Reeading on Easter Morning

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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by yogi »

Apparently Microsoft is planning to launch subscription based virtual Windows machines this summer in the July-August time frame. The article I read wasn't clear about who would be the target of this product, but the VM's are all in the Azure Cloud that Microsoft operates. It seems that would be out of reach for the average home computer user, but it can be a precursor of things to come. The idea of enterprises not needing to buy computers because they can rent virtually anything thy want is intriguing. I suppose the success of it all will hinge on how much cheaper it is to run VM's compared to supporting real world hardware and software.

Each virtual machine is unique onto itself. That is the precise reason why I adopted the strategy of investigating Linux using VirtualBox before I put it anywhere else. The confusion over everybody and their cousin calling their Linux brainchild "Ubuntu" wasn't a problem for VM's because those systems are stand alone. You never see Grub, for example, because there is only one choice. That is also the reason why Linux VM's were stuck in the MBR mode for so long and ignored EFI. With only one OS to deal with it didn't much matter how it was booted.

When Microsoft decided to abandon MBR booting going forward from Windows 8, the long ignored problem of dual booting began taking on a greater importance. Apparently Linux developers figured there would never be a need to dual/multi boot because what they were inventing would take over the world. Well, it didn't work out that way and after Microsoft's switch to EFI people STILL wanted to use Windows and Linux on the same machine. In today's world Microsoft and Linux have become the most unlikely pair of bedfellows. Microsoft is now capable to of running Linux as an app instead of as a VM. This is the answer to Linux's invention of WINE, which also is not a VM but rather a subsystem built into the kernel. And, yes, the rumors are true: Microsoft is collaborating with the Linux Foundation to come up with a new Linux-like kernel. So, with all this lovey-dovey interoperability going on, it suddenly dawned on Linux developers that maybe it would be a good idea to not assume Windows (and its bootmanager) does not exist. To my chagrin not all Linux distros think along those lines and I am using virtual machines to vet out the quirks in the Linux experiments I perform.


As far as building codes go, you have a lot more insight into them than I do. Other people who do renovation and remodeling have told me about building codes being a commodity. The national code seems to be more of a guideline than anything else. It must be like the constitution of the United States where all the states have different versions of it but still follow the main points. Looking back on it all I'm happy that I ended up in an electronics career where the rules of physics never changed. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by Kellemora »

Sorta like the old days of bootable ROMs for a networked business.
These tiny computers mounted on the backs of the monitors used by doctors offices and some businesses work in much the same way. They are designed to connect to the on-line server at HQ, or on-site.
A few are just robust enough to have a Windows OS on them, but it is very limited. That is, unless it just looks like Windows so the users do not become uncomfortable with it if they back out of the main program.

From what I've heard, the specialized little boxes cannot be changed from what is on them.
You couldn't install another OS, or even a full-version of a Windows OS.
They only have in them what they need to work for the purpose intended and nothing more.

Every time I get a chance to get out of the house, if I'm around anything that has something to do with computing, I'm often surprised at how they are doing things. Seems it doesn't matter anymore what you use to connect to the company, and all the software for everything is on the company servers. Your own device don't need much in the way of memory either. It is more like doing everything using a browser connected to the office, and everything, all the programs and work are done on the company computers, not on your device.

