Monopoly Money Theory

Or, as proponents like to call it, “Modern Monetary Theory”.

Basically, this is how Occasional-Cortex expects to fund her Green Raw Deal, spending trillions of nonexistent dollars. Since proponents are usually pretty vague in their descriptions, it comes across as Zimbabwe-style hyperinflationary to sane people. But that link above finally explains why it isn’t.

Rather, it is essentially a description of how a modern credit economy actually works – how money is created and destroyed, by governments and by banks, and how financial markets function. Nor is MMT new: it is based on the work of John Maynard Keynes, whose A Treatise on Money pointed out back in 1930 that “modern States” have functioned this way for thousands of years.

From this description, certain straightforward facts flow. Governments create money by spending and extinguish it via taxation. It follows, therefore, that a large country, borrowing in its own currency, cannot be forced into default. That is why the US is not Greece, and cannot become Venezuela or Zimbabwe.

It is not hyperinflationary because the government will simply “destroy” the would-be excess money supply through taxation. Allow me to explain, through a simplified example, how that works.

1. The Fed cranks the printing presses all the way up to Ludicrous Speed.

2. The government then pays Contractor X to build “infrastructure;” say, a solar power farm.

3. Contractor X uses that money to buy materials and pay workers to build the boondoggle.

4. Government then “recovers” all that money by taxing it away from the contractor and workers, and “destroys” it. (Note that this cleverly ignores the fact that a very large chunk of that money actually left the country, beyond the government’s tax&destroy reach, going to purchase PVC panels from China, since the US only has a small part of the manufacturing capacity. Even if they also do a print&pay scheme to build PVC factories here, the money still leaves because we still have to buy the raw materials from elsewhere since the greenweenies decided we don’t need rare earth mining anymore.)

5. Contractor and workers then scratch their heads and wonder why they just did all that work for free: retroactively unpaid labor and materials.

Slavery and Theft, v2.0.

But at least it isn’t hyperinflationary, eh?

You now understand why @AOC et al are puzzled when we ask where the money is going to come from to fund their GRD, free healthcare for all, free college, and ponies. It comes from slavery and theft.

I’m hoping this is satire

But it reads like the idiot is serious.

We Need Gun Control at Every Level
The vast majority of Americans do not need a firearm, and yet they own them anyway, and continue to use them to kill. This is an epidemic that stems from a single source—the enormous, poorly regulated market for arms, propped up by an obscenely rich political lobby holding half of America’s electoral politics hostage.

1. “The vast majority of Americans […] continue to use them to kill.”

As I write, the US population is 328,889,018. A majority of that would be 164,444,510. If they were all using guns to kill, then we would have had millions of firearms deaths. Wrong. We would have noticed.

2. “the enormous, poorly regulated market for arms”

You need a federal license to manufacture firearms for sale. You are subject to inspection. Laws require you to maintain permanent records every firearm you make. Every firearm is required to be marked very specifically, right down to the depth of the lettering. You have to ship your product to another federally licensed seller, who s aslo subject to inspection and reams of paperwork requirements. That seller can only sell firearms to people who in turn get federal permission to buy a gun. All these manufacturers and sellers are subject to the same product liability and negligence penalties as any other industry. Not merely civil penalties, but criminal. The is a federal agency just for regulating firearms (and alcohol, tobacco, and eplosives) unlike the CPSC which oversees nearly every other product. So the industry is rather heavily regulated, dipstick.

3. “obscenely rich political lobby holding half of America’s electoral politics hostage”

Crosby appears to be talking about the Vichy NRA. Id he’d really been paying attention, he’d realize that the VNRA is pretty small potatoes compared to other lobbies. He might also notice that it’s only set up to enrich itself at members’ expense, and actually promotes gun control.

If it’s satire, it’s isn’t that well done. If it’s serious, then @jscros is just as ignorant of real facts (or lying) as every other victim disarmer.

VNRA’s “Intern”

LaPierre seemingly had Ack-Mac paying $4,500 a month in rent for his “intern’s” apartment.

Forty-five hundred bucks. Per month.

First, offhand I can’t recall seeing an internship that provided a free apartment. And did Allen declare that $13,804.84 payment in-kind in her tax filings?

Second, that rent seemed high to me but I don’t know what Fairfax rents are like. So I looked up The Ridgewood II by Windsor. Nice place. The listed rents run from $1,710 (1BR, 1BA) to $3,460 (3BR, 2BA) per month.

For the mathematically challenged, the rent billed to Ack-Mac, and passed on to the NRA to be covered by gullible members, was $1,040 more than the highest rent listed for the place. (There are larger apartments for which you have to “call for rent.)

Not a bad deal for a summer “intern.”

megan-allen
Nice intern if you can afford her. Oh, wait. VNRA MEMBERS paid for her.

Stupidity Revisited

I had occasion to review one of my posts from three years ago. The TL;DR is that an idiot architect “designed” a “global cooling tower” to save the planet from global warming. The best case scenario — should someone find the magic unobtainium to build it — would be to render the planet uninhabitable for anything above bacteria. The idiot — Paolo Venturella — demanded that I delete the criticism. I said no.

The original web site, www.paoloventurella.it is gone, so I assume some village in Italy missed its idiot and took Paolo home.

But the global cooling skyscraper lives on here.

Looking at that page, I noticed an image I don’t recall from the original. Maybe it was there, but I was so befuddled by the overall dumbassery that that I missed it.

An artist rendering of the view of the doomsday monstrosity from… Mir. Remember, this was published in 2016.

Mir was deorbited in 2001. It was in the news. And somewhat noticeable if you were near the reentry track.

I did a little searching to see what little Paolo is up to these days, and didn’t spot anything since the global extermination project, so I guess he has proper supervision now. I did turn up some of his earlier…. work.

