The comment wasn't directed at you, but the person who decided that we
needed guns instead of butter. The "Guns and Butter" curve is based on the
fact that there is limited productivity. You can produce guns OR butter.
When one product goes up, the other goes down unless you can increase
productivity. This illustrates the concept of "opportunity loss." In other
words, when you decide to go to war, you experience an opportunity loss to
produce (or afford) things like infrastructure and consumer goods.
AH HA@!!! I knew you weren't directing the statement towards me, but I
always enjoy learning what I don't know. by the way, I wrote a rant (not
aimed at you, either) last night in regards to someone's response about the
news "coverage" and decided not to post it......I read it this morning, it
wasn't bad, but I could sure tell I got caught up in my emotions, again.
Now if only the ex-daughter in law would just call and sarcastically tell me
"we're alright" and hang up, I'd feel better. I don't care if they have a
house to go back to or if everything is lost as long as they're all
alright..........apparently the people who live down there have this
nonchalant attitude that "it's not as bad as you think, we'll rebuild and
everything will be fine". I got this from my son who has talked to two of
his best friends who are fine, but have sustained tremendous damage to their
homes. One is in TOTAL denial because he manages and trouble shoots Wendy's
restaurants near Slidelle and doesn't realize that Slidelle is
GONE........................it's just not there, but he thinks he'll be back
to work "in a week"...........sigh.........thanks for enlightening me
someone on this thread asked why other countries weren't helping us or
offering aid. As of yesterday, the UN and 31 countries had offered aid. In
many cases, there is no one in the US "organized" enough to figure out how
to utilize the aid being offered. And of course, our brilliant man at the
UN, John Bolton, is probably too busy telling the offering countries to fuck
off to figure out how to take advantage of help from them.
How about this. We are refusing help:
"Jamaica was among the nations offering what help they could. But the
Kingston embassy, while stating its appreciation for the support, politely
declined the offers, saying in a statement: "The United States Government is
not yet requesting international assistance at this time."
"On tonight's news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from
Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system
called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing
by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were
contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help.
Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and
personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. So, everything here is grounded.
Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush
tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not
allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the
Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.Canadian agencies are
saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and
Mississippi because of "mass confusion" at the U.S. federal level in the
wake of the storm."
Which is why traditional war was initially good for the economy. It can
result in unemployed workers finding employment creating supplies for the
war. However over the last half century, our military has stockpiled most of
what they need ahead of time, so new jobs don't materialize as they did in
the past. (Our economy also isn't based as much on manufacturing, either.)
You also don't get the big production shift from consumer goods to war goods
even if the war continues. For example, when WWII there had been lots of
money made by working class people. For the first time in history, some
families had dual incomes. The women were working not because they needed
money. They were working because there was a labor shortage. But consumer
goods were either not manufacturered, or repurposed for the war effort, so
there wasn't anything to spend money on. That money was available to spend
after the war, and kept the economy humming for a few years.
Also, today, war is funded by taxes. Taxes that drain money from disposable
income. Taxes that aren't used as pooled money to buy things to fuel the
economy (such as roads). (The "guns and butter" curve does apply to Federal
spending.) All that extra income that couldn't be spent during WWII was put
into savings: Specifically war bonds that funded the war instead of direct
taxes. So instead of draining money from the economy like the current war,
WWII took advantage of disposable income that couldn't be spent.
So the current war didn't give us the initial boost in productivity. It
isn't providing additional disposable income to families. And it's draining
money from the economy in the form of direct taxes, rather than using
borrowed bond money.
So the "guns and butter" curve is actually only kicking in for the Federal
government. Disaster relief will further drain money from the pot the
Federal government has to spend, which will mean either less "butter" for
us, or higher taxes to raise the productivity of the Federal government. But
"guns and butter" doesn't apply to our economy directly as it did in the
past. We didn't see an initial boost in employment. We're not seeing
families gaining disposable income. And there won't be a big pool of money
that had been loaned to the government available to spend when the war is
And now the huge amount of tax dollars that will be needed for disaster
relief will mean further money drained from the economy. There won't be as
much money for roads elsewhere. There won't be as much money for education.
