 15 million killed in battle and military action.”

  270. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Zeke: Talking about deaths and the recent killing of babies in Afghanistan:
    http://itccs.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Bergoglio.jpg

  271. Zeke says:

    David says, “However only a system expressely devoted to, number one, protecting it people from external dominence, and two, protecting its citizens from internal dominence of any group, coorporate, religious, government, etc. can be most successful in preventing the evil bastard from gaining power.”

    I believe what Rummel wrote does not square with what David is saying here. A system of government that can provide safety from a war of “all against all” is not supported by history, and ignores the fact that government itself is one of the greatest dangers to life and limb. Rummel:

    “One University course I teach is an introduction to political science. Each semester I review several possible introductory texts for the course. I often just shake my head at what I find….For instance, one textbook I recently read spends a chapter on describing the functions of government…” [This is what David just attempted to do.] “Among these were law and order, individual security, cultural maintenance, and social welfare. Political scientists are still writing this stuff, when we have numerous examples of governments that kill hundreds of thousands and even millions of their won citizens, enslave the rest, and abolish the traditional culture (it took only about a year for the Khmer Rouge to completely suppress Buddhism, which had been the heart and soul of Cambodian culture). A systems approach to politics still dominates the field. Through this lens, politics is a matter of inputs and outputs, of citizen inputs, aggregation by political parties, government determinting policy, and bureaucracies implementing it. Then there is the common and fundamental justification of government that it exists to protect citizens against the anarchic jungle that would otherwise threaten their lives and property. Such archaic or strile views show no appreciation of democide’s existenc and all its related horrors and suffering. They are inconsistent with a regime that stands astride society like a gang of thugs over hikers they have captured in the woods, robbing all, raping some, torturing others for fun, murdering those they don’t like, and terrorizing the rest into servile obedience. This exact characterization of many past and present governments..hardly squares with conventional political science.

    Consider also that library stacks have been written on the possible nature and consequences of nuclear war and how it might be avoided. Yet, in the life of some still living we have already experienced in the toll from democide (and related destruction and misery among the survivors) the equivalent of a nuclear war, especially at the high near 360 million end of the estimates. Yet to my knowledge, there is only one book dealing with the overall human cost of this “nuclear war” – Gil Elliot’s Twentieth Century Book of the Dead.

    So I do not believe you can accurately characterize Rummel as saying that government can provide safety from individuals and companies and religion. And he also is throwing down the gauntlet for people to look at the data and acknowledge just who is doing the killing: it is government itself.

  272. Zeke says:

    And what have we here?

  273. DirkH says:

    The Khmer Pink.

  274. adolfogiurfa says:

    Zeke: She has forgot what their ancestors suffered as slaves….now she wants white slaves.

  275. David says:

    Regarding Zeke says:10 April 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Zeke, thanks, and I essentially agree with all that you say about the history of governments.. However, please consider the lessons Rummel taught on governments that do the “evil bastard”thing the least. The more property and individual rights a nation had, combined with elective representation, the least likely it was to either wage war, or commit genocide. you explained this fairly well. However here, “Zeke says:10 April 2013 at 4:14 pm The “evolution to larger systems” has no demonstrable successes.” I cannot agree.

    The history of the world is full of successful larger systems, until they fail. yes, they all fail, just as all the smaller systems failed to. Yet larger system will happen for all the reasons I stated before. Please note that I stated all systems fail, if the people operating them succumb to the evil bastard, (demanding power over others) syndrome. Again, “Govt is a NECESSARY evil.

    Zeke, you said, “I do not believe you can accurately characterize Rummel as saying that government can provide safety from individuals and companies and religion.” Ha; you have found a dilemma. See my comment above about why “all systems fail” You see the problem is that individuals, if they stay individuals, will always succumb to groups, and people will always form groups. So, no escape, the necessary evil is, after all, necessary. AFAIK, only the founding fathers properly understood that the role of govt was to protect individual liberty. At least they were the only ones to really put it into practice.

    You talked about the UN, plus the EU, and the great damage such one world blackbeards have perpetuated. You are 100% correct, and I greatly fear we have just began to see the manifestation of such problems. Now may I ask you what part of my words, “…develope a system expressly devoted to, number one, protecting it s people from external dominance, and two, protecting its citizens from internal dominance of ANY group, the UN and Eu have done. They have done quite the opposite, becoming the very thing which people need protection from.

    Zeke, you also stated…”
    …so claiming that people need to be protected from business interests or religions does not acknowledge that people choose these loyalties voluntarily” I do not think I said any such thing. People have every right to have voluntary assembly of any kind, religious, corporate or otherwise.
    The US founding father’s perhaps failed to perceive the potential for business groups to have massive power over others, and so the robber baron era as an example occurred. Again, analyze what the evil is, not the form it takes. The evil is power over others. It takes power to prevent that. It is a dilemma. All groups are dangerous. Rummel, who I admire, over rated democracy, and underrated individual liberty.

    Cultures will naturally divide according to the nature and personality of its inhabitants. All nations have certain general types of people. This is inevitable, and something all Marxist and most socialist fail to grasp. In unenlightened times these natural divisions are greatly misunderstood and develop a social division never intended.

    What degenerated into the rigid cast system as practiced in India also degenerated into the aristocracy of the western world during the same time frame. Thus the secular “elite” in many cases develop there own negative form of sectarianism. However the founding father’s were not guilty of most of the negative aspects of sectarianism. Instead they demonstrated an ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. (They recognized the true import of various doctrines and set up a system where the essence could be more easily practiced without easily falling victim to competing external forms and dogma.)
    The deeply thoughtful moral founders of the United States, via the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, including separation of church and state, wrote a document that had fundamental spiritual non-secular truths, and was so all inclusive as to provide the basis for all that followed… the abolishment of slavery, Women’s rights, the civil rights movement, etc. These men were deeply thoughtful, and politically astute, they in all likelihood knew that the basis of individual freedom from all forms of tyranny (political and religious) which they wrote and deeply embedded in the political structure of the US, would probably result in many of the freedoms that were later won due to the structure they created.

    The foundation of the United States was, and quite obviously is, the antisepsis of what the UN and the EU, and Obama is today attempting. Social systems that vainly seek to legislate selflessness only condense the personal gain aspect into the most powerful people within the government, and in removing liberty and personal power from the common man, engender helplessness in the masses.

    The love of power for the purpose of subjugating others for one’s own end cannot be removed by any system. It just operates less effectively within a system built expressly for protection from such tyranny. The responsibility of the US form of government is to prevent the formation of such tyrannies: Corporate monopolies that unfairly drive out competition, lobby groups looking for special privileges, banking methods that rig the monetary system and allow leverage of assets tantamount to gambling, fractional reserve banking on steroids, government decisions making risk public but profit private, government sponsored enterprises that, under direct supervision of government regulators do all of the above, are not caused by a capitalist / republic, but are a sick perversion of it caused by the love of power over others, and the lack of wisdom as revealed by satama dharma. It is the failure of the US government to police the above which is dereliction of their primary responsibility, the protection of individual freedom and power, from the tyranny of those with group power.

    As the world grows in interconnectedness (must be a better word somewhere) and in power, nuclear and otherwise, it needs cooperative international recognition of the ideals stated above, and joint effort to protect individual freedom and power, from the tyranny of those with group power. Again, a necessary evil. A rogue nation develops nuclear weapons and threatens others, the international community joins to persuade them otherwise. Again, no system can make that judgment honestly and objectively, only true qualities of adequate numbers of intelligent humble objective service individuals can decipher what is justly needed, and what is the rogue evil bastard. People get from the table what they bring to the table, regardless of what the table is made of. The problem is that right now the bearer of the torch of individual liberty, has dropped that torch.

    Finally consider, “The love of power for the purpose of subjugating others for one’s own end cannot be removed by any system. It just operates less effectively within a system built expressly for protection from such tyranny.’ However we need that system. The world now has many which we need protection from, and we need a international system that recognises that. Will that system degenerate into the very thing it is designed to protect against. Depends on the wisdom of the practioners, All cultures, large or little, prosper or fail on their ability to manifest that wisdom.

  276. Zeke says:

    David, I have given direct quotes from Rummel’s books, so anyone can look at them and compare them to your still unsupported assertion that an international system is needed.

    You are contradicting Rummel, who said that it is only democracies do not attack each other and do not commit anywhere near the democide that powerful centralized governments do. So, if his data and theory are correct, than European states, having become democracies, would not go to war against each other. It follows that the EU is destroying the chances for that peace by collectivising debt and forcing all members to bear the economic burden of failure in foreign countries, and by legislating from Brussels, so that member countries are less and less democratic. Already, 75% of legislation passed in the UK is passed on and carried out from the European Union, and citizen control of that country I think is nearly extinct. Historically, this has turned deadly, as Rummel shows.

    So now consider that if your flimsy assertion of the need for a super system by super men (such as the European Union) is wrong, than it is powerful government that becomes belligerent first towards its own citizens, then towards its neighbors. The risk of an international system is not worth it, and the examples of its success you have not provided.

    Again, you did not provide any example of an international system that works. I provided two that clearly are not working, and Rummel has shown that the less democracy there is, the greater mortal danger people face of being killed by government or by wars caused by states that are not democracies.

  277. aashfield says:

    E.M.S.
    Looks like you were right about the possibilities of making a boom.

    Subject: Danger of EXPLOSION: possible cathalitic effects even at low temperatures.
    From: Francesco Celani Date: Fri, April 12, 2013 11:13 am To: [snip] @ gmail.com [snip] @ yahoo.fr, [snip ] @ ni.com, [omitted] @ chavaenergy.com, [omitted] @ missouri.edu, [omitted] @ nasa.gov

    Dear Colleagues,

    In These days I am performing very simple experiments at low temperatures, down to 77K.

    I am using two wires, one with 2 Layers (called “nanodiamandois”) and the other usual with 500 Layers, Both of Constantan type ISOTAN 44.

