The addling of the brains of our young

I think the crisis in confidence over the legitimacy of the west and its institutions, values and history can be sheeted home to the march of so-called critical theory through our universities – a pernicious ideology that is anti-intellectual and anti-science.

This was emphasised to me by two articles in the Australian Financial Review on 31 March 2021.

The first was a write up of the AFR Banking Summit 2021, which stated

Buy now, pay later pioneers Afterpay and Humm Group say major banks have little choice but to partner with them, given their dominance of the market for younger customers. Afterpay executive vice president Lee Hatton said the fintech juggernaut’s success could be attributed to its understanding of the Millennial psyche …

“[Our product] brings joy, it is actually no longer just about a transaction …”

Wow – there’s a lot of hubris here, and since when does debt bring joy? Is the Millennial psyche so different that the joy of taking on Afterpay debt adds to the experience of buying the ‘ethical’ product? I might have learned economics during the pre-historical period, but surely key concepts like opportunity cost, scarce resources and humans being insatiable still apply? Don’t Millennials want to buy a product at the lowest price they can? Or is it simply that Millennials have a lexicographical preferencing for being seen to be good (that used to be the sin of pride) that they lap up all the claims (supported by that highly reliable source of information – social media) of the various products aimed at them that they can bask in their moral superiority to their forebears.

The other was an article – on the front page no less – about Georgia Geminder (the eldest daughter of supposedly Australia’s third richest woman – don’t get me on to the obsession by people about who is the richest etc, this seems to be antithetical to morality).

Anyhow young Geminder has created a startup for a new toothpaste – and you might ask, why is the AFR promoting such products?

The new toothpaste – priced at a ridiculous $15 for a much smaller tube of toothpaste –

… a range of toothpastes and other products that replace harsh chemicals with natural alternatives

This obsession with ‘natural’ products is profoundly anti-scientific. One of the ‘harsh chemicals’ being removed is flouride. Something that countless clinical trials show substantially reduce the risk of dental caries.

But, no, Geminder whose qualifications apparently include “sociology studies at Monash University” and “a modelling career in LA” is the expert on what Millennials want in their toothpaste. And the experience and packaging is much more important than whether something actually works.

No thank you Georgia. I’ll stick to the traditional toothpaste makers. Natural doesn’t mean safe and effective, nor are ‘harsh chemicals’ unsafe and ineffective. Mercury is natural but I wouldn’t recommend using it as an ingredient in cosmetics as it was during long periods of history.

About Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

I'm a retired general who occasionally gets called back to save the republic before returning to my plough.
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79 Responses to The addling of the brains of our young

  1. Andrew says:

    I can’t stand the idea of afterpay. If you can’t pay for retail items now then don’t buy them. Doubly so since most of the cheaply made products that pass for retail won’t last as long as the debt they create. As for Humm – I have a special place of loathing and contempt for them since once of their criminal users has hacked my carefully guarded and rarely used credit card not once but twice in the last two years. There can’t be many protections in place or if there are they are not applying them.

  2. Damon says:

    I hope the young lady has an old-fashioned dentist.

  3. Gerry says:

    I’m going to buy up the toothpaste in the Asian Indian stores…..most is herbal based….and not expensive

  4. Dot says:

    I’d you think this is deluded, find the clip of an obese feminist telling men that the Gillette ad was right, don’t approach women outside of a bar, otherwise use Tinder.

    A debt crippled generation of unhappy people who will never procreate or fall in love.

    Because an obese, unlovable (woman?) Told them so.

    But look. Getting a home loan with negative real interest rates is within our grasp.

    Normality might be around the corner.

  5. Tom says:

    You’ve got to hand it to Geminder: who would be dumb enough to pay $15 for a tube of toothpaste that doesn’t do its job and encourages tooth decay? She understands diseducated millenials perfectly!

    As for Afterpay, isn’t that just a digital version of laybuy? It seems to me it’s a scavenging app cleaning up what’s left after the digital revolution – an invention by people too dim to get on board the trashing of the advertising/retail market that Goolag (and others like Ebay and Amazon) pioneered 20 years ago.

  6. Entropy says:

    Natural doesn’t mean safe and effective, nor are ‘harsh chemicals’ unsafe and ineffective.

    While that may be so, who are we to question how another person crosses to maximise their utility?

  7. Entropy says:

    While that may be so, who are we to question how another person chooses to maximise their utility?

  8. Vagabond says:

    City dwelling customers stupid enough to buy that ridiculous toothpaste already get all the flouride they need by drinking lattes made with town water. The people who need fluoride supplements, those living remotely on tank water, are fortunate not to be the demographic targeted by this huckster.

