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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Moore’s Law’

Doug Casey on What Happens When Socialists Win Elections

Posted by M. C. on November 8, 2019

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-what-happens-when-socialists-win-elections/

by Doug Casey

International Man: Earlier this year, it became apparent a socialist would win Argentina’s presidential election.

The Argentine peso lost 30% of its value in a single day. The same day, in US dollar terms, the value of the Argentine stock market was cut in half.

Doug, you spend a lot of time in Argentina and the Southern Cone. What’s your take on the situation? Is Argentina headed for another currency collapse?

Doug Casey: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected vice president and Alberto Fernández was elected president in the October 27 election. They basically destroyed the incumbent Mauricio Macri.

It’s a real pity because Macri is a decent human being whose heart was is in the right place politically and economically. But he was too timid. He did too little too late. Typical of “conservatives” everywhere, he didn’t make a moral argument to the populace. He made no effort to pull the corrupt fascist welfare state out by its roots, explaining why it’s destructive and why the state is the cause, not the cure, of the country’s problems. Instead, he just made some marginal improvements around the edges, and made things more comfortable for the Peronists now that they’re back in office.

And—since he’s associated with the free market—he actually discredited the free market.

In any event, Argentina is going back into the toilet. Who knows what kind of new stupidities, in addition to the usual old stupidities, the two Fernándezes are going to impose upon the country?

On the bright side—but only for tourists—Argentina is one of the cheapest countries in the world right now. That’s because the currency has collapsed. Good news for tourists and foreign speculators but a disaster for Argentines, most of whom have all their savings and earn their salaries in the increasingly worthless peso.

If you’re a long-term believer in Argentina or if you want to enjoy a great lifestyle, now’s the time to go shopping there. Real estate is at bargain levels again. There’s really no bid for a lot of properties. In Buenos Aires an apartment costs 5–10% of its equivalent in New York or London.

Things are definitely in crisis in Argentina. But the fact is that just about every other country in the world is heading in the wrong direction—at a faster or slower rate—certainly including the United States, Canada, and countries in western Europe. The socialists, the fascists, and the jingoists are in the ascendant all over the world.

There are many reasons for this. One is that Marxist-oriented professors have been indoctrinating the younger generation in high school and college for decades. The left has totally taken over educational systems everywhere. The average person has been inculcated with perverse and destructive ideas about economics, politics, philosophy, and ethics from roughly age 6 to age 22. It’s hard to get these things out of their heads once they’ve learned them in their youth.

Also, remember that, especially since the end of the 19th century, “democracy”—really just a polite form of mob rule—has been the world’s ruling ideology. It’s resulted in the politicization of all areas of society. When every parliament or legislature in the world meets, they believe it’s not just their right but their duty to pass new laws. And that’s idiotically applauded as a good thing by the hoi polloi. Those laws tell you what you must do and what you must not do and designate penalties if you don’t obey. And all that legislation, which accrues like barnacles on a ship’s hull, has to be paid for with taxes.

Fortunately, science and technology are still advancing at the rate of Moore’s Law. Unfortunately, the world is degenerating politically at about the same rate. Argentina is not an aberration from that point of view. It’s just a generation or so “ahead” of the United States in sliding down the slippery slope.

That said, it’s more important than ever that you have a crib in a second country, no matter where you live—because anything can happen anywhere. If you can afford it and are able to do so, you should have a backup plan someplace else in the world…

Over the coming decade, governments and their central banks are going to destroy their national currencies. The average guy—if he’s able to save at all—saves in dollars, euros, or yen, etc. He’s going to be wiped out.

The rich will continue to get richer, because they stand next to the fire hose of money being created. The middle and lower classes resent the politically favoured classes getting more. The middle and bottom levels of society could see real social upset, with catastrophic political ramifications.

It’s one of the reasons the odds favor Trump losing in 2020. I say that as someone who bet that he’d win in 2016. If the economy gets ugly, you’re going to get one of these absolutely crazy socialists or welfare statists that we see lined up on the Democratic debate stage. The best case is that somebody like Bloomberg—basically kind of a mellower Trump—steps in for the Democrats.

On the off chance that Trump wins in 2020, then the storm is going to definitely break during his next administration. That guarantees that the crazy Democrats—which is to say the socialists, radical welfarites, and cultural Marxists—are going to win in the next election. The conflict in basic belief systems between the Red and Blue counties is so acrid and radical—it’s the kind atmosphere you see before a civil war.

Who knows what either the Red or Blue people will do? They’re capable of absolutely anything. None of it good. I don’t see a way out.

But let’s go back to Argentina for a minute. As I said, the US is only about a generation behind the Argentines, and the Argentine electorate has been totally corrupted. The place is a blueprint for where the United States is going.

The US’s size, accumulated capital, and the productivity of its people have insulated it from a lot of the stupid things its government and the Fed have done. But if the US destroys its currency—and it’s well on the way to doing so—it will be much worse than when the Argentines destroy their currency.

Argentines have hundreds of billions of dollars stored abroad in foreign banks. When the Argentine peso collapses, that money can be brought into Argentina to pick up the bargains and bring capital into the country to get things going again.

If the US dollar is destroyed, however, it will be completely different.

First, the dollar is the major asset of most banks all around the world. It’s actually the world’s currency. If the dollar goes, it’s going to destroy their balance sheets.

Second, people all over the world who have foreign bank accounts generally save in dollars. They’re going to be devastated.

Third, Americans don’t have a lot of money abroad to bring back into the country to get things going again. In fact, the US government has made it quite hard for the average American to diversify internationally.

