Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on the Defense Cuts in the Debt Deal

This week’s debt deal is the equivalent of administering a vitamin pill to a patient who is in need of radical surgery, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in her latest column at The Daily. The GOP's claim that it wangled $2.4 trillion in spending cuts for a $2.4 trillion-increase in the debt ceiling is a total lie. "That’s because the debt ceiling applies over two years and the spending cuts over 10. This means that by 2013, Washington’s spendocrats will have reached the new limit and will be back for more.”

But if there is a silver lining to this sham deal, it is that the fiscal hawks in the GOP have opened defense spending up for discussion for the first time post-9-11:

“Neocons had managed the remarkable political feat of reversing America’s post-Vietnam antipathy towards war, creating a presumption in favor of military engagement…They made the idea of America playing global cop intellectually respectable again.”

But their open-ended defense agenda is no longer fiscally sustainable and the debt deal begins to confront that.

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  • ||

    How much does our bases in Korea and Japan and Europe cost us?

  • ||

    I can't find the citation right away, but I'm sure I've read that outside of Iraq and Afghanistan our foreign bases cost ~$100 billion. I think the wars add another $300-$600 billion, depending on whom you ask.

    Personally, I think that if we kept our dick in our pants we could have a robust military for under $300 billion.

  • Restoras||

    I used to be someone who would go toe-to-toe against you on this; the last 10 years has cured me of that malady.

  • MNG||

    "I used to be someone who would go toe-to-toe against you on this; the last 10 years has cured me of that malady"

    Makes you wonder what else you'll change your mind on in the next ten years...

  • Au H20||

    He's waiting till gay marriage is legal to convert, MNG.

  • ||

    Well, if you're waiting on him to get confused enough to agree with you.....

  • sevo||

    "Personally, I think that if we kept our dick in our pants we could have a robust military for under $300 billion."

    Eisenhower was the first and probably the last president to try to get the Euros to pay for their own defense.
    It might be less if anyone ever could.

  • Restoras||

    Make it clear to them that if the Russkies or the Germans get frisky again, their on their own. Emphasize the point by bringing all those troops back home.

  • sevo||

    "Make it clear to them that if the Russkies or the Germans get frisky again, their on their own. Emphasize the point by bringing all those troops back home."

    Naah.
    Bring 'em home and let Sarkozy write a 'strongly worded letter' when the bear decides that Finland looks better spelled in Cyrillic.

  • Kolohe||

    Finland actually does a decent job of keeping the Russians out on its own.

  • Warty||

    Finland's national heroes are guys who killed hundreds of Russians. They'll be fine.

    Coincidentally, my favorite war rifle is my Finnish M39. Such a beautiful old gun.

  • ||

    Finland's national heroes are guys who killed hundreds of Russians.

    Like Simo "White Death" Hayha.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Finns are indeed atypically resourceful and tough for some reason.

  • R||

    Winter War stats

    Strength

    Finland:

    337,000–346,500 men
    32 tanks
    114 aircraft

    Russia:
    425,640–760,578 men
    998,100 men (overall)
    2,514–6,541 tanks
    3,880 aircraft

    Casualties

    Finland:

    25,904 dead or missing, 43,557 wounded, 1,000 captured, 957 civilians in air raids, 20–30 tanks, 62 aircraft

    70,000 total casualties

    Russia:

    126,875 dead or missing, 188,671 wounded, injured or burned, 5,572 captured, 3,543 tanks, 261–515 aircraft

    323,000 total casualties

    Somehow, I doubt Russia wants to stick its hand back into that meat grinder any time soon.

  • sevo||

    "Somehow, I doubt Russia wants to stick its hand back into that meat grinder any time soon."

    You're either kidding or cherry picking. Doesn't matter; not a single Euro country pays for its own defense.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Somehow, I doubt Russia wants to stick its hand back into that meat grinder any time soon.

    Russia typically doesn't give a shit how many men it loses. Their army had casualties several orders of magnitude above the US in WW2, and as bravely as the Fins fought during the Winter War, the Russians still managed to grind them down.