  9. Shy Ted says:

    https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/researchers-have-found-a-way-to-regrow-teeth/
    My mum used to wash my mouth out with soap. Quite a lot. OK, I admit I learned my lesson after a couple of goes. Lesson learned, don’t get caught.

  10. Entropy says:

    See also : a fool and his money are soon parted.

    It’s the natural order of things.

  11. Shy Ted says:

    “Addling of brains” – you can thank a teacher for that. As someone once said.

  12. PB says:

    Afterpay is good, old-fashioned loan-sharking repackaged with a nice digital sheen.

  13. Petros says:

    Does Afterpay charge a large amount of interest if one cannot pay? How is that different from a credit card then, or loan sharking as PB said? The success of this company seems strange to me.

  14. Bruce says:

    “Afterpay”?

    When I were lad, it was called “Hire Purchase” and considered by many as a dubious activity.

    We also had “lay-by”; the opposite practice; “Pat steadily in increments and the collect”

    Housing is the BIG one. It long ago went to the “Afteterpay” model. Only drug barons and polliemuppets can pay cash for a house these days. Thirty to forty years to pay off a house? NUTS!.

    It might be interesting to track house prices in relation to purchase methods and just for fun, all levels of Government IMPOST on the process.

  15. Bad Samaritan says:

    Tom (8.36am) and PB (9.11am). C’mon fellas…..knock off the grumpy old men routines where everything new is bad!

    Lay By meant taking the product home after you paid the instalments. whereas the new method is that you get the product at the beginning and pay later. If the four instalments are paid on-time there is no extra charge whatsoever to the buyer. These are major improvements.

    Of course we know that Afterpay companies are hoping the customer will fail to pay the instalments on time, but so what? For the smart and disciplined buyer this is a big improvement

  16. Oh come on says:

    Huh? Do some of you folks saying how terrible Afterpay is actually know how it works? It allows you to purchase items and pay for them over four fortnightly instalments of equal size. The maximum amount of debt one can hold is $2k, meaning the maximum fortnightly payment would be $500. You don’t pay interest on what you owe. Afterpay makes its money by charging the vendor a fee (which, of course, is passed on to the customer) – I think it’s 1.5%. Do the people here berating Afterpay and its competitors have a credit card? An overdraft? A redraw facility on their mortgage? These are all much more costly ways of holding debt than something like Afterpay.

  17. 132andBush says:

    And the experience and packaging is much more important than whether something actually works.

    Enough people think this way, ergo, Trump is gone.

  18. min says:

    Have it all now and do not think about consequences is how millennials have been brought up . This thinking shows up everywhere, a result of many busy parents giving into kids’ demands for stuff or allowed to behave in ways beyond their years. More so in girls too ,I believe , mainly as they reach puberty earlier than male counterparts. But although bodies are getting there earlier , brains still take same number of years to mature .
    Back in the 90s is when many parents driven to despair started to seek help to manage the behaviour of their fourteen year old daughters. As well, I used to run Parenting classes to teach the tools needed for bringing up children to be resilient , responsible , rational thinking adults based on CBT therapy. This gave me a picture of how parents were struggling as many said they didn’t like how they were parented but no idea what to do instead .
    First we had to teach adults to change their beliefs and manage their emotions (EQ)
    Here are some of the beliefs that led to trouble .
    I want to be my child’s best friend. It would be horrible and terrible if my kids didn’t love me . Getting angry when kids broke the rules, often ones they were supposed to have learnt by osmosis , and punishing the child rather than putting in consequences.
    Low frustration tolerance eg I can’t stand it when my child does …. and then giving in and giving the kid what they want now
    The self esteem movement where kids were praised and not the outcomes was also prevalent at this time . All won a prize so approval and success and never failure or rejection is what they learnt . This leads to a lack of self worth and self acceptance and needing approval to feel ok about themselves .
    There are more of course but this style of parenting ,I believe , has resulted in them being vulnerable to the rubbish now taught in schools much based on woke beliefs .

  19. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Sounds like someone needs to introduce Gemindless to the work of Bruce Ames, inventor of the standard Ames Test used for carcinogencity.

    Ames pointed out the about 97% of the chemical reagents we consume are contained IN the food we eat, quite naturally, not ON the plants from chemical sprays. In bad news for the organic enthusiasts, plants produce more of these various metabolites in response to attack from pests and diseases, so those unprotected by (these days) quite benign chemicals like pyrethrin actual produce more.

