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August 24, 2011

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bgates

You quote several paragraphs of Friedman, but not one word of Barro?

Ignatz

---If (IF!) the Feds could hire laid-off engineers and invent a more efficient battery, or internal combustion engine, I am sure it would be a net societal win.--

Possibly, but how does one ever measure how many batteries or engines weren't invented by the private sector that would otherwise have been without the public sector's drain on investment?

Danube of Thought

I can't think of a whole lot of things that were invented because the government hired out-of-work inventors and told them to invent something.

And I don't think that, in this era of regulatory intrusion into every corner of economic activity and development, there is any such thing as a shovel-ready project. Imagine you decide to build a shopping mall on vacant land on the edge of town. Now imagine how many years it will take before you have the necessary permits in hand. And how much money you will have to put at risk before you can be certain you can even get those permits.

DrJ

---If (IF!) the Feds could hire laid-off engineers and invent a more efficient battery, or internal combustion engine, I am sure it would be a net societal win.--

Same quote as Ignatz, but I've a different take.

Those unemployed engineers are free to submit grants for government support to develop and demonstrate their innovations. If their ideas are good, and they can find facilities where they can do the work, they can compete successfully (I've swept a lot about grantsmanship under the rug).

I was unemployed for a very long time, and decided that I was unemployable partially because of my age. I had some ideas that I thought were good, and I sank my life savings into developing them.

For me it has paid off. Others can do it as well as long as they have the conviction of their ideas, the fortitude to see it through, and some good fortune.

We'll see if some of those ideas make it to the commercial marketplace. It is too soon to tell, but I'm betting that at least one of them will.

These days, the risk of displacing the efforts of private companies is minimal. The bar for raising venture capital is so high these days, that without government support of more fundamental work, it simply won't get done.

Squaredance of course disagrees with me, and that's fine.

Ignatz

--These days, the risk of displacing the efforts of private companies is minimal.--

True, Doc, if we're talking about the relatively paltry world of grants, but I took TM to be referencing some Manhattan Project for stimulating the economy via massive shovel ready boondoggles rather than massive transfer payment boondoggles.

DrJ

I took TM to be referencing some Manhattan Project for stimulating the economy...

I agree that this is a very bad idea. There are some very difficult conceptual barriers that have to be overcome for new batteries to succeed. The Manhattan project was ripe because the physics was developing very rapidly, and lent itself well to the project.

The amount of money in grants is not that small. The small business ones alone total more than $2 billion per year. That's from a total non-defense R&D budget of $64 billion, much of which is available to small business.

Note that the Manhattan project was about $24 billion in today's dollars.

Extraneus

There are numerous major companies investing big bucks on battery research right now, with the stated goal of a between-charge 500-mile electric car. (Toyota, Volkswagen, IBM, Samsung, etc.)

I don't see what government would add to this except to use American taxpayer dollars to distort the profit motive into a grant motive. The battery solution may not be discovered soon, but the right people are highly motivated and well funded on this effort, with private capital.

The Manhattan Project was rightly a government project, since no private company had a need to nuke Japan. Plenty of companies have an interest in being first with a new battery technology.

MarkO

Oh come on, my horse has a shovel ready project.

A battery powered one, of course, of course.

Mr. Ed says 'Get a horse'.
=======

PD

So, is Muammar "Days, not Weeks" Ghadaffi out yet? Or is he still resisting The Will of Obama?

daddy

TM,

If you're looking for "fabulous spending opportunities" on "mysteriously overlooked projects" for "net societal wins," then look no further. You're prayers have been answered: Polar Cargo Blimps!

Janet

This is funny...we just saw on the local news show that DC's "School Without Walls" will be closed tomorrow because of earthquake damage! Heh!

matt

speaking of airships, my latest blog, on why manned space programs are so important. LUN

sonny

Any conversation regarding government's spending money to create any kind of job must first consider the politician's intention, and tendency to use that huge supply of cash to repay "favors".

