Homepage Forums Economic Forums Focus Fusion, Deflation and GDP.

This topic contains 43 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Duke Leto 6 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 31 through 44 (of 44 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #10604

    Duke Leto
    Member

    I wonder why the server stopped informing me about replies. Must just be my breath I guess.

    KeithPickering wrote: You were doing just fine up until this point. But now there are a couple of problems with your analysis. First, FF coming online isn’t just waving a magic wand. It will take time, and during that time markets will adjust. So the effect isn’t immediate.

    Well, firstly obviously implementation is not instantaneous, but I believe it will be vastly faster than Eric and Aaron give it credit for. The primary limiting factor will be expanding Beryllium and Capacitor production as best as I understand it. If LPPX is a strongly organized single producer, I think rollout to the developed world can be done in 3 years.

    KeithPickering wrote: Second, and more importantly, you’re forgetting the Jevons effect (aka Jevons paradox) in which it is shown that more efficient use of energy increases demand.

    I think you’re misreading Jevon’s Paradox. Jevon says that if usage of energy becomes more efficient demand for energy will increase, not that if cost of producing energy becomes lower the total spent on energy will increase. That’s a subtle but really important difference.

    Let’s say that the price of energy drops from $120 per Megawatt Hour to $6 per Megawatt Hour. That means that if energy consumption increases twentyfold then there is the same Dollarwise consumption as there was before. That’s a pretty tall order.

    I would really like to find some economic studies on the rollout of coal power but I’m having trouble doing so. Basically what I’m saying is that short term, although consumption of energy may increase dollars spent on energy will go down, which is the key when we’re talking about macroeconomics.

    The real point here is that in the short run FF will increase the deflationary/disinflationary trend and high unemployment will remain.

    DennisP wrote: The whole idea of “printing” money is kind of misleading, because with fractional reserve banking most of the money supply comes from debt. If banks must have 10% reserves, they can loan out ten times as much as you print, and when those loans are paid off or default, the money supply shrinks. You can print more money to give to the banks, but if they don’t lend, it doesn’t do anything.

    Japan struggled with deflation for decades.

    Thank you for the further explanation. Japan is struggling with deflation again, BTW.

    Lerner wrote: First as Aaron says, the markets don’t exactly need us to create a downward economic spiral—they are doing it all by themselves, thank you! And what exactly will happen with this process in the next three of four years depends on a lot of political and economic events. FF won’t be able to influence that until we have a working prototype generator—not before 2014. I am sure that any announcement of “just” scientific feasibility will be shrugged off by the markets.

    All that is very true. Main problem is that I see no likelihood of the US and the developed countries in general exiting their liquidity trap by 2014. So conditions prevailing now will be basically identical to conditions prevailing then. To backup this assertion, see more or less anything and everything written by Paul Krugman since 2009.

    Lerner wrote: Second, there can’t possibly be a monopoly in focus fusion no matter how many patents we have and we do not promise any such goal to LPP’s investors.

    What other producers would there be? Would there simply be other ways of utilizing the existing DPF to achieve Net Electricity or do you foresee alternative Aneutronic Fusion methods coming rapidly to fruition?

    Lerner wrote: From our standpoint as a company, pricing way below the current market makes sense. You can’t penetrate an enormously established and huge market like energy without a really large price advantage in any case.

    Well, yeah. I was thinking that a rate of $10-20 per MWh coming into LPPX as end revenue would be fair enough. Just low enough that you wipe out coal but not so low that you instantly make energy free. Maybe cut that rent by 25% every year after the rollout to the developed world and China and India are done and hand over the generators to municipalities when it hits cost. That’d only take 5 years or so.

    At the same time it would be silly not to price the electricity as close to market as you can while there are still only a very few FF generators in operation. $10 under market per MWh would get you oodles of market share. I would assume that much is obvious.

    Lerner wrote: But no matter how we draw up licenses, how much of the saving in cost will be passed to final consumers is ultimately going to be a political battle. If people insist that the saving be passed along and organize to make that happen, it will, but not otherwise.

    Therein I am afraid we differ, my friend. My own jaundiced view of human nature says that money will decide how it gets passed on to the end consumers so if you want a say you better make sure you have money. I’d also point out that organization and advocacy are not something you can do for free, a fact I’m sure Rezwan has informed you of.

    Lerner wrote: The key thing in the world economy today is WHO gets the money—the many or the few?