  20. Matt says:

    Fluoride is natural – the 13th most commonly occurring element in the earth’s crust.
    I wonder how natural the other ingredients in the paste are – xylitol, Sodium Menthyl Cocoyl Taurate, Maltodextrin, Calcium Carbonate and Hydroxyapatite amongst others.
    Oh well.

  21. Oh come on says:

    It’s also not like a credit card where the financially irresponsible can get by being continuously maxed out and paying the minimum monthly repayment that reduces the principal by the tiniest of amounts. With Afterpay, you have to pay back a quarter of what you owe every fortnight. If you pay late, there’s a fee ($10 if I recall correctly) but the amount available for you to spend is also reduced if you keep making late payments. Credit cards are far more pernicious than this.

    I use Afterpay to purchase on Ebay because…why not? I could pay all up front but it doesn’t cost any more to pay over four instalments. Better the money in my pocket over that period, I figure.

  22. johanna says:

    Bruce, the thing that made hire purchase so pernicious was that you had no equity at all in the item until the last payment was made.

    In theory, if you bought something on hire purchase which required 20 monthly payments, and you paid all of them except the last, they could repossess the item and you had done your dough. Add to this the very high interest rates attached to these products, and they were very bad news for the often low income cutomers who used them.

    I’m pretty sure HP was eventually banned, in NSW at least.

  23. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Oh come on says:
    April 4, 2021 at 9:47 am”

    Agree OCO…particularly “Credit cards are far more pernicious than this“.

  24. Leigh Lowe says:

    If Afterpay had been launched by the Big Banks there would have been outrage about irresponsible lending.
    But Afterpay have carefully cultivated a “cool kids” image in the meeja, so it gets a tick.

  25. JC says:

    Lucious

    Wow – there’s a lot of hubris here, and since when does debt bring joy? Is the Millennial psyche so different that the joy of taking on Afterpay debt

    It’s just marketing, that’s all.

  26. JC says:

    Anyhow young Geminder has created a startup for a new toothpaste – and you might ask, why is the AFR promoting such products?

    The new toothpaste – priced at a ridiculous $15 for a much smaller tube of toothpaste –

    Also, another example of marketing.

  27. Dot says:

    Oh come on says:
    April 4, 2021 at 9:34 am
    Huh? Do some of you folks saying how terrible Afterpay is actually know how it works? It

    Yes, they did.

    From the generation who invented mortgage backed securities.

  28. Dot says:

    Ah young Matty

    If you had a real science degree you might know that fluoride isn’t an element. 🤭

  29. Entropy says:

    Leigh Lowe says:
    April 4, 2021 at 10:20 am
    If Afterpay had been launched by the Big Banks there would have been outrage about irresponsible lending.
    But Afterpay have carefully cultivated a “cool kids” image in the meeja, so it gets a tick

    Someone has said to me afterpay might do things to your credit rating for home loans. Anyone know for sure?

  30. Petros says:

    The banks will ask about any debt and take note of any Afterpay payments. Can only be a negative for the applicant if they use it. Applying for loans these days is more invasive than a colonoscopy.

  31. Dot says:

    Someone has said to me afterpay might do things to your credit rating for home loans. Anyone know for sure?

    Go to a broker. Banks want to control you having a Netflix sub or not? Outrageous.

  32. Roger says:

    It’s just marketing, that’s all.

    And all marketing is lies, as any sensible person knows.

    The utility of Afterpay for those on limited incomes is that the cost of a purchase can be spread over a period of time without incurring fees or charges provided each instalment is paid on time. That explains its success as an alternative to other forms of credit.

  33. Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    A lesson in economics learned at age 14 from an ex bullock driver. If you can’t pay cash for something you can’t afford it, you can’t spend your way out of debt, and when you grow up you never borrow money unless you have the assets to cover the amount owing if things go t..s up for they generally do go t..s up. That has worked just fine for me for in the ensuing 66 years for that basically is all the layman needs to know about economics.

  34. Roger says:

    Can only be a negative for the applicant if they use it.

    Any line of credit will be asssessed in a mortgage application, whether it is used or not.

  35. min says:

    So who makes money out of Afterpay ? I don’t think they are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts . The consumer will always pay in the end. So who is kidding whom ?

  36. Eyrie says:

    Brush your teeth with a mixture of Xylitol, common salt and baking soda. Works fine. Gave up commercial toothpastes 3 years ago. Much less plaque on teeth.

  37. stackja says:

    Parental guidance?
    My parents taught me to be wary.

  38. m0nty says:

    Good to see the Cat sticking up for fluoridation. Next up: the wonders of government-mandated car seat belts!

  39. Matt says:

    Thanks Dot – well aware that fluorine is the element, but not commonly found in that form and is usually found as fluoride containing minerals.

