[ExI] Repudiating the national debt
spike66 at att.net
Wed May 18 04:06:18 UTC 2016
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Dan TheBookMan
>>… We don’t know where those sailors were located when they were captured. The
> sailors are not being allowed to testify. I heard one skipper has been canned.
>…All right. That's not the story I've read in the news. So we have a basic disagreement on what are the facts of the matter. Do you agree that the US Navy boats entered Iranian waters and that, whatever happened, no US sailors died?
Ja to both.
When you say US Navy boats entered Iranian waters, this would include having been intercepted in international waters by Iranian gunboats by Iranian skippers who knew the American boat crews had orders to not fire if taken in international waters.
Then we can go to what I consider the most likely scenario: the American boats were close to Iranian waters. The Iranian skippers took liberties with the boundaries, took them at gunpoint in international waters, ordered the Americans to shut off their (perfectly healthy) engines, waited for them to drift into Iranian waters, then took them prisoner.
I do not buy the engine trouble story: military equipment like a Diesel engine would be designed for reliability, since sailors hang their lives on them. Had one boat had engine trouble, the other one would have towed it, or even pushed it in the rather bizarre scenario that sailors had no rope between them. There was no hurry, they could have tied their shirts together to create a makeshift tow rope and hauled the dead boat out away from the borderline between Iranian waters.
So why give us that engine-trouble story? To make it look like our fault or an accident? Why didn’t they just say the American skippers (both of them) were playing chicken with that line? Why are not they allowing the sailors to tell what happened? Does not this look too much like our unwillingness to let the US employees of the Libyan embassy tell their story? Note that the only ones who have talked about the Benghazi attack are those who were security contractors, over whom the government has no control.
Is there anyone left in government who still does not understand why no one believes them?
>…So you believe that the report of mechanical issues was fabricated?
I do sir.
>…What's your basis for believing this?
Had it been so, the other boat would have towed it. I think both boats were taken in international waters.
The Iranians knew Barack wanted to be the peace president, at any and all cost, even while under direct attack. The world saw how he reacted to the Benghazi attack: he went about apologizing for something we did not do and over which we had no control. So the Iranians decided they wanted some of that too. Now other countries will follow suit, one after another, probably with pretty similar results.
> Were the boats lost? Did their compasses point the wrong way? Did the Iranians
> have GPS jammers? And did the sailors have no alternate multi-frequency backup
> navigation while sailing hostile waters?
>…It's starting to sound like you believe the Iranian navy has weapons and technology well in advance of the West and of the US in particular. What's the evidence for this?
No, the questions are asked as a no to all. The boats were not lost. USNavy boats don’t get lost. The Iranians have no tech magic. They went right out in international waters and took the American boats with plain old guns, just like we have used since forever. The Iranians knew the Americans were under orders to not fire first. The Americans did not know the Iranians would not fire. When ordered to power down and step away from their guns, the American skippers complied. The American president celebrated their safe return, not a single shot fired, no casualties, hooray! Meanwhile, Iran prepares their nuclear missiles, which will be aimed at Israel.
>> And did two vessels have engine trouble simultaneously?
>…Wasn't the official story that one broke down and the other stayed with it?
See anything wrong with that story?
>> Defaulting on the national debt is a bad thing.
>…Why is it bad?
Because elderly pensioners don’t get enough to live on, and their doctors don’t get paid enough to treat them. Both outcomes are bad.
>…That's not really a default. The creditors might still be getting paid under that scenario. A default to me means the debt won't be paid…
Ja, that is why I call it a soft default. The Social Security people adjust payments according to inflation, and that number can be calculated creatively. Hell I have enjoyed deflation for years: all the stuff I really care about owning has gotten steadily cheaper since forever. I am a geek, so my stuff is electronics. So… why do not we calculate inflation based on that? Why on food? That isn’t a really major fraction of my expenditures. Inflation depends on what you buy. I don’t really care much what gold costs; I am not buying it. Don’t need it. I am not buying a house, not buying a car. For now I don’t care what that stuff costs.
But the elderly pensioners do care what rent costs and what food costs and what medical care costs: they buy that stuff.
So… I foresee a scenario where lenders realize it is crazy to keep loaning to the US. Then the Federal government effectively reduces payments to pensioners by offering unrealistic inflation numbers, reduces payments to Medicare, hands back most social safety net stuff to the states, reduces the military, then the budget balances once again.
This might not be called a soft-default: it is still paying debts. Just not as much as pensioners thought they would get. Plenty of Yanks never save for retirement, assuming they will live on SS. But when they arrive, they are shocked at how little money it is. If you already own your house outright, don’t need medical care and are a light eater, it can be done. But it really isn’t much now. It can only go down from here.
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