Inflation

Governments collude with central banks to create inflation.

The reason they do this is because governments are the biggest borrowers of money, and inflation helps them in that the value of debt declines as a function of inflation.

The mechanism is: politicians make promises to voters. These promises involve spending money which governments – because they produce nothing themselves – must either raise through taxes or debt. Because taxing voters to give them back stuff doesn’t make sense, borrowing does…except for those pesky interest payments, which, again, must be paid from taxes or borrowed money.

The way to reduce the “nut”, the borrowed amount is to increase the nominal value of whatever the government “owns”. In this way, the numbers on the total debt remain the same, but the numbers representing the “value” of assets increases.

Downsides being what they are, someone has to pay the price. Inflation kills those who own debt, namely savers…those who eschew debt and plan to look after their own beeswax without governmental “help”.

Right now, you and I are being killed. By our own governments. Because they are ALL doing whatever they can to raise inflation. Because they are ALL borrowing and/or printing money as fast as they can.

Who Is That New Woman?

A Better PersonNobody wants to be the newbie.

In any organization, in any group, if you are the most recent arrival, the existing dynamic changes. You change the dynamic. By your presence, the level of the pond alters, the color of the water shifts and the temperature differs. We use the metaphor of “not wanting to make waves” but that’s an empty hope. Just being there creates newness.

Anyone who has ever been the new person knows this, and, unless you’re an unrepentant attention-seeker, explains why most of us stick with what we know. Having been through the assessment period of your new peers, we want to avoid the inevitable acculturation, no matter how well-intentioned the existing members. It’s painful to explain your story again, to justify yourself again, to demonstrate your worth again – why can’t people leave us be?

The foundation of this unwillingness to be new is fear. We’re fearful of them not accepting us, of them not agreeing with the stories about ourselves we have told ourselves. This group who doesn’t really know me can’t judge me…they don’t know what I’ve been through!

But let’s turn this upside-down. If you have the confidence in yourself to face the world head-on, you should have the self-assurance to present that person to anyone. We all need to know just exactly how we fit into the world – we are all rankers to one degree or another – and so obtaining feedback from new peers gives us useful information.

And here’s the important point: if you are not delusional, then you will find that people will soon enough communicate to¬† you that you are who you think you are. And then we can all get on with our job or even start to excel. Being the newbie is a chance to sing, if only you look at it that way.

It is also the only way to find your tribe.

Cartoon credit to Conde Nast and the New Yorker.

Craigslist

Craigslist has been a part of our lives for years now. I have used it to both buy and sell stuff. It’s…quaint in that it is an online version of those classified ads newspapers ran for decades.

Indeed, in the eighties and nineties, the Sydney Morning Herald’s editor once memorably referred to the classified advertising in that newspaper as his “rivers of gold” so profitable were they. All gone now, buddy.

The whiff of olde worlde dust hangs over CL. And, dare I add, there’s not a little fragrance of sleaze, too. It has no competition, which is always a bad thing, because it means there’s no incentive to improve. Staleness has set in.

My question is why I cannot post up on a local website the second-hand items I am looking for – or services or whatever – and have sellers find me. Here I am, with money and a need, and I have to go find these things. Why aren’t vendors doing all they can to woo me?

Just wondering.

Survival

South of Adelaide lies the Fleurieu Peninsula, a fertile, undulating place of mild climate and lonely roads, rising no more than 800 feet above the sea. It juts out like a witch’s chin, pointing south-west towards Kangaroo Island. The peninsula has around sixty or seventy miles of coastline along the Gulf St Vincent and the Southern Ocean. There are sandy beaches, but it is mostly a jumble of rocky outcrops, bluffs, cliffs, coves, estuaries and windswept valleys. There is some development, but inaccessibility foils much human effort at such things. It is a beautiful, wild, raw kind of place.

I spent a lot of time there as a child. We lived at the beach near the city, but for vacations we went to other beaches. Oftentimes we went south, to the Fleurieu. Over many summers and school field trips, you learn a thing or two about nature, and the nature of life in water and near it. As a place to discover such things, there are few peers.

For a while, the life that lay beneath rocks near the water fascinated me. There are many tessellated outcrops between Adelaide and Cape Jervis, replete with tidal pools, corals and all kinds of life. I loved the crabs that live in this semi-sea, semi-land environment. Nothing made me happier than overturning a shoebox-sized rock to note the crabs living underneath. They scuttled away, but I caught them, sometimes paying for it with nips.

How did they squish themselves into such small spaces? Did they grow into big crabs or stay palm-sized? (Child’s palm-sized!) What did they eat? What did they do when the tide came in and covered their house in seawater?

~*^*~

We live in a time when the tide is coming toward us. We are living under a rock for the moment, more-or-less dry, more-or-less happy, kinda doing okay. But I fear that we will need to quickly adapt when the sea truly begins to roll in, as it will. That is the lesson from those afternoons spent fooling about in rockpools – some crabs survive, others don’t.

Which will you be?