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New Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n rambling)
Pretty ambitious title, eh?

(And where did I pick that 'eh' up from? I'm not Canadian, more's the pity...)

I've been playing this little game called Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, written by Brian Reynolds. (Why is it called Sid Meier's when Brian Reynolds did all the work? Don't ask.)

It's a turn-based strategy game, in the vein of the Civilization series, set on Alpha Centauri. Seven factions vie to dominate the new world, via political, economic, or physical warfare. Or they can transcend the physical and become one with the planet itself.

This game has several "Social Ratings" to determine how a society performs in any given aspect, such as Efficiency, Economy, Police, Morale, Environment (called Planet), Probe (spying), and Research.

Efficiency indicates how much "energy" (being the currency of the game) is lost to inefficiency, generally through corruption. Most people assume government corruption, and this is reflected in the social settings of the game. And this got me thinking.

A while ago, I heard somebody argue that profit is essentially a form of corruption - of siphoning off value from a product that is produced by somebody else's labor. That owning the means of production is a way of guaranteeing that you can be supported without producing anything that the rest of society finds useful. And yes, I think the guy was a Marxist, but I'm not sure.

Now, the big talk today is about "getting the money out of the hands of the Government and back into the hands of the People." I am aware that government is corrupt - money (really energy-markers) is skimmed off of the productive work that is done, and is handed to people who have done no real productive work, for minimal returned value. Possibly the biggest example of the no real return would be the military (and yes, I can see you guys screaming bloody murder, but hold on a second) who's sole goal is to "project force" and to guarantee our rights to oil and our primary position on the world stage. Other than that, they produce nothing, and consume a large portion of our resources. Yes, there are other benefits to a military force (security, scientific research, subsidizing companies to do things that they normally couldn't do) but I would hazard a guess that we could probably knock a large chunk of our military off without significantly endangering our current position, based on our current military doctrine. (Note to self for later - why the hell do we keep such a large standing army if we're so goddamn afraid to let any of them get killed?)

Anyways, when it gets down to it, the stock market and ownership of static items perform the exact same function IMO as corruption in the government does. They attempt to maximize the difference between cost to manufacture and sale price, and then pocket the difference. For example:

My apartment complex is owned by some guy who owns a bunch of complexes. He has farmed out the management duties to some third party group, and basically sits around all day doing pretty much nothing, other than checking to see what hotel prices are in the French Riviera, unless he's actually going there, in which case he does. He is producing nothing of value himself, and is contributing nothing to society at large, other than the fact that under our laws, he "owns" the property that my wife and I live on.

There are tons of other examples - I am sure you could think them up. What I am really asking is how corruption in the Government - pork, backscratching, plush jobs - are any different than the eternal competition by those who own the means of production to skim as much cream as they can off the top at the expense of those who actually do the work.

Is that rambling enough?
New Re: Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n rambling
I heard somebody argue that profit is essentially a form of corruption - of siphoning off value from a product that is produced by somebody else's labor. That owning the means of production is a way of guaranteeing that you can be supported without producing anything that the rest of society finds useful.

I think you'd have to be pretty sure he is.

And that's a bad definition. The idea itself for a capitalist might be usable, but not with that bad of a definition.

For instance: you buy a hunk of wood. You whittle it into a whistle. You sell it to someone who wants it. Have you produced something? Sure. His definition doesn't address that, merely the owners who don't work.

But does that mean they don't contribute? Well, that's the capitalist system again. You want someone to give you money to start your whistle factory, and so you can buy more wood. So you find someone - but will they give it to you, just because? Not likely. So they get stock in the company, and a share in teh profits.

But they contributed - they gave you the money to get started, when you couldn't borrow enough. And so you tradeded with them.

Most of the Marxist I know tend to forget that electricity and industry and such are foreign to the human experience, and they presume that 'it just works'. I tend to liken them to many users I know who don't know how a computer works, but they are eager to tell me how to try and fix it.

I am aware that government is corrupt - money (really energy-markers) is skimmed off of the productive work that is done, and is handed to people who have done no real productive work, for minimal returned value.