    * Under vacuum and / or He (2.5bar), I detected a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) with the 2L Constantan (about 4%). 500 With Layers The NTC detected (about 3.5%).

    * When I added H2 (2.5bar) During cooling down, at a temperature of about -50 ° C,

    The EXPERIENCEDEXPLOSIO N.

    * The bottle, nominally tested at 16 bar at 50 ° C, was completly destroyed. No. iniury to us, thanks to the open plastic tube used as dewar. Just big noise.

    * There is a Possibility That Such material is cathalitic even at low temperatures, as reported by Also in old paper of Hydrogen absorption at low temperatures using Constant tick film.

    !! PLEASE, SHARE SUCH INFORMATION TO ALL THE PEOPLE INVOLVED in the replication efforts.
    Dear [omitted], put in the MFMP Such new blog, ASAP!

    Tanks for your collaboration.
    Francesco CELANI

    Shortly after one of the recipients of the email responded in this way:

    Francis, Thank you for the warning – most interesting.

    Also I can add a warning – we have had a runaway event with Cuprothal 49 – from a constantan alloy Kanthal (9 meters of 0.7, wire prepared in our own experiments) at a very modest temperature: <180C. Fortunately the event was contained in a titanium tube reactor Although it melted the tube Which gave at least as the ability to estimate the temperature and power output at 800-1000C for 30-60min resulting in an estimated power output of around .5-1kWh. This incident occurred During cool down after the completion of several weeks testing and with all electrical inputs disconnected … I know it appears that a runaway event is possible with zero input under conditions That are difficult to predict / reproduce.

    Cheers

  278. Zeke says:

    “via the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, including separation of church and state”

    Actually, the term “separation of church and state” is not in our founding documents. That is from a personal correspondence by Jefferson or Adams, I think. What is said in our founding documents is the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    You are suggesting implicitly that the opposite is the case: that government is instituted to regulate churches and other voluntary organizations and keep them from gaining too much power. That is completely turning our Constitution on its head. The government is instituted among men to protect individual liberty, and individual liberties include freedom of conscience, of speech, of peaceable assembly, of owning property and bearing arms. Because of the variety of loyalties in a free and open society, the powers are automatically separated and balanced amongst free people, and this is as necessary and as natural as the separated branches of government. The way any business gets too powerful is by using government mandates which force people to buy a particular product, and outlaw others. In short, environmentalism. Otherwise, there are always alternatives and there is always voluntary participation.

  279. Zeke says:

    David says: “The world now has many which we need protection from, and we need a international system that recognises that. Will that system degenerate into the very thing it is designed to protect against. Depends on the wisdom of the practioners, All cultures, large or little, prosper or fail on their ability to manifest that wisdom.”

    The number one killer in the last century was democide – it far outstripped battle dead in all the wars combined, by a factor of 4. To argue that the wise will govern and rule is to ignore what just happened in the last century. The goal instead should be to expect that the very worst will get into government, and to limit what they can do. That is what Karl Popper said and I agree with him.

    (Sorry if I fell afoul of what EM et al are saying about banking abuses. I do appologize. I see the recent failure as the result of forcing banks to give out extremely risky loans, and then enabling them to bundle these bad loans and sell them. So the root of the evil was again a mandate.)

  280. David says:

    Zeke says.. “You are suggesting implicitly that the opposite is the case: that government is instituted to regulate churches and other voluntary organizations and keep them from gaining too much power”

    Zeke, I am sorry, but I clearly never said any such thing. I never talked about regulating the church, or any other group, except to NOT allow them to have power over the free will of others.
    That is ALL I said, nothing more, nothing about regulating them, except they cannot have power over the free will of ANY individual. Govt is power over others, Churchs in the US, cannot be the government.

    Churchs have power over others, according to the free will of those who accept their religion (Latin, from “religar” – (to bind.) But only bound by free will.

    Government is always power over others, imnplicit in the very word. By not allowing any other group to tell any other group or individual what to do, how to behave, by insisting on the right to assemble and worship accoding to the individuals free will, then this effectively removes religion from government, because goverment laws require folk to do things, by law, weather they want to or not.

    Now you say you believe in all these rindividual rights. (great, me to) How, may I ask, to you do you hope to keep them rights? This requires power, in fact it requires power over others. Again; “Government is a necessary evil” So Zeke requires government to protect his individual liberty.

    The US government was founded to do just that, protect individual liberty. In a sense, the US government was founded as “Antigovernment.” So when you state I am saying “that government is instituted to regulate churches and other voluntary organizations and keep them from gaining too much power”, you MUST add the words, OVER THE FREE WILL OF OTHERS. And yes, that is Why we gave our government power.

    Now, further I am saying that in our growing nuclear world of vast international trade, we already have tremendous international laws. IE, world government. This is growing, and the attempts to establish international tyrany will not end with the EU. We need a international “antigovernment” to protect us from international tyranny. The world must be educated to the importance of individual rights, and the growing international systems will keep trying to establish tyranny.