  40. Terry says:

    Dot says:
    Go to a broker. Banks want to control you having a Netflix sub or not? Outrageous.

    How does that help?

    It is the government (through their regulators) that has allowed the invasion of privacy. They demand this invasion under threat of fine/sanction/licene to trade.

    Sure, it was lobbied for by the banking cartels, but “responsible lending” is the brainchild of an intrusive and oppressive government that we have allowed to fester over decades.

    Their foray into COVID Controls is merely an extension of the abuse of its citizens our governments have been indulging in for far too long.

  41. Arky says:

    My brother, quite a few years older than me, was of boomer age.
    Their attitude towards debt was different.
    I remember talking to my brother about buying houses. We were in our teens / twenties at the time.
    His attitude was “I will borrow as much as I can”.
    I said “What about paying it back”?
    His response: “Why would I ever have to pay it back? Just keep paying the interest”.
    The five or so years difference between us made a huge difference.
    We grew up in totally different times. His attitude towards debt was tuned towards things will always get better, growth, and no need to save for a rainy day, because it never rains. Plus 1970s inflation.
    My attitude was built around an awareness of unemployment, offshoring and coming recession.
    This millennial generation has so much in common with the boomer mindset.
    Will it turn out well for them like it did for most boomers?
    Dunno.

  42. stackja says:

    Arky – My late father lived in a different era. He was able to get a mortgage. He paid it off. Got another mortgage… When he died, no debt. My life, any debt paid off as quickly as possible. We must always expect problems.

  43. Oh come on says:

    So who makes money out of Afterpay ? I don’t think they are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts . The consumer will always pay in the end. So who is kidding whom ?

    So because you don’t understand how something works, it must be bad. Right. Got it.

    I presume you are also outraged by people who don’t pay by cash, thus incurring additional costs for the merchant which are inevitably passed on to the consumer.

  44. JohnJJJ says:

    Eyrie says:
    April 4, 2021 at 10:56 am
    Brush your teeth with a mixture of Xylitol, common salt and baking soda. Works fine. Gave up commercial toothpastes 3 years ago. Much less plaque on teeth

    With you on that one. The family spends a fortune on toothpaste and I use sodium bicarbonate – about two bucks for a kilo at Aldi. Lasts a year, whitens the teeth, good breath, stops acid stomach ( from drinking wine) and you can clean the dunny with it.

  45. Oh come on says:

    My brother, quite a few years older than me, was of boomer age.

    Terms like ‘Boomer’ and ‘Millennial’ have eclipsed their generational definitions. They indicate a mindset. Most people (ie. youngsters) who use the term ‘Boomer’ don’t know that it refers to a generation.

  46. max says:

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six , result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery” ― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

    Ingesting excessive fluoride can result in a condition known as dental fluorosis, where the teeth become mottled and discolored and the surface of the enamel becomes pitted. Ingesting more than 1 mg per liter of fluoride can result in dental fluorosis, and taking in more than 4 mg per liter can result in skeletal fluorosis, which may cause abnormal bones and pain in the joints.

    Even promoters of fluoridation concede that the major benefits are topical; fluoride works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside of your body, so why swallow it?
    The fluoride added to your drinking water is in fact a chemical waste product! It is NOT something you should use as a supplement to your diet.

    Tooth decay is caused by acids in your mouth, typically created from sugar being metabolized by bacteria (Streptococcus mutans), and as you may already know, the number one source of calories in the United States is high fructose corn syrup.
    The acid produced then attacks your enamel. Eventually the bacteria can get into the dentine, at which point tooth decay sets in. So there are far better options for decreasing tooth decay than using a topical or ingested poison, with a chief one being minimizing your intake of sugary foods and eating a healthful diet.
    You typically don’t find dental caries in more primitive societies that do not consume vast amounts of sugar like in the United States.

    Fluoridation Revisited by Murray N. Rothbard

    This essay originally appeared in the January 1993 issue of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report.
    Yes, I confess: I’m a veteran anti-fluoridationist, thereby – not for the first time – risking placing myself in the camp of “right-wing kooks and fanatics.” It has always been a bit of mystery to me why left-environmentalists, who shriek in horror at a bit of Alar on apples, who cry “cancer” even more absurdly than the boy cried “Wolf,” who hate every chemical additive known to man, still cast their benign approval upon fluoride, a highly toxic and probably carcinogenic substance. And not only let fluoride emissions off the hook, but endorse uncritically the massive and continuing dumping of fluoride into the nation’s water supply.

  47. Arky says:

    erms like ‘Boomer’ and ‘Millennial’ have eclipsed their generational definitions.

