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You Only Die Once

November 3rd, 2013 - 6:31 pm

In 1984 Charles Perrow wrote a book called Normal Accidents, which describes the phenomenon that we commonly call “accidents waiting to happen”.

“Normal” accidents, or system accidents, are so-called by Perrow because such accidents are inevitable in extremely complex systems. Given the characteristic of the system involved, multiple failures which interact with each other will occur, despite efforts to avoid them.

In it he argued that some things are just so complex that eventually something will go wrong with them. One example is us.  Something eventually goes wrong with our biologies and we expire. Normal accidents may be  rare (‘It is normal for us to die, but we only do it once.’), but the system’s characteristics make it inherently vulnerable to such accidents, hence their description as “normal.”

For that reason nature often relies on ‘loosely coupled’ systems. Humanity consists of separate individuals, not a single collective like the Borg, so that the death of the one is not necessarily the death of all.

In Perrow’s analysis, the systems most vulnerable to “normal failure” have two salient characteristics. They are “tightly coupled” and “interactively complex”. These are precisely the kinds of centralized structures which bureaucracies love to construct.

A tightly coupled system is like a house of cards. If you move one card all the others must be adjusted to suit. “Strong coupling occurs when a dependent class contains a pointer directly to a concrete class which provides the required behavior. The dependency cannot be substituted, or its ‘signature’ changed, without requiring a change to the dependent class.”

The opposite of “tight coupling” is “loose coupling” which occurs “when the dependent class contains a pointer only to an interface, which can then be implemented by one or many concrete classes.” Loosely coupled components have ways of working things out between themselves, but they are not directly dependent on each other.

One of the changes that Obamacare has made to 1/6th of the American economy is to take a relatively loosely coupled system and tightly couple it.

40 Days of Night

A Normal Accident in Progress

Part of the reason why implementing the system is so hard is that the entire thing must sync. One part of it cannot be in conflict or out of step with the others. That takes some doing and is easy to get wrong.

But Obamacare is itself part of a much larger and even more complicated system of Federal Government entitlements. Thus there are problems outside the Obamacare system that impinge on it from without, like an asteroid crashing down on it from outer space. You never see it coming, but it hits you just the same.

This creates a paradoxical situation of fragility.  Government health care advocates argue that wiring health care systems up into a single system makes healthcare more reliable, stable and economical because it is bigger. But the opposite may actually be true. It exposes the healthcare system to developments in previously loosely coupled parts of the system.  What happens to Foodstamps and/or the Defense budget now directly affects the healthcare system, or at least the subsidized part of it. An unexpected call on a related system will ripple through the entire edifice.

Of course the coupling constraints need not apply if one implicitly believes in Infinite Money. Some economists have argued that to all intents and purposes a modern state, through its ability to print currency, has access to infinite money. Jeff Cox at CNBC, recently referred to the Fed’s intention to keep borrowing as long as it felt like as QEInfinity, or alternatively QEternity.

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics, famously argued that the government could restore prosperity simply by faking an invasion of space aliens and printing money to repel the nonexistent attackers from the Beyond. “If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack, and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months”. All we need to do is dare, like Buzz Lightyear, to go to QEInfinty and Beyond.

If so, there is an inexhaustible hydraulic buffer between the clashing parts.  In a universe of infinite money the constraints of tight coupling would not apply. Government wasting a billion dollars on nonoperative websites would have no impact on the Foodstamp program or anything else, because the Obama administration would simply print more money to make up for the resources it wasted.

But if we live in a universe of finite resources then a “tightly coupled” and “interactively complex” system in deficit would be a classic case of an accident waiting to happen. As the design margin shrinks, the play and give formerly present evaporates making the entire edifice vulnerable to cascading failure . It raises the risk of “a failure in a system of interconnected parts in which the failure of a part can trigger the failure of successive parts”.

President Obama himself believed in cascades, famously arguing in his “you didn’t build that” speech that a beneficial shock administered at one end of the system would be felt through the entire fabric.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

But he would be less than happy to learn that the sword cuts both ways. If you didn’t build that, then neither could you preserve it. In a very tightly coupled world the individual degrees of freedom of the components practically vanish. Very little remains in your individual control. And nothing is anyone’s personal blame. Stuff simply happens when you least expect it. But take comfort in this: you may die, but you will only die once.

 

 

 


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Top Rated Comments   
All due respect, but what is difficult to believe? The state of Israel, and arguably American Jews never, and I mean never had a better friend in the White House than George W. Bush. And American Jews spat in his eye for it. Gore/Kerry/Obama/Obama... all got Am-J votes in the neighborhood of 75%. All of them.

