Debt has never been and would never be able to produce lasting growth and prosperity. All economic and finance theories that paint a rosy picture of debt financing are nothing but a bait to enslave the entrepreneurs to work harder for the few.
Here is an excerpt from an article from Businessweek on this very topic
“Growth in a Time of Debt” (PDF), a 2010 study by Harvard University economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, was the rare academic work that had a huge influence on Washington policymakers. It argued that high government debt is associated with slow economic growth and that growth is particularly weak when gross government debt exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product.
Three economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst revealed the mistake. The Excel mistake is more of a public-relations disaster than a significant slip. Reinhart and Rogoff wrote that average growth in high-debt countries was -0.1 percent. The UMass researchers said it was really 2.2 percent. But the spreadsheet error accounted for only about 0.3 percentage point of that difference. Most of the rest is caused by differences in the way the economists weighted the data. Even the UMass researchers found that higher debt is associated with slower growth.
Deficit hawks seemed unperturbed. “We can debate an exact dollar amount,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, says in an e-mail, “but the simple fact that debt ultimately hinders growth is unchanged.”
Mark Zuckerberg says “I can’t wait to get my own [Google Glass],” I am also looking forward to the day when it becomes available at a price, I can afford. But for now it is out of reach as Google says
We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass. We’d love to make everyone an Explorer, but we’re starting off a bit smaller. We’re still in the early stages, and while we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting. Explorers will each need to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Here is “How It Feels [through Glass]“
This is not the result of chance.
The rise in the fortunes of the super-rich is the direct result of policies. Here are a few: the reduction of tax rates and tax enforcement; governments` refusal to recoup a decent share of revenues from minerals and land; the privatisation of public assets and the creation of a toll-booth economy; wage liberalisation and the destruction of collective bargaining.
The policies that made the global monarchs so rich are the policies squeezing everyone else. Thisis not what the theory predicted.
Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and their disciples in a thousand business schools, the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD and just about every modern government have argued that the less governments tax the rich, defend workers and redistribute wealth, the more prosperous everyone will be. Any attempt to reduce inequality would damage the efficiency of the market, impeding the rising tide that lifts all boats.
The apostles have conducted a 30year global experiment, and the results are now in. Total failure.
Before I go on, I should point out that I don`t believe perpetual economic growth is either sustainable or desirable. But if growth is your aim an aim to which every government claims to subscribe you couldn`t make a bigger mess of it than by releasing the super-rich from the constraints of democracy.
Last year`s annual report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development should have been an obituary for the neoliberal model developed by Hayek and Friedman and their disciples. It shows unequivocally that their policies have created the opposite outcomes to those they predicted.
As neoliberal policies (cutting taxes for the rich, privatising state assets, deregulating labour, reducing social security) began to bite from the 1980s onwards, growth rates started to fall and unemployment to rise.
The remarkable growth in the rich nations during the 50s, 60s and 70s was made possible by the destruction of the wealth and power of the elite, as a result of the 1930s depression and the second world war. Their embarrass-ment gave the other 99 per cent an unprecedented chance to demand redistribution, state spending and social security, all of which stimulated demand.
THEORY BY THE RICH, FOR THE RICH: Neoliberalism was an attempt to turn back these reforms. Lavishly funded by millionaires, its advocates were amazingly successful politically.
Economically they flopped.
Throughout the OECD countries taxation has become more regressive: the rich pay less, the poor pay more. The result, the neoliberals claimed, would be that economic efficiency and investment would rise, enriching everyone. The opposite occurred. As taxes on the rich and on business diminished, the spending power of both the state and poorer people fell, and demand contracted. The result was that investment ratesdeclined, in step with companies` expectations of growth.
The neoliberals also insisted that unrestrained inequality in incomes and flexible wages would reduce unemployment. But throughout the rich world both inequality and unemployment have soared. The recent jump in unemployment in most developed countries worse than in any previous recession of the past three decades was preceded by the lowest level of wages as a share of GDP since the second world war. Bang goes the theory. It failed for the same obvious reason: low wages suppress demand, which suppresses employment.
As wages stagnated, people supplemented their income with debt. Rising debt fed the deregulated banks, with consequences of which we are all aware. The greater inequality becomes, theUN report finds, the less stable the economy and the lower its rates of growth. The policies with which neoliberal governments seek to reduce their deficits and stimulate their economies are counter-productive.
The impending reduction of the United Kingdom`s top rate of income tax (from 50 per cent to 45 per cent) will not boost government revenue or private enterprise, but it will enrich the speculators who tanked the economy.
