Who Owns Oregon? Some Historical Context on the so-called Militia Occupation of Public Lands


Good morning, Hank. It’s Tuesday. So until a few days ago the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in [southeastern] Oregon was mostly known for its high quality springtime bird watching. But then some people with guns decided to take over the refuge’s headquarters. Which is both a big deal, like armed civillians are in control of a federal building, and not that big of a deal. Like it’s not like the building in question is the US capital. Regardless, it gives us occasion to consider some complicated history and how ideas about public and private property have shaped the United States. So these days Oregon is often seen as one of the most progressive states in the US. I mean, I judge a city primarily by the quality of its soccer support and its public transportation, by which measures Portland, [not] Oregon’s capital, might be America’s greatest city. But as is often true with American history, the deeper you dig, the more troubling it gets. Okay, so around a thousand years ago the northern Paiute tribe’s Wadatika band, moved into what is now the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The first Europeans didn’t show up until the 1820s and their arrival, of course, was catastrophic. Like most American Indian groups the Wadatika were devastated by smallpox and other European diseases. As many as 90% of them died from disease within 30 years of the first European contact. So by the 1840s, thousands of white settlers had made their way west to Oregon via the Oregon trail. This 2200 mile long wagon route, that today is primarily famous as a video game, in which you almost always die of dysentery. The settlers encroached on the northern Paiute lands and there were some conflicts but things didn’t really pick up untill 1850, when the US passed the Donation Land Claim Act. That law granted 320 acres of land to any white man who settled and cultivated the land for at least 4 years. And married couples could get 640 acres of land. There were a bunch of laws like this. White settlement in Oregon increased dramatically and by 1859 it became a state. Quick side note: Oregon’s first state constitution contained some of the most shameful language in American history. For example, it outlawed black Americans even visiting Oregon. It was technically illegal for African Americans to move to Oregon until 1926. But right. So by 1859 there were all these new white settlers in Oregon thanks to the federal government’s land grants. And not to state the obvious or anything, but inherent to the idea that the US federal government could give land to these white settlers, was the idea that the land in question was the US government’s to give. The idea of federally owned territory is established in the consitution and even today a lot of the United States is owned by the federal government. Speaking of which, in 1872 the northern Paiute tribe signed the treaty with the United States government establishing a 1.8 million acre reservation called – get this – the Malheur Reservation. The US government abided by this treaty for all of 0 minutes with settlers immediately encroaching upon the reservation. And then, after an 1878 war won by the US army the remaining nothern Paiutes were taken off their land and forcibly moved to Washington state About 100 northern Paiute families were allowed to return to southwestern Oregon at the end of the 19th century but today their reservation is less than 1% of its original size and their tribe has just 349 living members. So in summary: for 800-ish years what is now the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was northern Paiute land. First, because they were the only people living there and then because they negotiated control over the land in a treaty with US government. The US government then won a war, deported the remaining native Americans and took control of the land, which it held untill 1908 when president Teddy Roosevelt declared it to be a refuge for birds. That Teddy Roosevelt. He loved birds. Especially hunting them. So that was the history of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge until a few days ago, when it became the de facto headquarters of a militia claiming that the US government has no right to own federal land. Hank, there are many compelling arguments to be had about government infringing upon the rights of citizens, but this is not one of them. So this militia argues that there is something tyrannical about a representative government telling the people it supposedly represents to do or not do things on certain land. Like if the government is of the people and by the people, then how can the government prevent me, a person, from doing whatever I want on federal land? The answer, of course, is that the land doesn’t just belong to you, it belongs to all of us and collectively we’ve decided what to do with it. This is in accordance with the US constitution, which states pretty explicitly that the US congress shall have the power to – and I quote – “dispose and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States”. And throughout the US history the Supreme Court has consistenly upheld the idea of federally owned and managed land. The counterargument I’ve seen most often is that land should belong to the people who use it. Not to the government. Which isn’t so different from the way the northern Paiutes treated land for most of Oregon’s human history. However, the people using the land in question would still be the northern Paiutes if the US army hadn’t intervened on behalf of white settlers in the 19th century. In American history, there is no escaping that fundamental fact – our government took this land from sea to shining sea. Whether through purchase or war, or forced deportations, or dishonest treaties and then it apportioned some of that land off as private property. If the federal government has no rights to federal land and it never did, then they never had the right to give away millions of acres to white settlers in the 19th century. This would render much of American private property illegitimate. Including, by the way, probably my house. Hank, it seems to me that if the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge’s headquarters building doesn’t belong to the federal government, that built and paid for it, than that building and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, in fact much of southwestern Oregon belongs not to a militia but to the 349 surviving members of the tribe that has lived on that land for most of its history. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.

