The Central Banks’ Losing Battle with Deflation

Published on
March 5th, 2020
Duration
48 minutes


The Central Banks’ Losing Battle with Deflation

The Interview ·
Featuring Jeff Booth

Published on: March 5th, 2020 • Duration: 48 minutes

Even before Ben Bernanke made the official declaration that the Fed is in fact targeting inflation, economists and governments around the world have counted on it to manage ever increasing debts. Jeff Booth, author of "The Price of Tomorrow," argues that they are fighting an inevitably losing battle. In this interview with Max Wiethe, Booth makes the case that secular deflationary trends will be the ultimate undoing of monetary policy and technology is driving this deflation at an increasing rate. He touches on several of the most culpable technologies, the potential issues society will face as a result, and the asset classes and businesses in the best position to take advantage of this trend. Filmed on February 25, 2020 in New York.

Comments

Transcript

  • MT
    Mark T.
    13 March 2020 @ 23:07
    It's software engineer hubris to think that an algorithm can do something better than a human brain.
    • JC
      Jason C.
      26 March 2020 @ 03:02
      I read this comment to say: It's software engineer hubris to think that an algorithm can *everything* or *most* things better than a human brain. Algorithms obviously do many things better than human brains, especially when powered by a computer. Now I'm going to respond to that comment. While I tend to think that general AI is mostly hype, I also think it is hubris to believe that an AI couldn't at all be built that could supplant any given human activity. I'd put the probability at <50%, but the impact of it were it to be built is so large that it is foolish not to hedge against it as a society.
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      27 March 2020 @ 15:12
      Yes, Jason, the issue is there are specific applications where certain measures involving AI will excel. No doubt. The problem is a philosophical one: where processing excels flexibility, wisdom and intuition diminish. The materialist does not (want to) understand this fact, which is more of a universal truth in the way humans relate to the world, it is very much the theological point that by definition, they can't understand because they deny its reality.
    • KV
      Keld V.
      13 April 2020 @ 12:52
      The computer already does so many things better than the human brain which has very limited bandwidth.
  • AH
    Andrew H.
    27 March 2020 @ 19:47
    Bitcoin fixes this.
    • MC
      Mike C.
      5 April 2020 @ 22:42
      It's deflationary also so yes!
  • DS
    David S.
    5 March 2020 @ 08:37
    Brilliant interview. Mr. Booth is showing us the present and the future. I watched about half the interview and will resume tomorrow morning. It is easy to see the technology deflation and disruption today, although hard for many to accept. Mr. Booth is telling us this is just the start. There are countries that will do a great job of handling deflation. They are countries who care about their society, their fellow citizens and especially the children of their citizens. Sadly, the countries that are torn apart by populism - left or right - will not adapt well because common ground is necessary. There is hope as many of the younger generation I have met do care about the world. When I was young, we also cared but lost out to keeping up with the neighbors. It will be important for them to not become us. DLS
    • FW
      Florian W.
      6 March 2020 @ 14:12
      Mmm not sure. I don't share your optimistic view about our youth. I was in tertiary in the 90s and the amount of socialist-lending nonsense I came to believe as reality for a long time, still boggles my mind today. I finally saw the light when I researched capitalism and types of government outside of mainstream. It was the realisation that the left Vs right paradigm is fundamentally flawed when it comes to discussing types of government, monetary and fiscal policies. I came to understand that capitalism protected by a constitutional republic, limiting government, is actually the most appropriate and such a setup has by far the most people live productive and enjoyable lifes. The general populous fails to understand this and believes in mob-rule democracies which are actually more akin to oligarchies in disguise. Today's youth appears to me even more socialist in stance. Yes they might care about their society but they don't understand what's wrong and how to fix it. With this COVID being the pin on this monster bubble, they and a great number of boomers, will end up blaming capitalism and not government and the socialist overreach we currently have everywhere.
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      27 March 2020 @ 15:14
      God Bless you Florian. I wish more had your wisdom.
  • CC
    Charles C.
    16 March 2020 @ 23:22
    wow. what a think piece. I'm not sure I fully understand how the transition to a new economy can work smoothly and peacefully but I agree this is an important conversation we need to has have. thanks RV!