    ..
    There is a signal going back into the 19th century of “big” generations and “small” generations.
    Before WW1 there isn’t names for them.
    the mindset of those born in the large population bulges is different to those with a small cohort.
    There is no easy way to describe this in the recent context without using the word “boomer” no matter how much it upsets said boomers.

  48. Dot says:

    Terry says:
    April 4, 2021 at 11:15 am
    Dot says:
    Go to a broker. Banks want to control you having a Netflix sub or not? Outrageous.

    How does that help?

    Like how having an accountant who can paint or sculpt, or write literature helps.

    🧙✨😎

  49. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    I am going to market an environment friendly toilet paper , it will be brown and contain no harmfull chemicals that we know of ,no trees will be harmed in the making of this product . It is available in 6packs on a deposit of $200 with
    $_178.96 postage and handling and easy terms .
    I have a degree in working and honours in taxpaying and a career mdelling hard hats on construction sites ,and I am self aware ,dinks !

  50. caveman says:

    Pet rocks, remember them
    I had one , it died.
    I wish they would bring them back.

  51. Terry says:

    Dot says:
    April 4, 2021 at 12:31 pm
    ‘Like how having an accountant who can paint or sculpt, or write literature helps.’

    No, no. Not the value of the broker (in assisting to navigate the over-regulated mire of cronyism that is home lending). That is self-evident in the sense that the service is entirely voluntary and yet is the major avenue through which residential loans are obtained.

    The point was (is), “the rules” imposed by the banks through their lobbying of government still apply, broker or not.

  52. Bruce says:

    @Johanna:

    “I’m pretty sure HP was eventually banned, in NSW at least.”

    That would be at about the same time as the mass release / issue of the old “Bankcard”, The Oz answer to Diners Club and American Express.

    Seems to have worked out OK for the usual suspects.

    Afterpay is also Halal.

    Last time I looked, Islam forbids the demand or payment of interest on loans. Not a word about service or “late” fees.

  53. Bad Samaritan says:

    min (10.55am) Once again I will explain it. My comments will be 100% accurate and should end all conjecture. However, grumpy older Cats will continue to spout their ill-considered “thoughts”. Still……

    AfterPay charges an up-front fee to the merchant, in the same way as Credit Card and EFTPOS providers do. They also make money from penalty fees on late payments the same as CC providers (EFTPOS is your own money = no late fees possible)

    Currently I get up to 55 days to pay my CC, in one lump sum if I wish, to avoid fees and interest. With Afterpay you get 14 days to pay the first quarter of your debt, 28 days for the second quarter, 42 days for the third quarter and 56 days for the final quarter. This means that 4 deadlines must be met to avoid fees altogether. If you buy something costing more than $500 the first payment is 25% on the spot.

    Afterpay is linked to MasterCard and Visa, which means it is actually a CC-type purchase, but with an elongated repayment method.

  54. min says:

    Exactly Bad Samaritan and Come on it seems you didn’t read my earlier post about instant gratification . Not only money troubles but it also puts strain on relationships and it does not matter whether it’s done on credit card or Afterpay . I’ve had depressed people in Therapy and sent them off to learn how to budget . I work the same way as you do CC and DC , the credit card is linked to cash management account however many use a number of credit cards and pay one off with the other . I even had an assistant bank manager as a client after running into trouble this way .
    Unfortunately for many it is how Mr . Mc Cawber said if you spend more than you earn you are in trouble or misery. Financial management would be better for the young than Critical Race Theory .

  55. Arky says:

    My guess is these things don’t make a profit unless a substantial portion of people miss deadlines for payment.
    Given the normal default rate, they have to make it up somewhere.
    I learned my lesson at 18: Car loan at 33 and 1/3 percent.

  56. Arky says:

    Here is what children need to learn: Only borrow money to buy assets that can earn a return. Not depreciating assets and things destined for landfill. Ensure your likely future earning cover repayments with a substantial safety margin AND you have savings for unexpected misfortunes.

  57. Rex Anger says:

    Here is what children need to learn: Only borrow money to buy assets that can earn a return. Not depreciating assets and things destined for landfill. Ensure your likely future earning cover repayments with a substantial safety margin AND you have savings for unexpected misfortunes.

    Every cent you save at the first available opportunity, is something that just may well come and save your arse later.

    A few here or there is OK at the start, and even a poofteenth of your pay packet from your first job sets the good habit in train. That will eventually cover things like cars, holidays, house downpayments, etc.

    The only equity you may ever have, is that which you earn yourself.