Nearly every county requires you to be licensed in their country, from their rule books in order to use your license in that county. And in some cases, individual cities also require an endorsement. Kirkwood is like that! Just because I have a Saint Louis County license, don't mean I can work in Kirkwood, without their endorsement, which of course is a test and a FEE.
Other towns also wanted to collect a fee to work in them, like Ballwin, Creve Coeur, and several others.
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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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I am probably more mobile than you are, but I know much less about what businesses are doing with their computers. When we bought a car from CarMax recently their computers were Windows based. I didn't ask, but it sure as heck did NOT look like Windows 10. It most likely was Windows 7. Closing the deal was all electronic. As you can imagine there were dozens of pieces of paper associated with buying the new car, selling the old car, and getting a title transferred. We sat at a desk with two monitors that displayed the same information. Thus we could see everything that was happening on the computer. This was necessary for disclosure purposes, but they went one step further. The used a function in Adobe Reader that provides electronic signatures. This involved them sending a message to my clever phone wherein a link to the Adobe website was included. I tapped the link and was taken to the website where there was a box for me to use my finger to "write" my signature. It turns out that this was a mistake. Clever phones and even smartphones use touch sensitive screens for navigation. However, when you are using that same finger to write a signature, the screen display follows the finger instead of writing the script into the box. We had a hella time getting a simple signature, and my wife ended up just scribbling a few lines. It turns out this was all legal because we all agreed that the scribbles represented our signature and consent. After Adobe collected our scribbles, then we went back to the desktop displays were all the legal documents were waiting for our electronic signature. As we scrolled down the screen we were supposed to be reading all the legal stuff and then there were highlighted boxes we would click with the mouse and our scribbled signatures would appear. All I can tell you is that they went through a hell of a lot of trouble simply to get an electronic copy of the transaction. Signing hard copies and scanning them would have been quicker and easier.

I don't know to where the CarMax computers were connected, but the documents appeared without the sales associate's intervention. He did print them all out and e-mailed us a digital copy as well. I'm certain there is a server in the business office coordinating all those sales desks. Where those office servers go, or if they go anywhere, is anybody's guess. No doubt they have a connection to headquarters but all that was transparent and behind the scenes. While this whole process was spiffy, there are a significant number of people who don't have smartphones that can process web pages and receive instant messages. Even those which can have different OS's installed and way different apps. We tried the process on wife's phone but it did not work. She could not connect to their Internet. My phone did it automatically. The next guy's phone would be different yet. For that reason they still have hard copy procedures for closing the deal. I got to say the old way is much better than what they are currently doing.

It is entirely possible that everything I saw and signed at CarMax was coming from a Cloud Computer somewhere in the ether. It is possible that the local business office was not in the loop at all and everything about the transaction could come down from the Cloud. Given that they had about a dozen sales desks, having them all connected to the cloud would seem like a great idea. Any sales person can go to any desk and pull up the paperwork. Not only that, but CarMax has a national inventory of automobiles. Each sales desk can tap into that inventory and put a car on hold, have it delivered to the shop, or have it show up in our driveway at out convenience. I like that part. :mrgreen:
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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Sounds like a major ordeal alright, hi hi.

We have a couple of stores here where if you don't have a Schmartz-Fone, they just hand a little black box to you with a touch screen for you to sign. Sorta like a credit card terminal in a way.

When I order products on-line for my business, I have to sign their PDF. I have a scanned copy of my signature with an invisible background, saved in three different lengths. 2 inches, 3 inches, and 4 inches. I just copy and paste it to the PDF. Then when I hit the OK button, I'm pretty sure it saves my IP address as well.
Sometimes they will send me an e-mail that I have to click on also, which takes me right back to the page I was on in the web browser, showing the word verified signature.

We had a few folks over to our house for my bro-in-laws 80th birthday yesterday.
One of the gals there is a home health nurse, but normally works in a nursing home.
During the course of the afternoon, I couldn't count how many texts or calls she got from where she works.
The only comment she made was that it was a royal PITA that she has to sign off on so many things when she is not there.
Apparently the assistant nurses don't have the authority to give a patient their meds without a nurse checking and OKing their administration to the patients. And they have to be done for each patient. How she handles all of that from her phone is mind boggling to say the least.

I assume, some day I might have to have a Schmartz-Fone to even get a sandwich, hi hi.
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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by yogi »

While I can't say with certainty, it's my considered opinion that electronic transactions at CarMax is very new. The people were well trained in the system, but the system sucks royally. There are better ways to get verified electronic signatures, and you mentioned one of them in your last response. I think what CarMax is doing will ultimately be to their advantage and make things go a lot easier for the consumer. But there are obviously bugs in their system that make it customer unfriendly.

Your nurse friend must be tethered to her job remotely. I had something similar attached to my pocket pager when I worked at Motorola. Certain things could only be done if I said it was OK, which of course put all the blame on me instead of the person doing the procedure. In effect I was on call but was not being paid as such. I'm not sure what the nurse agreed to, but I do understand why it is being done that way.

The central bank system is mulling over digital money. At the moment crypto currency and all the bit coins out there are very volatile. Using the most popular ones would create chaos in all the world's financial markets. However, there apparently are a few stable digital currencies which is what the reserve boards are contemplating. If they ever switch over, then it won't be long before paper money becomes obsolete. You will indeed need some device to conduct transactions, and in today's world it is a smart phone in most cases. The way I see it is that our net worth and our monetary assets will live in the digital world only. We will be paid the same amount as we are now, but will never be able to touch or even see a greenback. You will wave your phone at the store terminal and everything will take care of itself. Beyond that idea I see an R2D2 personal assistant sitting here in my Command and Control Center patiently waiting to bid my desires. If I want a burger from Mickey D's, I'll just convey that wish to R2D2 and voila. The hamburger will appear. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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I have to laugh when all these chain stores have to shut down when the Internet is down, or the electric goes off.
They are so tied to their computers they don't know how to make a sale, total it up, or give change back anymore.

Even when I owned the restaurant, I made sure and had the cash register that could still work manually if necessary.
It wouldn't total up the stuff being electronic when the electric was out, but we could still open the drawer to make change.
Our local grocery store back home, when I was young, wrote your order down on a paper bag, which became your receipt.
Only a few years later did they start using a separate sheet of paper with a carbon back on it, but your receipt was still your grocery bag, hi hi. The top page went to their accounting department, aka the owners office, so he could check inventory and keep his ledgers up. Uncle Sam is who caused all this extra paperwork, hi hi.

They say this Block Chain technology is safe, but if that were so, how come a few people here and there lose their money, it just disappears, poof.
I did BitCoin harvesting for about 4 years, and never made enough money to pay for the electric I was burning up. I finally cashed in my Wallet and closed my account. In retrospect, I probably should have left around 50 bucks in it, because its value would have quadrupled by now, if not more. Even so, I never did really trust it much!
Despite my long serial number for my wallet. What's to keep hackers from just trying numbers until they hit one that is active and stealing all the money from it?
I'm sure it is more complicated than that, but I still didn't trust it all that much.

I was super slow to start using credit cards. I had them, just rarely used them, because I knew the bill would come due at the end of the month, hi hi. To easy spend money by swiping a plastic card, then you get shell shocked when you get the bill.
Now I do nearly everything using plastic because I get cash back for doing so. It still costs in higher prices for the goods you are buying because the seller has to include those fees in his cost of goods sold before markup.
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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by yogi »

From paper bag receipts to cyrpto-currency wallets is what they call a sea change. There is a reason why things don't stay the same, and I can assure you the reason is not to make your life more difficult. LOL There is a law of physics called entropy which states everything in the universe is breaking down to it's elemental state. In other words, everything is falling apart and decomposing to a steady state. Life on planet earth seems to be just the opposite. Events in the life of us humans are getting more complicated, not more simple. Thus, in order to survive we must adapt to the complex world in which we now live. The changes we all dislike are in reality the most efficient way to deal with the overall complexity. Paper bag receipts simply won't work when you buy something from Amazon. Well, they could work, but credit cards and digital currency works best.

You bring up a good point about the vulnerability of your digital currency wallet. I believe block chain transactions are a different aspect of the currency and has been proven safe and secure over time. It is indeed possible, but not likely, to guess the entry code to a digital wallet. In fact once quantum computers become accessible breaking those types of codes will be simple as guessing a 3 digit PIN. Maybe easier. I think the world's bankers are more interested in an efficient bookkeeping method than in anything else. At the moment there is some politics built into the system depending on which currency you decide to use to conduct your international business. Making the currency politically neutral is the point of digital currency if I'm not mistaken.

A bit coin was worth a couple hundred dollars when I first heard about them. Lately they have been approaching the $100k mark. Your $50 investment would have made you wealthy in today's market.
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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Yes, the world is getting more complicated, and machines are making it much easier to deal with all the added paperwork that has been added to life.

Craig Wright is the claimed originator of BitCoin. He set the highest possible number of coins at 21 million.
The value of a BitCoin is totally artificial, like money in a virtual game.
It only has value as long as people who support it, claim it has value.
Because they were the first, they hold a corner on the market, for the time being.
But others are now making their own virtual coins as well, thus diluting the market.
The more people who begin virtual coinage, the less all of it will be worth.
And eventually, the original BitCoin may end up dropping to a value of zero. Not likely but can happen.
Especially when something better comes along later.
Even though I was doing it for four years myself, I never saw it as more than a passing fad, and had hoped I would earn enough from my farming operation to convert it to real money while the boom lasted.
I still see it as a gimmick rich people are using to force up the price, so they can cash in when it gets closer to a risk.
And when they do cash in, will it crumble?

I think my 50 bucks worth of a BitCoin was only like 1/85th of a coin when I exchanged them for cash. It actually wasn't until I cashed in that I knew I had an honest 50 bucks. Today, BitCoins are bought and sold more like Stock.
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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Yes, the world is getting more complicated, and machines are making it much easier to deal with all the added paperwork that has been added to life.

Craig Wright is the claimed originator of BitCoin. He set the highest possible number of coins at 21 million.
The value of a BitCoin is totally artificial, like money in a virtual game.
It only has value as long as people who support it, claim it has value.
Because they were the first, they hold a corner on the market, for the time being.
But others are now making their own virtual coins as well, thus diluting the market.
The more people who begin virtual coinage, the less all of it will be worth.
And eventually, the original BitCoin may end up dropping to a value of zero. Not likely but can happen.
Especially when something better comes along later.
Even though I was doing it for four years myself, I never saw it as more than a passing fad, and had hoped I would earn enough from my farming operation to convert it to real money while the boom lasted.
I still see it as a gimmick rich people are using to force up the price, so they can cash in when it gets closer to a risk.
And when they do cash in, will it crumble?

I think my 50 bucks worth of a BitCoin was only like 1/85th of a coin when I exchanged them for cash. It actually wasn't until I cashed in that I knew I had an honest 50 bucks. Today, BitCoins are bought and sold more like Stock.
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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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I'm still not entirely convinced BitCoin and the likes are a viable alternative to our regular currency. When I originally read about it I figured it was a scam. As you say it's like Monopoly money and there are no regulations. That lack of regulation seems to be the draw, but even then it's only the people who don't understand the Federal Reserve System that think BitCoins would be a wonderful alternative to the US Dollar. I can understand all that, but as I pointed out above there are some very high level financial folks thinking about the possibility of creating an artificial currency with which global business may be transacted. I confess my ignorance to all that, but in order to preserve any amount of stability and trust there would have to be an accepted standard to which the digital money is tied. You know, like when the dollar was tied to the price of gold. When gold became a speculator's dream, they had to invent a dual standard in order to preserve the market. Switching to digital currency would seem like trouble waiting to happen, but apparently there is some merit to it. The BitCoin miners of today would not want a standard. because that would undermine the free floating price for a coin and take all the fun out of it. As I understand it there are dozens of coins since the invention of BitCoin. Some of them are being accepted by legitimate businesses, which I do not understand at all. The value of a dollar might not be stable, but it is predictable. Not so with digital coins.
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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In the case of BitCoin, there are only 21 million coins available. 18 million are in circulation. But this is what has driven their value up. I read up about the blocks and splits and things like that, which is where the miners were making their money early on. But now BitCoins are traded similar to the way the stock market works.
Since it worked so well to make a few people rich. Others have started the same thing under different names.
In my opinion, this alone will bring their house of cards tumbling down some day.

I guy I used to work with in my early career days was a silver hoarder.
When they quit using Silver Certificates, and after his father or grandfather who used to keep gold and had to turn it in. He didn't trust gold anymore so started collecting silver. Not much he could do with silver bars back then, so he started canning every silver coin he got. Especially when we switched to clad coinage, he kept any silver coins he got his hands on.
He eventually sold most of the plain silver and small ingots he had, but mainly to buy silver coins. He said the value of old coins will go up faster than the value of silver. I think he was right about that!

I know a couple of folks who keep nickels, they never spend a nickle but put it in can at home.
Apparently the metal nickel is not very valuable yet.
There are 91 nickels in a pound, which comes to $4.55 I think without digging out the calculator.
But the metal nickel only sells for $4.00 per pound or less.

Perhaps they would have done better keeping all the copper pennies, before zinc pennies that is.
A copper penny is worth 1.7 cents as scrap copper. Or 145 copper pennies are worth $2.75.
With zinc prices going up, it won't be long before the zinc pennies will be worth more too.
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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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We are talking about different systems of value when talking about coinage. If you took an 1895 Morgan Silver Dollar to WalMart you can buy $1 worth of goods with it. If you took that same coin to a collector, you might get as much as $38,000. If you melted it down and sold just the silver at the current market rate, you would get around $20. So, how much is that coin really worth?

Digital money has the same problem with value. It depends on the context in which it is used. Speculators are indeed trading that money as if it were a commodity, and that makes the market price vulnerable. Be that as it may, when digital coins are used in commerce, the pricing is fixed much the same as that US Silver dollar being worth just one dollar legal tender. The price of open market BItCoins may indeed crash, but that won't affect the cost of items sold (in terms of BitCoin) on Amazon. I think it's a bit of a joke that a limited number of BitCoins are in circulation. The limited supply might have helped the original investors get rich quick, but thereafter the prices reach a plateau. I think that's the point at which the world's central banks became interested. Some coins are very stable and not tied to a specific country.

The value of digital currency over paper currency escapes my understanding. The proponents like the idea that it's not regulated and the free market determines it's worth. That does indeed get the government out of the formula, but not everybody plays by the same rules. At the end of the day you are buying digital coins with your local currency, regardless of the country you are in. That purchase price can be manipulated which brings it back to why people don't like paper money. I'm probably missing something, but I don't know what it is. :mrgreen:
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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By the same token, you could paint a painting and hang it on your wall. Someone might offer you 5 bucks for it, less than the materials cost. Or 150 years after you are dead, someone might pay 150 million for it too.
I used to collect coins. My son took an entire coin book of Liberty Standing V nickels and used them in a candy machine. He got 80 cents worth of candy, but it cost me a $72.00 loss.

I once knew a collector who was already fairly wealthy. He had some pottery made for him, by hiring a designer to design a piece, have the mold made, and then after he got a perfect vase or whatever, he then had the mold smashed. This way he had the only one, and one of a kind items appeal to certain types of collectors. But he didn't just sell many of them right away. He also had a few other tricks up his sleeve too. A few times he would send the mold to another country to have it poured and finished and clearly marked by the country and finishing artist. He might have five or six made from that mold, then pick the one he liked best, and then smash all the rest. It may have cost him 30 to 50 thousand bucks to get the piece, but he never sold one under 150 thousand bucks, and some a whole lot more than that.
For a short time, he was buying ancient artifacts, if he could get them super cheap. But found reselling them to be a lot more work than it was worth. Most museums don't actually want to buy the pieces, they just want to display them for the owner, hi hi.

When paper money was backed by gold, and then later by silver, it held its worth. After they went off the silver standard, it all became nothing more than fiat currency with no real cash value. When they print more, with nothing to back it up, it devalues the dollar, and when they do this too much, inflation goes up faster, even to the point of hyperinflation.
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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You would think the "value" of money is a simple concept, but our examples here show that it is anything but simple. All countries need some form of currency to do business both internally and internationally. I suppose some bartering is still going on, but it's economically insignificant and not recognized in most places. The buying power of the currency has nothing to do with the medium. A silver dollar will buy exactly the same things that a paper dollar will buy, for example. Back in the old days international trade was dependent upon the price of gold because that metal was universally recognized and stable. Things changed and gold became a commodity with it's price per ounce changing dramatically at the whims of the marketplace. That unpredictable fluctuation meant that nobody know exactly how much a Troy Ounce of gold was worth at any given moment. The issue was exacerbated by countries such as Russia hording gold. Thus, gold as a standard for local currency became unreliable. Today, the de facto standard is the US Dollar. Some countries are trying to change that, but for the time being the dollar replaced the function of gold in global financial markets.

All the above has no bearing on the money transactions you and I do as regular citizens. The dollar is the only legal tender recognized by our government. Inflation does not change the value of the dollar. When they talk about the value or worth of the dollar they are talking about how many Yen, or Rubles, or Pesos it will take to buy one US Dollar. That value has absolutely no bearing on the cost of goods or services we buy. Those domestic costs are determined by economic forces; basically supply and demand. When it costs more to buy a loaf of bread it's not because China is paying more or less to convert Yuan to dollars. The cost of bread increases because consumers are buying more or less, and because it costs more to manufacturer. This is where those so called "hidden taxes" become a factor, but also things as employee wages and availability of ingredients. The amount of currency in the system does indeed figure into inflation, but not for the reasons you mention. More or less money in the supply chain allows people to demand more than can be produced or not buy what is sitting in inventory. It's not like commodities or equities. The number of dollar bills floating in the system does not affect their value. A dollar is worth a dollar no matter what the economic conditions are. Whether the dollar can be traded for gold, for Lira, for Krugerrands, or ice cubes in Alaska has no effect on it's value. Political and economic policies, however, can bring about inflation or deflation.

When the price of common items increase it is often called inflation. In fact the rate of increase is the definition of inflation. The rate, however, is not a reflection upon the value of a dollar. You have a fixed and limited number of dollars to buy more expensive goods but that is not what determines the value of the dollar. Keep in mind that there are people who have more money than they know how to spend. Those folks would cause deflation if the availability of cash determined its value. And, let's face it. They are fewer in numbers but they have exponentially more cash than use peons. That would drive the value of the dollar down to neutralize the effects of us poor people causing the value to go up, doncha think?
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

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Two things. Here in the U.S. the amount of gold that can be mined by a mining company is limited by law. This law was established to help stabilize the value of gold, or actually to keep it from decreasing.
The other thing is. There is a meteor within out grasp that is solid gold and titanium, more gold than has ever been mined from anywhere on earth. Whichever country, or person, who manages to mine that meteor will end up being the richest in the world.

Both of those things I just mentioned is a good reason why silver, which we know is finite, replaced the gold standard, at least for a time. Now there is nothing but credit that bolsters up our fiat currency, and the more credit we obtain, the less the dollar is worth.

I will agree with the fact that yes, one dollar will always equal one dollar.
But what can you buy with that dollar? 20 years ago 1000 dollars would buy you a nice car, today 1000 dollars won't even buy you the tires on that car. Sure, the one dollar is still worth one dollar, but what you can buy with it has inflated over time.

Let's say you worked for $1.00 per day, and was able to put 10% of that dollar, or 10 cents into savings every day.
At the end of 100 days, you would have saved up $10.00.
During that same 100 days, the cost of living goes up 1%.
In reality, most people cannot save 10% of their salary. If they are lucky, perhaps 2 to 3% is all they can manage.
For many folks, they are living from payday to payday, and just barely surviving.
Salaries do not go up at the same rate as inflation. So every year, folks have to scrimp a little more to make ends meet.
I think it was Forbes magazine who did an article, they excluded the super poor and the rich. They used the top tier of the upper poor class, and the lower tier of the those just over the middle class.
They compared the mean average salary increases against the rate of inflation.
Salary increases for everyone combined and averaged out, only came to like 1.85% per year, while inflation rose by 3%.
I think the article was entitled, Americans, steadily getting deeper in debt, or something like that, and it had nothing to do with obtaining credit or charging too much. It was simple income increases vs rate of inflation.
It hurt the poor people the most, but had little to no affect on the upper classes, other than helping them to get richer.
Or put simply. If you can raise your prices by 3% per year, and only raise the salaries you pay out by less than 2% per year. You get the picture!

