Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nationalize the Banking System

Because the Federal Reserve System and banking regulation only allows certain corporations to increase the money supply (via lending), the private creation of money is monopolized by an exclusive cartel. This finance industry cartel is able to sustain higher margins than any other industry because of its privileged position. In essence the banking industry is allowed to tax all of us by causing asset inflation. We cannot escape this private taxation because we are forced to use US currency.

How much of a drag on the economy is this? The recent bailout was about $1 Trillion for about a 10 year bubble, so let's guess $100 Billion per year (roughly decade of 2000 to 2010 dollars). The additional volatility added by the asset bubbles (which generate banker profits) also drags down the economy. Let's estimate that at the same magnitude, $100 Billion per year. The finance industry is costing us about $200 Billion per year in waste. This economic inefficiency goes straight into the pockets of a few thousand finance industry leaders.

Without a complete revolution in worldwide government finance, there is no way to get rid of this Keynesian inflationary cycle (caused by long term constant increase in money supply from both government and private sources). I also suspect that it would be very difficult to eliminate the economic inefficiency. Financial dealings in our globalized world have become so complex and so interwoven with regulation that a Libertarian pure capitalist "efficient market" would be impossible.

What is the only rational alternative? Distribute the inefficiency over the largest group of people possible. NATIONALIZE THE AMERICAN BANKING SYSTEM! I am not saying that the government will be able to make the system more efficient. In fact, it will probably get LESS efficient, but this is outweighed by the benefit of distributing the money more evenly throughout the economy.

What would this mean? It would mean a direct government monopoly on lending. This is different from government control of economic assets. Private corporations still get to operate and generate profits from investment. You are free to invest your cash however you like it. The catch is the government monopolizes CREDIT.

This system would actually be MORE transparent than our current obfuscated financial system, where inflation generating asset bubbles are called "economic growth" by Wall Street. Instead, the government inflation "tax" would show up in congressional budget office documentation and statistics and everyone would know that the money was being spent directly by the government.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Real single particle quantum experiment

If the theoretical physicists ever studied how REAL observations are made (i.e. what are the practical principles behind the equipment doing the measurement) then they might find this video instructive.

Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg were smart guys, but both were dead before technology had advanced to the point where clean single particle measurements could be made, that's why the Copenhagen Interpretation is so lame. The problem is that theoretical physics became a religious tradition, i.e. it was more important to follow in the grand ideas of the venerated forefathers (Bohr & Heisenberg & others) then to actually clarify, repair & improve on the old ideas.

Many of the things that Darwin thought were not correct. Not because his overall ideas had gross problems, but rather because of incomplete knowledge in his time. For example, Darwin knew nothing of simple Mendelian genetics. Some people have even suggested that he might have been Lamarckian. Nonetheless, his overall theory stands as the greatest achievement in human thought of all time.

Biologists got the memo about keeping science scientific and thus the Modern Synthesis which repaired and clarified Darwin's ideas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Corporate Culture

Years ago, as an engineer, I needed an I2C adapter to do work with a new integrated circuit. The I2C adapter was made by a small company where when you called the main number, you got the guy who founded the company. The adapter cost $300. I put in a requisition with our VP. All requisitions had to be approved by Jack. The VP had no authority to approve the $300 requisition. At this point we had more than 1000 employees and revenue close to $1B. My req sat for a month with me bugging the VP constantly. Finally with special action, the accounting department was forced to take it on. I waited another two weeks, then went to the accounting department to see why the order STILL HADN'T BEEN PLACED. The accounting guy told me that even though Jack had approved the rec, Jack now had an across the board rule that there needed to be at least three vendors for every rec'ed item. Since this was a unique item, I could only find one vendor. I bugged the accounting guy to get an exception for this rule. Waited another week or so, still no action. Went to see the accounting guy again. Now he says since there is only one vendor, the policy is that we must have a 15% discount off the list price. I called the founder of the I2C adapter company and personally pled with him to give us (me!) a discount. He refused. I was stuck. I gave up and didn't think about it anymore. A month later, the adapter showed up on my desk. I went to accounting to see what happened. The accounting guy told me he had called the I2C adapter guy every few days asking for the discount and constantly getting refused. Finally after MANY calls, the poor I2C guy gave up and said "fine! you can have the discount, just stop calling me!". The joke is... By the time the darn thing showed up on my desk, I didn't need it anymore.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great Article on the Crash

I am fond of beating up on Theoretical Physicists. As it happens many of my best friends are PhD's in Physics (not Theoretical though). One of my particularly intelligent friends has worked on wall street for many years. He sent me a link to this article that explains the recent collapse of our financial system.

The End

New Atheist Pantheon

With this wonderful article in the New Republic Magazine:

Seeing and Believing
The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I hereby add Jerry Coyne to the New Atheist Pantheon!

Quote from the Book I am Reading, Life on a Young Planet

"Despite an almost bewildering diversity of form and function, all cells share a common core of molecular features, including ATP, DNA, RNA, genetic code, molecular machinery for transcribing genetic information from DNA into RNA, and more machinery to translate RNA messages into proteins that provide structure and regulate cell function."
- Life on a Young Planet, The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth
- by Andrew H. Knoll