    Also, plenty of good arguments for whacking a lump sum periodically into your super. Tax Return payouts, Bonuses, even a sum of your savings every so often, e.g. $5k when you take a look at things. Every dollar there is a few more at the end of your working life. That will also save the scramble for dollars towards the latter parts of your career, where you may chase the extra dollars into a nasty position or working arrangements that does your peace of mind in.

    And what price peace of mind? Everything.

  58. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Max: ‘Ingesting excessive fluoride can result in a condition known as dental fluorosis, where the teeth become mottled and discolored and the surface of the enamel becomes pitted. Ingesting more than 1 mg per liter of fluoride can result in dental fluorosis, and taking in more than 4 mg per liter can result in skeletal fluorosis, which may cause abnormal bones and pain in the joints.’
    I think you need to read up on hormesis – the fact that low doses of a substance can be beneficial, while higher doses are toxic. Much of the regulation of toxic substances is (wrongly) hbased on the assumption of linear dose-response with no safe dose. In fact, even substances like dioxin are associated with declines in effects at low doses, but increasing negative effects as dosage increases.

  59. Dot says:

    Terry and Aynsley, Bravo.

    Excellent points. 👌

  60. Doctor John says:

    Fluoride in the water at the correct level is highly beneficial. If water from the mains supply is drunk, there is excellent protection against dental decay. So many now are using bottled water instead of ordinary tapwater, they are not getting enough fluoride to strengthen their teeth against decay. Hence the decay rate in the general population is increasing. I knew of a 26 month old girl who lost all her teeth through neglect by her mother. Flouride ingested in tablet form or through the water supply would have prevented that awful treatment for someone so young. Fluoride toothpaste is useful in preventing tooth decay. Natural toothpastes may be too abrasive and cause damage and generally should be avoided. Best known brands are best as they are usually ADA certified.

  61. Matt says:

    Might be a bit inconvenient for Max, but fluoride occurs naturally in water, mostly at low levels but in some areas at around 1 part per million, which is roughly the level that most tap water in Australia is adjusted to. Hopefully Max doesn’t swim at the beach and swallow the water there, because it has even more fluoride than the water coming out of the tap.

  62. Kneel says:

    “Does Afterpay charge a large amount of interest if one cannot pay? How is that different from a credit card then,…”

    The major difference is the split payments – if you pay on time, you don’t pay interest. If you use a credit card to Afterpay and can pay the payment amount on time, you don’t pay interest on that card either. A single payment by credit card that takes four payments to pay out will cost you interest.

    So just like a credit card, thoughtful usage is to your advantage, while thoughtless usage is “gunna costya”, and they have a damn good idea what percentage will pay on time and which won’t, and adjust charges accordingly.

  63. Tel says:

    If Afterpay had been launched by the Big Banks there would have been outrage about irresponsible lending.

    The banks have been getting people on the hook with credit cards for decades. I had situations where companies I did not even know (not my bank), would somehow get my name and address and drop an activated credit card on my doorstep to entice me to use it. That was back in the late 90’s and essentially they would have no problem hunting me for the money if someone else had stolen that card and spent it.

    I’m kind of happy things have tightened up a lot since then but I sure got a lot more skeptical about letting anyone know anything about me, after seeing what can go wrong.

    If you check the Afterpay terms they DO charge interest but they have a tricky game where they pretend it isn’t interest … they instead call it late payment fees, which remarkably is the same strategy as used in Medieval times to sidestep usury laws. I wonder if this is intended to expand their customers amongst any religious groups still opposed to usury … anyhow, the are very much in the same business as the banks and their credit cards, but I think Afterpay are reasonably competitive in terms of how much the consumer finally ends up paying. Credit card fees have always been high, and in this day an age when the interest paid on a bank account is typically 0.01% while some credit card loans are over 20% you can’t feel too sorry over a bit of additional competition in the market.

  64. James B says:

    I presume you are also outraged by people who don’t pay by cash, thus incurring additional costs for the merchant which are inevitably passed on to the consumer.

    Can’t speak for min, but I am not outraged by those people.

    I am outraged by the laws and regulations that presumably prevent differential pricing according to payment method, and thus prevent said additional costs being passed on exclusively to those who incur them.

  65. min says:

    Cash has been almost eliminated as a result of Covid when cash was not accepted in shops . In Melbourne when we were locked up over a 7 month period people turned to shopping online so we are being trained for a cashless society . So who is using cash these days ?

  66. max says:

    for people who cannot read:

    Even promoters of fluoridation concede that the major benefits are topical; fluoride works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside of your body, so why swallow it?

