Strange Days Indeed


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CWL
December 16, 2008, 03:19 PM
Folks,

We certainly are living in strange times. I am seeing both a "gun run" because of Obama fears -yet I'm also seeing firearms retailers and dealers in trouble because of this Recession we are in. Some guns can't stay on the shelves yet other fine firearms are being deeply discounted. Online guys are barraging me with some incredible offers for guns and accessories.

I'm wondering if we'll be short a few more gunmakers by the time everything sorts out 1-2 years down the road.

Can't really figure this one out.

Anyone have an opinion?

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indoorsoccerfrea
December 16, 2008, 03:22 PM
my guess: cheaper good quality guns are getting bought. people are afraid of a ban/more taxes and want guns but cannot afford the nicer ones due to money issues.

Tyris
December 16, 2008, 03:37 PM
Be specific. What are you seeing flying off the shelf, and what are you seeing deeply discounted?

My personal anecdotal gut feel says AR15s along with anything black and semi-auto are flying off the shelf while walnut and blue bolt action Remchesterbys are not.

-T

JImbothefiveth
December 16, 2008, 04:15 PM
May also be because a $10,000 English best gun is less likely to get banned than, say, an AR-15

starboard
December 16, 2008, 04:26 PM
The long-term side-effect of dragging the people through the deflation/inflation cycle that rapidly concentrates wealth in the hands of the wealthy (the only ones with deep enough pockets to buy assets when everyone else is desperate to sell), is that lots more people will be dependent on the state for basic needs, with gun/ammo budgets withering away along with our liberties.

Currently, as with the competing deflationary (shrinking economy) and inflationary (money printing / issuing of Treasuries / prime rate down to nothing) forces in the economy, the threat of Obama's socialist gun grab is competing against financial doom hanging over the middle class.

If the economy nosedives (we aren't there yet!) before the bans come, the market will probably be flooded with cheap guns as the desperate sell. If the bans come quickly and stuff is grandfathered in, whatever is sold will likely fetch a premium.

I am expecting hyperinflation and USD collapse (against commodities and the yen in particular) in a year, as the government (after allowing the plutocrats to gorge at the bottom of the deflationary dip) will print as much money as necessary from entering a deflationary Great Depression 2.

Bubba613
December 16, 2008, 04:51 PM
I am expecting hyperinflation and USD collapse (against commodities and the yen in particular) in a year, as the government (after allowing the plutocrats to gorge at the bottom of the deflationary dip) will print as much money as necessary from entering a deflationary Great Depression 2.
At least you have a positive attitude about things.
Back to planet earth and the OP:
Even if the unemployment rate jumps to 10% that still means 90% of the people are working. Currently there is a gun buying mania driven by fear of the next administration and its action. My prediction is that long about Feb or Mar when it is apparent that Obama will not be assuming dictatorial powers and sending the JBTs on a house to house, people will calm down about it and supply and demand will return to normal.
Guns tend to be steady sellers. In down times people buy them out of fear of losing what they have. Of course the mix is a little different. So fewer top end guns and what I would call "play toys", e.g. the Ruger Charger. But Rem 870s, Mossberg 500s, Glocks, Smith revolvers etc will all continue to sell fine.
The only casualty I see coming is Colt. But that has less to do with the economy and more to do with their own mismanagement.

SSN Vet
December 16, 2008, 05:20 PM
I am expecting hyperinflation and USD collapse

+1,000

When the total of Federal revenues comes up short of what is required to service just the interest on our massive (and ever increasing) Federal debt, the politicos will be left with three choices....

1. Massive cuts in government services .... not politically tenable ... ain't gonna happen.

2. Massive increases in Federal taxes (across the board) .... not politically tenable ... ain't gonna happen.

3. Shift the printing presses into warp speed and just dilute the currency.

Option 3 is the only one that our spineless politicians (voted into office by a spineless electorate) will ever go with...

and...

the result WILL be hyper inflation on everything you need (milk, bread, meat, etc...)

along with falling prices on everything you don't need (a new laptop, a new car, a new boat, a new toy).

fuel is a wild card.... the shrinking economy (no money for fun driving/flying/boating, etc...) is tanking fuel demand and prices. But of course, our 'friends' in the middle east are already clamoring to slash production to prop up oil.

