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  • Trung Si
    replied
    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
    Or at least it is more expensive to bribe a billionaire. If we can't stop corruption we can at least make it expensive.
    That was my point.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arnold J Rimmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Trung Si View Post
    Seems to me, It's better to go in wealthy so there is less incentive to leave wealthy.
    Or at least it is more expensive to bribe a billionaire. If we can't stop corruption we can at least make it expensive.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    The comparison between the 17 people vs bottom 43 million US households is not really apt and probably shows the bias of the writer.

    The bottom 43 million US households are struggling under consumer debt, of course many have negative wealth.

    I would be interested in seeing how much billionaire/ultrarich wealth was promoted by Obama and bush's cabinets (which had a lot of hack academics),

    America is largely owned by over a thousand billionaires, corporations, and the ultrarich regardless of who holds the white house and the congress.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    Competition is for Losers by Thiel

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-th...ers-1410535536

    "If you want to create and capture lasting value, look to build a monopoly, writes Peter Thiel"

    Leave a comment:


  • Trung Si
    replied
    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
    "The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US."

    http://qz.com/862412/trumps-16-cabin...olds-combined/

    " cabinet is not only the richest of all time, but also 30 times richer than George W. Bush's cabinet."

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soz...a-1126196.html

    The wealth of the cabinet does not concern me as much as if their interests are aligned with increasing the wealth of the bottom 99.5% of the population.
    Seems to me, It's better to go in wealthy so there is less incentive to leave wealthy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arnold J Rimmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
    The wealth of the cabinet does not concern me as much as if their interests are aligned with increasing the wealth of the bottom 99.5% of the population.
    It isn't the government's job to increase or decrease the wealth of anyone.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    "The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US."

    http://qz.com/862412/trumps-16-cabin...olds-combined/

    " cabinet is not only the richest of all time, but also 30 times richer than George W. Bush's cabinet."

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soz...a-1126196.html

    The wealth of the cabinet does not concern me as much as if their interests are aligned with increasing the wealth of the bottom 99.5% of the population.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    "President-elect Donald Trump struck a conciliatory tone at the start of a high-profile meeting with top tech executives Wednesday, telling Silicon Valley leaders that his goal is “to help you folks do well.”

    “We want you to keep going with the incredible innovation. There’s nobody like you in the world.…Anything we can do to help this go along, we’re going to be there for you,” he told the tech executives, according to a video of the start of the meeting. “You call my people, you call me. It doesn’t make any difference. We have no formal chain of command around here.”"

    "Mr. Trump also told the executives that he would “do fair-trade deals” and said he was “going to make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders because there are a lot of restrictions, a lot of problems.” He added, “If you have any ideas on that, that would be great.” Mr. Trump has been a persistent critic of past trade deals, including the pending Trans Pacific Partnership."

    "Thirteen tech executives attended the meeting at Trump Tower, including Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook; Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos; Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg; Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk; the CEO and chairman of Google parent Alphabet Inc., Larry Page and Eric Schmidt; and the CEO and president of Microsoft Corp., Satya Nadella and Brad Smith. The CEOs of Intel Corp., International Business Machines Corp., Oracle Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc. also attended."

    "Another dozen people joined from Mr. Trump’s team, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence; billionaire investor and Trump adviser Peter Thiel; incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus; Trump adviser Steve Bannon; Commerce Secretary-designate Wilbur Ross; and Mr. Trump’s three adult children and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner."

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/top-tech...ons-1481724004

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/investor...ump-1481672805

    https://www.amazon.com/Zero-One-Note...ds=Zero+to+One

    "Mr. Thiel’s ascendancy as one of the president-elect’s trusted advisers is a surprising twist that shifts Silicon Valley’s political power center. Mr. Thiel is already playing an important role as a member of Mr. Trump’s transition team, helping recruit people to fill some 4,000 jobs in the administration and helping craft policy that could impact the most highly valued sector of the American economy."

    "Mr. Thiel has spoken out against free trade and remains skeptical of globalization—worrisome for a tech industry that gets most of its revenue overseas. He wrote in his 2014 book, “Zero to One,” that globalization enables the developing world to copy existing technologies, which he says is unsustainable and inferior to finding new technology solutions. "

    "Mr. Thiel says government can play a central role supporting big tech projects such as the Apollo space program. He views monopolies as a positive force for the economy, which could portend weaker antitrust enforcement, and he expects Mr. Trump to push for less regulation and more fiscal stimulus which could help businesses, he said in the interview."

    "Some observers expect Mr. Thiel to focus on overhauling government spending in areas including science, technology and defense. Higher education may also be a target. He argued in the Journal’s November interview that there is an “education bubble” and offers grants to young entrepreneurs so they can skip college and build a company.

