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About AndersB

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    Aussie expat

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  1. It is interesting to observe how perfectly free labour movement works, which is available within each country. The trend is urbanisation and regional brain drain. If this is a natural consequence of talented people seeking better opportunities, then current mega-cities and opportunity centres, like New York, London, Silicon Valley, etc will see much higher rate of population growth. That will cause severe stress on infrastructure and quality of life in those areas. So, basically - you will find opportunities in those places but still have a poor quality of life unless you strike it mega-rich. Good luck in the super rat race! The truly wealthy people will be those that have great health, in control of their time, freedom to operate a profitable business from anywhere, while still maintaining good social and family networks. Hmmm... tor is on to something here...
  2. This is an example of promising solutions:
  3. As an engineer, I would of course be keen for transferring a lot of funding from climate science research (some has been dodgy) and allocate the money to more engineering research for mitigation and renewable energy. In my view, apart from the pollution aspects of oil consumption, there are just way too many wars being fought over oil and the sooner we can stop depending on that stuff the better. Good luck getting support for that! We need more solutions and less argy-bargy about global climate chaotic systems hypotheses.
  4. Yes, fair point. There will still be inertia and friction with totally free labour market movements. Not everyone is as mad as you tor, and willing to roam the world for kicks. Hmmm.... pot calling something etc. There are probably social advantages in having reasonably stable populations. Community building supporting safe environments for growing kids, etc. Economics treats people as perfectly adaptable and rational decision makers - only in terms of maximising utility in the form of consumption! With hyperbole: no other human values and desires for the individual are considered in this field.
  5. Hmm... I probably didn't explain my position clearly. My criticism of Ricardian Comparative Advantage is that it leads to believing in free trade as an article of religious faith - which is unfettered globalism with free trade seen as a virtue by itself. I think this is causing a lot of dislocation for the middle class as well as working class. I don't think "uneducated masses" is a good term. The US white middle class has been squeezed since 2001, for example. In Australia it has been said (possibly on this forum) that betting everything on a never ending commodities boom is foolish. There is both a limit on how many hairdressers can be retrained to mining workers, and it causes economic bubbles when demand exceeds supply for many associated trades and goods (including housing in mining towns). In my view, the inevitable commodities busts causes unnecessary pain and dislocation, unless you have good diversity in the broader economy that can provide alternative employment.
  6. No, I don't think it is a knockout blow. My general views on climate change are: Naturally, climate changes all the time - nobody in their right mind can dispute that. Just look at all the ice ages throughout history The anthropogenic component of climate change is uncertain. It could be a lot - or it could be insignificant. It is strange that there is so little research done on establishing the size of this component. The relationship between CO2 and global warming is not linear. There are feedback loops and second (and further) order effects - both amplifying and stabilising global temperatures that make the relationship complex. This makes the lag relationship between CO2 and global temperatures also a complex thing. There are different lag effects for different time scales. Most predictions of climate models have failed, and are increasingly divergent with measured data New models will be better In summary - climate is a very, very complex system and can exhibit some quite surprising effects in short, medium, and long term timescales.
  7. I think we share the same opinion on the mad spending track record of political decision makers. And your point about rules of competition could very well fit in with encouraging evolutionary change. I'll do some more reading on that.
  8. You bring up a good point, cobran20 - and there are a lot of economists that think along the same way. Basically, the idea is that markets are efficient and governments should get out of the way. The problem I have with this view is that there are 2nd order effects of market behaviour (and 3rd, 4th, and so on). This means in some cases that externalities are being paid by those with less power in society. Examples of this is anarchy and tribal warfare in some developing countries, and the exploitation of child labour in British coalmines in the 1800's. We also see the questionable practices of Wall Street banks when regulators are asleep at the switch. Further, I also believe that it is vitally important that legal systems minimise contract risk. If a business deal can never be trusted because of a weak or corrupt judicial system then the outcome is far less business activity and investments. In an evolutionary sense (in my view), forms of governments, institutions, culture and society are all part of the broader definition of economy. Competitive societies need high quality institutions. So, in this regard, I disagree somewhat with your point - yes, competition is critically important (and unavoidable), but it is only one factor of many to create efficient economies. In contrast, it would be very interesting to look at how efficient evolutionary processes would impact economic development. Instead of managing for steady state economics, or even "predictable" business cycles, what would happen if we actually encourage change and minimise risk of change? BTW, I am not an economist - just a curious armchair spectator.
