World War $: A Rant with some Serious Plot Holes

Take a look at a recent post from Doc Lor and the immediate recent post from John Walker.  Combine these two things.  What do you see?

Since 2009, the economy has been incredibly tightly managed.  Either the report is bunk or the freedom of the economy is bunk, and I am primed to believe that the report is accurate.  Once I get off my duff, I’ll do a little analysis to quantify what is readily apparent from the chart in Doc Lor’s post.  Look at that line.  Like a laser.  That doesn’t happen by accident.

And now interest rates are going to go negative.  Greenspan and Bernanke both don’t like it.  (I think).

We already have internal capital controls which apply to ordinary citizens — you can’t move 10K without of your own damned money without being investigated.  You have to fill out your indictment yourself and see if anybody acts upon it.  Try moving $5K three time instead, and you;re accused of a crime — “structuring”, which means doing as you see fit with your own money.

The EUSSR has stopped production of the 500-Euro “bank note” (which euphemism means that you cannot redeem this paper for anything, ever), and they’re not alone.  Now referred to as “the bin Laden banknote”, we are all supposed to get our two minutes of hate on for this terrible, terrible piece of paper.  I don’t suppose that the reduction in crime attributed to getting rid of high-denomination bills (sorry, “notes”) will extend to our own government shipping pallets of cash via the USAF (“Un-Scheduled Air Freight”) to terrorist nations, but that’s okay — we only expect restriction to apply to litle people.

And when you can no longer conduct any but the most paltry business with cash, that is, when all transactions and all balances must be conducted or captured in digital form, then the government can use policy to move your money around by terrifying you — see my comment on John’s post, linked at the top of this post.  You retain all the freedom in the world to manage your affairs as you see fit, responding with rationality, free will, and property rights intact, taking incentives into account and acting accordingly.  It’s just that the incentives are designed to make you dump your savings into the sewer, by making it a more attractive alternative than keeping any money about you.

Want to hold cash?  Physical controls are easily defeated — that’s why we have banks!  Want to save cash in a bank?  That will now cost you — the Fed is going to charge banks for deposit accounts, and your bank will pass the hurtings along to you!

Now what do these two previous posts and my lengthy rant have to do with each other?  Here’s my interpretation:

We never recovered from the 2009 financial crisis.  We weren’t supposed to.  Never let a crisis go to waste.

Remember the excitement about dumping zillions of new paper dollars on the market?  The expected hyper-inflation that came inevitably from such a reckless expansion of the money supply never came, despite fairly iron-clad reasons to expect it.  Later, I heard a theory that I liked very much, that we were exporting the inflation to China.  This may or may not have been the case, and it makes sense, but it seems either not to have been true, or one heck of a research tool to determine China’s appetite for bad money.  I don’t think the world has that much appetite.

Jimmy Carter was pilloried for cancelling the B-1, and he couldn’t defend his decision on the grounds that he leapfrogged right to the remarkable and then-top-secret B-2, what with it being a secret and all.  I have little nice to say about Carter but these two caveats — he did the right thing in Eagle Claw, but was let down by the JCS (which fiasco contributed to the Goldwater-Nichols shake-up of the DoD); and he did the right thing on the B-1 and B-2.

Obama and his anti-American henchmen took control of the economy through the expedient of emergency measures, and the economy remains in emergency management.  There is no way, to my mind, to reconcile the ridiculous lack of variation of the last decade of GDP per capita (the chart in the Doc Lor post) with a similar set of controls over the economy (the chart in John’s post, and some of this rant)  as existed prior to the crisis.  The economy has been controlled remarkably well since the crisis began.  Unfortunately, this is of a piece with the undeniable fairness of communism, wherein nobody has anything.  So the economy is performing at a perfectly-regulated substandard rate.

Obama and his guys, like Carter, couldn’t say what they knew at the time.  Remember all the talk of the new normal, and structural reasons, and so forth?  Those were not predictions — those were design goals.  Features, not bugs, the new anemic growth rate of per capita GDP is the price of the LightBringer.

So where is all the inflation, and how is that contributing to deflation now?  If the economy is booming but nobody’s getting rich, where is all the money?

It’s being squirreled away in places the US government either cannot see, cannot control, or does not care about — yet.

Price controls do not work — this is a fact by now acknowledged by all but those communists with the most pressing need to avoid a particular fluctuation.  Or those deranged by inclement weather.  Or by policy makers who cannot stand to see televised humans work through the effects of their decisions without getting involved.  Okay, big government loves price controls and implements them whenever it can.  It’s just that in most cases, it can’t.  Obama railed against “speculators” whenever fuel prices rose, oblivious of the role that speculators play as buffers, containing volatility and shielding those least able to cope from price shocks.  If not for speculation, prices would fall each time a fuel truck pulled up to refill the gas station’s tanks, and would rise steadily until the next truck — or as a function of uncertainty about the next delivery.

A long chain of speculators, including you and I, are responsible for the proper functioning of the economy, and that ability is being taken from us.  Price controls do not work, and the government is increasingly into the price control business — they are controlling the price of money.  They are removing our ability to choose this risk or that, and are instead stampeding us out of saving, out of banks, out of cash, all into the great Wall Street casino, where the laws of economics are being brought into alignment with the laws of thermodynamics:

  1. In this system, you will gain nothing.
  2. In this system, you will save nothing.
  3. You are not free to go.  Spin the wheel again, sucker.