Time will tell....

My personal strategy hasn't changed...

1. cut almost all discretionary spending.
2. sell assets I can no longer afford to service.
3. pay down/off debt.
4. acquire assets that enable me to do for myself (I'm talking land and small scale farming).

Time will tell if these actions are truly necessary, but I doubt I'll ever regret them.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 16, 2008, 07:14 PM
We certainly are living in strange times. I am seeing both a "gun run" because of Obama fears -yet I'm also seeing firearms retailers and dealers in trouble because of this Recession we are in. Some guns can't stay on the shelves yet other fine firearms are being deeply discounted. Online guys are barraging me with some incredible offers for guns and accessories.

Yes, I noticed that. There are still good deals to be had for the used guns that runs aren't being made on (anything but semi-autos rifles & pistols). And oddly enough, sometimes even on guns in those categories, as dealers take them in trade and want to re-sell them quickly for a quick buck.

Sinixstar
December 16, 2008, 07:34 PM
3. Shift the printing presses into warp speed and just dilute the currency.

Option 3 is the only one that our spineless politicians (voted into office by a spineless electorate) will ever go with...


That's already happening.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/15/news/economy/credit_market/index.htm

CoRoMo
December 16, 2008, 07:42 PM
The guns that are feared to be banned by this next administration, handguns and black rifles, are being bought up, but sporting rifles, shotguns, and the 'fine firearms' you mentioned are not getting the attention because people are spending their money on the ones feared to become illegal soon.

My own personal example is that I've been saving for a nice waterfowler 12ga. but... about a month before the election, I decided that... "If Barry wins, I'm spending this money on an AR15 rather than an Extrema2" and that is the plan. I doubt Barry's first crack at our guns will eliminate my chances at an Extrema2, maybe I'm wrong, but that is the choice I'm making because this might be my only chance to get what is legal today.

Tyris
December 16, 2008, 07:56 PM
Besides, it is certainly more difficult to hit a duck with a glock 9mm, thus it is more sporting. :evil:

duck vs 223 will have some interesting results.

Now, regarding those that believe that we're headed for hyper-inflation, ala zimbabwe or wiemar republic-- why is this not reflected in the bond market, or the spot price of gold? Naturally as the value of the dollar goes to zero or is anticipated to goto zero, people are going to hedge in gold or a stable foreign currency. I aint seeing it. Gold isn't $2000/oz. Swiss franc hasnt shot to the moon.

Governments survive deflation and depression -- they do not survive hyperinflation (wiemar -> germany, ww2; zimbabwe -> heh, no one will notice). Our creditors would stop buying our bonds if they got a whiff of printing. The chinese, japanese, russians and arabs would have to be out of their minds to buy our debt and then expect us to repay it with devalued currency. Our bonds would be worthless overnight and we'd have failed bond auctions, the government would go bankrupt instantly.

-T

LightningJoe
December 16, 2008, 08:27 PM
I suspect the actual hyperinflation is still a ways off (but I think it will come). First, they have to burn through all the money they can confiscate and/or borrow. That will take time. We're farther along right now than I expected us to be in 2008, so I may be a bit too optimistic about the time-frame. Still, I'd be surprised if we got to the hyperinflation/failed-state stage in less than 30 years.


PS bury those rifles and hi-cap mags if you have to; I'll suspect you'll need them eventually.

LightningJoe
December 16, 2008, 09:26 PM
2. Massive increases in Federal taxes (across the board) .... not politically tenable ... ain't gonna happen.


The thing is, this won't work anyway. We're almost certainly on the far side of the Laffer curve and have been for decades. Raising taxes will only decrease revenues. Getting more money by taxing income more heavily (across the board at least) won't work. That's why the national debt is so high. The only way they've been able to get more money has been by borrowing.


