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  • On 22 Jul 2014 in The stock market is not going to crash and will soon make new highs, Bellingham Bill said:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8rYotiiFP8

  • On 22 Jul 2014 in The stock market is not going to crash and will soon make new highs, Bellingham Bill said:

    Facebooksux says

    gold goes parabolic

  • On 22 Jul 2014 in Is this thinking wrong ? Please advise, Bellingham Bill said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    t would be (and have been) better to tax the 1% than to borrow from them at 2.5%.

    yup! Funny how we have an entire political party controlling Congress now who is vehemently opposed to this.

    Tho to be fair, Leviathan has gotten pretty big these days!

    Blue is real per-fulltime worker .gov expense (not counting SS and Medicare)

    Red is real per-fulltime worker DOD expense (counted in the above too)

    Federal government service is costing everyone $1500/mo, $500 of that is DOD

  • On 22 Jul 2014 in Is this thinking wrong ? Please advise, Bellingham Bill said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    with deficit spending by the government.

    yes, it's truly stupendous to me that we were able to borrow $1.2T in CY08 and another $1.5T in CY09 . . .

    The Fed started buying treasuries in 4Q10 so it wasn't them . . .

    Lotsa money out there, looking for yield . . .

    shows the money stock has doubled in GDP terms since the Volcker era.

  • On 22 Jul 2014 in Is this thinking wrong ? Please advise, Bellingham Bill said:

    tatupu70 says

    Do you agree that wealth disparity has been increasing over the last 30-40 years? And interest rates have been generally decreasing over that same period?

    blue is inverted Gini (down is higher disparity), red is prime rate

    in this chart we *do* see where the Fed has input into the economy, when they were raising their overnight rates, the prime rate also rose.

    So the Fed has brakes, but its gas pedal is pretty wonky.

  • On 22 Jul 2014 in Is this thinking wrong ? Please advise, Bellingham Bill said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    Taxing takes money away from other spending or investments.

    . . .

    Is there any shortage of investment capital now?

    At any rate, Economics ignores the TIME element which is annoying. Government takes a bite, then spends that money right back into the economy.

    The $2T the gov't spends on entitlements isn't thrown into a furnace, it re-enters the economy immediately.

    Gov't isn't 'taking away' anything. It redirects the flows, but they soon return to "the 1%" who own everything.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in The stock market is not going to crash and will soon make new highs, Bellingham Bill said:

    yeah, as I say, for the crash to come, something has to fail.

    In the 1920s it was buying stocks on margin, people playing momentum instead of fundamentals.

    dotcom crash, same thing plus all the corporate fraud & vendor financing shenanigans going on

    in the recent crash it was our Potemkin Economy that was juiced with the $100B/month of consumer credit expansion:

    YOY consumer debt growth as % total wages

    Made this graph, thought it was pretty funny:

    per-capita gov't spending (excluding DoD spending)

    As long as spending is elevated, I don't see a crash anytime soon.

    Cut spending, sure.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in Is this thinking wrong ? Please advise, Bellingham Bill said:

    komputodo says

    why are rates at historical lows and savers are only getting 1% or less?

    China has been expanding its money supply to keep its currency cheap compared to ours to maintain the trade surplus they need.

    This is a win-win for them as they suck capital out of our country -- not financial capital but the hard capital of physical plant and a [less un-] skilled workforce to operate it.

    Blue is the US money supply, red is China's

    So China wants to be #1 and we don't know how to deal with this.

    Having a nation of a billion people willing to import our inflation has been a pretty good deal for us -- they've given us so much wealth -- trying buying a durable good that wasn't made in China, good luck! -- in return for our FRNs.

    This has been great unless you're in manufacturing of course.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MANEMP

    shows we've lost 1 out of 3 mfg jobs since 1990

    US mfg had the same challenge with Japan, but they were a nation 1/3 the size of us, not 3X . . .

    Plus since NAFTA we've run a large trade deficit with Mexico, too. 1990-94 we were in trade balance, but 1995 was -$16B, 2000 -$25B, 2005 - now has been $50B to $60B annual trade defiits.