Goldman Sachs and other banks are now thinking of delaying their bonus payments to take advantage of it. The welfare bill approved by the UK parliament last week will not help to clear the deficit or stimulate employment: it will reduce demand, suppressing economic recovery. The same goes for the capping of public sector pay.
`Relearning some old lessonsabout fairness and participation, the UN says, `is the only way to eventually overcome the crisis and pursue a path of sustainable economic development.
As I say, I have no dog in this race, except a belief that no one, in this sea of riches, should have to be poor. But staring dumbfounded at the lessons unlearned in Britain, Europe and the US, it strikes me that the entire structure of neoliberal thought is a fraud. The demands of the ultrarich have been dressed up as sophisticated economic theory and applied regardless of the outcome. The complete failure of this world-scale experiment is no impediment to its repetition. This has nothing to do with economics.
It has everything to do with power.
By arrangement with the Guardian
This blog entry is in response to a blog by Udacity. I joined the CS101 when it was first offered but to this day, I have yet to take exam.
I seriously want to learn how to write software program but I end up doing very little progress towards my objective. There are long gaps in learning the subject. This blog from Udacity offers some tips on how to be a motivated learner in 2013.
I think the most suitable tip for me is “Buddy System”, which says
Pair up with a friend and share your learning goals with each other. Check in with your ‘buddy’ regularly (every day or every week) and hold each other accountable for meeting the interim milestones you’ve set. I have really seen this work when I started running; getting up at 6am to run 5 miles is a lot easier to do when there’s someone waiting for you on the trail — it keeps you accountable.
I am looking forward to someone to be my “BUDDY”.
Now a days, I am passing through a very pleasant and a very surprised experience. My employers have sold their business and I am partly free and running my office routines from the comfort of my home i-e I am enjoying SOHO – small office, home office experience.
I have bought recently a used laptop – HP Elitebook 2530P, a really small executive book that I am enjoying doing all office work right from the top of my lap. Thanks to internet, I am using free google applications such as email, calendar, drive, todoist, wave accounting, zoho wiki, anymeeting to name a few.
Besides the above, I have time to surf the web, write this blog, thinking new projects (not yet decided) and many more things.
The experience is not bad at all or even boring because one can meet with friends online, exchange of emails, research an idea or even download cam version of Skyfall to watch lateron, might be tomorrow.
Internet is disrupting everything, be it socializing, business meetings, talking to someone far away, education etc. The pace of change is fast enough to catch up. In this new era of ubiquitous internet, all you need, is a laptop and a connection to internet. The world will be with you.
On the front of education two organizations among others are very impressive that are bringing vast changes to the methods of imparting education to masses. These are http://www.udacity.com/ and http://www.khanacademy.org/ .
We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, we’ve connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students in almost every country on Earth. Udacity was founded by three roboticists who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online for very low cost. A few weeks later, over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled in our first class, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.” The class was twice profiled by the New York Times and also by other news media. Now we’re a growing team of educators and engineers, on a mission to change the future of education.
Here you can learn more about udacity.
The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.
All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.
Here you can learn more about khanacademy.
This is a warning to for profit educational institutions to change before its too late.
It takes more than a big idea and a thorough business plan to start a new business. Most entrepreneurs aren’t quite sure what else it takes until they’re well underway, and many are shocked to discover important elements of startup success that they simply hadn’t considered at all.
But it is also of no use when you don’t have the basic knowledge about the business model. Fortunately, there is no dearth of such learning opportunities. Here are some
2. Venture Lab
The only solution to all our problems of economics is in entrepreneurship.
In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students…Plato?”
“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”
“Test of Three?” “That’s correct,” Socrates continued.
“Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say.
The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No,” the man replied, “actually I just heard about it.”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not.
Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness.
Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”
“No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?” The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really…”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The man accepted defeated and was ashamed and said no more, as
He was not one of our media anchors, who has never heard about Socrates
i choose among the entire world
is it fair of you
letting me be unhappy
my heart is a pen in your hand
it is all up to you
to write me happy or sad
i see only what you reveal
and live as you say.
all my feelings have the color
you desire to paint
from the beginning to the end
no one but you.
please make my future
better than the past
when you hide i change
to a godless person
and when you appear
i find my faith
don’t expect to find
any more in me
than what you give
don’t search for
hidden pockets because
i’ve shown you that
all i have is all you gave
– Poetic translation by Nader Khalili
“Rumi, Fountain of Fire”