    Beating Russia in the modern era has always depended on undermining the governing authority, not killing more of their troops.

  • ||

    Who lost territory when the war was over? Who spent the last 60 years kissing Russian ass?

    The Fins are now pussies just like the rest of Europe.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    "Our" foreign bases aren't too much money compared to the 100s of useless/redundant bases in the US, increase our ability to project force, and are less politicized than our home bases. We have wholesale closed down a whole slew of foreign bases in the past, and I'm pretty sure that it would be easy to do so in the future. I'm much more annoyed by the bases we have at home that are maintained at the insistence of Representative Blowhard from Military District A than I am at our foreign bases, to be honest.

  • sevo||

    ""Our" foreign bases aren't too much money compared to the 100s of useless/redundant bases in the US, increase our ability to project force,..."

    And why would 'project[ing] force' be of any value?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    You don't have to like what's been done with our tremendous logistical and force projection capabilities in in order to realize that they are assets in the context of war-making, even of the defensive variety. All else being equal, an Air Force or Navy that has the capability of bringing more force to bear against a hypothetically bellicose adversary is better than one that cannot apply such pressure.

    That doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't close down military bases abroad; merely that the bases here at home are much more frustrating and taxing on the body politic than the ones abroad, and often offer less bang for buck.

  • ||

    So for every foreign base I choose for closure, you can choose one domestic base. Fair?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Oh, there are bases that we can and should cut abroad -- there's no doubt of that. My point above was just that the focus on our "foreign bases" is completely backwards, when so many domestic bases are so much more worthless.

  • sevo||

    "All else being equal, an Air Force or Navy that has the capability of bringing more force to bear against a hypothetically bellicose adversary is better than one that cannot apply such pressure."
    So?

  • Dylboz||

    It's more like intentionally administering a placebo to a 4th stage cancer victim. It's worse than useless, it's deliberately cruel.

  • Au H20||

    So... I've been reading Daily Kos again. I have a problem, I will seek help soon.

    But... why the fuck do they want tariffs back, in a shitty economy? Did schools stop teaching Smoot-Hawley or something?

  • Restoras||

    They beleive it will bring jobs that corporashunz! shipped overseas back to the US.

    What they don't realize is that no one wants to pay 5x-10x more for thier stuff. I wonder what an iPhone (that those liberal hipsterz luvz so much!) would cost if it were made in the USA.

    BTW- I pulled the 5x-10x out of my arse, though I do know that a Barbie doll made in the US would cost $100 at retail, instead of $20 when made in China.

  • Bingo||

    There is nothing inherently liberal about any Apple products. Apple is one of the greatest American success stories of the last decade.

  • Au H20||

    God, though, apple fans are insufferable.

  • Restoras||

    I agree with this; just sayin' is all.

  • ||

    Apple is one of the greatest American success stories of the last decade.

    What is the story?

    After getting its ass kicked for 20 years it finally made a product that people actually wanted.

    I would not call it an American story...more like the most unfathomable story ever.

    What company ever has reinvented themselves and actually succeeded at it?

  • BMW||

    Me?

  • ||

    IBM

  • Almanian||

    Nokia (back in the day - they kind of died again). Every B-school's Exhibit A on "reinvention", Harley Davidson. Lamborghini (tractors, anyone?). LG (formerly chemicals, now electronics of all sorts).

    Those off the top of my head - I know I'm forgetting some others...

  • MNG||

    "though I do know that a Barbie doll made in the US would cost $100 at retail"

    Yes, because back in the era of tariffs and big unions no one could afford Barbie dolls.

    I mean, c'mon man, look at what you just wrote.

    Me'thinks there will be quite a bit in that comment you will look back on in ten years and disavow...

  • Restoras||

    I'm not saying that no one had Barbie dolls before production was shifted to China - maybe they had one or two instead of 20. The point is, unit labor costs are significanlty lower in China than here, and if you are making labor intensive, easily commoditized products, you go where the labor costs are cheapet. It's that simple.

