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  • A Tale Of Two Debts: Japan Vs. Greece [View article]
    "False analogy."

    Yeah, nice try.

    "For instance, it might be the company poisoning the people with lead."

    Again, if a company could be successful poisoning people, then no company would ever fail. Also, this also assumes that willfully poisoning people is not against the law. Do you actually think there are no laws against murder.

    This is just doom and gloom fear mongering to justify other price regulations that are nothing more than protectionist measures. This is all based on specious reasoning.

    Also, think what this says. It says people are too stupid not to buy from a company when its clear they will be poisoned. Well if they are too stupid to do that, then they are too stupid to ask their politicians to stop the company from poisoning them.

    Yet, somehow people who are too stupid not to know what companies will poison them will somehow be smart enough to elect the politician that will appoint the right regulators who will write the right rules to keep people from being poisoned.

    Of course, if they are smart enough to go through all that, then why not bypass all that and just elect the company that won't poison you. Again, though, if you are so certain that you know companies that will poison their customers, then don't vote for laws to subsidize your competition. Start a nonpoisoning company and you will become a gogillionaire. The implication is clear that you are claiming people don't want to be poisoned. So, all you have to do is provide what they want. You will gain 100% market share and people won't be poisoned. The fact that you don't do this, shows that the knowledge you claim regulators have is knowledge they don't have. After all, what you are claiming is something the laws of physics don't allow.

    If they did, then every regulator and every advocator for a regulator would leave the gov or their job and go start the business they say everyone wants yet no one will provide.

    This just shows you are running into a logic error.
    Feb 24, 2015. 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #278, February 5, 2015 [View instapost]
    Indeed, tragic.

    I found this..

    "His death at age 45 from a gunshot remains a polarizing issue; the official finding was suicide, but some believe he was murdered or the victim of an accidental shooting"
    Feb 24, 2015. 05:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale Of Two Debts: Japan Vs. Greece [View article]
    "Or since there will always be companies complaining about a regulation, we should simply abolish all regulation.."

    Oh good grief. This is like saying that since a sledge hammer can't be used for brain surgery on an infant, then sledge hammers have no use.

    You are simply ASSUMMING gov can regulate price. Gov can regulate force, but it CAN'T regulate price. Just because gov can regulate one aspect in the market (force), doesn't mean it can regulate all aspects.

    What you are claiming is that gov has supernatural powers, and you don't think you should be considered an ideologue?
    Feb 24, 2015. 05:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale Of Two Debts: Japan Vs. Greece [View article]
    "we simply give the keys to regulating the economy to companies."

    Well, now you have a problem. If a few companies complaining doesn't mean the whole economy is affected, then you can't listen to a few people that complain about lead poisoning.

    Your lack of consistency in your arguments is a result of having your thinking based on cliches and specious reasoning rather than logic and fact. Again, this is a prescription to have your savings wiped out.

    So, if you think all companies want to kill their customers (of course who would they sell to after all the customers were dead) and that customers don't want to be killed, then you've just established that you know how to get 100% market share. For someone on an investing website, you should realize you've just described the ideal investing situation.

    So, instead of passing laws to keep all of your competitors in business, what you should really do is start a nonpoisoning business and capture all that business. Since that is not what you advocating, the reality is that these companies are not trying to kill their customers, and that customers do impose a market discipline on companies not to kill them. Cars could be built like tanks, and then traffic accidents wouldn't hurt anybody. The problem is no one could affort a $12 million car. Every action in life carries some risk. This is not a post scarcity world.
    Feb 24, 2015. 05:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chekhov's Gun [View article]
    There is an alternative to gov price blind infrastructure.

    If states would allow more "for profit" cities, what we currently think of in terms of infrastructure (ie more interstate hwys) would radically change. We might see more trains between cities and more golf carts in cities. Ironically what the "planned community" folks tell us they want. It would happen without gov subsidies, be a lot cheaper, a lot faster, and more appealing.

    Imagine schools having facilities like an Epcot as a classroom. Of course the idea of the classroom might disappear altogether for something much more innovative. Currently schools brag about how few pupils to teachers they have, whereas people on youtube doing instruction videos brag about how many subscribers they have.