The trillion dollar stimulus spent by the obama administration, at least the hundreds of billions that weren't "misplaced", were designed for just that purpose, not to create actual jobs.

matt

The US has never really had a coherent industrial policy because leadership does not understand industry. When they try to pick winners they almost inevitably fail.

What is needed is the fostering of R&D and then manufacturing. That also happens to be the sweet spot for jobs.

Our country used to manufacture the best quality at the best price. Now it's been outsourced. Try finding a decent barbecue these days. Even most of the high end stuff I've seen is poor build quality.

We have been sold a bill of goods on the post-industrial economy and are now paying the price.

I have fought this battle on Capitol Hill and in Sacramento for 20 years.

If you foster the culture of manufacturing and invention on a basic level without artificial barriers, I think it is a huge net win.

I laugh at the R&D tax credit and the way many companies use it. Janitors, new offices, etc all somehow get lumped in there to the point just below where the IRS might investigate.

Every time they create an angle, the big boys jump on it, of course. We need more of a level playing field.

glasater

On Special Report this evening a segment came up in the discussion of the newest CBO report:

CBO: Stimulus helped almost doubled U.S. debt

There's a link to the CBO report in this brief Examiner article.

Ignatz

--The US has never really had a coherent industrial policy because leadership does not understand industry.--

Not sure that's a bad thing.
Countries with coherent industrial policies tend to do things like occupy the Sudetenland and starve 8 million Ukrainians.

bloop bloopington

Tom:

Are you retarded or something?

Danube of Thought

When I hear "industrial policy" I think of the Atari liberals. And I reach for my revolver.

matt

now, now, DoT...encouraging manufacturing is a good thing. It's the favoring of one industry over another industry that is an issue.

Keeping buggy whip manufacturers in business was a very bad idea in 1900, and in 1903 there was very little support of aviation.But common sense and logic should help raise all boats.

jimmyk

Matt, why should manufacturing be encouraged over services? It sounds knee-jerk, but let the market sort it out.

OldTimer

Why couldn't the main 'power source' for vehicles come from the pavement itself, embedded within the construction of roadways?
I used to wonder about this back when Carter and his gas lines were a major part of my youthful political angst.

Surely some keen analytical engineering mind could create a prototype highway power source, that charged itself perpetually from solar or some other (as yet untapped) energy supply. Just think how much lighter our cars and trucks would be, and how much more 'stuff' we could pack around, without those big old noisy engines taking up so much space! :)

jimmyk

Maybe, OT, but any chicken that tried to cross that road would be fried, I think.

OldTimer

Well, jimmyk, the design would have to be responsive to inanimate objects only--just the specially programmed vehicles. Creatures and critters would have to be immune to the power source.

Look, I didn't say I could design these charged-up highways--I'll leave that up to the brainiacs to explore.. :)

matt

jimmyk;

In economics there are four fundamental sources that create wealth; construction, agriculture, natural resources, and manufacturing. Everything else is peripheral. Smack me down as is fit, but I'm going back to undergrad after many years.

Much as we would like, doing each others laundry or providing services or the plethora of all else that fleshes out a society flows from these sources.

pertaining to your second comment, Heinlein actually wrote a book about such a electrically driven society @ 50-60years ago, I believe. It's been 35 years since I've read science fiction, but I seem to recall this.

In the ur equation, of course, was access to unlimited cheap power.

Danube of Thought

"Keeping buggy whip manufacturers in business was a very bad idea in 1900, and in 1903 there was very little support of aviation."

Precisely. The government had no policy either favoring or disfavoring buggy whip makers or the developers of aeroplanes, and it is well that it did not. Had it elected to adopt any policy about either, that policy would have been determined by political interests, and market effects would have been distorted. We can be very thankful today that this did not happen.

The fact that the government kept its hands off of the operation of the market in those instances does not seem to suggest that it should now impose its "policy" on the industry of today.