    From my own study of history, the only time when the few don’t get the money is when the many establish a well organized political machine backed up by strong unions influencing major political parties. (The US desperately needs a multi-party system, but how to get to that is a whole other argument.) We don’t have that right now and it’ll take a lot to get us there. Post too long… Maybe write more later.

    #10647

    Brian H
    Member

    Lots of agreements and disagreements. Regarding Duke’s last point, your study of history is faulty in the extreme. The “rising tide” theory works far better than the “grab our share” one. Organized labor had a role, briefly, but has long since become the epitome of what it resisted: a wannabe monopolistic money funnel. 8 of 10 of the largest international unions are branches of the Mafia, e.g. And the less said about Hoffa et al, the better.

    As for distribution of FoFus, the sheer numbers involved prohibit attempting to be the “prime supplier”. Licenses to those interested and equipped will work far better.

    And I think regulatory roadblocks and dikes will be rapidly swamped by the HUGE competitive disadvantage accepted by any jurisdiction that doesn’t get with the plan. That would apply within the US between states, and internationally.

    Opening up opportunities will be the most significant factor. Both directly (re-opening aluminum smelters closed because of power costs, e.g.) and indirectly (money freed up to do other work.) One major casualty, however, will be every “renewable green” power project on the planet. Multiplying the subsidy ratio necessary to compete by a factor of 10 or more above already ruinous levels (see, as a horrible example, the UK) is a non-starter. Especially since FF is greener and cleaner than any of them. Plus infinitely more dispatchable and reliable.

    #10650

    zapkitty
    Member

    Brian H wrote: Lots of agreements and disagreements…

    Problem with that rosy, almost Randian future: what’s to keep the elites from seizing it and maintaining their current rule?

    Unions arose from those willing to fight abusive plutocrats and union members gained a living wage and livable working conditions from that struggle; not only for their members but for other workers as well. And yet today the union leadership has been corrupted and co-opted from the inside out by the very forces they originally arose against… as has government, the media and most everything else in public discourse.

    Who now will fight an entrenched plutocracy that is not only vested in the status quo but is intent on regressing matters as far and as fast as they can? They are currently aiming for broken governments and an unending recession as the new status quo… quite relaxed and profitable for them, not so much so for the un-elite.

    In short: we’ve seen what thirty-plus years of the “trickle-down” BS brings and trickle-down fusion won’t fare any better.

    #10652

    Brian H
    Member

    Zapkitty;

    Well, if you’re convinced you live under the rule of plutocrats, you’re never going to change your worldview. Enjoy!

    #10663

    Duke Leto
    Member

    Brian H wrote: Well, if you’re convinced you live under the rule of plutocrats, you’re never going to change your worldview. Enjoy!

    I think, Brian, that our worldviews intersect on two points.

    Firstly that FF is an incredibly exciting technology, and second that we probably agree on nothing else.

    #10716

    Warwick
    Member

    Who now will fight an entrenched plutocracy that is not only vested in the status quo but is intent on regressing matters as far and as fast as they can? They are currently aiming for broken governments and an unending recession as the new status quo… quite relaxed and profitable for them, not so much so for the un-elite.

    In short: we’ve seen what thirty-plus years of the “trickle-down” BS brings and trickle-down fusion won’t fare any better.

    Couldn’t agree more – this is a very important recognition.

    #10718

    Duke Leto
    Member

    Warwick wrote:

    Who now will fight an entrenched plutocracy that is not only vested in the status quo but is intent on regressing matters as far and as fast as they can? They are currently aiming for broken governments and an unending recession as the new status quo… quite relaxed and profitable for them, not so much so for the un-elite.

    In short: we’ve seen what thirty-plus years of the “trickle-down” BS brings and trickle-down fusion won’t fare any better.

    Couldn’t agree more – this is a very important recognition.

    This is exactly the political movement I want Eric and Aaron to undo. I think I can summarize my suggested plan as follows:

    1) Aggregate large scale licensing income from the FF generators to LPPX.

    2) Use the promise of future income to leverage massive investments in job creation. Borrow and invest a few 100 billion or trillion into projects with a high economic multiplier. Basically BE Keynes’ government spender. (Most of these should be profitable in and of themselves. Feeding the cycle of further leveraged investments. For instance, Brian H.’s Aluminum smelters would be able to run at a higher profit if built by LPPX then they would by anybody else.)

