Might the Internet Bear Blame for the Struggles of Advanced Economies?

November 26, 2011

The Internet lies at the center of a revolution in applied technology unlike anything since the industrial revolution.  Change is inevitable, but the Internet promotes a speed of change that can be breath-taking.  From a macro-economic standpoint, the 21st century has also been a very difficult one for advanced economies where the Internet and the myriad of applications have been invented.  Living this paradox, it’s hard not to wonder if the correlation between the the technology revolution and weak economic growth might be not mere coincidence but a case of cause and effect.

The mobile dimension of the Internet enables emerging markets to jump into the 21st century without well-developed traditional land infrastructures of communication.  On a trip in 2007 to Niger, Africa, which is one of the poorest economies on the planet, I observed widespread usage of cell phones that connected people in remote villages in the bush to the Capital, Niamey, and other urban areas.  Without the Internet, globalization and the substitution of production in emerging markets for locations in advanced ones  would be much less developed.  It’s not anything new to find much lower costs away from the advanced economies, but it took the Internet to enable producers to take advantage of that potential way to cut expenses.

The Internet is an invaluable tool for those engaged in terrorism, civil unrest, and revolution.  These activities, however, create another area of uncertainty that dampens the ability to conduct business in the advanced economies. 

Social networking has made enormous wealth for its creators, a relatively thin slice of the world population.  The addiction of social networking in turn deploys people of all ages into activity that is not associated with secondary or tertiary activity or that shows up on anyone’s bottom line.  Education suffers, and so do brick and mortar retail stores.

Many blame deregulation, such as the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, for the banking abuses that led to the sub-prime lending crisis and its derivative euro debt crisis.  Those abuses also were made possible by the development of applications that accelerated the crunching time of immensely complex mathematical algorithms and shared results in milliseconds to people on the move.  Technology also promotes gambling by providing easier and more private opportunities for such activity.  The proliferation of on-line financial market trading, including forex, encourages a means to make money not associated with transactions that provide goods or services to someone else. 

A factor with which I as a blogger am familiar is the emergence of barter deals as perfectly acceptable business arrangements.  One cannot understate the role that the invention of money played in the progress of human history.  It’s up there with the wheel.  Before the invention of the Internet, contracts that called for the exchange of a product or service from one party to another involved an opposite flow of money.  The lack of such a quid pro quo was just another word for slavery.  Requests for service in exchange for no money are commonplace on the Internet, however, and Currency Thoughts gets such solicitations all the time.  Some people want to post their own stuff for free on C-T.  Even more frequent, Currency Thoughts is approached by forex aggregator sites or forex trading platforms and schools with an offer to republish content from this site on theirs in return for no financial compensation.   Rather, the possibility of expanded traffic to Currency Thoughts is what is offered in return.  In a niche market that this site commands, those deals fall far short of generating cash flow even indirectly.

Finally, a site like this one receives innumerable comments that in fact are Trojan horses from other businesses trying to implant an advertisement on Currency Thoughts without paying anything for that privilege.  Here is a sample from those received today.  All of these comments had nothing to do with the blog post where the comment was found.  The intent of having a “comments” feature  is to engage readers in further discussion and sharing of alternative ideas to the initial posting.  On the Internet, however, it is easy for unscrupulous people to exploit such portals.  Imagine reading a magazine, and finding ads in the margins that were not legitimately bought.  It doesn’t happen because, unlike the Internet, the proprietary magazine controls the physicality of the product.

  • Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.


  • Obagi blue peels are on every woman’s list of desired skin treatments. They have received tons of publicity in recent years for their skin rejuvenation abilities and top doctors and plastic surgeons from coast to coast have made it a mainstay of their anti aging skin care programs. Below we will discuss the positive results one can expect from a Obagi Blue Peel and the limitations that are also inherent with the Obagi Blue Peel.
    The Obagi Blue Peel was invented by Dr. Obagi to be an indicator that would tell the doctors where it has been applied and where it has not. It was also to be formulated as a weaker peel than a straight TCA peel so it would basically self neutralize and make it a very simple procedure. That is where the peel got its name, it has a blue cream mixture that basically dyes the face and thusly indicates where it has and has not been applied. Patients are told to expect this green or blue color on their face for the next few days until it peels off and reveals fresh, more youthful skin.
    The Obagi Blue Peel is actually a cream that has no active ingredients other than the dye. It is mixed by the doctor or plastic surgeon with the desired concentration of trichloroacetic acid (which is obtained separately). The trichloroacetic acid or TCA becomes the actual active ingredient that gives a mild to medium chemical burn in the first several layers of skin. The TCA breaks and disrupts cellular bonds and results in peeling of the skin and a fresh, more youthful skin. TCA treats many skin problems or conditions usually associated with aging skin like wrinkles, sun spots, freckles, etc. It is interesting to also note that TCA has been found to be one of the most effective anti acne treatments known to doctors.  The Obagi Blue Peel has two slight limitations or inconveniences, though. Many people do not want to look green like a frog for several days as it is so severe a coloring that it cannot possibly be covered up with makeup. The other is that it tends to be weaker than a straight TCA peel and requires several applications to usually equal the results of one straight TCA peel. Now, it is important to note that a straight TCA peel does not have an indicator like dye, but it does have the ability to redden or white out on most skin types. This indicates that it has penetrated deep enough for a good peel and then needs to be neutralized.  The straight TCA Peel is currently used and favored by thousands of medical doctors, dermatologists and plastic surgeons for its ability to produce desired results in less than half the time of an Obagi Blue Peel. It also usually produces more profound results and requires fewer if any subsequent treatments. The Obagi Blue Peel is a good skin peel and does produce good results, but the straight TCA peel works quicker, is usually stronger and has better and longer lasting results making it the ultimate skin peel for any anti aging skin care regimen. 


  • Thanks for your publication. I also believe laptop computers are getting to be more and more popular lately, and now are often the only kind of computer utilized in a household. Simply because at the same time they are becoming more and more inexpensive, their working power keeps growing to the point where these are as highly effective as personal computers out of just a few years back.


The common thread connecting the above points is that technology has developed much faster than man’s ability to control how it is used.  The gap between those speeds acts in a variety of ways to dampen the rate of improvement in the standard of living found in the advanced economies.

Copyright 2011, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.


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