    The case for fluoridation is incredibly thin, boiling down to the alleged fact of substantial reductions in dental cavities in kids aged 5 to 9. Period. There are no claimed benefits for anyone older than nine! For this the entire adult population of a fluoridated area must be subjected to mass medication!

    Compulsory mass medication is medically evil, as well as socialistic. It is starkly clear that one key to any medication is control of the dose; different people, at different stages of risk, need individual dosages tailored to their needs. And yet with water compulsorily fluoridated, the dose applies to everyone, and is necessarily proportionate to the amount of water one drinks.
    What is the medical justification for a guy who drinks ten glasses of water a day receiving ten times the fluorine dose of a guy who drinks only one glass? The whole process is monstrous as well as idiotic.

    Before the Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda campaign, fluoride was largely known in the public mind as the chief ingredient of bug and rat poison; after the campaign, it was widely hailed as a safe provider of healthy teeth and gleaming smiles.

    Despite the blitzkrieg victory, however, doubts have surfaced and gathered in the scientific community. Fluoride is a non-biodegradable substance, which, in people, accumulates in teeth and bone – perhaps strengthening kiddies’ teeth; but what about human bones? Two crucial bone problems of fluorides – brittleness and cancer – began to appear in studies, only to be systematically blocked by governmental agencies. As early as 1956, a federal study found nearly twice as many premalignant bone defects in young males in Newbergh as in unfluoridated Kingston; but this finding was quickly dismissed as “spurious.”
    Oddly enough, despite the 1956 study and carcinogenic evidence popping up since the 1940s, the federal government never conducted its own beloved animal carcinogenicity test on fluorides.

    In more detailed studies, for areas of Washington state and Iowa, NCI found that from the 1970s to the 1980s bone cancer for males under 20 had increased by 70 percent in the fluoridated areas of these states, but had decreased by 4 percent in the non-fluoridated areas. Sounds pretty conclusive to me, but the NCI set some fancy statisticians to work on the data, to conclude that these findings, too, were “spurious.”

    New Zealand’s most prominent pro-fluoridationist was the country’s top dental officer, Dr. John Colquhoun.
    As chairman of the Fluoridation Promotion Committee, Colquhoun decided to gather statistics to show doubters the great merits of fluoridation. To his shock, he found that the percentage of children free of dental decay was higher in the non-fluoridated part than in the fluoridated part of New Zealand. The national health department refused to allow Colquhoun to publish these findings, and kicked him out as dental director. Similarly, a top pro-fluoridationist in British Columbia, Canada, Richard G. Foulkes, concluded that fluoridation is not only dangerous, but that it is not even effective in reducing tooth decay. Foulkes was denounced by former colleagues as a propagandist “promoting the quackery of anti-fluoridationists.”

    Fluoride has long been recognized as one of the most toxic elements found in the earth’s crust. Fluorides are by-products of many industrial processes, being emitted in the air and water, and probably the major source of this by-product is the aluminum industry. By the 1920s and 1930s, fluorine was increasingly being subject to lawsuits and regulations. In particular, by 1938 the important, relatively new aluminum industry was being placed on a wartime footing. What to do if its major by-product is a dangerous poison?
    The time had come for damage control; even better, to reverse the public image of this menacing substance.

    The following year, 1939, Cox, the ALCOA scientist working for a company beset by fluoride damage claims, made the first public proposal for mandatory fluoridation of water. Cox proceeded to stump the country urging fluoridation. Meanwhile, other ALCOA-funded scientists trumpeted the alleged safety of fluorides, in particular the Kettering Laboratory of the University of Cincinnati.
    During World War II, damage claims for fluoride emissions piled up as expected, in proportion to the great expansion of aluminum production during the war. But attention from these claims was diverted, when, just before the end of the war, the PHS began to push hard for compulsory fluoridation of water. Thus the drive for compulsory fluoridation of water accomplished two goals in one shot: it transformed the image of fluorine from a curse to a blessing that will strengthen every kid’s teeth, and it provided a steady and substantial monetary demand for fluorides to dump annually into the nation’s water.
    One interesting footnote to this story is that whereas fluorine in naturally fluoridated water comes in the form of calcium fluoride, the substance dumped into every locality is instead sodium fluoride. The Establishment defense that “fluoride is fluoride” becomes unconvincing when we consider two points: (a) calcium is notoriously good for bones and teeth, so the anti-cavity effect in naturally fluoridated water might well be due to the calcium and not the fluorine; and (b) sodium fluoride happens to be the major by-product of the manufacture of aluminum.

