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Thread: U.S. Has No Way Out of Debt Trap

  1. #51
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    ...did you ever read Seven Days in May?
    I don't know how I missed it. I looked it up on Amazon and it looks great. Not ready to pay 44 bucks for a used copy, though. Maybe it will come to Kindle, soon. Thanks for the heads up.

    As for the government's hands in nuclear power. I like Senator Lamar Alexander's idea that the feds fund a (I hate this cliche) "Manhattan Project" to develop new generation nuclear plants. In other interviews he has suggested small navy ship sized reactors spread all over the country, instead of a few huge plants. Pretty smart.

    Even a good Republican like Mr. Alexander sees a federal role in an important issue like this.
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
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  2. #52
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    Lib, just check the used book stores. I wore my old copy out and bought a used one in decent shape for $3 about a year ago.

    Nuclear power development -- there are several commercial entities interested. Last I checked, Babcock and Wilcox, Black & Veatch, GE, and Siemens all had active nuclear engineering programs. Those are just ones I happened to trip across while researching something else, there may be more.

    I don't think the .gov needs to fund much -- just provide some greased skids to get these folks to a commercial payday.
    Paul
    People have some respect for the complexity of technology. But almost every ignorant fool thinks he understands money and economics.

  3. #53
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    Paul: I don't think the .gov needs to fund much -- just close the valve on some of the redundant bullshiite to get these folks to a commercial payday.

    Won't happen. Gov has the power to maintain a controlled monopoly and manipulate it for their own ends, and they're not going to give that power up.

    Parker, uncharacteristically pessimistic this morning...

  4. #54
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    Hi Parker,

    Parker, uncharacteristically pessimistic this morning...
    One person's pessimistic is another person's sense of reality.

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    As for the government's hands in nuclear power. I like Senator Lamar Alexander's idea that the feds fund a (I hate this cliche) "Manhattan Project" to develop new generation nuclear plants. In other interviews he has suggested small navy ship sized reactors spread all over the country, instead of a few huge plants. Pretty smart.
    The French are looking at an adaptation of a Submarine Reactor...that has PASSIVE cooling flow at low-medium power levels and ASSISTED flow at higher outputs. Its designed to withstand depth charging and VERY high external pressures. And its a unitary design...you dont refuel the reactor in the sub, open the hull and Swap it out instead and its opened and refueled at a separate site.

    I like the ideal...we need to be looking at that for a distributed network as well.

    There are several small reactor designs out there (mentioned in a nuke power thread that i cant find ATM) that are small and much more difficult to have run amuck.
    A Smith & Wesson Beats Four Aces.

  6. #56
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    you dont refuel the reactor in the sub, open the hull and Swap it out instead and its opened and refueled at a separate site.
    It would be a much more efficient method of disposal/recycling but can you imagine the outcry when people saw trucks with rad placards showing? I remember talking to one of the engineers that was inspecting the site of the proposed Northern Indiana Public Service Co reactor. He claimed that 25% of the expense of an American reactor was designing cosmetic items to convince the neighbors they would be in no danger.

  7. #57
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    ...can you imagine the outcry when people saw trucks with rad placards showing?
    I see them almost every day with no hue and cry. There are at least three hospitals in the area practicing nuclear medicine. Right down the road is the facility where nuclear bombs are manufactured and dismantled. You get used to it.

    But if trucks are a public relations problem... put the little reactors near railroad tracks.
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
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  8. #58
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    And its a unitary design...you dont refuel the reactor in the sub, open the hull and Swap it out instead and its opened and refueled at a separate site.
    I'm quite certain that modern nuclear powered subs are not refueled. The reactors are fueled up and placed in the sub during manufacture. Military reactors use highly enriched uranium to run and therefore can run without refueling for the operational life of the submarine. The actual enrichment level is classified but speculated to be between 20% to 30% and will run for 30 years or so. For comparison civilian reactors use uranium enriched between 2% to 3% and will need to be refueled about every three years.

    Using fourth generation reactors it is believed that the uranium will not have to be enriched and will be able to run for 30 years on the first fuel cycle. If these next generation reactors can be built then we might see civilian reactors run more like the military ones where instead of refueling the reactors the reactor would be dismantled and a new one would be built in it's place.