    Mr. Thiel has recruited several associates to help with the transition at agencies like the Treasury, Defense and Commerce departments."

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/sen-jeff...ans-1481673405

    Mr. Sessions has heavily influenced the makeup of the transition team for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, these people said, with many of those appointed favoring greater emphasis on manned exploration missions to the moon and deeper into the solar system.

    Candidates for NASA administrator also are being vetted, in part, by Mr. Sessions or his associates, while officials at Boeing Co. and other legacy aerospace giants increasingly believe Mr. Sessions will help temper possible changes inside NASA that would hurt existing, big-ticket projects to ultimately send astronauts to Mars.

    Not coincidentally, such exploration would rely heavily on scientists, workers and rocket technology based in Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Mr. Sessions over the years has been a champion of the agency’s proposed heavy-lift rocket, dubbed Space Launch System, or SLS, and helped protect its roughly $2 billion-a-year price tag from cutbacks proposed by the Obama White House.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    Originally posted by Tsar View Post
    I’ll bet we’re kicking their butts in gender studies, and French renaissance poetry though.
    a lot of them end up working here through H1B, go figure..

    Leave a comment:


  • Tsar
    replied
    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
    In 2012, China churned out 964,583 science and engineering college graduates, compared with 589,330 in the U.S., according to the U.S. National Science Foundation.

    I’ll bet we’re kicking their butts in gender studies, and French renaissance poetry though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
    The core point is that GDP ignores social costs, eg. the decline of leisure time, family, ethics, and the community that greatly accelerated in the 1990s.

    Furthermore, the GDP and its various proxies--rates of growth, expansion, recovery--have become the very language of the nation's economic reportage and debate. We literally cannot think about economics without them. Yet these terms have increasingly become a barricade of abstraction that separates us from economic reality. They tell us next to nothing about what is actually going on.

    The GDP is simply a gross measure of market activity, of money changing hands. It makes no distinction whatsoever between the desirable and the undesirable, or costs and gain. On top of that, it looks only at the portion of reality that economists choose to acknowledge--the part involved in monetary transactions. The crucial economic functions performed in the household and volunteer sectors go entirely unreckoned. As a result the GDPnot only masks the breakdown of the social structure and the natural habitat upon which the economy--and life itself--ultimately depend; worse, it actually portrays such breakdown as economic gain.

    ...

    As Western economies went from agriculture to manufacturing to finance and services, modes of measurement generally evolved accordingly. But during this century, and especially since the war, the evolutionary process has slowed to a crawl. The market economy has continued to change radically. In particular it has penetrated deeper and deeper into the realms of family, community, and natural habitat that once seemed beyond its reach. But even as this change has accelerated, the way we measure economic health and progress has been frozen in place.

    ...

    At the same time, it meant that only transactions involving money could count in the national reckoning. This left out two large realms: the functions of family and community on the one hand, and the natural habitat on the other. Both are crucial to economic well-being. But because the services they perform are outside the price system, they have been invisible in our national accounting.


    ....

    No less important is the way the GDP ignores the contribution of the social realm--that is, the economic role of households and communities. This is where much of the nation's most important work gets done, from caring for children and older people to volunteer work in its many forms. It is the nation's social glue. Yet because no money changes hands in this realm, it is invisible to conventional economics. The GDP doesn't count it at all--which means that the more our families and communities decline and a monetized service sector takes their place, the more the GDP goes up and the economic pundits cheer.

    ...

    The strange fact that jumps out from Bennett's grim inventory of crime, divorce, mass-media addiction, and the rest is that much of it actually adds to the GDP. Growth can be social decline by another name. Divorce, for example, adds a small fortune in lawyers' bills, the need for second households, transportation and counseling for kids, and so on. Divorce lawyers alone take in probably several billion dollars a year, and possibly a good deal more. Divorce also provides a major boost for the real-estate industry. "Unfortunately, divorce is a big part of our business. It means one [home] to sell and sometimes two to buy,"a realtor in suburban Chicago told the Chicago Tribune.

    ....

    Parenting becomes child care, visits on the porch become psychiatry and VCRs, the watchful eyes of neighbors become alarm systems and police officers, the kitchen table becomes McDonald's--up and down the line, the things people used to do for and with one another turn into things they have to buy. Day care adds more than $4 billion to the GDP; VCRs and kindred entertainment gear add almost $60 billion. Politicians generally see this decay through a well-worn ideological lens: conservatives root for the market, liberals for the government. But in fact these two "sectors" are, in this respect at least, merely different sides of the same coin: both government and the private market grow by cannibalizing the family and community realms that ultimately nurture and sustain us.

    ....

