Archive for March, 2016

@TheGreenParty @NicolaSturgeon transport needs to move overhill in mountainous regions

March 13, 2016

Before building HS2 and a tunnel road through the Pennines, why not consider the following system for freight.

Most of the congestion on motorway’s and railways is caused by freight, which may only be shifting between depots.

If we take a cable car system, such as this one in Singapore, we could make it sturdier and track it overland up the Pennines, where it would not affect built up area’s.

p1

It could be multiple tracks, with switchover points and having termini, outside of the major conurbations.

These Termini could be in container parks, where container’s can be transferred to local road and rail.

p2

The technology for handling container’s is already here, as is the technology for Dirigibles.

p3

By combining dirigibles with cable tracks, the transport cost’s would be comparatively low, as the energy needed to move these effectively weightless container’s would be minimal.

The actual energy needed could be mainly supplied by alternative energy sources, constructed concurrently with the cable car towers, or even incorporated into them.

The obvious energy source would be a wind turbine

p4

But there are alternative versions, which might be better suited.

See http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a4428/4324331/

turbines

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capitalists need customers. where do customers get the money when no jobs?

March 1, 2016

The BBC’s Big Question programm was discussing poverty versus wealth and it was obvious that the  participants were presenting opinions based on different basic pre-conceptions.
These were varied and complex but could be simplified as there being those who wanted to take money off the rich and give it to the poorest, so everyone had a safe guarded minimum wage.
Others were basically arguing that if you took too much off the rich, they’d take their money elsewhere and the poor would not get the trickle-down benefit.
The problem is that they are both correct, upto a point.

One of the contentious words used is “equality”, without reference to what should be equal.
Equality of opportunity could mean access to the same standard of education, which, in turn, is often confused with intelligence, motivation, physical ability, or even social standing.
In practice, as it appears to me, most people seem to believe that equality comes, when they are given a leg-up, to the top of the pile.

There will be no end to this debate because we need people to lead not just in politics but in Science, business, entertainment etc. Some will lead purely through altruism, e.g. nurses, but many need an incentive and incentivisation is measured in money.

You can’t have equality of Wealth, without Social stagnation.
You can’t have progress without inequality of wealth.

Social problems arise because “money makes money”. I.e. it creates Capitalism and Capitalism creates Power and “Power corrupts” and “absolute power corrupts absolutely”

These are cliche’s and they are cliche’s because they have been recognised as truth, since age’s past.

So! The problem is not inequality but the distribution of Wealth and its abuse.

History books tell us of “good kings” and “bad kings”, of contented peasantry and of revolutions.

I would claim that most people just want a quiet untroubled life, without some mad despot messing their lives up, because they are bored and have the same Sociopathic tendencies as a testerone charged youth.

To achieve this, Society needs to provide the basic needs for a comfortable life, for those without a yen for more. It needs a suitable extra treat for those who are prepared to strive for it. Finally, it needs a means for clipping the wings of any individual, or group (King or Goverment, Magnate or Conglomerate), who are acquiring more wealth or power than they can safely be allowed to handle.

Whatever mechanisms are used, to achieve these ends, will need to be reviewed on a generational basis.

For the present generation;
I would say guarantee all registered voters their basic needs. I.e. Shelter and a bed, clean water to drink, good health, a minimum healthy diet, a basic education (the 3 R’s) and access to free entertainment.   This would be the basic entitlement of everyone, regardless of any wealth.

There would be no need of charity, except for those desiring cosmetic surgery, or medication beyond what would be twice the equivalent cost of the food entitlement of an average adult (or some similar objective level agreed by common consensus).
With this in place, the majority will be content and those, who aren’t, should be.

Those seeking more can do so according to their skill, or luck.   Payment in kind, or cash, would only be taxable on a scale making it worth collecting.

Incentivisation is the next area of concern and this can be split into State licence, Public Service and Capitalism. I think the last two need considering together.
By State Licence, I mean patents, royalties and copyrights. Originally intended to reward innovation,which has benefitted Society, the system has been abused in various ways. Most research today needs access to facilities beyond those of many individuals. A consequence is that the actual innovator is an employee and instead of the reward going to him/her, it’s seized by the employer, who uses it to gouge the public. Worse there are stories of Manufacturer’s denying the benefit of a patent, by refusing to make and sell it, until the innovator has died, or given up the payments necessary to protect it.
With royalties, artistes have grown more aware of abuses by large companies but here the issue isn’t the artistes missing out. It’s a problem, as with Copyright, of royalties being extended beyond the life time of the individual and being traded to those who have doing nothing to benefit Society, at all. Similar issues relate to trademarks and cyber-squatting.
I, personally, think that rewards of this type, would be better met with a one-off payment along the lines of Nobel prize winner’s £1,000,000. Compare the value to Society of “Heigh-ho!, Heigh-ho…” with the deciphering of the structure of DNA.
The scandal truly lies with drug companies being allowed to rape the public with the connivance of the State. Yes! They do need capital to finance research but would they really stop research, if they could only have a three year monopoly.
It’s a big issue but the main point is the level of reward has become disproportionate and a more measured reward would reduce the over-generous share dividends and CEO bonuses causing Societal divisiveness.

This leads into Public Service and Capitalism.
Supporters of unbounded Capitalism will already have stopped reading this, much earlier, with a snorted “where’s the money to come from?”.
The money comes from the same sources as before, with the same motivation as before.
However; I propose that all businesses above a certain size and in operation for more than 5 years, surrender 50% of share dividends to Government (those operating in various jurisdictions leave it to the politicians to decide on how they share the 50%), instead of paying tax.
This could have the benefits of stomping on tax avoidance, reducing lobbyist corruption, helping constrain State expenditure, forcing business to be more ethical and, possibly, more.
By paying for Public services, Capitalist’s would be protected from their own avarice by maintaining a reservoir of consumer’s to buy their products.
At present, the political theory that all state functions should be privatised and increasingly deeper austerity measures imposed, carries the danger that Capitalists will find themselves with over-priced goods and penniless consumer’s.
Perhaps Economics degree courses should include a few lessons on predator-prey population graphs to help them understand this point.

predator prey relationship

predator prey relationship