Intro to the Bond Market


♪ [music] ♪ [Alex] As we’ve seen,
most individuals who want a loan — they borrow money from a bank. But for a well-known corporation,
like Starbucks, borrowing money may be available through another type
of financial intermediary: the bond market. A bond is essentially an IOU. It documents who owes how much and when payment must be made. Like stocks,
bonds are traded on markets. For an established company,
like Starbucks, investors — they already know
enough about the company that they’re willing to bypass
the bank as an intermediary and lend to the company directly. So for a large company
with a good reputation, this could mean
they can borrow money on better terms
from the bond market than they can
through traditional bank lending. Starbucks, for example, has issued over a billion dollars
of corporate bonds over the years, in order to fund
their expansion plans. Now unlike a stock, if you buy
a newly issued bond from Starbucks, you don’t own part of Starbucks. You’re simply
lending Starbucks money, and in exchange, they’re promising
to pay you back a specific sum at a particular point in time. In addition, some bonds
also pay out regular installments, called coupon payments,
according to a preordained schedule. By issuing bonds,
a company can raise capital and make big investments. And then they can repay that debt
over a long timeline as those investments
provide a return. Corporations aren’t
the only institutions that borrow money
in the bond market. Governments do so as well. In 2016, the U.S. government
owed the public almost $14 trillion
in promised bond payments. And because
the government is so big, when it borrows money,
it affects the entire market for saving and borrowing. Let’s go back
to the supply and demand for loanable funds. We’ll use some numbers here
for illustration. Here’s the demand curve
showing the demand for borrowing. Now, imagine that the government
decides to borrow $100 billion. This shifts the demand
for loanable funds up and to the right, increasing the equilibrium
interest rate from 7% to 9%. A higher interest rate — that means that the quantity
of savings supplied will increase, in this case,
from $200 to $250 billion. Now remember that
if savings increases by $50 billion, that means that private consumption
is falling by $50 billion. If we’re saving more,
that means we’re consuming less. And because borrowing
has become more expensive due to the higher interest rate,
private investment will also fall. At a 9% interest rate, we can see that the private demand
for loanable funds is $150 billion, $50 billion less than it was
at an interest rate of 7%. We call these two effects
“crowding out”. When the government
borrows $100 billion, it crowds out private consumption
and private investment. In this case, it crowds out
$50 billion of private consumption and also $50 billion
of private investment. Bonds aren’t as risky as stocks because the bondholders
must be paid before any profits
are distributed to shareholders. But bonds do have risk, namely the risk
that when the payments come due, the borrower won’t be able to pay. That’s called the default risk. If investors think that a firm
issuing a bond has a significant default risk,
they’ll demand a higher interest rate
to lend money. Bonds are rated by agencies,
such as the S&P. The S&P ratings go from AAA,
which are the safest bonds, all the way down to D,
and anything lower than a BBB-, those are sometimes called
“junk bonds.” If you’re curious,
Starbucks gets an A-. Lending money to Starbucks —
it’s pretty safe. But you never know
what might happen if all those pod people start making
a lot more coffee at home. Now, the rating agencies
aren’t perfect. That became all too obvious
during the recent financial crisis. However, generally speaking, you’ll find that
better-rated bonds — they pay lower interest rates. And lower-rated, riskier bonds —
they pay higher interest rates. The state of Illinois has
the lowest bond rating of any state government
in the United States, an A-. And it has to pay
significantly more to borrow money than does Virginia, which has
the highest rating, a AAA. Another factor that determines
the interest rate on a bond is whether the borrower
can put up collateral, an asset that helps
to guarantee the loan. If you want to borrow money
to buy a house, you’ll typically
get a lower interest rate than if you want to borrow money
to buy a vacation. How come?
It’s the same principle. The mortgage loan
is less risky for the bank than the vacation loan because if you default,
the bank can repossess your house. The house is collateral. But once you’ve been to Maui, the bank can’t repossess
your vacation. So it’s cheaper to borrow money
to buy a house than to go on vacation. Okay, we’ve covered banks,
we’ve covered stocks, we’ve covered bonds… But actually, there’s
many other financial intermediaries that we could talk about,
including hedge funds, venture capital, mortgages,
and a lot more. What are you curious about?
Let us know. [Narrator] If you want
to test yourself, click “Practice Questions.” Or if you’re ready to move on, you can click
“Go to the Next Video.” You can also visit MRUniversity.com to see our entire library
of videos and resources. ♪ [music] ♪

Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Won’t Work


We can’t afford just to tinker around the
edges, a tax credit here, a regulation there, our fight is for big structural change. Elizabeth Warren wants the federal government
to provide free healthcare for every American, college for every student who wants it, childcare for every parent, and housing for low income families. And she wants to pay for it all with a new
tax on the richest of the rich. She calls it the Ultra-Millionaire Tax. Skimming a bit more off the top of the bank
accounts of the ultra wealthy might sound like a good deal for working and
middle class Americans who feel like they’re falling behind. But the reality is that wealth taxes have
been tried before and they haven’t worked the way that Warren
promises. Here’s why: Warren wants to levy a 2% annual wealth tax on all households with a net worth of over
50 million dollars and a 3% annual tax on those households with
net worths over one billion dollars. All I’m asking for is a little slice from
the tippy tippy top. A 2 or 3 percent tax on multi millionaires
and billionaires might not sound like much. They got to pitch in two cents and two cents
on every dollar after that. Wealth taxes are different than other taxes
like, say, an income tax or a sales tax which tax money when it moves around. A wealth tax on the other hand taxes the same
pot of money every year. Meaning that over time it becomes smaller
and smaller. It’s essentially a tax on large savings, the money that investors and entrepreneurs
rely on to start new businesses. But I do think a system that allows billionaires
to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people
are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health,
is wrong. Unlike Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Warren has never said that the existence of billionaires is immoral but her plan to tax two to three percent of
their wealth on an annual basis is clearly motivated at least in part by a
desire to reduce their wealth and what she perceives as a power imbalance
in our society. The economists who helped Warren design her
plan have said that the idea is to make rich people
less wealthy. In analyzing her plan, they wrote that: It’s not really about raising tax revenue, it’s about using government power to make
sure rich people have less. -that much wealth is bad for our economy and
bad for our democracy. Warren has often pitched her plan as a way
to raise money from the ultra rich to pay for more government benefits for everyone
else. And on that count, it’s likely to fall short. Warren says her tax plan will raise 2.75 trillion
dollars over a ten year period. But other countries have tried wealth taxes and found that they raise far less money than
expected. In 1990, there were twelve OECD nations with
wealth taxes similar to Warren’s. Today only four remain. In Scandinavia of course healthcare is a right,
higher education is free. Despite the tendency of politicians like Bernie
Sanders to hold up Denmark and Sweden as paragons of Democratic Socialism that the
US should emulate, the reality is that both nixed their wealth
taxes in the 1990s because too many rich citizens were pulling
their money out of the country. This capital flight resulted in lower rates
of entrepreneurship and relative economic stagnation. Not only did the wealth tax hurt the economy, it didn’t even raise the money it was supposed
to. When Sweden eliminated it’s wealth tax it had virtually no effect on government finances. France tried a wealth tax for more than a
decade starting in 2000. It helped push an estimated 42000 millionaires
out of the country. They didn’t pay the tax, they just left. What Warren wants to get around the capital flight
problem by taxing the money no matter where in the
world it’s located. And imposing a 40% exit tax on anyone who
wants to renounce his or her citizenship. We’re going to be out there countin’ them
and watching them. What we built right into the plan was far
more sophisticated and more investment in the enforcement. Warren’s plan relies on hiring more IRS agents partly to deal with the complexity of evaluating
total individual wealth. But throwing more tax collectors at the problem
isn’t going to change the fact that the wealthy are very good at protecting
their money. By offshoring it or by putting it into unique,
hard to value assets like artwork. Austria is one of the countries that used
to have a wealth tax. One of the reasons the country ended it was
because the cost of enforcement was so high. Based on it’s failure in other countries and her vague proposals for addressing those
failures, there’s no compelling evidence that Warren’s
Ultra Millionaire Tax will raise the revenue she claims. The wealth tax is best understood not as a
targeted revenue raiser but as a symbolic declaration of opposition
to the existence of out sized wealth regardless of how it was obtained. What I want is I want these billionaires to
stop being freeloaders. Warren has described the Ultra Millionaire
Tax as a tool for addressing inequality. But really it’s just a presidential candidate’s
way of saying ‘I oppose the existence of very rich people’ She could have just said it.

Graham School of Business at York College of Pennsylania


(percussion music) – We like to think that our
programs are fast-changing, that they’re contemporary, they’re compelling, they’re competitive. We want to give graduates of the Graham
School of Business that edge that not only gets them the job, but actually puts their
degree to work in a career. – Something that separated York from the other colleges and
universities that I was looking at was the wide variety of
majors and minors that the business school offers. I think it was really great that I could focus on my own interests
and put them together in order to build my own career path. – Coming in, I chose marketing. You’re learning accounting,
you’re learning advertising. You’re learning everything that goes into running the business as a whole. It’s not just numbers that go into it, but there’s also a
creative side that you can combine with that. It’s almost art with business all put into one. – I think one of the things that makes the Graham School
of Business so unique is our three-part curriculum
that we offer at York College, blending the liberal arts
with professional education. So you have the bachelor
of science degrees, things like finance, and
accounting, and economics. Then we have our bachelor of business
administration platform. You’ll find things like integrated
marketing communication. Then we have degrees like philosophy in business is example, or a bachelor of arts in
international business. So if you’re interested
in that business degree, but your heart and your mind is also lured to these other
really interesting fields, put them together, come to
York, and study them both. – The classroom environment is one where we really want our students to engage in discussions with the faculty. In my six years, I’m still in contact with the students that I taught
in my very first year. So that’s the kind of relationship we’ve built with our students. – The Graham School of
Business does a great job of setting you up with internships. I got my first internship as a sophomore. After that spring semester
of my junior year, I was offered the internship with Carel as an operations specialist. My boss offered me a full-time
position once I graduated. – The Willman Business Center has a wonderful NASDAQ
full-time full trade system on the second floor. We have lots of study space,
lots of meeting rooms. The Business Center really
is designed to mimic the kinds of tools and
technologies and the ambiance of what you’re going to experience as you move in to the work world. – With the small class sizes, I think it’s allowed me
to come out of my shell and really participate in class because having all these people here
to encourage me and to help me has definitely made me more confident, and I’m really excited and I’m really happy that I chose York.