    3) Thereby keep unemployment to minimal, perhaps even NEGATIVE, levels in the developed world while headline inflation remains low but real, forcing the central banks to keep interest rates fairly low. (2% Deflation ad 0% Unemployment would still force a required interest rate of -.5% according to Glenn Rudebusch’s estimate of the Taylor Rule, thus forcing a continuation of 2).)

    4) The above forces wages up while prices and costs go down and interest on mortgages and CC debt stays minimal, helping the middle class at the expense of the investing class. (In fact a CC remortgaging bank run by LPPX would probably be wonderfully profitable.)

    5) Profit.

    6) Use 5) to organize a massive anti-conservative political movement in the developed world to force a rollback of policy to New Deal norms or better.

    7) Make damn sure a high progressive inheritance tax gets recreated in the US to ensure that Eric and Aaron have no heirs who can potentially undo 6) in their own unenlightened self interest.

    As plans go, I think it’s a pretty good one.

    #10720

    Duke Leto
    Member

    Actually, I goofed on the Rudebusch Taylor Rule. It would actually be 8.85%, which is really pretty good for fixed income earners and savers but not so good for debtors or corporations. If deflation is 5% though, the rate falls to ~5%, a bit better. If anyone cares.

    #10723

    Warwick
    Member

    The role of industry in government has not been beneficial up until now. In a democracy, governments are there to reflect the will of the populace and use their power to control and influence industry and finance. In some countries there is now a significant reversal of that, and the results are not good. Going with this backflow, and hoping for good results, is not the only solution, or likely to succeed, in my opinion. I’ll stop short of saying that you want to give the ring to Galadriel :-). I’d also challenge why you would want to focus much on the developed world in the first place – is that really what you want?

    It’s understandable that we live in desperate times that seem to call for desperate measures. What hope of a sensible, democratic future when there are ‘developed’ nations where more people profess to believe in ghosts than in global warming? But I think there are many ways that development of a revolutionary power source would make a difference. It would make a political difference, because in the long term it would get rid of the fossil fuel lobby, and in the short term, use up all their resources fighting its ascendancy. It would also make a political difference if the amount of crony capitalism and market power in the world could be reduced, if the largest corporations owned less of the world economy. Bilderberg is going to be a verbal bloodbath, make no mistake!

    I think government ought to support focus fusion manufacturing. Large-scale availability of sophisticated components is far from a given. Of course it’s possible to envisage a plant that builds FF units from raw materials, in the same way it would be possible to have a factory to build solar panels from raw materials, yet one does not exist.
    I was reading this
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/16/death-solar-power-solyndra
    which imputes the large fall in costs per kW of solar to a change in the silicon market. For a long time there were only a few “solar grade silicon” suppliers and they were exploiting their market position. Addressing bottlenecks like that is one way that government support can help to get an industry going. (I haven’t found out what led to the situation changing in the case of the silicon market. Maybe someone else knows.)

    #10725

    Duke Leto
    Member

    To answer the easy question I’m keeping my eye on the developed world and making sure that they get their standard of living jacked up because the last time there was a deflationary depression that lasted a while in the developed world there were some VERY unsavory political complications that arose from it in parts of the developed world. Good things happened in the US thanks to the emergence of FDR and the Democrats, but the same could not be said of much of Europe. There are already anti-immigrant demonstrations going on in Greece for example.

    Second I want a fast and brutal rollout to the developed world to jack down carbon emissions as fast as possible. I’m including China in “the Developed World” in this formulation. That really is no longer much of a stretch.

    Phase 8) would be to take all the cash from the previous 7) steps and pour it into the developing countries to bring their standard of living up to par.

    As to “giving the ring to Galadriel”, I think that reflects a fundamental disagreement on the nature of power. I don’t think power corrupts in and of itself, I think it attracts the corruptible. That would be Frank Herbert’s formulation and probably Socrates’. (Socrates of course was a pro-Spartan sack of crap though, naturally.) “The Ring” can’t be destroyed as such, just harnessed by good people. And good people who stay good do exist. The Rockerfellers for example have been fairly progressive all the way back to John D., and most of them, despite being Exxon shareholders are now politically active liberals. (See for example Jay Rockerfeller of West Virginia.) Brian H. has pointed out that unions can be corrupted by power, although the corruption worldwide is nowhere close to what he asserts, but we don’t want to get rid of unions because they’re socially useful.

