Posts tagged ‘economy’

12/04/2012

In which I respond to aspersions cast by an internet necromancer

by wfgodbold

Nearly two years ago, I posted an overly long and verbose piece on why, despite my preference for region-free consoles and gaming, consumers don’t have the right to region-free games. This was mainly in response to Nintendo’s decision to region-lock the 3DS. Early this morning, through what I can only assume was the use of the necromantic arts, someone responded to that post. Because my response to that comment would have been far longer than a comment has any right to be, I chose to respond in a new post. Consider this a sequel to that original post.

In the two years since my original post, Nintendo launched the 3DS (region-locked), and then had to drop the price because it was too expensive and no one was buying it. I still have not bought one (the last Nintendo console I bought was the DS Lite–I haven’t bought a Wii and have no plans to buy a Wii U), though I have bought a PS3 and PS Vita in the meantime (both of which, you will notice, can at the very least play out-of-region physical games).

This, dear reader, is a little thing I like to call The Market.™

Sony has made choices with which I agree, and to support those choices, I am willing to pay for their consoles and games (and I have games for both systems from both the US and Japan).

Nintendo has continued to region-lock their consoles and games. The prices of those consoles and games have not dropped to the point where I would be willing to forego the ability to play games from all regions on one console, so I have not bought them (even though I would dearly love to play Tales of the Abyss with load times that aren’t measured in geologic time, and Project X Zone looks ridiculous enough to be awesome).

Sullivan, in his comment, says,

And Nintendo doesn’t owe you anything? You are a customer. Neither Nintendo nor their shareholders would make ANY money without the customers. They sure as hell owe you. And what you get for your money is that they patronize you and severely restrict your freedom. It is not okay. And telling people not to buy the system because of that is just stupid. It is not a solution. It was not the game developers’ choice to make games region locked.

In response, I would like to point out that Nintendo does not owe me anything.

I bought a DS Lite. Nintendo fulfilled its side of the bargain bye delivering what was promised–a region-free handheld gaming system. Since then, I have not been a Nintendo customer–I haven’t bought anything because I don’t want to pay them to restrict my gaming options. If you buy a 3DS/Wii/Wii U knowing that it’s region-locked, Nintendo still doesn’t owe you–you’re still getting exactly what you paid for.

I don’t owe support to game companies. Game companies don’t owe me good games, bad games, mediocre games, region-free games, or region-locked games. If a game company has a game I want to play, I buy it, and the relationship ends there.

Not buying the system because it’s region-locked is not only the solution, it’s the cheapest solution (it’s certainly cheaper than trying to get a big enough block of Nintendo stock to control the company’s decisions). If you’re not willing to give up the ability to play the games that come out despite the region-locking that Nintendo has foisted upon consumers, then you’ve made an economic decision that region-free gaming is not worth as much to you as it is to someone who chooses not to buy a Nintendo console because of the region-locking.

Nintendo is free to choose to region-lock their consoles and games. Sony is free to choose not to region-lock their consoles and games.

And the consumer is free to vote with his wallet and support whichever philosophy he agrees with, if he even cares. Sadly, I suspect most consumers don’t care about whether or not their consoles are region-locked.

09/27/2011

Well, at least we’re working on death

by wfgodbold

Cause given this chart, taxes aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

The government always gets its cut.

At least twice (and in the extreme case, six times).

Tags: ,
09/19/2011

Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – Jerry Pournelle

by wfgodbold

Jerry Pournelle starts off strong:

The President of the United States in essence declared war on the traditional understanding of America today. He has put it all in very stark terms: there are people with money. The rest of us need it, for food, clothing, medical expenses, Christmas presents for the children, shelter from the storms of life. We do not have those things. Others have far more than they need. Therefore we shall take what we need from them.

Now of course he did not put this in quite such stark terms, but what he did say is that the rich must pay their fair share; if they do not, then we will not be able to have drug research, Medicare, education, and all those things which we need so much. And therefore we must make them pay their fair share.

There was no discussion of the Constitution or where in that document the Federal government derives either the obligation or the power to collect taxes and distribute largess; and indeed the original Framers of the document would have been horrified at the notion. The Constitution was intended to insure the blessings of liberty on ourselves and our posterity.

And picks up steam through the rest of the post.

Read it all.

09/14/2011

Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – Sally Kohn

by wfgodbold

In her opinion piece haranguing about the need for higher taxes on the rich, Sally Kohn says:

Stop calling big business the “job creators.” They have all the resources imaginable and they’re still not creating jobs. It’s time to put more money in the pockets of working Americans so they can spend it, create demand and finally kick-start the economy.

I don’t think she understands how business works (and since her byline says she’s a strategist, political commentator, founder/CEO of a think-tank, and a magazine contributor, her not understanding how business works is obvious).

Companies don’t exist to create jobs.

Companies exist to maximize shareholder revenue.

Companies create jobs because they get more of a return on their investment by paying someone to perform some task than they would by just investing that money.

Ms. Kohn later goes on to say:

Almost three in four Americans support raising taxes on the wealthy so we can put government to work getting all of America working again, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

FFS.

That’s not the government’s job.

At all.

08/17/2011

Presented without comment

by wfgodbold

Good grief.

08/16/2011

I don’t think the Krugman understands the disadvantages inherent in living at the bottom of a gravity well

by wfgodbold

As a Keynesian, the Paul Krugman pretty much has to parrot their view that WW2 is what ended the Great Depression.

His recent interview with Fareed Zakaria goes way off the rails, though, when they start speculating that a (fake) alien invasion would be just the ticket for creating jobs and ending the current recession.

Even if war was the answer (and here for the last (nearly) ten years, we’ve been repeatedly told that war is expensive and doesn’t solve anything), we’d be sitting ducks if aliens attacked.

We’re at the bottom of a giant space hole. All aliens would have to do is drag asteroids over (or just mine giant chunks out of the moon) and drop them on us, and we’d be helpless while our cities were turned into craters.

Any aliens that could cross interstellar distances to attack us would surely be capable of that.

So, if we do have an alien invasion, head for the hills! Avoid population centers! congregate in cities! They’re certainly benevolent and would probably teach us the secrets of space travel!

They might even know how to serve man!

If we want to survive the (inevitable) alien invasion, we’ve got to get off this ball of dirt and head elsewhere. Luna, Mars, space stations, whatever; we can’t have all our eggs in one basket waiting for the eventual extinction event to drop out of the sky and take us out.

08/08/2011

Zimbabwe, here we come!

by wfgodbold

Worried about default? No problem!

The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.

And here I used to think Alan Greenspan knew what he was doing.

I’m beginning to think that economists just make this shit up as they go along, to justify their preconceived notions (just like the rest of us, in fact).

08/06/2011

Buying off half the electorate ain’t cheap

by wfgodbold

And when you borrow heavily to do so, with no hope of paying it back, you get downgraded.

Who knew?

The S&P’s statement read:

We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade. [emphasis added]

No shit, Sherlock.

When the ruling class tries to claim an $8.5 trillion dollar spending increase (over ten years) is a $1 trillion dollar cut (thanks to the miracle of baseline budgeting; after all, if they hadn’t “cut” a trillion bucks, they would have increased spending by $9.5 trillion), it’s patently obvious that those in charge of budgeting have neither the ability nor the inclination to cut (or even freeze) spending.

We can’t ignore the problem any more.

08/01/2011

I’m so glad we’ve laid violent rhetoric to rest

by wfgodbold

But shouldn’t someone have told Joe “Foot in Mouth” Biden about it, first?

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists,” according to several sources in the room.

It’s one thing to call your opponents racists. But to call them terrorists?

If someone disagrees with you, you don’t slander them; you either try to convince them that they’re wrong, or you try to convince everyone else that they’re wrong. Calling political opponents terrorists waters down the meaning of the word, and does absolutely nothing for you.

And it would be one thing if the person calling their political opponents terrorists were just some opinion writer, but for the vice president to do so is beyond the pale.

The government should not lightly label people terrorists.

08/01/2011

Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – Richard Feynman

by wfgodbold

Said he:

There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.

Feynman died in 1988. The national debt in 1988 was $2.6 trillion.

It’s now $14.3 trillion. Five and a half times what it was at Feynman’s death.

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