Economic Growth and Happiness Explained


Economic Growth and Happiness. Here’s the short version. Economic Growth and Happiness. Here’s the short version. Governments want to boost economic growth, and improve people’s lives. They think: we need a growing economy to satisfy people’s needs; and that will lead to happiness. does economic growth make people happy
some say yes it does others say no it doesn’t why do they disagree as it turns out
economic growth doesn’t work the same way everywhere economic growth can be good or bad it
can benefit everybody or only a few it can create healthy communities for a can
weaken the bond between us in some countries economic growth makes people
happy like in Denmark and Switzerland in
others it does not like in China and the USS scholars need to change how they
think about it we analyzed 25 years of public opinion surveys dating back to
the nineteen eighties we looked at many countries both rich and poor we looked
at how their economies grew over time and we tracked changes in happiness most
importantly we observed the conditions in which economic growth makes people
happy or not we thought that economic inequality should matter seeing a great
gap between rich and poor and economic growth for the few should make people
unhappy we thought that trust should better to trust in everyday people what
they call social trust makes for happy healthy communities and
economic growth there weakens the bonds between us and hurts those communities
makes people unhappy as it turns out in the long run both inequality and trust
matter over time economic growth makes people happy but
it does so when income inequality false and when social trust does not read it
and now an important message for policymakers long lasting improvements in people’s
well-being adoptee promote protect and reduce policy promote economic growth
protect and promote social trust and reduce income inequality well let’s get
started

💲 Money Creation | How does it work?


Money creation: described by many as the biggest
scam in the history of mankind; for others it’s a blessing and a driving force of the
economy. For John Maynard Keynes it was a process that
“engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it
in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” We hope that after seeing this video you will
be this one man in a million. Let’s look at the case of US dollar creation,
as it is a global reserve currency. Many people don’t realize that any dollar
spent by the government sooner or later, one way or another, will be taken from the taxpayers’
pockets. The government can finance new spending in
several ways. Raising taxes is one way to do it, though
this method is unpopular. Another option is to cut spending in some
sectors; but this can provoke dissatisfaction or even social unrest for the groups cut off
from the money faucet. However, there is another option. The government may increase the budget deficit
and thus finance current expenditures at the cost of increasing debt. The US Treasury can issue securities like
government bonds. Simply put, a bond is a promise to repay a
certain amount of money with interest after a certain date. It constitutes a debt obligation. The government bonds are sold to financial
institutions at auction. By itself, issuing bonds doesn’t necessarily
lead to money creation. Bonds can be bought by a private individual
with previously saved money. However, some bonds are bought by means of
open market operations by the Federal Reserve, which is the US central bank. The process goes as follows: The Fed buys
bonds from a commercial bank by issuing a check in its own name. There are no savings in the Fed’s account. The Fed reports bonds on the asset side of
the accounting equation, and on the liabilities side the Fed reports new money equal to the
value of the check. When the check is received by a bank which
is selling the bonds, the check simply becomes a new money in circulation. Complicated? Well, let’s try to simplify our story here. Let’s just skip the intermediary, the financial
institutions. The government issues bonds and then sells
them to the central bank who buys them with newly created money or, in other words, the
check for the government debt. What we now call money, or more precisely
monetary base, is created by the fact that the two institutions exchanged paper or digital
records. Each asset purchased by the Fed increases
the monetary base. Government bonds are interest-bearing, so
it is necessary to pay interest on each bond issued. This is called debt service. In order to pay for an existing bond the government
usually just issues some new bonds. This doesn’t seem to be reasonable at all,
does it? Imagine if you borrowed some money, and spent
it all at once. Now suppose that you took another loan to
pay off the previous debt, even though you were still paying interest. This is called “rolling over” debt. Although the face value of the loan is never
repaid, the periodic interest is. This procedure is listed among other budgetary
items as the cost of servicing debt. These costs are incurred regardless of whether
the money is created or not. When the citizens buy bonds from the government
for their savings, the interest on the debt is still paid. At the same time the Fed gives earnings from
interest to the government. Thus it is cheaper for the state to borrow
through monetization of the debt, rather than to simply sell bonds. It is important to understand that in this
way the debt becomes a burden for everybody and for years to come, regardless of whether
the debt was incurred by involving money creation or not. Debt equals borrowing from our future prosperity. Money creation exacerbates the problem further
by reducing purchasing power of money holders, and by allowing for a greater debt than would
be possible otherwise. However, the monetary base is only one narrow
measure of money; let’s see what happens next. The government still spends money on things
like the military, pensions, social programs, and many other things. So the money is eventually received by the
public one way or another. This money is then deposited by the public
in commercial banks. As you already know from the previous video
about fractional reserve banking, in a process of lending to the public the commercial banks
can in turn create even more money based on the newly deposited funds. About 95% of the US currency is created precisely
in this way, rather than being issued directly by the government. If you watched our video about inflation,
you probably already know the effects of money creation. Each new dollar reduces the purchasing power
of every dollar in existence. This is why inflation is sometimes referred
to as a hidden tax. Not many people understand this phenomenon. Most of us just feel that each year we can
buy less and less for the same amount of money. But it is easier for some to put blame on
the greed of entrepreneurs who raise the prices. To sum up: each newly created dollar causes
the purchasing power of all other dollars to decrease. As a result of this process, the dollar’s
inflation is also exported abroad due to its global position as both reserve currency and
a unit of account. You may have noticed that throughout the entire
process the newly created money is based on debt. When the Fed increases the monetary base,
the public debt also increases. And granting a loan by any of the commercial
banks necessitates an act of fiduciary media creation. The money thus created ceases to exist once
the debt is repaid. Without further borrowing, the repayment of
the debt would have resulted in a strong monetary deflation. Economics Professor Robert Murphy once said:
“if people in the private sector ever paid off all of their debts, and the federal government
paid off all of its bondholders, then the supply of US dollars would be virtually extinguished.” In spite of this fact the money is not the
same as debt. The bonds and loans are. Perceiving money as debt is a rather popular
misconception. Inflationary policy not only reduces the purchasing
power of money, but it also leads to clusters of malinvestments, as we have already seen
in our video entitled “Austrian Business Cycle Theory”. For this reason, many Austrian economists
oppose this kind of monetary policy, and they even consider the very existence of central
banks as detrimental to both society and economy. Please visit econclips.com where you will
find our other videos. You may also visit us on Facebook. If you liked this video, please share it with
your friends and subscribe to our channel, because our next videos are coming soon. You’ll find the links in the description
below.

