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Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:53 am

Well, thanks for making my point guys ;)

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:16 am

daveklingler wrote:
ladajo wrote:Well, ahh, yes, the defense challenge aggregate has gotten worse since the cold war. Having a single predictable opponent was much cheaper and easier to manage than the current multiple smaller unpredictable asymetric ones. I would take the Soviets back over the current disaggregate mess.


You would be an absolute fool to do so.

ladajo wrote:There is no such thing as 'spoon feeding' funds to defense contractors anymore. It is a highly contested environment.


Unless that happened this morning when I wasn't looking, no, bidding for defense contracts hasn't changed one bit except that the number of bidders has hugely diminished in the past thirty years to just a few giant players.


Then you do not understand how defense planning works.

You apparently have also not heard of BAAs, nor recently counted the number of contractors and sub contractor servicing military aqusitions. The trend of late has been smal and agile companies that can turn things around quickly. There even is an entire new empire that has grown out of Rapid Capabilities.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:21 am

MSimon wrote:
Why, have your enemies become bigger or something?


Well no. We like to defeat them with as few casualties on our side as possible. And on the other side only killing the bad guys. Making a return to "normal life" easier.

Precision costs money.

You would rather we behaved like the Russians and carpet bombed everything we didn't like? I admit it might work better. If the bombed accepted defeat. If not it makes things worse.


Yes, the onset of the precision era was actaully Vietnam. And everyone finally got on the bus coming off Gulf I.

The other facet is that there are now many places to go precision, vice putting all the focus on essentially one. Fulda Gap was not a famous resort in Pakistan, Colombia, The Phillipines, some random place in Africa, Lebanon, Bosnia, etc, etc, etc...
Bi-polar was much easier to balance than this ever changing multi-pole environment that is currently fighting itself on ever changing axis.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:24 pm

Skipjack wrote:
Of course we spend more dollars now. We have more dollars to spend.
That is the point.

Why, have your enemies become bigger or something?
Actually, no, they have become smaller, more numerous, less civilized, but more able to play with deadly toys.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:57 pm

Actually, no, they have become smaller, more numerous, less civilized, but more able to play with deadly toys.

They also dont require nuclear weapons, cruise missiles and aircraft carriers to deal with, unlike the Russians.
I think that defense spending on the level of the 1980ies should be more than sufficient for today.
But as I said, for republicans defense spending is never wasteful. Also the numbers given for defense dont count all the hidden defense spendings like the multi billion pork rocket intended to feed money to certain defense contractors. And that one was without a competition, without anything. It is basically a multi billion dollar earmark. Dont tell me it is not so.

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:28 pm

They also dont require nuclear weapons, cruise missiles and aircraft carriers to deal with, unlike the Russians.


Those were easy to deal with. Well understood, and predictable.

I think that defense spending on the level of the 1980ies should be more than sufficient for today.


Just how much different do you think it is today in budget? Reagan was pushing for (and almost got) a 600 ship navy, star wars, and a number of other things.

But as I said, for republicans defense spending is never wasteful.


A bold broad statement. Also a poor argument point in its nature. You have done better.
In any event, I for one am very much against wasteful spending, and always have been. But I also know that quality costs. I also am a firm believer in the aquisition/engineering triad conundrum: "Speed/Cost/Quality, you can pick two."

Measuring spending against GDP is a fair way to assess taxpayer burden. And about 60% of tax revenues come from taxpaying citizens. The bottom line fact is that the tax burden for constituionally mandated common defense is at a decades low, and continues to decline. It is in fact around 2/3rds cold war, and on current trending, heading for half. Meanwhile, entitlement programs continue to ever grow.
The common defense (050 $) and of it DOD (051 $) make up about 19% of government money. Other discretionary $ makes up about another 20%. This leaves the other half to be entitlement and interest.
Defense is not the big target. It is the easy target, and standard political bargaining brinkmanship tool. Both sides of Congress think that if they threaten defense (and they both do), the other side will give in on entitlement positions, because neither wants to look weak to the public on defense.

You, my friend, have bought into the rhetoric without peeling the onion.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:37 pm

As I said, SLS. It is for me THE prime example of republican socialism to big defense contractors. I am not the only one with that opinion, btw. Several tea party politicians think the same way.
The whole SLS situation was quite an eye opener for me, btw and it continues to give. E.g. it is amazing how so called conservative congress men are trying to kill commercial crew to make SLS look necessary all the while feeding much more money to the Russians...
They are all the same, it just depends on what lobby you want to support.
Healthcare is at least useful to people I know.

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:55 am

Personally, I think affordable quality health care is useful to people I know.
Government handouts and regulation will never provide affordable quality health care. In fact, I think that it will only eventually degrade health care.

In any event, SLS is but one thing you keep returning to. It is not a big part of any budget. It is but one thing. A very smart woman, Dr. Cindy Williams (look her up), told me yesterday that folks should know that when they are getting upset over their $250 million dollar program, they should understand that in the overall budget, it does not matter. Do the math on how much money a congressman spends in budget $$ consideration per minute over the course of a congressional session. To help you do the math, realize that a vote period is 19 minutes.

As far as military cost, and consideration about, "the good old days" of the cold war. I maintain it was easier. Nowadays, and I quote a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (General Cartwright) whom I talked to today, "in our current environment, the other guy acquires 2lbs of explosive, that in turn translates to us needing 2,500lbs of armor (per vehicle). That is assymetric <and expensive>."

I agree that cost per system is steadily rising. I also agree that we need to seek ways to reverse that trend, and I think that leveraging technology and innovation is the way to do it. The defense contractors also get it. They know that it is not a sustainable model to source ever more expensive kit while the money pot is steady or dropping. The goal is defense of the nation, and everyone gets that buying 10 of the coolest bombers ever flown is not going to it. They really do know that we need to be able to field several hundred of the most relevant bombers ever flown for the same price as the 10.
That is what is being worked towards. That is what you do not see from your rhetoric based disconnected perch in Austria.

You complain that it is all pork and un-needed. You refuse to think that folks that actually deal with it for a living are trying to fix it, and even making progress here and there. You exist on heresay and media agenda propaganda.

Enjoy your opinion, american treasure and lives are spent to help ensure you get to have it. Now, run along and go hug a tree. Later, when the "Testosterone Belt" hoard of twenty somethings come swarming north out of the +/- 20 degrees latitude belt and destroy you, your tree, and your misguided way of life, because they are disaffected, angry, and have nothing better to do, do not call on America to save your ass (again, for the fourth or whatever time). You can call on your national health care system, I am sure they will make it all better.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:04 pm

Government handouts and regulation will never provide affordable quality health care. In fact, I think that it will only eventually degrade health care.

Not true. It works in other countries. Pretty much everybody else is paying less than the US does for healthcare. Many have equal quality healthcare and the systems are certainly much less complex and more consumer friendly. E.g. you can go to any hospital or clinic in the vicinity and dont have to pick one that has a contract with your health insurance company (with the exception of private sanatoria, which usually just provide more comfort, but often lack in medical equipment and staff compared to the public clinics).
The thing is that people in the US were already paying for social security anyway (and IMHO quite a lot for what they got). So it would have made sense to simply build on that and give you full health care support. You can still have private options for additional coverage beyond the medical necessity. This is how it is done here.
Government insurance covers everything to give you best possible medical care and I mean best possible. But you will have to share a hospital room and bathroom with other patients, food will not be a 4 star meal but the usual dull kind of stuff. You will live and you wont go broke due to bills, but you cdertainly wont enjoy your stay in the hospital.
The private insurance gives you a room on your own with TV and all sorts of luxury. You can also opt to stay at a private sanatorium, where you really get pampered all day (but important and dangerous stuff is still done in the public hospital). Private insurance also covers things like alternative treatments (like homeopathic medication, acupuncture and crap like that). There are some more benefits from private health insurance like extra stays at private rehabilitation centers for non life threatening illnesses. Public insurance pays for stays at public rehab centers after major events like heart attacks. These public rehab centers are not that nice though. But at least you do get something for the money you pay.
Now, dont get wrong, there are lots of issues with all this and there is abuse of the system. But if you are honest no matter what the system is, people will always try to abuse it, be it private or public.
Still, even everything factored in, we have very good outcome and pay a little more than half of what you are paying (measured on the GDP) for our health insurance. And dont forget that ours is an old and a grown system. If we could start from scratch, it could be made much better and much more efficient with the experiences that have been gathered over the past decades. In this regard the US has a huge opportunity to make it better than everybody else.

Roger
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Postby Roger » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:22 pm

ladajo wrote:I am not sure your numbers are right.


Just guessing, if one were take the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts off the books, otherwise I am not sure your numbers are right.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:52 pm

Roger,
I am not sure what you mean.
The numbers I am using are straight from CBO and include OCO. The 050 $$ is the primary account for National Defense. 051 $$ is specifically DOD. But either way, all the data is there to look at.

