Journey in Life: economics
Showing posts with label economics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label economics. Show all posts

Monday, June 22, 2020

Nâng cao chất lượng chính sách công nghiệp

(mềm) yếu lắm, ko nâng được :)

luôn bị tác động bởi chính trị,

giả sử rằng chính trị ko có vai trò gì trong chính sách công nghiệp, cũng như giả sử rằng hơi nước ko có vai trò gì trong động cơ hơi nước vậy...
-----
trích dẫn hôm nay… is from page 43 of the May 9th, 2020, draft of the important forthcoming monograph from Deirdre McCloskey and Alberto Mingardi, The Illiberal and Anti-Entrepreneurial State of Mariana Mazzucato:

[Mariana] Mazzucato believes that the State is good at detecting “high growth, high risk areas.” The idea is that their evaluation (đánh giá) by a Ministry of Innovation would not be affected by politics (không bị ảnh hưởng bởi chính trị). Dream on (cứ mơ đi), we would reply. The alternative mechanism (cơ chế thay thế) of voluntary deals (giao dịch tự nguyện) responds to the boring interests rather of customers – that is, citizens, as suppliers as demanders. When political considerations are allowed to tip the scale (làm nghiêng cán cân, yếu tố quyết định), and protect ill-advised products and incompetent producers, the result is of course bad. Every moderately alert adult knows this. It is surprising that Mazzucato the economist does not.

DBx: As the penultimate (áp chót, áp cuối) sentence of this quotation correctly suggests, it is laughably unrealistic to pretend that politics plays no large role in industrial policy. The entire point of industrial policy is to replace (thay thế) market processes (quá trình thị trường) with the commands of politicians (mệnh lệnh của các chính trị gia) and their hirelings – that is, to power markets, not with the profits and losses that emerge in the process of economic competition but, instead, with prescriptions and proscriptions (sự đặt ngoài vòng pháp luật, sự cấm, bài trừ) issued by politicians. To assume that politics plays no large role in industrial policy makes no more sense than to assume that steam plays no large role in steam engines.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Điều kiện để được Nhà nước cử đi học nước ngoài?

cứ nghĩ thế, tìm tòi thế là mong nhà nước lấy tiền (thuế) của công dân b để trả tiền học cho công chức a đấy...

trả về cho tư nhân nhé,

như kiểu có ý kiến kêu gọi xóa bỏ mô hình trường ams, trả về cho tư nhân, là một trường tư đó...
-----
what I think of this claim of his: “But firms will not sufficiently invest of their own accord in the training of their workers for the simple reason that it is the workers who ultimately capture the value of their skills in the form of higher productivity and wages (which we should want!), so public funds are needed.”

This claim is quite common, but it has always struck me as deeply flawed. Those who offer it propose to cure a non-existent problem by creating a real one.

Employer provision of worker training is not, contrary to Oren’s argument, a positive externality. Oren himself inadvertently hints at this fact by correctly observing that workers “ultimately capture the value of their skills in the form of higher productivity and wages.” His use of the term “capture” is telling: workers who capture the value of their training have incentives to pay for it if no one else will. Precisely because the value of worker training belongs to workers and not to employers, workers have incentives to purchase optimal amounts of training by agreeing to work at wages lower than otherwise, and employers thus have incentives to supply such training. (nhân viên chấp nhận lương thấp để có cơ hội được đào tạo bởi chủ doanh nghiệp)

In contrast, government creates an externality when it pays for worker training. By arranging for worker Jones’s training to be paid for by taxpayer Smith, government arranges for Jones to free ride (đi nhờ miễn phí) on Smith. Government thus gives to Jones incentives to spend excessive amounts of Smith’s money. Under these circumstances, there’s every reason to believe that the value of Jones’s training will be less than the value that Smith loses as a result of Jones’s free-riding.

Asserting ‘market failure’ is too easy – and, thus, easily mistaken.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Chính phủ đồng hành cùng doanh nghiệp

bạn có nghĩ là chính phủ nên dẹp thị trường xe cũ, để các doanh nghiệp bán được nhiều xe mới hơn ko?

ko?

-> vậy đừng mong chính phủ (can thiệp) giúp doanh nghiệp này/doanh nghiệp kia "bành trướng" thị trường, same vậy thôi...
-----
Mr. Wilson:

Thanks for your follow-up e-mail. Alas, I strongly disagree that “government provides a public good by utilizing tariffs to expand the market for US-made goods.”

You’re correct that the opening of foreign markets can enable some American producers to produce on larger scales. You’re correct also that the resulting greater profits would be a benefit to these American producers. Yet it doesn’t follow that government should intervene in order to enable firms to take advantage of larger economies of scale.

Before leaping to the conclusion that I’m mistaken, ponder this question: Should our government outlaw the sale of used cars? After all, people who buy used cars don’t buy new cars. The availability of used cars thus keeps the market for new American-made cars smaller than otherwise and, as a result, causes production runs at GM, Ford, and Chrysler to be smaller than otherwise. The availability of used cars therefore denies to American automakers the greater profits they might earn by producing at even larger economies of scale.

Do you believe that our government fails to provide a “public good” by not “utilizing” its power to “expand the market” for U.S.-made automobiles by outlawing the sale of used cars?