I (living in DC) tend to go to demonstrations, regardless of what they are, just to witness. I went to many an anti-war anti-Bush demo. And was stunned, floored, aghast at the rabid anti-Zionism and full-on anti-Semitism on display there, again and again and again. I would tell this to Jewish friends and colleagues and get blank looks, shrugs, and eye-rolls, again and again and again.... on their way to vote for Democrats..... again and again and again.

And now - look around. Look around with the eyes of Jerusalem - look around. Would we be here if American Jews were not only voting how they do, but if the cultural and financial power of the Jewish community were not just Democratic, but passionately so, and focused on discrediting opposition to those Democrats?

I have been hearing from some, "Oh, it's turning around, Jews are waking up, they are getting it...." etc etc. Uh huh. I am hearing that.... again and again and again. And getting burned each time in November. I sincerely believe that today, right now, tomorrow, Obama would get at least two-thirds of the American Jewish vote were he running against [Republican X]. Why this is beyond my ability to fathom.

My apologies to all American Jewish readers who a part of a community that has as a whole brought astonishing wealth, cultural richness, and patriotism to the USA. But these voting patterns are inexcusable given the real and living anti-Semitism and Israel loathing on the left. That they do not bother trying to hide.

And is it turning around? Bah. Tell me that late in some November, I'll believe it then. Not before.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Chicago Tribune has a special article on the city's long term debt which integrates the themes of debt for healthcare. The tagline is "like a cancer".

http://apps.chicagotribune.com/bond-debt/chicago-bonds.html

"Chicago officials abused a powerful financial tool intended to build for the future — issuance of bonds backed by property taxes — as they spent nearly $10 billion in 13 years with few restrictions and virtually no oversight.

The Tribune's unprecedented examination of city finances reveals that Chicago built mountains of long-term debt from thousands of problematic short-term purchases including software that was soon obsolete, spare parts for vehicles and items you might find on a weekend shopping list: trash bins, flowers, even bags for dog waste.

It's equivalent to taking out a 30-year mortgage to buy a car and making your children — or grandchildren — pay it off, with interest.

Hundreds of millions more went to push off upcoming bond payments by refinancing old debts. The delay tactic, nicknamed "scoop and toss," often wound up costing taxpayers more money."


Obamacare is not insurance. It's a system of transfer payments from insurable people to uninsurable people. Providing healthcare for uninsurables may be a worthy policy goal in itself, but it's consumption, not risk sharing.

It's a process of soaking the healthy young employed to pay for people who are sick today, but when those same young people become old and sick themselves they'll find their insurance as vanished as the Detroit pensions or the Chicago bonds.

The young are paying into "insurance" the way people in the past "paid into" social security. There's no there, there. Nothing in the lockbox. The danger facing Obamacare is that the design margin's been so used up that they can't kick the can down the road enough. The "benefits" of the system may fade so fast, that like the Chicago bonds, the jig will be up before the politicians can make a clean getaway.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was fortunate to have taken a university course on organizational design from Charles Perrow back in the 1980s, shortly after "Normal Accidents" was published. His framework for analyzing systems that were, essentially, doomed to fail was arguably the most useful thing I learned at university (despite being a hardcore science major). It helped me to avoid any number of disasters in my career, including my work in the healthcare space.

When I took his course, he was a proud and avowed "Marxian," often punctuating his lectures with political commentary that seemed to be the opposite of what his analytic framework would seem to recommend. Were he lecturing today, I suspect that he would perform a brilliant technical takedown of Obamacare's fatal, structural flaws, and then, contrary to what one might expect from neutral application of his framework, he then would insist that the only solution would be to institute a centralized, nationalized, single-payer system.

Perrow's framework for analyzing systemic flaws, i.e. accidents waiting to happen, stays with me to this day as an essential part of my professional toolbox. Despite that, perhaps the most valuable thing I learned from Perrow was that even the most brilliant, likeable, engaging characters could maintain philosophical and emotional biases that routinely outvoted their most honest, rigorous technical analyses.

As with Obama voters, the heart outweighs the head.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (84)
All Comments   (84)
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Feinstein: "I think 'where we are' is the divide between policy and technology".

Actually Diane, "where we are" is the at the divide between fantasy and reality.