Again, consider the Atari nonsense.

Danube of Thought

"In economics there are four fundamental sources that create wealth; construction, agriculture, natural resources, and manufacturing."

What happened to labor, land and capital?

daddy

The Obama Administration has been hell on Folk Tales.

First it was Uncle Remus.

"Brer Rabbit and that Briar Patch"? Oh no, not allowed.
"Brer Fox and the Tar Baby"? Racism.
So scratch Uncle Remus, he's Off Limits.

Then today the Department Of Labor killed off "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf":

The Obama Administration's New Federal Rules for Goat-Herders.

What Shepard kid in his right mind would "Cry Wolf" now, after the Labor Department's mandate that his Employer provide him with "strict rules for sleeping quarters, lighting, food storage, bathing, laundry, cooking, new rules for the counters where food is prepared", free WiFi and a Latte' break every other hour? Not Me. Why Rowdy Yates and Wishbone must be spinning in their graves:(

Well thankfully we still have:

"The Emperor Obama's New Clothes" to play around with,

and "The Princess and The Pea": ("Oh no Barack, I don't want to ride in that Air Force 1, I want to ride in that other Air Force 1 'cause my butt's too tender to sit on the Tarmac in DC an extra hour").

But I ask you folks, if they can kill Uncle Remus and Aesop, can "The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg" be far behind?

matt

labor, land, and capital are resources, not activities. And with that, I bid you good night.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

OT:

Futurama, the GM exhibit In the 1939 Worlds Fair, described such an automatic road concept.

Norman Bel Geddes was the guy who came up with the idea. He wrote a book in about 1940 called Magic Motorways expounding on the concept. It is available for free in many formats at this link . It is very interesting.

Max Regor

Economics 101 was many years ago. As I recall it, it was just an equation. On one side was expenditures, the other output. Expenditures had three components, business investment, consumer purchases, and government purchases of goods and services. This was a simple minded model that predicted a greater than one multiplier for government purchases of goods and services. I thought long and hard about why it worked and this is what I came up with. A government purchase of a good and service is counted as a contribution to GDP! Instead of extending unemployment insurance, the payments to those who have run out of the standard benefit, just continue the payments but say they are wages to someone working for the federal government. Those wages will add directly to GDP!

daddy

Very interesting reading your guys comments. Always an education.
And an excellent Space Post Matt.

Threadkiller

What a day.

Chaco, happy birthday!

Iggy, I will stick it to Matt Lewis tomorrow.

Walter, I am very sorry for your loss. You speak so well of your Father in Law, it is an inspiration for me to do better with mine. Bless you and your family.

Threadkiller

Almost forgot.

The Five. (need I say more?)

Jane

Jammiewearingfool says the WH is leaking, and Moochelle has spent 10m in our money on vacations this year. The report is delicious, and linked by Insty. I'm on my Ipad so you are on your own.

Jane

Okay, where are you guys? I;ve been up for hours applying lipstick for the unforgiving camera and you people are nowhere to be found.

Harrumph!

Captain Hate

Good morning Jane. We had a whopper cold front blow through here last night at about 1 am. Very windy here but not too far from chez Hate it sounds like a tornado may have hit because there were quite a few roofs blown off businesses and trees down. So I'm pretty tired this morning.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who can't wait to read Powell getting the skewering he so richly deserves in Cheney's book. I hope that fat tub of shit Armitage gets a high colonic (or Colinic) too.

Chubby

((Had it elected to adopt any policy about either,....))

...we'd probably still be using buggies and buggy whips.))

Captain Hate

Thanks for the link Jane. I figured it would only be a matter of time before somebody dropped a dime on Worf's fat ass for her continual tone-deafness in taking maximum advantage of every perq that occupying the White House provides. Even if this was an economic boom time, El JEFe and spouse would still look like a couple grifters that would be rejected from roles in Amos 'n Andy as too over the top.

narciso

Ah the Morning Joke crew, were getting the vapors over
Cheney's memoir, they though
like Van Helsing they had staked Dracula.

