Drinking Their Own Ink

Thoughts on the economic unreality of the political class:

There is for instance the wonderful idea that we can’t get out of this hole by cutting expenditures. REALLY? REALLY? So, let me see, if my family is spending 2000 a month, while making 1500, cutting expenditures is not the way to go. We shouldn’t examine our food budget, cut back on entertainment or perhaps move to a smaller place. No way no how, because cutting is not how you get out of a financial hole. No, golly-me. We’re supposed to get a student loan and take a course in something the government assures us will pay off. AND we’re supposed to go out to eat more. And move to a bigger place. And buy a newer car. And then we’ll be…

What? I don’t know. And neither do these people, because they’ve never balanced a checkbook.

The Aristos don’t have to balance anything. There’s always someone willing to finance them while using them as stalking horses. After all they talk so purty, and they say all the right things – the things that will allow those using them to get a greater grasp on power over the lives of everyone else.

Or take the minimum wage nonsense. What kind of insane idiot, with the crisis of unemployment we have would want to RAISE minimum wage? I mean, both the man reading these words off the teleprompter and the idiots who wrote them for him to read have presumably enough intelligence to stand upright and speak at the same time. So it shouldn’t be possible for them to NOT understand that a wage is something paid in exchange for a service. It is therefore tied to the value of that service. The idea of legislating it at ALL is insane, and leads to people who can’t afford to pay it hiring illegals or simply not growing their business past the one man stage – because, children, economics is a science. You can’t simply legislate wages, any more than you can legislate rain. BUT on top of that the idea of in a recession wanting to tie the minimum wage to the cost of living is so astonishingly stupid that– That I run out of words.

Fortunately, it’s just a figure of speech. She has a lot more words.

11 thoughts on “Drinking Their Own Ink

  1. Roy C

    The thing is that people really believe this crap. Some expert tells them something they want to believe, of course it is ridiculous, but they want to believe it and they were told by an expert.

    So we get things like:

    Torture can never work
    Regulations help business
    Cheap energy is bad for the economy
    Adding capacity increases traffic
    There is no such thing as too much debt
    A higher minimum wage increases employment
    Hamas wants peace with Israel

    Of course we know this is ridiculous, but think how much easier life would be if any one of these were actually true. Imagine a world with perpetual motion machines. It would be nice.

    And I am Maria of Roumania…

  2. Sigivald

    You can’t simply legislate wages, any more than you can legislate rain.

    Sure, you can, much more than you can legislate rain; laws won’t change rain. Laws can and will change wages, because laws (cue Bastiat) are enforced.

    What you can’t do is legislate wages without “unintended” consequences.

  3. Godzilla

    Raising the minimum wage will increase unemployment slightly but it will also make it easier for people to pay back their loans and hence get out of the private debt crisis faster. If you want to increase employment you can reduce the number of working hours similarly to what Germany did in the Asian crisis in the 1990s.

    Of course there is a need for spending cuts but investment is also necessary. Otherwise we will enter a feedback loop where the crisis reinforces itself.

    It will be necessary to restructure Social Security and reduce Defense expenditures.

    A lot of vehicles could be mothballed (e.g. MRAP).

    The Ground Combat Vehicle should be cancelled. Instead there could be programs to reduce the logistical footprint of heavy cavalry divisions like replacing the M1 tank turbine in expeditionary units with a regular diesel engine powerpack.

    The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle is pointless. It is supposed to replace the M249 Light Machine Gun but it isn’t belt fed so it is more of an improved assault rifle. It should be canceled and instead work should continue on putting the LSAT with cased telescoped ammo into production.

    The V-22 Osprey purchases should be cut down. It is too expensive to maintain and unsafe compared to helicopters.

    The number of F-35C purchases should be reduced in favor of modern UAVs.

    Were it not for the synergies of selling the F-35B to allied navies with small carriers in the Pacific this model should have been canceled.

    I also question if there is a need for so many concurrent UAV programs.

    Someone needs to sort out the mess with the Litoral Combat Ship program. The Chinese have been putting so many Type 056 ships on the water lately that this program probably needs to be reconsidered.

    The number of carrier groups can probably be reduced slightly given the new main theater is Asia and there are many air bases all over the Pacific already including Guam, Japan, and South Korea.

    Given the emphasis on the Asian theater there should be a further push to increase aircraft range which so far has been neglected in favor of things like stealth.

    Fix X-51 and make it into a hypercruise missile.

    The ethanol fuel subsidies and the wind and solar power subsidies should either be reduced or cut back completely.

    1. Leland

      You can’t pay back a loan with increased pay when you’re unemployed. Businesses are already planning employee cuts for Obamacare, because it increases the cost per employee. Adding in minimum wage hike would increase those numbers of cuts.

    2. Leland

      The number of carrier groups can probably be reduced slightly given the new main theater is Asia and there are many air bases all over the Pacific already including Guam, Japan, and South Korea.