EVE Online – The Market [Tutorial]


Becoming a hotshot EVE Online financier might not be for everyone, but the primary tool for interacting with the game’s economy, the Regional Market interface, certainly is. Whether you need a new weapon for your ship, or plan on decimating your enemy’s bottom line, knowledge of the Market can reap huge dividends. You can bring up the Regional Market window via the Neocom, or by pressing ALT-R. If you know what you’re looking for – a Neutron Blaster for example, simply type in the Search window and it will hopefully be available close by. Alternatively, you can browse through the item categories until you find what you need. Selecting listed items will bring up all the active buy or sell orders, listed in order of price. You can also arrange it by jumps, which is the distance
you’ll have to travel to collect your purchases, the quantity available and the time until an order expires. You can get more information, such as how prices
compare to the regional average, by double clicking the order. In addition, you can right-click to ensure you’re not being sold
goods from dangerous locations. If you’re satisfied, enter the required quantity and hit Buy. Congratulations, you now know enough
about the Market to net a bargain, and, as soon as you’ve browsed enough market orders, you’ll quickly develop a trader’s sense
of what sells where and for how much. There are though some useful options to consider
that will reduce the number of hasty acquisitions borne of poor judgment. Clicking on the icon in the top-right of the Details panel, you may want to exclude all orders
from potentially dangerous low-sec systems. Or you can limit them by, say, those that are
proportionately below the average asking price. Just mouse over the filter options to see how they work. If your desired item isn’t available for a price that’s worth your while, click Place Buy Order and set your own parameters. If a sell order is then posted that fulfills them, the system will process the sale on your behalf. Before spamming the Market with cheap orders, it’s worth remembering that the number you can have active is limited, as is the distance over which you can automatically trade. Luckily, there are skillbooks to increase the range, volume
and frequency at which you can buy and sell, and others to reduce the fees and taxes
the New Eden market skims from every transaction. As we have an extra Trade skillbook in our Item Hanger,
let’s put it up for sale. Unfortunately, we’re in a solar system close to career agents, there’s no shortage of them on the market. Since it didn’t cost us anything, however,
we can afford to undercut everyone, even the NPC vendors. All we have to do is right-click on the item
in our Inventory and select Sell This Item. Once you enter a price, the system will tell you
how it compares to the regional average, and the length of time the item will stay on sale,
hit Sell and wait for the money to roll in. That’s pretty much the basics covered. Taking things a stage further and becoming a dedicated trader
will require you to level up your Trade skills, practice safe navigation, find established markets, and to keep one eye on the news and the other on the competition. For now though, there’s nothing stopping you getting what you want from anywhere across New Eden – assuming that the price is right, of course.