    Clearly we want or are ignorant of these trade deficits; I watched a few Republican primary debates and this topic wasn't mentioned once.

    But these deficits create trillions of what was called the "Global Saving Glut" last decade -- trillions ripped out of the paycheck economy (a deflationary effect) and now seeking yield (which pushes down interest rates)

    I don't know where I'm going with this, other than our politics are utterly detached from the reality of our situation. Lambs to the slaughter, maybe.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in Is this thinking wrong ? Please advise, Bellingham Bill said:

    iwog says

    I don't consider the fed to be relevant to our present economy.

    I don't know how MZM expands tho . . . thinking about it hurts my head

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, Bellingham Bill said:

    In 1997, a group of scientists at Erasmus University in Holland famously showed that smokers have lower total life-time health-care expenditures than non-smokers. Smokers do cost a lot more per year of life, but because their lives are so much shorter on average, the non-smokers end up with higher costs in the long run.

    http://healthland.time.com/2009/08/04/does-prevention-really-cut-health-care-costs/

    Japan's baby boom (born 1947-1950) smoked like chimneys, so maybe they'll all just keel over now.

    Or not.

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in Raising minimum wage actually increases job growth, Bellingham Bill said:

    Having said that, the minimum wage is a very blunt instrument that doesn't actually fix what's wrong with our economy.

    Minimum wage is a rent-subsidy in disguise, and I have the chart to prove it:

    BOHICA

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in Raising minimum wage actually increases job growth, Bellingham Bill said:

    E-man says

    Raising minimum wage actually increases inflation.

    funny thing is, so very few people get this.

    At least Krugman said to effect 'no wage inflation, no inflation' not too long ago. Somebody gets it.

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in Raising minimum wage actually increases job growth, Bellingham Bill said:

    Strategist says

    Let make $100.00 as the minimum wage and hiring will go through the roof.

    http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/30-appeal-to-extremes

    that's almost $2T of corporate profits on the table that labor is not getting.

    is a very curious chart.

    Blue is real wages, red is real non-wage income

    See the squeeze?

    Top 10% of the distribution are taking home 33% of the income (AGI) now.

    This is bad, though of course conservatives celebrate it for some reason, the higher the better they think, or are told to think at least.

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in Bay Area apartment rents continue relentless rise, Bellingham Bill said:

    mell says

    So why don't you support 2008 prices then

    magical times, LOL

    just not by the richest person with the best credit score who got stick-saved by the Fed

    these people do not have a measurable footprint of occupancy in the SCV. They exist in the very nice areas of course, but in scarce proportion to all the IT zillionaires that have been created since 1995.

    I don't oppose liquidating the rentiers, but not at the cost of everyone else, too, like how 1Q09 was shaping up to be until the Fed arrested the cascading collapse.

    FIRE-sector BS certainly gave us the good times of 2004-2007, for what they were, but that was when the true big-ass mistakes were made.

    We can both agree that "the System" has been running as a con-job since the 1990s and earlier.

    Real estate is just one part of the machine, perhaps the biggest, perhaps not. Health care profits, deficit spending (deferred tax increases), and our persistent trade deficit are the other horsemen of course.

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in Bay Area apartment rents continue relentless rise, Bellingham Bill said:

    ^ now that's a pretty good non-sequitur

    what has destroyed "purchasing power" more than anything is the rising cost of housing

    commercial real estate has also been skyrocketing, so consumers are paying the idle parasitical rich on that end, too.

    this goes beyond monetary policy, all economies evidence this trend of real estate choking the middle class and below. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, etc. etc.

    Japan back in the 1980s. Vietnam, China now.

    What's amazing is my long Henry George quote above was written in the 1870s. Not much from that era is more applicable today!

    "QE are always the poorest that have no money to put in investments and that see their net cost (rent, food etc, not tax-deductible) going up rapidly"

    investment or the Fed boogeyman doesn't drive these costs up. The mere fact that we HAVE the money to buy them drives up the cost of housing, health care, food, etc.

    Supply/Demand 101

    laissez faire ain't going to fix things here, though of course "We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in Bay Area apartment rents continue relentless rise, Bellingham Bill said:

    New Renter says

    but what of the rest of us?