Redistribution of wealth should have BP in here in a minute. :)

But that function of government isn't corrupt, IMO. It takes money to run a government, factory, or anything. If its small enough, sure, someone might cover it, but as things get bigger, it requires more and more.

And the returned value, that's where I think you're setting variables to fixed values when they're very variable. :)

Take the military.

What's their value?

Now, lets assume that the Canadian IWETHEYers are angry, and decide to get a army of Candians up and attack the US, to destroy the survellience camera factories. So as they ride in on their saddled Polar Bears, what's the value of the Army *Then*?

What would have been the value to France of a modern Army and Air Force in early 1940?

who's sole goal is to "project force" and to guarantee our rights to oil and our primary position on the world stage.

That's not their "sole role". That's where you're taking your opinion and assigning it to fact. :) Its currently their functional role, yes, but its not their sole role.

Other than that, they produce nothing, and consume a large portion of our resources.

Well, they are a method of redistributing the money. Take it from you, give it to a Private in Parris Island.. etc. Secondly, their value is relative to other things.

For instance, Taiwan exists largely due to the US military. Now, they don't *produce* anything, but what's the effect of that military protection of Taiwan? Japan and South Korea, too. Lots of production in technical things there - protected by the military dollar.

He is producing nothing of value himself, and is contributing nothing to society at large,

So the apartment you live in isn't a benefit?

Didn't he get the $$$ to put them up, doesn't he ensure the $$$ keeps coming in to keep them livable? Isn't that a benefit?

How are you at building shanties? :)

He is producing value. He has domiciles available, which is much faster than you having to buy land and put a house up, and doesn't require you to buy land yourself, in the event that you might not have enough money or worried you'll lose if you move, etc. etc.

That's value - and you trade that monthly for your pay.

Ramblings aren't bad, but you're trying to oversimplify. :)

Addison
New Re: Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n rambling
First off, I don't want this to be a flamewar - there are some things that sit in my head that just don't make sense, and I'm trying to reconcile them.

I heard somebody argue that profit is essentially a form of corruption - of siphoning off value from a product that is produced by somebody else's labor. That owning the means of production is a way of guaranteeing that you can be supported without producing anything that the rest of society finds useful.

I think you'd have to be pretty sure he is.


I assume you mean "He's a marxist." Also, corruption is the wrong word for this - inefficiency is what I really meant. Inefficiency is inevitable in any system that is not perfect.

For instance: you buy a hunk of wood. You whittle it into a whistle. You sell it to someone who wants it. Have you produced something? Sure. His definition doesn't address that, merely the owners who don't work.


Translation: Money is a symbolic representation of the value of a person's labor. We recieve money for our output (if it is valuable to somebody) and pay money for input that is valuable to us. This can be reversed if the output is not valuable to somebody, or if the input is not valuable to us.

But does that mean they don't contribute? Well, that's the capitalist system again. You want someone to give you money to start your whistle factory, and so you can buy more wood. So you find someone - but will they give it to you, just because? Not likely. So they get stock in the company, and a share in the profits.

But they contributed - they gave you the money to get started, when you couldn't borrow enough. And so you tradeded with them.


Or the woodcarver could go to the lumberjack, and arrange to recieve wood in exchange for a share of the profits from the whistleselling operation.

I am aware that government is corrupt - money (really energy-markers) is skimmed off of the productive work that is done, and is handed to people who have done no real productive work, for minimal returned value.


s/corrupt/inefficient

Redistribution of wealth should have BP in here in a minute. :)


But that function of government isn't corrupt, IMO. It takes money to run a government, factory, or anything. If its small enough, sure, someone might cover it, but as things get bigger, it requires more and more.


Yep. No argument there. I think the main thing was the semantics - corrupt is a loaded word. I was really talking about efficiency.

And the returned value, that's where I think you're setting variables to fixed values when they're very variable. :)

Take the military.


Please. ^_^

What's their value?

Now, lets assume that the Canadian IWETHEYers are angry, and decide to get a army of Candians up and attack the US, to destroy the survellience camera factories. So as they ride in on their saddled Polar Bears, what's the value of the Army *Then*?
(snip)
Well, they are a method of redistributing the money. Take it from you, give it to a Private in Parris Island.. etc. Secondly, their value is relative to other things.


