Posted by: graemebird | December 4, 2009

The Problem Is Fear, Unscience, And Rampant Lying/ The Solution Is Desalination Canals.

I propose to hold off all action except for the building of desalination canals. With canals we have the ability, but not the necessity, of sequestering carbon by greening the deserts.

If this worry about CO2 blows over at least we then have our fresh water provided for, for decades to come. Its a no-lose proposition. I would want these canals built very slowly so as not to incur cost blowouts. But there is at least the ability but not the necessity to build them more quickly if you are more worried about the alleged problem than I am.
Now suppose you do choose to build them more quickly. And I’m bitching about all the extra costs. At least we have the canals then. And people like me will say. ” Oh well. At least we have the canals.”
Surely thats fair. What is not fair is attacking the coal industry.

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Responses

  1. “Graeme — you are making a point that I have made many times before. A carbon tax will shrink over time. Especially if you introduce a McKitrick clause.”

    John is lying. You will not find him having made this point many times. Its a bust. He’s lying.

    Comment by graemebird | December 4, 2009

  2. Look at this idiot. And when you read this stupidity bear in mind that we are on a planet that barring short-run blasts from the sun, this planet falls habitually into terrible cold spells. So why is Jason Soon talking about insurance against the hot?

    Sure we might need insurance from a hot blast from the sun. Extra CO2 might help a bit here. But where is the insurance risk for THAT???? with destroying the coal industry?

    So we don’t have a logical strain of reasoning connecting insurance with a problem.

    “Pedro I think you’re doing the verbal equivalent of double counting in your response. I’ve already granted that the probability of the worst case scenario happening being true may be very low, that takes care of the consideration that climate change events arising from AGW ceterus paribus cannot be calculated with precision.

    Dover I don’t know if anyone has bothered to come up with such probability trees. I didn’t say that it isn’t mathematically *possible* that doing only adaptation will be the lowest cost alternative, but in the absence of further information and a prior it certainly isn’t mathematically *necessary*.

    Thus the case isn’t as simple as you make it. I have read about disaster scenarios which would involve quite high costs, of course the more alarmist set among the climate scientists have not helped their cause with the hyperbole, so it’s hard to sort out who’s crying wolf and who isn’t but granting such scenarios even very low probabilities can result in a very high expected value. Hence the analogy with insurance and risk mgt.”

    You see this is just jibber. How can destroying our coal industry insure us against warming? When warming can only come from the reaction of our sun to the rest of the galaxy. It cannot come from extra CO2.

    And why is Jason Soon wanting to insure against warming. When catastrophic gamma ray blasts aside, our problem is only with cooling?

  3. THE COOLING IS REAL. AND IN FACT AS TIME GOES ON WE FIND MORE AND MORE HOW EVENTS ON EARTH ARE LARGELY CONTROLLED BY WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE REST OF THE GALAXY. 2005 SEEMED TO INVOLVE WARMING. BUT OTHER THAN THAT ITS OSCILLATED DOWN SINCE 1998 BY ONE MEASURE. 2003 BY ANOTHER. AS TO ECONOMICS I ONLY DEFER TO GERARD JACKSON IN THIS COUNTRY. THERE OUGHT TO BE OTHERS. I JUST HAVEN’T FOUND THEM YET.

    SCIENCE IS IN FLUX AT THE MOMENT. SO WE HAVE TO ATTACK PROBLEMS WITHOUT CLEAR MODELS. THE MAINSTREAM MODELS ARE LARGELY OBSOLETE. SO PEOPLE OUGHT TO HAVE A WORKING MODEL WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH THE KNOWN FACTS. AND THEY OUGHT TO BE HUMBLE ABOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE. THERE BEING FEW PEOPLE EVEN AWAY FROM THE MAINSTREAM WHO HAVE MATTERS TOTALLY SORTED.

  4. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Although, as I’ve said, I would aspire to private infrastructure, by setting up non-freehold titles, and a clear rules-based approach, in reality I wouldn’t want the intellectual development of this approach to get in the way of “just say no” when it comes to more asset sales.

    For the interim the correct approach for infrastructural goods is MARKET SOCIALISM. There. I’ve said it.

    Market socialism is a ridiculous way to run an economy in its entirety. But for the next few decades at least I think it will be the right approach for infrastructure.

    Infrastructure is trans-spatial properties. The rules for building, owning and investing in them would as of necessity have to be much more complicated than for freehold.

    Now I think this market socialism ought to work on the basis of rabid peak-time profiteering. So that when the water levels are low, water charges might go up by a factor of twenty or even 100. When the rivers are at reasonable levels the charges ought to fall right back to variable and maintenance costs. With roads and rail at peak time we ought to charge like wounded bulls. But those who want to get rostered on earlier or later have a free ride on the road and a token rail payment.

    This approach lends itself to much better public goods usage. And also encourages private solutions. Peak time electricity ought to be at a massive premium. The rest of time just at cost. This will bring private investment on and reduce the running costs of the public gear.

