Inflation watch


#261

Just to note that the ‘low tax’ Asian economies noted above may have low income taxes but there is a breath-taking array of indirect tariffs and fees on practically every financial interaction and transaction with government bodies.


#262

What about Ireland?

The state electricity company and state subventions to other operators via its regulators.
The state banking companies (AIB, PTSB, and Bank of Ireland bailout). Ulster bank is also owned by a foreign government who are not necessarily interested in subsidising Ireland. Not forgetting the mortgage subsidies and optimisation of the system that occurred in the boom to expand lending.
The state property/loan management company
The state transport companies (Aer Lingus, CIE, Airports)
The state entertainment companies (RTE and the arts)
The state tax collection company
The state turf company
The state forest company
The state water company
The state postal company
The state education sector
The state sickcare sector
The state agriculture sector
The state education sector
The state infrastructure sector
The state industrial development company
The state social welfare programs (Irish language, unemployment benefit, Rehab, FAS (Intreo and Solas), rent support.)
The state corporate welfare programs (projects for CIF, IDA grants and subsidies, Laws tailored for MNC corporations like Sony, Universal & Warner, various one way Public/private deals)
The state greyhound company.
The state charity sector
The state tourist sector

Take out the MNC operations and there is very little private sector activity left in Ireland that does not revolve around the state.


#263

Isn’t that quite low by historical standards for those countries?

Venezuelan and Argentine businesses are reputed to have techniques for handling episodes of high inflation. High inflation discourages hoarding: wealthy people are pushed to make productive investments rather than sit on piles of cash.

It’s bad for pensioners, and good for young job-seekers. In contrast to life in the Eurozone, where pensioners are coddled at the expense of young people who, even in Germany, can’t get real jobs, but just make-work schemes like Jobbridge.

Argentina’s big disaster came when they tried to make inflation too low, by pegging their currency to a foreign superpower.


#264

Sweden 'slimmest Nordic welfare state '

The Nordic welfare state is unsustainable, except of course for Norway, which has that wonderful but rare combination of oil and good governance!


#265

The examples you give are of countries with absolute power vested in the government. Singapore and Hong Kong are completely micro managed, in particular Singapore. Both socially and economically, it is a planned society. Face it, there isn’t a successful state without a strong interventionist government, whether by repeated plebiscite (as in the case of Switzerland, where the votes are for the government to legislate, not for it to wither away) or in Singapore which is a command economy.

I note that you gloss over the success of the Scandanavian countries, Germany, etc.


#266

Well that was miserably predictable. You ask for examples of capitalist states, I provide some with a caveat that they are not purely capitalist but you still go down that angle.

While the Singaporean govt does of course play a role in their economy, calling Singapore a command economy is ridiculous.

You might want to check your definitions of command economy…

Definition of ‘Command Economy’

A system where the government, rather than the free market, determines what goods should be produced, how much should be produced and the price at which the goods will be offered for sale. The command economy is a key feature of any communist society. China, Cuba, North Korea and the former Soviet Union are examples of countries that have command economies.

investopedia.com/terms/c/command-economy.asp

An economic system in which activity is controlled by a central authority and the means of production are publicly owned

merriam-webster.com/dictiona … %20economy


#267

It has to be said that inflation was well managed in commanded economy of Poland, if price of meat went up then it was offset by drop in price of locomotives - this way there was 0% inflation. Take that capitalism!
:angry:


#268

They People’s Republic of Poland also set up Pewex to soak up all those black market dollars and marks.

Martial law blues for black market money-changers - Eric Bourne - csmonitor.com/1982/0413/041302.html
April 13, 1982

and from there it went downhill for the peoples republic.


#269

Black dollar market never ceased, source - I was there :wink: Of course I was never involved in it and never possessed any capitalist currencies. I’m not that kind of person. There were also dollar coupons in 80s - which you could spend in Pewex at 1:1 ratio to USD. I also hate that this negative propaganda about commanded economy is spread, there were shortages but on other hand even during deepest crisis there was ample supply of vinegar.

To stay on topic I also lived through inflation of 1800% - I recall we considered it to be making growth harder. However CB interest rates of 50% quaterly brought it down and you just cannot imagine how weird it was to have stable prices. I think West might be obsessed too much with inflation, what helped us back then was deregulation, international trade, increased productivity, access to technology. Just think for a second what would happen in Ireland abandoned planning permissions today, construction sector would be booming tomorrow - without tinkering with debt, currency and interest rates.


#270

Prices fall but Ireland remains dearer than eurozone average

irishtimes.com/news/consumer … -1.1676730


#271

:unamused: I’m trying to gouge how certain you are about this “regulation and tax cause high prices, not price gauging”. I’m surprised that you could be short of examples of companies ‘price gauging’ throughout the last 20 years.
Pharma
Grocers
Running shoes
Sportswear

It doesn’t matter if there are cheaper alternatives - companies seek to set their prices as high as possible, and they often get away with it through fair means or foul, irrespective of government regulation or tax. In many cases it’s government regulation that stops ‘price gauging’ via legal action.


#272

finance.yahoo.com/news/middle-cl … 17051.html


#273

Red Lobster is not “middle class” by any stretch.


#274

What is it?
I also found the reference to “fine-dining chains” a bit strange. For me that sounds like a bit of an oxymoron. Sure, you can get decent food in a chain restaurant, but it’s unlikely to tick the boxes of being “elite” or truly premium.


#275

I had the displeasure of eating in an Olive Garden Restaurant once. The American couple that brought us there thought it was a real treat so we had to grin and bear it.

I think the main point of the article is still valid though.


#276

Anywhere with a salad bar qualifies as working class, like Harvester/Wetherspoons in the UK.

Oh wait, doesn’t Unicorn have one of those? Haven’t been in about ten years. :smiley:


#277

Consumer Price Index, January 2014
cso.ie/en/releasesandpublica … nuary2014/

% monthly change -0.5%
% annual change +0.2%

Private Rents (table 7)
% monthly change +0.6%
% annual change +9.1%


#278

U.S. producer prices climb 0.2% in January

Same old story of no inflation… But what’s this in the last paragraph?

This is more evidence that the governement is moving the goalposts to get a lower inflation rate. Surely this is undeniable now? The new method has cut the inflation by a third. That is huge!

marketwatch.com/story/us-pro … atest_news


#279

**Japan Trade Deficit Swells to Record as Import Costs Surge **

bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-1 … n-yen.html

Could those who are pro-weak-currency please explain this?

Or will you finally admit that a weak currency is not something to strive for!


#280

2008 FED transcripts released last week… Inflation Watch was the name of the game !!!

theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/how-the-fed-let-the-world-blow-up-in-2008/284054/