Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Monday, 21 September 2009

Wall St Journal "Anti Lisbon"?

The only reason I can think of to vote YES is the chronic incompetence of Irish politicians. Maybe direct rule would be "better" .

So far the debate here has focused on everything other than the contents of the treaty. Both sides are making extraordinary claims regardless of evidence or even comment sense.

The arguments can be summarised as follows;

PRO: "If you vote NO we will be kicked out of Europe"

CON: "If you vote YES we will lose autonomy"

In effect, dammed if we do, dammed if we don't.

Meanwhile, the Wall St Journal has this to say;

Ireland sucked on the teat of EU regional aid for two and a half decades without discernible effect. By the mid-1980s, it was still a poor country by European standards, but it was also facing a budgetary and debt crisis. It was only when it started on a campaign of supply-side tax cuts slashing marginal rates along with capital gains and corporate income-tax rates that the economy took off.


Brussels always treated Ireland's fantastically successful tax policies with rank suspicion, accusing it throughout its boom years of "tax dumping" and "unfair tax competition." There are plenty of governments on the Continent, not least France's, that would love to rein in Ireland's ability to attract investment through supply-side tax policy. Handing Brussels greater potential power to influence Irish tax policy would be tantamount to surrendering the keys to Irish prosperity to Brussels for all time.


Friday, 18 September 2009

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Tragedy of the Commons

As all thoughts lead to Bankers these days I thought this article about the 'Tragedy of the Commons' explained (in part) why bankers, builders, politicians destroyed the country. Basically, the benefited enormously but only have to pay a fraction of the cost.

The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.

As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, "What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?" This utility has one negative and one positive component.

1) The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal. Since the herdsman receives all the proceeds from the sale of the additional animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.

2) The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative utility for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1.

Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another.... But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit--in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.

Cool way to open champaign

Sabering in the Garden with Kathryn Borel Jr. from Kathryn Borel on Vimeo.

Run on Virtual Bank

No doubt about it, it's a mad mad world ... all of them.

Early this summer, it came to light that a veteran EVE player (known only as "Ricdic") had embezzled —and then sold in the real world— over 200 billion ISK from Ebank, causing a run on the virtual financial institution. However, this was just the beginning of the problems for the player-owned bank. Recently installed Ebank Chairman Ray McCormack admitted that the bank had been mismanaged, and rules, safeguards, and controls were not enforced. As a result, it's been revealed that Ebank is 380 billion ISK poorer thanks to a number of defaulted loans. Because of the aforementioned mismanagement, it apparently took the bank's new officers a while to figure out just how far in the red their institution is.


Let Freedom Ka-Ching

The Colbert Report
Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

The Word - Let Freedom Ka-Ching

Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

We're #19

but the U.S. is 37.