  • MNG||

    Does this economic wonderland of China engage in tariffs itself?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The People's Republic is hardly a model worthy of emulation. Restoras is right*

    *If we assume a general tariff, rather than a China-directed one: though costs would go up in the event of a China-specific tariff, it is likely that they wouldn't go up to that extreme, given that much of this production would shift over to other Third-World countries.

  • MNG||

    But wait, this tariff loving nation is the one that is handing us our ass and seems to have the right idea on these matters according to Restoras et al.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    "Handing us our asses" in the minds of dumbasses, maybe. In terms of actual economic performance, it's pretty lousy considering that China is a nation with 5-7 times our population. It's nice that China finally decided that having a few more almost-Hong Kongs on its shores wasn't a bad idea, but that's a far cry from saying that they're "handing us our ass" on anything of importance.

  • ||

    Handing us our asses in the sense that the land ownership is so dysfunctional that farmers can't survive on the amount of land they have, can't increase the size of their farms by purchasing more land, and can't sell or mortgage their land to raise money to start a business. So, they have to move hundreds or thousands of miles to work for shit wages at mind-numbingly boring jobs in factories in over-crowded, polluted factory towns. I like China, I spend a lot of time there. My products are made at these factories, and I owe my living to this system, but there's not much about China that we should emulate.

  • sevo||

    "Does this economic wonderland of China engage in tariffs itself?"

    Would anyone think the question or the answer is anything other than "stuff"?

  • ||

    Here you go:

    The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, with their clothes hand-stitched by Japanese homeworkers. Around 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold during the first year of production.

    The adjusted for inflation price of an original barbie was ~$23, they now sell for about the same. So we've outsourced their manufacture to different places to keep the cost relatively the same. But only the original prototype barbies were made here...stolen off of a German design.

    I don't believe there were any tariffs with Japan at this time. Indeed, after the war there was a concerted effort to establish trade to combat communism.
    --------------------

    Fuck you guys for making me look all this stuff up, I now have a bunch of useless doll knowledge.

  • MNG||

    "The adjusted for inflation price of an original barbie was ~$23, they now sell for about the same. So we've outsourced their manufacture to different places to keep the cost relatively the same."

    Oh look, the narrative crumbles.

    Who'da thunk it?

  • ||

    You're right, it shows that with free trade and outsourcing Americans get the cheap products they want.

  • MNG||

    This idea that in the era of big unions and evil tariffs that we ran around unable to afford any consumer goods crumbles. It was actually known as an explosion of consumerism.

    But they don't teach that at Beck U, so some here can be forgiven for not knowing...

  • ||

    So are you arguing that post-war big unions and tariffs are a myth, or that they don't affect the price of consumer goods?

  • ||

    So are you arguing that post-war big unions and tariffs are a myth, or that they don't affect the price of consumer goods?

    I think he is arguing that Glen Beck is wrong about something...he would tell you what it was but it is a secret.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Yes, you could move Barbie production to the US and sell the dolls for only a little more. If Mattel played their cards right and built just the right factories, hired the best management and labor possible, they could even reduce the price some. But if they did that, it would mean throwing resources that they could have been using to make dozens of new products and improving the ones they have at a product that was doing just fine over in China. And this is a pretty optimistic projection, because I'm assuming that the Chinese workers and factories really can be replaced by American workers. Right now, the Chinese have a pretty great manufacturing infrastructure and a probably at least as many great manufacturing brains as we do. There's a good possibility that that couldn't be reproduced stateside, at least not in the immediate future.

    And we're just talking about a Barbie factory. The more products you move to the States, the more the price goes up for the limited resources of equipment, plants, and skilled manufacturing labor and management. The first product would be comparatively cheap. By the time you've moved a few billion worth of industry over, all the low hanging fruit will be gone. It won't stay cheap.

  • sevo||

    "This idea that in the era of big unions and evil tariffs that we ran around unable to afford any consumer goods crumbles. It was actually known as an explosion of consumerism."

    How many strawmen can you get in one post?

  • Mr Whipple||

    Comparative advantage. What is it?

  • Mr Whipple||

    For the economic illiterates:

    http://www.econlib.org/library.....ntage.html

  • ||

    Yes, because back in the era of tariffs and big unions no one could afford Barbie dolls.

