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Tom Grey
IT & finance American guy, happily married with 4 kids, living in Bratislava, Slovakia
Interests: Thinking!, reading, jogging, ultimate frisbee, current events, history & geography -- making the world a better place, primarily through better policies (which work better in practice); like, surprisingly (?) religion. My interest changes are deleted, too!
Recent Activity
"Cultivate your Garden" - Voltaire. From Candide, plot summary conclusion below. When they all retire together to a simple life on a small farm, they discover that the secret of happiness is "to cultivate one’s garden," a practical philosophy that excludes excessive idealism and nebulous metaphysics. Thanks for Bennet poem link. I'm now, maybe temporarily retired, so I'm getting more interested, again, in Saving the World. Like with the Benedict Option (& Rod Dreher). Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is the bridging belief between Christianity and the new Social Justice beliefs. It's a real neo-religion, and needs to be addressed more theologically.
Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon. Ask any professor, they will agree. But will they mean it?
Where are the metrics? I now claim that there is some ratio of income of the top 1% income of the top 10% income of the median 50% income of bottom 20%. (All after tax) The tax system should be such that the top 1% / median 50% income is trending down. The fact that it is trending up is the inequality gap getting wider. OECD countries need companies creating more jobs, in quantity, more than they need worker role changes, like having a board member. The corporate tax system should be rewarding companies that are creating more jobs with more tax reductions, and shifting higher corporate tax burdens on those companies which are NOT creating more jobs. Especially those companies NOT creating jobs with high CEO salaries. We need metrics and measures and policies which reward good improvement in the metrics. OECD gov'ts should also have voluntary National Service to offer everybody a job, at a low wage. Part of the job could/would be attendance and performance in training.
There's always plenty of "work", but not always enough "jobs", because the work the people want done they might not want done enough to pay for. A job is work that somebody, a "boss", is willing to pay for. Without reading the full report (thanks for nice summary), it was still strange to see so little concerned with tourism. As there are more middle class folk in the world, there will be more tourism and there will be jobs in tourism, at an increasing rate. Along with more automation, will come lower prices for food & clothes, especially, tho not so quickly for nice houses in nice places. (zoning and building permit restricted.) While there will be a lot of opportunity for personal care of the elderly, there's likely to be a huge market among the elderly for various forms of android robot companions -- those that can talk and serve. Both those that can move and those virtual assistants on the smartphone. Now I'm thinking about a household agent which follows you from room to room with an avatar face on a TV screen in each room (some big, some small). I'm also thinking of Pepper, the Japanese made Android (using IBM's Watson for AI). Gov't policy needs to change towards making taxes less employment neutral, and positively giving more tax breaks for revenue with high headcount as compared to similar high revenue with low headcount.
There is a further complication in that, for all US states without a growing supercity, should the state be trying to help its biggest city, like Detroit or maybe even Chicago, or help with smaller rural areas. This is also the case in many small European countries like my own Slovakia with Bratislava, and the Czech Republic with Prague. Given the current advantages of supercities, gov't money to help the big cities get bigger is likely to be more efficient at helping more people increase their incomes more. Yet helping second tier cities more will distribute slightly less total growth but to a wider group of people. Along with house costs, another big reason for less migration is restrictive state licensing, like of hair cutters. Tiny typo: would instead of were: "necessary and were in fact be at a disadvantage"
