192 definitions by abu yahya

a number that is the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate. It reflects the overall caliber of a country's prior economic management.

The term was coined by Arthur Okun and was inspired by the Phillips Curve.
During the 1980's and '90's, Austria had the lowest misery index in the world. Unemployment rates AND inflation rates were almost nil.
by Abu Yahya February 14, 2009
Latin, "where is the benefit?" A type of logical fallacy in which one claims one didn't do something bad because it was not in one's interests to do so. An example would be, "Why would I steal from the cash register? It's going to hurt the business if I do, and then I might lose my job."

The argument is usually used on behalf of someone else: for example, Ludo Martens (1995) argues that Stalin could not possibly have massacred millions of Russians because he needed them to fight WW2; Fogel & Engermann claimed* that American slavery was not very bad because it was in the best interests of slaveowners to have content slaves.

The argument is a fallacy because it assumes that all relevant motives of the actor are well-established, and lead away from the act. It does not account for motives like personal hatred, shame, fear, spite, ideology, and so on.
* In *Time on the Cross* (1971); the book was conclusively debunked by David & Stampp, *Reckoning with Slavery* (1976).
One frequently encounters *quis est beneficium?* arguments among Holocaust deniers of all stripes. Among such worthies it is claimed that Hitler/Stalin/Enver Pasha could not possibly have wanted to massacre all those millions because it was a nuisance to try.
by Abu Yahya February 14, 2009
in economics, the net income from assets that are owned by foreigners. The citizens of a country will own assets that are physically located overseas (for example, real estate in another country, shares of foreign stock, or even labor performed while an expatriate), and those assets earn income. At the same time, foreigners likewise earn income on assets located in ones' own country.

If domestically-owned assets located abroad earn more income than domestic assets owned by foreigners, then there will be a net flow of income from overseas. This is a collateral benefit to running a trade surplus, especially over several years.

An example might be the United Kingdom (UK) during the 19th century. Prior to the 1880's, the UK exported far more than it imported. With the foreign money, it bought assets in the economies of other countries, such as the USA, Continental Europe, and the future Commonwealth of Nations. These assets naturally earned a lot of income, as they accumulated over many decades. The income from these assets was so large that, after the 1880's, the UK ran a trade deficit but still had a current account surplus.

In the case of the UK, the current account surplus from the NFFI was still large enough that the UK could continue to buy foreign assets that earned income, even as its trade deficit grew during the early 20th century.
Gross national product (GNP) is gross domstic product (GDP) minus net foreign factor income (NFFI).
by Abu Yahya February 14, 2009
The belief efforts to protect people from calamity will only lead to them being more careless, and bringing on more calamity.

This is a fallacy because it (a) assumes people can adjust personal risk to replicate an incomparable situation, and (b) it confusing risk-taking and risky behavior. "Risk-taking" is a neutral term that includes anything that increases risk in some way, such as operating a machine at a higher speed. This usually is done to get some other benefit. "Risky behavior" is foolish, feckless, or sloppy behavior that has no intrinsic utility to the person engaging in it.
An example of the curmudgeon's fallacy is the erroneous claim that safer cars make for careless drivers.
by Abu Yahya August 31, 2008
(ECONOMICS) when a government has to restructure spending by massively cutting social programs, development programs, and subsidies on basic necessities. Often accompanied by taxes increases, especially on lower incomes (since the poor cannot escape tax hikes).
Usually we use the term "austerity program" when the government in question has to backtrack on its ideological commitments. An example of this is France, after June 1982. The Socialist government of Mitterrand had just implemented a raft of major new social welfare programs, and was promptly forced to cut everything back when the deficit ballooned.
by Abu Yahya May 04, 2010
The phenomenon of people condemning vices they have indulged in themselves already, and since given up. Inspired by the _Confessions_ of Augustine (417 CE), in which Augustine describes his career path and then denouces the things he did to get to where he is.


With SAS, the perpetrator has received the BENEFITS of a particular vice. It could consist of sleeping one's way to the top, or lying a lot, or getting divorced, or indulging a vice until it gets tiresome. At that point the perpetrator makes a big display out of quitting the vice and condemning it publicly. It's like climbing a ladder out of a ditch and then pulling the ladder up so others can't get out of the ditch; and to add insult to injury, the perpetrator ridicules the desire to use the ladder.

Like other forms of hypocrisy, it's destructive because it enforces stupid social codes. If the social codes were right all along, then the perpetrator should not get off the hook for violating them, but, in effect, he gets praise for having done so (and having "kicked the habit"). If the codes were wrong, then they should be confronted . And finally, it's bad because it creates a meritocracy of bullshit.
A good example of St Augustine's Syndrome is Doctor Laura Schlessinger, the evangelical talk radio host who climbed her way to the top, divorced, and then renounced feminism. Many putative sages are famous for having had, earlier in their lives, immense amounts of sex with numerous partners, only to renounce the ways of the flesh and denounced materialistic society.
by Abu Yahya March 21, 2010
exceptionally prone to seeing the scurrilous, sexy, or kinky aspect of everything; obsessed with sex; prone to seeing sexual overtones to nonsexual behavior.

A dirty minded person may be hypocritical and unctuous, but read filthy motives into the acts of other people. For example, in the movie "American Beauty," the military officer wrongly assumes that his son's interactions with his neighbor are homosexual, rather than commercial--projecting his own repressed sexuality onto others (with deadly results).
The dirty minded obscene person does not shamelessly exult in his bawdy language, nor does he use it without self-consciousness... The dirty minded person has only partially internalized the taboos that he violates...

Joel Feinberg, _Offense to Others_, p.267
by Abu Yahya February 22, 2010

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