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Comment: Re:The Keystone Pipeline already exists (Score 1) 437 437

In addition to the $5B GS got from Buffet, GS also got $10B from the US Treasury. For the use of the Treasury's money GS paid about 23%. For the use of Buffet's money the cost was around 100%. I don't know what Buffet did, but GS would not have paid four times as much to use Buffet's money unless it truly was a deal they could not refuse.

Comment: Re:The Keystone Pipeline already exists (Score 4, Insightful) 437 437

The only reason people don't think Buffet is flashy is that they don't understand flashy. In these days of celebrity bling people think with his money Buffet should be driving a platinum plated bespoke Bentley driven by a staff of nude Swedish supermodels. What people don't understand is that the deal he made with Goldman Sachs for the preferred stock and warrants to bail them out in 2008 is the most ostentatious display of wealth in the history of mankind. He forced the so called Masters of the Universe to accept a deal that must have made the corpses of Marcus Goldman and Samuel Sachs puke in their graves. $5 BILLION in preferred stock with a 10% dividend and warrants to buy another $5B in GS stock at $115 a share. To put this in perspective, there are 12 countries in the world whose GDP is less than the amount GS had to pay Buffet in annual dividends on that preferred stock. The profit on the warrants rank Buffet as the 154th out of 194 biggest economy in the world. He used his wealth to perform the equivalent of anal rape with a spiked baseball bat in front of a live tv audience to the most powerful financial firm in history. It doesn't get flashier than that to those that understand what he did.

Comment: Re:Parts (Score 1) 190 190

You've just explained the problems common to the manufacturing business cycle. As an economist, I am always amused when I see criminal enterprises have to start operating like a business because eventually the same issues come into play. Stealing one thing to sell is easy. Trying to make an ongoing living off it becomes real work.

Comment: Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (Score 1) 399 399

However I'd argue in a truly remote environment where no external help is to be had, that the raw strength a few very fit males could provide could be useful in an emergency.

Just send up a container in advance with a couple Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loaders.

Comment: Re:What's the big deal with intelligence? (Score 2) 366 366

Really? You want a kid with no ambition? One that will happily work at a dead-end job and bum around with his friends rather than put in the effort to be a better person.

As you go throughout your day, look around you and try to keep track of people in so called "dead end" jobs as a proportion of the people you see. The world in which we live depends on a certain percentage of the population doing those jobs: garbage truck worker, toll booth operator, road maintenance crewmember, janitor, etc. While I certainly hope that my children excel, it is more important to me that they be happy doing whatever it is they are doing. I am reasonably successful and come from a family of very successful people. My father is content to know that me and my siblings were given opportunities and support and that what we ended up doing was much less a measure of our success than our qualities as parents, spouses and members of our community. As long as my kids choose, rather than settle, I can support them in what ever they do.

Comment: Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (Score 1) 981 981

The only reason we dropped behind China recently is because they ramped up their manufacturing so much.

It also doesn't hurt that they have roughly three times the US population. If everyone there bought 1% more manufactured goods the change in GDP would be greater than the total annual production of some entire countries.

Comment: Re:Known this forever (Score 1) 212 212

While I can see a need for putting together and rehearsing a plan for "after" I would like to see the cost-benefit analysis on hardening the infrastructure. There are a lot of things we *could* do in life, like making planes more protected from missile damage we don't do because the likelihood of the event being protected against is so low relative to the aggregate cost to implement said solution. Are we prepared to build EMP shielding into every electronic device, thereby increasing the cost of life in general to protect against a very unlikely event? (Note I am not advocating one way or the other, simply asking the question.)

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers