Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Breaking illusions

Here is the text used by my third interview with Mark Windows plus more detail.

3rd interview: Breaking illusions:

As a child growing up we start to discover many new ideas, mainly from politics. Fairness, redistribution of wealth, equality, all apparently good concepts designed to help people. The second stage, assuming we ever reach it, is to start applying these ideas and looking more closely into them, after which we may well discover they are not as clear as they seem, and quite often actually worse than the alternative. Redistribution of wealth means there is X amount of wealth, all owned in different amounts, and simply removed from those with the most, and not even given to the rest directly, but just goes to the government, just like the estate of a person without a will or family. No one wants that, so who would want better off people (who worked for it rather than stole it somehow) to simply hand over much of their capital for an unknown and unknowable fate, just to make the worse off people feel they may get something out of it.

For me the turning point was the black and white clearly wrong issue, when they planned bus lanes for my area in the 70s. As a teenager I hadn’t yet comprehended the lack of space in town, so imagined the buses getting their own new roads. When they arrived soon after I discovered all they did was take a lane from existing roads meaning there was less space for 95% of the traffic and a spare lane which was hardly ever used, causing jams from that day onwards wherever they are. Including buses, as most wait behind where they start while all the traffic comes to a halt moving over to the outside lane.

I have already dealt with low interest rates in my last interview, and will just remind people they help maybe a quarter of the population at best, as even the ones with mortgages pay more either when they buy their house as it will cost more, or when they sell it as the others will cost more, so they won’t save anything in the long run as everything they did will be lost through the directly connected price inflation. I will add as many as I can think of which use the single process of not accepting the wrapping on the surface but peeling it off to see the worms or worse underneath.

Credit cards are fairly definitive. The old saying, how many bankers own credit cards (answer, almost none) should speak for itself. If a retailer would not touch their own products with a bargepole (I’m guessing the same applies for the current trend of solar panels) then why would anyone else? There is no function for credit cards (the insurance they come with can be found on many other cards without borrowing money to get it), as if you have the money then you don’t need to borrow to buy things, and if you don’t then sooner or later you’ll almost certainly fall back and end up paying more interest or defaulting, and losing it all in costs. Before the first one people simply waited till they had the money before going shopping. There was and is hire purchase, which at least limits your impatience to a single item rather than an open door, and if it’s not a loan to make more money by selling a good deal on offer for a short period then you don’t need that either. That holiday or car can wait, and if you can’t afford it now then the added expenses of a car or holiday will roll up on top and you’ve already committed a hundred a month or something for three years out of the clearly little money you’ve got coming in. Why pay more for something today than save and buy it tomorrow anyway, is anything that vital for a one off, let alone a lifestyle?

Pyramid schemes, legal or not, are perfect examples of something even rich and famous actors lose thousands on, although there is only one version. The only difference is the size of the pyramid and amount put in, but a pyramid scheme of a typical 15 triangle (4,3,2,1) where four pay one and everyone else moves up means whenever the money runs out then 14 people lose for every winner. That’s the mathematical formula, so it’s the same as betting on two numbers in roulette, you’ve got a 1/18 or so chance of winning 18 times your stake, and put money in a pyramid scheme, and as all will run out of new people as each level multiplies the required number of new arrivals like rice grains on a chessboard, reaching trillions by the time you may get a payout, it’s a gamble not worth playing. Yet every new one still gets supposedly professional adults chucking their money away as they never wrote down the formula and worked out the chances of winning.

They also have some formulas which are so blatant it’s incredible most people still swallow them partly as they are too busy to look closely enough to see what’s being done. Affirmative action, otherwise known as positive discrimination, is one current policy forcing its way into the BBC and EU, making people employ 20% ethnic minorities as it represents British society, and a minimum number of female large company directors. This means they are not employing the best people for the job but forcing one out to make way for a token ethnic or female candidate, who ought to be as offended being taken on purely as they ticked a box, rather than because they would have got the job anyway. Police candidates are turned away as they’re only employing ethnic candidates till they reach their quota. How insulting is it to be ‘part of a quota’- “I got my job because I was part of a quote, but my qualifications weren’t really good enough”. That’s a real crowd pleaser isn’t it. And discrimination is pretty universal, you can’t discriminate who you discriminate against, or shouldn’t if you’ve accepted it as a principle, so as some wonk has decided Britain is 20% ethnic minorities and the BBC at least will have to reflect it, regardless of even the number of applicants, as with women directors the studies prove they simply don’t want to do it that much. But that means football and other sports ought to represent it as well. What’s that, they already do? Really? So if you were to take the entire football league and apply the BBC rule then you’d have to presumably hold back from taking on ethnic applicants till it represented society, surely if the formula is correct it must be applied equally to all? Or have I missed something?

