Lay down the arms

They’re not going to kill each other just yet. Sorry to disappoint I guess! On Patreon we can already hear Julia explain who she is and what’s her connection to Adam~

Next page: https://www.patreon.com/posts/page-ii-73-hd-25099861
Next next page: https://www.patreon.com/posts/25270854

First of all, I’d like to say hello to new readers: HEY! Thanks for taking a look at Replay! I hope you stick around!

I started displaying Replay’s ads again so we’ve got new friends coming and going, fueled by the Patreon pledges and my poor, tired wallet. It’s tax season. I’m very sad about all the money I needed to pay to the government. When I was at the tax office playing a clueless gaijin and receiving help from fabulous office workers I actually had my hopes shattered and my heart broken! The guy who was helping me fill in the forms showed me a number at some point, saying that this is the tax return I’m going to get – yay, nice number, me happy! – but guess what? 15 minutes later he realized this is how much I’ll actually need to pay. And he laughed nervously. I must have made a very grumpy face.

Anyway, enough money talk. All is well, I’ll forget about the taxes in a month. More importantly – the spring is here, everything is blooming (my little balcony garden included) and it’s super hard to stay at home and continue drawing. On Saturday we had a casual 20km walk around Yokohama and Akiba and I bought some artbooks, it was great, I love art-shopping in Japan <3 Today it was only 10km because I needed to sketch out next pages for Replay lol But I have a sketch ready and even finished working on another CG illustration for the Historia visual novel project! Not so bad, eh?

Also, I’m reading this now: https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B013Q9TVFQ/ It’s awesome. With some help from Kindle’s dictionary, I can actually understand 99% of the text. So learning Japanese is slowly becoming more fun as I start reading love stories for 12-year-olds!

27 comments on “Lay down the arms”

  1. JW Reply

    Personally, I think in an apocalypse most property rights go right out the window. If only because it’d be too hard to keep track who is still alive enough to own things.

  2. Dragon Master Reply

    Something I’m curious about: Why the broken glass panels? Usually there done to signify like a vision or a memory, is this not happening in reality? Is Rob, Julia, or Ada pre-cogging this?

    • NoriMori Reply

      I would assume it’s just to highlight the chaos and confusion of the situation. (Though fortunately the chaos and confusion are now reducing.)

      Of course, it’s possible one of them is pre-cogging it, but it’s too consistent and confluent with what they were already doing. I’m inclined to think it’s real.

    • Klorix Camp dweller Reply

      Or she’s premeditating…
      I hear relaxed animals give more tender meat.

  3. Crestlinger Reply

    Come back to the cabin, get an ally, book, and chicken. Going alphabetically the next thing to address is Death magic a la Robert or Whatever that was.

  4. xthorgoldx Private Reply

    Ada’s cheating – Robert and Julia have put down their weapons, but she’s still armed with a domesticated dinosaur. Never underestimate birds, no matter how juicy and delicious they may be. They are watching. Waiting.

  5. Klorix Camp dweller Reply

    Well, I wouldn’t exactly say that someone (Ada) is still taking care of the cabin, but Julia can’t know that…

  6. Alex Reply

    Oh yeah taxes can be… taxing. Not for me, because programmers tend to earn enough to have it easier. But I could still rant for days about
    – how taxes are rigged in favor of rich people and large companies and should be less complex,
    – how literally all money in existence was created through making debts, so we’re all slaves to interest,
    – how a Basic Income Grant could help out artists so much that we could have more and more great art and less trash TV,
    – how the Miracle of Wörgl has shown us a money-system that did benefit everyone,
    – and how most people follow corrupt politicians like sheep and when things get too dire they get blinded by rage and fall for racists, while not many of them take the time to stop and think about what they actually want, and even fewer of them can actually agree on what they want.

    Yeah, well, as a member of the German Pirate Party, politics tend to get me into a ranting mood. The lines above were a super-short summary.