    Back in the day Barbie was relatively expensive....getting your daughter a barbie for Christmas would be relative today in terms of price as getting your daughter an Xbox or a cheap laptop.

    If Barbies were anywhere near that price today there would be no barbie....people would not buy them.

    Of course this brings up the point...if the parts for computers and other electronics were not made world wide they would not exist either....and we would all be poorer.

    Law of Comparative Advantage Bitches!!!

  • MNG||

    "getting your daughter a barbie for Christmas would be relative today in terms of price as getting your daughter an Xbox or a cheap laptop."

    Citation needed.

  • ||

    What citation?

    If I got a transformer (a boy barbie) in the early 80s as my major present it was awesome.

    If the main gift you give a kid for Christmas is not a $200 to 300$ piece of computing hardware you are a shit parent.

  • shit dad||

    Also some families are putting a greater share of household incomes into Christmas presents these days than in the 80s. Not mine.

  • ||

    I thought minge's assertions seemed dubious so I looked up the original Barbie price and entered it into an inflation calculator. I got a retail price of ~$23. But, it doesn't matter anyways, because we outsourced the manufacture and no tariffs were in place.

  • LK||

    They beleive it will bring jobs that corporashunz! shipped overseas back to the US.

    Higher tariffs would bring some jobs back the US.

    A modern automated factory doesn't require a lot of jobbers, not enough to make a constituency to form a strong union. That might be one reason why raising tariffs is not pushed too hard by Dems.

  • SIV||

    UNIONS! Manufacturing!

    It's all nostalgia.

    They think tariffs will lead to those $50+ an hour "free" Cadillac health care union manufacturing jobs with gobs of OT for upper-middle class blue collar Democrat voters.

  • Restoras||

    Yes, what I beleive they fail to realize is that the rise of those jobs was made possible by the fact that we bombed and shelled the industrial capacity of all our future competitors into a pile of rubble between 1942 and 1945. When you have no real competition, at least for awhile, you can make crappy products, charge a shitload for them, and afford Cadillac health care and absurdly generous pensions for your labor force.

    Nice of us, though, to build up our enemies, granted to stem the threat of advancing communism, and once that was gone, well crap why wouldn't you set up manufacturing in China?

  • MNG||

    Doesn't your comment deconstruct itself? I mean, as you mention we were spending enormous amounts building up our enemies (and allies) and containing communism, and yet we were still the economic powerhouse...

  • Restoras||

    Well it took decades for the Japanese to become effective competitors - not until the late 70's-early 80's. Same for the Germans. Both of those economic powerhouses saturated their local markets before turning to the US, I beleive. It was primarily the loss of all that car-making share that has ruined the union and their (too) highly paid jobs - I beleive that at its peak the auto industry accounted for something like 1 in 5 of all US, or at least all US manufacturing, jobs.

  • MNG||

    And Japan and Germany didn't have anthing like industrial policy or unions involved in their car industries...

  • Au H20||

    You clearly missed the Michael Keaton movie where he explains that US and Japanese unions are much different.

  • MNG||

    Oh, they have the GOOD unions...

  • Au H20||

    No, they have company wide unions, where everyone from the CEO on down is part of the union.

    To quote Wikipedia:

    "The relationship between the typical labor union and the company is unusually close. Both white- and blue-collar workers join the union automatically in most major companies. Temporary and subcontracting workers are excluded, and managers with the rank of section manager and above are considered part of management. In most corporations, however, many of the managerial staff are former union members. In general, Japanese unions are sensitive to the economic health of the company, and company management usually brief the union membership on the state of corporate affairs."

    Also, way to be a humorless prick. I was hoping for a list of Michael Keaton movies, starting with Beetlejuice.

  • MNG||

    You mentioned two nations, didn't you?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....in_Germany

  • Restoras||

    Well, we know that they don't pay their union workers half as much as ours - at least those that still have jobs.

  • MNG||

    Do you know that? Citation needed.

  • Restoras||

    You can Google it, just like I did. I'd like to know what logical explanation you have for the loss of all those gold-plated manufacturing jobs.