We are not even sheep.  We are farmed grass being fed to sheep.

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11 thoughts on “World War $: A Rant with some Serious Plot Holes”

  1. Haakon Dahl:
    Jimmy Carter was pilloried for cancelling the B-1, and he couldn’t defend his decision on the grounds that he leapfrogged right to the remarkable and then-top-secret B-2, what with it being a secret and all.

    At the time, the B-2 was significantly vaporware-ish and not nearly definite enough to kill the production-ready B-1. This is a stalking horse tactic the treasonous left uses.  Claim you want to kill one military program because there is a better one (the stalking horse) on the horizon. But then they go after the stalking horse. Consider the F-35 as a stalking horse used to kill the F-22. Consider the two classes of little crappy ships as stalking horses used to kill development of any useful ships. BTW, when Trump appoints you SecDef please make your first order: “Shoot anyone who says ‘mission modules’!”

    We are left in a position where essentially across the board we are or soon will be faced with having second or third tier weapons. Our next class of ships will likely be introduced as a decades old European design.

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  2. Haakon Dahl:
    I have little nice to say about Carter but these two caveats…

    It was also Carter who finally said “enough” to the inflation launched under Nixon and clownishly bungled by Ford, and hired Paul Volcker as Fed chairman and backed him as he put the screws to it.  Inflation in the U.S. peaked in March 1980, 10 months before Reagan’s inauguration.  It took a long time wring out the inflation (the fed funds rate hit its all time record high of 20% in June 1981), but if Carter had not brought in Volcker in the summer of 1979 and backed him in his very unpopular moves, the situation Reagan inherited would have been much worse and more painful to turn around.

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  3. ctlaw:
    Consider the two classes of little crappy ships as stalking horses used to kill development of any useful ships.

    Believe me, this is deep in my heart.  LCS is a contributor to the 7th Fleet deaths as we are stuck with no modern surface combatants except billion-dollar-a-pop air warfare kingpins.

    The cruisers are beautiful, but the hulls physically get old.  The famed battleships actually retired themselves before they were finally put to pasture for the last time.

    Another thing which changes, however, is the quality of vaporware.  Back in the day, any cockamamie defense proposal forwarded by Northrop, Grumman, or Lockheed was like buying computers from IBM.  It couldn’t fail, and even if it did, you wouldn’t get fired for making the right choice.

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  4. Haakon Dahl:
    we are stuck with no modern surface combatants except billion-dollar-a-pop air warfare kingpins.

    But the Arleigh Burke class are really not modern surface combatants. The basic just slightly sealthy design is over 30 years old (powerplants being about fifty) and is scheduled to be into production into it’s fifties in the odd chance the ChiComs or DNC (but I repeat myself) do not wipe us out before then.

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  5. ctlaw:

    Haakon Dahl:
    we are stuck with no modern surface combatants except billion-dollar-a-pop air warfare kingpins.

    But the Arleigh Burke class are really not modern surface combatants. The basic just slightly sealthy design is over 30 years old (powerplants being about fifty) and is scheduled to be into production into it’s fifties in the odd chance the ChiComs or DNC (but I repeat myself) do not wipe us out before then.

    Right, but the propulsion is still state of the art, and frankly, I would take new-construction Spruance and Ticonderoga hulls over the Burkes.  While the Burkes are great ships, the value proposition works against them, unless you happen to be Litton-Ingalls or Bath.

    Fleet Commander Dahl wants  High-Low mix of deployables, and we are drowning in Burkes.  Where are my low-cost, long-range patrollers?  And if we don’t need them, then why do we send Burkes on drive-by missions, when their crews should be training or maintaining?

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  6. Haakon Dahl:
    Where are my low-cost, long-range patrollers?

    The real question is: “What are your low-cost, long-range patrollers?”

    What makes them low-cost?

    Are you taking away their air defense capability in a world where our adversary terrorist groups, let alone nation states, have anti-ship missiles and UCAVs?

    Are you taking away anti-submarine capability in a world where every enemy nation state has a Kilo or five?

    Are you going to take away the helicopters? Even small ships nowadays seem to need aviation facilities nearly equivalent to a Burke’s (e.g. one seahawk plus firehawks).

    Any functional ship will have a threshold number of crew.  Relative to an 8000 ton ship, 4000 ton ship does not need half a captain, XO, etc.

    Are you going to have a ship that costs 90% of a Burke but has 50% of the capability (or costs 70% of a real modern destroyer but has 25% of the capability)?

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  7. You guys are talking above my level of expertise. I know and understand airplanes and ground combat. I know next to nothing about naval warfare other than the history of the square riggers, those magnificent ships.

    I DO know, from a number of sources, that things like the F-35 is the biggest hoax put upon the defense industry. One would have thought that lesson had been learned with MacNamara’s TFX but nooooo. We have to build a real floozy. Notice that we have already exported the F-35 but no F-22’s or their technology! That’s a telling observation.

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  8. Ctlaw, you mentioned the answer yourself. What I want is a Frigate, and I don’t mean a re-branded LCS.

    This should be a separate post.

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  9. Haakon Dahl:
    Ctlaw, you mentioned the answer yourself. What I want is a Frigate, and I don’t mean a re-branded LCS.

    This should be a separate post.

    Then put up a post with your proposed frigate specs.

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