Healthcare dot gov is, at root, an attempt to code utopia, or as Thomas Sowell might put it, an attempt to model "cosmic fairness" with a computer. It's impossible to code because it doesn't exist.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Paul Krugman ... All we need to do is dare, like Buzz Lightyear, to go to QEInfinty and Beyond.

If so, there is an inexhaustible hydraulic buffer between the clashing parts. In a universe of infinite money the constraints of tight coupling would not apply. Government wasting a billion dollars on nonoperative websites would have no impact on the Foodstamp program or anything else, because the Obama administration would simply print more money to make up for the resources it wasted.
Wretchard

Interesting concept. Paper dollars are a representation of value, of real property, of labor spent, of hard assets, which is so only because it is commonly accepted world wide. But what is a dollar bill? Eventually, if the Progressives print enough dollar bills you end up with bushels of dollar bills, but no food to eat and no shelter to keep you from freezing to death.

Actually, the Progressive's plan is much worse that than. The number of "dollars" in the system are massive beyond human comprehensive. Most dollars are not even paper anymore. Trillion's of dollars are digital. At least with paper currency, you can burn it for warmth or perhaps feed it to fatten pigs (pigs, much like the Federal government, will eat anything, or so I'm told).

One little slip of the computer key, one little accidental "delete", and you won't even have the paper to burn, i.e. digital value can be erased in a nanosecond, as it's "virtual", not real. (Aside: I once spent 6 weeks straight, 18 hours a day, looking for a "lost" $20 million, due to a system built without an audit trail, and with an unqualified "delete" statement. It was not a fun time.)

It boggles the mind, just defies comprehension that sane, sentient human beings can reason like Krugman and Cox. Simply print money representing property you do not own and do not control until you have enough paper to take other things you do not own and do not control. That's the solution to a nation's problems? Only if your name is Ponzi and you live in a virtual place called "Wonderland".
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course the nearly impossible becomes even more so when the people in charge are commies.

“I think a body of Indians preferable at any time to a body of communists; they are better men, with better principles.”

Brevet Colonel Fredrick W. Benteen Captain 7th U. S. Cavalry
The Chicago Times Saturday, January 25, 1879

Col Benteen made these remarks while discussing the causes of the Indian Wars when he was in Chicago for the Reno Court of Inquiry. This was just two and a half years after Benteen survived the disaster at the Little Big Horn.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Benteen
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Commune

--by the date, he was probably talking about this.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don’t have an axe to grind, usually I’d tell myself to “Butt out” of your discussion but it’s interesting to be able to comment as a disinterested party. I have lived long term in two very different universal healthcare systems, both hugely flawed as systems but both acceptable as a citizen.
My first comment would be that the quality of healthcare doesn’t depend on the system, it depends on individuals at various levels, we have received both good and bad care in both systems so let’s leave the quality aspect out of the discussion for now.
My second would be that it is sad looking at the richest country in the world, and one which I admire so much, and seeing that some people can’t afford healthcare and other older people spending themselves into penury when they have to pay for care. That is indefensible. (And I have been a conservative since my first dawning intelligence at the age of 15 years.)

First the Canadian model. We all pay taxes toward healthcare. Care is provided by various government based bodies running clinics and hospitals and by some privately capitalised clinics. General practioners are mostly self capitalised. Care is paid for by the government on a per visit and per procedure basis. Eg. My GP gets (I think) $39 each time I visit. Bigger clinics get paid based on the services they can provide, eg. For a simple visit to the ER locally they get paid much more because they have Xrays and a Scanner. It’s considered fair because they have to maintain those services even if I don’t use them on that visit.
We can visit any GP for any complaint but we need a referral to see a specialist. Usually the specialist is chosen by the GP so who your GP knows can be important in getting a good referral and getting seen quickly. (Flaw.) I can also go to the ER when I get stubborn dust in my eye (cost to taxpayer $400) even though my GP might be able to deal with it (cost $39.) (Flaw.)
This system only pays for the care we actually use but doctors do seem to say “Take the pills and come back in four days. “How are you? Good. Goodbye.” ($39 please Canada.) (Flaw.)
In Canadian law a physician may not charge an individual for a service that is provided by the state. (Some services are not and may be sold privately.)