    • DH
      Dale H.
      26 March 2020 @ 00:28
      I love how he trots out the idea that "technology is deflationary" like it's some new idea - it's not. The Austrian economists have observed this for many decades, and it's not just technology that's deflationary - it's CAPITALISM that is deflationary, and that's a good thing. A car's price SHOULD go down as more cars are produced more efficiently and the fixed costs are spread out over more units. It's called economies of scale.
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      27 March 2020 @ 15:07
      I've noticed this with Kartik Gada. Many futurists who have been wrong about a lot of things in the last two decades (Kurzweil is the funniest) have this main problem that they are never honest about: you can't falsify them. They never listen to valid criticisms, much like evolutionists, they have faith in futurism as a religious idea. The response is always the same, a materialist one: "Just give it enough time and it'll happen." Umm, no. That's not an argument. That's a faith statement.
  • DN
    Darcy N.
    9 March 2020 @ 16:22
    Who are the prominent AI researchers that believe we will have "better than us at everything" general AI in 5-20 years? The debate seems to be around whether or not we can EVER achieve general AI, let alone 5-20 years.
    • LP
      Lauri P.
      14 March 2020 @ 16:41
      Yes exactly this. There is no clear path from the current neural network based AI to general AI, and the exponential processing power growth is unlikely to change that. Algorithmic breakthroughs are required, and the timing for those are unknowable.
    • JC
      Jason C.
      26 March 2020 @ 03:05
      They're at Singularity University
  • TS
    Tejush S.
    15 March 2020 @ 21:47
    Opened my mind to the truth. Love it. Things are happening faster than all of us think. USD will be gone in a couple years i believe.
  • sc
    sung c.
    11 March 2020 @ 22:39
    Absolutely loved this interview. Mind opening and gave me a different perspective and understanding of both the current economic system and future possibilities.
  • CT
    Crispim T.
    11 March 2020 @ 15:25
    The use case for Bitcoin (BTC) is absolutely huge. It will be the best asset of the decade once more.
  • DL
    Doug L.
    11 March 2020 @ 09:42
    So jobs will likely be personal service and entertainment jobs. That's wonderful.
    • PW
      Patrick W.
      11 March 2020 @ 11:41
      I'm too old and too ugly to make that viable career path.
  • MW
    Moritz W.
    10 March 2020 @ 22:53
    Bitcoin fixes this
  • JH
    Joseph H.
    10 March 2020 @ 18:35
    Where we have seen inflation is in the cost required to earn $1 if interest. In Y2000 it required $15.15 (1/.066) as I type its $142 (1/.0074) In two decades the inflation rate to buy $1 in interest has gone up at rate of 11.84% per year.
  • TE
    Thomas E.
    9 March 2020 @ 21:04
    Deflation is coming to the developed world because of demographics (i.e. aging population). Deflation will affect asset prices which will hurt the wealthy more than the poor (whereas inflation hurts the poor more than the wealthy). Either way if deflation is coming then real assets (housing, farm land, businesses) are the place to be not financial assets (i.e. stocks and bonds).
  • RV
    Ryan V.
    9 March 2020 @ 20:16
    The deflation problem is simple. Dollars are loaned into existence. Example $100 are loaned into existence at 5%. There is $100 of money. $105 of debt. The debt is unpayable on day 1. Now multiply it by 2.5 trillion. That is the world. Every year as interest is paid the noose tightens just a bit. Year after year it ratchets tighter and tighter until you reach the mathematically certain deflationary collapse. Also, rent and house prices rising is inflationary even if the BLS removes it from their models.
  • GR
    Grant R.
    6 March 2020 @ 02:42
    I'm a computer programmer and he is overestimating the rise of software and even hardware. CPUs are not doubling in power, we are currently stuck in speed, but we add more CPUs (parallelism). AI has been impressive recently due to cheap memory and parallel CPU, but it's rate of rise is slowing. Most of the fundamental ideas AI were work was done before the 1980s.
    • AW
      Andrew W.
      6 March 2020 @ 08:18
      The parallelism and cheaper manufacturing and sunk design costs for now are holding up the pattern, and the programming models have long been around for a world of massive parallelism. There is a massive lag between what current applications are possible and what is actually translated. What we've seen in the last 20 years is software eating up the world, but we've barely scratched the surface of applying what is already possible today. The closing of that gap alone is already so deflationary.
    • SA
      Scott A.
      9 March 2020 @ 15:22
      Totally agree. And I believe I read a while back the retired head of MIT's AI program said AI faces the same core issues it faced at it's inception. O I take the 5-20 years with a grain of salt. Still a really good interview.
  • SB
    Stewart B.
    8 March 2020 @ 16:23
    1. There are many jobs where we would prefer a human. for example a bar tender. It is possible that a robot may mix a better drink but we don't purchase rationally. There is a romance in being served by s human. 2. From my perspective it looks like we have a huge shortage of human labour. Think of the wait times to speak to a human in call centres, nurses, counsellors etc. 3. I don't like the idea of the state forcing inflation to bail out debtors. As a consumer, investor, business owner and debtor I am quite capable of not getting into trouble in a deflationary environment. It is not that difficult for a person in any one of those capacities.
    • PD
      Pere D.
      9 March 2020 @ 04:04
      I disagree about the bartender or barista analogy. People are more interested in the price and then quality. Just consider how people get their drink and just sit staring at their smartphone. People sit together at tables with everyone looking at their phone. I’m glad my German shorthairs don’t have thumbs or smartphones.
  • DB
    Daniel B.
    8 March 2020 @ 00:03
    UBI is inflationary. A cycle that will require greater volumes of monetary expansion. Some but not all goods or services will be deflationary.
  • sm
    sam m.
    7 March 2020 @ 05:34
    I keep finding that these ideas have been debated before ... in the 1930s ... by one of the most famous economists to have ever lived ... in his most famous work. -> Scarcity of capital Booth: "Technology creates abundance everywhere. ... " Keynes: "Whilst there may be intrinsic reasons for the scarcity of land, there are no intrinsic reasons for the scarcity of capital." Booth: "Technology isn't now just in our phones, it's moving to every part of society. Why wouldn't we logically expect to see that and if we could see that, we could drive a really exciting future, a future of abundance for everybody." Keynes: "I feel sure that the demand for capital is strictly limited in the sense that it would not be difficult to increase the stock of capital up to a point where its marginal efficiency had fallen to a very low figure. ... " -> What happens when we are post scarcity? Max Wiethe: "Well, it sounds like we're really discussing a world that's post scarcity. That a post scarcity world, a lot of the economic concepts which we hold as truths are proven to be false, and that we need to reconsider how we restructure ourselves moving forward to understand this new world of post scarcity economy" [The next response has a sting for most of us "functionless" RV subscribers... ] Keynes: "Thus we might aim in practice (there being nothing in this which is unattainable) at an increase in the volume of capital until it ceases to be scarce, so that the functionless investor will no longer receive a bonus; and at a scheme of direct taxation which allows the intelligence and determination and executive skill of the financier, the entrepreneur et hoc genus omne (who are certainly so fond of their craft that their labour could be obtained much cheaper than at present, to be harnessed to the service of the community on reasonable terms of reward. ... [and] without foregoing our aim of depriving capital of its scarcity-value within one or two generations [from the 1930s]." -> Given we will achieve post scarcity, what changes need to be made to achieve full employment? Keynes: "The central controls necessary to ensure full employment will, of course, involve a large extension of the traditional functions of government. ... . But there will still remain a wide field for the exercise of private initiative and responsibility. Within this field the traditional advantages of individualism will still hold good. ... Whilst ... the enlargement of the functions of government ... would seem to a ... contemporary American financier to be a terrific encroachment on individualism. I defend it, on the contrary, both as the only practicable means of avoiding the destruction of existing economic forms in their entirety and as the condition of the successful functioning of individual initiative." So what Keynes predicted is probably true but it took a little longer (perhaps 4 generations no 2) to achieve post-scarcity. When that occurred Keynes predicted a lot less "capitalism", a lot more "Government", permanently very low rates of return that would "euthenise the functionless investor" In the coming crisis people ARE NOT going to accept that they they can't work and whilst they have no wealth others have so much. We have massive abundance but the current economic system (paraphrasing Keynes) fails to provide for full employment and results in arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes. Today's problems are yesterday's problems.
    • JB
      Jeff B. | Contributor
      7 March 2020 @ 14:48
      From my book - In Keynes 1930s essay “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren, he predicted a 15 hour work week. - and that was considered "full employment"
    • DH
      Dale H.
      7 March 2020 @ 19:13
      The rich will always spend or invest their money in something, they almost never just sit on currency. What needs to happen is to have the CME and Fed stop issuing paper gold and let physical gold just find its price.
  • DL
    Doug L.
    7 March 2020 @ 11:17
    A few people collecting all the money is deflationary so long as it doesn't get back into the economy in the form of loans. Debt is inflationary. That the world carries record amounts of debt favors less new debt and so someone(s) collecting all the money is deflationary. That record world debt will make deflation extremely painful.
    • DH
      Dale H.
      7 March 2020 @ 19:10
      Deflation is a good thing - can you imagine a world where a Big Mac is only 49 cents - what it was in 1968? Deflation may be painful to bondholders if the debtor defaults, but not to the holder of cash.
  • JT
    Jay T.
    7 March 2020 @ 04:15
    Despite the off base comments about solar, he makes good points that we haven't really envisioned the full impact of technology. What if robots and AI can do almost every basic to intermediately complex job humans can do?- from cooking, to auto repair to basic types of surgery? However, this is sort of a malthusian perspective in that it assumes that human creativity is a finite resource. But, it's not. As machines and AI take over more and more types of labor, humans will create new ways of creating value built on the machine and AI capabilities. Entire new industries, products/ services and types of work will be created. It will revolutionize education, for example. It will be a fantastic time in human history and not a dystopian one, until we allow the totalitarians to take over. Rather than fretting about lost employment, since new employment will emerge, we should focus our energy, regulation and laws on preventing totalitarian control of the technology as long as we can.
    • tc
      thomas c.
      7 March 2020 @ 15:48
      Great point about human creative ability to adjust and progress. J.B. sees AI increasing in intelligence but assumes human intelligence won't change. Bad assumption. The scientific method used for gaining knowledge over the past 500 yrs is changing. Quantum mechanical thinking will replace classical scientific thinking. His data set is too small.
  • JM
    Jez M.
    7 March 2020 @ 12:31
    if you implement "helicopter money" on scale inflation will occur. qe different.
  • LS
    Lam S.
    7 March 2020 @ 04:59
    Deflation means negative interest rate must be available to consumers, otherwise all those massive student debts will bankrupt a lot of people.
  • JT
    Jay T.
    7 March 2020 @ 04:04
    He sounded reasonable and insightful until he said that we have solar that's "on par with the lowest cost energies in the world" . This is absolutely not true. Garbage. The sun doesn't shine 24 hours/ day (terrible for base load) Solar "farms" must be replaced every 20 years or so (and lots of bad waste) Battery technology is totally unable to support base load and demand surges Solar is very environmentally unfriendly. It would require HUGE solar "farm" acreage to make a dent in the grid. Nuclear (and natural gas for that matter) make solar a joke for a national grid. Solar is great for putting on home roofs, for individual businesses to put on roofs or elsewhere and may have tremendous potential if we can get to materials science that enables almost ubiquitous solar cells, but it's a joke for base load grid power and it's untrue (bordering on deception) to say it's competitive with "the lowest cost energies in the world".
    • JT
      Jay T.
      7 March 2020 @ 04:05
      Also, despite continuing advances, solar cells are still very inefficient. The last numbers I've seen were touting efficiency in the 20s.
  • AW
    Adam W.
    6 March 2020 @ 23:15
    The Bitcoiners and probably goldbugs have been saying this about fiat currencies for a long time. Interesting to hear another mind coming at it from another angle/
  • rw
    rory w.
    6 March 2020 @ 23:13
    The tech companies aren't actually making free products. They are either selling the information to marketing teams or investors are subsidizing the venture. This only exists because of zero or negative interest rates. Ironically, I see a world where higher interest rates creates inflation for the consumer. Companies will no longer be able to burn investor cash and any ventures they enter will need a near term ROI.
  • PG
    Philippe G.
    6 March 2020 @ 13:53
    Great point on electrification and how that comparison isn't useful today's push to automation, AI, robotics, etc...same thing for the industrial revolution (from the farm fields to the factories)...the world of work/careers is changing
  • JB
    Jon B.
    6 March 2020 @ 13:43
    New insight for me was the coupling of race to devalue (tech) and the race to inflate (monetary policy) and the fact that policy makers are shadow boxing. What do we replace the economics of scarcity with?
  • GS
    Greg S.
    6 March 2020 @ 04:00
    This interview is a perfect example of why I signed on to Real Vision. Where else are you going to get this level of conversation?
  • IO
    Indi O.
    6 March 2020 @ 02:47
    Well now that's a book I'll need to read next. I appreciate the mention of Yang bringing up the right conversation, albeit with the wrong solution. I wonder though, is it possible in this soundbite driven, anti-intellectual society of current day America to have such a conversation effectively enough to lead to widely support agreement on solutions? I don't think our educational system, communication structures, or media for that matter are up to the challenge. Perhaps when technology advances so much faster than human sociology/psychology revolution is the inevitable tension release. Revolution, or invasion and subjugation by a more organized civilization. But is any civilization up to the current challenge? God forbid the Chinese solution.
  • KS
    KEVIN S.
    6 March 2020 @ 01:44
    This was a fascinating discussion and one I find myself giving great thought to. I appreciate Mr. Booth's process of thinking thru things to their logical conclusion. I agree with many and even most of the economic impacts that he lays out and can logically follow the absolute abundance and resulting deflation in certain areas of our society and how that may look and the potential benefits and the chaos that result from that. Where I struggle when thinking it thru is the concept that "technology creates abundance everywhere" or a "post-scarcity world". I also struggle when I try to apply Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in regards to human psychology and the search for self actualization (self worth and esteem). We live in a physical world. Every tangible item that we see and touch that take care of our most basic needs (sans air), food, shelter, clothing to our phones, transportation, computers etc must be harvested from scarce resources and processed into the products we need to live and use. Technology makes those processes more efficient but it doesn't replace the scarce resources (including certain labor) unless it advances to the level of literally creating those items from nothing at the atomic level. This means there will always be a need for certain members of society to be producers with an ever increasing amount of people becoming non-producers displaced by technology. What happens when people see no value to being producers? What social and psychological ramifications happen when technology replaces our intelligence, ingenuity, and creativity? If the ultimate scarce resource becomes the ability of humans to achieve Maslow's level of self-actualization and is only achievable by the few, what does that world look like? When I think that process thru to it's logical conclusion, some scenarios become quite horrific. Human psychology will have to evolve a tremendous amount over many generations to avoid those scenarios and it's difficult imagining it being a smooth, peaceful process. I'm reminded of the lyrics from a classic rock song..."I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do."
  • JP
    James P.
    5 March 2020 @ 20:16
    Mr. Booth: I find you persuasive on the expectation that deflation will persist and expand over time. I share your concern about the unsustainable debt/deficits. I agree that central bank policy error is being compounded and the probability of some kind of terminal crisis (where monetary central planning has to be abandoned) appears - as of today - inevitable. Where I would argue you go wrong is in what I would describe as your limited views on capitalism. It seems to me that you have bought into the Labor Theory of Value—and this leads to your concern about what jobs will exist. Regardless of where technology leads in creating abundance, it will be necessary to produce goods and services. There will be jobs. The solution is to allow authentic let-it-alone (laissez-faire) capitalism, so that the necessary adjustments are made by free people pursuing their own interests through voluntary cooperation. You are correct, in my opinion, about inflation and deflation. Deflation is not a problem except that it is viewed widely as the enemy. Monetary central planning is THE core problem, and when combined with the pernicious and pervasive hold of Marxist ideology will lead to massive dislocations. But the higher-level discussions we need to engage in are about a transition to laissez-faire; the long-term impacts you are concerned about are scary not because of technology but because of a lack of freedom and unsustainable assaults on individual rights by not only the Chinese Communist Party but the welfare state of the West. Expanding the welfare state will retard any adjustment to the new reality you forecast. Very thought-provoking. Your book has made my reading list. Thanks.
    • JB
      Jeff B. | Contributor
      6 March 2020 @ 00:13
      If it wasn't clear in the interview - we are in complete alignment about how to move forward. I believe in capitalism - just not crony capitalism. Thanks for the comment - I think you will love the book. (and potential solution)
  • DS
    David S.
    5 March 2020 @ 19:23
    Socialism is simply governments providing legislatively mandated goods and services with all other services provided in most cases today by capitalism. To the extent possible government programs should be bid in the private sector. Socialism can be 10%, 25% or any other percent of the economy. If the legislature mandates a 100% of all major enterprises then you have a form of communism. Capitalism is the "engine" or the economic foundation of socialism. The military is mandated by the legislature to protect its citizens - sociallism. I know this does not comport with most definitions, but is the definition that can help us understand how to get out of the mess we are in. Capitalism needs freedom with guardrails. We need Representatives in Congress to act like statesmen and stateswomen again and not just lobbyist pandering for votes. DLS
    • JP
      James P.
      5 March 2020 @ 20:24
      It is the state, not capitalism, that needs the guardrails. No revolution or World War has resulted from too much individual liberty. And your optimism about limiting state intervention to some arbitrary percentage is, in my view, remarkably naïve. In a crisis, if individual liberty is not adequately valued and safe-guarded by the culture and the polity, it will disappear. Then we will have chaos.
    • DS
      David S.
      5 March 2020 @ 23:27
      Both need guardrails. Human nature requires it. We are an excessive species. 2008 is an easy of no guardrails on Wall Street. DLS
  • JK
    Jay K.
    5 March 2020 @ 23:14
    A world with less jobs and less scarcity? Sounds wonderful... but also frightening.
  • CC
    Chris C.
    5 March 2020 @ 22:54
    Love the interview. Can't yet agree with the statement that AI will be more intelligent than humans in 20 to 30 years. AI has been saying that in one or more forms for 40-50 years. :) Hubert Dreyfus, What Computers Still Can't Do. https://www.amazon.com/What-Computers-Still-Cant-Artificial/dp/0262540673/ref=sr_1_1
  • BD
    Ben D.
    5 March 2020 @ 11:07
    Wow! What a great interview. Jeff should do another interview when he is able to down the road. having just one hour is not enough to cover all the topics jeff brought up and the questions Max asked. Max also seemed a bit overwhelmed during parts of the interview (which isnt a bad thing as the perspectives are relatively new while jeff has had to to think through them more thoroughly). The whole conversation about deflation was thought provoking from the increase in the standard of living offered by technology. in a concise form, having most people nowadays needing a computer, then a phone, then a good internet connection. I think there would be great benefit from hearing a more detailed explanation on how to view and model scarcity going forward from jeff. if possible, one of these days Josh Wolfe, Chris Cole and Jeff booth need to get together for a RV special.
    • WG
      Wade G.
      5 March 2020 @ 22:43
      Agree completely. On the challenge for Max, I'll credit him for giving it the ole college try, but at points I thought maybe he should just say, "wow, you're freaking me out... can u tell me more". Honest. And open ended prodding might have resulted in even more details/concepts brought forth.
  • WG
    Wade G.
    5 March 2020 @ 22:42
    Fantastic guest. Thanks RV for bringing him to us. Just ordered his book.
  • JL
    Jack L.
    5 March 2020 @ 21:57
    Fantastic. Here are a couple of links which may help people conceptualize how fast AI is evolving & strengthening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmIM24JDE3A (AI beats trained radiologists for pneumonia detection. Result probably generalizable to most medical imagery within a few years. Larger conclusion, AI is going to outperform most kinds of jobs where data analysis based on specialized training & repetitive exposure to a relatively limited data set is the core function. ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmkqFRyNUWo (AI's extremely rapid progress in learning artistic image "style" production. Probably will shrink the marketplace for illustrators and graphic designers as the task moves farther away from slow & labor intensive manual manipulations with tools like Photoshop, towards just clicking a few buttons or issuing general voice commands to an AI program. ("Apply a Rembrant filter plus about a 10% Blade Runner overlay to these 500 photos.") See other clips on the channel covering how AI is revolutionizing both real and fake video production. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBORpapdAfU (AI will either reduce the workload and/or demand for measuring & drawing as-built spaces, or will reduce the marginal cost of producing such drawings by at least an order of magnitude.)
  • JE
    James E.
    5 March 2020 @ 19:48
    Time to get Pippa Malmgren back.
  • DS
    David S.
    5 March 2020 @ 18:37
    I am more optimistic that we can enjoy the benefits of technological deflation as nations and as individuals. I am not a proponent of universal basic income (UBI). It has been tried recently in Sweden, I believe, and rejected. If we raise taxes especially on the rich, they need to see a benefit in their lives and their children's lives besides no revolution and anarchy. The government needs to fund private enterprise with these taxes to rebuild the old and new infrastructure - roads, internet, hospitals, etc. Universal health care for at least children, especially if abortion rules are changed. All these activities will provide jobs. Citizens will not choose anarchy if their lives are livable. I will not be here to see how well we do, but many of you will and your children. It can be done well! I hope it will be. DLS
  • NR
    Nathan R.
    5 March 2020 @ 18:11
    Max, You did a superb job managing this interview. Very enjoyable. As to Mr. Booth, my one quibble is that Moore’s Law is still relevant. It is dead and buried. Software efficiency will be the primary disruptor of network effects owned by the current tech monopolies.
    • JB
      Jeff B. | Contributor
      5 March 2020 @ 18:20
      Thanks Nathan - I explore this extensively in the book.
  • AL
    Andrew L.
    5 March 2020 @ 17:42
    Great interview. My thoughts are the conversation shouldn't be structured on economic forces (inflation / deflation) and its effects on society. It should be whether failure is allowed to run its course through society when mistakes and errors accumulate. We have never allowed the free market to take its course to correct the past mistakes. People, given enough time and when laws are properly enforced, will find a way and adapt. But failure has to be allowed to happen, no matter how significant a company or government is. We've operated in an environment where we see the boulder going down the hill about to crash into the car. Plenty of alerts and sirens have been warning about it, but we still allow the boulder to continue on its path (and everyone bets on how much damage the boulder or the car will sustain).
  • JB
    Jeff B. | Contributor
    5 March 2020 @ 17:26
    Thanks to Max and RealVision for bringing this important topic forward! I really appreciate the comments below.
  • ML
    Mike L.
    5 March 2020 @ 16:43
    Please fix your download option. Sometimes it doesn't play once downloaded. It says I don't have internet connectivity.
  • SV
    Santiago V.
    5 March 2020 @ 16:23
    Fucking terrifying, brilliant, and hopeful all at the same time. The truth laid bare and raw for all to see. Facts are a real bitch and as an engineer it's frustrating to see third order effects debated at nauseum when the root cause is ignored.
  • DL
    Dan L.
    5 March 2020 @ 16:08
    This is an amazing interview. Walking away from it I feel like I have a different lens to see the world with going forward. This interview in concert with the one Chris Cole has with DiMartino kind of paints where exactly we are going. Great timing in having both of these so close together!
  • SW
    Scott W.
    5 March 2020 @ 16:05
    Jeff is really targeting the primary drivers here. What are the three main things that drive have/have not discord? Prices of health care, education and housing. Three areas infused with (well intended government) intervention. All three would see declining prices in a real free market. Those on RV previously who claim there's neutral inflation because of phones and flat-screens miss the point that those without resources ultimately don't care that their 60" screen was the same price as a 30" screen 4 years prior. But they care greatly that a visit to the doctor for a child sick with an otherwise ordinary ailment can cost hundreds or thousands. The US is trying to perpetuate via debt temporary advantages obtained in the aftermath of WWII. Things will break, and the system will reset - one way or another.
  • JL
    Jack L.
    5 March 2020 @ 13:51
    Well done Max...
  • JM
    Jason M.
    5 March 2020 @ 09:49
    Brilliant. Please bring him back on to dig into more detail,
  • JS
    Jerad S.
    5 March 2020 @ 07:44
    This guy blows my mind. There is the old investing adage saying that being too early is the same as being wrong, and I wonder if trying to imitate this guy puts me in that space.