Monday, September 6, 2010

SAR #10249

SAR 10249

Our problem is that the Koch brothers do not think they have enough money.

Veto:  BP has vetoed the drilling reform bill that passed the House earlier this year, explaining that if they were not allowed to drill in the Gulf, there would be no money for bribing politicians making reparation payments.

Cat/Bag:  As Christina Romer stepped down as chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers she acknowledged that she had no idea how bad the economic collapse would be, doesn't understand what went wrong and that the stimulus response to the collapse was inadequate.  This'll look good on her resumé.

Plotline:  In the cold waters off the Scottish coast, a Russian attack submarine lies in wait to track a Trident sub as it departs the Faslane navel base...  Cold War novel or news report from yesterday?

Clarification:  Let's try this one more time.  There is only so much oil and we've used up most of it.  While the US gets by by importing from Canada and Mexico, eventually we'll have to import it from outer space and that's not going to work real well.  If we still are dependent on oil when that day arrives, things like eating will become problematic.

Table Manners:  It is clear we overreacted to 9/11. Al Qaeda got lucky that one time, but has not been a serious threat since – if it was then.  Yes, they intended (and still intend) to do us great harm.  But stuffing firecrackers in your crotch is not going to bring down the empire. We over-reacted.  We almost always over-react.  It entertains the voters, increases the defense budget, and makes us feel important.

Clarification, Please:  We we are warned that “among the future consequences of not fixing our national problems will likely be an increase in social unrest and an increase in crime.”   Please define “national problems”.

Big Wheel Keeps on Turnin'   Morgan Stanley says that sovereign defaults are something between plausible and inevitable.  The question is not whether countries will renege on their promises, but rather which of their promises they will renege on first.

Take-Home Test:  How much of a cut in our living standards are we willing to undergo in order to cut emissions enough to make our survival likely?

Essay Question:  What harm would befall the United States if we actually decided, against all odds, to close the 800 or so military bases we have scattered around the world?  Whose army can invade us?  Who has the Air Force to attack us?  Who has the Navy to bring the fight to our shores?  Who are we scared of?


fajensen said...

Who are we scared of?

The US presently have about 1.4 Million active service personnel and probably (at least) twice that number in contractors, a total of 4.2 million people with some form of military training.

Now imagine that 80% of those are made redundant and move back home to be welcomed by a dead job market and a government that only cares about banks and oil.

What would they do?

Perhaps many would go where their skills are in demand, into organized crime or as "security" for rich people that for some reason need private armies. Many of them might join the Hells Angels, the mob started by Vietnam Veterans. Officers might still get jobs overseeing military storage facilities where all the surplus equipment will be stored for decades. Like the Russians, they will find ways to steal the equipment and sell it in the market.

In Denmark and Sweden we have already seen spectacular robberies carried out by soldiers returning from Bosnia.

They got the mob connections from Bosnia so they can easily get weapons and launder money. They know how to plan and execute an operation - even involving helicopters. They are bored silly with normal life and decent jobs are hard to get; why not go for it, they think?

I.O.W: You are afraid of your own armies turning against you!

Anonymous said...

Hey CK, thanks for the writeup.

On overseas military bases... I think the reason we have them is because they act like like an ATM machine, keeping dollars in circulation in the hinterlands.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

RE: Christina Romer.

CKM, you fell hook, line, and sinker for some awful reporting by the Washington Post. Shame on you.


If link does not work see:
"Why We Would All Be Better Off If the Washington Post Shut Down Today: Another Example"
DeLong September 2, 2010

CKMichaelson said...

Ah, but the basic truthiness of it...

And fajensen is awarded the day's Orloff prize.

OSR said...

Table Manners: I'm glad that I'm not the only one who noticed that how "lucky" Al Qaeda got on 9/11.