    It's a question of politics more than economics.

    I was wondering about this:

    can't we just outlaw automation?

    or would the SCOTUS overturn for the city over-reaching its police powers, unfairly burdening the freedom of business owners to operate their businesses as they will.

  • On 20 Jul 2014 in Video of MH17 Hit by Missile; Update From Jacob Dreizin; Black Box Thoughts, Bellingham Bill said:

    One person on board was working on technology that would have helped prevent the incident in the first place . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ0WhWLXsIE

    her talk wasn't that technologically coherent, but the thought of actually owning my own satellite up in orbit had never occurred to me.

    Costs $20,000+ to get 1kg up to 23,000 miles, which is probably why

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in Whoops make that 18,000 instead, what a party, Bellingham Bill said:

    indigenous says

    You think it is all fine because the cuts are coming from Nokia?

    Nokia as a business organization isn't bringing anything to the table anymore. This is a Samsung vs Apple world now. Nokia is the RC Cola to their Coke vs. Pepsi.

    Their $7B value was in their patent portfolio. They did a lot of heavy lifting before Apple even put its toe into the mobile game with the iPod and those patents are still running.

    Microsoft needs to pivot to defend itself against Google, not try to win a hardware fight it lost a long time ago.

    As for the 5000 cuts coming to Microsoft's ops, I don't know anything about how they do things but from what I've heard Microsoft is the poster-child of fiefdom-building. Like Hitler, Ballmer wanted disorder and anarchy among his lieutenants, because that's how his genius worked and it made him more necessary, to arbitrate the contradictions as they arose.

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in Tenants United wins big rent control victory, Bellingham Bill said:

    indigenous says

    The problem is how do you determine the value of the unimproved land?

    Site value is highly continuous (in the mathematical sense) in space and time

    and is simply the total market price less the cost of the fixed improvements, which are trivial to both identify and assess a replacement value.

    Not much of a problem, LOL, though critics of LVT like throwing that up as another ditch in their argument against it.

    The idea is that way people are only getting taxed on what they either inherited or did nothing to create

    while that is true as far is it goes, the main idea is that land titles were originally give-aways by the state and thus the state should retain "strings" to recapture the rents they create for their owners.

    This should not be heresy in conservative circles . . .

    http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Buckley_HG.html

    but since state capture of rents utterly gores some very near and dear oxen of conservatives -- their current colossal income streams from land

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/DHUTRC1Q027SBEA

    [and this is just $2T/yr in personal expenditure -- imagine how much more commercial and government also pays for land each year . . .]

    -- they will fight LVT with all their strength.

    Their resistance to the LVT even brought a constitutional change to the UK . . .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Act_1911

    after they blocked LVT in 1909.

    But all of this is no longer in living memory, so the land monopolists are sitting pretty safe now. I've been infected with Georgist-geolibertarian meme for a decade now, and I've seen some marginal advances, but nothing to really get excited about.

    I doubt LVT will go anywhere in my lifetime. The system has coopted too much of the electorate -- renters are a minority and they don't even bother to vote all that consistently, and when they do they don't necessarily vote for their own best interest, thanks to all the single-issue voting going on wrt "family values" and all that other right-wing BS.

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in Whoops make that 18,000 instead, what a party, Bellingham Bill said:

    zerobrain strikes again.

    The bulk of cuts are hitting Nokia, since Microsoft doesn't need much from them any more.

    And of course MSFT has been utterly misrun for at least a decade, probably more, under that fat idiot, Ballmer.

    Really stunning how Cupertino just cleaned their clocks in the past 10 years.

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in Your government at work, Bellingham Bill said:

    indigenous says

    Do see that is a two street?

    http://billmoyers.com/content/the-powell-memo-a-call-to-arms-for-corporations/

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in Your government at work, Bellingham Bill said:

    indigenous says

    You make it sound so simple

    Works for Norway.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statoil

    If the majors don't want to productize Norway's resource wealth by their rules, they've got their state-run engineering company to make the investments instead.

    France is thinking about taxing vacant property to encourage economic activity. When the government bypasses the price discovery process the trouble begins.