    Nimitz class aircraft carriers would go in for a mid-life refueling at 25 years. At 50 years the aircraft carrier would be decommissioned and the reactor removed. The first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, will be decommissioned in the next year or two which should prove interesting as there might not be much left of the ship after they cut the holes required to remove the reactor.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  9. #59
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    In other interviews he has suggested small navy ship sized reactors spread all over the country, instead of a few huge plants.
    Something like this (Lawerence Livermore National Laboratory design), projected to be ready for testing by 2015, or this (Los Alamos National Laboratory design), scheduled to be available in 2013.

  10. #60
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    Thanks for the links. Wonder why the Los Alamos design is projected to last only 10 years?

    Technology will make nuclear a preferred part of electricity generation mix, if not in my time, certainly in my childrens...
    Paul
    People have some respect for the complexity of technology. But almost every ignorant fool thinks he understands money and economics.

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    10 to 100 megawatts... That would be a lot of process steam that could be used to manufacture water gas for fuel or raw material for Fischer-Tropps. I'm seeing non-biodegradable plastics as the carbon source as well as waste paper and other trash.

    As wasteful as Americans are such a plant near every medium to large city would almost make us oil independent. Of course, the owners would be vilified as the exploitative rich as they would charge for the trash pick up and for the manufactured petroleum. If nothing else, it would make my poor uncle's 5 liter/hour unit look rather pitiful.
    Last edited by Selena; April 7th, 2011 at 06:23 PM.

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    OW,

    I have always regarded the American process of bury/dump at sea/put out of sight regarding trash to be lunacy of a significant order. There is a treasure trove of recycleable items/substances, compostable bits and stuff that can be extracted at some point in the process and reintroduced back into industrial processes (metals, chemicals).

    Heck even the old dump where i grew up was THOROUGHLY scavenged for metals of all sorts by the old fellow who lived on site and operated it. He burned the wood waste for heat, used old oil for shop heat and sold tons upon tons of metal to the mills.

    For a short time there was an outfit in OR that took the spoils from filling station sites after the state (WA) required all the single wall gas tanks to be exhumed and the soils cleaned or replaced. Their process involved a retort heat to drive off the volatiles which were used as process fuel, then a leachate process for heavy metals, another retorting at VERY high temperature (near fusing temp), ball milling and sorting to size and subsequent use in concrete for non-wearing construction. (think building foundation piles, bridge footings etc). They almost broke even and would have if they had been allowed to take in other kinds of soil containing other contaminants. The heavy metals extracted ALMOST made bank for them. Had they NOT been forced to locate in the MIDDLE of no-where( Its HAZARDOUS WASTE), there was a distinct possibility that the REST of the waste heat could have been sold as steam/hot water for other uses instead of bled off in cooling towers that used a LOT of water.
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    I have always regarded the American process of bury/dump at sea/put out of sight regarding trash to be lunacy of a significant order.
    My uncle would have agreed with you. One of his 'hobbies' was to take materials that others would call trash and make useful products out of. As I've stated many times before, some of his projects in that area bordered on insane. He built his Fisher/Tropps reactor when he saw the highway department was cutting brush in side ditches and just burning it. It was weird to think of his machine having this huge pile of brush on one side and producing crude oil on the other. Unfortunately the production of iron oxide catalysts, thermal efficiency and pressure differentials was a 'learning experience' and I was elected to listen to him.

    I have seen the the face of recycling down to the nuts and bolts and foul smells. It's an ugly process.

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    OW...maybe its ugly...but there are those who contend that the initial extraction of the resource is ugly AND that in the case of most metals takes more power to boot.
    A Smith & Wesson Beats Four Aces.

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    OW...maybe its ugly...but there are those who contend that the initial extraction of the resource is ugly AND that in the case of most metals takes more power to boot.
    You have never had to stand at a fiendish device called a shaker table trying to decide if a misshapen hunk of metal is ferrous, non-ferrous, stainless steel or aluminum in the space of a few seconds. You have never known the sense of panic that comes from the words - "Girl, I'm starting to think if we <fill in the blank> we can increase the efficiency of <fill in the blank> by 10%." You've never heard the hiss as the cooling water of an induction furnace is converted nearly instantly to steam. You've never held the form to a sand mold while a crazed OMB hit it with a sledge hammer.