But if the people who are standing with rifles were instead making wizbangs, or cleaning up ecologically damaged areas, or performing surgery, or teaching others how to do useful things, or...

There is an inherent amount of inefficiency in any given system. We have chosen to increase our security at the cost of some inefficiency - of which I am not attempting to judge the rightness or wrongness at this time. Just trying to understand.

For instance, Taiwan exists largely due to the US military. Now, they don't *produce* anything, but what's the effect of that military protection of Taiwan? Japan and South Korea, too. Lots of production in technical things there - protected by the military dollar.


No argument there.

He is producing nothing of value himself, and is contributing nothing to society at large,

So the apartment you live in isn't a benefit?


He didn't build it. He inherited the money from his parents, and used it to buy up real estate through a broker. Since the day he was born, he has not had to do anything. Everything is taken care of through proxies that actually handle his business affairs. (Please note that this is actually an overbroad composite - drawn for theoretical purposes now. I'm not actually upset - I'm just trying to understand.)

Didn't he get the $$$ to put them up, doesn't he ensure the $$$ keeps coming in to keep them livable? Isn't that a benefit?


I understand the maintinence angle, but the whole "ownership" thing seems suspicious to me. "Ownership" of a property that is not being used, but kept off the market to increase the value of the remaining properties of its type (CF high-efficiency carbeurators, SCSI hard drives, and probably a whole host of other things...) strike me as a horrible injustice. Of course, I'm also in favor of keeping wetlands from being developed to protect their untampered state, as well as the ecology as a whole, so I'm a bit of a hypocrite there...

In addition, this "owner" does nothing himself. He skims off the top of other people doing the work for him, existing solely by the labor of others. It's kind of like the King saying "you have permission to live, by my grace," when you are already breathing.

He is producing value. He has domiciles available, which is much faster than you having to buy land and put a house up, and doesn't require you to buy land yourself, in the event that you might not have enough money or worried you'll lose if you move, etc. etc.

That's value - and you trade that monthly for your pay.


Ah, I trade my pay monthly for somebody to initially build and then maintain the domicile I live in. But what if somebody is getting paid not to do that?

Ramblings aren't bad, but you're trying to oversimplify. :)


Yup. Just one giant derailed train of thought.
New One small point, which may be all you need
Or the woodcarver could go to the lumberjack, and arrange to recieve wood in exchange for a share of the profits from the whistleselling operation.

But I don't know an lumberjacks. Matter of fact, I'm fairly sure there aren't any near-enough by that I wouldn't spend more on transportation to find him than on the product. Unless I'm planning really high volume.

But you're talking barter here, then say "for a share of the profits." Well, now you're mixing barter with cash transaction. Two very different things. A huge part of the inefficiency comes from the fact that money is an abstraction used to approximate the value of goods and services. I know how to make websites, and a few companies really need that, so they pay me money. I take that money and get my car fixed.

But my neighbor is a mechanic. The guy across the street from us is a plumber. They've done work for each other in trade, and both felt they had gotten a good deal. The inefficiency of abstracting the value of their services into cash was eliminated. Had the plumber taken his car to the shop where the mechanic works, he would have paid much more. For what?

For the service the garage owner provides. He is there for the people who don't have a mechanic living across the street. Or who do things the mechanic doesn't need, like the computer work I do.

Sure, I could try to hold out until I find a mechanic who needs a web site, but I need the brakes fixed today. I pay the garage owner a fee for the convenience he provides of abstracting my need into a cash cost.
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New That is one of the puzzle pieces.
The reason I tried to change the word "corruption" to "inefficiency" was to remove the stigma. In any exchange of energy (which is what it is when you get down to it) there is some inefficiency no matter how you exchange your expenditure of personal energy. The question then becomes how much inefficiency can exist before the exchange of energy becomes worthless?

We have traded one form of inefficiency, the barter market, for another, the currency market. Now, to figure out what the next inefficient form of interchange will be, and try to link into that path...