Partly excellent, partly Bah! "After WW2 came what Perez calls a golden age of broad economic growth and prosperity." Maybe in the USA, but in China, especially, but also other countries there was the Cultural Revolution and The Great Leap Forward, murdering millions. See great note about China recently: This is already doing far more Full Global Development, and the failure to note it as such makes me suspicious there is a bigger desire for more gov't power, rather than better lives for millions. " the public sector has to lead the way back after the major bubble collapses." This is NOT my reading of history, not at all. And when I look at Cuba or, more recently Venezuela and even Detroit or Puerto Rico, what I see is the public sector being far more part of the problem than part of the solution. Hoover's more activist gov't in 1930-32 failed, and FDR, with similar big-gov't spending, also failed 1933-1940. Until WW II provided lots of employment. Hong Kong & Singapore had less gov't interference in their economies, and good results. In China's catch-up economy for the last 30 years, the gov't HAS been taking a strong role which has been positive; tho neither democratic nor without a huge increase in gov't leader wealth and corruption. The 2008 financial crisis, where the US gov't leaders bailed out the super rich from their rocket-scientist based (bad) risk adjusted failed MBS investments. "Capitalism" can't work if those who make bad investments get bailed out from the gov't -- this bailout was based exactly on words like the ones above, since it "was a concerted effort by many government and business leaders to create a unified, prosperous, long-lasting recovery". So they said. The results, not words, should be most closely examined. Trump, whom the over-rich elite call a demagogue, seems to be having far better job-creating results than Obama did or HR Clinton would have been expected to. I sure like low cost ICT. Sustainable growth is measurable - thru profit. Non-subsidized companies willing and able to make profits. More home ownership for married households is also important, as is the undiscussed need to increase marriages and birth rates from married couples rather than singles. Finally, "Consensus-building" is pretty inconsistent in the real world with "bold measures". Sort of like asking or expecting big gov't socialism to work.
(second post?) Sounds like Agile Methodology.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2017 on Human-AI Decision Systems at Irving Wladawsky-Berger
A) MUCH, much cooler foto! (Altho i was kinda getting used to the old one, too) B) Jobs -- politics and economists will be moving towards a Basic Guaranteed Job, somehow. This is the plan by Morgan, I support it and essentially all Guaranteed Income / Guaranteed Basic Job proposals. His plan was recently supported (again) by Miles Kimball, Supply Side Liberal. Miles is the most spiritual economist, ex-Mormon but interested in the Good.
I'm sure you're right about quantum computing. And, like nuclear fusion, it might be "close" for a few decades. On AI, it's interesting to me that vision looks to be happening sooner than audio -- where is the HAL 9000 level of natural conversation we thought would be here by 2001. Still waiting. Tho Siri & Alexa and others are getting closer, progress remains slower than I expected. The explosion of chat-bots, and soon chat-bot teachers, will be generating a revolution in education. Finally, the fresh water devices seem most likely to change desert parts of the world more significantly in the next 10 years than any of the other tech, tho it's not clear how to measure advances.
This is great news. US AID, and "aid" in general, should be switching more to a prize funding model where the organization which now evaluates plans & projects instead switches to evaluating results from projects and awarding prizes. LOTS of prizes, often small, to lots of organizations.
Very interesting and informative note. I'm now testing data in a project called Client360, to get all the internal info our Big Tech company has on any of its customers -- so as to offer more relevant products and services to them. AI & cognitive SW only bots will also be increasingly important. So are teams and team work -- see Agile methodology for where tech is going. (first time here - came from the 2016 note on Prof Coase & the Firm).
Very nice Adam Smith quote: "The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors*. Wherever the law allows it, and the nature of the work can afford it, therefore, he will generally prefer the service of slaves to that of freemen." For the last 150 years, the pride of Marxists, whenever and wherever they have achieved power, has had them dominate and subordinate those out of power. (Russia, China, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela come immediately to mind). Similarly, in the UK anti-Brexit, in the US anti-Trump, the arrogant pride of big-gov't technocrats has been mortified by the reality that they're not so popular as they believed. Not slavery, but Marxist nonsense followed as policy, are the cause of Venezuela's woes today.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2017 on Yes, slavery matters at Stumbling and Mumbling
There is safety net talk about guaranteed basic income. What most folk would far prefer is a guaranteed job: 9-5, every day, somebody telling them what they should do, maybe showing them how the first couple of times, then letting them get on with working and doing it. The Feds & states should be experimenting with ways to offer a National Service job to everybody, and giving them work to do, for which they get paid. Jobs. Work they get paid to do. Jobs is the "economic net" that the working class wants, not a "fail net".
