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the price of energy will rise - all the whining in the world won’t stop that

Peak oil is upon us. Coal sequestration will likely raise the cost of coal by three or four times.

Nuclear is the safest and cleanest known mass energy system. Filthy fossil fuels are externalising their filth. That is, they are not paying for the damage they do, they pump it out in to the community at large, whereas nuclear power keeps to much higher standards.

Concentrating power concentrates dangers. Lack of power is called ‘poverty’. Poverty is the world’s greatest killer.

Infrastructure costs money. The old power stations and grids cost to build.

New systems will cost to build. Windmills will cost to build. Nuclear power stations will cost to build.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Only a socialist will claim otherwise.

Nuclear power is the safest known system. People fixing solar panels fall off roofs. There are millions of roofs.

Running and maintaining a system is cheaper than replacing a system. The present systems are obsolescent.

Energy costs money. Energy will become increasingly expensive, but...

Use of energy is becoming increasingly efficient by 1 or 2% a year. Such compounding will make things look a lot better than the moonbats and doomsters suggest.

The more efficiently you use energy, the more energy will be used.

I listened to the idiots ranting on energy on BBC Question Time last night. The dishonesty and the ignorance on the subject verges on the depressing.

[An ocean of related data starts here: replacing fossil fuels: the scale of the problem]

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the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/economics012011.php#energy_price_rises_180311

what is ‘quantitative easing’?

‘quantitative easing’ is just another dishonest word for printing money - that is, inflation.

quantitative easing in the UK. Chart: Bank of England.
quantitative easing in the UK. Chart: Bank of England.

In the last year to eighteen months of Brown the Clown’s time, he printed (through the Bank of England) about 20% of the prior money stock (supply). This lowered the real value of UK money by about 20% (this is one of the key figures that matter, not some absolute number). Brown also lowered the real GDP by about 10%.

Thus, the value of money fell by around 30% (10+20), and that is in just that short period.

The printing was slowed to approximately zero shortly before Brown was ejected, and has stayed at those much lower levels since David Cameron took over.

If you take the whole 1997-2010 years of socialist destruction, my estimate is that fascist ‘New’ Labour, at a very minimum, halved the value of UK money during that time.

Money supply chart/s included in
Measures of M4 and M4 lending excluding intermediate other financial corporations

related material
the mechanics of inflation: The great government swindle and how it works

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the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/economics012011.php#quantitative_easing_030311

consumption and capital

There are several countries, mainly oil countries, that are setting up ‘sovereign wealth funds’ relative to population. Norway is among the largest in this category.

This is a windfall, and heavens knows how secure the funds actually are. It’s a trading surplus.

These ‘sovereign wealth funds’ have no more to do with socialism than the similar funds in Singapore or Kuwait.

III. The Psychology of Society

“Europe was so organized socially and economically as to secure the maximum accumulation of capital. While there was some continuous improvement in the daily conditions of life of the mass of the population, Society was so framed as to throw a great part of the increased income into the control of the class least likely to consume it. The new rich of the nineteenth century were not brought up to large expenditures, and preferred the power which investment gave them to the pleasures of immediate consumption. In fact, it was precisely the inequality of the distribution of wealth which made possible those vast accumulations of fixed wealth and of capital improvements which distinguished that age from all others. Herein lay, in fact, the main justification of the Capitalist System. If the rich had spent their new wealth on their own enjoyments, the world would long ago have found such a régime intolerable. But like bees they saved and accumulated, not less to the advantage of the whole community because they themselves held narrower ends in prospect.

“The immense accumulations of fixed capital which, to the great benefit of mankind, were built up during the half century before the war, could never have come about in a Society where wealth was divided equitably. The railways of the world, which that age built as a monument to posterity, were, not less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the work of labor which was not free to consume in immediate enjoyment the full equivalent of its efforts.

“Thus this remarkable system depended for its growth on a double bluff or deception. On the one hand the laboring classes accepted from ignorance or powerlessness, or were compelled, persuaded, or cajoled by custom, convention, authority, and the well-established order of Society into accepting, a situation in which they could call their own very little of the cake that they and Nature and the capitalists were co-operating to produce. And on the other hand the capitalist classes were allowed to call the best part of the cake theirs and were theoretically free to consume it, on the tacit underlying condition that they consumed very little of it in practice. The duty of "saving" became nine-tenths of virtue and the growth of the cake the object of true religion. There grew round the non-consumption of the cake all those instincts of puritanism which in other ages has withdrawn itself from the world and has neglected the arts of production as well as those of enjoyment. And so the cake increased; but to what end was not clearly contemplated. Individuals would be exhorted not so much to abstain as to defer, and to cultivate the pleasures of security and anticipation. Saving was for old age or for your children; but this was only in theory,—the virtue of the cake was that it was never to be consumed, neither by you nor by your children after you.