Bitcoin: How Cryptocurrencies Work


Say there’s a coin that’s currently worth
hundreds of U.S. dollars, but it’s not made of gold, or platinum, or any precious metal. In fact, it’s not the kind of coin you can
hold in your hand or stick in a piggy bank. It’s a digital currency, which means it
only exists electronically. I’m talking about bitcoin. Bitcoin doesn’t work like most money. It isn’t attached to a state or government,
so it doesn’t have a central issuing authority or regulatory body. Basically, that means there’s no organization
deciding when to make more bitcoins, figuring out how many to produce, keeping track of
where they are, or investigating fraud. So how does bitcoin work as a currency, or
have any value at all? Well, bitcoin wouldn’t exist without a whole
network of people and a little thing called cryptography. In fact, it’s sometimes described as the
world’s first cryptocurrency. And here’s how it works. Bitcoin is a fully digital currency, and you
can exchange bitcoins between computers in a worldwide peer-to-peer network. The whole point of most peer-to-peer networks
is sharing stuff, like letting people make copies of super legal music or movies to download. If bitcoin is a digital currency, what’s
stopping you from making a bunch of counterfeit copies and becoming fabulously wealthy? Well, unlike a mp3 or a video file, a bitcoin
isn’t a string of data that can be duplicated. A bitcoin is actually an entry on a huge,
global ledger called the blockchain, for reasons we’ll get to in a minute. The blockchain records every bitcoin transaction
that has ever happened. And, as of late 2016, the complete ledger
is about 107 gigabytes of data. So when you send someone bitcoins, it’s
not like you’re sending them a bunch of files. Instead, you’re basically writing the exchange
down on that big ledger – something like, “Michael sends Hank 5 bitcoins.” Now, maybe you’re thinking, “But, wait. You said bitcoin doesn’t have a central
authority to keep track of everything!” Even though the blockchain is a central record,
there’s no official group of people who update the ledger and keep track of everybody’s
money like a bank does – it’s decentralized. In fact, anybody can volunteer to keep the
blockchain up to date with all the new transactions. And a ton of people do. It all works because there are lots of people
keeping track of the same thing, to make sure all transactions are accurate. Like, imagine you’re playing a game of poker
with some pals, but none of you have poker chips, and you left your cash at home. There’s no money on the table, so a few
of you get out some notebooks, and start writing down who bets how much, who wins, and who
loses. You don’t completely trust anyone else,
so everyone keeps their ledgers separately. And at the end of every hand, you all compare
what you’ve written down. That way, if someone makes a mistake, or tries
to cheat and snag some extra money for themselves, that discrepancy is caught. After a couple hands, you might fill up a
page of your notebook with notes about the money movement. You can think of each page as a “block of
transactions.” Eventually, your notebook will have pages
and pages of information – a chain of those blocks. Hence: blockchain. Now, if thousands of people are separately
maintaining the bitcoin blockchain, how are all the ledgers kept in sync? To stick with our poker analogy: think of
the entire bitcoin peer-to-peer network as a really huge poker table with millions of
people. Some are just exchanging money, but lots of
volunteers are keeping ledgers. So when you want to send or receive money,
you have to announce it to everyone at the table, so the people keeping track can update
their ledgers. So for every transaction, you’re announcing
a couple of things to the bitcoin network: your account number, the account number of
the person you’re sending bitcoins to, and how many bitcoins you want to send. And all of the users who are keeping copies
of the blockchain will add your transaction to the current block. Having a bunch of people keep track of transactions
seems like a pretty good security measure. But if all it takes to send bitcoins is a
couple of account numbers, that seems like it might be a security problem. It’s a huge problem with regular money – just
think about all the ways criminals try to steal other people’s credit card information. And with bitcoin, there’s no central bank
to notice anything weird going on to shut down fraud, like if it looked like suddenly
you spent your entire life savings on beef jerky. So what’s stopping Hank from pretending
he’s me and just sending himself all of my bitcoins? Bitcoins are kept pretty safe thanks to cryptography,
which is why it’s considered a cryptocurrency. Specifically, bitcoin stays secure because
of keys, which are basically chunks of information that can be used to make mathematical guarantees
about messages, like “hey, this is really from me!” When you create an account on the bitcoin
network, which you might have heard called a “wallet,” that account is linked to
two unique keys: a private key, and a public key. In this case, the private key can take some
data and basically mark it, also known as signing it, so that other people can verify
those signatures later if they want. So let’s say I want to send a message to
the network that says, “Michael sends 3 bitcoins to Olivia.” I sign that message using my private key,
which only I have access to, and nobody else can replicate. Then, I send that signed message out to the
bitcoin network, and everyone can use my public key to make sure my signature checks out. That way, everyone keeping track of all the
bitcoin trading knows to add my transaction to their copy of the blockchain. In other words, if the public key works, that’s
proof that the message was signed by my private key and is something I wanted to send. Unlike a handwritten signature, or a credit
card number, this proof of identity isn’t something that can be faked by a scam artist. The “who” part of each transaction is
obviously important, to make sure the right people are swapping bitcoins. But the “when” matters, as well. If you had a thousand dollars in your bank
account, for example, and tried to buy two things for a thousand dollars each, the bank
would honor the first purchase and deny the second one. If the bank didn’t do that, you’d be able
to spend the same money multiple times. Which … might sound awesome, but it’s
also terrible. A financial system can’t work like that,
because no one would get paid. So if I only have enough money to pay Olivia
or Hank, but I try to pay them both, there’s a check built into the bitcoin system. Both the bitcoin network and your wallet automatically
check your previous transactions to make sure you have enough bitcoins to send in the first
place. But there’s another problem that might happen
with timing: Because lots of people are keeping copies
of the blockchain all over the world, network delays mean that you won’t always receive
the transaction requests in the same order. So now you’ve got a bunch of people with
a bunch of slightly different blocks to pick from, but none of them are necessarily wrong. Okay, bitcoin. How do you solve that problem? Turns out, it’s by actually solving problems. Math problems. To add a block of transactions to the chain,
each person maintaining a ledger has to solve a special kind of math problem created by
a cryptographic hash function. A hash function is an algorithm that takes
an input of any size, and turns it into an output with a fixed size. For example, let’s say you had this string
of numbers as your input And our example hash function says to add
all of the numbers together. So, in this case, the output would be 10. What makes hash functions really good for
cryptography is that when you’re given an input, it’s really easy to find the output. But it’s really hard to take an output and
figure out the original input. Even in this super simple example, there are
lots of strings of numbers that add up to 10. The only way to figure out that the input
was ‘1-2-3-4’ is to just guess until you get it right. Now, the hash function that bitcoin uses is
called SHA256, which stands for Secure Hash Algorithm 256-bit. And it was originally developed by the United
States National Security Agency. Computers that were specifically designed
to solve SHA256 hash problems take, on average, about ten minutes to guess the solution to
each one. That means they’re churning through billions
and billions of guesses before they get it right. Whoever solves the hash first gets to add
the next block of transactions to the blockchain, which then generates a new math problem that
needs to be solved. If multiple people make blocks at roughly
the same time, then the network picks one to keep building upon, which becomes the longest,
and most trusted chain. And any transactions in those alternate branches
of the chain get put back into a pool to be added onto later blocks. These volunteers spend thousands of dollars
on special computers built to solve SHA256 problems, and run their electricity bills
up sky high to keep those machines running. But why? What do they get out of maintaining the blockchain? Is it just community service? Well, bitcoin actually has a built-in system
to reward them. Today, every time you win the race to add
a block to the blockchain, 12 and a half new bitcoins are created out of thin air, and
awarded to your account. In fact, you might know the bitcoin ledger-keepers
by another name: miners. That’s because keeping the blockchain updated
is like swinging a proverbial pickaxe at those hash problems, hoping to strike it rich. When bitcoins were first created in 2009,
they didn’t really have any perceived value. Tens of bitcoins would have been worth the
same as a bunch of pennies. As of November 10th, 2016, though, one bitcoin
is worth 708 US dollars. So 12 and a half bitcoins are worth 8,850
dollars. That’s a nice chunk of change! Every single bitcoin that exists was created
to reward a bitcoin miner. Besides the big payout when they add a new
block of transactions, miners are also essentially tipped a very small amount for each transaction
they add to the ledger. It’s also worth noting that every 210,000
blocks, the number of coins generated when a new block is added goes down by half. So what started as a reward of 50 bitcoins
decreased to 25, then 12 and a half. It’ll only be around 6 bitcoins in a couple
more years, and keep decreasing. Eventually, there will be so many transactions
in a block, that it’ll still be worthwhile for miners to mostly be paid in tips. According to current projections, the last
bitcoin – probably around the 21 millionth coin – will be mined in the year 2140. This decreasing number of bitcoins is actually
modelled off the rate at which things like gold are dug out of the earth. And the idea is that keeping the supply of
bitcoins limited will raise their value over time. So, is investing in bitcoin a good idea? Now that’s… not really a SciShow kind
of question. Bitcoin is still volatile, and experimental. A lot of people love it, and a lot of people
think it’s doomed to fail. We just think it’s an interesting idea,
and it makes us wonder what cryptography might do for us next. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. If you want to help support this show, just
go to patreon.com/scishow. And don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow
and subscribe!