Also, on the military side, I am not arguing for no military force at all - I am quite aware of what happened to the French.

"Why do the French have trees along both sides of their roads?"

"Because German soldiers like to march in the shade!"

I'd just like to see a little more efficiency applied to the armed forces... I mean, hell, why can't we use that %#!$ Harrier, instead of reinventing the wheel with that POS Osprey, which will probably kill more soldiers than the enemy ever will...
New Not sure how serious you are
I'd just like to see a little more efficiency applied to the armed forces... I mean, hell, why can't we use that %#!$ Harrier, instead of reinventing the wheel with that POS Osprey, which will probably kill more soldiers than the enemy ever will...

Well for one, the Harrier is a fighter/bomber. The Osprey is designed for transport. For another, the Osprey is on the leading edge of a new type of design, as different from existing models as helicopters are from fixed-wing. You have to expect problems with a new technology, but I doubt the complexity involved is any more insurmountable than the first helicopters seemed at the time.
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New Its not a bad pondering.
Not at all.

I think you're trying to oversimplify it too much, though. And in that oversimplification, you're tossing out quite needed justifications and reasons.

Sometimes, actually, quite often, inefficient is *good*. "Competition" implies that there are 2 (or more) systems that are redundant, thus wasting resources.

But when one of those resources is down, the other can step in. Hospitals, for instance, often have many empty beds, which is inefficient. But the alternative - lack of space in an emergency is enough of a criteria to make that the planning goal, rather than what is the statistical need.

That's part of the question that gets raised with your example of your apartment owner. He's got some inefficiencies (at least potentially) with what he owns, so he's got to cover for that with his rates to you. But again, the easy availablity is worth a certain amount to you.

The question then becomes how much inefficiency can exist before the exchange of energy becomes worthless?

And that's a valid question. I just think you're applying it to situations where it doesn't [apply].

Such as the owner. He's not "inefficient", (well, he might be personally, but for the case of this situation he's not considered that. :)) he's the one providing capital and services for you to purchase. If he outsources the care and maintanence, that might be "inefficient" to have a layer of management, but then again, it might not be. So you now hire apartment managers and maintenance people, or the managers get contracts... There's another layer involved now, and as a result, there's another possible problem area.

But on the other hand, there's also now more resources to working, and more that can be done.

I am not arguing for no military force at all - I am quite aware of what happened to the French.

But its a good example of something that by definition isn't used all that often, but you spend a lot of money on it. (well, can, anyway).

Its the sort of "spare capacity" question that lots of things have, hospitals, police, even banks..

I mean, hell, why can't we use that %#!$ Harrier, instead of reinventing the wheel with that POS Osprey, which will probably kill more soldiers than the enemy ever will...

I think Drew answered this one already, but I'll elaborate a tad, I think this is showing the oversimplification you're trying to reduce things to.

Not that I think you're wrong for doing it, I try to do the same thing a lot. :)

The Harrier's job and the Osprey's job aren't very similar. They have a overall similarity (use by the Marines), but one is a one person killing machine, and the other is a transport (when its not being a killing machine).

Its intended to replace the (very old) helicopters that the Marines are currently using.. Helicopters are very inefficient flying machines. They're very effiecient HOVERING machines, but not flying. So as a result, in the tradeoffs you make with power/fuel/range/speed/weight/armor/armament, speed is often very shortchanged. Which if you want to move people, in a hurry, is a detriment, of course... So the Marines want a vehicle that can fly
as fast as a plane (and on the fuel savings of a plane over a helicopter), but be able to drop down and deposit people and gear without having to have a prepared landing strip.

So they're very different machines - and you need both, since once can't do both jobs well. (But would be more efficient from some standpoints).

So I think the problem with classifying thing in terms of efficiency is hard, since efficency is really a ratio - and what you're comparing to get that ratio can change, based on differing inputs/viewpoints, etc.

Addison
New (something I forgot)
The developement of the Harrier was *filled* with problems.

It was "new tech" at the time, and had a lot of problems. Granted, this was sorted out mostly at the factory/early development. But not that greatly different (other than [the Osprey] being rushed into service) than the Osprey.

