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Politics: International

Every indication points to the eventuality of Iran obtaining the technology to build a nuclear bomb.  It is my humble opinion that:

  1. A nation has the right to obtain such technology.
  2. We have no real ability to prevent this eventuality.

Rather than expend resources and political capital on attempting to prevent the inevitable, I think that we should prepare for the undeniable.  A nuclear Iran.  And as part of that planning, we need to address the following.

Can We Trust Iran To Be Rational

In other words, is Iran a nation ruled by people who respond to incentives in the way and manner that we would respond to those same incentives?

It turns out that Soviet Russia was.  They understood and reacted rationally to our nuclear stand-off.  Same goes with India and Pakistan.

Or do we think that Iran is led by a mindset that is mostly based in ideology, a religious ideology?  The most obvious example of which is the existence of Israel.

This question HAS to be answered.  And after it has been answered, all plans must account for the general agreement.

What Nations Put And Take With A Nuclear Iran

Who gains and loses when Iran obtains the technology and the ability to launch nuclear weapons?  The obvious losers are the United States and Israel.  But less obvious is who gains?  Understand not only who gains but why will allow us to negate many of the perceived “advantages” of those nations.

My guess is that the current modern world is mostly stable in terms of boundaries.  Certainly there will be small and rather negligent “map changes” but by and large the shape of our nations are mostly settled.  What isn’t settled is the economic influence of our nations as they stand.

How does China benefit, if they do, by a nuclear Iran?  Hell, how does Iran benefit from a nuclear Iran?

How Do We Negotiate With A Nuclear Iran

The Soviets had them and modern Russia does.  North Korea does, as does China.  Several other nations as well.  None of them have initiated a nuclear launch.

Why?

How will Iran be prevented from the same?  What will it take, what changes will have to be made, if any at all really, to prevent the launch of an Iranian weapon?  Is it the United States, in the end, that has to be the primary negotiator in these talks?  Is the United States the primary agitator in Iran’s mind?

In the end, these are the concepts that our leaders need to address.  There is little, if any, grounds to stand on that would allow us to prevent Iran from obtaining this technology.  Further, there is little, if any, hope that we’ll be able to prevent the

For ever we’ve heard the anti-free market crown complain that corporations exploit the workers of the world by moving production to heap labor.  Right?  We exploit the villager that has experienced bone crushing poverty for generations by providing a job that allows them to own their own house.  The first of their family EVER.

All of this in the name of profits and corporate greed.

Well guess what happens when the market begins to correct and the worm turns:

One of the things that’s showing up in Christmas stockings this year: higher prices, courtesy of China.

After decades as America’s go-to destination for low-cost consumer goods, China is undergoing a profound shift. Rapid economic development and a smaller supply of young migrant workers are pushing up labor costs. Tack on rising raw-materials prices, driven largely by Chinese demand, and a strengthening currency, and China-made goods aren’t the bargains they used to be.

Last month’s prices for Chinese imports were up 3.9% from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday, matching October’s gain, the largest year-to-year monthly rise since 2008.

Wednesday’s report showed that prices were up sharply for many kinds of goods for which China is the dominant supplier.

China accounts for about 80% of U.S. shoe imports; imported-footwear prices in November were up 6.1% from a year earlier. It accounts for about 60% of furniture imports; imported-furniture prices also were up 6.1%. About 80% of U.S. luggage imports come from China; prices in the category that includes luggage and similar goods rose 8.3% in November.

Those higher costs are one reason that U.S consumer prices have risen this year, despite the weak economy.

For all the complaining that has gone on concerning off shoring, people have been silent regarding the prices.  Maybe now, as prices begin to rise, people will begin to understand the benefits.

This is what happens when we impose tariffs on imported goods.  While the intent is to promote domestic business, the result is a trade war that punishes both domestic consumers as well as domestic business.  Not only does the tariff artificially raise the cost of goods for no reason, but it also forces foreign nations to impose tariffs in return:

BEIJING — China will levy anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on certain US vehicle imports, the commerce ministry said Wednesday, a move likely to fuel tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

The tariffs will be applied for two years to passenger cars and sports utility vehicles with engine capacities of 2.5 litres or more and will take effect Thursday, the ministry said in a statement.