    LVT accelerates the price discovery, it does not bypass it. Nothing like lighting a fire under market participants to make them 'piss or get off the pot' as it were.

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in China vs. Japan Debt Capacity; Impact of Debt on Chinese Growth, Bellingham Bill said:

    what a stew of verbiage that doesn't really mean anything.

    As for Japan, they gave themselves tax cuts and called it savings. How they back this out -- if they can, given their demographic decline -- is still an open question.

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in Tenants United wins big rent control victory, Bellingham Bill said:

    Dan8267 says

    he private sector should produce wealth, not simply siphon it.

    Gonna require up-zoning everything if we want to reduce rents in SF.

    This negatively impacts everyone who is already there; everyone wants to be the 'last one in'.

    About 2/3 the city is renters though. Just gotta organize them and outvote the owners. Kinda tough, cuz the owners http://www.hjta.org have the money to bullshit people through advertising.

    Another solution would be improving transportation links to e.g. Manteca, sigh. Unfortunately, 20 miles is just about the longest "normal" train commute into Tokyo -- in SF terms that only gets you to Walnut Creek.

  • On 18 Jul 2014 in Bay Area apartment rents continue relentless rise, Bellingham Bill said:

    Population still keeps on increasing, giving greater and greater utility to the land, and more and more wealth to its owner. The town has grown into a city — a St. Louis, a Chicago or a San Francisco — and still it grows. Production is here carried on upon a great scale, with the best machinery and the most favorable facilities; the division of labor becomes extremely minute, wonderfully multiplying efficiency; exchanges are of such volume and rapidity that they are made with the minimum of friction and loss. Here is the heart, the brain, of the vast social organism that has grown up from the germ of the first settlement; here has developed one of the great ganglia of the human world. Hither run all roads, hither set all currents, through all the vast regions round about. Here, if you have anything to sell, is the market; here, if you have anything to buy, is the largest and the choicest stock. Here intellectual activity is gathered into a focus, and here springs that stimulus which is born of the collision of mind with mind. Here are the great libraries, the storehouses and granaries of knowledge, the learned professors, the famous specialists. Here are museums and art galleries, collections of philosophical apparatus, and all things rare, and valuable, and best of their kind. Here come great actors, and orators, and singers, from all over the world. Here, in short, is a center of human life, in all its varied manifestations.

    So enormous are the advantages which this land now offers for the application of labor, that instead of one man — with a span of horses scratching over acres, you may count in places thousands of workers to the acre, working tier on tier, on floors raised one above the other, five, six, seven and eight stories from the ground, while underneath the surface of the earth engines are throbbing with pulsations that exert the force of thousands of horses.

    All these advantages attach to the land; it is on this land and no other that they can be utilized, for here is the center of population — the focus of exchanges, the market place and workshop of the highest forms of industry. The productive powers which density of population has attached to this land are equivalent to the multiplication of its original fertility by the hundredfold and the thousandfold. And rent, which measures the difference between this added productiveness and that of the least productive land in use, has increased accordingly. Our settler, or whoever has succeeded to his right to the land, is now a millionaire. Like another Rip Van Winkle, he may have lain down and slept; still he is rich — not from anything he has done, but from the increase of population. There are lots from which for every foot of frontage the owner may draw more than an average mechanic can earn; there are lots that will sell for more than would suffice to pave them with gold coin. In the principal streets are towering buildings, of granite, marble, iron, and plate glass, finished in the most expensive style, replete with every convenience. Yet they are not worth as much as the land upon which they rest — the same land, in nothing changed, which when our first settler came upon it had no value at all.

    That this is the way in which the increase of population powerfully acts in increasing rent, whoever, in a progressive country, will look around him, may see for himself. The process is going on under his eyes. The increasing difference in the productiveness of the land in use, which causes an increasing rise in rent, results not so much from the necessities of increased population compelling the resort to inferior land, as from the increased productiveness which increased population gives to the lands already in use. The most valuable lands on the globe, the lands which yield the highest rent, are not lands of surpassing natural fertility, but lands to which a surpassing utility has been given by the increase of population.

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