Show on TLC right now about it. First 2 years the Marines took delivery of Harriers there were no accidents - but the Marines were posting ONLY the best pilots to the Harriers (in Vietnam). When they started putting "regular" pilots in, they had 19 crashes in 8 years.

Just as a data point. :)

Addison
New Whoops.
Didn't know that bit of prior history. Every bit of tech should have it's teething problems, but it seems to me that perhaps the Osprey is being pushed a little too hard for it's level of development. If they had known problems, why were they hauling around 14+ soldiers? If it's weight they're simulating, dummies work quite well.

Test it a bit longer, get the kinks out, THEN go for it. IMO.

Actually, the potential for vector thrust vehicles is pretty damn cool - I just hope they get the kinks out.
New Its a military mindset.
And I can't say its a *wrong* mindset, because there's some data points that would back it up.

Problem is with the military, is they're (no pun intended) on the cutting edge.

Engineers and designers want to get all the bugs out, the military wants something that works, and they can deal with some minor problems.

This has a lot of downsides, too. But for instance, while the T-26 Pershing was being ironed out, M-4 Shermans were being blown to hell in France. The Army was screaming for the heavy tank that could deal with Panzers one on one.

When you look at current military equipment - B-52s that were built in the 1950s (currently I don't believe there are any crewmen on the 52 fleet who were born when their plane was made), fighters designed in the 60s and built in the 70s, nuclear attack submarines built in the 60s and upgrades that made them more capable than their replacement straight out of drydock..... The military knows that they'll have (whatever) for a Looooooong time. The 688 attack boats - they're nothing like they were when they were first launched.

The current helicopters in the Marine arsenal have been heavily outfitted, changed, reconfigured.

Given that that *will* happen, why try to get a "perfect" design (especially considering the real bugs won't come out until later, or its under fire). Look at the 747. One spark in a gas tank.... In one plane, hundreds fly daily with the same "flaw".

Now, look at the problems that new procurement takes. Political opposition. Opposition from other branches (The A-10, prior to its shining example in Desert Storm, was facing opposition from internal to the Air Force, since it wasn't fast and shiny and didn't kill planes, AND the Army, because, By God, its not the Air Force's job to kill tanks).

Especially when congresscritters looking for home town pork can kill a weapons system that you deems as crucial (the Marine helicopters, I just heard today from a ex-Green Beret coworker are only able to be loaded to 60% of their specified capacity, due to their age and problems)... its easier to fix the system in the field.

[link|http://us.imdb.com/Title?0144550|The Pentagon Wars] showed this pretty well (though they went over the top in lampooning the Army General expressing this viewpoint). Gimme the system. We'll get it worked out. But we need it, first. If we don't get the ball rolling, procurement going, orders and stuff going, it will be YEARS in the red tape.

It gets back to a sort of guessing/gambling game.. which probability is more likely? The Marines are sent in with old equipment/aren't able to send support to Marines that need it in time, and lose $DEAD + $WOUNDED, or that there will be $DEAD + $WOUNDED in getting the Osprey operational?

Test it a bit longer, get the kinks out, THEN go for it. IMO.

How much longer? How many more kinks?

Someone made the decision that it was "good enough", that most of the big kinks were worked out, and they should start the ball rolling. You and I may disagree with them, but they did weigh that.

And they also factored in the problems that the military had, initially with the F-14, the Harrier, the M-16, etc. etc..

But when you're sucking down millions a month in "testing" - how much is "enough"?

Another part of the problem is that when you're "testing" you're in known scenarios, you tend to test what you expect. Its only when you get out of that, that you find what you didn't expect - like the latest crash, where apparently the software just wasn't programmed for the pilot doing exactly the right thing... Would "testing" have covered that eventuality? (I don't know, I'm still a bit foggy on exactly the problem there, and I have to guess the sim's don't have that problem).

Like I've said, I now understand the Osprey program, at least far better than I did before, with the problems its had.