Commodity Markets: Cash Markets and Forward Contracting | Market to Market Classroom


Farming is full of risk. In any given year,
growers face numerous weather perils ranging from droughts and floods to hail storms, wind
storms, tornadoes and the occasional hurricane. Even when producers escape those extremes,
growing conditions must be favorable at critical periods in the growing cycle, like planting,
germination, pollination and so on. And even after the crops are grown and harvested
producers still encounter risk. But the greatest risk of all may not be associated with producing
commodities, but in marketing or selling them. Two methods that are commonly used to sell
commodities are cash marketing and forward contracting. They look like this. Farmer Smith
has always marketed his crop according to his father’s old adage, don’t sell something
you don’t own. So he has built plenty of storage bins to hold all that he produces each year.
And he usually sells his grain several months after harvest on price rallies. Smith’s practice
of storing his entire crop assures he won’t be forced to take the harvest price, which
typically is among the lowest of the year. He can store the crop until the price reaches
the point where he wants to sell it for cash, usually at a local elevator. By storing his
grain he hopes for a favorable price sometime in the future. He has not entered into any
kind of contract to deliver the grain at a certain time or at a certain price and his
primary risk is that prices could move lower while he is holding his grain.
Farmer Jones also stores most of his crops on the farm. But for some of his crops he
establishes what is known as a forward contract with his local elevator. A forward contract
is an agreement to deliver a certain amount of a certain commodity at a certain time in
the future. Because no one really knows whether prices will go up or down, a forward contract
locks in a price that is higher than the current cash price. Jones’ strategy of forward contracting
with his local elevator guarantees him a known price for some of his crop. But the agreement
restricts his flexibility to change his mind and sell directly into the cash market. His
primary risk is if prices are higher at the delivery date. He is still obligated to deliver
the contracted grain at the lower price he agreed to earlier.