    I realize it's more effective and efficient to recycle metals and plastic. I've been hearing it since I was 11. I just don't want it in my back yard. Have it done in New York, California, Hawaii or some other backwards hellhole. Better yet send it to Arkansas, it's only fair after they inflicted their trash on us! But not around me! I've paid my bloody dues!!!!!!!

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    Most women cannot properly appreciate technology....

    BTW, is the furnace and the apparatus for the Fischer-Tropf still standing? Men would love to see pictures..

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    BTW, is the furnace and the apparatus for the Fischer-Tropf still standing? Men would love to see pictures..
    The foundries were removed shortly after the old man died. The Fischer-Tropps apparatus was sold to a gentleman in southern Indiana who's grandfather was involved with the process in Germany during WWII.

    And for the record, I appreciate the process, the polymerization of CO and hydrogen to straight chain hydrocarbons is a fascinating process. I just don't want one of the things upwind of me.

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    We can get out of debt. It just means that people like me who are nearing the age of retirement or who are already retired will either not get any Social Security, get much less than anticipated, or have to wait until we are almost dead before applying for it. Also, we will either not get any Medicaid, and or Medicare or very little.
    Here's what I find interesting.
    Every politician suggests that we have to cut SS as a solution to our mounting debt of entitlements.
    But SS and medicare are the ONLY entitlements that you actually paid for! The gub'ment was supposed to invest that money and have the nest egg grow in a "lock box".
    Instead, they stole the money and used it to buy votes.
    When have you heard a politician suggest we cut welfare? Medicaid? Food stamps? All these items are loaded with fraud.
    They just arrested a heroin dealer in my town who was selling from his free home, while living on welfare and collecting food stamps. Time for tough love here folks.
    Here's my suggestion for SS as a start. Right now tax is withheld up to about $106 K, after that, no more is confiscated. Let's remove that ceiling. It only effects the people making above the cut off.

    You all complain about government spending, but you elect democrats who always want to spend more. How many times have you heard Obama promise to "Live within our means, but invest in ....bla, bla, bla'?
    Invest is code for "waste money to buy votes."

  19. #69
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    But SS and medicare are the ONLY entitlements that you actually paid for!
    Not quite. I heard once that all the money put into Social Security for one's working life is paid back to them in less than five years. With people going on Social Security at 65 years and living until they are 80 years there should be no surprise that Social Security is in the hole right now.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

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    Not quite. I heard once that all the money put into Social Security for one's working life is paid back to them in less than five years. With people going on Social Security at 65 years and living until they are 80 years there should be no surprise that Social Security is in the hole right now.
    The gub'ment was supposed to invest that money and have the nest egg grow in a "lock box". Not take it to the vote casino.

    Based on what i have in the latest statement of SS benefits and income confiscated vs income to be distributed and assuming I start drawing at the later end, I can go for ~15 years NOW and I have another ~20 of working life assuming no catastrophies. I hit the cap with montonous regularity, I'd see it raised or removed AND the benefits means tested as well and be good with it. Assuming that i can survive the major life changes afoot with something left, I will still be able to retire on my OWN nest egg and be comfortable. OTOH I've been socking it away on my own for nearly 3 decades.

    Just my dos Centavos.
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  21. #71
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    Not quite. I heard once that all the money put into Social Security for one's working life is paid back to them in less than five years.
    Yes, but you fell for the red herring.
    If YOU kept the money, and invested it during those many prosperous years, you have a million by now. I saw the math once.
    Even if you put it in a bank savings account, it would have the benefit of compound interest.
    Instead, the government wants you to believe that that money didn't collect any interest over 50 yrs? It didn't because it was stolen, like I said.

  22. #72
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    Yes, but you fell for the red herring.
    Count your blessings, at least you have a chance to get at least part of your money back. I never will.