I'd suggest thinking like you're in charge of a bunch of Marines. You're looking ahead to having to deploy them in combat.. Your helicopters are old, have lots of maintenance problems, and are slow. The vehicle that you can get to replace the helicopters is coming online.

Essentially, how much risk do you want to assign to your men? And don't forget - you're in the Marines - where sending a force to stop an enemy, and taking casualities is all part of the job... which one will cause LESS, in the end?

I agree they're rushing it. But I can somewhat understand why. (The coverup of the problems is what pisses me off about it. The Marines tell their guys that the Corp is always looking out for them, and its a lie, they've been hung out to dry by the top brass many times).

Addison
New Details about the chopper loading and Osprey problems
Many of the choppers were built in the 60's. For a while there just were no spare parts. The CH-46 was restricted to a light load, as you said, because if anything broke it was out of service. They started cannibalizing one to keep another flying. Rotor hubs showed fine stress fractures on many/most of them. I believe a couple of years ago they did finally get authorization to make some more roter hubs and blades.

The problem with the Osprey, if I'm thinking about the same one as you, is related to the extreme diameter of the rotors and the aerodynamic effect of sharp turns while descending. Basically, the inboard rotor "stands still" while the plane executes a sharp turn around it, while the outboard rotor gains speed. With a single rotor there is no separation to induce the differential lift, and on the Harrier the thrust is not dependant on a horizontal rotation. The differential is not huge, but it's enough to increase the rate of roll -- a nasty feedback loop.
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New Osprey problems
The problem with the Osprey, if I'm thinking about the same one as you, is related to the extreme diameter of the rotors and the aerodynamic effect of sharp turns while descending. Basically, the inboard rotor "stands still" while the plane executes a sharp turn around it, while the outboard rotor gains speed. With a single rotor there is no separation to induce the differential lift, and on the Harrier the thrust is not dependant on a horizontal rotation. The differential is not huge, but it's enough to increase the rate of roll -- a nasty feedback loop.

There's more than one. :)

Part of the problem, according to what I read, is the "fly-by-wire" system. Apparently all of this stuff is (supposed to be) automated, so the pilots don't have to worry with it. (Side effect, they can't override/change it)

Add to that that the systems are multiply redundant (complicating the software, isolating bad systems and deciding which systems to use, etc.

The aerodynamics of the bird I don't think are *that bad*. The civvie version apparently isn't having the problems, or else their software's got the problems compensated for.

So I don't know about that particular problem, its entirely possible - with a piston airplane, turning 2300 RPM, there's a HUGE pull to the side when you are angled up (thus increasing the lift on the prop coming "down" to the relative wind, and decreasing it to the "up" side).. A turn like that might end up with some problems similar. (I'd have thought the length of the mass arm would prevent it from doing that much).

I'd also think the Chinook would have had similar problems, and had most of them sorted out.......

Addison
New Half right on A-10
"Now, look at the problems that new procurement takes. Political opposition. Opposition from other branches (The A-10, prior to its shining example in Desert Storm, was facing opposition from internal to the Air Force, since it wasn't fast and shiny and didn't kill planes, AND the Army, because, By God, its not the Air Force's job to kill tanks)."

The Air Force doesn't want them because their mission isn't to shoot down other planes, it's (horrors!) to kill things on the ground (icky, ptooey). The Army LOVES them. In fact, every time the Air Force tried to retire them, the Army said fine, give them to us; we'll field them. Oh, and also give us the budget for them.

Well, that goes completely against the rules of empire building. So, the Air Force keeps planes they HATE, and the Army keeps getting less than optimal ground support from the Air Force.

There's more involved (agreement or law? limiting Army fixed wing aircraft to 10000 pounds), but that's the gist.

Brian Bronson
New Yeah, that's part of the problem.
Course, I'm sure the TROOPS love the A-10, they don't care WHO shoots the other tanks.

Its the Brass behind the scenes that worries about this shit.

There's more involved (agreement or law? limiting Army fixed wing aircraft to 10000 pounds), but that's the gist.

Yeah, there's something about that, When the AAC split off to the Air Force, they had an agreement of some kind that the Army (to prevent them from building another AAC) wouldn't have the sort of planes that the AF had.