But there's a limit to that and they may be close to finding it. How long will people continue to lend money to the US government? Well, I suspect we'll find out.


When they can't borrow enough anymore, they'll have to take money from wherever they can find it. That's where your 401K, IRA, and private pension will go. After that's gone, that's when they'll be face-to-face with the hard logic of Socialism--no money left to borrow or steal. Nothing left to do but print money while they get their families and as much of their stuff as they can out of the country.


That's when all hell will break loose.

LightningJoe
December 16, 2008, 09:53 PM
Thank goodness.Finally an optimistic post!


Hey, I forecasted 30 years. A pessimist would've said 10.

Titan6
December 16, 2008, 10:05 PM
Lots of fear out there I see.

Not sure if the fear is about gun control or the economy.

For one the outlook is bleak and the other is just downright bad. When the president's economic adviser goes on TV and says that the trillions of dollars in debt is a problem for another day you can't help but worry for your children... someone has to.

When the president states publicly that his policy will be to pursue the banning of guns that should be a cause for alarm.

But all of this is just lost voices in the wind.

MIL-DOT
December 16, 2008, 10:15 PM
Much needed thread. I'm OK on guns and ammo, so after considerable research, I whole-heartedly recommend buying gold/silver,fuel,and food.
As the saying goes,"you can hear me now, or listen to me later".:D

Tyris
December 16, 2008, 11:51 PM
disregard

NetJunkie
December 17, 2008, 12:24 AM
3. pay down/off debt.

Why pay down debt? Debt is a very good thing going in to hyper-inflation. Your pay will go up. Your debt won't. If it's as bad as you claim you may be able to pay your house off with a week's salary one day. Why pay it off now?

simple_rule
December 17, 2008, 12:31 AM
i fear what people will do to one another if things get bad, no amount of guns or preperation can prevent much of that. sometimes it just comes down to statistics, if half of us die, half of us die. alot will be stupid but many will just be unlucky

wyocarp
December 17, 2008, 12:48 AM
I think I'll just worry about today. Tomorrow will have it's own set of problems. But, that's nothing new.

I'll just keep buying guns and ammo (if I could find it). Got a decent price on one this past weekend and sent money off for another today that I got raped on (oh well).

franconialocal
December 17, 2008, 12:58 AM
NONE of this economy talk really matters to me. I was poor before all of this, and I'll still be poor after it!! Ammo has ALWAYS been expensive for me, and been a huge limiting factor in my time spent on the trigger. Therein, how many billions of rounds of .22 have I shot when I really wanted to be shooting .45???? Case in point, I recently bought a Sig P220/.22 LR conversion just so I could afford to shoot it alot but still be using the "same gun" that I have for ccw/home defense when in .45 mode..:banghead:
I had to save for a long time to buy my Springfield EMP too.

Save your pennies.....:eek:

Regular Joe
December 17, 2008, 04:06 AM
+1 Simple Rule
I believe that what we are seeing is the current stage in an agenda that began with the assassination of JFK. All of the wisdom I've seen so far is running under the assumption of business as usual. The truth is that we have never been here before. The entire planet is in this financial meltdown together. I believe that this will all continue to worsen until, as Tony Blair has already suggested, we pull it all together with One World currency, under One World Government.
Yes, this kind of change involves a huge loss of life. The powers that be are well aware that world population is currently about 2.5 billion more than the planet can sustain.
There is a book you may want to brush up on. It used to be available in the dresser drawer of any hotel room, but you can still find it in bookstores, and Christian churches.....

starboard
December 17, 2008, 06:45 AM
Another way to conceptualize our national fiscal policy is as a giant ponzi scheme, except no one wishes to say anything or haul Mr. Ponzi or Mr. Madoff to jail since 1) they have the biggest guns around, and 2) the investors are in so deep, they're very afraid of having it end on their watch.

But deficit spending cannot continue forever, and I think slashing entitlements -- a huge and growing portion of the budget -- is as inevitable as inflation.

