Sunday, March 31, 2013

Did God do a "sneaky" when he made silver and gold?

I was watching a cable show on money the other night, which explained that only two elements on the big table could be used for money (before paper money) -- silver and gold -- based on scarcity and inherent attractiveness (the more attractive conveniently being the scarcer).

Which leads to two questions.  What kind of markets -- local or world-wide -- would have been possible over the millennia if silver and gold had never existed? And, did God do a "sneaky" when he made silver and gold (such natural "noble" metals)
to make early economic life much more possible?   

PS.  Supposing silver and gold had never existed, how would advocates of returning to the gold standard imagine the modern world would somehow make do?  :-)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How to recover the $400 million dollars wasted on the so-called Bronx Hall of Justice

First, clear everybody out of the new courthouse and put them back in the not so old two courthouses (the newest old opened in 1977!).  With crime down 75% before the new one opened for business there must be ample room for all functions in the not so old two.

Then open up the brand new one -- I would style it "Mad Mayor Bloomberg's Courthouse" -- for viewing in the public areas for $5 for the day or something.  Could put in a restaurant and souvenir area, etc.  More money could get you a guided tour through the non-pubic areas.  We could advertise it on other continents as a tourist attraction.  Sure, we are not talking of the Statue of Liberty -- but it would be sort of a government waste wonder of the world.  Tours through the entire building could take half a day -- empty area, after empty area, after completely wasted empty area.

Even if we did not pick up that many millions in tourist money ($400 millions is a lot to make up!), the exhibition could save the city millions every year by inspiration not to repeat the mistake over and over in smaller ways -- could potentially save the country billions a year by the same example.

Could not do it with the $670 million dollar new courthouse in Brooklyn -- which I assume is an equal story of waste; but I'm from the Bronx.  Same opening after crime went down 75% but it doesn't look like the first building site erected by Martians when they landed -- all glass and flying saucer jury selection space to boot.  As a matter of fact the Brooklyn boondoggle looks like an very expanded version of the older, landmark courthouse up on the Grand Concourse -- so it seems the landmark could not be too outmoded.

Just an idea.

Friday, March 15, 2013

TSA revokes knife ban: "Take me to Cuba" :-)

Of course the "American way" of dealing with this TSA rule would be for everybody to carry a knife on a plane. Just kidding. The first time a terrorist -- or just a lunatic (nah; none of them around) -- puts a knife to a stewardess' throat and insists on diverting to Cuba or just staying in the air long enough for the gas to get dangerously low, the ruling will be rectified. May not take long.

Come to think of it -- and the crazies will -- if you get four well trained (Seal like) middle eastern terrorists or our own right wing militia nuts (think Timothy McVeigh) who want to make a name for themselves, they could go through a smaller airliner (80 people) in a tight ball and kill every passenger on the plane one at a time.  The wouldn't crash the plane but it would be a flying coffin.  Just the type of obscene scene that keeps these types up dreaming nights (may be working on it already).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What deficit crisis? -- saith Paul Krugman

"Right now, given reasonable estimates of likely future growth and inflation, we would have a stable or declining ratio of debt to G.D.P. even if we had a $400 billion deficit."
"If you do the math, it seems likely that full economic recovery would raise revenue by at least $450 billion."
"A reasonable estimate is that economic recovery would reduce federal spending on such programs by at least $150 billion."
"Which brings us back to ONE TRILLION DOLLARS."