Roundup for Thursday 2/18/2009

F-22

The New York Times documents cases where Obama is continuing atrocious Bush anti-terror policies. If America is going to put the past behind it, and begin to regain some moral stature, Obama must change these policies, formally give up powers that Bush asserted or Congress must do it for him.

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Jason at Poligazette looks past the stimulus bill to the issue of consumer debt that is crushing our economy. He provides a good analysis of what Obama wants to do and what he should do. This is the money quote:

Quite simply, the consumers never see much of the money being shoveled out and, as a result, they do not change their orientation towards financial retrenchment that is dragging down the overall economy.

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Larison likens the push for continual economic growth to running faster and faster on a treadmill just to keep from falling off. The idea is that we have to push for growth in order to keep debt and other costs at a manageable proportion to overall economic output. But what if there is a point where our economy can’t or shouldn’t grow any larger?

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The Atlantic seems to be shilling for the F-22 jet fighter. And they have been criticized for it. But while the Atlantic article may have crossed the line into press release territory, I think the argument being made is still sound, even if you don’t agree with it. The F-22, if it works as intended, represents a gigantic leap in jet fighter technology. Is the astronomical cost worth unquestioned air superiority, especially in age of asymmetrical warfare?

Flickr photo by morganglines

2 Comments

  1. Ian

    Well our economy should scale to our population in theory, right? As long as our population grows, so should our economy so that we can maintain standard of living (I know its not 1:1). At some point ::gasp:: it can’t grow fast enough and we have to stop deficit spending and start raising taxes a little bit. Heresy, I know. Our government is as fiscally irresponsible as our citizens when it comes to debt management.

    Also, even without the F-22, don’t we already have the best jets in the world? Is anyone else really even trying to match us at this point? Is air-to-air combat even happening these days? We only seem to fight countries with puny air forces, since the ones with something comparable (from the article) have nukes and/or are so militarized we wouldn’t want to bother. I know the attitude is “build it before you need it”, but is this really necessary? The limitation in jet fighter technology is really about the human inside piloting. They can only take so much before blacking out. Wouldn’t and shouldn’t the next step be a completely unmanned jet fighter?

  2. Chris

    Ian,
    Our economy should scale with our population, but I think the ideal situation would be some sort of equilibrium in terms of both. It’s just not sustainable in terms of natural resources.

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    The F-22 is designed to replace the F-15 which was first built in the early 1970s. It’s still a formidable plane, but it’s hardly the cutting edge now. And you make excellent points about nuclear powers and unmanned fighters.