Free market submarines and government promotions

A picture of the first known fully submersible cocaine submarine (sub) found in Colombia

Swamp Thing

Here is a true free market product, capitalism at is simplest; this submarine can carry a crew, a billion dollars of cocaine and remain under water for a week to avoid detection, according to media reports.  It is the first one ever captured, not many safety features or frivolous interior features of comfort, but one suspects it is well engineered and does it job efficiently;  after all every voyage is potentially worth a billion dollars.  The profit incentive is the heart of capitalism, given a chance people will put their efforts and their capital were profits are to be found.  The submarine exists in a pure economy, it was build to fill a specific need.  It has to be capable of delivering its cargo safety to its destination – nothing more, nothing less.  It is not subject to regulation or taxation – just jail or death for crew and a loss of the investment if the caught.  An economy like that is very rare any place in the world – indeed at any time in history.

Economic policy, like all governmental policies, is a matter of opinion and faith, not science.  But when you listen to the debates, both sides claim the high ground, they know their way is the only way, the right way.  We are in the midst of very heated debates in this country about government spending, regulation and taxation.  At the center of the debate is the conflict over a basic belief – either the economy does best with little regulation or taxation or taxation and regulation are necessary to protect the consumers and provide a variety of services workers cannot afford by themselves, such as health care and retirement funds.  One sides fights to reduce taxes and spending in the firm belief that will stimulate the economy, which by its very nature will then allow workers to acquire all they need or want, generate more taxes and capital investment.  The other is adamant that is a failed policy and only leads to more unemployment, boom and bust cycles and an ever wider gap between the haves and the have-nots.

For a long time I thouhgt one side was clearly right and the other wrong; I suspected one side was devious and simply feathering its own nest with its disingenuous policies.  It does not matter which was which, besides I changed my mind several times over the last 40 years.  I don’t think that any more, now I think that both sides believe their own rhetoric and honestly think they have the best plan and the best interests of the country at heart.   It is easier to see genuine belief when you move away from the most emotional issues like, taxes, healthcare, military spending and foreign aid, to emotionally neutral issues – if there is such a thing in our current political climate.

There is a story on Associated Press wire service today that is like that; AP is reporting that the state of Washington is the first state to eliminate all spending to promote tourism to the state.  Like every state, Washington is desperate to cuts its expenses and balance its budget – everything is under consideration and on this day in Washington it was tourism that took the hit.  Other states are cutting back in other areas; some states are cutting sports and music from public schools, some states are cutting back on fire and police and some, like Wisconsin, are reducing state unions power and cutting pay and benefits.  The debates are always spirited and emotional as those in favor of the cuts make their case and those opposed make theirs.

Those who are losing something cry loudly about the loss of civilization and destruction of society, those in favor cry as loudly of the need to save society by trimming unnecessary and unsustainable services and benefits.  It the case of promoting the state, some in Washington thought tourism promotion is a waste of public funds and thought private business should be doing their own promoting; opponents thought the loss of the promotions will lead to dramatic losses of business and tax revenues and lead the state in a deeper recession.

Michigan had somewhat the same debate and took the oppose tact; so while Washington was working is way down from $7 million, to $2 million and finally to zero dollars spent on promoting tourism over the last three years, Michigan was working its way up from spending $5 million in 2005 to spending $25 million in 2011 on promoting Michigan.  I don’t do which is right, but Las Vegas spends about three times what Michigan does;  Las Vegas is like the cocaine submarine, it needs to succeed.  Las Vegas does not debate the issue politically and funds its efforts with casino room taxes.  Casinos in Vegas might prefer less tax, but the could not afford less tourism.  Politicians leave office, move on to other issues and rarely face the consequences of their vote; but businessmen don’t leave office and they cannot escape the consequences of their decisions.  They are like the captain of submarine – if it sinks, they sink; it still isn’t science, but it isn’t faith and belief either.

1 Response to “Free market submarines and government promotions”

  1. 1 franco September 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    i recherche on submarine military for exsposition
    best regards

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