Insofar as Social Security goes, from what I understand, the surplus funds collected to the present day have all been lent to the gov't (and spent!) in exchange for "soft" bonds (not even the standard Treasuries) the ultimate repayment of which is up to the Congress.

Will it be political suicide if ten years from now they say with one voice, "The system is broke and the only way anyone will get anything is to socialize medicine and halve monthly payments"? No amount of "voting the bastards out" could possibly cure 50 years worth of chronic fiscal disease at that point, and everyone will realize this. We will have to suck it up, whatever comes.

Vertigo
December 17, 2008, 07:20 AM
Hi all,

my 2cents as a (european) economics student:

What is happening right now, has been in the pipe for over 20 years now: People spending more than they should, living above their normal standard of living and off course due to this living in debt. The (US) government just has taken over this mentality.

What really needs to change is that people need to wake up and realise they cannot spend money they don't have. I mean, having a mortgage on your house, just so you can buy a new home theater system is ludicrous. This is especially true for the lower middle class.

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying they shouldn't be allowed to buy something nice, but look at the facts:

Throughout history, being middle class, meant having a small house, having a drink on friday evenings, and if you were lucky, some kind of small luxury.

The last 20 years, people from the middle class, now have two cars, a big house, go twice a year on a holiday, each has an expensive smart phone, a computer, a plasma tv,....

Again, do not get me wrong, I do not say they do not deserve these things. I am just mentioning that this is not normal. Especially not, knowing all this has been bought on credit...

What really needs to change is people's mentality, the years of continuing rising standards of living are over. Not only because of the global economy, which is suffering blow after blow now. But also because of the fast rising standards of living in asian countries, who will start to consume more and more of the planet's resources. This will effectively mean heavily rising consumer product prices for the west (US + Europe).

One more thing to finish off, although not entirely on topic: I have a mentor, a high placed lawyer on the European level. And while we were talking the last time we met, about the US elections and about the Bush government, we came to the same conclusion: Some day, it is very likely people will erect a statue for Bush, to thank him for his view on the future and what he did for it during his presidency: Everyone smart enough to think, now knows the US invaded Iraq because of the oil. However this might be one the US's greatest assets in the future, since this heavily critisized invasion, might just give the US population a breathing chance. Something, we in Europe will not have, depending on russian oil and gas.

greetz,

V.

starboard
December 17, 2008, 07:34 AM
At least you have a positive attitude about things.
Back to planet earth and the OP:
Even if the unemployment rate jumps to 10% that still means 90% of the people are working.


The labor force in the US is ~150 million, roughly half the population. The participation rate (labor force / cohort) is about 66%.

So when we say "only 10%" unemployment, we're talking about at least 15 million people in an environment where the safety net is going bankrupt, but there are also quite a few others who formerly earned money without having the 'employee' status, and thus who must be added to the 15M. Lastly, consider all those children and seniors who must be supported.

All the tools in the Grand Burglary Toolbox of Bernanke and Paulson are inflationary, and historically inflation + gov't job creation has been the answer to unemployment. Obama's New New Deal will fund something like 700 bln of infrastructure projects when he takes office. Much of that will of course settle in the pockets of the Right People, but no doubt lots of jobs will be created, all at the expense of the taxpayer. Still, 700 bln is small compared to the damage experienced in the economy. Things will be a lot worse before they get better (better relative to the bottom, though not in the long term as our purchasing power will continue to degrade over time).

One bank insider report I've gotten wind of puts the 2009 foreclosure numbers at 2x those of 2008, though they expect the RE prices to start climbing from their bottom before Q2 2010.

starboard
December 17, 2008, 07:51 AM
One more thing to finish off, although not entirely on topic: I have a mentor, a high placed lawyer on the European level. And while we were talking the last time we met, about the US elections and about the Bush government, we came to the same conclusion: Some day, it is very likely people will erect a statue for Bush, to thank him for his view on the future and what he did for it during his presidency: Everyone smart enough to think, now knows the US invaded Iraq because of the oil. However this might be one the US's greatest assets in the future, since this heavily critisized invasion, might just give the US population a breathing chance. Something, we in Europe will not have, depending on russian oil and gas.