      We’d do better closing bases in Japan and South Korea while keeping the carriers. Prior to WWII, we had bases all over the Pacific and in China, but they didn’t last long when the shooting started.

      Given the emphasis on the Asian theater there should be a further push to increase aircraft range which so far has been neglected in favor of things like stealth.

      Considering F-22 has a greater range than the F-15, F-35 has a greater range than the F-16, and the whole point of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was to increase its range over the F/A-18C; I’m not sure what more you expect unless, like your M1 Abrams idea, you think we should replace the high speed fighter engines with high bypass turbofans. It would certainly improve fuel efficiency, but the radar cross section of a GE-90 is a bit more significant than a P&W F135.

      1. Godzilla

        Considering F-22 has a greater range than the F-15, F-35 has a greater range than the F-16, and the whole point of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was to increase its range over the F/A-18C;

        The F-22 does not have more range than the F-15. Go to Wikipedia and check out the combat radius and ferry range of the F-15E vs the F-22. I know the F-22 engines are able to supercruise due to the larger thrust-to-weight ratio improving fuel consumption in some scenarios but once you start to restrict the number of outer pylons for external fuel tanks to improve stealth reducing the amount of stores available this sort of thing is going to happen.

        It is true the F-16 has a rather short range but with the conformal tanks of the Block 52 upgrade the range is not so dire as it used to be.

        The Super Hornet was not primarily designed as a stealth aircraft so it has none of the range issues of the F-22 or the F-35 caused by compromises to improve stealth. In fact countries like Canada and Australia, which have large territories to defend, are considering buying the Super Hornet rather than the F-35 for precisely this reason.

        Today we have ICBMs and reconnaissance satellites unlike in WWII. Carrier groups are IMO more vulnerable than land bases (where bunkers can be constructed) or submarines and probably even the Zumwalt destroyers.

        Regarding the M1 tank and old turbines vs modern diesels:

        M1: 1120 kW, 18.27 kW/t, 426 km range
        Leopard 2: 1103 kW, 17.7 kW/t, 550 km range

    3. wodun

      There is something wrong with our economy when people are advocating a rise of the minimum wage to pay off loans. Our workers should not need an expensive college degree to earn minimum wage.

      There are plenty of places to cut costs but not just in the military, which currently faces a disproportionate level of cuts to the rest of government spending.

  4. M Puckett

    The M-27 is extrodinarily small fiscal potatoes and is NOT an M-249 replacement but a weapon to fill the role of an Automatic Rifle.

    Replacing the power-pack on the M-1 with a Diesel IC Engine is not necessary.

    There was supposed to be a powerpack update with a new turbine, the same one that was to go into the cancelled Crusader that promised huge fuel savings over the current one.

    “Honeywell was developing another gas turbine engine with General Electric for the XM2001 Crusader program that was to be a replacement for the Abrams’ AGT-1500 engine.[60] The new LV100-5 engine was lighter and smaller (43% fewer parts) with rapid acceleration, quieter running, and no visible exhaust.[61] It also featured a 33% reduction in fuel consumption (50% less when idle) and near drop-in replacement.[62] The Abrams-Crusader Common Engine Program was shelved when the Crusader program was canceled, however Phase 2 of Army’s PROSE (Partnership for Reduced O&S Costs, Engine) program called for further development of the LV100-5 and replacement of the current AGT-1500 engine.[63]“

    1. Godzilla

      I simply do not see any point in the M-27 that is all. It does more or less the same as the 5.56 mm FN SCAR which was rejected by the special forces in favor of the 7.62 mm version given the conditions in Afghanistan: where soldiers are shooting at houses made of clay and combatants who don’t easily go down with a single 5.56 mm shot. If you think that is rare that kind of construction is quite common in Iran as well.

      Doing yet another 5.56 mm weapon purchase now seems rather pointless. Imagine if the US Army had simply ignored what happened in the Moro rebellion and continued using the .38 Long Colt instead of going for .45 ACP on the M1911. I have seen proposals for the LSAT to use intermediate rounds and I would not be surprised if those won out.

      It is a fact the M1 turbine could be upgraded to use modern techniques and materials. Helicopter turbines need to be upgraded as well so there are some synergies. Unfortunately that does not seem to be happening and the large diesel engines have civilian uses as well so it is more likely they will continue to advance more quickly than turbines.

  5. ken anthony

    Raising the minimum wage will increase unemployment… Stop!

    Now take a breath. Fill your body with calm. Meditate Grasshopper.

    Only then will you be able to take the pebble and have veracity.

  6. ken anthony

    “Everyone in my generation has flat given up. The height of our ambition is to someday have a job that actually allows us to live independently. There’s no grand dreams for us.”

    Minimum wage when I was a kid was a dollar something. The advantage of a low wage when a kid is that it gave you the perspective that you would always be working for better and improving your life. Now, living with your folks on a minimum wage means you can buy all the distractions in life and avoid a future.

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