Harrison J. Bounel

Obviously, someone inside the WH is a Hillary plant or Clintonista that has been given the high sign that the party is over. This will take more than plumbers to plug these kind of leaks but rather an army of Ed Nortons.

centralcal


good morning.

Break a leg, Jane!

So, last night, TV on in the background, not really listening to Greta with Karl Rove, I suddenly notice an increase in Karl's volume. Sarah Palin thin skin, blah, blah, blah, thin skinned, blah, blah, blah, blah, thin skin, blah blah blah blah blah!

Click off! Man oh man, he's got a real problem.

narciso

He was saying that Sarah has too thin a skin, cc, imagine
that. Speaking of which, Igor
(I mean Gabe) has become so verklempt he has left her off
the straw poll, at Ewok of Spades

Captain Hate

I was just coming here to post the link, cc: http://www.therightscoop.com/karl-rove-sarah-palin-needs-a-thicker-skin/

LOL @ thin skin; when you've had slings and arrows from both sides thrown at you for 2 years, I don't think there's much reason for speculation on toughness. I'm really hoping her endgame is to rid the Repubs of the likes of Rove forever.

Captain Hate

Yes narc, and ace even has his trained catamites to badmouth her at every mention in the comments.

narciso

I believe it was on Lou Dobbs FBN show, that she gave a better defense of Perry's muddled QE 2 remarks than anywhere else, since she had
done the homework 10 months ago.

Jim Ryan

It's so weird that Barry and Michelle turned out to be vacuous, incompetent, and narcissistic. They had such excellent resumes, didn't they? Oh, wait....

Porchlight

Ooh, that dish on Michelle was highly enjoyable - thanks, Jane. Does it surprise anyone? From the first moments of the inauguration it was clear that MOO was going to be living high off the hog, in the least flattering, most expensive clothes possible.

Jim Ryan

Look for Sasha and Malia to make something worthwhile of themselves. Because it often skips a generation.

pagar

"Stock futures pared gains on Thursday after Labor Department data showed new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week"

"Rose more than expected" is that like unexpected?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stock-futures-dip-after-rb-3249019992.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

centralcal

The comments at your link, Captain, are very supportive of Karl. heh.

Actually, I think he is the one coming across as "thin skinned." Man, oh, man - he is losing control. Perry. Palin. Things just aren't going according to his plan and he can't stand it. I expect his temper tantrums to increase.

Cecil Turner

They had such excellent resumes, didn't they?

We really need to examine the process and figure out how we managed to put such an obviously unqualified incompetent into the nation's most important office. So, hopefully, we can avoid doing it again.

centralcal

oopsie - are s/b are NOT

Captain Hate

I dunno, Jim; Stanley Ann and Hussein senior weren't exactly success stories by any reasonable standards.

Mort Zuckerman in the WSJ: "Like many Americans who supported him, I long for a triple-A president for a triple-A country." Well Mort, if you hung out here instead of with those rancid gasbags in the McLaughlin Group, you might have calibrated your expectations more accurately.

narciso

He dated Gloria Steinem, right, always a fine judge of character

fdcol63

Cecil,

I think if we had had a more objective and unbiased MSM that had investigated and vetted him as they should have, the Obama Orgy would never have happened.

But liberals in the MSM, academia, Hollywood and government bureaucracies still enjoy considerable power to shape public opinion, especially among those who don't follow politics as much as we may, and they know it.

We'll see future recurrences of the Obama phenomenon as long as liberals remain the gatekeepers of news and information.

jimmyk

Even if this was an economic boom time, El JEFe and spouse would still look like a couple grifters that would be rejected from roles in Amos 'n Andy as too over the top.