    I don’t think there is any justification for a sovereign wealth fund. Rather I think the Feds ought to run surpluses and pay for the infrastructure (for the time being) out of those surpluses. I think if we can have even higher surpluses then we could have a tiny peoples bank operation that goes in the factoring business and monopolises on the new money creation for the time being.

    I’d approve of this but if only their charter was to reduce our debts to these finance sharks. Like if a local council is in grave debt, but locks in totally the idea that they will never use debt financing again, well then the peoples bank could get them to sign a binding agreement to that effect and reward them by paying out their debts and issuing an interest free loan. I think the loans could be prioritised on the basis of the speed which they were to be paid back.

    Once all the state and local governments were weaned off debt by this method it could be applied to people and then I think age would give some precedence. Speed of payback. Number of years they were willing to swear of debt. This sort of thing. Just a small low-cost operation. But with the monopoly on new money creation.

    Later hopefully this monopoly on new money creation is to be palmed off to the miners of monetary commodities. But thats another story.

  5. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    One advantage that Australia had in comparison, was that if you lost your job in Richmond, you might get another one in Port Melbourne. So the urbanisation of Australia probably made the adjustment a little easier.

    There were times when country Victoria for example had massive unemployment at times when Melbourne was high single digits. So the country Victorian experience was more akin to what the New Zealanders are going through.

    If the economics fraternity isn’t going to get abreast of George Reisman’s national accounting methods and theory then tight money will always mean the sort of clumsiness that we saw in New Zealand. The foolishness of trying to make consumer prices stable means that other things are whipsawed up and down and most particularly total sales revenues through-out the economy including all intermediate production.

    This is the most important thing to follow. If we were a nation of sole traders it would be the only thing to follow. I speak of the metric that Reisman calls Gross Domestic Revenue.

    Its true that in an economy where there are many employees, since GDP is also national income, we might have to moderate a monetary policy based on GDR-alone by not allowing GDP to fall too quickly. Since this might imply a need for a fall in nominal wages to maintain full employment that was unrealistic.

    But GDR ought to be the main focus. And not GDP. And not understanding this would have lead to Brash basically sending the NZ economy through a series of business crashes, not picked up by statistical norms.

    But we want to be tight if we know what we are doing. If we are no longer playing golf in the dark and we can get our debt levels down then our capital markets will function a whole lot better under tighter money. Just not the sado-monetarism we saw the last time around.

    Professor Quiggin, you ought not let the fact of Reisman being a radical minarchist put you off. If you get abreast of his innovations on national accounting the book you are writing now would be enhanced for sure. I want to defeat this ugly new orthodoxy that you call zombie-economics as much as you do.

    I still think defeating this orthodoxy is important and we have to hit it from both wings. Integrating Reisman’s astonishing insights into your new book with give you the street cred on both wings. I consider him to be our greatest living economist no contest.

  6. Eugenicist Al Gore Confronted with some home Truthz:

  7. Hey Taya while you are here. Why don’t you unveil your powerfully politically astute plan to put over small government by stealth.

    How does it go again? Thats right. You will toady to Humphreys, and Humphreys from his position of economics-ignoramus will

    1. broker this deal where the left will miraculously accept all these tax cuts, in existing taxes, in exchange for a carbon tax.

    2. In this fantasy scenario these leftists will buy into it. But they have sealed their fate. You see the two of you knew, in this new story of yours, that the carbon tax would whittle away. And in this new idiots story of yours it would whittle away and snooker the left out of their big government.

    Well how about it. Fucking Humphreys to the rescue. And Taya sniffing right up his scrawny behind.

    My goodness you and Humphreys are so damn tricky hey?

    You are just so tricky. I’m just so impressed with how tricky you are. I cannot believe the trickiness.

  8. Only if you are tal.

  9. Well I’m not tal, but I’ll ask anyway. But first let me make a couple of observations:

    a) You’ve spent three years over at Catallaxy attempting to influence real-life economists with a economic theories that most ordinary Australians would find controversial, to say the least.

    b) It seems that, for whatever reason, you have singularly failed in your endeavours.

    So, my question is this:

    WHAT’S PLAN B?

    I’M NOT QUITE SURE. ITS A PRETTY TOUGH GIG WHEN YOU SHOW THEM HOW IT WORKS, EVENTS PROVE YOU WERE RIGHT, AND THE PEOPLE ARE STILL TOO DAMN DENSE TO UNDERSTAND MATTERS EVEN AFTER THE FACT. FROM HERE ON IN THE IDEA IS SMASH THE BANKERS FIRST AHEAD OF THE LEFT. I DID NOT REALISE 3 YEARS AGO THAT THEY WERE A FAR MORE MORTAL AND IMPLACABLE ENEMY. I’M TALKING TO LEFTISTS AT THE MOMENT. WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE AS DENSE AS SINCLAIR AND YOU POINT OUT THAT THE MELTDOWN WAS ALL ABOUT FRACTIONAL RESERVE AND THE DUMB BASTARD DENIES IT THEN YOU KNOW THERE REALLY IS NOT INTELLIGENT LIFE OUT THERE. I’M HOPING SOME OF THE LEFTISTS CAN COMPREHEND THE EASIEST THINGS ABOUT MONETARY ECONOMICS WHEREIN THE NEOCLASSICAL TURNED OUT TO BE TOO DENSE.