  • MNG||

    If you googled it, then supply the link you found.

  • Person with a sense of human||

    Pacific Heights?

  • MNG||

    My fav of his is Game 6. Not many people have seen it, but a fine film.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    MNG, you're on a very thin reed when you stump for tariffs. Industrial policy has been one of the most medieval practices of modern governments, and is one area in economics where all major philosophical camps broadly agree on its futility. There is no correlation (much less causation) between a state's industrial policy and the success of its industries, none at all. There is no logical reason to pre-suppose that tariffs do an economy any good, and a whole lot of reason to believe that they do harm (starting with Ricardian comparative advantage and ending with recent work in experimental economics confirming such principles).

  • MNG||

    Did Japan and Germany not engage in vigorous industrial policies during their economic post-war rise? And is not China doing the same?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    So what? Are Stephen Hawking and Helen Keller not cripples? Their successes in life are no more evidence in favor of voluntarily maiming oneself than Japan and Germany's successes are of the effects of tariffs. It is more instructive to look at the overall trend: let's not be prone to selection bias, and let's include countries like Brazil and India in this analysis, both being countries that were at one point considered to have ideal conditions for ISI. In virtually all cases, it has been an absolute failure: only after the country in question opened its markets has it attained prosperity and influence.

    Both Germany and Japan were giants before their tariffs; in the case of Japan, industrial policy only started after the Japanese auto companies in question already showed some successes. Attributing later successes of an industry that had already proven success prior to tariffs on said tariffs is a dubious proposition, at best. Again, there's no evidence or logical case to support your claims; the best your side ever had was the infant industry argument -- and there's no way that such an argument could possibly apply to an economy as developed as the US.

  • sevo||

    MNG|8.4.11 @ 9:42PM|#
    "Did Japan and Germany not engage in vigorous industrial policies during their economic post-war rise? And is not China doing the same?"

    Yes, and how stupid are you?

  • Au H20||

    The thing is that the Marshall Plan wasn't launched until '47. Britain didn't end rationing until the mid-50s. Oh, and Europe was going socialist in many places in the 40s and the 50s.

    I mean, the US began to lose its edge in the 60s, just as Europe was finished being rebuilt, and really started to lose it in the 70s, when places like China and India began to kick socialism/ communism to the curb.

  • MNG||

    "really started to lose it in the 70s, when places like China and India began to kick socialism/ communism to the curb"

    China was in the Cultural Revolution during most of the 1970's. Yeah, that is kicking communism to the curb!

  • Au H20||

    Cultural revolution ends in 1974. But it is troll free Thursday, and I must resist the sockpuppet.

  • MNG||

    The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution (Chinese: 文化大革命), was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution

  • ||

    The Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was established in May 1980. I think it's fair to consider that the beginning of China's retreat from Communism.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd bet Krugman wanks off to the good ol' days when China was full-bore communist...

  • MNG||

    "why wouldn't you set up manufacturing in China?"

    Hilariously China is an actual Communist (as opposed to Tea Party rhetorical 'communist') nation and yet you admit it is a better place for business.

    I thought communism killed jobs, not attracted them?

  • Restoras||

    Workers Paradise - Lots o' Jobs? I think the Chinese saw the writing on the wall in the 80's and "pivoted hard", to borrow a coin of phrase, on jobs.

  • MNG||

    Again, rhetorical 'communism'=job killer; actual communism=job attractor.

    Good to know.

  • Restoras||

    What's rhetorical about it.

  • MNG||

    It's laughable rhetoric. We hear the charge of communism from you guys everytime the government does anything you don't like, but any sane non-ideologue has to acknowledge that compared to an ACTUAL communist nation we are miles apart (compare our Freedom House rating to China's). When two nations so far apart in policy are lumped into the same category it shows how empty that category is for you...

  • ||

    MNG, that assumes that China is desirable because they are communist, not in spite of their communism. There are multiple factors in an economic evaluation like this, but you should already know that.

