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Insejn
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Nice said RTP. Glad to see such a view from your side :)

 

One note however... Greece is already going bankrupt although that's controlled so as France and Germany are affected as little as possible ;)

 

Yes, you are right. They are indeed sending Greece bankrupt the controlled way. Not only all signs point towards that, it also is certain that a 20% "haircut" is made on the assets.

But the "fun" thing is, that even with these 20% "haircut" you'll need more taxpayer money to save some banks as some already have said they'll go bankrupt if the assets are downgraded 20%.

And what's interesting is that the majority of the greek debts are not yet paid. The biggest debt loads for Greece are yet to come in a few years as I saw in a diagram presented in financial newspapers. And when they are due, the Greek will even need more money.

 

This is counterproductive to everything. The Greek must save their asses off which makes their economy suffer and choke every impulse that would bring economy up and the country out of crisis. At the same time, the European tax payers get pissed off at the Greeks because they have to pay their tax money for them, resulting in a disruption of european unity. While in the end this taxpayer money isn't enough and Greece will need more, but at the same time also to save even more which makes the greek taxpayers pissed off and do strikes. All just that the banks get their money!

 

It would be comical if it wasn't so shockingly true.

 

No. The two relevant properties of gold are:

 

1) it's rare, and

2) it's inert.

 

1) means that it's possible to assign a value to a certain amount of gold, without worrying that people can cheat the system by getting more gold without first providing something whose perceived value is equal to that of the gold; IOW the most practical way of getting $100 worth of gold is to exchange it for $100 worth of something else.

2) means that it's possible to assign a value to a certain amount of gold, without worrying that any gold you own will stop being gold and therefore lose its value. So these two properties (you can't turn nothing into something, and you can't turn something into nothing) make it ideally suited to acting as a tangible representation of value.

 

I know nothing about economics so the above is just my own guess about why gold is used as a standard currency, but it seems like a pretty self-evident explanation.

 

Good answer, Rotwang. It's by far not your own guess, you described the features of a currency pretty well and it explains why gold is so sought after.

 

The question is, when people have nothing to eat or to drink, wouldn't a piece of farmland be worth more than the gold?

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Yes RTP in a way I think we take more loans to pay our debts, which makes no sense.

 

I wonder however how life would be without banks. I guess it wouldn't be that bad but you should have the infrastructure to provide the country with goods and services

 

About Greece I think the rest of EU will not let it go bankrupt but either way Greeks will have to live a much poorer life, wages and pensions going down,etc...

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The question is, when people have nothing to eat or to drink, wouldn't a piece of farmland be worth more than the gold?

 

Yes, of course. Having something with no intrinsic value that can theoretically be exchanged for something that does have intrinsic value only works when there is enough of the stuff with intrinsic value to go around - for example, the reason people are willing to give you food in exchange for money is because they are confident that someone else will be willing to give them food in exchange for money when they get hungry. If there's a shortage of food then that confidence disappears.

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No. The two relevant properties of gold are:

 

1) it's rare, and

2) it's inert.

 

1) means that it's possible to assign a value to a certain amount of gold, without worrying that people can cheat the system by getting more gold without first providing something whose perceived value is equal to that of the gold; IOW the most practical way of getting $100 worth of gold is to exchange it for $100 worth of something else.

2) means that it's possible to assign a value to a certain amount of gold, without worrying that any gold you own will stop being gold and therefore lose its value. So these two properties (you can't turn nothing into something, and you can't turn something into nothing) make it ideally suited to acting as a tangible representation of value.

 

I know nothing about economics so the above is just my own guess about why gold is used as a standard currency, but it seems like a pretty self-evident explanation.

 

I don't disagree with your points but they don't address what I said: gold has no significant inherent value. Why should rarity affect value unless the rare thing is of immense practical value?

 

My thoughts on gold were less about economics and more about people's concept of an object's worth. I think the monetary value of gold is way above it's practical value in manufacturing, and that doesn't make sense to me.

