Re: 1929 deja vu

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Apr 27 2000 - 15:52:12 MDT

John Clark wrote:

> Michael S. Lorrey <> Wrote:
> >>Me:
> >>if you ignore natures advice you go broke, as well you should.
> >Sure, thats a given. Then what happens?
> Then you either get smart or you rely on the kindness of strangers.

i.e. you get economic instability and a downturn if enough people wind up going broke at the same
time. Which is my argument. Stop being obtuse.

> > You are a) assuming Mr. Fusion Inc would want to hire union workers,
> What's with you and union workers? I mean, you're being so 20'th century.

union workers as in a) high salary for low skill work, b) lots of convoluted, expensive, and time
wasting work rules, c) the union threatens strikes if you want to robotize your assembly
processes. Unless the union reticence against automation is discarded, then American manufacturing
will remain in the 20th century.

> >and b) need to hire anywhere near as many people to produce machines
> >that produce the same power demands as the former energy industry.
> It doesn't matter. Energy that was virtually free and limitless would open up all
> sorts of opportunities that just aren't practical now, and all those endeavors would
> need personnel.

Those opportunities will not arise overnight, and the turmoil of crashing markets will cause large
amounts of capital to evaporate. Capital that you need to have available to take advantage of
those new opportunities. No capital means lost opportunities.....

> >From an economic viewpoint, defense spending is an excellent incubator for
> >research and development.
> "Excellent" is not quite the word I would use to categorize the results obtained from
> hundreds of billions spent by the military on research and development, "terrible"
> or "meager" would be better. I can see 3 reasons for this:
> 1) There is far more development than research, and the development is for things
> that have little or no use in civilian life; stealth technology for example.

Actually, stealth technology *is* being used commercially, even down to the point where you can
buy a bra for your car made of stealth material to help protect yourself against radar speed
traps...and that is a direct technology transfer, not an indirect one (like how the need for
collapsible wheelchairs for astronauts on their pickup ships caused NASA to develop the modern
tube steel/aluminum collapsible wheelchair. Like electroluminescent lighting technology which is
now used to backlight just about anything, was totally and wholly developed due to defense
research money. The list goes on.

> 2) The cost of something is of no interest to the military mind, hence you get a B1
> bomber that is quite literally worth more than its weight in gold. This mindset conflicts
> with that of consumers and stockholders who would rather not spend $900 for
> a Momentum Impulse Driver and will just get a $3.98 hammer at Home Depot instead.

Lets see, I don't know the cost of a B-1 bomber (which is not a stealth bomber) but the B-2 bomber
(which is a stealth bomber) costs around $800 million (which includes lots of things besides just
the plane itself, including hangars, training, parts, ground equipment, etc). A B-2 bomber weighs
over 400,000 lb. which equals 6.4 million ounces. An ounce of gold goes for around $250-300, which
makes the weight of the B-2 in gold equal to about $1.6-1.95 billion, so no, the B-2 is decidedly
NOT worth its weight in gold, and since the B-1 is a much less expensive plane, I think I can say
with conviction that the B-1 (which again is not a stealth bomber) is not worth its weight in

> >When grain shipments to europe got cut off, and interest rates rose
> And neither event had anything to do with technology or productivity, it has everything to
> do with government and civil servants who were not as smart as they thought they were.

What it did have to do with technology and productivity is that the change in market demand for
grain in the negative to that extent was not foreseen by the farmers, or by the bankers who
allowed them to mortgage their farms to buy all the latest and greatest farm equipment (which is
what allowed them to overproduce).

> >food was left rotting on the docks and in the fields, prices collapsed
> No argument, it's a matter of historical fact, but I don't see how that helps your case.

John, I know you are smarter than this.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:54 MDT