Alan Greenspan, the Grand Bubble Maker himself, said as much in a 2007 interview -- that the invasion was about the "stability of the oil supply." Not confiscation or anything like that, but helping to ensure that regional upheaval doesn't interrupt output and delivery. I would agree that outright confiscation is not in the cards, but influence peddling certainly is.

I'm now thinking that, as the US pulls out, we might broker an arrangement for China to benefit heavily from Iraqi oil output in exchange for China's continued investment in the increasingly worthless US Treasuries. In other words, China will keep selling us crack because we have a captive wholesale meth dealer who will stoke China's burgeoning habit. That we continue to turn a blind eye to Chinese industrial and military espionage would help sustain the purchase of US bonds as well.

Bubba613
December 17, 2008, 08:15 AM
What really needs to change is people's mentality, the years of continuing rising standards of living are over. Not only because of the global economy, which is suffering blow after blow now. But also because of the fast rising standards of living in asian countries, who will start to consume more and more of the planet's resources. This will effectively mean heavily rising consumer product prices for the west (US + Europe).

One more thing to finish off, although not entirely on topic: I have a mentor, a high placed lawyer on the European level. And while we were talking the last time we met, about the US elections and about the Bush government, we came to the same conclusion: Some day, it is very likely people will erect a statue for Bush, to thank him for his view on the future and what he did for it during his presidency: Everyone smart enough to think, now knows the US invaded Iraq because of the oil. However this might be one the US's greatest assets in the future, since this heavily critisized invasion, might just give the US population a breathing chance. Something, we in Europe will not have, depending on russian oil and gas.
This is typical from a European. These are the same people saying the same things in the 1970s.
Let's start with the fact that resources are limitless. Human ingenuity is such that when one thing gets used up (like whale oil) we find something else to take its place (like electricity).
The U.S. has had the highest standard of living for some time. Our economy continues to grow and produce jobs. The current situation is merely part of the business cycle and will work itself out, with or without government help, in about 3-4 quarters. Talk of scaling back expectations and living within our means is defeatist talk. If we all believed this we would still be driving horses to work and living on family farms.
I realize it is gospel in Europe that the U.S. attacked Iraq for oil. It was equally gospel that the USSR was a peace loving nation provoked by US imperialism. Both are wrong. The US had forces in Kuwait. We could have taken over the country. We didnt. After the Iraq war oil prices went up. I guess we did a bad job of taking over their oil.
This is all massively OT for a gun forum and mods need to do their duty.

redneck2
December 17, 2008, 08:39 AM
This is typical from a European. These are the same people saying the same things in the 1970s.
From a 58 YO US citizen, I agree completely with our European friend. It isn't about resources, it's about assets. A given amount of work, effort, monetary assets are traded for goods in any society.

In the US we have continually traded our current assets (income, savings, and even use our home equity) for crap. Plasma TV's, stereo sets, fancy cars, vacations, etc.

The biggest problem is that we have not only traded all current income, but a vast percentage of future income in many cases via credit cards and home equity loans. Buying has to dry up as a worker has to pay current bills and also pay for the stuff they bought five or ten years ago. Typically they also have to pay a huge amount of interest, so it's a triple whammy.

You might try listening to Dave Ramsey on radio. Personally, I'm selling unused guns and anything else I'm not using. There is no substitute for zero debt.

W1EAT
December 17, 2008, 09:58 AM
"Grand Burglary Toolbox" is a great name for it! I've also heard it called "The Big Heist". Whatever you call it, there's no doubt that this is the biggest theft in history. Not a penny will ever benefit anyone who isn't already a multi-millionaire.

Bubba613
December 17, 2008, 10:07 AM
There is no substitute for zero debt.
Yes and it's called bankruptcy. An unsophisticated approach to debt will land someone there as well.
I dont have a plasma TV and haven't taken a vacation in years. I would bet most people are in the same boat.