Which is why the Army wants SuperCopters (which is all theirs, and they can do whatever they like), rather than begging support from the Air Force.

Addison
New Re: Re: Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n ramb
Also, corruption is the wrong word for this - inefficiency is what I really meant. Inefficiency is inevitable in any system that is not perfect.

I'm not sure you're there yet. I'm not sure "inefficient" is that.

Or the woodcarver could go to the lumberjack, and arrange to recieve wood in exchange for a share of the profits from the whistleselling operation.

Well, yes, if that were mutually acceptable. Of course, don't forget the lumberjack doesn't process the wood, the lumbermill does.. etc. etc. etc.

But if the people who are standing with rifles were instead making wizbangs, or cleaning up ecologically damaged areas, or performing surgery, or teaching others how to do useful things, or...

Well, they do do some of those things. Surgery in particular.

But the problem is that you can't realistically have a modern (offensive) army by grabbing a rifle and marching into the field.

The French skimped on the Armies between 1919 and 1940. When the German Army crashed over the border.... they hadn't had time to prepare.

Now how do those "savings" account for the costs of the next few years?

Or was it a false savings? Pinching pennies and losing dollars.

We have chosen to increase our security at the cost of some inefficiency

That, and sometimes the cost is higher if you don't prepare. Its like, say, disaster recovery. How much does it cost to recover if you lose your data center? How much if you are prepared? Its possible you'll spend "more" to not have the downtime, more than it would cost to repurchase the whole data center, for instance - but then you have to factor in the cost of the time, and maybe you don't HAVE the money.

For example. Say you spend $100 a year to have a DR plan, somewhere. Your data center would cost $500 to totally replace.

So you have a disaster, and the DC is offline. So the $100 you spent now brings your DC back online.

If you only use it once every 10 years? Then you spend double the cost of replacing your whole DC... right? But if you don't *have* $500 available?

If the downtime in the meantime tanks the business?

Its insurance, the whole concept. Applies to the military, too.

He didn't build it. He inherited the money from his parents, and used it to buy up real estate through a broker. Since the day he was born, he has not had to do anything.

But he *did* do something. (and inheritance is really another tangent). He took his money, bought land, and used his money to build where you live.

That's STILL something. Otherwise, *you*'d have to do that. Right?

I understand the maintinence angle, but the whole "ownership" thing seems suspicious to me. "Ownership" of a property that is not being used, but kept off the market to increase the value of the remaining properties of its type

Did you have to build your domicile? Or were you able to move in with no/little delay to a ready-built place that's suitable?

(CF high-efficiency carbeurators, SCSI hard drives,

That's another issue. (And I don't believe in the concept of the "high-efficiency carb", unless you can show some *proof* of that. There are lots and lots of people working on engines and, if there were such a carb, it would be available... Its a common "over simplified" story, that there's a magical carb somewhere.. (its called fuel injection, really. :))

SCSI hard drives cost more because they're rarer. IDE is made in much bigger bulk, and the electionics on the SCSI interface cost more. Not as much as the differential, but then again, the market bears more for them.

Of course, I'm also in favor of keeping wetlands from being developed to protect their untampered state, as well as the ecology as a whole, so I'm a bit of a hypocrite there...

That's another issue... the whole issue of "wetlands". And trust me, there's a ton of misinformation out there. We won't go into it, but trust me, "wetland development" is a morass. :)

He skims off the top of other people doing the work for him, existing solely by the labor of others.

But he has, by providing the money. That's his contribution. Remember, because of his money, you didn't have to build a place to live, you didn't have to locate land, and get the permits and permissions and everything. You got a ready to live house - because of his money.

Ah, I trade my pay monthly for somebody to initially build and then maintain the domicile I live in. But what if somebody is getting paid not to do that?

Paid not to do that?

Addison
New Everyone But You
..is always "oversimplifying". Only the great Laurentian intellect can catch the sweep of existence in all its magnificent complexity. How thankful you must be.

But why can't you spell?
New Moral / legal
This is one of those arguments where you need to clearly seperate between the legal and the moral arguments. Profit is the legal money you gain for your efforts, and corruption is the illegal rewards you claim.

