by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:
In 1894, a retired university professor named Paul Bachman was living out his golden years in Weimar, Germany.
Recently divorced, Bachman filled his days writing books, including what would become a five volume series… about analytical number theory.
It wasn’t exactly a James Bond novel; number theorists study things like prime numbers, infinity, and the fundamental properties of arithmetic.
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Here’s a simple number theory example to give you a basic idea: prove that the sum of the first n integers (i.e. 1+2+3+4 . . . + n) is equal to (n2 + n)/2.
Number theory is full of seemingly elementary concepts which can turn out to be incredibly vexing… and much more complex than they initially appear. And the field has been applied widely in modern technology.
Bachman’s 1894 book (which had a spectacularly long German name) introduced an important concept in analytical number theory, something that eventually became known as “Big O notation”.
In simple terms, Bachman’s “Big O” is used to describe certain functions whose output is limited, even when the inputs grow to infinity.
Big O is an important concept in computer science. Coders classify the efficiency of their algorithms using Big O notation.
Google, for example, pays very close attention to the Big O efficiency of their search algorithms; a more efficient algorithm means faster search results and less computing power.
And there are a range of other applications as well.
Anyone who has studied math and physics knows scientists’ predilection for using Greek letters. Pi in geometry, sigma as a summation operator, etc.
In 1976, a Stanford professor named Donald Knuth published a work giving Big O notation its own Greek letter.
And you can probably guess which one– omicron.
This is a bit ironic given that the World Health Organization recently dubbed the newest variant of Covid-1984 as omicron.
It’s like it’s March 2020 all over again; public health officials are already locking down their borders and restricting travel, and the media is swooning over every new omicron case around the world.
Most importantly, governments and central banks are standing by ready to shovel massive, steaming piles of shtimulus into their economies.
And this is the part that I find so ironic. Remember, in mathematics, omicron (or Big O) describes functions where the output is limited, even when the input is infinite.
That’s pretty much the case with all of this stimulus.
For these politicians and central bankers, their willingness to print and spend money is without limit; in other words, the stimulus ‘input’ is practically infinite.
But the output is proving to be extremely limited. The more money they print, and the more stimulus they sprinkle around the economy, the less impact it has.
Economists call this diminishing returns. The idea is that every additional dollar, euro, yen, or renminbi you dump into your economy has a smaller impact than the previous one.
And given the rampant inflation they’ve created, it’s pretty clear that the impact of their stimulus has become negative.
We’ve talked about this before– economies prosper when people are easily able to work hard and produce. And economies grow when more goods and services are being produced.
These politicians and central bankers, on the other hand, are making it more difficult for people to work hard and produce.
Their public health regulations have already shuttered countless businesses. They’ve terrified people into not wanting to leave the house. They’ve created absurd incentives for people to stay home, to the point that many businesses who survived COVID are really struggling to find labor.
They’ve passed ridiculously anti-competitive legislation and regulations– labor policy, taxes, environmental rules, etc.
They’ve ordered private businesses to fire tens of millions of people whose only transgression is exercising personal choice.
So, rather than setting economic conditions for workers and businesses to be highly productive, they’re doing the opposite and making it more difficult for people to work.
They also seem to think they can paper over this problem by printing money. But this is deeply flawed thinking; dumping trillions of dollars into the economy doesn’t actually produce anything.
The end result of all of this is inflation… and supply chain bottlenecks. All of their money printing has stimulated demand. But with businesses and workers not able to produce as much, there’s now more money in the system demanding fewer goods and services.
At the same time, there are fewer workers– truck drivers, forklift operators, etc. available to move resources.
And public health orders around the world have compounded this problem, making it more difficult for overseas manufacturers to produce and transport goods.
This is why there’s a supply chain bottleneck… and why prices are soaring– infinite input, limited output. Omicron.
But here’s what’s really crazy, if you want to think a little bit about the future:
Within the next three years, an incredible 51% of the US national debt is going to mature. Given that the federal government is planning multi-trillion dollar deficits until the end of time, there’s no way they’re going to be able to repay that debt.