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Somewhere

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  1. The proper way to think about reserves and treasury bonds is that they're both money. They are readily exchangeable for the other, the only difference being the interest rate paid. Not so, bond issuance isn't equivalent to an increase in the money supply. If I buy a bond, I'm forgoing the use of my money for a while so that the bond issuer can do something else with it. No increase in the money supply there; the bond is a temporary transfer of money from the bond buyer to the bond seller. The bond is a tradeable asset, certainly, but each time a bond is traded, the next buyer forgoes the use of their money until the maturity date of the bond or until they in turn sell the bond. Still no increase in the money supply. But when a government creates money to buy back a bond, that money is added to the money supply and it will tend to cause prices to rise.
  2. In reality, interest rates have very little to do with how much money enters the economic system. Loans are made when banks encounter ready and able borrowers Other things being equal, as interest rates fall there will be more ready and able borrowers, increasing the creation of credit. People will borrow more at lower interest rates than they do at high interest rates. Money has a downward sloping demand curve, like most other goods. More projects appear profitable at low interest rates than they do at high interest rates. As interest rates fall, assets with a fixed yield will be bid up using borrowed money.
  3. Somewhere

    Working moms happier than stay-at-home moms?

    The paper does say that it's only when there's a preschool child that working mothers tended to be happier; once the child reaches school age the effect goes away. The authors suggest that the effect could be due to social isolation, so it would be interesting to look at that specifically, because social isolation wasn't one of the things they were testing for and it may be that if you control for that, the picture looks very different. The non-employed mothers did also report worse health at all child ages; that's pretty vague so it's hard to know what to make of it. It might perhaps just be that spending most of your time at home is unhealthy for anyone unless you have a proper exercise plan.
  4. What part of what I said was wrong, and why? OK so that video is looking at wealth distribution rather than income distribution; the numbers are different. Again, the video ignores the age distribution of wealth. Wealth rises with age and young people in aggregate are always going to be, relatively speaking, extremely poor. The video also leaves out what has already been done to compensate for skewed wealth distribution, which in most developed countries is a great deal. State pensions ("Social Security" etc) are equivalent to six figure wealth, as are tenancies in public housing, which typically grant a lifelong entitlement to a property with a rent well below market, and which can typically be inherited. Also, if you take a global view, a lot of those "poor" Americans would suddenly look rather rich. Should they have their assets removed for redistribution too? After all, it's only fair.
  5. " I live in California and I can attest to the fact that there are a lot of manual labor jobs in agriculture, landscaping and construction, among others, that American-born whites simply don't want to do." Markets clear. If the pay is high enough, "discouraged workers" and others will come back into the market, and automation will be encouraged. There are plenty of people in the US with IQs appropriate for manual work. New Zealand is a good example of what happens when you have a merit-based immigration system; it's extremely expensive to employ somebody to, say, mow your lawn, and the statutory minimum wage in NZ must be about the highest in the world relative to living costs. New Zealand has a large, thriving and subsidy-free agricultural sector.
  6. Marlene Jaeckel would make a good guest. She's a friend of James Damore. Below is her unfortunate experience of bullying in "Women in IT" groups.
  7. Somewhere

    No where to Land

    It would be good to be more specific. That broad formulation is easy enough to falsify; unemployment rates are low, people with various levels of skill and education have jobs. But maybe we're talking about overproduction in higher education; for example rather few physics graduates actually end up working in physics, and that has always been the case. Or maybe it's something specific to you; finding a job is a very individual thing. What are your skills and education? Can you arrange work experience in the field you want, for example by volunteering? Whatever the universities would like you to think, skills in professional jobs are mostly learned on the job, not in a university classroom, so from an employer's point of view, recent graduates are typically low skilled.
  8. Young people tend to greatly overrate the significance of exam success in finding jobs. What an employer generally wants is somebody who can do the job, and for that, work experience counts for far more than exams. I work in IT with recent grads and my productivity is maybe 10 times higher than typical recent grads, and that's in tasks that they can actually do, because a lot of the things I do, they would not be able to do in any reasonable timeframe at all. A lot of firms will find it uneconomic to hire people like that. Even after 2-3 years of experience, they get to maybe 25-30% of my productivity. These are not stupid guys and they work for a well-known consulting firm. If they carry on with what they're doing, they will get there, but it takes time to become productive.
  9. Somewhere

    Should I get Vaccinated?

    I'm not a medic but my impression is that things are a bit more nuanced than the orthodox "vaccination is perfectly safe". While I've not seen good arguments against the standard vaccinations in developed countries, there are a number of vaccines (yellow fever, oral polio vaccine, anthrax come to mind) that seem to be on the borderline between doing more harm than good, depending on context. The execution of some third world vaccination programmes is brutal, ignoring the contraindications that would be taken into account in developed countries, and those contraindications are much more common in resource-poor environments, so it's quite possible that those programmes do kill a significant number of children, while saving others of course. In the specific case of the trials of the largely ineffective new malaria vaccine, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up killing more African children than they save; on the face of it, it's strange that those trials are going ahead.
  10. Somewhere

    Can information be Property?