    • JW Reply

      – how literally all money in existence was created through making debts, so we’re all slaves to interest,

      Literally as in figuratively? Because it sounds a bit implausible. After all, some money is literally a small gold disc worth its weight in gold.
      Please feel free to expand on that super-short summary, cause I’m pretty sure I’m not reading into this what you mean.

      – how the Miracle of Wörgl has shown us a money-system that did benefit everyone,

      For the very short time it existed. The experiment ended before it could either prove its longevity or collapse in on itself in a cloud of disappointment . The one analysis of it I read ( https://mises.org/library/free-money-miracle ) suggested it had at most 6 months of live left. But I don’t really have the expertise to either judge that analysis or the experiment itself.

      I wish we had an effective Pirate Party in the Netherlands. We have (had?) one, and I voted for it once, but it just flounders like a half dead fish to be honest.
      Ughh, there’s elections next week and all choices are worthless.

    • Alex Reply

      Well, ok, gold discs exist, so I guess it’s not literally, but virtually 100%. Are those gold discs still used anywhere in the world though? In our current system most money is virtual and the bills aren’t covered by gold or anything and the interest shifts money from hard-working people to rich people. Then the rich people hoard it and/or invest it (i.e. they’ll want it back plus interest or dividend or profit share or whatever), so the market is bleeding dry, unless the goverment makes more debts. You can’t earn money that others aren’t willing to spend, but the market needs money so people can pay each other. Thus the government makes debts. And where does THAT money come from? Banks create it out of thin air, lend it and demand interest for it.

      In my opinion, money that was created out of thin air should belong to everyone equally and not to banks, especially if the banks don’t even spend it, but lend it and demand interest, which – in the long run – bleeds the market even dryer than before.

      As for the Miracle of Wörgl:
      I admit that in the last few decades, many towns tried to copy it with regional currencies and mostly failed horribly. I tried using that money, too, and in my experience that system’s problem is that it’s lacking an incentive for people to actually use it, because in contrast to Wörgl back then we do have a currency to compete with it. And what’s even worse: I can’t even get my hands on that money unless I exchange Euros for them.
      But I like the base idea that we need a type of money that can’t be hoarded, stays on the market and thus keeps the market from bleeding dry. And I LOVE that you can’t evade this type of tax even if you’re rich and know every trick in the book, because you either pay them or the entire bills become worthless. I like to call that tax “flow-around tax”, because it abbreviates as FAT. 😀 The only way to avoid paying that tax is to spend (not invest!) the money, which is good for the economy, so anyone who does that gets rewarded by having to pay fewer taxes.

      So I contemplated about possible incentives to make that money become more attractive, and one possible answer might be the Basic Income Grant (abbrev. BIG): Give small amounts of money to the people for free and they will spend it again and again. Eventually there will be enough on the market to create free-money-based jobs. There is a nice bit of synergy going on here, because the BIG and the FAT money take care of each other’s major points of critique:
      1) “How can we possibly pay for a BIG?” –> The FAT makes all money go back to the government over time.
      2) “Why would anyone ever use FAT money at all?” –> Because you’re getting some of it for free through the BIG.
      Also note that you don’t have to start with a full BIG, because otherwise there will be a debate of whether or not people will work at all if they get enough money to live for free.

      I even made a small presentation about it:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O9GMbg-BREGVJE_YdYHZ1Rmy_WKnmrfj/view

      As for the Pirate Parties:
      Well, a party can only be as good as the people in it. No party will be the Messiah. The advantage of grassroots-democracy is that there is no glass ceiling. In other parties you get your career through insider relationships, so you have to sell your soul and represent the opinion you’re given. That always led to corruption, because eventually lobbyists define your opinion. Thus, many people no longer believe that giving your vote to a different party makes a difference at all. But with grassroots-democracy nobody holds power over anyone else, so lobbyists can’t put them all on a leash by bribing a few at the top. And anyone who turns out to be corrupt won’t have a long career (that’s the opposite of what other parties do with corrupt people).
      But in my experience this is a very new insight and not many people are willing to embrace that change yet, so of course the Pirate Parties crashed again for now. Especially when all the media always focus only on the negative and thus make any change look worse than the status quo.