    I could also point out that Tolkien was an out and out recidivist politically, he may not have been a racist per se in the strong sense, but his ideal polity was a monarchy and the chapter on Saruman in the Shire was a none to thinly veiled allegory about the rise of Clement Attlee’s Labour party in Britain.

    So I’m a power optimist in both senses of the term. 🙂

    #10728

    Warwick
    Member

    Duke Leto wrote: To answer the easy question I’m keeping my eye on the developed world and making sure that they get their standard of living jacked up because the last time there was a deflationary depression that lasted a while in the developed world there were some VERY unsavory political complications that arose from it in parts of the developed world. Good things happened in the US thanks to the emergence of FDR and the Democrats, but the same could not be said of much of Europe. There are already anti-immigrant demonstrations going on in Greece for example.

    There is some reason for being anti-immigration. If someone can translate their pay into home currency that has a much higher purchasing power, they will be willing to work for less. That is great news for business, bad news for other workers. In the long term, I’d like to see open borders, but circumstances are not suited to it at this point. And I don’t think you can read ‘spectre of nazism’ into a few such demonstrations. The whole Greek crisis has basically been snowballed to this point by one Angela Merkel and her conservative chums at the IMF and in the EU. It’s soon going to be solved by a massive default and then they can give two fingers to the eurozone – they were justifiably p’d off since we gave Turkey accession anyway.

    If it were not for the undemocratic power of the Koch bros, literally able to hold the USA to ransom, the US would probably have already a successful New Deal by now and we’d be debating how FF would fit into it. Looking at a world where democracy has been completely undermined, direct action is one answer, but it’s not the best one.

    The Rockerfellers for example have been fairly progressive all the way back to John D., and most of them, despite being Exxon shareholders are now politically active liberals. (See for example Jay Rockerfeller of West Virginia.)

    So basically a Grade A hypocrite then. He has the gall to stand on a liberal ticket while funding the world’s desecration. The rich and privileged don’t know what’s best for us, and it’s bad news when they can co-opt the system to become ‘liberal’ politicians.

    Brian H. has pointed out that unions can be corrupted by power, although the corruption worldwide is nowhere close to what he asserts, but we don’t want to get rid of unions because they’re socially useful.

    I wasn’t particularly saying that power corrupts, I said I would stop short of saying that although your idea brought that image to mind. There are so many things you can look at and say “just with one benevolent dictator”. And there have been times in history when individuals have seized power and made a positive difference. I doubt that Eric and Aaron could take over the world, anyway, however, so it’s more or less fantasy.

    the chapter on Saruman in the Shire was a none to thinly veiled allegory about the rise of Clement Attlee’s Labour party in Britain.

    Yeah I’ve always suspected that too.

    #10729

    Warwick
    Member

    Warwick wrote:

    the chapter on Saruman in the Shire was a none to thinly veiled allegory about the rise of Clement Attlee’s Labour party in Britain.

    Yeah I’ve always suspected that too.

    Off topic – sorry, actually where did you get that interpretation? Isn’t it just as easy to interpret the other way round. What actually happened is that the conservatives were turfed out post-demobilisation, in much the same way as Saruman is sent packing.

    #10731

    Duke Leto
    Member

    “gathering and sharing” my friend, “gathering and sharing”.

    #10732

    Duke Leto
    Member

    Warwick wrote:

    The Rockerfellers for example have been fairly progressive all the way back to John D., and most of them, despite being Exxon shareholders are now politically active liberals or progressives. (See for example Jay Rockerfeller of West Virginia.)

    So basically a Grade A hypocrite then. He has the gall to stand on a liberal ticket while funding the world’s desecration. The rich and privileged don’t know what’s best for us, and it’s bad news when they can co-opt the system to become ‘liberal’ politicians.

    Also I don’t know that that’s totally fair. All of the shares of the various Standard Oil descendant companies are held in a trust fund that the each of the descendants has only marginal control over. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockefeller_family#Family_wealth. So they don’t have enough to have a controlling interest in Exxon any more and they don’t have the ability to divest themselves of their shares either. I read somewhere that a consortium of the 4th and 5th generation family members petitioned Exxon to take global warming more seriously, but I can’t dig up the citation just now. It’s not a totally comfortable situation for them. Kind of like Washington’s will freeing his slaves only after Martha Washington died.

Viewing 14 posts - 31 through 44 (of 44 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.