But this is independent of the moral arguments. The profits claimed by a large monopoly may or may not be legal, but they are always immoral (by my standards of morality). It's normally not a big sin, though it can be in cases where a company uses a monopoly to charge large sums of money for things necissary for life. There are also cases where you may have moral claim to profits but no legal claim.

Morally speaking, I see no problem with people profiting from their efforts and investments. But this profit must be proportional to the amount invested to be morally sound. However a open market isn't interested in the amount of effort put into something, only in the demand for the results. Thus some items are expensive because the supply is limited and the demand high, even though little real effort is was expended by the seller, while other items sell for a low price despite great effort expended in it's manufacture.

In theory, in an open market this would balance itself out as people would increase the manufacture of expensive items and stop selling cheap items. But the world is not an ideal place and economic theory is highly idealized. There are items that simply can not be produced by just anyone nor can the volume be increased freely. And conversly there there markets that are oversaturated but people continue to enter because that is what they want to do.

The end conclusion is that you can't look to capitalism to answer moral question. It doesn't answer the question of what is right and wrong, it answers the question of what is profitable. In an well balanced open market, this is a good thing usually because the goal of profitablity leads to great efficency, which leads to maximum overall benifts for everybody at minimal cost. But the real world is always less then an ideal free market, and people do have to make moral choices.

Jay
New cant resist
the Rani of Jansi in a ode to the English who were stripping her of her rights in 1840 India.
You english have only 1 efficient person to do the work of 15 of my babu's who are now starving, that isnt our way."
Now you want to see if as a society we could be more efficient in allocation of wealth. I am an expert at listening to hard rock, drinking cuba libres and having sex, not an exactly marketable skill. I am a great bartender, good short order cook and tolerable computer thingy person. Since the computer thingy pays best I do that.
Since I make I pay taxes and pay the equivelent of babu's to do government work. How many times have you heard the phrase thank G_d for government work otherwise these useless aholes would be on welfare.
Now as to your slumlord. Is his name Weiner? if it is he is well known in Anchorage also. His cash is on deposit in a bank not under his bed. If that is the case his wealth is being used to make housing loans to new couples, startup new businesses and pay bank employee's. His trips around the world is employing maids, hotel managers and no doubt shrinks. After he dies his money will go to even more useless people who will be unable to take a dump without a paid attendent to flush for them. The money doesnt die, it just gets shuffled in a different way. Think of the economy as a river that wanders here, there and empties into the gulf or ocean. Moisture is picked up andf it rains in the headwater. The danger is if we dam the money by not spending. This makes manufacturing orders go down, job cutbacks etc. The depression was a great deflation not inflation, people wouldnt buy which put people out of work, which made them unable to buy which, well you get the idea.
thanx,
bill
can I have my ones and zeros back?
New OT: Why is this marked as new?
The topic has a LRPD next to it, but nothing under it does. It doesn't show up as having been edited. Was there a post moved/removed under this topic?
This is my sig. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
     Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n rambling) - (inthane-chan) - (18)
         Re: Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n rambling - (addison) - (14)
             Re: Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n rambling - (inthane-chan) - (12)
                 One small point, which may be all you need - (drewk) - (10)
                     That is one of the puzzle pieces. - (inthane-chan) - (9)
                         Not sure how serious you are - (drewk)
                         Its not a bad pondering. - (addison)
                         (something I forgot) - (addison) - (6)
                             Whoops. - (inthane-chan) - (5)
                                 Its a military mindset. - (addison) - (4)
                                     Details about the chopper loading and Osprey problems - (drewk) - (1)
                                         Osprey problems - (addison)
                                     Half right on A-10 - (bbronson) - (1)
                                         Yeah, that's part of the problem. - (addison)
                 Re: Re: Efficiency, Profit, Pork, and Economy. (long 'n ramb - (addison)
             Everyone But You - (deSitter)
         Moral / legal - (JayMehaffey)
         cant resist - (boxley)
         OT: Why is this marked as new? - (drewk)

Where's web cam sex show Barbie?
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