Those things only have value because people think they do. Same as paper, in fact. They have very few practical uses. The environment, on the other hand, has multiple uses.
I know. But that’s nothing to do with the point I was making, which is that you can either spend money on something stupid or on something that generates more value.
Neither is a machine being operated by monkeys. Of course the environment can be called ‘capital’. You can add labour and money and get value out of it. You can add a chainsaw and a logger and get wood. 50 years later you can do it all over again. It is, in fact, a machine; a solar-powered one.
There’s really no correlation. The US has a lot of wilderness areas because of misguided ideas about how the environment works. Those areas should be managed (carefully) to produce profits and keep them young and viable. Backward countries (I’m thinking places like Haiti) are backward largely because they’ve destroyed their ecosystem services.
Capital is very hard to distinguish from cash, but again, that’s not what I meant. I was simply saying that it’s OK to print money on the (confident) expectation of future wealth. The ‘virtual’ value that’s been created out of thin air is replaced a short time in the future with real value. The problem comes when people think of money as wealth, rather than as a means to create it.
A broken machine isn’t capital anymore, is it? Working machinery sticks around, as long as you look after it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tractor or a field: if you look after it, it will produce. The great thing about the natural world is that it keeps fixing itself. All we have to do is not fuck it up faster than it can repair itself. You’d think that’d be easy, wouldn’t you?
Yes, and when you print too much money, people don’t value it as much because it becomes too common, and eventually its good for fueling the fire to make you warm. Gold only inflates when too much gets mined, which doesn’t always help the entrepreneurs who do it, but usually there is a very limited supply which helps keep it dear and out of the hands of government.
We have so much wilderness because the Federal Government owns too much land, especially in the West. Trump is in sympathy with those states that want their land back, and I am too. The states are more likely to use that land more practically.
It’s usually not ok to print money except when there is a demand first. Why would you want to? The demand is created by actual generation of wealth. It is dangerous to print before the demand as inflation can kill the wealth generation process and be hard to stop. The demand is created by generation of wealth.
Money is wealth and a means to create it. The difference is consumption versus capital. It depends how you use it. For a society to become rich, a lot of savings (and foregoing consumption) always needs to be happening.
I agree that the land isn’t being managed well at the moment, but I can’t see any obvious reason why the States would do it any better.
You just described, quite correctly, why it isn’t wealth: it has no use in and of itself, especially when people stop agreeing that it has even nominal value. Yes, it can be a means to create wealth, and it’s often a prerequisite, but it need not be. People who have access to printed money are usually those with access to real property (land etc) as collateral. If they had nothing other than the clothes they stood up in, no bank would go near them. To those who have more will be given; to those who have not, even what they have will be taken away …
True enough. Unfortunately, because most people believe that money=wealth, there is always a demand for it.
The idea of paper money is too shaky and could never take off were it not for government backing. That’s what gives money the trust factor. Not the money itself, or people wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, coz it’s just paper, not worth as much as gold that’s minted on coins. In fact, historically, if the coin became less value (by government decree of course) than the gold or silver it was made of, people would melt it and trade it. You couldn’t do that with paper money, it’s worth zilch.
Before paper money was backed by government, private banks used to issue such paper notes, and they were just as good as the reputation of that bank. Still some people wouldn’t accept them.
States would manage the land better because they have to balance their budgets, unlike the federal government. So they have more interest to have land where profit can be made. They are more practical governments than the big federal government, which rules far away.
What would you say to forcing the federal government to balance its budget?
Absolutely. There’s one easy way to do that. Back to the gold standard. The gold standard was abandoned because governments didn’t want to be bound by economic laws. But that’s what protects the people from governments fleecing them of their worth, and hard-earned savings. Absolutely, keep government hands off the value of money! That belongs to the people.
Jotham and Greenspan, saving the world together!
And until the gold standard is restored? Because realistically, it’s pretty hard to get to the end of that rainbow…
Developing countries tend to be led by people educated in the developed countries. One thing I admire from taiwan is that they have people who actually adapte dthat knowledge to te conditions here, and are able to epxort that knowledge to developing countrie snad tailor it to their needs.
However, in most 3rd world places we have these elites that are totally out of touch with the conditions on the ground. That is why we get Transportation ministers suggesting teh best way to avoid traffic jams is to increase the speed limits…forgetting we have no roads, no traffic lights, our bridges are Bailey’s left by the US core of engineers way back when… you get the picture. Not to mention the constant pillaging.
I mean, in both developing and developed countries you ahve this feature, whether it si public or private funds, or invetsments or the stock market: the more you lose, the more you make. the Producers applied to Economics. In US, you had the mortage debacle. Lemme give you a personal example from the ol country:
My relative was a top gun at the Supreme Court, Labor tribunal. There was an Asian country that tried to set up a factory to ensemble electronics. As it was, one of their executives was kidnapped by idiots, and more stupid cops botched the rescue. Long story short, they left the country and somehow, the sale of assets and lo and behold, my relative became a millionaire, don’t ask me how. He and his cronies relaized the mine they had just found, and ever since then, made their best to coax “investors” -pidgeons- into the country, let them float a bit, punch their air and then reap the riches like pirates.
And you ask why we still use ol machinery. I told you too we have alwas stipulating we cannot develop our own machinerey, we can only buy US Caterpillar or something. US then becomes the Big Bad. Blame it on them. Surely it doesn’t help when the US government intervenes and messes stuff up. Example: US companies send defenctive machinery that kills people, or contaminated medicines that kill people. Sometimes our people do go out and buy the bad stuff so poor people die but most often they buy a bundle and most of it is bad. When you are a poor country, you have no barganing power, so you but bundles. You want A, but they won’t sell it to you unless you also get C and H, whether you need them or not. Anyways, that is how US comapanies mainly get the trash stuff into Latin America. Trash we pay for. Anyways, then US intervenes the wrong way, whether it is making the government sign agreements that forfeit our right to complain/sue properly at an international level. Or when people want to change things to overcome complicit governments, they just sent troops/arms over and wipe any insurgency. Hence, not a lot of love there.
Asd to technology, just think about the benefits of high tech with even lower learning curve and higher exponential win win at shorter term. We are talking the huge impulse from smartphones in Africa, for instance. Solar panels in Central America. High tech is badly needed to solve issues. We can skip the pollution and the dirty steps from economic development in other now developed nations. As a matter of fact, if we could go straight into acircular economy, as we did from landlines and faxes into smartphobes, that would be awesome. But depends as said whether that will be allowed by elites that are either numb or dumb or simply greedy.
It is easy to call our peoples guilty because they do not step up and rebel and overthow the elites. But there have been so many attemps, it always ends up in a bloodbath… Takes a while to take arms and even then, the problem is what comes after.
No, don’t mention Greenspan as one of my heroes, he turned.
Oh gosh, he lowered interest rates to 1% for more than a year, which caused the onset of economic collapse in 2007 the consequences we still haven’t climbed out of. We hiked only 3 times, in December, March, June, but still around 1.15%. He’s caused massive poverty in America and around the world as other countries more-or-less pegged to the dollar followed him down the abyss of perpetual bubbles and easy money.
Latin America has been one of the least free market areas in the world. Chile experimented with it more-or-less when Pinochet would deign to listen to his college students advisors familiar with free market ideas in 70s (up to 90s), but he didn’t consistently follow the principles, he wavered a few times. Even so, Chile probably had the best living quality of any Latino countries. Argentina also experimented in the 90s, but staunchly stopped in 2000 and retrograded much by now. I think the whole batch now is going down under socialism. What you’re describing sounds endemic when lack of capital ensues.