Interesting that I remember much the same being said about Bill and Hillary. Though that was more because they trashed the White House when they left, and took everything that wasn't bolted down. Wouldn't it be great to have a President and First Lady with some class? Say like GWB and Laura?

Jim Ryan

Cecil, I think it was just that the muddle and the lefty elite are easily swayed by the hypnotic oratory of a con man. That's why the lefty elite went for Zero instead of Hillary, and why the muddle and the lefty elite supported him strongly in the general. And to save the country from bankruptcy, the muddle are going to have to be swayed in 2012 by rhetoric or cold, hard economic facts smacking them in the face.

The muddle have the country's fate in their hands. They like prosperity, hours of dopey TV shows, competence, and cool dudes. So, they are unpredictable, up for grabs.

Captain Hate

We really need to examine the process and figure out how we managed to put such an obviously unqualified incompetent into the nation's most important office. So, hopefully, we can avoid doing it again.

Assuming we get a Repub candidate in Perry or Palin that doesn't shrink from pointing out obvious things that the likes of McCain avoid, I'm counting on some very pointed statements about the lack of vetting of El JEFe by the MFM and the air of mystery which still surrounds his history. The MFM has taken major hits since 2008 and the next year isn't the time to go squishy on them.

Harrison J. Bounel

Some where, P. J. Barnum is smiling.

jimmyk

In economics there are four fundamental sources that create wealth; construction, agriculture, natural resources, and manufacturing. Everything else is peripheral. Smack me down as is fit, but I'm going back to undergrad after many years.

I think the more modern view is that innovation creates wealth. Plus the ability to leverage those ideas by, for example, outsourcing the production to where it can be done most cheaply. We may lose more from the departure of Steve Jobs than by the shuttering of any number of manufacturing plants.

You're right that we can't generate wealth by "doing each others' laundry," but that's a caricature of the service industry. Last I checked we actually run a trade surplus in services.

jimmyk

I'm counting on some very pointed statements about the lack of vetting of El JEFe by the MFM

I would argue that the Democratic Party has some 'splainin' to do as well, not that we'll ever hear it. Had there been some adult in the Party that said, "Wait, this isn't just about winning an election; for the sake of our country we need to make sure this guy is ready to be President," maybe we could have been spared this calamity. But I'm imagining someone saying this, and then like--was it "Animal House"?--then saying "Naahh!" and bursting out laughing.

narciso

It looks like the EIA, tried to put the 'horse's head' in the Shale industry, I know that's so unexpected, (h/t
Business Insider)

Porchlight

FWIW, MOTUS blog is hinting that Michelle recently had her second nose job.

I don't know about two, but in comparing current photos to 2008 campaign photos, it's clear she's had at least one. Looks like a pretty good one.

They can't do anything about the little eye, though.

Danube of Thought

Minus 24 at Raz today. A low-record-tying 42% overall approval.

Captain Hate

We may lose more from the departure of Steve Jobs than by the shuttering of any number of manufacturing plants.

You're probably right but I think somebody will step into the void who might be a pleasant surprise. I remember seeing a joint presser with Jobs and Gates a few years ago in which Steve admitted that he wasn't all that great on marketing the ideas. I found that refreshingly frank and believe it permeates into the cultish Apple following that people like me are amused by. I think there's a lot of room for improvement in that area; and if that can be accomplished while keeping the innovation level high, it could be a major win/win.

Harrison J. Bounel

::Some where:: = :: Somewhere:: Grrrrr.

OT: For all you on the east coast and want to see how our Florida State University top men have modeled Irene go to the LUN and on the right hand side of chart press the button FWD. Good luck to all. Get the furniture inside. Biggest threat from my experience is falling trees.
LUN

MarkO

Didn’t Opus call that the “little sorority girl nose”?

Jim Ryan

KID: I forget, why did the country go bankrupt back in those days, grandpa?

OLD MAN: Because Hillary couldn't compete as a BS artist and didn't have a cool crease in her pants.