      Also note that the pirate party lives or dies depending on how many people are willing to work for it in their free time without salary. That’s the difference to the big guys with their mandates and salaries and lobbyists who can just hire companies to put up election posters and who can easily rent large halls for speeches and such.

      There just aren’t enough people in the world right now who 1) are good people, 2) want to be politically active and 3) are willing to compromise if someone has a different opinion. But I am optimistic for the future, because in the recent years there have been SO MANY petitions and demonstrations and stuff. We’ll get there soon. We have to, because the alternative is climate change and collective doom. 🙂

      • JW

        Thanks for providing such an interesting topic to think about.

        Well, ok, gold discs exist, so I guess it’s not literally, but virtually 100%. Are those gold discs still used anywhere in the world though?

        Not as money as far as I can find, but on the other hand, US pennies from before 1982 (which are still in circulation) are worth twice their face-value as scrap (it’s illegal, however, to sell them for scrap).
        I think actual gold coins these days are either investment objects, or collector’s items (or museum pieces if they’re old or otherwise of interest).

        So yeah, the money we use is “just” a government-backed promise that it’s worth something, and that sellers are obliged to accept it as legal tender.

        interest shifts money from hard-working people to rich people

        More accurately, to people with surplus money that are willing to lend it out for compensation. That’s not just rich people, unless you want to define everyone with any savings as rich. And lending the money out puts it back in circulation, so arguably it’s better than hoarding.
        On the whole I think it’s a good thing that people can borrow money (and thus that there are people lending money). For example, it’d be difficult to buy a house in your lifetime without a mortgage to finance it. I think as owner you’re actually better off than renting, even though you pay interest. So as long as the interest stays at a reasonable level, I don’t see a problem with it.
        It’s only fair there is at least some interest, because there is a real risk to lenders of not getting it all back and they forego other investment and spending opportunities.

        Interestingly, in the context of FAT money, not having to pay the tax might be incentive enough for lenders to settle for only getting the loan sum back (or even a bit less). So you could perhaps do away with interest if there’s nothing more profitable/worthwhile that lenders could do with their money instead.

        [..], but the market needs money so people can pay each other. Thus the government makes debts. And where does THAT money come from?

        They borrow it from (foreign) investors (via state-obligations).
        I probably own some indirectly, and maybe you do too. Pension funds buy a lot of state obligations, since states are generally considered reliable debtors (they can’t run off and hide).

        Banks create it out of thin air, lend it and demand interest for it.

        Only the government-owned/run central banks can “create” money. So any money created out of thin air is the government’s (and devalues the rest of the currency, adding to inflation).
        Banks can lend out money they don’t have, but only by borrowing it from someone else (such as other banks). They can’t change the total amount of money in the system.

        But I like the base idea that we need a type of money that can’t be hoarded, stays on the market and thus keeps the market from bleeding dry.

        I don’t think there’s really a problem of people hoarding actual money (be it physical or virtual currency). The problem I see is that “money” tends to flow to the top. But the rich hoard capital, not money. They hoard property, companies, other people’s debts, etc. The only people that really hoard currency are those not rich enough to risk investment and not poor enough to be unable to save. But with FAT money even fewer would be able to save and build a financial buffer against adversity. So that makes me a bit pessimistic about the whole idea.

        On the plus side, when you add basic income to the mix, that would somewhat decrease the need for financial buffers, so there’s a bit of compensation there. But you’d still be hard-pressed to replace a car or large house-hold appliances if they break down, unless you go into debt and borrow.
        And the way they changed mortgage laws around here means you’d never be able to buy a house, period. Because you need to use a big lump of your own money, so you can’t borrow that part.

        The only way to avoid paying that tax is to spend (not invest!) the money, which is good for the economy, so anyone who does that gets rewarded by having to pay fewer taxes.