Vertigo
December 17, 2008, 11:08 AM
@Bubba163:

I realize it is gospel in Europe that the U.S. attacked Iraq for oil. It was equally gospel that the USSR was a peace loving nation provoked by US imperialism. Both are wrong. The US had forces in Kuwait. We could have taken over the country. We didnt. After the Iraq war oil prices went up. I guess we did a bad job of taking over their oil.

I'm sorry for saying that, off course the primary motivations for the US invading Iraq, were WMD's and Saddam Hussein:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/world/middleeast/30contract.html?partner=rssnyt

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB28Ak01.html

So much for sarcasm, but on the other hand, unlike all those "European Zealots" I CAN understand that securing a steady oil supply for the US was both necessary and a good thing. Even for Europe: Without a steady oil supply for the US, the US military will rapidly lose its power projection capabilities and this would lead to a lot of people trying to cause unrest in the middle east. And btw, the middle east is way closer to Europe than it is to the US.

Another thing: we europeans are not all baby-faced, lentil-eating tree huggers. And stating that we europeans see Russia as a peace loving nation, is an equally stupid assumption. We just know we have to respect them. Because if Ivan goes crazy, he will go crazy in our backyard, not yours. But nevermind my ranting about prejudices, if they will give you a sense of comfort in living your life, go ahead.

just found another big thruth in your post Bubba163:

Let's start with the fact that resources are limitless.

Resources? Limitless? Where did you get that one from?
Maybe you ought to freshen-up on your economics, before you start saying things like that.
By definition, resources are scarce! They wouldn't be resources otherwise. (If you want to continue to discuss this, and disagree with me, by all means, go ahead, read my lines carefully, I left you a gap :p) Be aware though, I might just know what you are going to say and I might just already know the answer for it.


greetz,

V.

Bubba613
December 17, 2008, 05:12 PM
Another thing: we europeans are not all baby-faced, lentil-eating tree huggers.
That's true. I met him once.
Quoting the NY Times to prove anything is about like quoting Pravda. I won't mention the various UN resolutions (approved by Europeans btw) because I will not re-fight this fight. The facts are too numerous and well documented. The logic is too obvious too. If we wanted oil all we had to do was relax sanctions and we could have bought all the Iraqi oil we wanted. Saddam needed to sell.
We already had a big military in Kuwait. If we wanted their oil we could have staged a coup and gone home.
No, that's a canard.
The reason the Euros opposed the war (after they were for it) it because they were getting big payoffs from Saddam in the Oil for Food scandal. They continue to cling to the absurd notion of the US as Big Imperialist when in fact they are just counting on the US to fight the wars they are unable to fight. The Belgian Army in particular was unmasked recently (in the WSJ) as filled with incompetents, used by the government as a substitute jobs program, and not mission ready for anything more than a band concert.

As to resources, a given resource might be finite but resources in general are not due to substitution and other reasons.

Vertigo
December 18, 2008, 02:34 PM
@Bubba613

I cannot even begin to describe how much your logic is flawed and frankly your assumptions are quite laughable. Normally I would not even deem this worthy of an answer. Honestly, I feel like I need to educate a 14 year old. But if I do not reply, obviously you will start yelling “In your face!” Now, we cannot let that happen eh? So, I will be going through line after line and correct when necessary.

1. So you do believe all of Europe are leftist, socialistic mindless bums in clothes made of goat hair? Please wake up sir.

2. I do not really get your logic about the NY Times and Pravda thing. Isn’t the Pravda pro-government? Than that would mean, the NY Times is pro-government, and that would result in the NY Times screaming about WMD’s rather than about an oil deal. If you however meant that the NY Times is biased in its reporting, I must admit I wouldn’t know about that. That’s why I added another newspaper, and if you would care enough to make the effort, typing in the words “Iraq oil deal”, will always result in (recent) articles about senior executives from mayor oil companies being a member of an Iraqi advisory council on the development/production of the Iraqi oil fields.