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I don't disagree with your points but they don't address what I said:

Perhaps I didn't express myself well, but I think they did.

 

gold has no significant inherent value. Why should rarity affect value unless the rare thing is of immense practical value?

 

My thoughts on gold were less about economics and more about people's concept of an object's worth. I think the monetary value of gold is way above it's practical value in manufacturing, and that doesn't make sense to me.

 

The point is that even if gold has no significant inherent value1, it still makes sense for us to behave as if it does. Suppose I have food, need shoes but don't need medicine and someone else has shoes, needs medicine but doesn't need food. If there exists some form of currency which I can confidently accept in exchange for food with the knowledge that someone else will later accept said currency in exchange for shoes, then that saves me the bother of looking for someone who has shoes and needs food; as long as people broadly agree on how much food, shoes or medicine can be exchanged for a given unit of currency then barring the scenario RTP mentions I can always rely on people giving me what I need in exchange for currency. The point of my earlier post is that the two given properties of gold make it ideal for use as currency. Of course it's arbitrary how much value is assigned to a kilo of gold (within the limits of what's physically practical), but that doesn't matter.

 

1 Which I would not agree with, as it happens - in fact gold's physical properties make it very well suited to use in jewellery. Of course jewellery isn't as important as food, shoes or medicine but then neither are music, books, alcohol or any number of other things that people are nonetheless willing to pay for. But that's beside the point.

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Of course it's arbitrary how much value is assigned to a kilo of gold (within the limits of what's physically practical), but that doesn't matter.

 

That right there was my point. It's arbitrary, and I feel something less arbitrary would be a better physical basis for our pretend money. I don't know what that could be, but to me gold just doesn't make a lot of sense.

 

What you said about gold being useful in jewelry: I agree, but that goes back to what I said about value being based on a concept of "ooh pretty!"

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"But then came the Great Depression followed closely by World War II, which resulted in a long succession of deficits that caused the federal debt to balloon from $16 billion in 1930 to $242 billion by 1946. (Adjusted for inflation, that's about $206 billion and $2.67 trillion, respectively.)"

 

 

The US debt is more than 5 times TODAY what is was in the 1930's great depression.

 

Source: http://www.time.com/...l#ixzz1aUkhYAs3

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Well, you can see easily where it's heading then.

 

These politics of "living on debt" as we are doing now -- living on the debt of what we actually owe to the poor countries in the world (not in an absolute, but also in a moral way) and also living on debt to nature -- WILL end. They will have to end because at one point of time there won't be anything we can loan from these two factors anymore.

The question is only if humans are doing enough to stop this before it is going to, yeah really, drag us all down to doom with everything.

 

But the bad thing about all this is, people see this and so they try by every means necessary to keep this facade up and running with even more and more burden on the people and on nature just to not make it crash, because if it does then hell will literally break loose. And so they try and try to get a few more years of luxury and prosperity, resulting in drowning resources even more and thus even more increasing the severity of the oncoming crisis.

 

In long term this will result in probably the worst of all, which is a slow and painful economic descent that involves the pressure continuing and ever increasing (because people want desperately the economy to be held up and not break and more and more measures are required on the cost of everybody) while the life standard still goes down and down continuously in a slow curve.

And the shit is that nobody is counting on this, they are all counting either on that it goes up, that it continues like that or that it goes BOOM, but with such a long exhaustive down-curve I doubt that people can cope with and this in fact might then result in our doom, not a spectacular bang and crash, but a long exhaustive road of pain that we all need to go down and when THEN a big nature disaster hits us, it is going to literally wipe us off the planet.

 

We are close to the turning point of the curve now and NOBODY wants to admit and take the first step to the downfall, this is the problem! Nobody of these coward bankers, economists, capitalists has any BALLS! And this is why it's going to be prolonged, upheld and drained out to the flesh as far as possible, but it's a fake, a facade behind which these measures of "holding it up" are contributing to stretching the true curve only. And we might already have passed the peak this way and be right on the downward curve already while nobody notices. What's behind? We don't know.