I see what you are saying, however I see it as more like the opposite. Yes a dollar is still a dollar, it will always be a dollar.
But doesn't the rich hoarding money cause the price of things to go up faster? While they make more money on their money, and the poor folks lose out due to higher prices.
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by yogi »

But what can you buy with that dollar? 20 years ago 1000 dollars would buy you a nice car, today 1000 dollars won't even buy you the tires on that car. Sure, the one dollar is still worth one dollar, but what you can buy with it has inflated over time.
What is actually happening in that scenario? Is the dollar losing value or is the cost of goods increasing?
It hurt the poor people the most, but had little to no affect on the upper classes, other than helping them to get richer.
Or put simply. If you can raise your prices by 3% per year, and only raise the salaries you pay out by less than 2% per year. You get the picture!
By Jove, you got it. Unfortunately from your earlier comments I note that your tabletop business isn't capable of following that scenario.

My comments were aimed at showing the value of the dollar does not decrease in spite what what people constantly proclaim. Inflation is the measure by which we determine how much those costs of living increase (or decrease) per annum. I don't have numbers at my fingertips, but there have been years when income increases on a par with inflation. I'm pretty sure there were a few times when income expanded at a greater rate as well. The rate of inflation increasing faster than income is actually a special case. People such as you and I who are on fixed incomes will suffer from that phenomena the most. But think about that thousand dollar car costing ten thousand dollars at some point down the line. During that time the income of working people increased 80% which tells me that the same inflationary forces acting on the cost of goods also affects income.

So, Jeff Bezos has a net worth of 201.7 billion USD. Not even ol' Jeff can spend that much so that a lot of it is sitting around in investments, such as his holdings in Amazon.com. There are two things driving inflation: Demand-Pull and Cost-Push. This is the classic supply and demand law of economics. When the income of people increases, they buy more - we agree that they don't save more. Thus the buying pressures the cost of goods and services because there is not enough to meet demand. And then those raises the manufacturer have to give their employees pushes the cost of manufacturing to new highs. Jeff Bezos, the individual, has all that cash and assets sitting around unspent because he can't think of anything more he wants to buy, or something. He is neither demanding goods that don't exist nor adding to the cost of manufacturing. He is, however, benefiting from the business currently runs. As Amazon increases in market capitalization, so does Jeff's stock holdings. I don't see how all those idle assets add or subtract to inflation.

We could get into the super rich people who toss a lot of their wealth in the direction of the political parties they favor in return for laws and regulations that suit their interests. That all has to do with economic policy of the government and the origins of said policies. Those super rich people are individuals who have a direct bearing on things like inflation.
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by Kellemora »

OK, I also understand how you see it.

I still see it as the buying power of the dollar, although it is still a dollar, buys for less due to inflation.

I also see printing more money as something that also drives inflation.
As does raising salaries, etc. ad infinitum.

There are also many more things for people to buy these days, than in our parents days, or in our grandparents days.
So we need more money to buy all those things with.

And like you said, those of us stuck on fixed incomes, which does not go up as fast as the cost of the goods we are buying, even though nationally over all the products, inflation may only be 3%.
3% increase in a dollar item, is nothing like a 3% increase in a 10,000 dollar item.
But even the poor still need to buy those 10,000 dollar items to survive.