  • ||

    Well, communism in China created a huge supply of dirt farmers starving to death on plots too small to support them. This provides us with an enormous pool of motivated workers at a pretty low salary. And, the govt pretty much lets the factory owners (yes, they own the factories and equipment - just not the land) do whatever they please. So I'd say in that sense we are there because of communism. But I'm not sure I'd say China is truly communist since the "people" don't own the factors of production.

  • ||

    I don't know who these "you guys" are, but I think you are having some difficulty separating Marx-style communism from generalized collectivism.

  • Mr Whipple||

    "How China Won and Russia Lost"

    http://www.hoover.org/publicat.....ticle/5469

  • Au H20||

    Okay, so I'm guessing this is an MNG sockpuppet, because even MNG is smart enough to know that China is more authoritarian, maybe fascist, than communist.

  • Restoras||

    Not sure...I wonder if he/she is testing the waters of Troll Free Thursday?

  • MNG||

    All land in China is owned by the government.

    http://www.freedomhouse.org/te.....&year=2011

  • Restoras||

    I think we have our answer.

  • Au H20||

    Yeah, sock puppet.

  • MNG||

    Is a sock puppet what you guys call someone handing your butt to you these days?

    China is an officially communist nation. It's rated one of the most unfree nations in the world.

  • Restoras||

    China may officially be a communist country, but there is very little that is communist about its economic structure. You do know that communism is an economically driven form of government, right?

  • MNG||

    So wait, even though China is by all self-accounts communist and is rated by outside analysis as one of the least free nations in the world, it's actually an economic wonderland?

  • Almanian||

    Mung - or troll-o-Mung - PLEASE stop being willfully stupid and obtuse.

    Oh, wait, that's what you do...

    So wait, even though China is by all self-accounts communist and is rated by outside analysis as one of the least free nations in the world, it's actually an economic wonderland?

    No, dumbass - but it DOES provide extremely cheap labor, and is one of the fastest-growing markets in the WORLD. That's why my company is growing there - factories in China to make stuff for the Chinese market.

    We don't use the cheap labor to export so much - others do.

    But you knew this, didn't you? It's not about "economic wonderland" - it's about "massive, growing market now and in the future", and "cheap labor" (for a little while longer).

    So stop being a dick for just a little while, if you can.

  • MNG||

    "China is more authoritarian, maybe fascist, than communist"

    Wait, I thought the line on the Right these days equated all three?

  • A dose of reality||

    mng is never this belligerent -- its a sock pullet

  • Restoras||

    Much more like Tony. Fortunately, I am out of troll fodder for the evening.

  • Bingo||

    NOTE TO MORONS: IT'S THURSDAY

  • SIV||

    But it is the real MNG. You can tell because he is "playing" stupid and declaring victory.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    To answer a question intended more to bait than to educate, fascism was envisioned as a response of sorts to socialism (particularly of the Marxist variety). While it sought many of the same ends as Marxism, and had little use for classical liberalism, it was created by syndicalists, former socialists and other members of the left disenchanted with 1) the idea of unending, Manichean class warfare, and 2) the notion that the nation-state was a defunct concept in the face of class unity. The idea behind fascism in the 20s and early 30s was that it was through class unity and national solidarity, rather than class warfare and eschewing of nationalism, that the proletariat could be redeemed. (This is what ultimately allowed for the fascists to gain a niche within traditional bourgeois voting blocs, btw.)

    Throughout the 20s and 30s, there was plenty of (mostly hostile) idea exchange between the two ideologies which saw themselves as the harbringers of a top-down, bureaucratic age for the proletariat. In essence, both swam in the same philosophical streams and competed for the same voting blocks, though fascism in the inter-war period was more successful at attaining governing majorities in democratic societies. It's worth looking into the history of fascism, starting with the Manifesto of the Fascist Struggle (written in 1919), and looking at the political figures who greatly influenced, and who were a part of, both the socialist and fascist movements in the inter-war period.

  • cynical||

    So, basically just a war between competing sects of the church of State.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Um... no one claimed that China is "a better place for business" but you. Comparative advantage does not require absolute advantages, and in fact virtually no portion of the Chinese economy has absolute advantages over its developed counterparts. What it does have is tons of cheap labor: something which the CCP's policies were not intended to create (though clearly, one the many logical and sundry ends of totalitarian communism).

