Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

made up units of economic measure

I could write about the Virginia Tech shooting, but what is their to say? The college will be sued, the students are dead. I will, I’m sure, here out cry about how if only the one kid couldn’t have gotten a gun this wouldn’t have happened. No one will mention a January 2006 bill that would have allowed the students who had concealed weapons permits to carry on campus. It didn’t pass. So the whole school was a gun free zone (official VT policy). Works great doesn’t it! I’m sure glad the school made them all safe with its no guns policy…

But I have nothing to say. Fools will speak loudly on both sides of the argument with conservatives offering a crime-free utopia if only guns were easier to get. Yes, availability of weapons has certainly had a stabilizing influence on Africa. Other fools will say if only guns were totally illegal we this wouldn’t have happen either. Yes, the criminalization of marijuana has certainly made it hard to find and reduced its use…

Anywho, what I really wanted to talk about was the M4 Sherman tank vs the Nazi Panther
See, the Sherman was slower, had shorter duration, was taller (a bad thing), had less weapons range, worse power to weight ration, etc. Pretty much the Sherman just sucked, but we won. The normal explanation for this is that we sacrificed our tanks and could afford to do so because we were still on the way up, while the Nazis were on the way down. There is some truth in that, but the real explanation is a little more complicated. The recovery rate of the Sherman’s was much easier. They were easier to fix in the field, despite the fact that the American supply lines were longer by order of magnitude.

Toward the end, the Nazis had, for example, around 2000 ground vehicle types to support. We had about 5. Its just another historical example of how you can have what you need to win a war, but if you don’t look at the big picture, you can still lose.

Its all about services. The Nazis had great tanks, who maintenance was derailed by bureaucratic red tape. Imagine that all the services that a government provides could be broken down into a sort of service accounting unit, we’ll call it the Serva. If a government provided the services of a military, social security, and health care, and another government had only the military, the second government would have to by many less Servas. The Servas are bought with tax revenue. Since gold has a basically stable value, we’ll say tax revenue is collected in ounces of gold.

So now we have a unit: Serva per person per ounce. Now we have a convenient number to work with. If one government if one country is paying particularly more for its servas than a rival, then then in war, the thrifty nation will likely win.

Neat huh?


April 17, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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