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About Drew

  • Birthday 12/30/1977


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Well-Actually War Trall

Well-Actually War Trall (13/17)

  1. The way I see it: "Supply side" economics as a theory doesn't hold up. A national economy is kind of like an enormous confidence game that depends on everyone continuing to play in order to work. The trouble comes from some competing interests. Firms want to maximize profits while minimizing costs, a large part of which is often labor. Nevertheless, a majority of firms directly or indirectly depend on consumers to pay them for their goods and services. In other words, no one wants to pay the people they nevertheless expect to purchase their products. The rational ideal is to get someone else to do so. At the same time, a national economy that has an international trade deficit is essentially running a slow leak of funds within its system. Funds from within the national economy spent on goods from outside the country are funds not recaptured by the laborers/consumers expected to continue spending and supporting that national economy. Even if these funds are recaptured by native owners of corporations importing these goods to the national economy, the goods and services purchased were often produced at a greatly reduced price in labor, which applies downward pressure on rates of labor compensation within the US. All of these effects increase wealth disparity between the poor and "middle" classes, a.k.a. the labor classes, and the wealthy, or "ownership" class. As this disparity increases, those at the lower end of the wealth spectrum, whose spending is nevertheless depended upon to keep the game going, are increasingly unable to do so. They can take out credit for a while, but in the end, find themselves at the end of the line, and the game comes close to screeching to a halt. People need to keep the game going to eat, though, which is the rub. There are a few things that can be done; the "winners" can reinvest their capital in the game, hire workers, toss the dice again, and keep it going. As I identified above though, the rational decision is to avoid doing so where possible, and why should they? They have the wealth they "need". The alternative is that the government, a.k.a. arbiter of the rules, can re-appropriate funds through taxation and apply them through services to keep the economy humming along, either through social welfare programs or strategic investment (sometimes directly as employment for purposes of constructing infratructure). Keynesian theory suggests that a government can do this anyway while running a deficit because revenues generated and the relative level of prosperity when the economy is healthy outweigh the short term costs. So, to the extent that the deficit matters (which I would argue it really doesn't right now), it's a little flummoxing that the government isn't taxing them as can afford it and aren't reinvesting (for rational reasons). From a moral standpoint, I feel like we worked out a financing deal back in '01 to buy two wars and Medicare Part D with no money down and no payment until December '10, and now we're reneging on that. The taxes shouldn't increase because funding is needed going forward; the taxes should increase because the country made irresponsible purchases in the last 10 years without the means to pay for them, and owes. I think the past 20 years have demonstrated that rates of taxation both before and after the Bush tax cuts went into effect have very little effect on the success of the national economy. The US nevertheless has a substantive debt. The adult thing to do is to pay for what you've purchased. The selfish, childish thing to do is to try having your cake and eating it, too.
  2. Lawyering is okay. I think I would prefer being a plumber.
  3. True chaotic neutrals wouldn't last long enough to make it to a career of adventuring.
  4. 1. What is your name? Drew 2. How old are you? 32 3. Where do you live? Falls Church, VA 4. What is your favorite color? Blue 5. How many phones do you own? I license 2 lines. I own or co-own 3. 7. Wait, what happened to question six? Code Monkeys 8. Someone has just loaned you a time machine that can take you to any location on the planet during any time period. Where/when do you go? 2080 to find out what happens during my lifetime. 9. If you were forced to change your PDN to something completely unrelated to its current form and your original username, what would it be? Probably something related to a WoW toon or two. 10. If you could transform at will into any living animal, what animal would it be? Probably an albatross. 11. It's ninja sliths versus pirate nephilim. Who should win? Ninja sliths Fun fact: Dikiyoba has been working on this thread on and off for over three years.
  5. Drew


    Originally Posted By: Ephesos I am so glad we turned image posting back on. I shudder in remembrance of why it was turned off.
  6. A long time, for sure. Too much WoW.
  7. It's been quite a while. Originally Posted By: Terror is tentacles that smirk. China Miéville writes books that are weird. New Weird, actually, but more fantasy than anything else for his Bas-Lag books. Pick up Perdido Street Station and you will get something urban, gritty, sometimes surreal, and quite unlike other fantasy. Also the protagonist is a mad scientist. Glen Cook is somehow overlooked for not one but two extremely long series. The Black Company books, really a trilogy plus a coda plus another sequel series, did a lot to create the genre of military fantasy. They're gritty in the best of ways. Garrett, P.I. is the story (or stories) of an urban, hard-boiled gumshoe in a sort of urban, quasi-medieval fantasy setting. If you like Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe and fantasy, this is for you. If you like detectives, humor, and fantasy generally, this is for you. I heartily recommend both of these authors. Perdido Street Station languishes at times, but it's fantastic in the best senses of the word. Glen Cook's series is fun, and much better than Steven Erikson's books, where events seem to happen and his main characters become uber-powerful just 'cause.
  8. Finished reading the George R.R. Martin books so far in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series a while back, which although pretty solid, fell into the cliched poor-sex-scene trap that so many otherwise solid fantasy novels fall into (GRRM has just *a bit* of a breast fixation). Recently finished "His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik, which was okay (unfortunately though I've heard the subsequent novels are much worse) and "Gentlemen of the Road" by Michael Chabon, which was very fun and cleverly written, if brief. Working now on "The Yiddish Policemen's Union," which is taking some warming up to, though I like the alternative historical concept involved.
  9. I've been reading "A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin, and loving every minute of it. I'm very excited for the other two books in the series. EDIT: err, three books, with more forthcoming.
  10. Worst high school read for me was Wuthering Heights in 10th grade, without doubt.
  11. Les Miserables, though my favorite book ever, seems a strange choice for an AP English class. What's next? The Brothers K?
  12. I read "Sword," but found the writing to be abysmal. Thinking I'd give him another shot, I tried "Elfstones" (I think - that's the one with the dying tree, right?), read the first couple of chapters, made a prediction on the ending, verified that I was correct, and that's the last attention I've paid to Terry Brooks' works. If the payoff isn't that great or is pretty obvious, the getting there should at least be worth it, and I found that it wasn't in his writing.
  13. It's come up before in related threads, but I think you'll find that "Dune" doesn't age very well. Just as you have come to spot the religious indoctrination points you missed in "The Chronicals of Narnia," I think you'll find that having learned a lot more about the political complexities involved in how the world works, the author's presentation in "Dune" is hopelessly simplistic.
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