  • sevo||

    "Hilariously China is an actual Communist (as opposed to Tea Party rhetorical 'communist') nation and yet you admit it is a better place for business."

    Hilariously, you only got a couple of strawmen in there.

  • cynical||

    China has pretty much transitioned to fascism at this point, I think. As socialism tends to do.

  • MNG||

    SMOOT-HAWLEY!

  • Au H20||

    It's better when Jeb Bartlett says it.

  • Economics Teacher||

    In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. "Voodoo" economics.

  • cynical||

    Progressives understand economics like fundamentalist Christians understand paleontology and geology. I.e., it's not that they can't, it's that they don't want to.

  • MNG||

    Yeah, you're an expert on economics.

    Sheesh.

  • A dose of reality||

    your economics generally fucking suck terribly. you're also a liberal dipshit without a justifiable moral compass.

    yeah, these pragmatist libertarian shitheads are a pretty huge disappointment to me too, but in your case, you're certainly one to talk -- look in the mirror once in a while will you?

  • MNG||

    "look in the mirror once in a while will you"

    I tend to look in the mirror when I bang your mom.

  • Number 9||

    I'm sure that's quite a turn-on.

  • ||

    That's not even a good sock-puppet.

  • ||

    As opposed to?????

  • Mr Whipple||

    "We cannot have a politically democratic society
    without economic democracy!"

    http://cpe.us.com/

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    So... I've been reading Daily Kos again. I have a problem, I will seek help soon.

    No shit, fella. Between Kos, DU, Gawker, and the Jezbians, I'm surprised you haven't taken up cutting as a hobby.

  • Au H20||

    Dude, even I'm not dumb enough to cruise DU. I did troll it once, in my younger and more reckless days.

    I do, however, do Slate, Jezebel, Gawker (just added and may need to be dropped), and Feministing. When I am a drooling idiot who needs a mental ward, I hope donations from the Reasonoids will support me. I DID IT FOR THE MORNING LINKS, DAMNIT!!!

  •  ||

    You really should get a job.

  • John Stossel||

    Our military is expensive.

  • ||

    OT: Islamic Punk Rock becomes reality
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/musi.....taqwacores

  • Au H20||

    Ugh. So I just tried reading the Gawker comments on the Matt Damon video.

    Did you know that each teacher is a precious snow flake who we should pay a gazillion dollars to and fellate regularly?

    Jesus christ. I can deal with Jezebel, Huffington Post, Daily Kos... but Gakwer, your stupid has bested me.

  • Matt Damon||

    Hey, you might be a shitty human being, I don't know!

  • Matt Damon's mom||

    That's right, sweetie, dig into the fucking tea-bagger! God fucking damn it, do I fucking love these fucking UNIONS THAT BE PUMPING MAH PAY! YEEHAW!

  • MNG||

    Wasn't his mother a college professor?

    Jesus, you guys can't even get your adolescent assholery right!

  • MNG||

    At a private college, no less.

  • ||

    So, having at one time worked in the private sector means you can't be a progressive shithead?

    Holy fucking shit, if only that were true!

  • MNG||

    It simply shows how stupid is the asshole "unions pumping up my pay" comment is. I doubt the professors at Lesley Univeristy owe much of their salaries to vigorous union activity...

    But hey, why let such facts stop a simplistic, juvenile, simplistic two minute hate?

  • Citation Needed||

    I doubt the professors at Lesley Univeristy owe much of their salaries to vigorous union activity...

    As you're so fond of saying...why let facts stop a simplistic, juvenile, simplistic debate when you can just guess?

  •  ||

    You really should get a life.

  • Matt Damon||

    The intrinsically intrinsic paternalism of the paternalistic paternal paternalists emphasizes the intrinsically paternalistic way of thinking.