    Zeke, you ended by stating, “To argue that the wise will govern and rule is to ignore what just happened in the last century. The goal instead should be to expect that the very worst will get into government, and to limit what they can do.”

    I did not argue that, and I am well aware of the need to “limit what they can to. I am proposing just that, a system to “limit what they can do” and if we do not, eventually we will lose what freedoms we have left.

    We need to limit international govt to shipping laws, space laws, nuclear proliferation laws, etc, but we need an international system OBLIGATED BY ITS VERY STRUCTURE, to protecting individual rights, just as the founding of the US was itself a system given power, to stop others from exerting power over the free will of others.

    The US government is antigovernment, designed to be self limiting, and to limit other groups from trampling individual rights. It was like a computer code, written in to protect itself, from itself, and other greedy bastard groups. Statist governments are like a virus to the mandate of the US code. We now have ever new international viruses, we need an international “antivirus”
    That is what I am proposing, writing into the struture of international laws, international laws protecting individual freedom, and I NEVER proposed anything else.

    Please, NEXT TIME YOU STATE WHAT i AM SAYING, PLEASE copy and paste from my post, QUOTE IT, do not paraphrase it into something it is not. You are waging debate against men of straw.

    (caps are not for shouting, but for emmphasis.)

    Cheers.

    PS, I hope I have clarified to you and other posters, including our esteemed host, what I am saying. When I say we need a “United States of the world” I am saying our international system must have severe boundries placed on international law, severely limiting their power for the express purpose of protecting individual freedom. Right now we are getting the ever increasing international law, with no protection.

  281. Gail Combs says:

    David says:
    “…The so called Egyptian spring, started with a man setting himself on fire, because the govt prevented him from making a living…”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You are not looking beyond the propaganda in the news. Remember Obama said it was some obscure U.S.-produced movie that mocked Islam and its Prophet Mohammed, that caused the attack on the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi, but A senior U.S. official said “It was not an innocent mob,… this was a clearly planned military-type attack.” the ” U.S.-produced movie” was then downgraded to “a video that was disseminated on the Internet” According to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham the Benghazi survivors ‘told to be quiet’ by administration. He is urging House Republican leadership to issue subpoenas if the administration does not release the names of the survivors.

    Now a quick look at ‘Arab Spring’ and its background.
    One key player is Dan Amstutz, VP of the privately held grain trader Cargill and later VP of Goldman-Sachs (Commodities trading)
    Dan Amstutz wrote the World Trade Organization Agreement on Ag.(1995) => removing tariffs and quarantine, opening up markets for GMO seeds, banning of seed saving and the joint UN/WTO guides to Good Farming Practices and Agricultural practices. Final result was loss of 75% of farmers in Mexico (NAFTA) and 60% in Portugal with the planned removal of 2 million farmers in Poland.

    Dan Amstutz then wrote the US farm bill “Freedom to Farm” known as “Freedom to Fail” by farmers. It wiped out US farmers by placing into production fields that were fallow with a promise that there was a big export market it also got rid of US government buying of grains for the strategic grain reserve. Prices dropped like a rock and very cheap US grain, produced at well below cost flooded the world market wiping out third world farmers. Later from April to September 2003, Amstutz led the U.S. Government’s agriculture reconstruction efforts in Iraq, serving as U.S. Senior Ministry Advisor for Agriculture.

    “Kevin Watkins, Oxfam’s policy director, said Mr Amstutz would ‘arrive with a suitcase full of open-market rhetoric’, and was more likely to try to dump cheap US grain on the potentially lucrative Iraqi market than encourage the country to rebuild its once-successful agricultural sector. ‘Putting Dan Amstutz in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq is like putting Saddam Hussein in the chair of a human rights commission,’ Mr Watkins said. ‘This guy is uniquely well-placed to advance the commercial interests of American grain companies and bust open the Iraqi market – but singularly ill-equipped to lead a reconstruction effort in a developing country.'” WIKI

    Next came the US biofuel law and Goldman Sachs entrance into the commodities index game. By 2008 the US grain reserves were gone and the USDA announced “The cupboard is bare”

    . “What we are experiencing is a demand shock coming from a new category of participant in the commodities futures markets,” hedge fund Michael Masters testified before Congress in the midst of the 2008 food crisis.

    The result of Wall Street’s venture into grain and feed and livestock has been a shock to the global food production and delivery system. Not only does the world’s food supply have to contend with constricted supply and increased demand for real grain, but investment bankers have engineered an artificial upward pull on the price of grain futures. The result: Imaginary wheat dominates the price of real wheat, as speculators (traditionally one-fifth of the market) now outnumber bona-fide hedgers four-to-one.

    This lead to major jumps of grain prices world wide “In 2008 more than 60 food riots occurred worldwide in 30 different countries.”