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    SS has always been a very poor excuse for one's retirement plan. Even now, if I was given an option to forfeit all my current contributions to date for the past 30yrs and not have to pay from this point on thereby keeping my own money, I'd jump on that in a NY second. I'm convinced I will never see a SS retirement check by the time I'm able to retire.

  24. #74
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    Yes, but you fell for the red herring.
    If YOU kept the money, and invested it during those many prosperous years, you have a million by now. I saw the math once.
    Ummm might talk to some of the Walmart Greeters about that one...that math died in the little complexities cooked up by people from GS, AIG and etc.

    With privatized retirement accounts many people were swimming in waters so murky they had no idea that the financial Krakens were just below them.

    The 401's and etc of many of those will never recover their value, and as a result we may have a fairly large population of insolvent elderly over the next few years. A condition which we have not really dealt with since the last depression.

    And no the churches do not have the resources or in some cases the will to resolve this problem.
    "What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable." Adam Smith.

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    Not to mention that a war (#7) is mutually exclusive with cutting taxes (#4) and cutting the budget (#9)
    Wrong.
    War has always stimulated the economy. How do you think we ended the great depression? FDR? No, war.
    War is not mutually exclusive with cutting taxes. Where did you get the idea that the only way Washington gets more revenue is by higher taxes?
    The opposite is true. Look at our current situation. The economy is lousy, not because we don't pay enough taxes, rather we are paying too much tax.
    If taxes were reduced, more investment flows into the private sector, and more jobs are created, therefore creating MORE taxpayers. Revenue to the IRS goes up. It always works, and the libs refuse to admit it.
    Conversely, raising taxes to create jobs CANNOT work, because the money spent had to be taken from someone else. Zero sum game. As Winston Churchill once opined, "Government taxing itself to prosperity is like standing in a bucket and trying to lift your self off the ground by pulling up on the handle." Absolutely right.

    Not to mention that a war (#7) is mutually exclusive with cutting taxes (#4) and cutting the budget (#9)
    Cutting the budget can be easily accomplished without sacrificing military strength.
    First, why do we have 800 military bases around the world?
    It's a giveaway program. We could get by with 20. How many bases does China have around the world? Russia? None. Why do we have 800?
    Next, get rid of worthless agencies. Department of education: does nothing. Department of Energy: Created by Carter to reduce dependency on foreign oil. Total failure. Get rid of it.
    How much is spent to coddle illegals? End every penny.
    I don't understand why you all are willing to decrease SS and medicare as if it's some noble cause.
    You paid into those very funds. It's not your fault if your politicians wasted the money to buy votes. Hold their feet to the fire.
    If you want to cut entitlements, cut the ones that aren't funded by the recipients. How hard do you think it would be to make a list? Medicaide, food stamps, free housing, free cell phones, free cable TV, free internet, etc.

    Remember this: In 1965 the US was involved in a major war. The budget was $100 billion.
    Today the budget is 35 times as large. There is no way you will ever convince me that we need a government 35 times as large. We lived well in 1965.
    For you libs, Your guy Bill Clinton (remember how great things were under Clinton (no pun intended)?) had a budget of $1.7 Trillion in 1995. I wasn't stepping over dead bodies in the street, and children still went to school. Old people weren't starving. Yet today, when I'm being told we don't pay enough, we are spending TWICE as much as Clinton.

    I know you all hate facts, but sooner or later, you'll have to face them.

    Ummm might talk to some of the Walmart Greeters about that one...that math died in the little complexities cooked up by people from GS, AIG and etc.
    No, math isn't political. It's called compound interest. Compound interest works for WalMart AND Goldmann Sachs as well.
    The red herring is when you are told (by the government) "You only paid in X dollars into SS".
    True, but if I had put that same amount into a stupid saving account over 50yrs, I'd have millions.
    You would too, so would the WalMart guy.
    If you invested wisely, like buying metals when gold was $35/oz. (1965) you'd be laughing all the way to the bank.
    In 1965 if you were paying the max, you paid $6600 into SS. If instead of giving that money to the gub'ment, you were allowed to buy gold, you would have purchased 188 ounces of gold, now worth $319,000. That's just one year.

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