Archive for November 8, 2011

Lack of Money Circulation in a Society is Identical to Poverty

November 8, 2011 7 comments

OK, here is a question for readers-

Is there any difference between a ‘rich’ society where money does not circulate and a ‘poor’ one that lacks money?

Let me explain this with an example derived from the practice of medicine. If a person went into cardiogenic shock due to heart muscle damage after a large but initially survivable heart attack, is the person dying for lack of blood?

The correct answer is yes and no. While the effects of cardiogenic shock on the rest of the body are similar to those after a massive loss of blood, there is no significant reduction in the volume of blood after a massive heart attack. However its circulation and oxygenation-decarbonation are so severely disrupted that other organs in the body are functionally starved of blood, or more precisely what blood flow does for them.

Similarly an economic system with lots of ‘money’ but little to no flow of money is as poor as one without it. The value of money is linked to its ability to flow through a network of individuals thereby allowing economic activity. Without flow it is just a useless piece of metal, paper of magnetic state in a computer.


Why NIMBYism is Doomed

November 8, 2011 1 comment

NIMBYism has become a major socio-economic disease in the developed world within the last 30-40 odd years. As with many other social diseases, its arose from a good idea that has since been twisted beyond recognition by human greed and shortsightedness.

The idea that a person should have some say over what happens near their place of residence is fundamentally sound. NIMBYism was originally a response to the flagrant violations of all norms of land development which occurred in the post-WW2 america during the great rush to build suburbs. During the late 40s- mid 60s, large fortunes were made by falsely promising people suburban lifestyles and then overdeveloping the area without any consideration to the previous promises or residents.

However NIMBYism has since metamorphosed into something that bears little resemblance to its original form. It has been transformed by narcissism, abject stupidity, ego, activist boomer women, their whipped husbands and greed into something that is destructive to society in the long-term. While few people want to live next to a hog farm or oil refinery, micromanaging the types of households that can live in an area or blocking road construction because they may reduce the “value” of your stucco shitbox says a lot about the minds of those who engage in it.

Regardless of the reasons and worldviews driving such behavior, NIMBYism is based on the continued validity of two basic assumptions-

1. Home prices always go up.

2. The world is a steady state system.

The perceptive reader might realize that both 1. and 2. are either no longer true or were illusory to begin with. However the average suburban shrew and her whipped husband don’t care about whether their beliefs are based in reality. The sensations of ego, greed, conceit, pride, power are more than enough to overwhelm any ability to perceive reality or even its poor facsimile.

Over the years, pretty much every single reason behind NIMBYism has been slowly and painfully demolished. Living in an NIMBY-heavy community no longer gives you any of the supposed benefits of living in them, but leaves you with many conflicts, bylaws and ‘gotcha’ fines. The promise of social mobility to the upper-middle class and beyond is gone as are the stable well-paying jobs necessary to live in NIMBY-heavy areas.

Did I mention that aging and old white people with a self-righteous and delusional worldview are not fun to be around.

And then there are the effects of demographic changes, feminism, divorce laws and a host of other issues related to the number and size of family units. The ‘bust’ and the ‘echo’ generation are both smaller in absolute size than the boomers and thereby upset the scarcity calculus necessary to push up housing prices. Moreover the drop in rates of marriage, number of kids per woman, the generally poor stability of both marriages and jobs in combination with feminism-inspired laws make it much harder for men to be willing or capable of investing in preserving the conditions that led to the growth and consolidation of NIMBYism from the early-1970s to the mid-2000s.

The whipped man who religiously mows his lawn and ‘repairs’ his house to get away from his sexless marriage is getting older and older- as his ugly and bitchy wife.

Does that mean that NIMBYs are going to see the writing on the wall and act rationally? Hell, No! They have invested too much in building, expanding and preserving that delusion to just let go of it. I predict that they will stick with it till the bitter end. However given their advancing age, the upcoming failure of pension plans and their general likeability amongst the rest of the population- their end will arrive much faster than they had planned for.

But then again, it is not like the rest of us will miss their untimely demise.