The way we think about work is broken | Barry Schwartz


Today I’m going to talk about work. And the question I want to ask
and answer is this: “Why do we work?” Why do we drag ourselves
out of bed every morning instead of living our lives just filled with bouncing from one
TED-like adventure to another? (Laughter) You may be asking yourselves
that very question. Now, I know of course,
we have to make a living, but nobody in this room thinks
that that’s the answer to the question, “Why do we work?” For folks in this room,
the work we do is challenging, it’s engaging, it’s stimulating,
it’s meaningful. And if we’re lucky,
it might even be important. So, we wouldn’t work
if we didn’t get paid, but that’s not why we do what we do. And in general, I think we think that material rewards
are a pretty bad reason for doing the work that we do. When we say of somebody
that he’s “in it for the money,” we are not just being descriptive. (Laughter) Now, I think this is totally obvious, but the very obviousness of it
raises what is for me an incredibly profound question. Why, if this is so obvious, why is it that for the overwhelming
majority of people on the planet, the work they do
has none of the characteristics that get us up and out of bed
and off to the office every morning? How is it that we allow
the majority of people on the planet to do work that is monotonous,
meaningless and soul-deadening? Why is it that as capitalism developed, it created a mode of production,
of goods and services, in which all the nonmaterial satisfactions
that might come from work were eliminated? Workers who do this kind of work, whether they do it in factories,
in call centers, or in fulfillment warehouses, do it for pay. There is certainly no other earthly reason
to do what they do except for pay. So the question is, “Why?” And here’s the answer: the answer is technology. Now, I know, I know — yeah, yeah, yeah, technology, automation
screws people, blah blah — that’s not what I mean. I’m not talking about
the kind of technology that has enveloped our lives,
and that people come to TED to hear about. I’m not talking about
the technology of things, profound though that is. I’m talking about another technology. I’m talking about the technology of ideas. I call it, “idea technology” — how clever of me. (Laughter) In addition to creating things,
science creates ideas. Science creates ways of understanding. And in the social sciences, the ways of understanding that get created
are ways of understanding ourselves. And they have an enormous influence
on how we think, what we aspire to, and how we act. If you think your poverty
is God’s will, you pray. If you think your poverty is the result
of your own inadequacy, you shrink into despair. And if you think your poverty is
the result of oppression and domination, then you rise up in revolt. Whether your response to poverty
is resignation or revolution, depends on how you understand
the sources of your poverty. This is the role that ideas play
in shaping us as human beings, and this is why idea technology may be
the most profoundly important technology that science gives us. And there’s something special
about idea technology, that makes it different
from the technology of things. With things, if the technology sucks, it just vanishes, right? Bad technology disappears. With ideas — false ideas about human beings
will not go away if people believe that they’re true. Because if people believe
that they’re true, they create ways of living
and institutions that are consistent
with these very false ideas. And that’s how the industrial revolution
created a factory system in which there was really nothing you
could possibly get out of your day’s work, except for the pay at the end of the day. Because the father —
one of the fathers of the Industrial Revolution,
Adam Smith — was convinced that human beings
were by their very natures lazy, and wouldn’t do anything
unless you made it worth their while, and the way you made it worth their while was by incentivizing,
by giving them rewards. That was the only reason
anyone ever did anything. So we created a factory system consistent
with that false view of human nature. But once that system
of production was in place, there was really no other way
for people to operate, except in a way that was consistent
with Adam Smith’s vision. So the work example is merely an example of how false ideas
can create a circumstance that ends up making them true. It is not true that you “just can’t get
good help anymore.” It is true that you “can’t get good help anymore” when you give people work to do
that is demeaning and soulless. And interestingly enough, Adam Smith — the same guy who gave us
this incredible invention of mass production, and division of labor — understood this. He said, of people who worked
in assembly lines, of men who worked
in assembly lines, he says: “He generally becomes as stupid as it is
possible for a human being to become.” Now, notice the word here is “become.” “He generally becomes as stupid as it is
possible for a human being to become.” Whether he intended it or not,
what Adam Smith was telling us there, is that the very shape of the institution
within which people work creates people who are fitted
to the demands of that institution and deprives people of the opportunity to derive the kinds of satisfactions
from their work that we take for granted. The thing about science —
natural science — is that we can spin fantastic
theories about the cosmos, and have complete confidence that the cosmos is completely
indifferent to our theories. It’s going to work the same damn way no matter what theories
we have about the cosmos. But we do have to worry about
the theories we have of human nature, because human nature will be changed
by the theories we have that are designed to explain
and help us understand human beings. The distinguished anthropologist,
Clifford Geertz, said, years ago, that human beings
are the “unfinished animals.” And what he meant by that
was that it is only human nature to have a human nature that is very much the product
of the society in which people live. That human nature,
that is to say our human nature, is much more created
than it is discovered. We design human nature by designing the institutions
within which people live and work. And so you people — pretty much the closest I ever get
to being with masters of the universe — you people should be asking
yourself a question, as you go back home
to run your organizations. Just what kind of human nature
do you want to help design? Thank you. (Applause) Thanks.