    There is a much better world available to us, if we could only open our eyes.
    Feb 24, 2015. 04:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chekhov's Gun [View article]
    "to shareholders could still be funded either from the 10% retained"

    Maybe, maybe not. The investment might require 11%. The point is we don't know, that's why its best not to monkey with it at all, especially with arbitrary percentages.

    I would be much more comfortable with getting rid of such arbitrary lines in the sand, and just live with the debt and deficit going up, if it led to more productivity.

    I'm not as concerned with the debt and deficit just for the sake of the debt and deficit. I'm more concerned that we issue paper in order to encourage people not to be productive (like a corporate income tax). As long as our productivity goes up faster than the level of notes we issue, then there will be a demand for those notes. That means interest rates (inflation is just an interest rate) stay under control, and we all have much better lives.

    If we sent less on encouraging people not to be productive, and the result was the debt went down, I could live with that too. However the best of both worlds, would be to spend less on such things and collect Fed notes from the populace as well.

    The populace isn't ready to understand this yet, so its a moot point. Its still fun to talk about though.
    Feb 24, 2015. 04:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chekhov's Gun [View article]
    "This is necessary or all earnings would otherwise be retained by the firm preventing the owners of assets from ever paying any taxes on wealth gain much less paying their "fair share" whatever that is."

    That's not necessarily true. Companies pay dividends now, even though it is taxed twice. People trade stock all the time, and pay cap gain taxes.

    "fair share". The top income earners already pay the bulk of the taxes. That's what's unfair. I don't hate or envy people that earn more than me, thus I have no interest in punishing them for anything.

    However, past all that, if people did do as you say, and didn't pay any taxes, I would suggest that's a perk not a fault.

    I would go further and suggest we get rid of cap gain taxes as well. I would also go further than that, and suggest the tax brackets be flattened, say 5% for everyone, and no deductions. Make it as simple as possible. The real cost isn't just how many Fed notes one surrenders to the US Treasury, but all the hidden compliance costs. If people were freed from all that, their standard of living would go, and we'd be much more likely to find a cure for cancer.
    Feb 24, 2015. 04:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale Of Two Debts: Japan Vs. Greece [View article]
    "as there would always be some company complaining."

    If there is no evidence WHATSOEVER, then there shouldn't be anybody complaining.

    "have detrimental effects on the economy at large"

    To think the "economy at large" is not an aggregate of all the businesses is to ignore all sense of reality. However, if you want to say regulations hurt one company but that "hurt" is made up by the increase of another, then you've just demonstrated the TRUE point of gov price regulations. Its protectionism for the special interests that have the economic incentive to push for the regulations that help them and hurt their competitors.

    "With this criterium, any regulation would be detrimental, as there would always be some company complaining."

    Now, you are catching on. Gov can regulate with regards to force, because the populace can grant gov force. Gov can't regulate with regards to price, because the populace can't grant gov special price knowledge.

    As such, anytime gov weighs in with its guns to favor one market participant over another, there will definitely be some complaining, just like when a victim of theft complains about the police, or when a slave complains about the wage cap regulation placed upon them by the gov to favor the master. In those cases, you want to protect the property rights of the victim, and ignore the complaining of the thief. The reason for this, is that providing negative reinforcment for thieves encourages productivity. Productivity leads to consumption. Consumption feels good, and thus the standard of living goes up.

    "And then you call me an ideologue.."

    Of course. You are the only one here clinging to illogial and unreasonable positions.

    First you claim there is no evidence for costs of regulations, then when that evidence is pointed out, you admit the evidence exists, but then rationalize its existence (after first claiming it didn't exist at all).

    Next, you claim that gov employees can do something the laws of physics could in no way provide for them to be able to do, and also claim that the actions of gov employees exist in a special realm of post scarcity (no cost), you will certainly have to be labeled an ideologue. Only people with a dogmatic, fanatical faith would claim that things that cannot exist in nature actually exist, and then dismiss any evidence to the contrary.

