Sunday, August 29, 2010


No shit, Sherlock.
Mostly, this is a very good thing. The rise of China, and the related, albeit slightly slower, emergence of India, is the story of hundreds of millions of very poor people joining the global economy and getting a little richer. Gross domestic product per capita in those two countries was basically stagnant from 1820 to 1950. Then, it increased 68 percent from 1950 to 1973, and a whopping 245 percent from 1973 to 2002.

But we need to be careful not to draw the wrong lessons from China's resurrection. The most dangerous one is that authoritarianism works.

No, authoritarianism doesn't work.  Having a middle to upper class that outmasses the entire American population does.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


That's about as good as it gets to move a family of four across the Atlantic with all their belongings. In terms of the specific transportation cost of spacelift, it's the breakpoint between jawing about exploration and getting serious about immigration.

Mission creep

When it comes to a government agency losing sight of its raison d'etre, let it never be said NASA's without competition.

The national debt is the single biggest threat to national security, according to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Tax payers will be paying around $600 billion in interest on the national debt by 2012, the chairman told students and local leaders in Detroit.

“That’s one year’s worth of defense budget,” he said, adding that the Pentagon needs to cut back on spending.

Looking enviously on money you don't have to spend doesn't inspire confidence in your budget cutting credentials.