In the UK they have a hybrid system. Ccitizens belong to a ‘panel’ appended to a doctor’s practice. The doctor get s paid for each individual on his panel whether they use the service or not. Doctors tend to enrol as many people as possible and it is ‘rumoured’ that many doctors ask patients to leave their panel if they visit or call out too many times. (Been there, done that.) (Flaw)
In the UK you can also take out private healthcare insurance. Most who can afford it do so and then use each part of the system for what it is best at. Specialist state hospital department for, say, heart op. and long term care, private to jump the line up. Some doctors operate in both parts of the system. “It’s a twenty four week wait for your Bye Pass but if you come and see me privately tomorrow I’ll do it next week. (Same hospital, same theatre.) (Flaw)

It is a tenet of both systems that a citizen can not be charged in the state system for a doctor’s visit. The left wing in both political systems has ensured this as a motherhood issue for years. The problem is that, with rising health expectations we all go to the doctor for the least ailment. The benefit of attending a clinic is divorced from the cost. As in any such system we eventually attend too often and too easily, in the Canadian system it raises the cost of healthcare (but the system expands to take in the extra revenue from the government who eventually ration by limiting facilities.) In the UK it clogs the system with unnecessary visits ( but since there is no extra money for more visits it just stays clogged, longer waiting times etc.)

In both places those who govern us have given themselves a pass with private healthcare outside the system. Surprise!

(show less)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I may add. Government systems, Britain and Canada included, have no feedback mechanism to promote quality of care or the provision of care. In this country, the tort system at least does that.[plus] But the way it is designed does encourage frivolous suits that drive up costs [Flaw]. A tort system reform, say like "loser pays" would mitigate that.

In government controlled systems, wait time is used as a form of state controlled euthanasia. My daughter studied in Britain some years ago. I have laid out the details of her involvement with NHS before. I had to pay a big chunk of money up front for her term in London to cover her for NHS. Short form, Diabetic Ketoacidosis. No room in female wards, so they placed her in a geriatric male ward. She saw two murders by the NHS. One of which involved a geriatric male who had broken his hip.

The normal wait time for the surgery for that for geriatric patients is a year to a year and a half. During which time most of the home bedridden patients die. The man across the aisle from my daughter had somehow survived the wait. During the surgery, the anesthesiologist had let him come up too high, his gag reflex kicked in, and he vomited, aspirating the vomit. Aspiration pneumonia is difficult to treat, so they judged that he was not worth it, and they were letting him die.

My daughter got the story from his wife who was with him every available moment. My daughter watched him die, unattended and uncared for. There is absolutely nothing in the British system to penalize a hospital for that.

I read the British papers daily [they cover American political news the American papers will not cover]. Total neglect of hospital patients to the point where they die of dehydration is common. More patients die every year from neglect than the British have lost soldiers throughout the current war.

In this country, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals [a private industry group] could and would close any hospital doing anything like that. In fact I have seen them do that for much less when I worked in hospitals. No such process, and all the government officials involved are protected from prosecution or suit and rewarded for "savings" at the cost of the lives of those who depend on them.

There is a thing called the Liverpool Pathway in the NHS. Any doctor or official can place a patient on it, regardless of the patient's or family's wishes. It defines the patient as terminal and cuts off food, water, and medication. You do not have to be really terminal to be on it, and it came out a month or so ago that doctors are paid a bonus of 50 pounds by NHS for every patient placed on the path.

In both Canadian and Brit systems, the rates of nosocomial [caught in the hospital] infections are orders of magnitude above ours because they save money by shorting on supplies for sterile techniques. Waiting times for real hospital beds when you come into the ER can be days. So you stay on a gurney in the hallway.

And that is in systems that are not deliberately targeting enemies of the state. Does anyone here not believe that the current administration would not deliberately use health care to punish or eliminate opponents, in addition to the normal state incompetence? And if you are a Leftist, do you really believe you can trust us nasty, evil conservatives not to pay you back using *your* health care? And yet you want to destroy what we have and place it in the hands of the all powerful state.

Subotai Bahadur
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sir, your comments are appreciated. Unfortunately you have a fundamental misunderstanding, ObamaCare is NOT about medical care. It is about medical insurance and, more specifically, the usurpation of the insurance industry for political power and the growth of government.

NO ONE IS DENIED HEALTHCARE, BEFORE OR AFTER OBAMACARE. The Hill Burton Act, several decades old, handled that. Yes, if you are indigent you will be triaged, with real emergencies going first and runny noses last. The so-called poor flooded the system regularly.

I, for example, (medicare plus TriCareFor Life medicare suppliment) pay almost nothing for my care. Took 40 years to earn, but I did.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sir
Understood. We have State run (as in Federal) insurance but since no one pays at the point of delivery the service demanded will always exceed service provided. As SB says, the state uses various ways to ration the service.

