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Friday, January 27, 2012

Gingrich Speech, X-Prizes and Britain's Lack ogf Ambition

  Last night C4 News reported on Newt' Gingrich's speech in Florida calling for a serious space programme, run on commercial lines, with the aim of getting to Mars in his second term and without increasing the space budget, indeed taking 10% of the budget of the useless NASA bureaucracy and putting it into X-Prizes.

   My only problem with that is that, since X-prizes work 33 to 100 times better than conventional funding he should make that 80-90%.

   C4's problem was not that. Indeed in a report which consisted largely of snide remarks about how many other Presidents had promised to do something (the massiver difference being that they all promised it would be done after they had retired) they entirely forgot/censored the bit about X-prizes.

   I have yet to see a serious argument against X-prizes form anybody but if anybody has one please let me know. The Washington Post's argument comes from a resident "expert" who says prizes in the $2 billion range don't work, even though smaller ones do. Since there have never been any prizes of that level this is a perfect demonstration of what is required tom be a media "expert" - being willing to say whatever the media want combined with never needing "no steenking facts".

   This is a comment I made on Mark Wadsworth.
If your ambition is limited to air and a limited amount of food, space industrialisation would be pointless.
If infinite amounts of electric power with minimal to zero running costs were desirable you would want solar power satellites. If communication were of interest you would like communications satellites - the amount of information &/or size of the receiver at our end varies inversely with the size of the satellite. If you fancied unlimited supplies of all those "peak" metals we are about to run out of you would want asteroid mining. If you thought more new materials than have ever been constructed before, put together under zero G might produce some with useful properties you would want space industrialisation. If you wanted the human race to ever aspire to its potential you would certainly want this.
Of course that excludes virtually everybody in British politics - hence our problems.
The only thing wrong with this is that Newt is only promising to put 10% of NASA's budget into X-Prizes.

  Next Big Future has an admirable article on the subject with these proposals for future X-Prizes
Prizes that follow up

Have a $60 million prize for a robotic lunar base by 2017.

$300 million prize for more elaborate robotic lunar base by 2018.

$200 million prize for robotic and/or teleoperated base in earth orbit by 2015.

$500 million prize for manned inflatable base at earth orbit by 2016.

$1 billion prize for manned inflatable base at a lagrange point by 2018.

$2 billion prize for manned base on the moon by 2019 (not permanent but weeks at a time.)

$10 billion prize for the permanent manned base by 2020.

Have a lot more sub-prizes for other goals.

  That comes to $14 billion which is the budget we give to NERC (a quango you have never heard of - one of a number existing to raise awareness/lie about global warming) over 16 years. So let anybody who says we can't afford it explain that.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

An End to Death & Taxes - Well OK Just Taxes

  Lets make some numbers dance.

Total M4 money supply in Britain £2,100 billion
British GDP £1,600 billion
Ratio 1.31
Maximum theoretical sustainable growth rate 23.8%. OK I will accept that this is theoretical but the theory is unquestioned. In the actual world the highest growth  rates, excluding countries coming out of wars or discovering vast quantities of oil are, for sovereign state, Singapore last year at 14.4% and for economic areas, Guandong province in China which has been doing 20% for years so not that far short of theory.
Amount raised by British taxes 36.9% of GDP (app £600 bn)

Amount by which money should be raised if we had 23.8% growth = £1.600bn X 23.8  X 1.31 = £500 million.

Amount in the second year (23.8% higher) £620.

And so on.By the 3rd year we would be getting in £760 bn - roughly current government spending (so no deficit). Obviously also with the GDP base growing there would be absolutely no problem borrowing.

Not saying that we shouldn't be cutting the cost of government - we definitely should if only because big government parasitism is what is preventing growth. Nor that we should rely on that sort of growth rate - nobody sensible relies on best possible outcomes all the time.

But I am saying that deficits, inflation, national bankruptcy etc are not the real issues. All of those are merely the symptoms of the real problem which is that growth is being deliberately prevented by Luddite government parasitism. Solve that, the solution is easy and obvious, and everything else is easy.

24 point out of recession in days plan

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gingrich - The President Western Civilisation Needs

Gingrich not only won, but with a convincing majority. Gingrich took 40% of the vote, Romney 28%, Rick Santorum 17% and Ron Paul 13%.

  That may not absolutely clinch it but when Ron Paul doesn't win, as Ron Paul has confidently predicted he won't (he is in it more to stir debate on principles than to win, which is an honourable position)(I think Ron Paul would make a great supreme Court judge but a poor chief executive) it would be reasonable to expect at least 99% of his supporters to prefer Gingrich to Romney.

   Romney has simply failed to generate any enthusiasm and the only reason for supporting him is that he is so "moderate" that he won't frighten anybody away. There may be a little to that but elections are won by generating at least some support. On this basis the fact that Gingrich has been the debate winner inn most of the TV dabates is important. He may have said
“It is not that I am a great debater. It’s that I articulate the deepest-held values of the American people.”

    but that is not bad debating. When the campaign comes down to ??? V Obama on TV debates and Obama has no teleprompter, if ??? is Gingrich he will win.

   Another point is that Romney has had very gentle media coverage whereas Gingrich has faced literlally hundreds of "ethics" complaints which were so obviously and wholly false that they are all one needs to know about the corruption that not merely exists but is endemic in the party that made them.

   And Gingrich actually wants to do something not merely to get his feet under the table as Obama so obviously did. When Romney said in one of the debates that he disagreed with Gingrich's belief that humanity should be mining the Moon, Gingrich not only didn't downplay it but gave it as a reason to support him. Gingrich understands that X-Prizes can get space industrialisation, and other forms of technological progress, going. He knows that Free Enterprise + Cheap Energy = Growth. Pournelle may not have yet endorsed him but Gingrich has endorsed Pournelle.

    Can one imagine Britain having a prominent leader with as much competence and gumption?

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