Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9637189:

It's important to know what you like 20 5, 11:14pm

@rphb 1) whatever, Republicans in US care about contraception only as far as abortions go.

2) "real economic activity"
Economic activity is not limited to production of durable goods. R&D, production of consumables, maintenance, logistics, sales, etc are important as well, even if they do not produce tangible product.

"In America its former industrial capital (Detroit) is now more or less a ghost town.
The cities that are now prospering are places like New York or Los Angeles"
Detroit's decay has a lot to do with local politics, outsourcing of industrial jobs was just a final nail in the coffin. New York and Los Angeles are not so much prosper as not yet failing.

"LA is the center of the American propaganda machine"
And tech industry.

"NY its main finansial center"
Allocation is as important as production.

"But financialization don’t produce anything, it only makes everything worse."
As if command economy is any better.

"Banks are financial leaches. Banks don’t allocate resources, they steal resources."
Banks do not operate with resources. There are some compelling arguments against fractional reserve banking and consumer credits, but handwaving away importance and complexity of investment, savings, transfers and other services is just too much. Creators of various cryptocurrencies thought it's easy, recent five years shown that it's not.

"Fractional reserve banking invents currency ex nihilo and then have the audacity to demand it back, with interest."
Interest is a rationing mechanism and unavoidable in any case, unless you somehow abolish inflation. Hint: it's very unlikely that you can.

3) "There are two different economies in the world, there is the real economy that deals with stuff, and there is the fictional (or financial) economy, that deals with numbers (or imaginary concepts)."
You forgot to mention R&D and tech/IT. Recent wave of ransomware shows that IT has a significant value despite being completely intangible and non-durable.

"A gold coin is a type of stuff, so it can be money, a paper bill is only a claim check, so it is fictional, and numbers on a computer are even more fictional."
Value of gold coin is as fictional as numbers in computer. There is no such thing as innate and/or immutable value.

"A society’s wealth cannot be measured by its economic activity, as much activity can be wasteful."
Definition of waste varies greatly. Economic indicators like GDP, inflation, employment can at least be measured.

"If consumption exceeds production then we have overconsumption and that is unsustainable. We need to underconsume for as long as we have overconsumed just to restore balance."
I'd like to see an example of how society can consume more than it produces.

"And if we drain the base, that is the gifts God have given us, such as the soil and what have been hidden in it, the future sustainable levels might be permanently lowered."
If you abolish the market economy that scenario is possible. Otherwise rising scarcity will raise prices, which will lead either to technological solution or reduction in consumption.

"In other words we might condemn our children’s children to a life of extreme hardship and suffering because we squandered the resources that we had been given by our ancestors."
Recycling is always and option, but fusion rocket propulsion alone will make incredible amounts of resources available. Thomas Malthus was wrong so far.

"The huge problem we have today is that the fictional economy have taken over the real economy, so that bankers and stock brokers are rich while farmers and industrialist are overindebted and broke."
That only happens when you look at one country that outsourced a lot of industrial jobs abroad while total industrial output still grows. Decline of small scale farming is inevitable, large scale industrial farms did not completely win only due to government subsidies, various inefficiencies of distribution and conspicuous consumption (I'm looking at those who pay triple for "organic" food).
Pretty sure that industrial sector does ok unless it is being boned by excessive regulation and taxation. Industrial jobs may suffer from automation, but huge upfront expenses mean that it will happen over the course of several decades at least.