The prestigious national newspaper Investor’s Business Daily has now picked up the alarm about the feds’ enormous ammo and gun buys. (RR readers were made aware of these developments months ago.) All of the weaponry is designated for in-country use in the US, and amounts involved are enough to support the Iraq war use rate (5.5M rounds per month) to continue that level of combat for 24 years. (H/T to reader)
MIT mavens in artificial intelligence acknowledge that AI (robots) will permanently kill jobs while increasing the nation’s productivity as they replace humans. This has been a longstanding area of interest on RR (see Singularity Signposts) for the last several years, recently culminating in a series on the economic impact of productivity growth on unemployment given the government imposed slow growth that is planned for the remainder of this decade. It is also heartening for me to finally hear corroboration of the thesis that such intelligent machines “could create more inequality.” The message here has been ‘bet on it’ (here and here).
This should not be a matter of joy to anyone. Those who can design and work with such machines will prosper, and prosper magnificently. Those who have to compete with them will suffer the fate of ‘John Henry, the Steel Drivin’ Man’. Congress is still in denial about this future, but it is good to at least see academics of the technical stripe pick up on this and start making public statements (example here).
Obamacare is now an identified and almost universally recognized albatrsos hung around the nation’s neck. As more and more of it comes to light and is implemented, the disastrous numbers continue to roll in about its impact on America’s healthcare and overall economy. One thing is certain, EVERY benefit that this new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, starting with its cynical name, has turned out to be a bald-faced lie. Nothing salutary of it remains except the cries of a few true believers in his second coming, and, of course, all those legions of new government workers hired to bilk their fellow citizens.
Recently even the quantitative comparisons with many European socialized healthcare systems have been cast in doubt with the revelation that it takes an extra envelope stuffed with cash passed under the table to a physician or administrator to be approved for a procedure, moved up in the que, or actually have the service performed. These bribes are called “informal payments’ and have been the norm for decades in underfunded nationalized health systems with poorly paid workers. As such national healthcare systems start suffering cutbacks, this practice is also spreading to the richer countries. In any case, it’s hard to compare costs in the face of such dealings. One is reminded of attempting to equate unemployment rates between nations practicing various levels of socialism and/or communism. About the future of Obamacare no one should be surprised.
[update] Burnished bullshit. That is about the best that can be said for the YubaNet reported study by Glantz and Grana of UCSF. The connection between the Tea Party and the tobacco industry and/or "tobacco interests" is utter nonsense and no more intimate than the celebrated fact that literally any two people on earth can be joined by no more than 'six degrees of separation' or six links on the grand sociogram of the world. Here's their strong point from YubaNet's breathless report -
"From previously secret tobacco industry documents available at the UCSF Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, IRS filings and other publicly available documents, the study authors traced a decades-long chain of personal, corporate and financial relationships between tobacco companies, tobacco industry lobbying and public relations firms and nonprofit organizations associated with the Tea Party."
Study authors Glantz and Grana are cheap-shot demogauges of the worst kind - i.e. they generate their politically motivated progressive pap on taxpayer dollars. The connection from which they weave their egregious relationship (conspiracy?) is that the nation's tea parties have, of course, used the imagery that has come to represent the historical occasion in Boston harbor. That imagery was apparently also used by 'tobacco interests' in promoting their industry. And that is the thread these liberal 'scholars' use to sew together today's tea partiers and the evil tobacco industry.
That leftwing blogs like YubaNet gleefully publish and give full credence to such studies points clearly to the other layer of manure that the lamestream and liberal echo chambers have been coating the countryside with - the tea parties are history, pay no attention to the little burble they caused in 2010, everything is back under control.