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No. of Recommendations: 13
From Fox News, no less:
https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/gamestop-amc-economy-rigged-...
Summary: the government has been systemically favoring big business over small business.

But that triggered this thought:
If you step back from the attention-grabbing headlines designed to appeal to your brain stems ("Woke culture cancels X!", "Trump <anything>!" etc) it does seem like something funny has been going on for the last 40 years, a complete virtualization of life.
First, instead of manufacturing things, the economy shifted to providing services to each other. Then, financials moving money around (with a little bit sticking to their fingers in every move) became more valuable than businesses providing goods and services. AT least money directly represents valuable goods and services and can be exchanged easily for them. Then online businesses (commonly called tech, but really, Amazon, Uber etc are not tech so much as online avatars of old businesses), whose value lies in not real money but in intangible electronic data that could one day be worth a lot of money, so we think. And finally it's NOTHING. AMC, GME, BitCoin etc have little to no intrinsic value, will never generate cash flows for their owners that equal their current prices (adjusted for risk and inflation etc), but are worth $X because everyone says they are worth $X.

Maybe it is the culmination of capitalism itself, which replaced nature with machines; before which agriculture had replaced hunting-gathering and so on; each step in human "progress" representing getting further and further away from natural and more and more into artificial.

Sorry, I have to go put my "the end is nigh" sandwich board on.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
This madness will continue until the people who produce real things that people need (food, minerals, manufactured goods) demand REAL payment instead of imaginary payment and mounting debt. Services ride on real goods -- there are no services without a real base of the economy.

Wendy (I have been saying since 1980 that there is no such thing as a "post-industrial society." There are only very, very patient creditors who will eventually run out of patience.)
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Summary: the government has been systemically favoring big business over small business.

Skimmed over the snip and the article. Sounds like what I have been saying, and outlined in "Rant #37" some 15 years ago. The implications of what I heard Jack Kemp say all those years ago? If you accept his argument that the rich are entitled to all the money, it follows that, once the mob has been robbed blind, you rob the bottom rung of the "JCs" the owners of independent diners and heating and cooling companies, that work like a dog 80hrs/wk with maybe 3 staff. Also implicit that when bribery of elected officials is officially legal, the parties that can afford to pay the largest bribes are the ones who get what they want.

....or maybe I wrote that article under an assumed name...my family has a record of doing things under assumed names.

Steve
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No. of Recommendations: 0
It is the Dutch tulip craze all over. Flower bulbs worth 10's of thousands of guilders just because people said they were, and then they weren't!
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Wendy,
do you think this virtualization - elevating easier over harder - is correlated with falling interest rates for the last 40 years? It is hard to grow demand AND supply for physical things, a little easier for services, much easier for money, very much easier for data, and super-easy for worthless junk like NFTs! Prices are set by demand and supply, but also by creating the demand/supply where none existed before so now the market makers can create an imbalance.
Investors have to chase riskier and riskier assets if they want any returns, what is more speculative, bitcoin or a boring old industrial company stock?
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It is the Dutch tulip craze all over. Flower bulbs worth 10's of thousands of guilders just because people said they were, and then they weren't!

It is the cryptocurrency craze all over. Cryptocurrency worth 10's of thousands of dollars just because people say they are, and then they aren't!

Desert (not with an 11 foot pole) Dave
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Amazon is not tech? Really?Much of Amazon's value is due bringing cloud computing into the mainstream via AWS.

Cloud computing brings tangible benefits to everyday people. Why, imagine if there had been no Zoom running on cloud-native architecture during the heart of the pandemic, able to instantly able to scale up. We'd all have been cursing at glitchy VC services groaning under the demand.

No, I think what's happening here is more a case of people forgetting or not realising how technology benefits us.

(I don't apologise for bitcoin though.)
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... what is more speculative, bitcoin or a boring old industrial company stock?

bitcoin! BITCOIN! BITCOIN!

Desert (wondering if the guy selling tulips will accept bitcoins) Dave
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Amazon is currently more of a service provider. They give you a place to shop, a place to store your data
a place to stream videos and are doing it with tech supply by chipmakers, and server builders, and etc., Even Jim Cramer on CNBC Friday said Amazon is not a true tech company.
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Quite a bit of the real things that people need (food, minerals, manufactured goods come from overseas or south of the border. Domestic products a too expensive for many folks.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Amazon is not tech? Really?Much of Amazon's value is due bringing cloud computing into the mainstream via AWS.

Cloud computing brings tangible benefits to everyday people. Why, imagine if there had been no Zoom running on cloud-native architecture during the heart of the pandemic, able to instantly able to scale up. We'd all have been cursing at glitchy VC services groaning under the demand.

No, I think what's happening here is more a case of people forgetting or not realising how technology benefits us.

(I don't apologise for bitcoin though.)


AWS is tech for sure, I meant the most recognizable part of Amazon, i.e. retail. Maybe eBay / Overstock would have been a better example.

Separately:

The pandemic actually exposed how mych we value virtual over physical. The white collar workers went to work on Zoom from the comfort of their own homes, no more commuting! In the meanwhile, grocery workers were dying from Covid spread by maskless idiots and Amazon warehouse workers were peeing in bottles. Because you can't distribute milk and toilet paper over Zoom. Technology (by which I mean the electronic screen kind - Zoom, Netflix, Google, cellphone apps) has its limits.
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No. of Recommendations: 7
It looks like cryptocurrencies with no intrinsic value are not the end of possibilities:


An Italian Artist Auctioned Off an ‘Invisible Sculpture’ for $18,300. It’s Made Literally of Nothing

“It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination,” Salvatore Garau said of his sculpture.



The artwork nevertheless comes with precise instructions on how it may be presented. I am just so glad that for once, a European is in front of the latest trend.


Indeed, many people on the internet seem to be having trouble tapping into that power. “So you really just taped a square and called that a sculpture?” reads the most-liked comment on the video page. ...

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/italian-artist-auctioned-o...
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

It looks like cryptocurrencies with no intrinsic value are not the end of possibilities:


I just want to know who bought it?

I have several more he can get at a far more meaningful price than that?

Nobody has contacted me yet about the Black with Gold trim DT mug I'm asking US$30,000 for? I've been told it is one of a kind bought in Vegas at a trade show when my daughter got stuck there in a snow storm and I got stuck with her spoiled dog. I kept thinking the dumb mutt had to go toilet, he just wanted to run through snow banks at 0230 ... five times. Perhaps if I double the price people will recognize it's real value?
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Did the lord say machines ought to take the place of living, then what’s the substitute for bread and beans, I ain’t seen it. Do engines get rewarded for their steam…

John Henry, as sung by Johnny Cash
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Did the lord say machines ought to take the place of living, ...


I often wonder who came up with the idea to invent "the lord" to justify human's more egregious nastiness to each other? We then had the Priest and the Prince cabals who needed each other to keep the unwashed masses in their place while justifying each others positions. Of course in many countries the Politicians took the place of the Princes but the Priests in a variety of forms continue to this day ... though a fair bit of tawdriness is making it seriously difficult for them?

Happy Father's Day to the Father's, your reward for doing a good job is hopefully grand kids. 🥳

To add some METaR I Watched a great Utube last night on low fertility rates in wealthy nations causing serious demographic problems (population aging leading to high taxation on young workers) and what can be done about it. We Canucks actually got very high marks for our high immigration rates ... probably wouldn't work everywhere? The average age of our immigrants is seven years younger than the average Canadian worker.

Tim
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Perhaps if I double the price people will recognize it's real value?

Tim,

I think universities recognized that strategy a long time ago. And also to limit admissions.

So tell people you'll only accept a limited number of bids on your mug, and they must be postmarked by June 25th. Rebrand it as the only signed Sub-Hunter edition, not to be reissued.
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So tell people you'll only accept a limited number of bids on your mug, and they must be postmarked by June 25th. Rebrand it as the only signed Sub-Hunter edition, not to be reissued.

Chuckle, when she handed it to me with a smirk on her face I told her that if I had a gun I'd use it for target practice!

So she got me this for Xmas!

https://www.amazon.ca/Goodnight-Trump-Erich-Golan-Origen/dp/...


I'm afraid she has a lot of her Dad in her, I'd never get away with denying she was mine. 😏

Tim
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No. of Recommendations: 12
... causing serious demographic problems (population aging leading to high taxation on young workers)

As offered before, as productivity and GDP has been rising for forty years, while the workers don't enjoy the rewards of their increased productivity, SS and Medicare should be funded by a tax on GDP, like a VAT, so the benefits geezers worked for are not dependent on a shrinking number of burger flippers.

Steve
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No. of Recommendations: 3
cryptocurrencies with no intrinsic value are not the end of possibilities:

Not at all! However, I see invisible art as in the same too rich and obsessed with status public good as the gorgeous vomitoriums and vomited food the Roman upper classes found attractive.


David fb
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gorgeous vomitoriums

In trying to imagine an image of this oxymoronic phrase, what comes to mind is a well-appointed Commons Room within an Ivy League fraternity.

;)

Pete
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I see invisible art as in the same too rich and obsessed with status public good as the gorgeous vomitoriums and vomited food the Roman upper classes found attractive.


I've read this sentence several times--and while it might be the greatest metaphor ever made--I still can't wrap my head around it.
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An Italian Artist Auctioned Off an ‘Invisible Sculpture’ for $18,300. It’s Made Literally of Nothing

That’s reminiscent of John Cage’s 4’33” - a musical composition consisting of silence by the performer and instruction to listen to the ambient sounds around you.

-Peter

PS I tried to use that for my freshman recital in college, but it was vetoed by my instructor. He felt is should only be performed on piano, and I was majoring on clarinet.
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I see invisible art as in the same too rich and obsessed with status public good as the gorgeous vomitoriums


Ah thanks for bringing back fond(?) memories from my Latin classes ages ago. I guess in the latter case one could argue they supported Romans being able to enjoy many times the quantity of physical food in one "sitting" as humanly possible otherwise. In the former case the "pleasure" is purely virtual. Debaucheries are subject to fashion trends perhaps...
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