    Clinton even stated that WTO was to blame for the 2008 riots and the later starvation in Haiti. “We Made a Devil’s Bargain”: Fmr. President Clinton Apologizes for Trade Policies that Destroyed Haitian Rice Farming

    So that is the background to the unrest. Note that Clinton and Tony Blair are part of the London School of Economics/Fabian Third way push. Clinton as I have said before ratified WTO and NAFTA and signed into law the five banking laws that repealed the 1933 laws designed to prevent a banking crisis and the laws requiring loans to the unqualified and allowing unregulated CDSs to protect banks from those bad loans. These are the five laws that lead to the current economic crisis.

    So what was Tony Blair doing?
    Allegedly“…Before Tony Blair became British Prime Minister in May 1997, he was Chairman of the Fabian Society…” link 1 and link 2 “. [ A member yes, chairman? Doubtful - Editor ] “ After Blair left office he went to work for the UN in the middle East and was also on retainer by the Morgan Chase Bank.

    FABIAN SOCIETY PHAMPHLET in EGYPT:
    From Dictator to Democracy was seen in Egypt

    As journalists have sought to untangle the disparate threads that unite these uprisings, one of the most interesting revelations has been a common reference to a dusty — but still relevant — book, “From Dictatorship to Democracy.”

    Earlier this month, the New York Times proclaimed its author, Gene Sharp, a “shy intellectual” who had created “the playbook for revolution” — noting that his work was posted on the Muslim Brotherhood website during the Egyptian uprising, and was cited equally among Tunisians, Bosnians and Estonians in their quest for freedom. So far, it has been translated into 41 languages….
    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/25/after-egypt-and-libya-whats-next-for-those-still-under-dictato/

    Who has free e-books including Gene Sharp’s “From Dictatorship to Democracy.”
    Fabian Essays In Socialism

    (Please note the URLs are old)

    Pick some of the key players like Maurice Strong, Pascal Lamy, Clinton, Dan Amstutz and Tony Blair and follow what they were up to.

  282. Zeke says:

    @Gail, your research brings further detail and specificity to the earlier discussion on the thread about “Third Way” politics, and the Clintonistas.

    This issue regarding commodities trading is extremely important, because it is a destructive and unnatural banking maneuver, and is related in my view to the concept of governments trading and taxing co2, the ultimate commodity of life. Goldman Sachs’ behavior in commodities trading, along with their enormous investments in worthless wind turbines, are equally devilish. I know that the latter requires government mandates, but I am not sure about the former.

    @David: I did quote you directly.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/lenr-tests-claiming-positive/#comment-50509

  283. Zeke says:

    I thought this was a thoughtful and informed comment on the Goldman Sachs commodities trading article. It is fundamentally wrong on principle to allow speculative maneuvers by huge players in the simple necessities of life such as wheat, oil, cattle, and rice; and in the event that a bank participates in that, they should be shunned and exposed. And if we learn this lesson, it may help people to understand the inherent dangers of allowing these same governmnet/banking forces to get into the co2 and water business.

    Archived comment: ORGANICGEORGE

    10:06 AM ET

    April 30, 2011

    Commodity Markets Manipulation

    Former CFTC Chair Wendy L. Gramm; wife of Senator Phil Gramm who never met a banking regulation he didn’t want to eliminate, made changes to the commodity regulations that allowed Banks and Hedge Funds to pretend they were legitimate hedgers.

    These speculators bought some grain elevators and suddenly were no longer legally limited to the number of commodity contracts they could hold. The old commodity regs were written so that speculators could not take over sized positions in the commodity markets. This reg was in place to make sure speculators did not control the market

    Today real hedgers are staying away from the commodity markets. A few years ago the speculators ran the price of wheat into the stratosphere. There was no fundamental market reasons for the spike.

    What the speculators figured out was that many States require large hedgers to be 100% hedged at all times. So the banks and hedge funds ran up the price of grains up and up forcing the hedgers into large and large margin calls; finally the cost of money made it impossible to the hedgers to hold their positions. Farmers, Grain Elevators, etc all lost money in a manufactured short squeeze; Wall St made a fortune.

    What has not be addressed is the Total Leverage used by speculators in the commodity markets. Hedge funds are already leverage 10-20-40 to 1, then they take positions in the commodity markets with leveraged contracts. How can a farmer compete with a over leveraged Hedge Fund?

    The financial game is rigged for the current market participants; which is why the floor traders laughed possible changes. New regs can stop these market abuses, just like they did for the 50 years until the Gramm’s came along.

  284. Zeke says:

    This group has it right:
    “What is the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition (CMOC)?

    The Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit alliance of groups that represents commodity-dependent industries, businesses and end-users, including average American consumers, that rely on functional, transparent and competitive commodity derivatives markets as a hedging and price discovery tool. The coalition advocates in favor of government policies that promote stability and confidence in the commodities markets, that seek to prevent fraud, manipulation and excessive speculation, and that preserve the interests of bona fide hedgers and consumers.”

