Daily Archives: January 9, 2015

What LOTR and The Hobbit tells us about economic theory.

In a nutshell, it’s all about churn.

Tax breaks for the rich have much the same economic benefit as giving gold to Smaug. Smaug gets richer, but never spends any gold as he already has far more gold than he can possibly spend for his needs or even for his future needs, so it just sits there doing nothing except being dragon bedding. Likewise giving people who already have too much money than they can possibly spend on their needs more money just results in the money sitting there doing nothing. Taxing that money and using it on infrastructure and social programs results in that money being churned through the economy and growing the economy so that the rich still get the same amount of money, it just has to pass through a few more poor people’s hands before the rich get it, making everyone a little richer.

In order to stimulate the economy you have to develop churn, putting the money in as many hands as possible so that it then passes through as many hands as possible and creates growth. Savings that just sit in a bank or under a mattress don’t create any churn, and “investments” barely ruffle the surface of the water in creating churn. What has been shown to make churn on the federal level has been Food Stamps and infrastructure projects. Food Stamps go from the recipient to the grocery store and pay for the employees at the store as well as the people who transport the food (and other things) and the people that create the food. There are at least 4 stages of economic churn created by Food Stamps that can be easily identified and tracked.

Tax breaks for people who already have more money than they can spend on their needs or even on non-need items like TVs and computers (although I would put computers in the “need to work” category because I use one for work every day) is not the way to grow the economy. I mean how many new cars can one person buy in a year? How many boats? Unless you are out there spending money, you are an economic dead weight no matter how big your checking account is. Rich people don’t create jobs, poor people with jobs create jobs because they are the ones out there spending most of their money. Aldous Huxley had the right idea when he coined the term “conscripted consumption” in the book Brave New World . If you have a consumer economy, you have to get people consuming things to grow the economy.

And because I am not an economist by trade (I am a technical writer who translated jargon into plain English so that people in other fields can understand it) I will let real economists pick it up from here. Go for it guys.

PSA, Opus the Poet


Things have been weird again, and the Feed

I met with a social group that decided to go to a new restaurant this month and we went from a place that costs about $9 per person including drink to one that cost $13 plus drink per person with $3 drinks. I spent a whole week’s outside entertainment budget on one meal. It is a good thing the conversation was good or this would have been a total bust. I took a friend and $20 and expected to take home a buck or so after tip like the last place, not to have to ask my friend to chip in on the food.

Up first is more on Charlie Hebdo. Cartoonists Worldwide Create Tribute Drawings For Slain Paris Journalists RIP.

A bit of schadenfreude as a stockbroker admits to doing a hit-and-run on a cyclist on social media, then gets fired for making inappropriate statements on social media. Stockbroker fired for cyclist hit and run ‘joke’ As a victim of hit-and-run I find this “joke” about as funny as a holocaust denier or killing an abortion provider.

If only they had these things back when I got hit, I would be so viral on YouTube. And probably not be writing this blog because I wouldn’t have gotten hit. Caught on cam: Cyclist verbally attacked by angry driver The cyclist was riding in a too-narrow-to-share lane when he was accosted by an idiot driver, on camera.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Doublespeak in NELA, SaMo guide to Smart Cycling, and an ex-Bond bikes in the ‘Bu

A bit of Federal infrastructure news via Bike Portland. After a decade of less driving, federal forecast shifts to match reality Reality what a concept!

Green waves and bicycle priority sensors for traffic controls? Is this heaven? Cyclist commuters never hit red lights in Copenhagen Nope, it ain’t even Amsterdam.

Meanwhile in the UK, cyclists are being allowed to ride on the sidewalk because the road is a death trap. Preston’s cyclists get green light to use pavement on busy road Not “Dutch quality” bicycle infrastructure, it’s an MUP with pedestrian priority. That is NOT “bicycle infrastructure” it’s “Where can we stuff cyclists?” with multiple definitions of “stuff”.

And I seem to be completely out of links.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet