Author Topic: New member  (Read 13162 times)

BruceM

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Re: New member
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2018, 06:31:10 AM »
Corporations are a marvelous legal fiction that function only to maximize profits for the shareholders.  It is their only reason for being. Why people think they are going to run things in a responsible manner boggles my mind. They seem incapable of reading or learning from history.

The US power industry pulled some real beauties in the US with a trumped up "crisis" for new power, and nuclear power plants that typically cost 2-4x the budget and schedule.  The recent smart meter thing was a classic-  to date there is not one single state or country where there is any data to show that they have saved any energy at all. In the US, it was a big taxpayer hand out to the power co.s.

Germany was one of the only countries who looked for the data and then said thanks but no thanks.


glort

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Re: New member
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2018, 10:18:11 AM »
Corporations are a marvelous legal fiction that function only to maximize profits for the shareholders.  It is their only reason for being. Why people think they are going to run things in a responsible manner boggles my mind.

Exactly what makes me laugh when people talk about " getting off fossil Fuels".  There will never be any wide spread alternative fuel allowed to  replace Fossil fuels UNLESS more money can be made by gubbermints and Corporation than what they make from oil.
The notion that they are concerned about clean air and the well being of the planet in 100 years is completely laughable.
As you say, they have one, single, sole agenda..... PROFIT.

All the rest about caring for anything at all other than that is just marketing to further their profitability.



Quote
  The recent smart meter thing was a classic-  to date there is not one single state or country where there is any data to show that they have saved any energy at all.


They are hell bent on rolling out smart arse meters here too.  The states where they have brought them in have proven what a fiasco they they are.
Same problems as the US and other places and even when they are a failure here, they keep installing them because they are profitable.

I have this over powering feeling I want to keep punching someone in the face when I see all this crap promoting them as saving the Homeowner money and making out the ability to check your power usage when you are out having dinner or on holidays is some advantage or even something a normal person would have an inkling to do in the first place.

It seems to me the way we are being screwed by big biz is fast accelerating.  Each little thing they force on us paves the way for another increment and very soon they start multiplying in magnitude till what would have been unthinkable only a few years earlier becomes the norm we all have to suffer.

The very premise that a power company would spend hundreds of millions installing new meters to save it's customers money and therefor lower it's own revenue, is so ridiculous it i a complete insult to a persons intelligence  yet so many people fall for it and think it really is being done for their good.
Many people have no clue what so ever into the corporate mentality or even understand the basics of business and how they operate.

NOTHING is ever done, especially when it costs major money UNLESS the entity doing it has paid millions in studies and calculations that show how much more profit they will make from said action.  Anyone that thinks it's being done to save them money and lower the entity's profits is a complete and utter moron.

BruceM

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Re: New member
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2018, 02:39:39 PM »
It does appear that the trust fund (Koch and friends here in the US) and corporate manipulation of our democracies is unstoppable.  I keep hoping that generation Z or whatever comes next will wake up and change things.  Tough to stop the steam roller when the average human electorate is so easily manipulated via media when hundreds million$ can be spent on a carefully researched and tested "message".  Our emotional buttons are all too easily pushed.

When I attended am AF graduate program at AFIT for R&D managers we learned that even with high risk- "cost plus" (profit) contracts we could get the behavior we wanted by assigning it a financial value... such as a 10% contract bonus based on rated quality of reporting and such things as  engineers only meetings (marketing and management exclusion).  If a profit is attached, it happens, and we were shown many AF and Navy projects where well structured contracts with incentives for desired behaviors had proven effective.  We  were also shown  examples of how it was done poorly, with ill considered and not well defined criteria. 

I think it might be possible to harness the incredible engine of corporations- but it would take a brilliant new set of regulations and incentives to make them focus on things that benefit society as a whole. For that we may have to wait for our benevolent AI overlord or some other unlikely miracle.  ::)




mikenash

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Re: New member
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2018, 05:51:18 PM »
A couple of interesting thoughts there, Bruce

The single biggest fragility here in our "system" is the deadly combination of a three-year electoral cycle and an absence of the cross-party support that is essential for longer-term projects: infrastructure, financial reform, social reform

Our current, slightly-left, pale-green government has begun some of the work needed to address our awful housing shortage.  It will take decades of determined work on several fronts:  Building more houses (private and state ownership), attacking profitable speculation, attacking slumlords, limiting overseas ownership, attacking land-banking, developing infrastructure to allow new builds where they are needed, simplifying complicated Resource Consent process to get things done faster . . .

Any one of these is a ten-year process before any real results will be seen.  But, since the government's majority is slender, and since all those processes detailed above will reduce income/assets of the ruling classes and threaten businesses, government is likely to get voted out at the next election before it even gathers a head of steam for the necessary work

Centre/right parties agree and understand (privately) that this work is necessary, but also know they won't get back in power if they support such policies - thus no-one in parliament has the balls to organise a long-term cross-party support for necessary reform

The phrase "captured by industry" comes to mind

I have been arguing for years for some kind of benevolent dictatorship.  Look at the things the Chinese get done without an opposition to answer to.  But look at the awful social, political and environmental fallouts of their actions.  "Effective dictatorship?" Yes.  "Benign?" No

Maybe Iain Banks and his vision of the future is right and we will have to wait for a Silicone Dictatorship . . .

I too am getting old and tired and increasingly look at the mess and say "Sorry, my days are done.  My children and grandchildren will have to deal with this"

BruceM

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Re: New member
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2018, 06:17:01 PM »
Lots of tough problems to sort out, and perhaps not too many decades before chaos; world fighting for food and water and massive relocations.  Regulatory and political leadership capture by industry is a going to be near impossible to change.

I also have a less dim view of China and her accomplishments than most Americans.  They remain the first and only country to acknowledge and do something about overpopulation, and no longer have large scale starvation.  Sad to see them ignoring the lessons of poor environmental regulation- as badly as any democracy.  I guess once the capitalistic genie is let out of the bottle that's what happens no matter the start.  I have no doubt that regulatory and legislative capture is well underway.

My father's family hails from the Isle of Mann, so I took a google earth/streets tour and was amazed that...it looked just like everywhere else.  I checked current home prices in US dollars and was astounded that they were so high...beyond the means of most working folks.  That seems to be going on everywhere.




mikenash

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Re: New member
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2018, 11:46:58 PM »
Hi there Bruce

I was in the Isle of Man 2007 for the 100th running of the TT motorcycle races - a great event; and a former girlfriend is from there - a race of tough, innovative folk

The Chinese?  While I acknowledge that their dictatorship "gets things done" (and that includes tackling the tough questions elected leaders shy away from), down here in the Pacific they are a real threat.  Their "soft diplomacy", their buying power compared to the GDP of small island nations (including ours), their willingness to play a "long game" spanning many decades to get what they want and their expansion of military power into the Pacific – all these make them a low-key but serious and quite immediate threat to the settled order here

To put that into perspective, however, their antics in the period since WW2 in, say, Tibet or the South China Sea, are no different from those of the US in any number of Central/South American countries, or of Russia in Crimea or the Ukraine, or Britain in Ireland . . .

Interesting times

BruceM

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Re: New member
« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2018, 12:00:33 AM »
It will be marvelous when the benevolent AI overlord disbands the world's militaries.  That might help people might start looking at the long game for us as a species instead of assuming the end is near. (Apocalyptic Prophesy is an all time favorite superstition.) 

I still remember the small, single story grade school nuclear bomb training of blackout curtains and huddling under our desks circa 1962 or 63.  That was a real morale builder. Without a basement we should have been training to kiss our asses good bye.







BruceM

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Re: New member
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2018, 04:24:44 PM »
I just stumbled into an article about New Zealand.  Your country was targeted by a financier named Kreigher, bankrolled by Banker's Trust corporation.  I can only imagine the total cost to Kiwis.

Andrew Krieger

Andrew Krieger joined Banker’s Trust in 1986 after leaving a position at Solomon Brothers. He acquired an immediate reputation as a successful trader, and the company rewarded him by increasing his capital limit to $700 million, significantly more than the standard $50 million limit. This bankroll put him in a perfect position to profit from the Oct. 19, 1987 crash known now as Black Monday.

(For further reading, see "How Forex Speculators Profited From Famous Currency Meltdowns.")