The decision will affect vehicles produced by General Motors, Chrysler Group, BMW Manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz US International, American Honda Motor and Ford Motor.

Hopefully both sides will step away and increase free trade; tariff free.

The latest report from the OECD should make those in favor of redistributive policies vindicated in their opinion that the income disparity is growing.  Data suggests that it is:

THE gap between rich and poor has grown ever wider in wealthy countries over the past three decades. A new report by the OECD has reams of data on this phenomenon and is well worth looking at. The Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality in which zero corresponds to everyone having the same income and one means the richest person has all the income, increased by almost 10% from 0.29 in 1985 to 0.32 in 2008, for working-age people in OECD countries. The trend is caused by earnings: the pay of the richest 10% of employees has increased at a far greater rate than that of the poorest 10% of employees. Within the upper echelons, the top 1% have reaped the greatest gains.

I have ideas about why this gap is growing.  I think that much of it is the way in which they measure the Gini.  For example, you could take 4 people with incomes described as:

  1. $24,000
  2. $30,000
  3. $50,000
  4. $75,000

The Gini coefficient for the above data is .24162

Now, marry two of those wage earners:

  1. $24,000
  2. $50,000
  3. $105,000

The Gini coefficient for THAT data is .301676.  Without ANY income changing at all, the Gini increases by 25%.  In other words, the same number of people are working the same number of jobs and earning the same number of dollars.  The only difference is the method by which they calculate the Gini.

But are there other reasons for the Gini to increase?  Why yes:

Technology has disproportionately benefited high-earning workers, who also spend far longer at work than do low-earners. High earners marry other high earners. And governments are doing less to redistribute wealth than they have done in the past. So far, so familiar. But the report also argues that globalisation is not a significant cause of inequality, and that one of the many reasons for the rise in income inequality is that more people are in work now (or at least they were before the financial crisis hit) compared with the 1970s.

So, we have factors such as:

  1. Technology has helped the wealthy [did it create them?].
  2. Productive people marry other productive people .
  3. Governments are correctly not redistributing wealth.
  4. More people are “in work” now.

In the end, I’m not sure that the use of the Gini is an appropriate measure of income disparity.  Further, I’m not sure it even matters.

Consider eating out.  Going to a restaurant and having dinner–lunch would work, breakfast too.  The way it works today is that a small short term “contract” is enacted.  You sit down and order, the joint brings you food and you have to pay for it.  This is understood to be a contract because if the place doesn’t bring you what they said they would, you have legal recourse.  Ina similar manner, should you choose not to pay, they have recourse as well; it’s illegal to d”dine -n dash”.

And this works well.  Based on this arrangement, I’m willing to try new places as often as I’m moved.  If something opens near me, I almost always try it.  Further, in a quest to find more and better restaurants in a specific genre of food, I’ll expand my radius and drive further to experiment.  However, what if it didn’t work this way.  What if the arrangement was different.

Suppose that if you wanted to try a new eatery you had to commit to eating there once a week for a year.  In short, by agreeing to eat there just once, you were legally bound to eat there 51 more times.

Do you think you would try more or fewer new restaurants?

It’s obvious.  We would all eat at fewer new restaurants.  Not only that, but we might find that as a result of such a restriction, fewer new restaurants would be opened in the first place.  In other words, the general overall “eating out” experience would be diminished.

The exact same is true of jobs.

As it becomes harder and harder for me separate from my labor, I’ll buy less and less of it.  It’s pure and simple.  It’s as true of labor as it is of restaurants as it is of cars.  And it’s being demonstrated around the world:

(Reuters) – Employers burned by the cost of laying off workers in the last crisis are uneasy about taking on permanent staff amid faltering economic growth putting pressure on the current workforce, a staffing industry executive said on Thursday.