  9. It's easy to rely on intermittent power supply if you rely on a long extension lead from your neighbour. I hope Victoria copies SA power policies. It will be fun to watch what happens then!
  10. New blog post: The field of economics is under heavy criticism these days. During the 2008 financial crisis Queen Elizabeth gently asked academics at the London School of Economics: why did nobody notice the “awful” financial crisis earlier? It took four years before she got an answer: lack of regulations, they said. Last month Mark Buchanan and Noah Smith fired a broadside salvo in a Bloomberg article, demanding new thinking for macro theory. One of their stated peeves was the fixation on general equilibrium models. Well, chief among those models is Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE). Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? A bit like “random changing stability”. Further criticism could also be levelled against “trickle-down economics” where some bright spark thought that greasing the top end of town would then stimulate investments and job creation. Instead it just made the top 0.1% richer. Somehow, these greedy individuals had direct access to politicians and convinced them that such policy would be just what the Dr economists ordered to fix the ails of the economy. I agree that we need new thinking for macroeconomics. But perhaps finding this new thinking will be found by going back to the future. Already in 1898 Thorstein Veblen came up with the concept of “evolutionary economics”. According to this theory economies develop in an evolutionary manner – like a Darwinian process. Intuitively this makes sense. Clearly, before economists were invented and before money was coined, there were human species and societies that functioned in economies. And just as there was evolution of species and societies, there must have been evolution of associated economies. Evolution never stops, however, and hence, economies continue to evolve. So perhaps the answers to better political policies for economies are found by throwing out the outdated idea of managing for equilibrium, and instead look at making the evolutionary economic processes more efficient. Let’s take Ricardian Comparative Advantage as an example. According to this theory all countries should specialise their production and then freely trade among themselves. By specialising on producing the good that has the lowest opportunity cost, overall consumption can be boosted by importing other goods – even if you can produce the imported goods cheaper domestically. This thinking makes free trade an economic religious article of faith. But what if we look at trade from an evolutionary framework? Then we could see that external shocks would make such specialisation vulnerable. What if a country has specialised in making wagon wheels for chariots and the domestic economy has no adaptive capacity? The danger is that such a country could be heading for economic extinction. Just like financial investments require diversification to minimise idiosyncratic risk, I think there is merit in governments taking action to diversify economies to strengthen adaptiveness and resilience. More investments into innovation and entrepreneurship could meet this objective. Exploring that topic will have to be another blog post.
  11. Here is the Nature paper: Here is a key statement in the abstract: "Here we show that the present thinning and retreat of Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is part of a climatically forced trend that was triggered in the 1940s" In the article the authors state: "This finding provided the first hint that the recent retreat could be part of a longer-term process that started decades or even centuries before satellite observations became available." and "Our core data—constraining the opening of an ocean cavity to 1945—provide the first quantitative support for the idea that the changes we observe currently in the Amundsen Sea were triggered by a climatic anomaly in the late 1930s to 1940s, a link that has, until now, remained largely speculative."
  12. Difficult to tell what the real truth is whenever RE industry comment on the market. According to them there is always sky-rocketing demand!
  13. The Russian economy should get a boost from normalised relations with the USA and other developed countries. Here is the chart of the Russian stock market index: What would be a good way to invest in the Russian market index if you are bullish both the market and the Ruble?
  14. The recent violent protests against Trump are very puzzling. Presumably they rather have Clinton and neocon warhawks continue "nationbuilding" by deposing dictators in the Middle East. They must think that the endless wars are worth it to spread "freedom and democracy". So that is why they don't accept the election result?
  15. At the bottom of the screen is option to select a Theme. Pick the simple default one and you'll get the traditional colors. Perhaps Adminbot could make it the default default theme?