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Table of contents
- Navigation menu
- The Root Cause of Our Failing Economy
- Possible Reasons at the Top
- 10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail
- It’s not the economy, stupid—it’s failed politics!
But in the absence of that, instead of changing your exchange rate, you lower your wages and prices. And when you do that, you simply increase your indebtedness in real terms, and make it more difficult to pay back what you owe.
You see it happening over and over again. If it were one country, you could say the country was the problem. And now, in , the European Commission is threatening fines against Spain and Portugal, demanding more austerity. It actually has a hold on Republicans in the United States as well. One of the things that happens when you have austerity is that wages get lower, and some people think lower wages in the short run can increase corporate profits. So the stock market did well, some people obviously did very well by austerity, even if our society as a whole did disastrously.
So, even the Republicans in the U.
What is peculiar is that the strength of particular ideologies differs across European countries. The austerity ideology is particularly strong in Germany. So even if a majority of people in Greece, Spain, and Portugal voted against austerity, the democratic vote was overruled by the predominance of German austerity.
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There is a broad consensus, not only in the United States but in most of the world, that if you are in an economic downturn, you need to stimulate. Germany seems to be an exception. Very definitely. What about the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
If we see the problem with the euro as a sort of economic arrangement that gallops ahead of politics. And when they started looking at the net trade benefits, they are miniscule. They said they needed regulatory harmonization, but there was no evidence that the lack of regulatory harmonization was impeding trade. And if it was, you needed to have some political system to deal with differences in regulations.
So TPP is another illustration of an attempt at globalization that outpaced the economic integration, the political integration. More broadly, there does seem to be a political revolt in both major American parties, to the extent that the Republicans are giving up on free trade altogether.
The euro was supposed to lead to prosperity and everyone being better off, and the data shows that the euro led to poorer economic performance, more inequality, and a lot of people suffering. If you look at Scandinavian countries, they realized they were small countries, and they had to reopen, and so they had to make that social contract. What has been so vicious is the Republicans have actually opposed job assistance—even for those who lose their jobs because of trade. The irony is that they were the ones who pushed these trade agreements the most. It was homegrown austerity, not imposed from abroad, and it was a somewhat gentler austerity than Greece had.
But it illustrates again how the neoliberal ideology has not delivered for a large fraction of the population. The first reason people get the future so wrong is because they dedicate about five minutes to looking at something before they form an opinion on it.
Unfortunately, many people live almost their entire lives at this level and their opinions are worth zero when it comes to seeing new trends and developments. The second major reason people get the future so wrong is it goes against everything they understand about the world. They had every advantage and they blew it. They mistook the past for the future and they paid a heavy price by going bankrupt as the market roared past them. To see the future you have to be able to step outside of yourself, forget your past successes and see beyond your current understanding.
A third major reason people fail to see the future is because it challenges their position of power. Asking these people about Bitcoin is like asking a taxi driver what he thinks about Uber or a horse and buggy manufacturer what he thinks about cars.
The Root Cause of Our Failing Economy
Their opinions are worth less than nothing. The fourth major reason people screw up predictions is because they mistake their opinion for reality. One is the map and one is the territory. Take this now infamous article by Clifford Stoll from Newsweek in that declared the Internet a total failure poised for imminent collapse. Stoll writes:. What an idiot! Check it out:. Stoll saw the future, he just refused to see it. If he managed to get out of his own way and just observe instead of interpreting and filtering what he saw , the article would have gone down in history as one of the most forward thinking and accurate ever written.
Possible Reasons at the Top
That brings us to our next reason. The fifth reason people get the future wrong is a complete and total lack of patience. Creativity requires setbacks and failures and tremendous tenacity. Once you expose your idea to the reality of rust, gravity and friction, things tend to fall apart.
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No plan survives contact with the enemy. Reality is a whetstone that either shatters you or sharpens your ideas. A classic example of the real creative process and how long it takes comes from George de Mestral, the inventor of Velcro.
10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail
He first came up with the idea in , after taking his dog for a walk in the woods and seeing a bunch of burrs attached to his fur. He started working on recreating the tiny hooks in and it took him ten years to make it work and mass produce it. The rest of the world only cares about the problems things solve for them not the idea or ideology behind it. Soon after the ski industry noticed it would work on boots. His biggest mistake is the sixth and final reason people are blind to the future. He took current inventions, air lifted them forward and imagined them as the solution to future problems.
It’s not the economy, stupid—it’s failed politics!
In the article Stoll mentions that CD books would never replace real books. He was right that reading books on CD with a crappy CRT monitor that rips apart your retinas was a miserable experience. But understanding that helps us understand the necessary characteristics of a future solution. CDs are clunky.
Monitors back then were blurry and hard to read. They hurt the eyes. Computers were huge and not very portable. Even laptops were bricks that burned your legs that nobody would want to read a damn thing on. Books are heavy too. And they can easily get lost or damaged by the elements. We can practically taste the decentralized future. Any day now. The bubble will pop. Vitalik is right. The apps are hideous and practically unusable. Yet they survived and the best was yet to come. Amazon and Google went on to dominate the world.