Demand for temporary workers often acts as a leading indicator for overall economic growth, as firms hire flexible workers at the start of a recovery and cut staff ahead of a downturn.

Staffing firms Randstad, USG People and Manpower have warned of slowing jobs growth in Europe as the region’s debt crisis hammers consumer and business confidence.

“What has happened in this recession is that the psychology of hiring has completely changed,” said David Arkless, president of global corporate and government affairs at Manpower Group.

In the past firms hired temporary workers at the start of a recovery and gradually took on more permanent staff. But now, even in sectors and companies that are growing, employers are mindful of the huge costs of downsizing in the last recession and reluctant to take on permanent staff, he said.

“Employers are saying this could kill my company if I do the wrong kind of hiring now and it turns into a double dip recession,” said Arkless. “They are stretching the human element of their company to breaking point because they are so scared of hiring any more people right now.”

We all wanna make sure that our workers have it good.  However, when we mandate too much good, they get nothing.

There has been significant debate over the idea that Iran may get the technology to build a bomb and what we may or may not do to prevent that eventuality. There are some, many even, that feel such technology in the hands of Iran will result in the destruction of Israel. Others feel that at the very least it will disrupt the region in the middle east and risk increased hostilities. Even others feel that the mere possibility of the creation of such weapons will result in the Israelis attacking Iran.

I’m not in a position to really comment on statecraft. I happen to think that much of such diplomacy and communication is, by definition, based on illusion, deception and subtle impressions of intention. As such, we really have little idea as to the true intentions of people and states. However, I AM wiling to acknowledge that a weapon in the hands of Iran will be disruptive.

But should it? Do we, or any other nation, have the right to deny another nation the technology required to build these nightmares? And if weDO have that right, do THEY in turn have similar claims on our owning such technologies?

I think that any nation has the sovereign right to advance their knowledge in science. That if they desire to learn such technologies, they Ought to be able. Perhaps they desire clean energy? Maybe some other benign use. But to deny that nation access to a technology simply because we fear what they might use it for is not consistent with our concept of liberty.

Can we limit the use of that technology? Certainly. As a collection of nations we have entered into agreement on all kinds of things; prisoners, weapons, war techniques and targets. We have in place laws and rules of use that govern nuclear weapons. I think it foolish and dangerous to attempt to deny anyone the possession of those weapons via coercive force.

Children!  Children, gather ’round.  I wanna tell you the story of the Leftist.

When someone you disagree with enters into a war to overthrow a brutal dictator, you protest him, call him Hitler and burn him effigy.  It is IMMORAL to use force against a foreign nation in an attempt to overthrow an evil brutal dictator.

But.  But….if Barack Obama would like to do the same, it is okay if:

  1. He does it quickly.
  2. There is no #2.

See, if one President goes to the United Nations and obtains resolution after resolution forcing the evil bad-guy dictator to allow this or allow that, and the evil bad-guy dictator doesn’t, AND the President gathers a coalition of foreign nations to assist in the overthrow of that evil bad-guy dictator AND that President goes to, you know, CONGRESS, AND….AND Congress authorizes force to remove evil bad-guy dictator AND that evil bad-guy dictator is captured AND that evil bad-guy dictator is imprisoned with human right’s representatives on guard AND that evil bad-guy dictator is given a trial and found guilty; well, THAT is immoral and the President is a douche.

He is greedy and is Hitler.

But, if the other President is Barack Obama, well, then we can target the evil bad-guy dictator in an assassination attempt, never go to Congress, the UN or any other body, watch as he is strung up on the hood of a truck like a deer, beat and shot without trial THEN allowed to have his body, decaying, be placed on public display for all to see while crooning:

We came, we saw, he died.

THAT is a foreign policy success, and the President is macho.

The Left is without morals.  They have none.  Which is why they try to legislate morals to force ME to abide by ’em.  They demand the rich donate to charity, but never do the same.  They demand that the Right care for the poor, but never do the same.  They scream that the Right engages in immoral wars, yet don’t care that they are the worst offenders.

They legislate others to do what they themselves can’t or won’t.