    • Its not been a failure. Three years of looking into this stuff has made me basically the world authority on the matter. I’ve found out who cannot be reached. I wound up using these guys as a practice pad in a way isolated from people who might be able to comprehend what is going on.

      CL you have to start thinking about a direct attack on the Church by all these Quisling lunatics. They really will want to kill the church. I mean not just figuratively. These lunatics are eugenicists as well as fractional reserve mystics. These are the sort of people who would send tanks into the Vatican. Or do something to get nutters like the Iranians to do it instead.

  10. Speaking of new babies Graeme, Mr and Mrs THR have a beautiful baby girl. It’s nice to have good news isn’t it?

  11. Yes thats very exciting. I was just taking a punt that it was THR talking. My second guess would have been Andrew Reynolds. My third guess CL. If CL was talking then I mistook the tone.

    Listen tal. You drop by more often. And talk to me off air.

    birdsnewworld@mac.com

    I want to see how you are going without necessarily anyone else reading stuff.

  12. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    The neoclassical ideology that consumer price inflation ought to be zero, or one or two per cent is one of the most bizarre ideas around. Since it means that the economy is thrown either side of a fractional reserve collapse. Or to put it another way, it places the economy near the exact point wherein you would expect, what the Keynesians would call a liquidity trap. I don’t like the terminology. But to have the economy veering either side of a “liquidity trap” is bizare.

    If we can get debts down way low the best situation to be in is where prices are always falling yet total sales revenue, including sales of intermediate goods, are always growing. Its this sweet point that you want to be in and you never want to leave. We are prevented from getting there not by downward stickiness in wages but by debt levels. Well actually by both. But it is the debt levels that are not considered. The neoclassicals loving debt like nothing else, and also having a fetish about lower wages or so it would seem.

    The time period between world war II and the 1970’s gave us the impression that real wages could be pushed up by powerful unions and laws that favoured the bargaining position of wage earners. But in the wider sweep of history real wages increase in the context of falling prices and virtually never under any other conditions. Getting to that point is not nearly as easy as neoclassical models would assume. They think its all about accepting lower nominal incomes. But the spectre of debt is where it is at.

    The best person to read to understand this is David Hackett Fischer with his book “The Great Wave”. I was able to cross reference his material with fractional reserve expansions and collapses.

    The best time periods were after there had been these “money famines” which could last twenty years. No union movement back then. No minimum wage legislation. The two good time periods when real wages were always rising, and prices were always falling were
    1. The “Equilibrium” of the Renaissance 1400-1470
    2.The “Equilibrium” of the Enlightenment 1660-1730

    His phrase “equilibrium” is misleading since these were times of falling prices. Its not to be thought that the neoclassical prescription of low consumer price inflation would work itself out unto the good times after 20 years. A hundred years later that prescription would still be dysfunctional. It would still leave us in boom bust conditions with sales volumes soaring and then crashing all the time. Why people can be so pigheaded about this I don’t know. But as terrible as currency debasement is we see the situation wherein Australia had an easier time of things being a bit more flexible than the New Zealanders in monetary policy. And the New Zealanders no doubt just a bit too close to that monetary crunch vortex.

    The inflationary times which lead to falling real wages, international war and domestic violence were pretty much as close to the neoclassical prescription as you can get.
    1. The medieval price revolution 1180-1350
    average inflation about .5%
    2. The Price Revolution of the Sixteenth Century. And the crisis of the 17th. About 1470-1660
    3. The Price Revolution of the 18th century: About 1720-1820

    The latter two ghastly periods only had average consumer price inflation of maybe 1% or so. These were time periods of the expansion of fractional reserve although Fischer doesn’t realise it.
    So neoclassical orthodoxy is just not equipped to get us to a happy place where real wages are rising all the time and resources are allocated to wealth creation. They don’t know what they are doing. And they are not inclined to learn.

  13. Graeme it is me, THR is a new Dad and I thought you’d like to know.’Cause even though people disagree a new baby is always a blessing. health wise I’m doing well, crowning glory is growing back and I’m feeling positive. Very positive. Take care darl

  14. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Everything in the financial system, nothing outside the financial system, nothing against the financial system. That was the slant of the free market reforms we got. Reforms with the bankers mentality all over them. Whereas we ought to have had reforms skewed towards the sole trader. And the bankers ought to have had their wings clipped. This is zombie-economics I think. Three years on neoclassical turf and I couldn’t get them to understand anything about monetary economics. They had bankers running interference the whole time. It was unbelievable. The early 80’s reforms were of a nature that lifted the bankers to almost senior partner in a two-way deal with the state. It was the small businessmen who ought to have been made King. Not the Wall Street wannabes.


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