3. You are saying you will not mention “the various UN resolutions” . However, although this sounds very impressive, you failed to give which UN resolutions, thus stating this, is like an officer taking you into custody and while doing so, says “I’m arresting you on criminal charges” without mentioning what you actually did wrong. So please enlighten me here as to which resolution.

4. “All we had to do was relax sanctions” Yeah right, the US was, as was the rest of the world, condemning and criticising Saddam’s reign, by placing an embargo, but because the US needs some oil they should just have lifted that embargo and embraced that tyrant. How exactly do you think the world would have reacted then? Doesn’t this sound awfully opportunistic to you, something a proper government tries to steer clear off?

5. “If we wanted their oil, we could have staged a coup and gone home” So what you are saying is: They stage a coup and put a new tyrant in place, who will pump out their oil for them, no questions asked. (This obviously has the merit to be sure to receive applause from the other world leaders :p ) Honestly, don’t you think it would be a much better strategy, to conquer and secure the country (what they did), bring down Saddam’s government (they did), and continue to provide security until the Iraqi government can take over (what they are doing), while placing some of their own in “advisory roles” as to guarantee that oil supply (which they evidently did)

6. “The reason the Euros opposed the war”: Well, since there is no such thing as the Euros, in the sense of a single united government, controlling the national/regional governments, like for example the United States, this just doesn’t make sense. There is no such thing as “the Euros”. There is a European Union, that’s correct, however this functions not at all like the federal government in the US. In the European Union, all member states get to vote and it only takes one veto to wipe a proposal of sending troops to Iraq off the table. And stating that they were all against it is also utter bullsh*t. What about Italy, Estonia, the UK, Denmark, Lithuania and Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal? They are all members of the European Union, however they do have troops in Iraq. Granted not as much as the US, but still they are helping out as well.

7. “They are just counting on the US to fight the wars they are unable to fight.” This is the first remark you made, that makes sense. This is absolutely true, since most European countries, either have very small military forces or they do not have the capabilities (nor the funding for that matter) to project power overseas, as the US does. This is however something that will continue as long as there is not something like a United States of Europe. But that is a different discussion altogether.

8. “The Belgian Army in particular was unmasked recently (in the WSJ) as filled with incompetents, used by the government as a substitute jobs program, and not mission ready for anything more than a band concert.” Although this is very true and I seriously regret that the Belgian government does not take any action to enhance its armed forces, this has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion and this does not even affect in the slightest bit the reasons the US had for invading Iraq.

9. “As to resources, a given resource might be finite but resources in general are not due to substitution and other reasons.” Substitution and other reasons? Unless you are talking about the law of conservation of energy (which I highly doubt), there is no such thing as limitless resources. Because resources are always limited to what you can extract from it. For example, some might say solar power is a limitless resource. Although this is virtually true (stars do die, I know) in the everyday loosened-up vocabulary of Joe Nobody, this is not true in an economical (which is its true meaning) sense: Solar power is still limited in such a way that we can only extract so much from it, and that it costs a heck of a lot to do so. If this weren’t true, then the indigenous people of “wherever”, wouldn’t need an electric company setting up a power grid between their huts. They could just use the sun... obviously you must see the flaw in your logic here and admit that you were wrong about resources being limitless.

This is the last I will say about this topic, because frankly I think I already put too much effort into this, compared with the value of your words. However, if anyone else wishes to discuss further in a more reasonable fashion I would be delighted to do so.

Greetz to all, Out.

V.

taliv
December 18, 2008, 02:54 PM
vertigo, don't waste your time arguing with such blatant stupidity.

i'm not as convinced of impending economic doom as some. the signs certainly all point that direction, but the future is hard to predict. and i don't think a correction is a bad thing long term


as for guns, i've been converting my small collection to be all things that are highly liquid and useful.

too much cash or guns is risky. some of each is safer.

hso
December 18, 2008, 04:21 PM
Since this has wandered into economics and politics we'll just close it.

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