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Messages - monsta666

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1
Marathon Man Newz / Re: A Rant On Ex-Pat Real Estate
« on: April 19, 2019, 10:50:39 AM »
If you want to sell then it is comes down to general common sense rules; namely making a sale is an investment decision and an investment decision relies on due diligence. At the end of the day when going into any deal it is a question of rate of return so you MUST forgo your own personal ego and find ways of obtaining reliable sources so you can make an informed decision. It should be noted that places like Costa Rica or other developing countries can have property values comparable to developed countries so it is prudent to do proper research. If you cannot be confident on trends or what the true value could be then I would suggest it is not worth investing in such properties.

If you are still set on getting a place in that country then you must consider if you like the country as a place of retirement or as a place to gain monthly cashflow from renting. If cashflow is the motive then you need consider if such income will make a difference to your bottom line particularly after retirement. Moreover if this asset is something you wish to pass on to your children then it is worth researching what inheritance laws are in the region and also whether your children are keen on using this as a source of income. If they want to live there in the future then you need to consider if other factors such as healthcare, amenities would make long-term visits a worthwhile endeavor after all they make like the place as a holiday but what separates a nice holiday from a long-term visit is what services the country can provide.

2
I don't think it is all that difficult to define middle-class. Middle-class would generally be something in the middle of a countries income distribution. I suppose something between 30th-70th percentile. Now that roughly equates to an income of between $35,000 and $90,000 if you go by the US census figures of 2014.  You can adjust the percentiles to a figure of your choice but the salary figures listed would not change a great deal. I am pretty confident your salary Eddie falls outside this range thus in my eyes I would consider you to be upper class. Going by those figures I would be classed as growing up in an upper class family. It is no big deal and should not be seen as a shameful thing.

There is a perception that if you part of the upper class then you are some sort of millionaire who owns a Ferrari, has a holiday home a yacht perhaps and can simply live the life of a millionaire. That is often not the case for many upper class people and on that point I would agree with you. However just because that point is true doesn't not make the term middle-class any more ambiguous. Middle-class to me is a simple terminology that simply reflects the fact your income is somewhat close to the national average. If your income is significantly below that mark you are working class and if considerably higher then you are upper class. I don't think there is a need for complex debate about what class is. People of the professional class (read doctors, lawyers, accountants) are in almost all countries part of the upper class. They are not big ballers but they do lead comfortable lifes at least from a financial perspective.

3
A 4th generation I7 is top of the line? 4th generation can't be much newer than a 4 year design at this point. Did the salesman forget to mention the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th generation I7's? Or i9's?

Maybe this is as good as it gets in the Optiplex series? As opposed to the Precision series?

To be honest real life performance difference between a 4th generation i7 and 9th generation i7 is marginal. This is especially true if you are not a heavy user using virtual machines, large extensive Photoshop editing etc. In my personal experience the biggest performance boost I got in the last 10 years was when I shifted from a regular HD to a SSD as my primary hard drive. The difference is night and day making stuff like new processors or RAM a secondary consideration. People are still in the mindset that Moore's law is alive and well and a PC made two years ago is well on the road to becoming obsolete. The reality is Moore's law - at least from processor end - is dead. If you bought a top of the line PC two years ago it is still more than good enough for everyone but the most demanding users.

4
You didn't estimate in the cost of the Monitor, it's the total system cost, not just the computer.

You can pick the same figure as somebody else if youwant to and think it's the best number.

RE

I thought you only bought a computer with no monitor. In that case if the monitor is 32 inch then I go for $700.

5
Intel now use i9 as their top of the line model for the Intel Core series. Also your spec sheet shows the i7 processor to be 4th generation, we are currently on the 9th generation so it is behind with the times. DDR4 is the RAM used for new computers but your spec says DDR3. Based on those facts I figure the computer would cost around $350-$400 but since those figures have already been taken then I will go with $500.

Monsta's WAG cost estimates
Processor = $200
RAM = $70
SSD = $50
Operating system = $100
Rest = $50

6
Marathon Man Newz / Re: Larry Elder On Racism In America
« on: March 06, 2019, 08:22:22 AM »
@ Eddie: Democrats like to talk like they are supportive of the working class but my questions remains: what policies or ideas have they actually seriously suggested of implementing? It is all well and good to talk a good game but when push comes to shove will they really act to implement any economic policies that could be described as real socialism? My suspicion, and I could be wrong, is any promises they make will be forgotten once in office. At this moment it seems like the Democrats are like Hollywood or Silicon Valley; they like to think of themselves as liberal and understanding but the reality is a lot of the mainstream Democrats of the ilk like Hilary Clinton are a lot closer to moderate Republicans of even recent yesteryear (although granted a moderate Republican is an endangered species these days). It is just, and this is just my opinion, the Democrats tend to be more sly with their true intention whereas the Republicans are brazen to the extent of being obnoxious. The Democrats talk about equal opportunities but in the end they will support the ruling class far more than working class.

I do think there could be change with the newer politicians who could harbour more left wing positions but it seems the Democrats will suffer a bit of an identity crisis not too dissimilar to the Labour party of England. The public on the whole, are not willing to buy into the more left wing ideas but despite that I do not think any of their policies are as left wing as say even the Republicans of the Nixon era. Now whilst I could agree that new minority populations could be more left-wing than the previous generations you do need to account that since the 80's the world has gone far to the right in terms of economic policies and with shifting baselines what "left" is today was firmly on the right 30-40 years ago.

I would argue that rather than a shift to an extreme right the sentiment expressed with these minorities is more towards the historic middle. For all the faults the millennial list over capitalism I think only the most extreme would say socialism is the better system. The Me Too movement which encapsulated this desire to the left never wanted inequality to disappear entirely, they just wanted it to reduce to a more tolerable level. They believe in capitalism but unlike the past do not feel Neo-liberal policies and free markets can deliver the best outcomes in all circumstances. There needs to be balance and that means implementing something that is closer to a mixed economy i.e. have vast majority of industries operate with free market principles but have a bigger social safety net and have certain crucial markets that are more regulated by government control to prevent the worst excesses of capitalism i.e. stop the various racketeers such as big pharmaceutical companies, military industrial complex etc.

7
Marathon Man Newz / Re: Larry Elder On Racism In America
« on: March 06, 2019, 03:19:18 AM »
There is a lot of talk about certain American politicians or demographic groups (usually millennial) harboring left-wing ideologies but the reality is America is more to the right than ever before. In my eyes the Democrats are centre right whilst Republians is far right. There is no center nevermind left-wing politics in the United States and to suggest otherwise will simply distort people's ideas of what left really means. To anyone that disagrees I would challenge you to name radical left wing economic policies that are seriously be pushed by any of the mainstream political parties in the US. On the whole the amount of government sponsored welfare for citizens, workers rights, consumer protection is lower in the United States than in Europe and it should be noted that Europe is still mainly a capitalistic economy and certainly not a socialist country. In reality even the most left wing countries in Europe (the Scandinavian countries) have a mixed economy which is something I would term center economic policies.

The main issues I have observed in the last few years is political discourse in the US has become increasingly toxic and this toxic discussion has come about due to a number of factors, namely people (and political parties by extension) have become increasingly dogmatic in their ideologies. I do think on both sides of the spectrum people have become overly sensitive to various issues. Other things that have contributed has been the internet and social media. These platforms have provided benefits by bringing people together but have had the unintended effect of radicalizing certain viewpoints by making fringe ideas seem more common than normal and by facilitating the ability to only associate with like minded individuals to the exclusion of all other groups/viewpoints. That leads people to become less tolerant of alternate viewpoints and therefore becoming less capable of reaching compromises and general consensus which is needed to form a healthy democracy.

8
Economics / Re: How Blockchain Will Rule Your World
« on: December 23, 2018, 05:52:55 AM »
I can see the appeal of blockchain or cryptocurrencies from an ideology standpoint: there is no/little government interference, the banks have no control and most important the currency is under no centralised control and is something shared among the people. However from a pragmatic point of view I don't see what are the benefits over a cryptocurrency as opposed to a regular cashless society. Sure with cryptocurrency there is a greater degree of anonymity but there are several mundane issues that need to be address by these currencies for them to take off for the average Joe.

Can these currencies be easily used to make payments? What if I get stiffed by the merchant and I want my money back? Who will protect me against identity theft or scams should someone gains access to my wallet? What controls are there for money laundering or tax evasion? Those common issues are usually covered by either the government or the banks. But those questions are largely on a personal level but what if I run a business? If I run a business I want to know that the currency I am dealing with is relatively stable because if it is not stable paying a loan or making a long-term investment becomes impractical. I mean if the value of the currency skyrockets by a factor of 10 or even two or three times how will I pay that loan? What is the point of investing if my cryptocurrency will simply double in value if it sits on my mattress for six months? This leads to the point that high deflation (a rapidly strengthening currency) is terrible for an economy. The only problem with cryptocurrencies is they are not cryptocurrencies at all but are treated as assets but I do not know what value they deliver by itself. They have no utility so it is hard to see why these currencies should rise. The value of them seems to be based entirely on market sentiment. The issue there is market sentiment is notoriously fickle.

9
Marathon Man Newz / Re: Stock Market Armageddon
« on: December 23, 2018, 05:39:20 AM »
Be careful with that homeless stat. If it comes from official government statistics just remember those numbers are often massaged to make the incumbents look better. It is ALWAYS prudent to ask how the government arrives at those figures and then consider the ways this method of data collection is flawed and fails to capture some subsection of the population it purports to cover (examples RE provided is things that are typically forgotten). I am not saying government statistics are wrong but they should not be taken as gospel either. Take them with a small (or large) pinch of salt and always remember they are always designed in a way that flatter the government either by under-reporting (bad things) or over-reporting (good things). 

10
Surly Newz / Re: Global GDP Still Propped Up By A Massive Amount Of Debt
« on: November 11, 2018, 06:17:28 AM »
The money system is no more robust than a car engine leaking oil kept running by adding more oil continually.


Or to use another metaphor: it's all smoke and mirrors.

True that however the point is these type of commentators have been predicting an imminent collapse within the "next two years" for the past 10 years so which is it? Is the system really that fragile or perhaps it is not as frail as they expected or they are wrong with their conclusions. If what you say doesn't happen after such a long time frame then there must be something that you have overlooked or got wrong. The ability to manipulate the system as you allude is definitely a valid reason but I also suspect the global economy is more robust than people are willing to admit. Don't get me wrong I do not believe business as usual will continue indefinitely. What is unsustainable must end at some point, it is just the tipping point needs to be something large like a breakup of the EU, peak oil, unexpected global major war, climate change etc. I don't think things will change through simple mismanagement which again is what these commentators are alluding too by mentioning the Reich government.

11
Surly Newz / Re: Global GDP Still Propped Up By A Massive Amount Of Debt
« on: November 11, 2018, 05:37:40 AM »
We've been waiting for wheelbarrows full of Weimar money since the Speedy Gonzalo Lira days, and it hasn't happened yet.
So which is it?

The economic/financial system is more robust that these commentators expected. Instead of acknowledging this mistake however these commentators continue to double down on what they say lest they have to admit on calling it wrong. What should be noted is why inflation of 3% is baked into economics. Inflation acts not only as a means of wealth distribution (in this regard it is generally more regressive than progressive) but it also acts as means of incentivizing people to invest and spend their money. If I keep my money in a savings account it will lose value but if I put it in on more high risk instrument such as stocks, bonds or real estate I can beat the odds and get a return. This incentive is what the government (and banks) want hence why it is here to stay. They want inflated markets and real estate because the primary beneficiaries to such a scenario are the rich and powerful.

To demonstrate why inflation is needed the best way to look at this is through the deflationary lens. What happens in a deflationary scenario? The value of your savings goes up in time. Sounds good? Problem is if this happens on a grand scale it means all options of buying/spending are deferred. Why spend now when I can spend more tomorrow? This attitude especially if it becomes ingrained as is the case in Japan means that you will get continual recessions. The other problem is with deflation is the value of your outstanding loans increases and guess what? The banks, governments, businesses (small and large) are experiencing historic highs when it comes to debt levels. Loans become unaffordable and you can easily tilt the economy to a huge credit crunch which would lead us to a repeat of 2008. As such the people in power want to stop a deflationary scenario at ALL COSTS hence they will prevent central banks from ever raising interest rates above the modest threshold of 3%.

12
Geopolitics / Re: Ted K's Prescription For Why and How To End BAU
« on: October 04, 2018, 11:59:10 AM »
Point one can be taken from a systems analysis which does state that complex systems are inherently unpredictable. This means that a controller of a system may have influence over a lever (or several if they are powerful) but as there are numerous feedback loops (both negative and positive) the overall effect will not be predictable. This is especially true for long-term effects. This unpredictability is true even before we even consider things such as breaking points which can induce sudden rapid changes in the behaviour of systems. Economic or politic systems follow the model of a complex system and are in many ways similar to human physiology which I am sure you are more familiar with than myself. In the case of the human body even the most enlightened physician would struggle to make an accurate diagnosis over the precise outcome of a long-term condition. They can only make vague general predictions.

As for point two societies tend to favour the ones that can utilise the most energy as more energy can lead to more production which is often used to further societies core objectives such as food provision, trade and self-defense. The places that can do this most effectively, even if only in the short-term, tend to dominate the other regions. Technology and political/economic ideologies are merely enablers in this process and the reason you can argue technology does seem to favour dominance is because it enables more energy and greater energetic efficiency in achieving societies goals. It is similar to saying how capitalism ultimately won against communism because capitalism allocates resources and energy more effectively so more products can be made. So really it boils down to energy consumption and which society can use it most effectively that wins out. Technology enables efficiency and more efficient societies tend to exert their dominance over time. This is how it seems that technology appears to create world dominance but it is underlying principles of energy production and efficiency that are the main drivers of this trend.

TL;DR? I agree with the points made in the article but draw my conclusions by coming at the issue from a different angle. Will agree with RE about making a blog piece.