There won't be as much money available for anything that relies on Federal
funding. And while there will be a lot of new jobs created to rebuild, those
new jobs are counter-balanced by all the jobs lost in the region. And the
money earned on those new jobs won't be going into the national economy.
It'll be funneled back into the regional economy for the rebuilding effort.
Funding a war and rebuilding the Gulf Coast at the same time is going to
cost us big time. Gas prices over $3 are just the beginning. At some point
we may find ourselves with a hard choice: Discontinue funding for either the
war or disaster relief, or allow the national economy to collapse. (Any bets
on what the current administration doesn't want to stop funding regardless
of the cost?) And that's when the "guns and butter" curve will kick in big
time. It no longer will just be something affecting the spending of Federal
tax dollars. It will affect our entire economy. Once that happens, "guns and
butter" will be very real to all of us.
In article email@example.com says...
Not that this has anything to do with gardening nor do I disagree with
your overall statement except that the current war is not currently
draining money from the economy in the form of direct taxes. Not one
person in the US has paid a single dime to support the current war. All
the money is being borrowed which may or may not be paid by future
generations. Ironically, one of the main purchasers of US debt is China
so, in effect, China is funding the Iraq war, a war I don't think
they're too happy about BTW.
As for Katrina relief, no worry. The feds still have plenty of
borrowing power left. What's another $100 billion on top of over $7
trillion? Why not make that debt $10 trillion. Eat, drink, and be
merry for tomorrow we shall die!
Your point is well taken. I was thinking primarily about the federal
government's ability to fund infrastructure. Ironically, this
administration CUT money for the levee project in New Orleans. The Army
Corp of Engineers said the money was cut because of the war, thus the "Guns
or Butter" analogy. I think that all in-county issues aside (like
insurgents and training of new terrorists), the war has made us less safe
because we can't invest in infrastructure and disaster planning. We heard
about dirty bombs and biological weapons for months last year during the
campaign. However, when the shit hit the fan, apparently we haven't a clue
about how to respond to a catastrophe. Today I almost spit when I heard the
president tell Diane Sawyer that no one could have predicted the failure of
The attitude is we can afford to assist our own. In the aftermath of the
tsunami, many of the effected areas were not near airports with runways
large enough to accommodate transport aircraft, and those that were, did not
have the equipment necessary to unload and distribute relief supplies.
That is why the marines and navy were deployed into those areas. Any city in
America has sufficient roads and an army of forklift operators, truck
drivers and near an airport capable of landing a transport airplane, so we
don't really need to park an aircraft carrier to act as a mobile airport and
air traffic controller. Every sheriff's department and fire department in
the country has a trained Search and Rescue (SAR) team, so we don't need SAR
teams from Europe
The problem is, if we weren't at war, the national guard from every
neighboring state would have been activated to assist with security, clean
up and search/rescue. The problem is of course, all the equipment, and
guardsmen are busy searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The first story is about the Iowa national guard sending 6 guardsmen and
some generators to a hospital, they should be sending way more then that.
The attitude is we can afford to assist our own. In the aftermath of the
understood, didja see those pictures of I-10 and the causeway? I also
watched CBS the other night when they decided on short notice to take "the
backroads of 190" and pointed out that major roads were bad enough, but for
rural back road communities, a 200 year old oak tree across the only road
was more devistating than anyone who doesn't understand this can comprehend.
I lived in an area where if the train was running, you sat until it passed.
Nevermind that the only grocery store was on the other side....you had to
wait. I can well imagine if the backroads to this disaster haven't even
been thought about....................little things lift my thoughts
though......like that Turkish man in front of his little Po-boy and
convenient store who was saying he was staying open to feed anyone who
needed food, that he could cook over a pit.............that speaks of the
core of what america used to be and possibly is still.