 

That's not a conspiracy theory or anything, it's simple reality that this is all a game, an entertainment show where experts hand the door handle to each other and tell us something of "measures to keep the economy up" and something utopic about a levered Euro protection fund (A LEVERED protection fund. How on EARTH do you lever a protection fund so that it has more money than before out of nowhere if you don't buy more of these "casino" junk papers that actually are responsible for the crisis?!).

And they even admit it, right on TV that "in situation of crisis you may not tell the truth to people". I literally saw a politican explaining this to us on the news yesterday.

That is nothing but Platon's Cave right here and in front of all our eyes. Turn the fuck around, people! and then you see what's going on.

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^

That brings to mind something I've always thought about regarding official statements of economic state; like "we're doing great" or "the economy's slowing down" etc.

 

Even when they say things are slowing down, even when they speak of recessions, there's almost always still a measure of growth. I've seen statements like "...saw a growth of only x% last year, and economists are warning of recession..." blah blah blah.

 

How do people think we can have growth forever? The whole framework of our economy seems to be based on growth, but runaway growth is called cancer when it's in a living being. With finite resources as we have in the real world, the economy should be based on a concept of sustainability, not constant growth.

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With finite resources as we have in the real world, the economy should be based on a concept of sustainability, not constant growth.

 

+1

 

As men did for millions of years before agriculture. Take what you need, leave the rest to grow......

There´s a need for a real cultural change, the goal of owning things is just so dumb.

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As men did for millions of years before agriculture. Take what you need, leave the rest to grow......

There´s a need for a real cultural change, the goal of owning things is just so dumb.

 

That's very idealistic imo. Hardly anyone thinks like that. It would be great if people did, but realistically no one does. Also I don't think men have ever taken only what they need. If they only took what they needed, it was probably because they didn't have the means to take anything more.

 

^

That brings to mind something I've always thought about regarding official statements of economic state; like "we're doing great" or "the economy's slowing down" etc.

 

Even when they say things are slowing down, even when they speak of recessions, there's almost always still a measure of growth. I've seen statements like "...saw a growth of only x% last year, and economists are warning of recession..." blah blah blah.

 

How do people think we can have growth forever? The whole framework of our economy seems to be based on growth, but runaway growth is called cancer when it's in a living being. With finite resources as we have in the real world, the economy should be based on a concept of sustainability, not constant growth.

 

People have thought of what you are getting at (if I understood you right)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_state_economy#History_of_the_concept

 

Well, you can see easily where it's heading then.

 

These politics of "living on debt" as we are doing now -- living on the debt of what we actually owe to the poor countries in the world (not in an absolute, but also in a moral way) and also living on debt to nature -- WILL end. They will have to end because at one point of time there won't be anything we can loan from these two factors anymore.

The question is only if humans are doing enough to stop this before it is going to, yeah really, drag us all down to doom with everything.

 

But the bad thing about all this is, people see this and so they try by every means necessary to keep this facade up and running with even more and more burden on the people and on nature just to not make it crash, because if it does then hell will literally break loose. And so they try and try to get a few more years of luxury and prosperity, resulting in drowning resources even more and thus even more increasing the severity of the oncoming crisis.

 

In long term this will result in probably the worst of all, which is a slow and painful economic descent that involves the pressure continuing and ever increasing (because people want desperately the economy to be held up and not break and more and more measures are required on the cost of everybody) while the life standard still goes down and down continuously in a slow curve.

And the shit is that nobody is counting on this, they are all counting either on that it goes up, that it continues like that or that it goes BOOM, but with such a long exhaustive down-curve I doubt that people can cope with and this in fact might then result in our doom, not a spectacular bang and crash, but a long exhaustive road of pain that we all need to go down and when THEN a big nature disaster hits us, it is going to literally wipe us off the planet.