Captain Hate

Had there been some adult in the Party that said, "Wait, this isn't just about winning an election; for the sake of our country we need to make sure this guy is ready to be President," maybe we could have been spared this calamity. But I'm imagining someone saying this, and then like--was it "Animal House"?--then saying "Naahh!" and bursting out laughing.

Zell Miller stands alone as the only recent donk who put country ahead of party; and he's regarded as a pariah. Maybe I'm missing somebody, but nobody else comes to mind.

Jim Ryan

That's a neato link, Harrison. It looks like here in Charlottesville we will not be subjected to days of blackouts again but will only get a little rain. Virginia Beach is going to get hammered.

Harrison J. Bounel

CH,

Marketing was not Steve's strong suit. His was knowing innovation when he saw it, picking winners from his diverse staff of "developers" and encouraging commercial imagination. Two things have grown Apple outside of innovation - the Apple Store and word of mouth. I remember being the only person at an airport lounge with an Apple laptop but now it seems everyone in the lounge has one. Even major companies, schools, political entities are going Mac OS X away from Windows PC environments. That is the intrinsic value of Apple that will continue to drive their products and public acceptance.

Ignatz

Considering the last three years, wouldn't a more accurate title for this thread be Moron Keynes?
Or is that the joke everybody else was in on and, in my usual oblivious way, I didn't get it until now?

Jack is Back!

Harrison is me. Put his name in as a LUN to make a point. Don't know if you read the link. Its our old friend Corsi.

narciso
Jim Ryan

Iggy, I think TM has been dining out on that jokey riff for a couple of years now.

hit and run

DoT:
Minus 24 at Raz today. A low-record-tying 42% overall approval.

Actually,Obama's been at 41 twice before (6/18/10 and 9/9/10). Today's 42 ties his low for 2011, the other time he plumbed these depths was 3/16.

This is his ninth time to hit 57 or higher in total disapproval. He hit 58 on the same dates as his 41 approval.

Also, Obama is at minus 3 on strong disapproval vs total disapproval, the 11th time he has spelunked this low - and again, first time this year.

Obama Held Hostage By An Ungrateful Nation: Day 17

Ignatz

Thanks Jim.
I was always the guy who starts laughing in gym at the joke he heard at lunch.

Jim Ryan

Wow, Jack, weird stuff. Corsi is either quite the sleuth or quite insane.

Ignatz

--Some where, P. J. Barnum is smiling.--

In keeping with Jane's link, is P. J. Barnum a jammiewearingsucker?

Captain Hate

HJB,

iTunes was the most innovative way I've seen to break the big labels' oligarchy on getting the product to market. It has enabled a lot of musicians who will never achieve more that a sub-niche following to get their work out to potential audiences without wasting time jumping through hoops in dealing with the previous gatekeepers. Which will ultimately benefit the genre.

Danube of Thought

The latest fear now gripping me is a third-party candidacy (Trump? Paul? Palin?) that ensures Obama's second term.

hit and run

In other news,Obama has now spent 75 consecutive days at 50% or above on total disapproval. The last time fewer than 50% of Americans disapproved of Obama princess hit and run was a seven year old second grader. Today she starts the third grade,having turned eight 74 days ago.

And in other,other news there are no birthdays to report today. Not even,surprisingly enough,MayBee.

Captain Hate

There is no way Palin runs as a third party candidate; despite the Repukes deserving no better than the back of her hand. I'd bet my online credibility on that one.

Ignatz

In even more other news gold has had $200 kicked out of it since Tuesday.
Looks like little Timmy and Uncle Ben may have their work cut out for them pumping it back up.

Jim Ryan

Iggy, I believe Glen Beck started the riff. On his radio show a couple of years ago he would cold-call people (convenience store cashiers, if memory serves) and ask them easy U.S. history trivia questions like "Who was the first president of the U.S.?" so he could embarrass them before a 10-million person radio audience. He called it "More on Trivia".