        I don’t see how it prevents people form investing. Investing is simply exchanging money for a share of a company, so in that sense it’s not very different from spending money to buy anything else.
        And investing is also good for the economy, because it bring people with good ideas and no money together with people with money but no ideas, to get things done together. So I guess it’s a good thing that it’s not being prevented. FAT money might actually promote investment, because it’s the only way to build long-term savings.

        And actually, I’m not at all in favor of frivolous spending and consumerism. I’d much rather people could hoard money (up to a point), than feeling they have to spend it on something they don’t really want or need for fear their money loses value.
        As for the problem of money flowing to the top, I tend more to the suggestion of capping inheritance. That way each generation starts at a somewhat level playing field, instead of some players standing on a mountain built by their ancestors. The part of the inheritances above the cap could then be used for basic income or other investments in the community.

      • Alex

        “More accurately, to people with surplus money that are willing to lend it out for compensation. That’s not just rich people, unless you want to define everyone with any savings as rich.”

        I did not define everyone who lends money as rich. You went down that road of misunderstanding by yourself when you included them by saying “More accurately,…”. 😉 Of course non-rich people lend money, too, but they’re not the ones where the money ultimately end up at, because they use it up, e.g. for building a house or buying a car.

        “And lending the money out puts it back in circulation, so arguably it’s better than hoarding.”

        In the short run, yes, in the long run, no, because in the long run the effect is the opposite of putting money back in circulation, because interest, dividents etc. You can see in Greece what happens in the long run: Artificial unemployment, because people can’t pay each other any longer, since the money has been largely drained. It’s like taking drugs: It feels good at first, but there’s always a backlash later, making you need more and more and more with progressively worse consequences.

        Interest on interest is another problem here. It would be a lot less bad if interest would be kept separate instead of generating additional interest or if we had Islamic Banking, i.e. if there were a one-time fee for a loan and nothing more.

        “They borrow it from (foreign) investors (via state-obligations).
        I probably own some indirectly, and maybe you do too. Pension funds buy a lot of state obligations, since states are generally considered reliable debtors (they can’t run off and hide).”

        Yeah, they exist, too, but if you look e.g. at America’s rising depts, the FED plays a large role here, too.

        “Only the government-owned/run central banks can “create” money. So any money created out of thin air is the government’s”

        I wish that that were true, but I can’t believe it.

        “Banks can lend out money they don’t have, but only by borrowing it from someone else (such as other banks). They can’t change the total amount of money in the system.”

        There is an interesting discussion about this here:
        https://www.quora.com/Can-a-bank-lend-more-money-than-it-has

        “But with FAT money even fewer would be able to save and build a financial buffer against adversity. So that makes me a bit pessimistic about the whole idea.”

        Anyone who tries to hoard FAT money instead of trading it for other currencies, stocks, gold/silver/whatever has noone but themselves to blame. On the contrary, the financial buffer against adversity is slowly drained away in the current system, because there is no FAT money to keep the market alive. Social welfare is slowly being reduced and we hire cheap labour from poorer countries to do jobs like caring for the elderly, mail, cleaning etc.

        Of course we do still need ways of saving up something for later to buy houses etc., but we also need a type of money whose main purpose is trading. Trading and saving are two functions of money that work at cross-purposes.

        “FAT money might actually promote investment, because it’s the only way to build long-term savings.”

        Hm, ok, you’re right, I withdraw that point. Investment is fine, and if loans of FAT money don’t generate interest and merely prevent the FAT-tax from happening to the creditor they might be fine, too.

        I am against frivolous spending of money, too, but between investments, interest-free loans, trading for other currencies and buying metals we have found plenty of ways for people to save up value instead, right? 🙂

        I agree that inheritance should be capped, too, but that’s not a counter point to any other endeavour to create more social justice. E.g. I also want a higher “top income tax rate”, lower military expenses and fewer prestige projects.

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