Monday, February 25, 2013

High Tech-Pulleys, Fuel Efficiency, Economic Invention; The Uncertainty of Ideas

It seems like a silly idea at first, like something a 19th century car designer or Mike Trogg of cave man days might have imagined: increase the power and fuel efficiency of a car by reducing the workload on the wheels with several turns of car length composite-fiber pulleys before connecting to half-axles that turn the wheels. One might have expected Lance Armstrong to invent recumbent sit down trikes with unfair pulleys to beat the competition yet never the U.S. Postal Service struggling with rain, snow, sleet, hail and perennial deficits.
 Basic physical principles are simple to build up and easy to take down with folly. Does gravity convert mass to energy for warping space simultaneously creating black holes and also accelerating Universal expansion? Does the presence of mass in a Higgs field base when increased affect the shape of the field creating the effect of warping spacetime as proportional perhaps clogging smaller dimensional ties? Aren't black holes empty at the singularity having converted all the mass input mass into warped spacetime energy?
 Inventions and contemplative thought may be synthetic sides of the same process emerging into idea. The economy too is a concatenation of applications of myriad forms of capitalism selected for actualizations and sometimes evolved as an inertial compilation for good or bad. Dictators and kings may have capital and the slaves none. Liberalism at its heart is the denial of the right of anyone to coerce any other to do or be anything. The rectification of names such as north and south magnetic poles, male and female reproductive apparatus meaning particular ideas rather than anything at all, that is discriminating by not giving east the meaning of south or naming a bear an ant, is an essential attribute o the use of words in a coherent description of truth. With words and objects being reciprocally referenced by association it is valuable to keep language meaningful. North and south magnetic poles attract, males and females reproduce and that is socially recognized in marriage, inventiveness and economic construction occurs in a real global ecosphere with the health of each reinforced and conformed through intelligent analytical comprehension instead of explicit, incidental evolutionarily determined sprawl. One may have faith that God will direct one toward the most excellent developments as if the economy too evolved naturally, yet God's purposes are somewhat mysterious and economic determinism seems as uncertain as evolutionary determinism in a given theory of capitalism.
 There was a time in the distant past when people believed killing sea otters and placing a bounty on them would improve shellfish quantity. It turned out that sea otters eat echinoderms that eat shellfish and kelp too, at the roots. A lot of sea lives including some fish start their life in salt-water kelp. When the kelp is gone so are the fish. Thus those sea otters were the defenders of saltwater fisheries and shellfish before maladaptive human interventionist predation. If there are good ways to reduce loss of biodiversity and increase transportation efficiency that can be found it's always a good time to apply them.
 Unemployment should be triaged to create incentives to hire those jobless longest first. Social benefits from eliminating pockets of long-term unemployed would be significant while the process would be merciful and probably productive by introducing micro-capital to sectors of poverty running on empty. Some of those people might think outside the fossil fuel box a little more often than most and that could be productive.          

Federal Debt 1991 and 2013; Digging a Deeper Hole

I wrote a letter on U.S. national debt in December of 1991 to The All Alaska Weekly-a now defunct newspaper. In that letter I reviewed the historical development of public debt. Following are three paragraphs from that letter and a 2013 review of the financial circumstance of the public debt crisis and what is needed to resolve it.

December 13, 1991 All Alaska Weekly
National Debt

To the editor; The Republican Party at the national level, as holders of the Presidential post, have increased the national debt from $900 billion in 1980 to $3 trillion in 1992. For comparative purposes, the U.S. had virtually no debt of permanence until World War II.
 It took from 1940 to 1980 just to reach $900 billion.
 The gross national product is about $5 trillion. Reagan nearly doubled the gross national product of America, but also nearly tripled the national debt. That is deficit-financed growth. Another interesting fact is that since the Korean War, the U.S. national debt has never been reduced. If a politician says he will get rid of the debt, it would be an historical anomaly to do it.

2013-What is Needed to Pay off $17 Trillion of U.S. Public Debt
The federal budget should be brought into balance directly with cuts without raising taxes. There is plenty of room for those cuts using creative efficiency increases including the Department of Defense so services may remain at preset levels. Then federal taxation should be raised enough to bring in a $500 billon surplus directly applied to paying down principle on the federal debt of $17 trillion. That is, $500 million dollars should be taken from the U.S. federal budget and given to pay down the principle on the public debt. Taxation should be increased enough on the middle class and rich to bring in $500 million dollars annually so the federal budget can remain the same after the initial, one-time balancing budget cuts and reformulations.

The U.S. economic health is a different item than the federal debt and budget of the U.S. Government. The state of the economy is not fundamentally reformable by either tax policy or monetary policy. Instead the U.S. economy is a result of empirical economic factors multi-nationally and the demographics of global labor, supply, demand and allocation of capital.
 With the post cold war global economic changes bringing Chinese investment to the Panama Canal and Mexico, illegal alien migration to the U.S.A., foreign investments in China as minority shareholders and internationalization of U.S. public debt there is less direct relationship between American capitalists and American workers than formerly. When the economy is down in the U.S.A. investors may take profits abroad. As 50 million Americans are on food stamps and more than 12 million Americans are unemployed Wall Street has recovered generally and investors have taken record profits. The middle class too has increasingly taken the side of the haves versus American have-nots while wealth has become concentrated. One percent of Americans own about 50% of the wealth of the nation.

Federal economic remedies would include incentives for hiring those longest out of work first, reduction of taxes for building small, energy efficient homes and incentives for hiring workers over age 55 that do not draw social security. Transformation of the U.S.A. to a full-employment, public debt free nation with an effective, comprehensive public welfare safety net concurrent with a robust ecologically rational economic recovery would require intelligent political leadership and the will to act. I suppose it is the political equivalence of the pay 'Waiting for Godot'.