I understand that a thriving used-car market differs economically and ethically from the interventions of foreign governments that obstruct their citizens’ freedom of commerce. But I submit not only that the principal victims of those foreign interventions are not Americans, but foreigners – and not only that unilaterally imposed tariffs have a poor track record of expanding global markets for U.S.-made goods – and not only that it’s unethical for our government to help some of us expand our access to buyers by harming others of us by shrinking our access to sellers – but also that your use here of the concept of a “public good” is evidence that this concept has in practice become little more than camouflage (ngụy trang) for government mischief (điều ác, việc ác; mối hại, mối nguy hại, sự tổn hại; mối phiền luỵ).

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Đầu tư tư nhân: Tạo sức bật cho tinh thần khởi nghiệp

có phải toàn thành công đâu, có thất bại chứ, nhưng đó là tự nguyện, và lỗi lầm được sửa sai,

còn đầu tư công ư, "rút sợi dây kinh nghiệm" qua thuế đánh lên đầu người dân, và trợ cấp cho thân hữu...
-----
trích dẫn hôm nay… is from page 42 of the May 9th, 2020, draft of the superb forthcoming monograph from Deirdre McCloskey and Alberto Mingardi, The Illiberal and Anti-Entrepreneurial State of Mariana Mazzucato:

We don’t say that every private investment (đầu tư tư nhân) is wise (thông minh, lõi đời). Remember the failure rate (tỷ lệ thất bại). But at least it is voluntary (tự nguyện), and correctible by failure, which the State can always avoid with additional coerced taxation (đánh thuế mang tính chất ép buộc) and the corresponding subsidy (trợ cấp) to its good friends (bạn thân).

DBx: Described here is yet another pesky (phiền toái, khó chịu) reality (thực tế) that is consistently ignored (thường xuyên bị bỏ qua/phớt lờ) by proponents (người ủng hộ) of industrial policy (chính sách công nghiệp).

Sinh ra ở vạch đích

rich kid thì cũng có đứa ngu và thất bại thôi -> tức là kinh tế thị trường ko chịu khuất phục trước "ưu tiên/biệt đãi", thế còn nhà nước thì ko chịu khuất phục privilege nào?
-----
trích dẫn hôm nay… is from page 48 of the May 9th, 2020, draft of the forthcoming monograph from Deirdre McCloskey and Alberto Mingardi, The Illiberal and Anti-Entrepreneurial State of Mariana Mazzucato:

Some rich kids will do well: being born to an affluent father does not inevitably imply stupidity. Some others will do badly and fail. That he or she fails, despite coming from a position of privilege, suggests that the market economy does not bow to privilege per se. Yet what State does not bow to privilege?

Không học lịch sử sao?

trái với chủ nghĩa dân tộc là chủ nghĩa cá nhân (chủ nghĩa tự do),
-----
trích dẫn hôm nay… is from this recent EconLog blog post by Scott Sumner:

Every time I read an intellectual defending nationalism I think to myself; “Have these people not studied history?” Haven’t we been here before?

DBx: The alternative to nationalism is not, as is believed by many, one-world government (chính phủ một-thế-giới). Nor is the alternative a romantic transformation of human beings into loving members of the giant family “Humankind.”

The alternative to nationalism is individualism (lý thuyết ủng hộ sự tự do hành động và tự do tín ngưỡng hoàn toàn cho mỗi cá nhân (đối lập với lý thuyết ủng hộ quyền tối cao của nhà nước); chủ nghĩa cá nhân). And of course by individualism is not meant atomism. By individualism is meant liberalism (chủ nghĩa tự do), as this term was originally understood.

Liberalism rejects the notion that society, the nation, and the market are sentient creatures with preferences and goals and feelings and expectations. Liberalism recognizes that choices are made only by individuals and that experiences are had – are sensed, are expected, are evaluated – only by individuals. Liberalism regards the individual as the measure of all things social.

And – pay close attention collectivists of all stripes – true liberals not only recognize, but celebrate, the fact that individuals use their freedom to act in ways that create bonds of cooperation with other individuals.

Some of these bonds, such as those that form the family, are intimate and understandable to the human mind. Other of these bonds, such as most of those that are formed by commerce, are “arms’-length.” But all of these bonds are natural, in the sense that they arise from human nature.

The full pattern of commercial bonds that make possible modern society are designed by no one and undesignable by anyone. And so to understand complex commercial bonds requires an active application of human intelligence. Whether it be from inability or unwillingness, many people – including many intelligent people – refuse to apply their intelligence to understand the nature of these complex commercial bonds. These people, fearing what they do not understand, lash out at extensive commerce. They blame it for ills that it does not cause, and they refuse to credit it for the countless benefits that it does bring.

Nationalism – by creating the false impression (ấn tượng giả tạo) that the nation is a large family (quốc gia-dân tộc là gia đình lớn) with interests ultimately opposed by foreigners – artificially obstructs individuals’ efforts to form peaceful, productive commercial ties with each other if those ties happen to cross political boundaries (qua các biên giới chính trị).

It’s stupid. It’s dangerous. (thật ngu dốt và nguy hiểm) It’s nationalism.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Amazon che giấu các chủ đầu tư điều gì?

che giấu cả quốc hội nữa,

các thủ thuật bóp nghẹt cạnh tranh (đối thủ), đặt hàng của chính mình ở góc trên bên trái kết quả tìm kiếm (vị trí thèm thuồng nhất), hi sinh doanh thu quảng cáo ngắn hạn để lấy dòng tiền/xây dựng thương hiệu hàng của chính mình (dài hạn),

ko khai báo với ủy ban tư pháp chống độc quyền của quốc hội, về sổ sách kế toán, làm rõ doanh thu, chi phí, lợi nhuận của 4 dòng hàng/dịch vụ: hàng riêng, quảng cáo, vận tải giao nhận (fulfillment), và prime, amazon ko tách cụ thể được, vì cái này bù lỗ cái kia (lung tung cả :)...
-----
First, let’s talk about this specific tactic. According to Dudley, when some customers do a search through Amazon, Amazon will simply place its own product in the top left slot. According to this story, a search for “ground coffee” tends to return AmazonFresh Colombia and a search for “melatonin” returns the Amazon brand Solimo. A consultant who helps brands navigate the site, Jason Boyce, noted that Amazon used to allow brands to bid for that slot, and his client who sold natural supplements paid up to $6 to Amazon’s advertising business line for a click on its product. But recently, Amazon just gives its own product top billing, no matter what.

“The domino effect of Amazon’s new strategy has demoted competitors’ listings for products including diapers, copy paper, kids’ pajamas, mattresses, trail mix and lightbulbs,” wrote Dudley. “By putting its own private brands in some of the most valuable slots, Amazon is sacrificing short-term ad revenue to build up sales of its private brands over time, consultants said.” Hal Singer, a well-known industrial organizational economist, tweeted these actions are a red flag for antitrust enforcers. Foregoing revenue to capture market share, or “profit sacrifice,” is not necessary to prove a monopolization case, but it certainly helps. Singer also notes that brands have to pay a 15% commission, plus third party merchants often use Amazon’s expensive fulfillment and logistics service, Fulfillment by Amazon, on the hopes they get better placement. Competing with Amazon on these terms is impossible.

...the House Judiciary Antitrust Committee asked Amazon last July about Amazon’s accounting, and how Amazon responded. The committee asked the corporation to break out its revenues, costs, and profit markets for several lines of business . For four lines of business, Amazon simply refused to answer (see questions 14, 41, 59, and 75). It refused to give information on its private label, Advertising, Fulfillment by Amazon, and Prime.


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

"Bảo hiểm sức khỏe" như hiện nay có cần thiết không?

bảo hiểm thật sự phải là bảo vệ cá nhân khỏi bị "mất tiền" vì "rủi ro không lường trước".

với các khoản tiền khấu trừ thấp và phải cùng chi trả như hiện nay thì cái gọi là "bảo hiểm sức khỏe" chỉ là kế hoạch chi trả y tế thôi (ko phải bảo hiểm),
-----
Real, genuine insurance protects people from unexpected financial losses. The definition found at Investorwords.com is typical: “Insurance is designed to protect the financial well-being of an individual, company or other entity in the case of unexpected loss.”

Note especially the words “financial well-being” and “unexpected loss.”

...With low deductibles and copayments, today’s “health insurance” is more of a health-care reimbursement plan.

Of course our insurance covers us financially against big-ticket, low-probability medical procedures such as cardiovascular surgery. But this insurance is used mostly to help pay for small-ticket items that nearly all of us buy routinely.

Got a sinus (xoang) problem? Your health-insurance helps you pay for prescription nasal spray (xịt mũi). Pregnant? Insurance covers much of the cost of your physician, hospital stay and medications. Your children need their teeth cleaned? Dental insurance will pick up much of the tab.

This coverage isn’t insurance. Each of these medical conditions is quite likely and predictable. And their costs are not so high as to threaten most Americans’ financial well-being. (Even the cost of prenatal care and birthing in a hospital is affordable, as it’s a small fraction of the total amount of money that parents spend on children over a lifetime. And because pregnancy is under parents’ control, they can plan their savings to cover medical expenses associated with it.)

If automobile care were supplied like health care, each of us — directly or through our employers — would pay premiums to auto insurers. Every time we change our oil, we’d pay out of our own pockets small copayments — say, $5 — with our insurers reimbursing Jiffy Lube or Pep Boys for the rest of the bills.

Ditto for tire replacements, front-end alignments and fixing bent fenders.

Because insurers must cover their expenses, alignments and oil changes wouldn’t really cost us only $5 each. We’d each pony up the full price for these procedures in the form of insurance-premium payments. As the guy in the old Fram oil filter TV commercials said: “You can pay me now or pay me later.”

The problem is that paying “later” — in the form of premiums — relieves each of us of the necessity of carefully weighing the full cost of each treatment against its potential benefits. Is that runny nose really worth a trip to the doctor’s office? By having to pay only very little out of pocket to the physician, you’re more likely to visit the M.D. You thereby tie up her time that might have been better used to treat someone suffering from a more serious ailment.

When multiplied over tens of millions of health-care consumers, the cost of this failure to ensure that medical resources are used as efficiently as possible is immense. And this high cost is reflected in rising health-insurance premiums.

Real insurance protects us from financial catastrophe without causing us to overuse resources. Today’s health-care “insurance” protects us from financial consequences — which is an important reason why health-care costs are so high.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Lý do các quỹ tư nhân không nên tồn tại?

ko bị kiểm soát, nên mua các công ty sản xuất và dùng những thủ thuật tài chính như trả cổ tức cao, trả lãi vay cho "chủ", "bòn rút" cho đến khi sập tiệm và đẩy công nhân ra đường hết, gây hại cho nền kinh tế...
-----
Earlier this month, a former Toys “R” Us employee named Sarah Woodhams confronted (đối chất) Democratic Presidential candidate Julian Castro. Woodhams told Castro about her experience at the corporation. She worked there for seven years, and then was laid off with no severance (trợ cấp thôi việc) because a set of private equity firms bought the company and looted (cướp phá) it. What she described is not an isolated instance (không phải trường hợp riêng lẻ), but an increasingly common one in America. Woodhams told Castro that “dozens of retail companies (công ty bán lẻ) controlled (bị kiểm soát bởi) by Wall Street have gone into bankruptcy (phá sản), including RadioShack, Payless, and Kmart,” with 15,000 jobs alone in Pennsylvania having disappeared (biến mất).

“Billionaires buy up these companies, make huge profits on our backs, and get away with it because there’s no financial regulation,” Sarah Woodhams explained. “As president, what will you do to hold private equity firms and hedge funds accountable for the destruction of our communities and livelihoods?”

...A private equity fund is a large unregulated pool of money run by financiers (nhà tư bản tài chính) who use that money to invest in and/or buy companies and restructure (tái cấu trúc) them. They seek to recoup (thu lại được; bù lại, bồi thường; tự bù đắp) gains (lợi nhuận) through dividend pay-outs (trả cổ tức) or later sales of the companies to strategic acquirers  (cổ đông chiến lược) or back to the public markets through initial public offerings (chào bán công khai lần đầu). But that doesn’t capture the scale of the model. There are also private equity-like businesses who scour (sục sạo, sục tìm; lùng sục) the landscape for companies, buy them, and then use extractive (bòn rút) techniques such as price gouging (lừa đảo, lừa gạt) or legalized forms of complex fraud to generate cash by moving debt and assets like real estate among shell companies. PE funds also lend money and act as brokers, and are morphing into investment bank-like institutions. Some of them are public companies.

While the movement is couched in the language of business, using terms like strategy, business models returns of equity, innovation, and so forth, and proponents refer to it as an industry, private equity is not business. On a deeper level, private equity is the ultimate example of the collapse of the enlightenment concept of what ownership means. Ownership used to mean dominion (quyền thống trị, quyền chi phối, quyền chiếm hữu) over a resource (tài nguyên), and responsibility for caretaking that resource. PE is a political movement whose goal is extend deep managerial controls (quyền kiểm soát điều hành) from a small group of financiers over the producers in the economy. Private equity transforms corporations from institutions that house people and capital for the purpose of production into extractive institutions designed solely to shift cash to owners and leave the rest behind as trash. Like much of our political economy, the ideas behind it were developed in the 1970s and the actual implementation was operationalized during the Reagan era.

Sự lạc lối của tỷ phú Masayoshi Son

áp dụng mô hình của amazon, định giá thấp quá đáng so với các đối thủ trong ngành bán lẻ và cuối cùng kiểm soát thị trường,

tỷ phú son cũng đổ tiền vào các công ty khởi nghiệp công nghệ, ra sức đốt tiền, nhằm hy vọng sẽ có lợi nhuận khi là "người chơi cuối cùng trên thị trường" (độc quyền), -> lỗ sặc gạch,

"chủ nghĩa tư bản giả mạo", những hành vi như vậy thật ra bị cấm, bởi luật clayton, vì trái ngược hẳn với tinh thần của chủ nghĩa tư bản: công ty phát triển do sử dụng đầu vào hiệu quả hơn và tạo ra hàng hóa và dịch vụ tốt hơn, chứ ko phải có "tiền rẻ"...
-----
Son is a more interesting character. He’s a venture capitalist/empire builder who had been able to raise hundreds of billions of dollars to restructure industries globally (tái cấu trúc các ngành công nghiệp trên toàn cầu). Son built his reputation (danh tiếng) in the first dot com boom with a lucky investment (khoản đầu tư may mắn) in Yahoo! and Alibaba. He has since restructured ride-sharing with large investments in Uber and its foreign counterparts. Like most major financiers, Son is a powerful and connected political operator. For instance, he’s an owner of Sprint, and he’s currently trying to force an illegal merger of Sprint with T-Mobile, hoping his political connections to Donald Trump can get it through merger review.

Generally speaking, Softbank’s model is to manipulate private capital markets as a way of drowning out competitors with cash (dùng tiền "nhận chìm"/"đập chết ăn thịt"). For instance, there were several ‘rounds’ of WeWork investment where Softbank was buying more shares at higher valuations. WeWork ostensibly became more valuable because Son said it was more valuable, and bought shares for higher prices. And since there was no public market for these shares, the pricing of the shares was totally arbitrary. WeWork then used this cash to underprice competitors in the co-working space market, hoping to be able to profit later once it had a strong market position in real estate subletting or ancillary businesses.

Counterfeit Capitalism

This is of course Amazon’s model, which underpriced competitors in retail and eventually came to control the whole market. And Amazon has spawned a host of imitators, including WeWork. It has also reshaped venture investing. The goal of Son, and increasingly most large financiers in private equity and venture capital, is to find big markets and then dump capital into one player in such a market who can underprice until he becomes the dominant remaining actor. In this manner, financiers can help kill all competition, with the idea of profiting later on via the surviving monopoly.

Engaging in such a strategy used to be illegal, and was known as predatory pricing (đẩy giá xuống tới mức không thể có lãi trong một thời kỳ để nhằm làm suy yếu hoặc loại trừ các đối thủ cạnh tranh; định giá ăn cướp). There are laws, like Robinson-Patman and the Clayton Act, which, if read properly and enforced, prohibit such conduct. The reason is very basic to capitalism. Capitalism works because companies that thrive take a bunch of inputs and create a product that is more valuable than the sum of its parts. That creates additional value, and in such a model companies have to compete by making better goods and services.

Sai lầm của Jamie Dimon

chậm chân ko tham gia vào và do đó tránh được khủng hoảng nợ dưới chuẩn năm 2006, nhưng đi rao giảng đó là nhờ tính thận trọng của mình,

giờ cũng dính phốt tin ở Adam Neumann và WeWork, -> failed thảm hại...
-----
Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan.

Dimon’s role is prosaic (không sáng tạo, nôm na, tầm thường, không hay, không giàu óc tưởng tượng); his bank essentially financed WeWork after Dimon was tricked by Neumann into thinking the real estate money losing enterprise represented the future. Dimon wanted JP Morgan serve as Neumann’s personal banker, to serve as the commercial banker to WeWork, to take the company public, and to offer credit services as well.

If you know Dimon’s actual reputation, him getting suckered isn’t surprising. From what I heard back in 2009, Dimon is a mediocrity (kẻ tầm thường) who essentially got lucky (về cơ bản là may mắn) his bank was too slow (chậm chân) to get in on the subprime scam (mưu đồ lừa gạt) in 2006; he then used his bank’s incompetence (trình độ kém cỏi) at getting into the bubble (bong bóng) as justification (biện minh) for how prudent (thận trọng) he was. In this case, however, Dimon didn’t miss the fraud boat. JP Morgan managed to just make it into WeWork, the last round of the money losing fake tech bubble. Dimon will now portray himself as the adult cleaning up the mess, but of course, he’s more of an arsonist pretending to be a firefighter (là kẻ phóng hỏa /đốt đền chứ ko phải lính cứu hỏa).

Spotify sẽ làm thị trường podcast tiêu tan?

tìm cách độc quyền phân phối qua việc ép người dùng cài ứng dụng để nghe các nội dung hấp dẫn (qua việc mua luôn nhà sản xuất (công ty của Bill Simmons) hoặc có các thỏa thuận độc quyền (với Joe Rogan)) -> xóa bỏ đối thủ cạnh tranh mã mở RSS, rồi kiểm soát podcast nào có thể tiếp cận người nghe, cuối cùng là biến dữ liệu và quảng cáo nhắm đối tượng thành tiền.

-> sẽ ko còn independent voices and an independent press nữa, như các web tin tức trước đây giờ chỉ còn google và facebook...
-----

First, Spotify is gaining power over podcast distribution by forcing customers to use its app to listen to must-have content, by either buying production directly or striking exclusive deals, as it did with Rogan. This is a tying or bundling strategy. Once Spotify has a gatekeeping power over distribution, it can eliminate the open standard rival RSS, and control which podcasts get access to listeners. The final stage is monetization through data collection and ad targeting. Once Spotify has gatekeeping power over distribution and a large ad targeting business, it will also be able to control who can monetize podcasts, because advertisers will increasingly just want to hit specific audience members, as opposed to advertise on specific shows.

...No advertiser will care if you’re a listener of Joe Rogan or Bill Simmons, only that you are a 34 year old male with a certain income reachable in thirty forty different audio slots, which can then all go in an auction. Or even if they do care, competitive ad networks who offer the service you want will probably die. Then, just as the New York Times content becomes far less important online because Google can just find you that New York Times reader through another publisher outlet or Google’s own properties, the actual podcast becomes commodified, because all that matters is the listener data combined with the ad slots, not the show against which those ad slots are sold. This is another complicated way of saying the people who do the work of making and distributing a show don’t get the benefit from the work they do.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Rất phức tộp

xếp chỗ ngồi cho 20 người đã khó,

thì làm sao có thể xử lý hàng tỷ đầu vào, chỉ với bộ phận đầu não ở washington, nếu ko có local knowledge, no feedback mechanism, and no skin in the game...
-----
When I was young, the number of family members gathered for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner was about 20 – a large dinner gathering, yes, but nothing out of the ordinary (không có gì là ko bình thường). Yet the number of different ways to arrange the seating of a mere 20 people around a dinner table is – drumroll! – 2,432,902,008,176,640,000.

A number this large has no non-scientific name. It is inconceivably high and unimaginably humongous. It’s just a bit larger, by a mere several thousand trillion, but roughly equivalent to this number: 2,428,272,000,000,000,000 – which is the number of seconds (as in “60 seconds in a minute”) there are in 77 billion years. Note that astronomers (nhà thiên văn học) estimate the universe’s age to be 13.8 billion years.

I didn’t write the above to impress (gây ấn tượng) you with my knowledge of advanced arithmetic (số học) or my ability to google “How old is the universe?” I wrote the above to make a point about the economy.

Solving economic problems – creating value – requires discovering how to arrange inputs productively. The number of inputs available for use is not 20 or even 20,000; it’s in the billions. Therefore the factorial operation means that the number of possible ways to arrange these billions of inputs is indescribably far beyond human comprehension (vượt xa sự hiểu biết của con người). Yet only a minuscule fraction of these ways has any prospect of being productive. Almost all possible arrangements are useless or even dangerous.

One among these countless arrangements is gin mixed with turpentine (nhựa thông?) and anchovies (cá trồng), but the resulting martini would be terrible. How best to discover the vanishingly small number of productive arrangements out of the sprawling and gigantic number of possible arrangements?

Obviously, relying on random chance will not do. Equally futile would be reliance on what on the surface appears to be the opposite of random chance: central planning. No human being or committee could possibly even survey and list all of the possible different arrangements of billions or inputs. Much less could any individual genius, or agency of geniuses, discover from this vast list of possibilities which of these arrangements are most useful compared to the uncountably large number of other possible arrangements.

Given the puniness of the human mind relative to the incalculable (không thể tính được) number of possible different arrangements of an economy’s inputs, to turn over to government the responsibility for choosing how resources should be allocated is, in effect, to rely upon random chance.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Nhớ xét cả hai mặt

đừng chỉ nghĩ đến chi tiêu của chính phủ (để kích cầu), thu ở đâu để có chi tiêu, là thuế đó...

(lời hứa của tổng thống hoover "có gà vào bữa tối cho mọi nhà" thì phải bao nhiêu người làm việc ở trại ấp gà trong bao nhiêu ngày/năm, đầu tắt mặt tối ra sao...)
-----
trích dẫn hôm nay... Earlier in the day I’d e-mailed Dick telling him of the challenge that I’m having writing a paper to clearly explain just what Jim Buchanan meant when he criticized (chỉ trích) Anglo-American economists for analyzing (phân tích) the taxing (“factor-market”) side of a government’s budget (ngân sách của chính phủ) separately from (tách rời khỏi) the spending (“product-market”) side; Buchanan sought to build a “bridge” between these two sides of a government’s budget choices so that decisions made on one side are tied more closely to decisions made on the other side:

In this respect, it is also notable that nearly invariably politicians stress the product market side of their doings and avoid the factor market side. If you take that Herbert Hoover pledge (lời hứa, lời cam kết) of a chicken in every pot, that pledge could have been stated as a program to force (ép buộc) people to spend a day a week working in chicken farms. But that program would rightfully sound draconian (hà khắc, khắc nghiệt, tàn bạo) to people, whereas the other sounds warm-and-fuzzy.

giáo sư DON BOUDREAUX: It’s a sad reality that the collective nature of governments’ budgetary choices make the use of such fiscal bridges damaging to the political careers of those in any polity larger than a relatively small number of individuals.

Bài trước: Bài học còn đó

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Bill Clinton đã đưa ra những quyết định chiến lược tồi tệ nhất trong lịch sử nước Mỹ như thế nào?

một là, triệt để rời khỏi hệ thống thương mại hậu Thế chiến II (hệ thống được tổ chức xoay quanh tự do thương mại hàng hóa và dịch vụ giữa các nước dân chủ, với dòng vốn tài chính bị hạn chế phần nào), bằng cách thông qua NAFTA, cứu trợ Mexico và các ngân hàng Mỹ, tạo ra Tổ chức Thương mại Thế giới, và mở cửa thị trường Mỹ cho Trung Quốc - "kẻ thù chiến lược" (độc tài) làm đối tác thương mại sâu rộng, (thời chiến tranh lạnh chưa bao giờ phụ thuộc vào Liên Xô về các đầu vào cơ bản, và hầu như ko buôn bán với họ).

hai là, sửa lại luật đầu thầu (quốc phòng) khiến các nhà thầu phải "sáp nhập hoặc biến mất/bốc hơi" (“consolidate or evaporate”) -> sáp nhập còn lại vài tập đoàn nhà thầu quốc phòng khổng lồ, những tập đoàn này khiến các chính trị gia nhìn thị trường chỉ qua các dòng chảy tài chính toàn cầu, chứ ko phải dòng chảy hàng hóa hay khả năng sản xuất (vì, một cách sai lầm, giả định rằng hàng hóa được "luân chuyển tự do" mà quên rằng tq là đối thủ tìm mọi cách tập trung hóa sản xuất để đạt được sức mạnh kinh tế và quân sự chiến lược)...
-----
The second choice was to reorganize (tái cơ cấu, tái cấu trúc) the American defense industrial base (nền tảng công nghiệp quốc phòng), ripping out (xé bỏ, xé toạc) contracting rules and consolidating power into the hands of a small group of defense giants.

In 1993, Defense Department official William Perry gathered CEOs of top defense contractors and told them that they would have to merge into larger entities because of reduced Cold War spending. “Consolidate or evaporate,” he said at what became known as “The Last Supper” (bữa tối cuối cùng) in military lore (chuyện dân gian). Former secretary of the Navy John Lehman noted, “industry leaders took the warning to heart.” They reduced the number of prime contractors from 16 to six; subcontractor mergers quadrupled from 1990 to 1998. They also loosened rules on sole source—i.e. monopoly—contracts, and slashed the Defense Logistics Agency, resulting in thousands of employees with deep knowledge of defense contracting leaving the public sector.

...The empowering of finance friendly giant contractors bent the bureaucracies towards only seeing global capital flows, not the flow of stuff or the ability to produce. This was already how most Clinton administration officials saw the world. They just assumed, wrongly, that stuff moves around the world without friction (không ma sát), and that American corporations operate in a magic fairy tale where practical problems are solved by finance and this thing called ‘the free market.’ In their Goldman, McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group-ified haze of elitist disdain for actually making and doing real things, they didn’t notice or care that the Chinese Communist Party was centralizing production in China. They just assumed that Chinese production was ‘the free market’ at work, instead of a carefully state-sponsored effort by Chinese bureaucrats to build strategic military and economic power.

Bài học còn đó

đừng nghĩ đến big government nhé, liên xô là ví dụ hoàn hảo nhất về big gov -> sụp...
-----
trích dẫn hôm nay… is from page 663 of Douglas Irwin’s indispensable 2017 volume, Clashing Over Commerce:

The collapse of Communism in 1989 allowed Eastern Europe and later the former Soviet Union to become integrated into the world economy, although their impact on global trade was modest. A more important consequence of the collapse was the discrediting of the socialist planning model, involving high trade barriers (rào cản thương mại, "ngăn sông cấm chợ) and state-led industrialization policies (các chính sách công nghiệp hóa của nhà nước), that had been embraced by many developing countries.

giáo sư DON BOUDREAUX: How short is human memory?! The correct lesson, identified above by Doug, that was drawn 30 years ago from communism’s collapse is now all but forgotten. Young people cheer the 19th-century dirigiste promises of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as if these promises are new (“Progressive”!) and haven’t the abominable track record that they actually have.

Making matters even more bizarre is that increasing numbers of American conservatives also now embrace and peddle this dangerous dirigiste idiocy.

Chuyển động phức tạp của nền kinh tế

rất phức tạp, hơn ta tưởng nhiều...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Bill Clinton và các nhà tư bản tài chính phá hoại nước Mỹ như nào?

nhân dịp kỷ niệm 70 năm quốc khánh tq, mr. tập dự lễ ăn mừng và khoe khoang về ICBM (Inter-continental ballistic missile) - tên lửa liên lục địa/tên lửa vượt đại châu có thể tấn công nước mỹ trong 30 phút,

làm sao tq làm được như vậy?

đó là do bill clinton (trung thành với khẩu hiệu tranh cử 'it’s the economy, stupid'), cảm thấy có trách nhiệm/muốn cứu/giúp McDonnell Douglas (đang khắc khoải, được điều hành bởi các nhà tư bản tài chính, nên ko hiểu gì về sản xuất và kiểm soát chất lượng, công ty này, năm 1986, đã mất hợp đồng quan trọng bán máy bay quân sự F-22 cho chính phủ mỹ) bán 40 máy bay MD-90 ‘Trunkliners' cho tq,

tq đồng ý với điều kiện ký 1 hợp đồng phụ: McDonnell Douglas bán một số máy cái chuyên dụng để 'định hình và dập' các bộ phận máy bay cho 1 công ty tq bí ẩn (CATIC),

các máy này, theo các chuyên gia quân sự, có thể giúp quân đội tq cải thiện rõ rệt khả năng tác chiến của các máy bay về tốc độ, độ dài đường bay, thao diễn, và cũng có thể dùng cho tên lửa và máy bay ném bom,

bill clinton phớt lờ, chỉ cài vào hợp đồng là ko dùng cho quân sự, nhưng, tất nhiên, tq vi phạm hợp đồng và cũng chẳng mua mấy cái máy bay ‘Trunkliners' cho McDonnell Douglas đâu...
-----
photo credit: mattstoller.substack.com.

The Chinese agreed to buy the planes, but with one caveat. They wanted a side deal; McDonnell Douglas should sell a mysterious company called the China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) a set of specialist machine tools that shape and bend aircraft parts stashed in a factory in Columbus, Ohio.

When Chinese representatives went to Columbus, Ohio, workers wouldn’t let them see the tools, because workers realized that they would lose their jobs if the tools were sold to the Chinese. The Chinese then sent a letter to the corporation saying that the deal for the Trunkliners was at a stalemate, but if the machine tools were sold to a mysterious Chinese company, well, that would have a “big influence” on whether McDonnell Douglas could close the deal on the planes.

It wasn’t just the workers who caused problems. The government could have been a hurdle for McDonnell Douglas as well, because these weren’t just any old machine tools. “According to military experts,” reported the New York Times, “the machines would enable the Chinese military to improve significantly the performance abilities -- speed, range and maneuverability -- of their aircraft. And if diverted, they could do the same for missiles and bombers.” Selling the tools wasn’t just a commercial deal, the machining equipment was subject to export controls for sensitive national security technology.

It was an insane idea (ý tưởng điên rồ), selling the Chinese government this important machining capacity. The Pentagon protested vehemently (phản đối kịch liệt), as did Republican Congressman Tillie Fowler, who was on the Armed Services Committee. Fowler said allowing the transfer to reflects an ''emphasis on short-term gain at the expense of national security and long-term economic gain.'' And yet that’s what McDonnell Douglas sought, and what the Clinton administration pushed through. The Commerce Department cleared the deal, in return for a pledge (or behavioral remedy) that China would not use the tools to build missiles, but would dedicate them to a civilian aircraft machine tool center in Beijing.

McDonnell Douglas basically knew the behavioral remedies were fraudulent almost immediately; one of the most important pieces of equipment was shipped not to Beijing but directly to a Nanchang military plant.

Thời gian nghỉ vĩ đại: Hollywood và Coronavirus

Amazon có thể mua chuỗi rạp chiếu phim AMC (sở hữu bởi tập đoàn tq wanda, do tác động của coronavirus, thị giá giờ chỉ còn 500 triệu usd, với món nợ 5 tỷ usd),

và (nếu) mua được, là nhờ bật đèn xanh của Makan Delrahim cục trưởng cục chống độc quyền (dưới quyền trump) gỡ bỏ "sắc lệnh paramount" (ra đời năm 1948, phân chia cơ bản ngành phim, công ty sản xuất phim ko được mua hoặc sở hữu chuỗi rạp chiếu/phân phối phim), với lý do giờ là công nghệ mới streaming, các tay chơi mới như netflix, khiến việc sở hữu như vậy ko ảnh hưởng nhiều nữa...

giáo sư Matt Stoller nói amazon cứ bình tĩnh, đừng rush, tình hình dịch bệnh như này, thời gian đứng về phía người mua...
-----
The Paramount decrees basically impose a structural separation in the film exhibition business, making it hard for movie studios to buy or control theater chains or distribution. As I’ve written, prior to these decrees, Hollywood was structured in what was known as the Studio System, in which a small number of vertically integrated studio chiefs essentially decided what artists could make and what Americans could watch, through either direct ownership of theaters or the use of must-have blockbuster content to control theaters. The decrees broke apart this system, and created an open market for film, leading to a creative explosion and more freedom for artists, most notably the “New Hollywood” of the 1960s.

The stated reason Delrahim is ending this decree is that he thinks technology makes it irrelevant. Online streaming introduces a new competitive channel, so who cares if studios can buy theaters? Rescinding (hủy bỏ, bãi bỏ, thủ tiêu) the Paramount decrees opened the door to speculation Amazon, or perhaps Disney, would be buying a movie chain. Before the pandemic, independent theaters protested the attempt to rescind the decree, writing in a brief that “if the Paramount decrees continue to be respected, the entry of behemoths like Amazon into the exhibition business would more likely be on terms that deterred Amazon from abusing its market power either to favor its own cinemas with its content or to punish fairly competing exhibitors.”

This is not to say the existing setup, even before the pandemic, was a healthy open market. It wasn’t. Since the 1990s, there has been a massive roll-up of the movie exhibition business into a few poorly managed and highly indebted movie chains, one of them being AMC. The AMC theater experience was bad, with overpriced food, inflexible scheduling, and a bland corporatized feel. Movies have increasingly needed to launch on thousands of screens at once, leading to the dominance of Marvel movies.

AMC Theaters itself is loaded up with $5 billion debt and owned by public shareholders, the Chinese conglomerate the Wanda Group and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Putin chống dịch Covid-19 như nào?

vẫn phải dựa vào các tỷ phú đầu sỏ chính trị thân cận thôi,
-----
As the coronavirus pandemic (đại dịch) gained pace (tăng tốc) in Russia this spring, a billionaire steel magnate (ông trùm ngành thép), Aleksei A. Mordashov, called four regional governors (thống đốc vùng) and urged (thúc giục) them to lock down (phong tỏa) the cities where he operates.

For Andrei A. Guryev, the scion (con ông cháu cha, con dòng cháu giống) of a fertilizer empire (đế chế phân bón), limiting travel into two Arctic cities of 80,000 people where he runs a phosphate mine was even easier. His company owns the airport (sở hữu sân bay) and the local ski resort (khu nghỉ dưỡng trượt tuyết ở địa phương) that attracts outsiders.

“We shut them down,” Mr. Guryev said. “The decision was ours alone.”

...the oligarchs, with millions of employees and dozens of Russian cities reliant on their enterprises, have become central figures in the national response to the pandemic.

With local health systems buckling, many oligarchs are deploying millions of dollars of their own cash (hàng triệu đô-la tiền túi), along with their companies’ logistics and procurement capacity (năng lực đấu thầu/mua sắm và hậu cần), to fight the spread of the illness, while urging slow-moving regional authorities (chính quyền địa phương ứng phó chậm chạp) to act with more resolve (hành động quyết tâm hơn).

...In the process, they are revealing the Russian state’s weaknesses, and how much Mr. Putin’s system of governance still relies on informal alliances with powerful business tycoons. The depth of their coffers (két bạc, túi tiền) also puts the oligarchs in position to outlast the pandemic — unlike Russia’s reeling small and midsize businesses — meaning that their influence is poised to grow in coming years (ảnh hưởng của họ những năm sau sẽ ngày càng lớn hơn).