The “Flex Tower.

“Engineering” such a thing aside, I wonder what occupants of neighboring buildings would think of that thing wobbling around and over them.

This is a little more sane structurally; a solar-powered market. But…

… someone should have explained to the guy that PVC panels work best when angled towards the sun. A 360 degree array on vertical and horizontal panels aren’t going to collect much energy. And the ones facing away from the sun? Yeah; right.

Hopefully, Paolo’s current caretaker can keep him distracted with Legos.

Stop doing that, Annabelle

Annabelle Hargreaves (Why stricter gun laws are needed, May 10,2019) fears “we” are going to depopulate the country through gun violence.

“I’m so sorry that you can’t look at the whole picture and realize that we are killing far too many of our children and grandchildren. If we continue down this deadly path, there will be no one left to carry on in any society, socialist or democratic.”

At 39,773 firearms-related deaths per year, and a starting — and static, for the sake of discussion — population of 328,826,065, we could be in real trouble in about 8,000 years.

I’m not killing any children or grandchildren. If Ms. Hargreaves is, I suggest she stop it.

SpinLaunch: What the heck are they up to?

I’d heard of SpinLaunch before, and wondered what sort of launch system they were planning. Details were sparse, and they still are.

Secretive Startup SpinLaunch Breaks Ground on Satellite-Flinging Test Flight Facility
SpinLaunch has begun building the facility where it will test out its radical new satellite-lofting strategy.

What is that strategy? Checking their 2018 press release:

“…SpinLaunch’s innovative use of rotational kinetic energy to revolutionize the smallsat market.”

OK, spin and rotational. They’ll spin the sat around in a circle, getting it up the speed, and let it fly off at a tangent. The concept goes back as far as David taking out Goliath with his sling. What kind of sling is the interesting part. They aren’t saying, and I think they need to.

Offhand, I’d break it down to two possibilities.

1. Mechanical: an actual sling, an electrically-driven centrifuge scaled up for satellites.

2. An electrically-powered mass driver (think the space catapult from Heinlein’s classic The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress). But arranged in a circle, instead of linearly.

There is a third theoretical possibility I’ll touch on later.

Trying to guess at performance parameters can give us clues as to what they’re going to do. From the article above, we know they have ten acres of land. From this article and this one, we know SpinLaunch is claiming an ejection velocity of 5,000 MPH.

First, let’s pretend the facility being built now is going to achieve that 5,000 MPH target, just for giggles.

Ten acres gives a maximum 660 foot diameter circle; 330 foot radius. Just for the thought experiment, an object whipped around a radius=330′ circle to 5,000 MPH would experience over 5,000 g in centrifugal forces. (I’m not even going to try to guesstimate direct 0-5000 acceleration, since it depends on how fast they spin up.)

That’s gonna be hard on the spacecraft and payload, but it’s also going to be hard on a mechanical centrifuge arm which is also experiencing that force. The arm will have to be pretty strong just to keep itself together, much less accelerate the craft. I think we can rule out mechanical.

The problem is, a circular mass driver/accelerator is going to impart that same centrifugal force. As you whip the package through those solenoid drive coils, the force is going to try to push the package out the side of the coils’ path. 5,000+ g is a lot, and the coils will have to be strong just to keep the package confined. Every bit of energy going into confinement isn’t going into acceleration.

But the current build is presumably a scaled down tech demonstrator. Let’s say its target ejection velocity is only 500 MPH. Now we get centrifugal force down to 50 g. That’s a little more reasonable, and survivable for the payload.

But if you scale up the launcher to get 5,000 MPH ejection, while holding centrifugal force to that same 50 g, you need a circle more than twelve and a half miles in diameter, with centrifuge arms over 6 miles long.

Mechanical is right out.

Now look at the spacecraft being launched. You’re going to put your little rocket in a circular mass driver and subject it to 50 g in centrifugal force.

Conventional vertical launch rockets are designed to launch at around 3 to 15 g (lower for crewed missions, higher for tough, inanimate cargo), but the loading is essentially on the vertical axis of the craft. A rocket launched by the SpinLauncher is going to need a little redesign. No. A lot of redesign.

The rocket will have to be shooting through the driver coils nose first, so that when it finally exits on the correct tangent it will be cutting through air nose first. Otherwise — hitting the air at hypersonic speed — it will be destroyed.

But that means the rocket will be experiencing high g loading from centrifugal force laterally. And it still needs the vertical strength for the conventional rocket-propelled part of its journey to space. The structure will have to be beefed up massively, and that will come at the expense of payload.

So why the hell the focus on rotational kinetic energy? Why a freaking circle?

Why not take that mass driver, and stretch it out in a straight line like everyone else (except for particle physics researchers working with the mass of individual atoms)? The only acceleration forces would be on the axis of the craft (OK, Earth’s gravity, too, but that’s minor compared to the launch). We design for that all the time: aircraft.

And without the centrifugal force, the mass driver doesn’t need to waste energy compensating for that — at the expense of velocity — holding the rocket in coil path.

And hold it in that path you must. If a rotational system loses its grip on the package, it’s going to fly off at some random tangent. Hitting a house a couple of counties away at 5,000 MPH isn’t going to endear you to neighbors or your insurance company. A linear launcher would only put folks downrange at risk. There’s a reason the ground-based launcher in my novel Net Assets was linear.

A rotational launch system seems to make no sense. At least at this scale: there’s always the skyhook concept, but that requires tech I don’t think we have yet, and it precludes the use (absent beamed energy) of the ground-based power generation SpinLaunch touts. Nor am I sure how the FAA, ICAO, and every military in the world would react to that cable whipping through their skies.

So, SpinLaunch; what are you doing? Please share some information to show this is more than vaporware meant to suck money out of gullible investors.