    As I said before. Investing is about accepting the world as it is, not some fanciful conjecture of what we wish it were or what somebody told us it is. For anybody unwilling to invest on that basis, they deserve to loose their money.
    Feb 24, 2015. 04:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #278, February 5, 2015 [View instapost]
    "Land along the expected boundaries skyrocketed. "

    That sounds like the first Lex Luthor plan from the first Superman movie (the one with Gene Hackman and Christopher Reeve).

    Did you know the Superman from the 1950s TV show was George Reeves. He committed suicide.
    Feb 24, 2015. 03:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale Of Two Debts: Japan Vs. Greece [View article]
    "Government is about power"

    True, its force to protect property. The next question is how much to spend protecting property and what procedures do that best. That's where a market for gov comes into play, and what we see in the "money walks" link above.

    There is a saying, "capital and labor just want to be loved". The gov that best protects property will attract capital and labor. In that situation people will be as price sensitive as they can be. That price sensitivity will reward the good businesses and punish the bad ones.

    As such, a gov can regulate with regards to force, but it can't regulate with regards to price/quality. The economics of that lead to protectionism. What's more, a market for govs will regulate govs with regards to rewarding the good ones and punishing the bad ones. This is a lesson that both Japan and Greece are learning to one extent or another.
    Feb 24, 2015. 02:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chekhov's Gun [View article]
    "infrastructure spending (has to be on projects with long term economic value)"

    The problem is that this is a price sensitive decision that will be made by price insensitive people. The result will be just another consumption binge. It would be risk-on (equities up and rates up) during the binge (we saw the same thing during stimulus and QE), and then risk-off when the binge is over (equities down and rates down (just like when stimulus and QE ended).

    So, what you do to transfer wealth your way, is to ride the wave up, look for signals that the projects are about to come to an end, and then move to bonds at higher yields, wait for the drop off, and then sell your bonds for gains.

    "no tax at corporate level but some majority of earnings must be distributed"

    The big savings here would be compliance costs. People who should be making product, can focus more on making better product, not on how to structure the entity to avoid tax (as is their job for the sake of shareholders). The last bit about mandatory distributions could be dicey. What if a cure for cancer wound up being avoided because the funds for R&D had to be distributed?

    Better to let price sensitive forces make price sensitive decisions.
    Feb 24, 2015. 02:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chekhov's Gun [View article]
    Bit of an uptick in auto loan defaults.
    Feb 24, 2015. 02:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale Of Two Debts: Japan Vs. Greece [View article]
    Regulators don't protect consumers. Regulators protect the larger interests of any industry. The consumer pitch is to sucker consumers into believing they are being protected by safe this or better that.

    Now, think about that. The implication from that, is that gov regulators are necessary to make businesses provide consumers the products they want at the prices they want. The implication from such an assertion is that no business would provide consumers the products at the prices consumers wanted.

    That means there are gov regulators with the market and price knowledge about what consumers really want that no business currently in the market would provide.

    Now, think about that.

    That means there are some humans in gov that have knowledge that would give them a 100% market share. Such knowledge would make these gov regulators billionaires or trillionaires. However, instead of using this superior market knowledge to make themselves unbelievably wealthy, they instead, work for a gov wage (which is worth a few million to be sure, but certainly not billions or trillions).

    So, what we are supposed to believe is that these regulators are just giving away this extremely valuable information, instead of leaving their gov jobs and starting the business that EVERYONE wants, but yet no current market player will provide.

    There is a rule of thumb in investing, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. A gov employee with market knowledge of what everyone consumer wants, and who is willing to just give it away, is not only too good to be true, but down right ludicrious. Only a dogmatic ideologue could believe such things. This is an investing website. You can't invest based on ideology. If you do, you deserve to have your wealth transferred away from you.
    Feb 24, 2015. 02:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale Of Two Debts: Japan Vs. Greece [View article]
    "What the article shows is soms small banks complaining on the level of regulation."

    Like I said, you claimed "whatsoever". Now you are admitting there is some evidence, but you just want to dismiss it because it doesn't conform to your particular confirmation bias.
    Feb 24, 2015. 02:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Things I'm Watching [View article]
    Yellen appears to have given herself some room. So, what do we think. Is the rate hike just jawboning, or do we think she is still committed?
    Feb 24, 2015. 01:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment