Insert lame ‘fiat’ pun here

Signs that, if you’re having a conversation about current political/economic conditions with someone, they have no fucking idea what they are talking about and can be ignored:

1) use of the term “fiat money”, as I’ve already highlighted here

2) use of the term “moral hazard” in any context at all. Although there is, in theory, a real meaning for the term in sixth-form economics, the fact that 99% of uses in real life mean “I think this thing is wrong, and this thing is to do with economics, and I know fuck-all about economics, but I know this word and it sounds like it ought to mean something in economics which is wrong” disqualifies it from the lexicon of non-cunty words

3) use of the term “profiteering” for people who aren’t cheating the rationing system during a state of total war. Otherwise, what they’re doing is “making a profit” (oh, and wWith reference to UK utilities in particular: your electricity bill has gone up because there’s a shortage of gas and oil; and the benefit has accrued to the Saudis and the Russians [or more accurately, the thieving tyrants who own said countries] not to your utilities provider)

4) non-use of the term “that utter cunt who offered to get someone beaten up for money” for Boris Johnson. Although even that isn’t as bad as people who try and defend him: listen to yourselves, you daft fuckers, and feel the lameness… “Well, yeah, he said he’d get the chap beaten up, and never went to the police about it or even suggested that it was a bad idea – but he never actually arranged the beating, did he?“. Yes, that makes it all OK then. “well, yeah, he said procure a child prostitute for his paedo friend, and never went to the police about it or even suggested that it was a bad idea – but he never actually arranged the child, did he?” is, I’m sure, a defence that would absolve anyone who used it not only of legal blame, but also of all moral culpability in the matter.

3 thoughts on “Insert lame ‘fiat’ pun here

  1. Jim Bliss says:

    #1 & #2. You know far more about economic terms than I do, so I’ll take your word on it (though I suspect if one were discussing 19th century economics you could legitimately use the term “fiat currency”, right?)

    Gotta disagree with #3. Though I guess that means I should be ignored, rendering my disagreement pointless.

    It’s certainly a word that gets misused regularly, no question, but it doesn’t exclusively refer to “cheating the rationing system during a state of total war”. I’ve always seen it as referring to those who unethically extract profit from any emergency situation.

    Take for example the recent (indeed ongoing, though the government does finally seem to have provisions in place for those affected) case of the water crisis in Galway, West Ireland. The mains water supply in several parts of Galway has been contaminated with a bacteria which causes illness (and, as is often the case, can actually be life-threatening to certain high-risk individuals). Those retailers — and it’s refreshing to note they were few and far between — who raised the price of bottled water, could legitimately be described as “profiteers”.

    Of course, if you accept that as a form of profiteering it does then raise questions about where you draw the line. All commodities see price increases in cases where supply is interrupted or even simply reduced. But price increases are generally not profiteering. I guess it all comes down to how you define an “emergency situation”. Also, it goes without saying that the word should never be applied to those who profit from non-essential goods.

    As you’ll know doubt have guessed, I tend to be a little more forgiving of those who describe significant increases in fossil fuel prices as “profiteering”. I am not at all convinced that we’ve not already passed the peak of conventional crude oil production (those who no nothing about petrogeology need to inform themselves of the meaning and significance of the phrase “conventional crude oil” prior to wading in with claims about oil shales and tar sands… and a comprehension of the concept of ERoEI and how it might be relevant to those non-conventional oil sources wouldn’t go astray either). If we have passed that peak — and if we haven’t then it’s certainly on the horizon — it raises the question of whether or not the producers and distributors of oil are not already profiteering (i.e. taking advantage of a dwindling supply of an essential resource in order to increase their own profits).

    James H. Kunstler (who is guilty of talking nonsense occasionally; but who isn’t?) uses the phrase “The Long Emergency” when describing the gradual, post-peak decline in oil supplies and the devastating effects that such a decline will have. Similarly, the absurdly perceptive and incisive petrogeologist Colin J. Campbell (who is no doubt also guilty of talking nonsense occasionally, but never — to my knowledge — on public record) has proposed an Oil Depletion Protocol as a safeguard against the inevitable profiteering that such a Long Emergency will generate.

    It’s also worth pointing out that the benefits of increasing fossil fuel prices have not been exclusively accrued by the producer nations, and international oil and gas companies have been doing rather well out of the recent price rises.

    #4 Too right. What an unspeakable git that man Boris truly is. I’m thinking of moving back to London just so I can move away again should he get elected. That city was my home for 12 years, and I despair at the thought of it being governed by that shit.

  2. Jim Bliss says:

    Er… “know doubt” and “no nothing” in the 6th paragraph. The nose need to be switched.

  3. Justin says:

    [T]he benefit has accrued to the Saudis and the Russians [or more accurately, the thieving tyrants who own said countries] not to your utilities provider)

    Aren’t the energy companies’ profits through the roof?

    (I’ll hold me hand up to 2) BTW – I used it only yesterday. I like the heft of it – it’s nice for hitting people with.)

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