Krieger focused on the New Zealand dollar (NZD), which he believed was vulnerable to short selling as part of a worldwide panic in financial assets. He applied the extraordinary leverage of 400:1 to his already high trading limit, acquiring a short position bigger than the New Zealand money supply. As a result of this trade, he netted $300 million in profits for his employer. The following year, he left the company with $3 million in his pocket from the trade.

Read more: The Most Famous Forex Traders Ever https://www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/100515/these-are-most-famous-forex-traders-ever.asp#ixzz5M5ibRA6s
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mikenash

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Re: New member
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2018, 09:10:50 AM »
Hi Bruce

I have never heard of this guy and when I googled him I realised the story is about events of 30 years ago

I suspect the harm he did may have been to other traders rather than to the NZ economy?  Our Govt still issues bonds today to raise $$ by way of debt (our national debt is about 22% of our GDP of 200 billion-ish) and S&Ps have us on an AA rating I think.  We probably have 3.5%-ish growth - so we are boringly normal here

Our economy is healthy-ish but unimaginative

With our Clean Green image and old-fashioned, pasture-fed stock and easy-to-convert-to-organics styles of farming, we could be selling valuable niche, organic produce into high-end markets filled with health-obsessed and cashed-up consumers all around the First World

So what do we do?  We make milk into milk powder and sell it on the commodity market to China

Perhaps our woes are self-inflicted lol

BruceM

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Re: New member
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2018, 09:55:22 AM »
I'm glad the jerk who profited from tanking the NZ dollar didn't do lasting harm. 

Selling powdered milk has to be the bottom of the barrel. I went to high school in dairy country, many of my classmates milked before school.  In the early 70's, the small dairy farms where going broke rapidly, even with federal price supports. Within a few years those still afloat had gone to just raising beef and fodder for same.

mikenash

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Re: New member
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2018, 10:07:05 AM »
Things have changed since then, Bruce.  There's good money in milk - dairy land has rocketed in value to twice that of drystock.

It's just that dairy intensification is bad for the environment, and just selling our produce from what could be a pristine environment into the commodity market at the bottom of the food chain is a waste - we should be a lot further up the value-added chain

I don't feel there's a lasting future in just selling commodities.  What happens when someone else finds a way to produce it cheaper?  It's not smart thinking and we should be doing better but we chase the short term $$, as you do

Cheers

ajaffa1

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Re: New member
« Reply #56 on: July 24, 2018, 10:21:54 AM »
Hi Guys, I`m a bit late to the conversation but here in Australia some people make a living out of going to the supermarket and buying all the baby formula milk powder they can get. They then post it to China where there is a huge demand for quality baby formula. There was some scare with melamine contamination in their home grown product.
Perhaps NZ should be turning some of it`s wonderful produce into baby food and exporting it to China to feed the largest infant population on earth.

Bob

mikenash

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Re: New member
« Reply #57 on: July 25, 2018, 12:27:39 AM »


Yes indeed

 Our pseudo-monopoly dairy export company, Fonterra, "invested" 3/4 of a $NZ billion of farmer-share-holder $$ the year before last in a joint venture with a Chinese company called Beingmate to do just that - sell high-quality infant formula to all those quality-conscious Chinese Mums

To date they have written off about 90% of the "investment" but continue to throw good money after bad . . .

They may get it right eventually, as, as you say, the market is there

I'm watching with interest . . .

ajaffa1

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Re: New member
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2018, 12:09:44 PM »
I did say I thought New Zealand should do it. the moment you get greedy multinational conglomerates involved it`s only going to go south. good luck
Bob

sirpedrosa

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Re: New member
« Reply #59 on: August 03, 2018, 10:04:03 PM »
Hello everyone
As I am a new member, I think I should start with this topic.
I'll apologize right away for my written English, which has a lot of google translator.
My passion for Lister began a short time ago, when I restored my mother's irrigation engine, which she bought when I was born (50 years ago). A Bernard 18A who is now working again.
Now I'm looking for a Lister 12/2 of 1957, which has not worked for more than 25 years.
I need help getting the manual of this engine to start studying.
BR
sirpedrosa
Bernard 18A - 1968 (mama's water pump - year of my birth)
Petter PAZ1 - Jun 1967, 3HP, sn 416xxxx
Petter PAZ1 - Nov 1979, 3HP, sn 425xxxx