    Another good book on the subject is Boldrin and Levine's "Against Intellectual Monopoly" although it mainly covers patents. http://www.micheleboldrin.com/research/aim.html You will learn about how Watt's patents held back the industrial revolution by decades, how his business flourished AFTER his patents expired, how Germany had a thriving pharma industry with no patents, how some Western countries did not adopt pharma patents till the 1970s, etc.
  11. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project was started in 2000 so a lot is known about the effects of institutional care versus family care in post-communist Romania. I've not read the detailed documentation but I'd expect that nutrition would be adequate in a controlled experiment on children. It's a project that was very influential in developing the "first 3 years are crucial" school of thought on parenting and child development, so it's likely to be the ultimate source for some of the ideas that Stefan discusses.
  12. Unfortunately, proper answers to questions like that do often require hours to days of patient desk research, following trails of citations from paper to paper, so your experience is not surprising. Having said that, the answer is likely to be found in material from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project. "When the researchers first visited Romania in the late 1990s, they saw teenagers the size of 8-year-olds, not because of poor nutrition, but because emotional and social deprivation inhibit growth." https://web.archive.org/web/20130309230946/http://www.childrenshospital.org/dream/spring2007/the_long_road_home.html Children adopted from East European orphanages do have very high levels of emotional disorders http://www.postadoptinfo.org/research/survey_results.php#table_11 The main effect found from the appalling conditions in these orphanages was substantial impairment of IQ. A followup study was planned and it will be interesting to know if the effect persists into adulthood when IQ stabilises. Something that's not well known to the general public is that there have been quite a few studies (I can supply refs if anyone cares) that have tried to reproduce these results for very low income countries where orphanages are common, but in the extreme conditions found in those countries, the studies were consistently unable to demonstrate benefits of being brought up in a family over being brought up in an institution. This hasn't stopped some authoritarian charities from implementing government-enforced programmes of orphanage closure, putting the welfare of seriously vulnerable children at risk. If you look at the Wikipedia "Orphanage" page, which is maintained by activists, you will see that there's a large number of citations of editorial from these activist charities and almost none of scientific papers, because in the lowest-income countries the science doesn't support what they're doing.
  13. Somewhere

    How can I be successful, despite my Low IQ?

    I work in IT but if I had been given a more modest IQ, I reckon I'd be happy as a plumber. Both occupations are fairly well paid, very useful and not too crowded a career choice in developed countries. There's been a suggestion in this thread of moving to a less developed country; that might work if it's something you want to do anyway, but there are disadvantages too. A big reason why many of these countries remain poor is that although they have many tiny subsistence-level family businesses and some very large businesses, there's far less in between than you would see in a developed economy. That's because any smallish business that's reasonably successful becomes the target for predators, and the business won't usually have the deep pockets and massive time commitment that are needed to fight the predators through a thoroughly corrupt legal and law enforcement system. For example, the local person you brought in to manage the business claims that he, not you, owns the business, and he produces fake receipts to "prove" that he, not you, bought all your equipment; to complicate things further, he produces a doctor's report claiming he suffered permanent injury as a result of you supposedly assaulting him. The police back him up because they have been bribed. Or, the local police or tax inspectors ask you to sign over the business under threat of prosecution for something or other.
  14. Jordan Peterson's Self Authoring Suite may be a good, low-cost preparation for therapy or even a substitute for it. It has been scientifically validated and there is some discussion on YouTube. The Future Authoring component in particular is very much about establishing motivation.
  15. Somewhere

    Is a degree worth it?

    Employers want to know that you can do the job. If a job requires no formal qualifications or licensing, it doesn't necessarily follow that just anybody can do it; not everybody can succeed at being a standup comedian, for example. So, if you have no work experience in the field, employers are going to fall back on degrees as some evidence of competence and conscientiousness, particularly if local minimum wage laws are high enough to make it uneconomic to take on, in effect, a trainee who, at least for a while may cost the organisation more than they deliver. Can you show them an impressive list of conflicts that you've resolved, maybe through volunteer work or freelancing? It's not my field at all but I'd guess that for some positions that might be enough. It might be good for you to find a mentor with a bit of imagination who knows the field well enough to suggest how you personally could enter it. In my own field I've acted as mentor for somebody who was assured by recruitment agencies that there was absolutely no way she could get a job without qualifications or experience, but by taking a particular approach, she did find a job, and with a good company too. Good luck!
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