 

We are close to the turning point of the curve now and NOBODY wants to admit and take the first step to the downfall, this is the problem! Nobody of these coward bankers, economists, capitalists has any BALLS! And this is why it's going to be prolonged, upheld and drained out to the flesh as far as possible, but it's a fake, a facade behind which these measures of "holding it up" are contributing to stretching the true curve only. And we might already have passed the peak this way and be right on the downward curve already while nobody notices. What's behind? We don't know.

 

That's not a conspiracy theory or anything, it's simple reality that this is all a game, an entertainment show where experts hand the door handle to each other and tell us something of "measures to keep the economy up" and something utopic about a levered Euro protection fund (A LEVERED protection fund. How on EARTH do you lever a protection fund so that it has more money than before out of nowhere if you don't buy more of these "casino" junk papers that actually are responsible for the crisis?!).

And they even admit it, right on TV that "in situation of crisis you may not tell the truth to people". I literally saw a politican explaining this to us on the news yesterday.

That is nothing but Platon's Cave right here and in front of all our eyes. Turn the fuck around, people! and then you see what's going on.

 

Yup, what you've said is true. There are other scenarios though. Like American inflations away its debt, the renminbi rises, wages in American are competitive again and American turns a surplus and so on. I'm no economist though, so all this is simply what I've read.

 

But I agree with you about the financial sector. They need more regulation. Speculation cannot rule our lives and wreck havoc on the global economy like this.

 

Related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyCRDyDUWQk

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Yup, what you've said is true. There are other scenarios though. Like American inflations away its debt, the renminbi rises, wages in American are competitive again and American turns a surplus and so on. I'm no economist though, so all this is simply what I've read.

 

Yes, indeed. But if America "inflations away its debt", it will make peoples saved money worth less because inflation eats it up. And don't argument now with "inflation-bond interest", because if you do that then the debts will stay at their level and won't shrink. They must shrink and this can only be through higher inflation than interest. Which will eat the money away which we save for our retirement or anything else...

 

good video!
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+1

 

As men did for millions of years before agriculture. Take what you need, leave the rest to grow......

There´s a need for a real cultural change, the goal of owning things is just so dumb.

 

That's very idealistic imo. Hardly anyone thinks like that. It would be great if people did, but realistically no one does. Also I don't think men have ever taken only what they need. If they only took what they needed, it was probably because they didn't have the means to take anything more.

 

I do agree, it is very idealistic thing, but nothing it could not be achieve through education. On a global scale it really seems hard to get people out of the malls, but on a local level, and through civil associations in neighborhoods, people can share ideas out of the disney, massmedia world. We just have to look at the "15m-occupy wall street" movement and how the thing is growing every day. It may not be as defined as to be understood by everyone, but it is a new born movement who can bring many good things to all.

 

History is not a objective subject, and it all depends on who tells you, but modern anthropologist like Richard Lee or Marshall Sahlins, among others, describe the time before agriculture and religion, as a time where humans would only eat meat once a month, and would live out of collecting, not storing. That for at least 2 million years. Maybe they were living in Eden, and there was not need to store, but we first world could learn from them and slow down our consumption level. No one needs 2 cars at the door and a telly in every room. That could be feasible, and it´s probably occurring as an effect to this crisis.

 

Regulation is for sure part of the solution, not just to bankers, but also to our politicians. Changes in the democratic system as we know it to today should be forced to developed the tools for citizens to control the governments. One vote every 4 years is not enough.

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People have thought of what you are getting at (if I understood you right)

http://en.wikipedia...._of_the_concept

Ah, yes, I believe you understood right! I only glanced at that briefly, but what I saw sounded spot on.

 

Unfortunately the concept depends on a stable population, and with large numbers of people in the world whose attitude toward procreation being influenced by religions that say "make lots of babies!"...

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