Re: 1929 deja vu

From: John Clark (
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 08:42:38 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael S. Lorrey <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: 1929 deja vu

> John Clark wrote:
> >
> > Michael S. Lorrey <> Wrote:
> >
> > > union workers as in a) high salary for low skill work, b) lots of convoluted, expensive,
> > >and time wasting work rules,
> >
> > If your opinion of unions is that low then why are you worried that technology will
> > render them obsolete; or are you just a fan of incompetence and red tape?
> Whe a union has a stranglehold on the current industry dominators, that
> causes a significant barrier to the entry of new technology.
> >
> > > the turmoil of crashing markets
> >
> > Oil markets will crash, fusion markets will not.
> And if fusion markets employ fewer people than the oil markets, you'll
> have a period of high unemployment. When the oil markets crash, the
> wealth of those invested in oil technologies will evaporate overnight,
> reducing the amount of capital on the markets that is available to
> invest in new fusion manufacturing.
> >
> > >will cause large amounts of capital to evaporate.
> >
> > So if an airline, for example, found its fuel bill was now zero that would cause
> > financial difficulty for the company and it would no longer be able to finance expansion.
> > Does that sound right to you?
> Oil companies will not be able to afford to distribute oil that is worth
> less than the cost of distribution and refinement, so the airlines will
> not even be able to get their hands on enough fuel...for a short period
> of time. It will sort itself out in a while. In the meantime, nobody is
> flying.
> >
> > >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 if a stealth bra is not worth a few hundred billion dollars what is? Your tax dollars
> > at work. What's next, Tang and non stick frying pans?

> Mock all of these consumer products if you want John.

Thank you, I believe I will. How much has the government spent to develop
stealth technology over the last 20 years? They don't want us to know exactly
but it must be clse to 100 billion. What consumer product do we get from all that?
A stealth bra. How could I not mock that, it would certainly take far more willpower
than I posess.

 You are getting
> really obviously stubborn about winning your argument.
> >
> > >I don't know the cost of a B-1 bomber (which is not a stealth bomber)
> >
> > True, I meant to say a B2 bomber
> >
> > >but the B-2 bomber (which is a stealth bomber) costs around $800 million
> >
> > The cost per airplane is about 2 billion, but the military can get very creative with
> > their accounting when they want good PR, you could probably get a $800 million
> > figure if you ignored the huge R&D bill (mostly D), but as there are no plans to build
> > any more of these white elephants that doesn't seem like good accounting practice to me.
> I don't know where you are getting this figure, as the $800 million
> figure was one calculated by the opponents of the B-2 to make it look as
> expensive as possible (even though that figure includes lots of stuff
> other than just the airplane). I imagine you are cooking this up in
> order to win the argument, as you seem to be acting very stubbornly
> obtuse in this thread.
> >
> > >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,
> >
> > Sound just about right.
> >
> > > 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
> >
> > If I've parsed that formidable sentence correctly then foreign governments stopped importing
> > food and local government jacked up interest rates so high that farmers could no longer pay
> > their bills and that's technology's fault. Huh?

> John, you are being WAY obtuse. I don't see how you can fail to
>get my point.

Oh I understand what you're saying, and what you're saying is foolish.

 Perhaps you are editing out too much of my writing in your mind
> before you read what I am saying? ;) I will make it nice and simple so
> even a child should understand this:
> When industries are heavily invested in current technologies to increase
> production, and market demand suddenly drops by a large margin, you will
> wind up with many bankrupt companies (whose market value has evaporated)
> and many displaced employees. The high enemployment and the loss of
> capital value both can cause severe economic turmoil if that industry is
> a large enough sector of the economy.
> If the demand for the products of that industry is being taken by a new
> industry that uses much more efficient technology to produce new, higher
> tech products at lower prices, using fewer workers, then the dislocated
> employees of the first industry will not be fully absorbed into the new
> generators of wealth.

>I have agreed that over the long run things sort
>themselves out and we are all for the better in the end, but in the
>short term the economy cannot take up the slack caused by these
>unforeseen paradigm changes,

And I have said that any large change in the economy, the climate , the
geology, the TV schedule, the stock market, the social structure or the
architecture of a Stealth Bra is bound to be bad for somebody.
But to get back to the original argument, the idea that the poverty of the
30's was caused by over productivity (not over production, a very
different thing), the idea that the net wealth in a society declines because
things that people want and use are made too quickly and too well is just loony.

just as any system that has its point of
> equilibrium shifted suddenly will break up into turmoil and chaos until
> it settles into its new equilibrium point.

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