  67. Matt says:

    ‘NHMRC found that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 26% to 44% in children and adolescents, and by 27% in adults. Recent Australian research states that access to fluoridated water from an early age is associated with less tooth decay in adults.’
    Sydney was fluoridated in 1968, Melbourne in 1977 and Brisbane 2008. So there is 30-40 years of comparative data between these cities – enough to find all of the so-called adverse health effects of water fluoridation. And guess what – nothing. No increased rate of bone cancer, osteoporosis, thyroid problems, kidney disease, cognitive issues. Nothing.
    Little chemistry lesson Max – calcium fluoride doesn’t occur naturally in water, and if I gave you two glasses of water, there’s no way you could tell which one had fluoride adjusted and which one wasn’t.

  68. max says:

    Calcium fluoride (CaF2). Occurring in nature as the mineral fluorite or fluorspar.

    https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Calcium-fluoride

    Sodium fluoride (NaF) is an inorganic compound with the formula Na F. It is used in trace amounts in the fluoridation of drinking water, toothpaste, in metallurgy, as a flux, and is also used in pesticides and rat poison.

    Sodium fluoride is manufactured by the reaction of hydrofluoric acid with sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide

  69. Matt says:

    ‘Calcium fluoride is the inorganic compound of the elements calcium and fluorine with the formula CaF₂. It is a white insoluble solid.’

  70. Matt says:

    I’m assuming that you don’t use toothpaste Max, given that sodium fluoride is the key ingredient?
    And let’s dig into that a little more for you – where does the NaF come from? Yes, it’s usually a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry – treating crushed rock (containing your favourite calcium fluoride) with sulfuric acid. But by-product doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad – after all, the hexafluorosilicic acid that is used in water fluoridation is also produced naturally in volcanoes (it’s natural, so it must be good).
    But what happens when you put hexafluorosilicic acid (or hydrofluorosilicic acid as it’s more commonly known) in water? There is almost 100% hydrolysis, and you end up with fluoride (F-). But it’s an acid, it must be bad! Just have another Coke Max.

  71. max says:

    Many European countries have rejected water fluoridation, including: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Scotland, Iceland, and Italy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation_by_country

  72. max says:

    Fluoride Follies
    By Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
    Doctors and public health officials did not think sodium fluoride, used commercially as a rat and bug poison, fungicide, and wood preservative, should be put in public water. The Journal of the American Dental Association said (in 1936), “Fluoride at the 1 ppm [part per million] concentration is as toxic as arsenic and lead… There is an increasing volume of evidence of the injurious effects of fluorine, especially the chronic intoxication resulting from the ingestion of minute amounts of fluorine over long periods of time.”
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2005/07/donald-w-miller-jr-md/alcoa-socialism/

  73. max says:

    The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson
    WHY I CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT WATER FLUORIDATION
    John Colquhoun DDS, Principal Dental Officer for Auckland, New Zealand and chair of that country’s Fluoridation Promotion Committee.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20051018204950/http://www.fluoride-journal.com/98-31-2/312103.htm

  74. max says:

    Dr. Hardy Limeback, PhD, DDS, Head of Preventive Dentistry at University of Toronto.
    http://www.fluoridealert.org/limeback.htm

  75. max says:

    FLUORIDE, TEETH, AND THE ATOMIC BOMB
    By Joel Griffiths and Chris Bryson
    http://www.fluoridation.com/atomicbomb.htm

  76. Kneel says:

    “Many European countries have rejected water fluoridation,…”

    And many people do not buy iodised salt either. It may have been excess to needs when we still used iodine to sterilise milk processing plants, but they use chlorine for that now.

    There have been cases of excess fluoridation of drinking water causing mottled tooth discolouration, but it’s somewhat rare.

  77. Matt says:

    Not having it is not the same as rejecting it.
    I’ll go back to the point I made earlier Max – with 30-40 years of comparative data between fluoridated Melbourne & Sydney and non-fluoridated Brisbane, with millions of people – can you point to the data that shows the huge differences in adverse health outcomes attributable to fluoride?

  78. max says:

    Compulsory mass medication is medically evil, as well as socialistic. It is starkly clear that one key to any medication is control of the dose; different people, at different stages of risk, need individual dosages tailored to their needs. And yet with water compulsorily fluoridated, the dose applies to everyone, and is necessarily proportionate to the amount of water one drinks.
    What is the medical justification for a guy who drinks ten glasses of water a day receiving ten times the fluorine dose of a guy who drinks only one glass? The whole process is monstrous as well as idiotic.

  79. Matt says:

    And if it was medication, then maybe you would have a point. But as already demonstrated, fluoride occurs naturally in water, and the process of fluoridation is to adjust to an optimal level.

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