    The GDP treats leisure time and time with family the way it treats air and water: as having no value at all. When the need for a second job cuts the time available for family or community, the GDP records this loss as an economic gain.
    they use a different measure, GPI:

    To include such factors is to begin to construct a picture of the economy that most Americans experience. It clarifies greatly the "paradox" that permeated the reportage during last year's congressional campaigns. The GDP would tell us that life has gotten progressively better since the early 1950s--that young adults today are entering a better economic world than their parents did. GDP per American has more than doubled over that time. The GPI shows a very different picture: an upward curve from the early fifties until about 1970, but a gradual decline of roughly 45 percent since then. This strongly suggests that the costs of increased economic activity--at least the kind we are locked into now --have begun to outweigh the benefits, resulting in growth that is actually uneconomic.

    ....

    Specifically, the GPI reveals that much of what we now call growth or GDP is really just one of three things in disguise: fixing blunders and social decay from the past, borrowing resources from the future, or shifting functions from the traditional realm of household and community to the realm of the monetized economy.


    Imagine Peter Jennings on the network news tonight reciting the latest Commerce Department figures with his polished gravity. Instead of the GDP, however, he is reporting something more like the GPI. The nation's output increased, he says, but parents worked longer hours and so had less time with their kids. Consumer spending was "up sharply," but much of the difference went for increased medical costs and repairing the rubble left by hurricanes and floods. Utility receipts were up, but resources declined, meaning that part of today's prosperity was taken from our grandchildren. And so on down the line.


    ....

    Politicians could no longer get away with glib assurances that the nation can grow its way out of family breakdown and environmental decay, inequity and debt, when in many cases the nation has been growing its way into them.
    On GATT and trade (1995):

    Quite eerie:

    In the recent past these debates have been framed largely in terms of the GDP. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade means "percentage points . . . of U.S. GDP growth," exclaimed Bill Frenzel, a former congressman from Minnesota and a congressional representative to GATT negotiations. "It means trillions of dollars in increased world trade." This kind of talk was typical. In fact the increase means very little--only that more things will pass back and forth between nations. Will families and communities suffer continuing disruption? Will the increased traffic back and forth simply burn up more energy, the price of which is kept artificially low by tax subsidies and the like? Will America lose a measure of control over decisions that affect the lives of its own citizens?

    ....

    It would, for example, reflect some of the numerous benefits of local production that don't show up in the GDP- social stability, job security, energy savings, and the like. Free-trade dogma dismisses such thoughts as primitive and benighted.

    Better indicators would also strengthen the role of family and community values in our policy debates. Rarely does anyone point out how the market itself can undermine family values in the name of growth.

    ..

    If factory jobs migrate to low-wage nations, it means cheaper products and more efficiency. But it also means severe family disruption, and the decline of the informal safety net of churches and union halls that once flourished in factory towns and helped families in need.
    Last edited by Cult Icon; 09 Dec 16, 12:44.

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    China vs US : could trump agitate for a new competitive war?

    Chinese researchers are already catching up in areas such as artificial intelligence, drones and internet technology. In August, China launched the world’s first quantum-communications satellite, potentially putting the country in a lead position to develop hack-proof communications.

    ...

    China’s efforts, while welcomed by many in the world’s scientific community, have sharpened tension with Washington and U.S. business leaders, who see China’s innovation push as a form of economic nationalism aimed at replacing U.S. technologies.

    China’s strides are also spurring competition, which could accelerate advances. U.S. President Barack Obama last year issued an executive order for the U.S. to retake the supercomputing title. The European Union said in April it will plow €1 billion into quantum technology.

    ...

    China’s potential for major innovation is still limited to a few areas, notably those—like quantum science or internet finance—with strategic economic or military importance.

    ...

    China still lags behind in R&D spending. But it overtook Japan in 2009, Europe in 2013 and is expected to outspend the U.S. by 2020, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. China’s federal funding for basic science rose to $10.1 billion in 2015 from $1.9 billion in 2005, while U.S. funding dropped slightly in real-dollar terms to $32.4 billion in 2015.

    ...

    In 2012, China churned out 964,583 science and engineering college graduates, compared with 589,330 in the U.S., according to the U.S. National Science Foundation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cult Icon
    replied
    Article about Alphabet moving away from the digital to the physical world, which is symbolic of the challenges and lower R & D productivity:

    I believe Trump has spoken of this desire to "move away from digital to the real world".

    Moreover, digital progress is rapid, because computing power increases dramatically over time and software can be replicated endlessly. In the physical world, advances are constrained by physics.
    ....

    Silicon Valley’s push into the physical world “is going to be a much longer, slower process, especially in the next couple of chapters,” said Andrew McAfee, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who studies technology’s impact on society.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Thiel

    One of the minority of top VC's that supported Trump

    "We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.
    —Peter Thiel"

    https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04...on-libertarian
    Last edited by Cult Icon; 09 Dec 16, 10:48.

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