In the USA the current system has spawned the $80 charge for a $4 pill for the same reasons.

SB
As in all such systems the ability to manipulate circumstances and knowing which providers are best plays a very significant part in the quality of the experience.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ya know, whenever the high priests of complexity --and those who dine on their table scraps-- drive us to the point where we all realize that 'their' perfect system is a piece of unmanageable crap, their solution to simplifying it always seems to involve boots on throats and orders to "do as you're told"..."Or else".

Simple.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is always so interesting to view the Leftist version of logic.

For example, during the 2000 Presidential campaign the Left pointed out that Dick Cheny had drastically cut back the military when he was SECDEF. The logical response was that the cuts were the result of the budget restrictions imposed by the Democrat controlled Congress. The Left’s response was ‘Yes, the Democrats in Congress made the cuts but Cheny implemented them, so he’s responsible!”

Similarly, Dr. Emmanual said on FNC the other day that Obama was not responsible for so many people losing the health care insurance they liked. “The companies made the cuts so you can’t blame the President!”

They implement Step A and then Step B inevitably and naturally follows from Step A. But they’re not responsible since they only did Step A.

“I shot an arrow into the air. It fell to earth, I know not where.” And if the arrow hit someone, it’s the arrow’s fault, with gravity as an accomplice.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Bad gravity! Let's tax it out of existence..."
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's difficult for me to believe the Emmanuels are actually Jews.
Can some rabbi please at least revoke their bar mitzvahs?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All due respect, but what is difficult to believe? The state of Israel, and arguably American Jews never, and I mean never had a better friend in the White House than George W. Bush. And American Jews spat in his eye for it. Gore/Kerry/Obama/Obama... all got Am-J votes in the neighborhood of 75%. All of them.

I (living in DC) tend to go to demonstrations, regardless of what they are, just to witness. I went to many an anti-war anti-Bush demo. And was stunned, floored, aghast at the rabid anti-Zionism and full-on anti-Semitism on display there, again and again and again. I would tell this to Jewish friends and colleagues and get blank looks, shrugs, and eye-rolls, again and again and again.... on their way to vote for Democrats..... again and again and again.

And now - look around. Look around with the eyes of Jerusalem - look around. Would we be here if American Jews were not only voting how they do, but if the cultural and financial power of the Jewish community were not just Democratic, but passionately so, and focused on discrediting opposition to those Democrats?

I have been hearing from some, "Oh, it's turning around, Jews are waking up, they are getting it...." etc etc. Uh huh. I am hearing that.... again and again and again. And getting burned each time in November. I sincerely believe that today, right now, tomorrow, Obama would get at least two-thirds of the American Jewish vote were he running against [Republican X]. Why this is beyond my ability to fathom.

My apologies to all American Jewish readers who a part of a community that has as a whole brought astonishing wealth, cultural richness, and patriotism to the USA. But these voting patterns are inexcusable given the real and living anti-Semitism and Israel loathing on the left. That they do not bother trying to hide.

And is it turning around? Bah. Tell me that late in some November, I'll believe it then. Not before.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm wearing this thought out but, more and more I feel like I'm watching someone march relentlessly towards a cliff, head up, shoulders back, sun in his face and the wind in his hair, aglow with pride of purpose and determined to carry the vision to the glorious end.
I think; Surely they see the cliff, surely they'll stop - turn aside - turn around.

"If God is dead, He laughed Himself to death." They Might Be Giants
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Embarrassing, isn't it? As some wag once noted, my people seem to lack a self-preservation gene.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is alright brother, we have your six.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
African-Americans the same --vote bloc Democratic, against all interests --except one; solidarity.

From the tribe or cultural survival-as-such POV, to align with other minorities has historically been the way to bet.

Enter the Tea Party as a Jewish-American, or an African-American, or Lawyer-American, or Burkina-Faso-American cross-eyed lesbian shoe-store-owning Bagpipe Player, and you're just a plain-cloth coat, another human being who happens to be a US citizen who appreciates (note that word's virtuous double-meaning) the Constitution.

Whereas, the place you just took leave of, the Donkey Palace, over there on the left, there is a strong place prepared for your group, at the big table, all the time, ready and waiting for every individual to come sup among the like, or surely at least the imagery of the like.

For Jews in particular, tradition being the thing that has kept identity alive for further back than where history begins with the writing of it, a not-so-good subset of it accruing to the Dem Party is far less of a surprise than would be its breach. I know this, i saw old Tevye the Dairyman sing "Tradition" in "Fiddler on the Roof".

:-\

Against all that, a four-year presidential term is just a grain of sand in the hourglass.

That'd be how i see that question, anyway. Adding that the hard red left in this country has only been running the Dems since the 1990s --so the minorities could be shifting behind the voting booth curtain, and it just ain't had time to show yet. One can hope.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said!

And it's not just our Jewish brothers. As David Horowitz wrote about an anti-war demonstration: in 2002:

"Radical Islamists marched side by side with radical lesbians, despite the fact that the Islamists would have killed the lesbians if they had their way."

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
God God. Never forget that both Obama and Krugman are Nobel Prize holders. And Yassir Arafat. None more need be said.

Krugman wrote that if we all acted like space aliens were invading, we would completely overturn our financial status in short order, as occurred from 1939 to 1945. And this might even be simultaneously true and idiotic. What if it is true? It is not money that would solve the issue... that is just paper, as even Nobel Prize winners need to be reminded... again and again and again. It is work, and labor, and genius that would change the situation. So yes, if space aliens, or Nazi's, were prepared to invade and herd our children into concentration camps, or harvest our organs for hors-d-oeuvres, of course we would get up at 5am six days a week and work 14 hours at half pay if we had to. Of course we would.

So all Krugman is saying is that we need to do just that... not to save our children's lives, but so that illegal aliens can get colonoscopys, Sandra Fluk can pick up her free birth control on her way to class at Georgetown, and that kid down the street can go back into rehab.... for the fourth time. Of course we will all bust our butts for such glorious ends. (And of course once all that is paid for, we will remain on station for all the new stuff the bien pensant have yet to think of that we owe the world.)

What more proof is needed that the people who "care the most" about the human race haven't a clue what actual people are about.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let us not forget the "hands-off regulatory" approach toward the weapons industry during the time of crisis. We could kick-start our economy easier by rolling back about 80% of regulations and the cost of compliance.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some implications to your post:

1) >>>God God. Never forget that both Obama and Krugman are Nobel Prize holders. And Yassir Arafat.<<<

It is a reasonable first working assumption that Nobel Prize winners in any non-hard science field since WW-II are both incompetent, malign, hate Western Civilization, and should be evaluated accordingly. There are exceptions, especially in the earlier part of that range, but skepticism and distrust are reasonable first order assumptions; with the option of either trusting or regarding them as mortally hostile based on evaluation.

2) Expanding on #1); given the source of the mindset behind those people in this country, any entity hiring a graduate of any of the colleges and universities favored by our governing elite's children is committing an act of self-mutilation. A Harvard or Yale diploma should make you a pariah at any location more than 100 miles from the East and West coasts or south of the old Mason-Dixon Line.

3) >>>if space aliens, or Nazi's, were prepared to invade and herd our children into concentration camps, or harvest our organs for hors-d-oeuvres, of course we would get up at 5am six days a week and work 14 hours at half pay if we had to. Of course we would.<<<

Yes we would, and our efforts would be aimed at eradicating the "space aliens" or the "Nazi's" completely. It would be equivalent to the last battle in the movie "Ender's Game" or the De-Nazification trials in Germany post- WW-II. So where should we aiming that effort if it is our own government and Governing Class that is doing that to us?

Subotai Bahadur
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
And Algore, don't forget Algore. Putting aside the Nobel itself - well, let's not. I was going to suggest maybe it needs be a law that on retirement from the presidency or veepency the deceased should be REQUIRED to live on the federal retirement benefits and not allowed anything more, period. Yeah I know, but we can dream, can't we? Of course the Aztecs realized this a long time ago.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Vikings figured out something, too --piling the deceased AND his valuables in a longboat set afire and adrift. No more wealth-weakened clans! Well, that was the ideal, anyway.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, the Vikings sent the deceased chief's main wife off with him. Not to give anyone any hopeful ideas.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a frog??

This is a job for a Real UNDERDOG!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XRil07h5uE

[Alinsky - Rule #4: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon]
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
What we need is a song with a good beat you can dance to...

The Climax Blues Band

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwnC_8_ZeYE

"New York City took me with the tide
And, I nearly died from hospitality
Left me stranded - took away my pride
Just another no-account fatality

I kept on looking for a sign in the middle of the night
But, I couldn't see the light - no, I couldn't see the light
I kept on looking for a way to take me through the night
Couldn't get it right
Couldn't get it right"

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Needs more cowbell...

;^)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
blue oyster cult, snl skit about, cult, cult?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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