Ignatz

--Iggy, I believe Glen Beck started the riff.--

Ah, it's a Mormon thing. No wonder I didn't get it. H/T Sara. :)

jimmyk

CH, you're right that ideas aren't sufficient, you need the execution, marketing, distribution, etc. But most of that is "services." The actual manufacturing of the product is almost incidental these days, a very small part of the value.

Captain Hate

Geez narc, that link makes me realize I'm missing nothing newsworthy by not having cable. Recovering alkies making controversial and poorly researched statements are good sources of comment comedic gold, though.

hit and run

Heh. In Ras's write up this morning,he misses the 9/9/10 41% approval in the second paragraph above the Presidential Approval Index chart,saying that 6/18/10 was the only time it has been at 41%. Whoops. Everybody makes mistakes.

sbw

In economics there are four fundamental sources that create wealth; construction, agriculture, natural resources, and manufacturing.

I don't buy it.

You're right that we can't generate wealth by "doing each others' laundry,"

I don't buy that either.

Wealth is created when a new way is found to do something [or create something] that people want. If we find a way to save 15 minutes doing laundry compared to the old way, that 15 minutes can be used to do other things to create even more wealth. That 15 minutes manufactured out of nothing but wit and wisdom is new wealth.

What is more, that new wealth belongs to everyone, not simply the inventor of the efficiency. It belongs also to the other employees, shareholders, purchasers, and the rest of society because the new efficiency -- the new economy -- gets factored in to wages, prices, dividends, and ripples throughout the rest of the world.

More products and services have been added since 1900 than ever before in history, and more quality of life has been improved since 1900 than ever before in history. We owe more to the commercial marketplace than Social Studies classes give credit for. The commercial marketplace has done more for liberty and for community than any other of mankind's creation in history.

And where is that taught?

peter

Harrison even has a facebook page. LUN

Charlie (Colorado)

Wealth is created when a new way is found to do something [or create something] that people want. If we find a way to save 15 minutes doing laundry compared to the old way, that 15 minutes can be used to do other things to create even more wealth. That 15 minutes manufactured out of nothing but wit and wisdom is new wealth.

And consider some of the things that aren't considered "manufacturing". I spend all day writing obscure incantations that, underneath it all, are statements of logical theorems. Using other logical theorems, we stuff those into a physical representation of another logical construct called a Turing Machine. We check those theorems for correctness -- badly, but we're getting better. About 30 people spend months on this process with me.

At the end of that, we've got a file that fits very handily on the USB drive I conventionally wear around my neck.

Out in Minnesota, some guys put together what is really a very conventional commodity computer and a bunch of disk drives, in about 10 hours work. We put the file in it, and it's suddenly a product that we sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Of that whole process, only the 10 hours of assembling LEGO block computer components is recognizably "manufacturing."

BB Key

mildly OT, Maggie Haberman links a side by side comparison of Rick Perry and BHO at age 22....I would link it but it is above my paygrade

Captain Hate

Rick Perry is about to be on Laura Ingraham's show.

centralcal

BBKey - that comparison photo made the rounds yesterday. I think the general consensus was that Obama was younger than 22 in that side by side.

Pheh - so insert another photo, ANY photo of 22 y.o. Obummer and the comparison would still be bad for his "optics."

centralcal

Mediaite has a slideshow of 2012 candidates as kids. I swear the have mislabeled at least one photo: Rick Perry. Sure looks like MarkO and his horse to me! lol.

Newt looks like he is on the verge of morphing into a Werewolf. egads.

Porchlight

The latest fear now gripping me is a third-party candidacy (Trump? Paul? Palin?) that ensures Obama's second term.

Palin will never, ever do that. Trump and Paul, I can't speak for.

It depends on who wins the nom. If it's Romney, maybe someone will run to the right of him. If it's Perry or Palin, there might be a GOP squish like Huntsman involved (and bankrolled by the Dems).

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