Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Now some history of economics. No name money is the reason we have modern economic theory going all the way back to Jean-Baptiste Say (whose name was a tip of the hat to his protestant upbringing in a nation of papists) and to Adam Smith and his "The Wealth of Nations" and to Harriet Martineau and all the other early philosophers. In 1803 Say said that "in the market place money is completely neutral," and in Econ-101-speak "Good money always drives Bad money from the market place." This is also known as Gresham's Law, but it actually goes way back to classical Greek drama in a play called "The Frogs" by Aristophanes.
To record no name money amounts in our world we use discrete numbers as in discrete mathematics. That means you must have an integer value for your bucks. That is 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. It's like a stairway: one step to the next is a jump of some discrete amount. There is nothing in between stair number one and stair number two. So an amount of US$ 25.00 cannot be smaller or larger than the zero cents at the end of the figure except for some US property taxes in "mils" or tenths of a cent. US$ 25.00 is exactly twenty five bucks and nothing else. It's like one of the ten commandments from the Muslim-Christian-Judeo sutras. It is what it is, and you better not change one "i" or one "t" or else.
Monday, March 1, 2010
While some republicans and many myopic entertainment news people here in the USA endlessly debate the merits of "big" government the Chinese continue to pump up their infrastructure and invest in the future of their nation. The historical record gives us a fitting name for those old guard republicans who delight in obstructing our government. In the 1850's the republicans proudly called themselves "Know Nothings."
Some Chinese people I knew in Beijing in 2007 told me that infrastructure was the most important priority for their nation. There is talk by some USA cable news pundits that the Chinese economy will certainly soon "stall." Believe me, there is zero chance that the Chinese people will allow their economy to "stall." Just like the people of the USA, the people of China simply want a better life for themselves and their families.
In our recent past we have a capitalism of government financed research into things like high-tech devices and high-speed communication and high-speed transportation. The good old gigantic US government invested in NASA (1958), and DARPA (1958), and the interstate highway system (1956). NASA gave us integrated circuits. DARPA gave us the internet. And we all must have driven forever on the Interstate commuting somewhere here or there.
All this came about under the guidance of our good, genuine Soldier-Politician, President Eisenhower.
Ike was our last helpful republican in the oval office.
Yes, we do miss him don't we? Good old Ike oversaw the rise to imperium of the iconic, capitalistic American military-industrial complex.
While our Tea Party people and Know-Nothing republicans sling slurs and pose for the cable TV news the Chinese are building... not debating... a new high-speed rail system of thousands of miles to link all the major cities of their entire nation.
What do those Tea Party and Know-Nothing types want for us here in the USA?
Those "keep-our-government-little-so-our-small-minds-can-easily-understand" types have only allowed the congress to budget a few miles of high-speed rail from Tampa to Orlando, Florida probably as lip service to Disney World and Mickey Mouse.
So is our dear old USA doomed to downsize into something more "mouselike" if we continue down this path of fear and denial of thinking and doing the big ideas? Now more than at any time in the history of our republic do we need all the people to think big. The modern world is a strongly competitive place. We as a people must raise the bar and strongly get moving into the future.