This is one reason why using percentages really hurts the poor and lower class the most.
Sure, they may get 3% more of their 500 bucks a month, or 15 bucks more per month.
But the main things they have to buy, a 10,000 dollar item went up by 300 bucks.
That 15 bucks a month more is not going to help paying for something that went up by 300 bucks.
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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by yogi »

Yes, we do see the environment through two sets of different eyes. Be that as it may, we are not that far apart seeing the reality of the situation. The problem you allude to is that income for many people is fixed. The cost of goods and services is not fixed. The inflation we are discussing affects both our income and the cost of goods, and in theory it should be a wash. But it's not because other things besides inflation go into the formula that determines the cost of living.

There is no alternative and reasonable way to calculate the rate at which goods and services increase in cost other than by comparison to some standard. That comparison only makes sense when stated in percentage. Think about it. Does it mean much to say that inflation increased Gary's income $15 and the cost of my used Saturn by $300? It looks like highway robbery when stated that way and it is misleading. Both your income and the cost of my car increased in value by that 3%, but my car's starting price (before inflation) is 20 times more than your income. Thus the absolute dollars do not tell the whole story. The truth is you could not afford that car even without inflation.

Our discussion is more about the quality of life than it is about economics. That quality is determined by the things available to you to establish a life style in which you are comfortable. You aptly point out that in 2021 there are many many many more things available for purchase (i.e. the standards of living) here in America than there was in 1921, for example. But, the sad reality is that not all those things are available to you, or to me. All of them are available to only 1% of the American population, and that is taking into account inflation. I sympathize with you perhaps more than you realize. If you can't buy a new car (even if there was one that fits your needs), that's an inconvenience. But when you can't buy the medications you need to breath there is something unethical going on, and it has nothing to do with economics.
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Kellemora
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by Kellemora »

I have not done the math, but when 20 mcg in 2 ml of water costs $1,500.00 for a one month supply.
Break that out to what is the cost per gallon to get a perspective at how high drug prices really are.
I'll help get you started, there are 3785.41 ml in a gallon of water.
This means they can make 1,893 two mil vials of the drug, which is only counting the water, not the 20 mcg dissolved in it.
That less than one drop per gallon is not going to change the calculation by much.
At two doses per day, that would be 60 doses per month.
1893 divided by 60 makes for 32 batches of the medicine.
32 batches of diluted medicine times 1,500 bucks is 48,000 dollars, mostly for the water.
Since micrograms is a weight, it is not easy to figure out how much is really used per gallon.
20 mcg is such a tiny amount of the actual drug, if you figure its cost per gallon, it way up in the millions of dollars per gallon.
Now if that isn't highway robbery, I don't know what is!

When I made 150 dollars per week, I could afford to buy a new car every six months if I wanted to.
Or put another way. When a persons annual salary was at or under 10 grand per year, a car only cost between 1 and 2 grand. Which was only one to two months pay. Even so we often took out 3 year loans to buy a car.
By the time I was making 250 bucks a week, the price of a car 3 to 5 grand and now took 4 to 6 months pay to buy.
I know a few folks who do make around 1 grand per week, but not many. But the price of a real car is now up around 50,000 bucks, nearly a whole years salary. And for those who don't make that much, a real car is now nearly untouchable.
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yogi
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Re: Reeading on Easter Morning

Post by yogi »

The price of meds per gallon is about as realistic as the price of ink per gallon that I've complained about in the past. While those per gallon prices sound unreasonable, the calculation is misleading at best. That gallon price includes the cost of manufacturing, and is not the cost of the raw materials of which the drugs (inks) are composed. I think you know something about how costs are added to products well beyond the price of the raw materials used to manufacturer the end product. Plus, in the pharmaceutical industry in particular, the regulations and safety precautions that must be used by law add disproportionate costs to the final product. So, if you are paying $48,000 for a gallon's worth of medications, I can assure you that the raw chemicals are a minor part of the costs. It all has to do with fancy equipment, sterile environments, outrageous development costs, and the salaries along the entire supply chain. I have no doubt the drug companies are profitable, but they are only part of the entire supply chain. If, as you tell me is common in business, everybody along the route doubles their selling price, the actual price of the medication is closer to $48 per gallon. It's just too bad we can't buy from the source before the prices are multiplied.
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