Fourth, the major US export for decades hasn’t been wheat or Boeings. It’s been dollars. The foreign trade deficit of $600 billion per year has given Americans an artificially high standard of living for many years. Nice foreigners give us real goods in exchange for fiat dollars. When confidence in the dollar collapses, Americans will feel it.

So, it’s going to be extremely serious when the chickens come home to roost this time. It’s a consequence of what the Federal Reserve is doing to the dollar. They’re inflating it—but they call that “Quantitative Easing.”…

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Doug Casey on the Next Industrial Revolution – Tech Advancement

Posted by M. C. on July 15, 2019

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-the-next-industrial-revolution/

by Doug Casey

What you’re going to read in the next few minutes will be shocking and unbelievable. But it’s also factual and logical. That will make it upsetting and disturbing. Most people are at least vaguely aware of what’s happening. But very, very few are aware of its degree or the implications.

As you probably know, I believe times are about to get quite rough economically and politically. But, at the same time, I’m very optimistic about what’s happening in science and technology. So let me hazard some predictions. And break the old rule about how, if you predict an event will occur, to make sure you don’t predict its timing…

Moore’s Law was formulated in 1965; it states that computational power will double, and costs will halve, about every 18 months. But it appears to apply to several areas besides computing.

As a result, it’s highly probable that Timothy Leary was not just right, but conservative, when he anticipated SMIILE—Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, and Life Extension. Those things are just part of the picture.

So here’s the good news. It’s likely the very nature of life is going to change for the better, almost unrecognizably, over the next 20 years or so…

THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Some of these things, like energy and space exploration, are just extensions of current technologies. Others, especially nanotech, are game changers.

Energy—With the exception of nuclear, all power comes from the sun. In the past, solar, wind, and similar power sources existed mainly in the dreams of economically illiterate hippies. But now, combined with rapidly advancing battery technology, they finally make sense. Better yet, oncoming generations of modular nuclear reactors will be tiny, extremely safe, simple, and cheap. Maybe fusion power will finally become practical—although that would just be a bonus.

Oil and gas? They’re important as feedstocks, but mainly because they provide very dense energy. They are, however, essentially compounds of hydrogen and carbon, two of the most common and simplest elements. With adequate (and sufficiently cheap—this is the key) power, they can be created in unlimited quantity; the chemistry is quite basic and well understood. Among other things, algae can be programmed to manufacture them in quantity.

Space—One of the good things about most governments being bankrupt is that they’re being forced to cede the conquest of space to entrepreneurs, who will colonize the moon, the asteroids, and the planets. I love Elon Musk’s quip: “I hope to die on Mars. Just not on impact.” Of course, if he’s lucky, he may live to be several hundred years old because of other developments.

You need “stuff” to make what you need. A lack of raw materials has always been a major reason for conflict. But digging things out of the Earth, using big yellow trucks, will no longer be humanity’s only option. The asteroids are full of dense elements. They’ll soon become available in massive quantity, cheaply.

Life extension—It’s clear we’re on the edge of solving the problem of aging; it should be addressed as a degenerative disease. All other diseases are simply footnotes to aging. If you live long enough, you can be, do, and have everything that you can imagine. It’s likely to be possible soon.

Biological engineering—The creation of not just new body parts, but new bodies, made to order, is in the works. And new species. And much more. Who really knows what can be done with DNA? But the answer is probably: Almost anything, in lots of ways.

Distributed manufacturing—A.E. van Vogt’s The Weapon Shops of Isher predicted machines that would create advanced weapons for you, in the privacy of your own home. Now that’s possible with 3-D printing. Soon, if you can design something, or get the design, you can create it. At home.

Robotics—Not just smart machines in factories. In fact, factories themselves may be on their way out. Humanoid beings—products of bioengineering and AI—could replace them. They’ll perhaps be almost indistinguishable from normal people.

This alone, the creation of intelligent machines, will overturn the nature of society, family, warfare, work—everything.

Artificial intelligence—I believe that a difference that makes no difference is no difference. That’s the concept behind the Turing test. At some point, very soon, machines will be smarter than their creators and will, in turn, create other machines smarter than they are. And continue doing so at a geometric rate.

Nanotech—I did a chapter on this in Crisis Investing for the ’90s. At the time, not one person in 100 had a clue what it was. In its ultimate form, nanotech—the use of molecular-sized assemblers and supercomputers—will change the character of reality itself. Totally and unrecognizably. It amounts to pixie dust, making it possible to manipulate the 92 naturally occurring elements into useful compounds cheaply and easily. It’s becoming possible to fabricate totally new materials, like carbon nanotubes, vastly more capable than any “natural” material.

Computer science—Electromechanical switches, then vacuum tubes, then transistors, now silicon chips, and soon quantum computing are taking place on a molecular level. All the knowledge in the world contained in a cube. Or perhaps in the head of a biologically enhanced robot. Or perhaps in an interface to your own brain.

Virtual reality—You’ll be able to immerse yourself in a world of your own creation, activating all of your senses, in a veritable Star Trek holodeck that will be almost indistinguishable from real reality. Perhaps you will prefer to live in unreality. All in the privacy of your own home.

Editor’s Note: As Doug mentioned, technological advancement is a game-changer. Most people haven’t considered how quickly it has already progressed. In fact, the next big wave of medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs is here.

The way diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and even cancer are treated will change forever. This trend is so explosive that it’s even caught attention of the Former Speaker of the House. He and a biotech investment expert are revealing how early investors can ride this major trend for once-in-a-lifetime profits in a LIVE event. Click here to reserve your spot now.

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