Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

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Re: Welcome and Introduce Yourself 5

Postby HarryAlffa » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:40 pm

I think my main motivation for joining is thinking that Lord Vetinari would have sorted out the Roundworld financial crisis (if we imagine Ankh-Morpork is analogous with the UK) and ensuing economic crisis by dynamically setting bankers' top-rate of income tax to 10 times the percentage unemployment rate, and equally dynamically setting the bank-levy as simply the cost to the state of unemployment benefit.

I was hoping there might be a place for such discussion, and some support for the idea.

I won't, but if someone brave wants to start a thread somewhere here ...
:)
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Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:32 pm

Well look at that - you started a topic after all. :lol:

It's an interesting question. Maybe we need the sort of system like Tito's Yugoslavia (for example) where one person decides what to do and makes sure things get implemented. Tito goes and the whole country descends into vicious civil war. Ok maybe that's a bad example, but to a degree it's what Vetinari does.

The problem with such a system is what happens when the dictator, monarch, tyrant etc. dies? These things tend to be handed down to a family member, who doesn't necessarily have the ability or qualifications to rule and then the whole system collapses.

Terry's Discworld vision of Ankh-Morpork is not a democracy. It is someone who really understands who human beings think and act, who is, effectively a puppet master. He occasionally allows people to think they are powerful - he even lets then act powerfully - but ultimately, he is pulling the strings and is quite capable of cutting those strings at any time.

What do you think? Would Discworld work here?
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby HarryAlffa » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:16 am

Thanks for the new thread(s) Tony! I feel like an emperor, only wiser :)
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby HarryAlffa » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:53 am

I'm really not familiar with Tito, but I see what you mean exactly - the novels do describe the worry of what might happen when Vetinari finally goes, and it should be a worry!

You've got me thinking now about how to be clearer and concise with my concept - which is why we all love Pratchett, don't know anyone else who is so precise and elegant in his presentation of concepts!
Anyway, it is more the style of Vetinari' decisions I was relating to; what springs to mind now is the offer of reward for rat tails, which had the desired effect of removing the rat plague, but even after that was done the City was still paying out for rat tails; Vetinari says, "Tax the rat farms".
I don't want to compare rats with bankers - a slur on an admirable species.
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby HarryAlffa » Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:11 pm

So following the style of decision I think Vetinari would make - link banker/bank taxes to unemployment.

If I can link to an actual factual document here:
Bankers and their Bonuses
(Feb 2013)
Effect on bankers pay: "little more than a blip".
http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/occasional/op035.pdf
Page 24.
This one point is enough to make you consider that the reason for the banks refusing finance to good Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is to keep their wages high, not for any other reason they might propagandise.

Some axioms
1. SMEs are crucial to economic growth
2. SMEs require finance to grow
3. SME growth will give a virtuous circle by encouraging big business confidence to spend their cash hoards!

Mervyn King - "big companies have decided to go around the banking system, to issue instruments themselves ... equity issues, corporate bond issues, are being used to avoid the higher cost of bank lending. That is not something which is open to smaller companies" - August 11, 2010
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publicat ... 110810.pdf

So this idea is all about "forcing" the banks to finance SMEs at an honest rate. Linking their taxes to unemployment rate means the only way they can reduce their top-rate of income tax, or the bank-levy for institutions, is to invest in SMEs for growth.

The Bankers Will Just Avoid This New Tax
This implies that bankers & banks pay zero percent tax just now, and we know they don't, so ...

This would be Really Difficult To Implement
Alistair Darling was told by the Treasury civil servants in the pockets of the banks, "Fear! Uncertainty! Doubt! minister, we can't put a 50% tax on banker's bonus payments! There are all sort of legal difficulties; Minister!"
Darling said, "Get it done or your sacked."
It happened within a week.
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby HarryAlffa » Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:13 pm

Hope everyone can have think on this idea; I'm convinced that it would result in instant growth as the high unemployment rate (~7%) would not give banks enough time "to move abroad Minister!" as they are forced to invest in SMEs immediately to reduce their tax bills!

Its worth a try, because even if it doesn't work, the Bonus Tax proves its easy to switch on & off, and if it fails it doesn't harm anyone, except bankers; and that doesn't count!
:)
However, if it succeeds it changes the financial sector for the better, for ever, and eternally makes it the servant of the real economy, rather than the reverse as it is just now.

Serious stuff, and it would be a hoot if Discworld fans changed the real world.
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby BissettIan » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:34 pm

I am interested in Roundworld History of Science and Technology.
It seems to me that today, science is run by egocentric individuals who, accumulate acolytes, and get funding for ‘big science’ by using Elvish ‘glamour’. Unfortunately dissenters get thrown out of the play pen and are ignored.

The wizards say that there is no ‘narrativium’ on Roundworld but I think there is but it is overpowered by ‘functionum’.
In discussing science, I am told by people who do not like what I say ( so they ‘know’ I am wrong )
“A lot of rubbish. Where are your maths?”

In book 4, ch. 18, the authors mention three ‘ dei ex machina ‘ being produced out of a hat.
One of these, Dark matter, I think is misinterpretation and misappropriation of Newton’s equations and assumptions/criteria for the Solar system, being forced to fit galaxies.

Lots of Dark forces!!
I can give you 800 words on Dark matter assumptions, or about 800 words on Dark energy, or my web site, which has articles, with diagrams, on alternative views of Time, Gravity, Black holes and other things.
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby HarryAlffa » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:00 pm

More than a little off-topic!
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby BissettIan » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:32 pm

Surely Roundworld is a subject of four volumes of 'Science of Discworld'.
Your topic of 'Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style' does not mention Social or Political problems only.

Should I start my own similar Topic, and include Science in the title?
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby mirandashell » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:16 pm

Ermmm.... it's a Mod decision but...... it's nothing to do with PTerry.
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Re: Solving Roundworld Problems Discworld Style.

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:59 pm

Topics have a habit of wandering off subject here. It's extremely rare that we mods step in and insist on keeping to a topic. I see no problem with the way things are going.
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