13
Geopolitics / Re: 👮‍♂️ Why Police Kill So Often
« on: September 20, 2018, 07:06:30 PM »
Eddie I don't know why it is so difficult to understand that white people are granted certain advantages. Look at the boards of any major corporation and it will be dominated by white men. This is not some coincidence or due to the fact white men are the hardest workers in the planet. They come from a position of privilege so they get more opportunities for progression. All things being equal they tend to get the job over women or other ethnic minorities. Sure there are exceptions but quite often the exceptions are newsworthy because of the fact it does not commonly happen. Now saying all that one cannot diminish the success of a white person because having a high paying job is difficult regardless of what race or sex. But what can't be denied is that we do not live in a society where equal opportunities are afforded to all. People may have opinions on the matter and the overall trend is generally in the right direction but we are not even close to the point we can say society is fair. Yes some of the measures taken can seem unfair but I have a hard time imagining many scenarios where white people are at a disadvantage. It is far easier to find statistics that back the theory that minorities struggle to get higher paying jobs than the other way round which leads me to conclude that some of these stories are overblown.

Now another thing that has not been mentioned too much but is significant when it comes to white privilege is it does not operate simply on creating extra opportunities; it impacts your relationship with the police and criminal justice system. If you are black you are more likely to be arrested for the same crime and when sentenced the chances of being found guilty are greater1 and the terms served are more severe when you are black2. Plus even if after incarceration the chances of finding subsequent employment is lower if you are black. All these factors points towards racism being systemic in nature and since this can be proven with statistics is not a matter of opinion; it is a matter of fact which shows that race does matter.

14
Golden Oxen Newz / Re: Gold & Silver News - The Mighty Dollar
« on: August 28, 2018, 04:04:33 AM »
This is a chart of the Mighty dollar for the last 40 years that we hear so much about from the Dim.

The reserve currency of the world they think, The almighty buck. Note as well that this remarkable and almighty currency is being pictured primarily here against the Japanese Yen and Euro. Yet the Dim and detractors of Gold exclaim it's great might and status daily. Marvel along with them Dear readers at the world's reserve currency and don't piss your pants laughing.

The dollar maybe going down over 40 years but often it is a matter of relativity. Yes it has found itself more or less in parity against the major currencies and on a domestic level the spending power of the dollar has declined but how has the dollar performed when compared to other currencies? The big power and pull for the dollar comes from the fact it acts as a very good medium of exchange. If I have a US dollar it is not just good for using in the US but it can also act as a good currency in other countries particularly ones that are currently experiencing an economic crisis (the list of crisis ridden countries seems to grow on a yearly basis). When I go to Sudan later this year the US dollar is sought after and I can get a lot of local currency, considerably more than even two years ago. What can gold get me there? It is not easily exchangeable because demand is primarily centered on paper currencies and not commodities.

Besides that so there is the idea that having a stable currency is a good thing and for most modern economies having an economy with no inflation is NOT a good thing. The reason economists aim for an inflation rate of around 2% is it encourages people to invest their money into company stock/bonds, real estate investment etc. all of which will ultimately increase the rate of innovation. It also assists in reducing the income for legacy industries as it is hard to decrease wages outright. A theft through stealth if you will. A stable currency supply as many gold supporters advocates creates additional problems as it will result in the scenario of deflation. Deflation will happen because whilst the money supply is constant the number of goods and services will generally increase. This leads to costs across the board declining which may sound great for the average consumer but has the problem that debt becomes more expensive and people will stop spending because they are waiting for their money to gain more in value. This dynamic can easily result in the country falling into a deflationary trap (like Japan) that is hard to get out of and this trap can increase the risk of recessions occurring. In the worst case scenario this can even result in state bankruptcy.

In any case the claim that using gold or a gold based currency will lead to stable prices or stable economies sounds like a plausible theory but it is not supported by any evidence. If you look at the 19th century when gold backed currencies were at their most influential there was still major recessions, depressions and large currency fluctuations so it is not a panacea for the current economic woes. More important than that though is if the US didn't abandon the gold standard then the country would have gone bankrupt. No politician will want to lead their country into bankruptcy. In terms of popularity recessions are like kryptonite. It will kill any incumbent in power. Better to go to war and blame the economic woes on the war effort than to have an outright recession (wars tend to boost ratings for the current party in power).

15
Economics / Re: The “Gig Economy”
« on: August 28, 2018, 03:34:37 AM »
Are phones more expensive in America? I recently got the Samsung S9+ and it is the version with 256GB of storage. It cost me £190 ($265) upfront and meant me going on a two year plan that is £38 ($55) a month. Considering I was previously paying around £35 ($50) I thought the phone essentially cost me the upfront fee. Thing is though I personally see people coming into our bank asking to buy these iPhone X's with bank loans and if they are not accepted for a loan they get pissed and want to close their account. Some people will spend all their money (and then some) to get the latest phone and it explains why phones despite being a £1000 can sell a lot.

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