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Showing posts from July, 2011

Reforming the economy with multiple currencies

Our national economies appear to be breaking at various points that are hard to fix without substantial reform.

I suggest that many problems within an economy such as the US that have traditionally been addressed by complex, intrusive, and not all that effective legislation, can be addressed more elegantly by redesigning money.

I propose splitting a national currency such as the US Dollar into three or more currencies. These currencies would be:
Consumption Dollars, used for retail purchases. Persons would obtain Consumption Dollars by exchanging Investment Dollars they receive as their income. The exchange rate would start at 1:1 and become progressively more expensive as a person acquired more Consumption Dollars in a certain time frame.Investment Dollars, received as income. All dividends, salaries and wages would be payable in Investment Dollars. This currency would be used to purchase companies and shares of companies, and could be lent to others who will invest it in this way. This…

Don't stop using soap just yet

So I did an experiment for you. For science.

This guy posted on Reddit about how he hasn't used soap and shampoo for a year. I've heard similar ideas before, so I decided to give it a try.

For over a month, I showered only with water. I never stopped feeling unclean. My hair had lots of dandruff. My scalp itched. Scratching it felt tacky due to the oil on my hair. I cut my hair to 1/3 inch, and it wasn't much better. A month went by. No improvement.

I used soap & shampoo again today. I finally feel clean. My hair smells good. My scalp isn't itchy.

Maybe not using soap and shampoo works for people who shower 3 times a day and swim in chlorine regularly, but it didn't work for me.

So scratch that theory.

The top 1% vs. the top 0.1%

Excellent article by an investment manager about the makeup of the top 1%:

Who Rules America: An Investment Manager's View on the Top 1%

The 99th to 99.5th percentiles largely include physicians, attorneys, upper middle management, and small business people who have done well.

...

Since the majority of those in this group actually earned their money from professions and smaller businesses, they generally don't participate in the benefits big money enjoys. Those in the 99th to 99.5th percentile lack access to power. [...] I speak daily with these relative winners in the economic hierarchy and many express frustration.

Unlike those in the lower half of the top 1%, those in the top half and, particularly, top 0.1%, can often borrow for almost nothing, keep profits and production overseas, hold personal assets in tax havens, ride out down markets and economies, and influence legislation in the U.S. They have access to the very best in accounting firms, tax and other attorneys, numerous…

The best, not the worst, must be teachers

Build a better educational system by taking a leaf out of Finland's book.

Interview with Tony Wagner:
[Finland] began in the 1970s by completely transforming the preparation and selection of future teachers. That was a very important fundamental reform because it enabled them to have a much higher level of professionalism among teachers. Every teacher got a masters degree, and every teacher got the very same high quality level of preparation.

So what has happened since is that teaching has become the most highly esteemed profession. Not the highest paid, but the most highly esteemed. Only one out of every 10 people who apply to become teachers will ultimately make it to the classroom. The consequence has been that Finland's performance on international assessments, called PISA, have consistently outranked every other western countryYou can't have good educational outcomes unless you have good teachers. I find it shocking how many countries are letting the teaching profession …