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Greece should issue and print Bearer Bonds, 1 year, 0% interest bonds, convertible to Euros in 1 Aug 2016, and issue them in the amount of 100% of their budget deficit plus 10% of their outstanding debt. Gov't pensions and salaries would be paid in part euros and part bonds, initially up to 50% bonds. Greek banks would be required to open a free separate bond account for all depositors. The bearer bonds would be treated as a separate currency, until Aug 2016, where the bond deposits would be redeemed and converted into Euros*. No business would be forced to accept them as payment (NOT legal tender), altho they would be allowed to. Greeks & businesses could pay taxes with the bearer bonds at par (100%) The Greek central bank should redeem them at 50% euros for bonds of par -- and investigate tax payments of any person or business which redeems "large amounts". It would be expected to slightly increase the total amount of taxes collected (possibly a huge increase). The idea is to have a Euro based "Bond currency" where the people who are loaning money to the Greek Gov't become the Greek people, especially those who are receiving money from the gov't. With bearer bonds returning a little stability to the Greek economy, there should be room for more greek investment into new local businesses and job creation. ***Job creation in the private sector is the most important macro issue. Debt and monetary issues need some resolution so that the economic actors can focus on getting the Greek economy growing. *in July, 2016, there may be a new issue of 2-year, 0% interest, bearer bonds, 100% of budget deficit (maybe 0? due to taxes paid in bonds with reduced gov't spending) plus 20% of outstanding debt (including not yet redeemed 1 year bonds).
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Funny that you focus on premature deindustrialization rather than premature gov't bureaucracy growth. Harvard has probably been among the worst in the world because of promoting gov't, and thus force based development, rather than peaceful, voluntary exchanges and private investment. Had the "aid" for most poor countries gone into either manufacturing investment OR micro-finance service development (hair stylist? furniture making? house building?), the reduced opportunities to use low cost flexible labor instead of expensive robots would be less problematic.
Compared to Tax Cuts, and bankruptcy for the huge CDO speculators, the Bailout & Porkulus are terrible. For consumers/ savers, deposit insurance protects them from bankruptcy. For Moral hazard, bankruptcy is REQUIRED to avoid future crises, and Long Term Capital Management of the past shows this today. In bankruptcy, after "all peaceful agreements can NOT be fulfilled", the courts and Congress could have decided how to restructure the top, failed/ insolvent Big banks. Those that speculated (wrongly thinking it was safe investing in high yield junk), get fired.
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Hitchens is even better than Blair. But W has had some fine speeches -- just not covered by the MSM fairly. Also, none of the pro-war folk are really focussing on the biggest issue -- how LONG it takes to do Liberation/ nation building. 10 years in Vietnam was NOT enough. Bush should come out with a rough 10 year plan (from April 2003), to get more focus on how the critics want it to be "faster". But the speed is up to the Iraqis, not the US.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2005 on Hitchens: "A war to be proud of" at CenterFeud
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ENVY is the main reason; rich, powerful, successful is not perfect. But America is the best. It's better than the child-raping UN; China, Russia; France. Maybe no better than the UK, but neither is the UK better than the US. And most people in most countries have a huge desire to have their country "the best". "Higher standards" implied by Bo is terrible. We need the SAME standards, and accurate reporting on results; and the expectation that America will more often achieve higher performance. Bo, would you say FDR was wrong to ally with the evil Stalin to stop the more aggressive Hitler? Isn't the USA responsible for Stalin's later atrocities BECAUSE we supported him? [my answers: no, it was important to stop Hitler first. Partially yes, we supported a monster -- but realpolitik is supporting the lesser evils UNTIL we can support the Good -- like democracy in Iraq.]
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2005 on The rising tide of anti-Americanism at CenterFeud
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