I think the principle here is the most important thing to learn, and the examples can easily be extended to things like rationing and market manipulation, where instead of relying on a legally enforced free market, governments hold back commodities to keep prices up (since when were good prices a good idea, houses or otherwise?), or not let third world people eat or profit from their natural resources as their rulers keep it all for themselves or sell it abroad for profit, or don’t provide a system to import and distribute it? Therefore when the west ration and fiddle commodity prices as they look to the third world to imagine there can’t be enough of the basics we all need, the figures prove there was always more than enough but no one will either allow the average citizens to earn enough to buy it or even bother to sell it locally there as there’s more profit in the developed world. That is an insidious political policy which looks like they are conserving valuable resources by limiting their availability worldwide, but all they are really doing is imposing the same policies which cause third world famines and power cuts on their own people by restricting access to food, power and whatever else they say is running out at the moment, and people think they’re doing them a favour.

Equality is a related illusion. As I’ve said before, each life is equal, but every person is different and unique. So treat everyone equally but don’t expect them to run the same race without winners and losers, and as each career and life is different then few people are even in the same race, so each can win their own simply by fulfilling their potential and being persistent. Positive discrimination is one example of enforced equality, while comprehensive schools and high taxation are others, all solid socialist principles and all failing to improve the natural situation minus government interference. Try it for yourself. How many socialist politicians are millionaires, send their children to private schools and use accountants to save paying tax Tony Blair and family? Just like the credit cards, how many socialist rulers live the way they try to make you? Look some up if you don’t believe me, or read Toby Young’s story of his left wing millionaire father Lord Young spending many evenings with his millionaire socialist academic friends discussing ways to reduce the money of the wealthy while drinking expensive wine and driving home in their Rolls Royces. That’s how it works, the people promoting all these illusory policies would never apply them to themselves, who in sound mind would?

You can see this principle operate quite easily in sales pitches. Again, a good business sells things people need at a fair price, and if they do then they will thrive, as many like it do. But the many who don’t are using the same shortage mentality, as they believe there aren’t enough genuine customers for them so must create extra ones by cheating. Of course this is blatant fraud, but they do it and unless you learn the tricks they will work. Do we all need to go to what was apparently a long term legal mock auction in Oxford Street to learn how they work, or just learn from a single customer? The other scam businesses vary little, they all make claims they can’t fulfil, offer more than they can provide for less money, and inevitably you end up disappointed and down financially. Shell games are the same, all variations on the theme, if the dealer has two chances of winning and you have one mathematically then you must lose, even when they aren’t cheating as well by hiding the ball under a different shell when they lift it up.

The greatest illusion of the 21st century, despite the true performance figures being available, are wind and solar power. The industry manufacture them so know what they produce (eg most years the British farms produce 80% of their full capacity for a week a year, at 6-12 times the cost). Solar can’t convert enough watts for more than 10-15% of domestic use even in the Sahara and if anyone thinks they can store the paltry amounts they may build up on summer days when no one’s home for more than the odd night then sit down and do some sums. Not forgetting the short dark winter days when you need it the most. As for the random amounts produced by wind which can never change, combined with the maximum conversion power per turbine, is obvious they are a waste of space, money and resources. They can never improve or change as they can’t convert much more than double the current few watts, and become slightly cheaper but not compared to fossil fuel, ever. If in doubt then convert your local hospital to wind and solar and come back and tell me.

Quantitative easing, ‘putting money’ into the economy (so they tell you), is clearly an illusion, as how can the treatment for an ailing economy be providing more money which you clearly don’t have. Where exactly does this money come from, and if they’re rich enough to provide it then why is the economy in trouble? It doesn’t make sense now, does it? They call it ‘quantitative easing’ as it sounds far better than ‘currency inflation’, which is a lot closer, and simply forces up commodity prices making life more expensive for everyone except the sellers of the commodities. Who are far from the majority of course. If you even think about it for a moment, how can a government put so much real money into the economy when it needs it, because it hasn’t got it? It’s the same money of course, all they are doing is redividing the numbers to look better until it all blows up in the inevitable inflation as no more capital has ever appeared, exactly like shifting the money around in a pyramid scheme. All variations on the theme. If the government actually had the billions the papers tell you they put in the economy every year why don’t they just divide it equally and give it to each person directly? Unless and until they do then you know it’s not real money as it’s only the people who need it, not the banks and investment companies it actually goes to, and it doesn’t increase the economy as it makes everyone else poorer from low interest rates and high prices, so simply shifts the same money away from the people.

Hopefully you will get the idea from a few examples, and apply the bus lane formula to any other cheat you find in life, and spread the word. People ripping you off won’t advertise it, my last interview showed the government are actually as bad as any of the crooks, so they are at least as likely to do it and need watching for every policy. They have to make it look good, and massive corporations and governments alike have all the resources they need to provide a massive fa├žade for the hell they’ve provided behind it. The entire illusion of equality, wealth redistribution, renewables, low interest rates giving people more money (they don’t, it’s proved), are all either robbing Peter to pay Paul, putting people in positions they didn’t work for or deserve, telling you it’s raining when they’re peeing on your head, are all variations on a single theme. Taking a ripoff and making it look like it’s helping and you have to have it. Once your pocket’s been picked it’s an expensive lesson and too late to get it back, so learn the principle first and don’t let them near it.

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