    The paternalistically tiny intrinsic size of MNG's dick and his intrinsically inexcusably inexcusable retardedly retarded rhetoric concerning concerns concerning unions and economically economic economic regulatory regulations is a wonderfully wonderful indicator of infantile infantility of the progressive's progressively progressive retardation.

    Well, that's what a stinkingly stinking tea party conservative neo-Confederate fascist murdering racist sloped forhead would sayingly say!

  • MATT DAMON||

    I haven't the foggiest what we're talking about, but I'm sure that someone isn't get getting payed enough.

  • ||

    You left out a "paternal" you fucking moron!

  • PantsFan||

    Bring on QE3: 3D

  • ||

    Here's the 2D preview:

    8===============================D

  • ||

    There is something to be said for foreign bases. One thing the United States has enjoyed in its wars - whether choice or compulsion however you see it - is the wars are 'over there.'

    When I think of the United States strategically, I see a metaphor of a giant pushing against two walls trying to crush him. So long as he doesn't bend his arms, he's invulnerable to the walls. Foreign bases are critical to that, and we could maintain our posture with half the bases we have. Like take Korea. We've got ~20,000 guys there as a political tripwire - but the ROK definitely can defeat the North without us doing anything.

    And another deal is carriers. The more I look at the world's developments and weaponry - of real countries like China - those carriers are just big fat floating targets. And they are expensive to operate and maintain to say the least. Lifetime costs over thirty years - especially if you count the aircraft and human-capital creation for the crews - are well in excess of $100 billion. And all they are is political toys. Idiots like Obama can bomb any spot on earth with those vehicles, which has nothing to do with defense.

    And when you look at what really won WWII and defined naval competition - between real navies anyways - since is submarines. In total tonnage subs sank so much more than all other ships combined in WWII its not even funny. Nothing controls the sea or denies it to the enemy - the very essence of strategic defense for a country geographically configured like the USA - as good as submarine warfare. To control the ocean is to be under its waves...not flying the Last Starfighter off a pile of explosives wrapped around a nuclear reactor. We're asking for just total fucking disaster with those floating radioactive ronson-lighters if we get in a real naval scrum.

  • ||

    I will agree - to a point - with your premise on carriers. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for the rest of the world, no one at this point in time has a navy that could even consider an honest to Zod scrum with us. And that includes China.

  • ||

    Absolutely. The Chinese are not a sea monster whatsoever. But things can change quickly over say, ten years. And you look at some of the weapons that are now being fielded by second-raters (I'm thinking BRAHMOS specifically) on cheap ships it doesn't bode well.

    Fortunately for us regarding the Chinese, they seem to be making goofy moves. They're all fascinated with carriers now it seems. To the detriment of more effective assets given their situation (like really good submarines).

    I hope they build some carriers, more SSN chum if it comes down to it, and every yuan plowed into those shiny toys is one less in figuring out how to build and fight good fast-attacks.

  • ||

    China's biggest naval problem is strategic. Check out a map. They are virtually surrounded by island nations and archipelagos when they look seaward.

    A multitude of choke-points where the USN could harass them, and drive them back to port, even if they had a strong navy. It's one reason why they want Taiwan back so badly.

    They have to figure out some way to build naval bases that point to open sea. But that means either conquest (which we ain't going to let happen) or making alliances with someone, and basically every country that could help them with their problem hates, or at least fears them.

    Japan and Korea sure aren't going to help them. Even if North Korea would get on board, that doesn't get them past Japan. Vietnam is more leery of them yet.

    Taiwan are our allies, and will remain so as long as we rattle a saber at China once in awhile. (You notice there was another "incident" just the other day in the Taiwan Strait between the Chinese and one of our U-2's?)

    That leaves the Philippines and Indonesia. As long as we stay on their good side, China is hosed.

  • ||

    Again, you're right on. Taiwan is the fulcrum that 'wall' moves on, given it splits the big archipelagos in two.

    It also makes Chinese fascination with carriers all the sillier. The naval power that they can project is all well within combat radii of land-based aircraft from their coast.

    In that mold, one foreign base that would be handy for US strategic posture over there that is gone is old Subic Bay. It'd be much better to still have that base than guys playing cards in Korea.

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