The problem is that some folks who are on agendas take selective portions of the budget and misrepresent it. A very common tactic is to speak only of discretionary funding and leave out mandatory. This is a popular skewing that the average person does not normally pick up on.
In simple terms it is when you hear someone saying that defense is half the spending. True in context (fine print), but very much false overall.

I was in a long discussion with Dr. Cindy Williams at MIT yesterday and she is very eloquent when it comes to framing out where we really are and why. She is arguably one of the smartest persons in the nation today in regards to the budget and especially defense spending.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:18 am

As I said, for republicans defense spending is never to high and never to wasteful...

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:40 am

I guess that makes you politically racist. Is that allowed in Austria?

On a serious note, I just saw in the news today that Mom & Pop Hitler lost their gravesite. To many folks trying to go and make it a worship site or something. Really sad.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

skippy
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Postby skippy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:52 am

Skipjack wrote:
Of course we spend more dollars now. We have more dollars to spend.
That is the point.

Why, have your enemies become bigger or something?


More importantly have our citizens become bigger? As ladajo correctly points out were are spending far more on non-discretionary entitlement programs whether in inflation-adjusted, absolute, or % of GDP terms than we are on defense spending. Of course no amount of entitlement spending is too big for a European, is it?
The US is on a merry path to becoming a full blown crash impending social welfare state that just like all the ones where you are, is OUT OF MONEY.

As I said, seeing how certain large defense contractors are spoon fed government money without fair market competition but rather via very socialist principles, I think that it is fair to say that republicans are just as good at socialism as the democrats are. They just are less obvious about it.
Note, I am not saying that things here in Europe are any better...


Clearly the democrats are far better at socialism than the republicans as measured by the relative sizes of the entitlement budgets versus the defense budget, so no, it's not fair to say otherwise.

skippy
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Postby skippy » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:26 am

Skipjack wrote:
Government handouts and regulation will never provide affordable quality health care. In fact, I think that it will only eventually degrade health care.

Not true. It works in other countries. Pretty much everybody else is paying less than the US does for healthcare. Many have equal quality healthcare and the systems are certainly much less complex and more consumer friendly. E.g. you can go to any hospital or clinic in the vicinity and dont have to pick one that has a contract with your health insurance company (with the exception of private sanatoria, which usually just provide more comfort, but often lack in medical equipment and staff compared to the public clinics).


That's a loaded statement. There are a variety of reasons that the US spends more on healthcare than other industrialized countries. Our legal system is one reason. Throttling of physician training, i.e. scarcity of supply, is another. Subsidizing medical technology for the rest of the world, e.g. Europe, by actually having a free market for pharmaceuticals and not price controls contributes to costs. Care to lift those controls and stop being a free rider? Cheaper food leading to higher rates of diabetes and heart disease is yet another. Futile yet generous care at end-of-life as opposed to an arguably more rational yet crueler standard in Europe. Shorter waiting times for diagnostic procedures, treatments, and minor surgeries as a result of a larger capital investment is yet another contributor. There are a host of reasons for the differences but the second to the last I provided is much of it. That's the dirty little secret that the single-payers don't want you to hear.


The thing is that people in the US were already paying for social security anyway (and IMHO quite a lot for what they got). So it would have made sense to simply build on that and give you full health care support. You can still have private options for additional coverage beyond the medical necessity. This is how it is done here.


You're right. Social Security is a fiscal disaster but Medicare/Medicaid are fiscal armageddon. But who decides medical necessity? Americans would not be and are not satisfied with a bureaucrat deciding the level of medical care to which they are entitled. Europeans are.

Government insurance covers everything to give you best possible medical care and I mean best possible.


That is your opinion but the fact is that for many diseases the US does lead the world in life expectancy and is more generous to a fault than European nations. Remove "equity" --a euphemism for single payer best as I can tell-- and I am confident that the level of care provided in the US is the best in the world and generous to a fault beyond European standards.

Still, even everything factored in, we have very good outcome and pay a little more than half of what you are paying (measured on the GDP) for our health insurance. And dont forget that ours is an old and a grown system. If we could start from scratch, it could be made much better and much more efficient with the experiences that have been gathered over the past decades. In this regard the US has a huge opportunity to make it better than everybody else.


I thought you didn't like measuring government spending in terms of GDP? I think we can safely assume that you're paying more for healthcare even in inflation adjusted terms than you were 3 decades ago. By your criticism of defense spending isn't that bad? I've addressed a good chunk of the separation in costs between the two systems. I do think that the European-style systems are probably closer to the optimal solution than the US system, but there are trade-offs, and I am convinced that neither system is fundamentally "correct."


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