I like to hope that in the face of more disasters that would affect MORE of
the country, we'd come together and tell the rest of the world to take care
of their own...........how I wish our son's and daughters were home taking
care of their own business in their own part of their country. I can't
imagine how the people who are FROM the area's hit hard are dealing with the
fact that their homes, possibly their families are gone for
good.........will the military let them come home to seek out their families
and assess the damages, or will they just have to find out when information
good point. and you gave me a ponder to think about..............
oh yes, and didn't you hear? there were NO
MDI's.........................................I feel that if shrub really
wanted Iraq for the oil, why doesn't he just come out and SAY it, we have
the troops, we have the equipment, just take the country, take the oil and
sort out the terrorists from the rest of the folks who just wanna live in
peace, set up shop and build a few refinaries since the EPA isn't gonna slow
things down over there.....................and no, I didn't vote for the
bastage.........................................................boy does the
Bayou boys song take credence here right now.........(no pun intended)
(Creedence Clearwater Revival) Bad Moon rising...........
just makes me tired. and how sad, shrub had to break off his vacation
early.......enough of this, I'm going outside to watch the frogs that live
in my BBQ pit fountain, and the hummingbirds who are oblivious of nothing
else but my late summer buffet, and pick a few ripe figs and thank the gods
for a sunny day, heat, and humidity all.
As an aside to the storm, I am absolutely over-run with hummingbirds. I had
lots of hummingbird attractant flowers in my yard, and the storm knocked all
the blooms off. I had taken down the feeders, so the wind wouldn't get
them. The evening of the storm, I had cooked over a campstove, was sitting
outside eating and oh my gosh, got bombed by a hummer. I immediately put
down my dinner and filled up and re-hung the feeders. The little darlings
must have put out the word because it is hummingbird heaven. A bright spot
in all this mess.
southwest of New Orleans
better put out more feeders Perry, I'm sure the winds stripped off all their
blossoms east of you. And it's quite awhile before they make their trek to
Mexico for winter...........I have hummer's here too. More than I normally
see. My blue Salvia (Blue Egnima that gets 5-6 foot tall) and 4 o'clocks,
Cleome, Phlox and trumpet vine are really getting hit hard with the large
population of hummers right now. They actually run off the butterflies that
are out in force! It's funny to see a hummer running a butterfly!
interesting that some not so friendly countries, such as Venezuela,
Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, have offered help. I could not find
mention of help from the UK or Italy, both current allies in Iraq.
that IS interesting.....................and considering Venezuela has reason
to want to feed Pat Robertson some of their hottest and spiciest food right
now with a tall, chilled glass of Mexico's finest water, I'm encouraged that
they don't judge all of us by one
Are you basing this on our wonderful media non-coverage of the "news?" If
it doesn't involve a missing drunk white girl or a runaway bride, you aren't
going to hear about it. Foreign coverage of the news is out of the question
when you have to have several segments on lip gloss and or how to pick a
good plastic surgeon. I've been watching the news coverage of this disaster
and it is pathetic. No one is asking any tough questions. Most of the
"reporters" couldn't find their ass in the dark with a flashlight.
I think I take back what I said, it appears we do need the assistance of
other nations. Given that the world knew about the magnitude of this
hurricane atleast 4 days before the hurricane hit the new orleans area, they
had plenty of time to mobilize a recovery effort.
USN Comfort set sail 4 days after it hit landfall because it took them 4
days to get the crew and supplies onboard. Various navy ships including an
aircraft carrier have been sent to the region, again deployed after
landfall. They're not projected to arrive until the 2nd or 3rd week of
September. A bulk of the national guard from around the country is being
deployed 3-4 days after it was obvious the national guard was needed to
maintain order, and assist in the rebuild/rescue efforts. A better planned
system would have had the rescue crews enroute and scheduled to arrive a
day or two after it hit landfall.
What really makes wonder is that FEMA is part of the department of homeland
security. If this is the best that the DHS can do, after 4 years of issuing
all kinds of threat notices, color alerts and other lunacy, what will happen
when some terrorist manages to launch another surprise attack?
I suppose the sacrifice of lives, property and land was worth it, because
the world is safer from terrorists, cheaper oil and unmarried gay people.
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