“In writing thus I do not necessarily disparage the practices of that generation. In the unconscious recesses of its being Society knew what it was about. The cake was really very small in proportion to the appetites of consumption, and no one, if it were shared all round, would be much the better off by the cutting of it. Society was working not for the small pleasures of to-day but for the future security and improvement of the race,—in fact for "progress." If only the cake were not cut but was allowed to grow in the geometrical proportion predicted by Malthus of population, but not less true of compound interest, perhaps a day might come when there would at last be enough to go round, and when posterity could enter into the enjoyment of our labors. In that day overwork, overcrowding, and underfeeding would have come to an end, and men, secure of the comforts and necessities of the body, could proceed to the nobler exercises of their faculties. One geometrical ratio might cancel another, and the nineteenth century was able to forget the fertility of the species in a contemplation of the dizzy virtues of compound interest.

“There were two pitfalls in this prospect: lest, population still outstripping accumulation, our self-denials promote not happiness but numbers; and lest the cake be after all consumed, prematurely, in war, the consumer of all such hopes.

“But these thoughts lead too far from my present purpose. I seek only to point out that the principle of accumulation based on inequality was a vital part of the pre-war order of Society and of progress as we then understood it, and to emphasize that this principle depended on unstable psychological conditions, which it may be impossible to recreate. It was not natural for a population, of whom so few enjoyed the comforts of life, to accumulate so hugely. The war has disclosed the possibility of consumption to all and the vanity of abstinence to many. Thus the bluff is discovered; the laboring classes may be no longer willing to forego so largely, and the capitalist classes, no longer confident of the future, may seek to enjoy more fully their liberties of consumption so long as they last, and thus precipitate the hour of their confiscation.”

Quoted from The economic consequences of the peace by John Maynard Keynes

£6.29 [amazon.co.uk]
Sterling, reprint 2007, pbk
ISBN-10: 1602390851
ISBN-13: 978-1602390850

£3.11 / $6.90
Kindle edition 397kb
Harriman House, 2010
ASIN: B003ODI3ZE

$10.44 [amazon.com]
Wilder Publications, reprint 2011, pbk
ISBN-10: 1617201901
ISBN-13: 978-1617201905

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http://www.abelard.org/news/economics012011.php#consumption_capital_010311

‘progress’ - shanghai

Shanghai in 1990 and 2010. Image: Catherine Rampell
Shanghai in 1990 (top) and 2010. Image: Catherine Rampell

The visual change and vertical expansion of Shanghai may may be a clear illustration of China’s annual 10% economic growth, but is this a sort of advance to praise?

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the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/economics012011.php#shanghai_progress_270111

which country owns 3rd highest value of us treasury bonds?

Country Oct 2010 Oct 2009 Oct 2008 % change, Oct 2008-Oct 2010
China, Mainland 906.8 938.3 684.1 32.6
Japan 877.4 742.9 629.6 39.4
United Kingdom 477.6 105.7 133.2 258.6
Oil Exporters 213.9 209 176.7 21.1
SOURCE: US Treasury      

The full table is available at the link above.

About $10 trillion of US Bonds is held by US sources, mostly insurance funds and similar.
About $10 trillion is held overseas.

end note

  1. Oil exporters include Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria.

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the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/economics012011.php#us_treasury_bonds_220111

a series on off-shores which may interest

“Treasure Islands is published at the start of a seismic shift in thinking about a scandal and a system that has gone almost unnoticed for decades. This is not a book about a few crooks, spivs and celebrity tax exiles and Caribbean Islands. It is about one of the central features of the global economy today. The offshore system has become so pervasive that it is now all around us.” [Quoted from treasureislands.org]

The whole thing seems heavily slanted, but contains some details of how off-shores operate and where they are located.

Book extracts:
part 1
part 2

Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World by Nicholas Shaxson
Treasure Islands by Nicholas Shaxson

Bodley Head, 2011, pbk
ISBN-10: 1847921108
ISBN-13: 978-1847921109

£9.29 [amazon.co.uk]

to be published in Feb. 2011 [amazon.com]

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http://www.abelard.org/news/economics012011.php#tax_havens_110111

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