    This shows the limited and genuine need for some speculation in markets relating to the basic needs of human life, and how this is distorted by huge banking players engaging in speculation:
    http://www.nefiactioncenter.com/PDF/commoditybasicshandoutrev.pdf

    And here is a letter written to warn of the dangers the creation of a carbon tax, because it would lead to exactly the same abuses of the prices of basic staples of life through speculation by big players and governments:

    “Our groups are concerned with the potential consequences of creating a PRI [“Pollution, Reduction, and Investment” (PRI), or otherwise known as “Cap-and-Trade”] market-based carbon market without a preexisting, transparent, and comprehensive oversight and regulatory
    framework; and importantly, protections against fraud, manipulation and excessive speculation. If
    created, a comprehensive carbon trading market would be one of the world’s largest and most lucrative new commodities markets. According to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), by 2017, U.S. carbon markets could exceed $2 trillion in nominal value.”
    http://www.nefiactioncenter.com/PDF/cmocltr2009oct30carbontradingfinal.pdf

  285. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke, The key words are Leveraged and Fractional Reserve Banking. As long as someone can borrow money that banks make out of thin air to bet on the commodities markets or use it for the hostile take over of corporations you are going to have a transfer of real wealth from Main Street to Wall Street.

    If instead money actually represents someone’s wealth and you are not allowed to borrow against something YOU DO NOT OWN, a lot of these problems go away. Bank runs are a direct result of Fractional Reserve Banking and the fraudulent use of someone else’s money. Either your money (wealth) is ‘warehoused’ and you pay storage fees or you sign a contract allowing the money to be used for loans or stock and bond purchases for a specified time like mutual funds are run today.

    “Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.” — Sir Josiah Stamp, (President of the Bank of England in the 1920′s, the second richest man in Britain)

    I mentioned a bunch of this stuff on FRB in these comments:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/t/t10/#comment-49188

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/t/t10/#comment-49220

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/t/t10/#comment-49630

  286. David says:

    Zeke, I will make one more attempt at communication, and I am asking you to read slowly my words, without prejudging. Please do not think I am patronizing. It is clear you do not understand what I am saying. I understand that my intial communication was a bit muddled. Why? I was suggesting that the very problem of statism, requires a government solution.

    I was asserting that the founding principals of the US form of government, are structured anti-government. Government to limit government. Group power, to limit group power over the FREE WILL of the individual. I appreciate your somehat rash stubborness, as it has required me to crystalize my thinking. However, I am beginning to feel that you are simply choosing to not understand what I am saying. Why? Because you have not addresed what I have actually said, instead choosing your words TO convey a very different meaning into my statements. I will illustrate this from your last post. .
    ————————————————————-

    @David: I did quote you directly.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/lenr-tests-claiming-positive/#comment-50509

    David says: “The world now has many which we need protection from, and we need a international system that recognises that. Will that system degenerate into the very thing it is designed to protect against. Depends on the wisdom of the practioners, All cultures, large or little, prosper or fail on their ability to manifest that wisdom.” (True, here you quoted me, but you then repeatly twisted the menaing of what I said, despit my many corrections.)

    Zeke, you then responded with this comment.
    ‘The number one killer in the last century was democide – it far outstripped battle dead in all the wars combined, by a factor of 4. To argue that the wise will govern and rule is to ignore what just happened in the last century. ‘

    Zeke, please reread what I wrote. Look at the first sentance. Read “we” as the individual. Read “world” as the UN &, the EU, as a symbol of statist goverments everywhere; that is who we need protection from. There is no logical way in hell you can interpret that as anything but a call for limitation on international one world types. There is no way in God’s green earth you can rationally argue that a call for structured limitations on international law, and protection of individual rights, is a call to have “the wise govern and rule”. Your entire arguemnt is a strawman.

    I am now going to put in quotes things I have stated to you, yet you continue to say that I am calling for international tyranny of the ruling elite.
    ————————————————————-
    “the problem is that individuals, if they stay individuals, will always succumb to groups, and people will always form groups. So, no escape, the necessary evil is, after all, necessary. AFAIK, only the founding fathers properly understood that the role of govt was to protect individual liberty. At least they were the only ones to really put it into practice.”

    “Now you say you believe in all these rindividual rights. (great, me to) How, may I ask, to you do you hope to keep them rights? This requires power, in fact it requires power over others”.
    iN SHORT…
    1. GOVERMENT (GROUP) POWER IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT AGAINST GOVERMNT TYRANNY.

    “Now, further I am saying that in our growing nuclear world of vast international trade, we already have tremendous international laws. IE, world government. This is growing, and the attempts to establish international tyrany will not end with the EU. We need a international “antigovernment” to protect us from international tyranny. The world must be educated to the importance of individual rights, and the growing international systems will keep trying to establish tyranny.”
    IN ESSENCE…
    2. IN AN EVER MORE POWERFUL AND CONNECTED WORLD, THE EVIL BASTARDS WILL ALWAYS STRIVE TO “RULE THE WORLD” THE WORLD (READ INDIVIDUALS) DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE DANGER THEY ARE IN.

