Not just telling you so!

This article took a little time. There is so much not happening, it is almost scary. Yet, I found a few issues that gave way to the following topics from both the past and the upcoming present.

The Dutch Economy will recover slower according to the IMF (at http://nos.nl/artikel/2007483-imf-langzamer-herstel-economie-nederland.html). Here we see the following statement in regards to this: “Het IMF dacht in oktober nog dat de Nederlandse economie volgend jaar met 1,4 procent zou groeien, dat is nu iets naar beneden bijgesteld op 1,2 procent. Dit jaar wordt een groei verwacht van 0,8 procent. Dat is overigens iets meer dan de 0,6 procent die het IMF een jaar geleden verwachtte“. “Translated: The IMF expected the Dutch economy to grow next year with 1.4%, which is downgraded to 1.2%, this year the economy will grow with 0.8%, which is slightly better than the 0.6% expected a year ago“.

Yet, when we look at my blog dated May 15th 2013 ‘A noun of non-profit‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/15/a-noun-of-non-profit/), we see the following: “The Dutch NOS reported the prediction that even though the Dutch economy will shrink another 0.5%, they do predict a growth of 1.1% next year, so basically, they expected the economy to grow 1.1%“, so that story about “this year the economy will grow with 0.8%, which is slightly better than the 0.6% expected a year ago“, seems to be retroactive rhetorical whimsy (a sort of economic BS using numbers, as I see it). When we see the predictions on how they were ‘so close’, it is in its most colourful form an example about a guy having unprotected sex and then cry out ‘but I almost did not get her pregnant!’, yes, pragmatically speaking he failed by a mere six inches (you the reader can connect the dots, can’t you?).

You see, this is not whether I am right or wrong (it is a nice side effect), I am postulating the issues of managing Bad News. We see this happen all over the world, even in the more respectable places like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. There are cogs in the system, but between these cogs is one extra cog that is slightly variable in size. You see, if the cogs are consistent as a watch, then they are always at one speed. Yet economies do not run like that, so the spring that drives it is not consistent in strength and resilience, as such the cogs would be a little variable in displaying the economy, now here is the magic cog, it is placed between two cogs so that it can shrink or expand, so as the economy slows down, then so does that cog, which means it rotates faster and commercial times will move through with the same consistency, we do not get to notice the slowing. Yet, this approach is virtual, it is nice on paper, but in reality, the money is not coming in, so the people have to make due with less, but the economy shows growth, no matter how much we cannot afford food and the items for our creatures comfort.

I think that the IMF is aware of this to some extent. Euro nations have been optimising their presentations in a few ways. Mind you, then are not cooking the books, but at times as the situation is generic, there are all kinds of posts that could be included or excluded, the difference is billions allowing for an upgrade or downgrade by one or two tenths of a percentage point. That is at the heart of it, now we see this for almost a dozen nations and the colourful loom that is called the EEC economy is now a lot less white and its product shows a fabric in all the colours of the rainbow, which is what we face now. We get incorrect presentation which will require a lot more adjusting. Doubt me? Then consider the two quotes that I showed earlier from the IMF. In an economy of 770 billion (previous Dutch GDP), the offset comes down to 3.85 billion, that covers a lot of bills. Now that you see this, consider how inaccurate some need to be to base a budget on something that is off by almost 4 billion, which is 50% of the entire budget for defence. How can this not have been ‘predicted’ better? Well, here is the crux, prediction are never accurate (and 4 billion out of 770 billion is a mere drop), yet in the end, governments all over the world will always portray them to be in a better position, then downgrade that view, yet with billions at risk, that approach seems short-sighted to me. It is almost a forced attempt to spend where there is no money, which is how we all got to be in this predicament to begin with.

To illustrate it, I will grasp to the article and link of a story done by Greg Jericho, who does an excellent job of it. It is called ‘Why isn’t the government being held to account on the China free trade deal?‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2014/nov/20/why-isnt-the-government-being-held-to-account-on-the-china-free-trade-deal). I do not completely agree with his assessments, but overall the picture that is painted here is quite clear and not incorrect. The first quote in this regard it “The modelling, which was used in the feasibility study, estimates that had a free-trade agreement been signed in 2005 by 2015, our GDP would have been about $3bn more than it would have otherwise been. Is that much? Well it’s about 0.37% bigger. So no, it’s not much at all“. Yes, I have warned in previous articles how dangerous it is to compare statistics, what I had not mentioned at that time, which was not in play, is that changing the base of measurement is also a good way to ‘lie with statistics’, as the article points out. I had done an example in a class I have years ago on founding a hypothesis. In there I used a Dutch municipality data set. When I compared the two in one graph, it showed how the states that were adjacent to the river ‘the Maas’ had decreased in average population, in those years that river caused damage due to flooding in several towns. Yet, the municipalities are all over that state, so does it apply? How to prove it? That is an entirely different question.

Now, I have nothing against free trade, but when we consider the large corporations not paying tax at all due to artistic accounting, adding fuel to the fire to give these large firms even more options to avoid taxation is not a good thing. So that net revenue, how is that taxed, what is more important, once this agreement is in place, how long until Google, Apple and Amazon will change their parameters to include that setup to avoid paying more taxation. How does that help Australia or Australians in any way, shape or measure? When that graph changes, export slows down and imports of all measure go up, how will free trade benefit then? I am not stating that this will happen, I am just wondering what happens if it does.

The one statement by Greg I disagree with is the one at the end “A free-trade agreement is no more a guarantee of economic growth than not having one is“; I would state “A free-trade agreement gives a lot more danger to tax avoidance on several levels than not having one“. Google, Apple and several others proved that point for the last 4 years, at present there is little chance of seeing them pay any taxation for at least another three years, then there is the solar panel debacle, but the least said the better. The fact that there is a decent issue with well over 50% of the panels (out of 600-1000 manufacturers) should give an indication that this free trade agreement, does not necessarily mean that quality will improve, with free-trade in play, that list consisting of dozens upon dozens of articles will sharply rise. How to guarantee that quality? The article does not reflect on that (was not meant to do so), but that issue will be (better stated should be) on our minds too. There is however one side that we should consider. We forget how rich the Chinese culture is. I believe that China could become a serious player on the video games market. Some of these stories would translate into different genres of games on every console. I am not talking about South South East China (most people call it Taiwan), I am referring to Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. One of the strongest cultures has not presented itself digitally in any strong way, which is a shame, because in the end, gamers care for good games, not where it was made.

Why the jump to games and gaming? Well, it is one of the markets I know a lot of. We might be on par with IT, engineering and other options, but gaming in China, original gaming in China is a relative unknown. We tend to look at Japan for that. Well, guess what, Nintendo has been rereleasing games for some time now (good games mind you), but they are slowly becoming an iteration of what was an original concept. It is not about the games (well, it is only to some extent), I believe that new innovation, new IP and new, truly mindboggling advances come from interaction. We need IP, advances and new opportunities, these come from fields we have not seen yet. If you doubt it, consider 1993, when a game named Doom entered into our lives. Most will not remember it, but it changed gaming in a massive way. I still believe that this game became the spark that would be the conception of what would become in 1998 the Unreal engine. That would change gaming forever, even today, 16 years later, many games are relying on the unreal engine, and some of the artwork created today through the Unreal engine is so amazingly sharp that it makes the result almost undistinguishable from reality. That is the foundation I believe we can see, another jolt in the advance of gaming. That is a development which will not just remain in gaming, as unreal developed, it developed a commercial need for 3D technologies and it even has military applications in more than one nation today. I believe that the multi-billion dollar games industry has the potential to drive a trillion dollar commercial need for innovation; we only need to find the right combination to make it work.

That’s just the opinion of one blogger, but I feel fairly certain it is a shared opinion.

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