The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

She's a psychic! She should have seen this comming!

Via my dog wants to be on the radio, comes news that Miss Cleo of the late night psychic hotline infomercials fame, is being served as Broward County (where I live used to live) is going after her and the company she represents for fraud.

Nooooooooooo! Not Miss Cleo! Not the icon of cheesy late night psychic hotline informercials! First Dion Warrick fades from the scene. Then Kenny Kingston disappears! Now Miss Cleo? What will this do for the cheesy late night psychic hotline informercial scene? And does this mean we'll only get to date her in jail?

Oh the humanity!

Make money replying to email?

Last time I looked into making money with my website, the hot idea was text ads; small, unobtrusive advertising using text only. Nice idea, but I haven't heard much since November.

Now, via, comes An Entirely Serious Proposal Regarding Blogging, Payment, and E-Mail whereby a person running a weblog makes money by responding to email!

Nice, if you get tons of email. While I've received some email related to entries here (thanks! Sorry I haven't responded), I haven't been innundated with so many entries as to drown me. I don't think I've had enough to drown a hampster.

Ah well …

Everything's fine. Nothing to see. Move along.

The world—including even the previously sanguine Japanese—is now catching on to the fact that Japan's 12-year slump has deteriorated into a full-blown crisis, threatening a wild global ride. Falloffs in various indicators in the world's second-largest economy resemble the plunge of such countries as the U.S. into the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Via InstaPundit.Com, The Panic Spreads

If it's one thing that just plain defies common sense, it's economics. I consider inflation bad, as I can buy less stuff with my money. Yet economists like inflation. It's good for you, unless it's hyperinflation—then it's bad. But regular old inflation, that's good. I don't see the problem with deflation, as the money I have saved is now worth more, but to economists? Bad! Not good! Evil!

But I'm looking at it as a guy that doesn't buy stuff. Well, non-essential stuff anyway. The rich? They don't save money. Nope. They make money by making it move through the economy. They buy big stuff like real estate and then sell it back after inflation has driven up the price of stuff. When most of your liquid assets are not in a monetary liquid form then of course deflation is bad—your stuff is now worth less. And because the rich don't save money like we mere mortals do, deflation hits the rich rather harder than it does us. [actually, the super rich don't even buy stuff outright, they hand the money over to a foundation or trust they control (and take a nice write off on their personal taxes—heck, they may even make negative amounts of money that way and have the government owe them!) which then mortgages or leases the stuff the super rich desire, so the foundation or trust (which may or may not pay taxes—I'm not entirely sure of the law in this case) can then write it off as operating expenses. Any excess money is then invested and the rate of return on such actually covers the operating expenses generating a profit, which is usually handed back to the super rich as income (more operating expenses of course) or squirreled away in some offshore bank account hiding it from Uncle Sam. The money is always moving, never accumulating and most of it probably isn't in any monetary liquid form, which is why deflation is usually considered a Bad Thing.]

So now Japan is facing an economic crisis and economists here are all nervous because if Japan collapses economincally, it could affect us here. Economists are all worked up because Japan has a near zero interest rate and people over there are still saving! How dare them! They should be spending spending spending! Build up that debt! Grease those economic wheels!

Let's face it—no one really understands how the economy works anyway, and most of it appears to work off perception anyway so perhaps we should force all economists to say the economy is good no worry here and maybe once for a change get the rich folks to actually work for a living.

Just a thought.

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