    “the foundation of the United States was, and quite obviously is, the antisepsis of what the UN and the EU, and Obama is today attempting. Social systems that vainly seek to legislate selflessness only condense the personal gain aspect into the most powerful people within the government, and in removing liberty and personal power from the common man, engender helplessness in the masses…The US government is antigovernment, designed to be self limiting, and to limit other groups from trampling individual rights. It was like a computer code, written in to protect itself, from itself, and other greedy bastard groups. Statist governments are like a virus to the mandate of the US code. We now have ever new international viruses, we need an international “antivirus” That is what I am proposing, writing into the struture of international laws, international laws protecting individual freedom, and I NEVER proposed anything else.

    IN BRIEF…
    3. THE FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED TO PROTECT THE FREE WILL OF THE INDIVIDUAL FROM ALL GROUPS WHICH WANTED TO PRACTICE TYRANNY, TO DO THIS THEY CREATED A GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE, DESIGNED TO LIMIT IT SELF TO THAT ROLE. IN THIS GROWING EVER MORE POWERFULL WORLD, WE NEED SUCH PROTECTIONS WRITTEN INTO INTERNATIONAL LAW.

    I made several other assertions, but this is the essential message. Do you understand what I am saying yet?

    Cheers, and at your service
    David

  287. David says:

    Gail Combs says:
    13 April 2013 at 12:27 pm
    David says:
    “…The so called Egyptian spring, started with a man setting himself on fire, because the govt prevented him from making a living…”
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Hi Gail (-: Thank you, and I really do appreciate your effort and links to demonstrate your message. I will read it in more detail, as it deserves. For now, I wish to point out something a bit ironic. It appears to me that my story was an illustration about how goverment power destroys people lives. it appears to me that your detailed story is a tale about how governments in cohoots with the wealthy destroy peoples lives.

    Yes, I read and understood that you are pointing the finger at far more then the Iranian Government. However the essence is the same. I wish you to know, and will later look up the references, that the Iraq food shortages had less to do with government sanctions and international markets, and more to do with gross incompetence and foolish tyranical practices of Sadam.

    Thanks for all your research.

  288. Zeke says:

    David says: “The “evolution to larger systems” has no demonstrable successes.” I cannot agree.

    The history of the world is full of successful larger systems, until they fail. yes, they all fail, just as all the smaller systems failed to. Yet larger system will happen for all the reasons I stated before.”

    Therefore I responded by asking for any evidence or example of the success of these “larger systems.” And you have forgotten that the point was to apply the theory that Rummel presents in his book, Death by Government. His theory simply states that the democracies themselves do not practice democide or aggression against other democracies.

    This is the context of denying any use or necessity of a larger international system. Democracies cancel the need for any evolution to larger international systems. In practice, I showed that the existence of the larger system (the EU) is reversing the natural negotiation and bargaining that should occur between democracies and is lessening democracy. So try to keep in mind that the conversation centered on Rummel.

  289. Zeke says:

    (That is, democracies practice far less democide. Rummel fully documents democide by democracies – usually on foreign shores once drawn into a military with an agressive non-democracy.)

  290. David says:

    Zeke, the conversation did not center on Rummel, it centered on your continues mischarterization of what I am trying to convey. You said to Name a larger system that suceeded. The history of the world is full of ever larger systems as human technology and communication have created ever more capacity to interact. The world is much smaller. From tribes to nations that for a time prospered, with the remanants of many smaller communities in their wake, the developing world has moved to ever larger systems. I stated that not only do all system fail, but that there is a common charchter trait to their demise. Do you remember? I outlined many areas where internatlionl law is legitamate, such as nuclear proliferation treaties, and satelite orbit parameters. However my point was and is that International law and blackbeard statist are moving ahead, in the dark, without restrictions, in arrogance, to control and conform a society that must follow their unelected dictates… as one example of many…
    ….Under the secretive WTO rules, countries can challenge another’s laws for restricting their trade. The case is then heard by a tribunal or court of three trade bureaucrats. They are usually influential corporate lawyers. The lawyers have no conflict of interest rules binding them, such that a Monsanto lawyer can rule on a case of material interest to Monsanto. Incredibly, the names of the judges are kept secret!
    Further, there is no rule that the judges of WTO respect any national laws of any country. The three judges meet in secret without revealing the time or location. All court documents are confidential and cannot be published. It is a modern version of the Spanish Inquisition with far more power…. http://www.publiceyeonscience.ch/images/the_wto_and_the_politics_of_gmo.doc

    You see Zeke, it is happening without your approval, and it is not constrained. You, as a individual are powerless.
    My point is it is necessary to impose severe limits on the growing structure itself. A structure that does not need your approval to happen, and is happening without it. it is happeng in the arena of international statist cooperating with each other. I told you already, all systems fail, period, end of story. I made it clear that it is tyranny that sucks the life blood out of any system, formerly strong and bright with freedom. So stop pretending I am calling for world elites to rule. Acknowlge that or cease talking to me. By refusing to see that point, you are not talking to me anyway, only some distored image of what is by now my clear words which are REPEATEDLY telling you that I am not calling for international rulers.

    Oh, and I have, long before you posted here, pointed out the writings of Rummel. As I said, I like them, but he gave to much credit to “democracy” which as someone said is “two wolfs and a sheep, deciding what to eat for lunch”. More of the credit goes to limited government and individual protection from group tyranny. Democracy, elected leaders, is but one facet of that.

  291. Zeke says:

    The conversation was about applying Rummel for me.

    David said, ” As we grow in use of power we become ever more connected, and have need of systemic international cooperation. I have no doubt that we will have ever more international treaties and larger growing trade organizations.” You then qualify this by making reference to liberty.

    People like to pay lip service to liberty; and half of the time this may be referring to “human rights,” which are not individual liberties. Also, these blanket assertions you originally made were problematic. They deserved a rebuttal, and clarification, because you provide no existing examples of “systemic international cooperation” to show what you mean. This is most often a referral to a UN type of body which promises “human rights.”

    And it is true that Rummel uses a loose definition for democracy, with authoritarian regimes next in the data tables, and finally totalitarian governments. This is for purposes of analysis and shows that democracies are least lethal to their own citizens and to their neighbors. I think probably under the EU, many countries cannot be categorized as democracies any longer. I am only half way through the book, which I ordered immediately after your recommendation, but I do not think he has in place a way of removing the status of democracy from EU nations who have lost most citizen participation recently.

  292. David says:

    Zeke, I had hoped that my first clarification would suffice, as it wad very direct. You read into it your (and mine also btw) understandable frustration with the attempt thus far of many international efforts. There have been many many international sucesses which have helped. NATO was, for a time quite effective. Not all international trade is bad. Agreeing on how to operate international ports has worked quite well. The need to prevent situations like whatis developing with North Korea are more effictive if resolved with “qualified” international
    cooperation. Th US armed forces themselfves have prevented wars from taking place.

    You read my statement about growing international cooperation needs being inevitable as my advocation of world goverment. Nope, I was just commenting on what is happening, and for understandable reasons will happen. You misread my comments. They canot be considered “payingp service to liberty; and half of the time this may be referring to “human rights,”

    Below are some of my earlie comments, really quite clear…
    ” I consider all govenment to be a “necessary evil.” And I can very convincingly define that evil, it is power, specifically power over others.”They are not part of my pschye. Try to tell that to several hundred million people murdered. Google Rummel, and “democide” death by government.”

    “And I know that the UN, IMF, global elites, all have this “one world govt ideal”, and are making efforts and strides towards it. To a degree, what with incredible technological ability to communicate, and ever greater capacity for world trade, and world travel, this is inevitable.”
    (Clearly a staement of what is happening , not advocating that it take the form of a ruling elite.)

    “However, the painfull lessons of the requirements for liberty on a international, national, state , local, and individual scale, incredibly well done in my view by our founding Fathers, will have do be relearned, very painfully I am afraid, in our interconnected international world.”
    (A clear statement on the need to limit these international blackbeardds)

    The great questions and challenge is, in my view, how long will it take a globaly developed poulation to understand the princicpals of free enterprise and personal liberty, as well as the need for national identity. The necessitie of limited government power will not be an easy lesson for the world to learn.”
    (Pretty clear)

    “The truth of what system will function best is curious. Clearly ALL systems of government will fail if the people of them manifest the dark side of human nature, (the evil bastard syndrome) However only a system expressely devoted to, number one, protecting it people from external dominence, and two, protecting its citizens from internal dominence of any group, coorporate, religious, government, etc. can be most successful in preventing the evil bastard from gaining power.”

    All of the above I said in earlier postings. You even argued with the last statement, claiming I was talking about government controlling churches and dictating the right of free association. Do you not know the history of church rule. The Catholic church, coming to rule, was the worst thing for Catholicism , in my view. The founding fathers of the US had a clear understanding that group power, dominating the free will of individuals, is very dangerous and evil.”

    Please in the future ask for clairification, but refrain from putting words in my mouth. Most of the time you did not quote me, and when you did you clearly read into my words, something that was not there. One of the beauties of local goverments is in the US system of states rights. I have worked for some fortune 500 companies, and seen tremendous mistakes made in attempts
    to improve. Why? They came up with one solution, and dictated it to every profit center. Instead of looking at different solutions by local control, seeing which ones worked, and then expanding those sucessful programs.

  293. Gail Combs says:

    David says “…it appears to me that your detailed story is a tale about how governments in cohoots with the wealthy destroy peoples lives….”

    You have got it. I just try and get people to see that what is happening is not by chance but by plan. When you can tie the results to the actions of a few people (Dan Amstutz was part of the Clinton Admin. when he wrote the WTO AoA and the Freedom to Farm bill) then it should be obvious it is no coincidence the world is in an economic depression and the middle east is a ‘Hot Spot’ Clinton is a traitor to the USA plain and simple.

  294. punmaster says:

    Very interesting discussion. I will need to go through it two or three times to absorb most of it..
    I didn’t need the naked cat breeder image, though. ;)

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