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Actually, Steve, you need to try learning something we like to call "basic economics". The economic damage predicted when the minimum wage was raised in the early 1950s ... ACTUALLY HAPPENED. There was a little think called a recession if you'd care to look it up. And pricies are rising so fast because wgaes are A factor, not THE factor; the massive increas ein the money supply by government and profligate government spending are major factors as well. Since the "stagnant wages" myth is only repeated by the ignorant (total real compensation - and overall worker living standards - have continually and substantially increased over that time, perhaps you might look into reality, rather than stake and ridiculous talking points.
Sorry Jerome but you are completely wrong. Actual history demonstrates that not a single dime is added to the economy by hikes in the minimim wage. Every last bit of it is absorbed in "disinflation effects" - lost jobs, reduced hours and eliminated opportunities. The notuion that minimum wage has ever done anything economically but eliminate jobs has been completely disproved. It has never been even slightly effective as an anti-poverty measure let alone an economic stimulus.
Now I see the concern. You are performing a HUGE statistical error. Given that historically, a large meteor strike hits every 50 or 100 million years, that puts the likelihood that such a strike will occur on any given day at 1:27.4 billion but, unlike earthquakes which result from a long-term build up of forces, the odds do NOT accumulate so there is no "window".
That's just it. You don't buy a new car and stash it in the garage because you might get into an accident. You invest in insurance at a rate consistent with both the possible severity AND likelihood of the event. And it has nothing to do with the "official count" because there are literally tens of thousands of people who examine the sky every night (and who have historically made most of the discoveries). If you want more spent, spring for a telescope and join the search.
It wasn't a lack of refrigeration that but a lack of sheep husbandry that ended the insulin supply (and the character's life) and pills have been around since before WWII (including the Metformin which is a major part of my regimen). And, again, while I note the propulsion system, that has no bearing on the risk of asteroid strikes (and we could hardly prepare for a directed landing such as at the story's beginning).
And the CEO of IBM was proved LAUGHABLY WRONG in short order (and without consideration of the space program at all). The whole premise is ludicrous. By definition, if government can see a demand for computing power and become a CUSTOMER for such technology, obviously so can others. Similarly, the assertion about medical breakthroughs is built entirely on the same ridiculous premise. The PRIVATE SECTOR is the key driver of research (including medical) and has always been VASTLY more efficient. The myth of government driven technological strength is long debunked.
To the contrary, we also very much disagree on whether the government has any such role in protecting us from space objects. Like so many things, that is best done by others. If space objects are external so are germs to all of us. The logic is the same for both space and health and I want government inviolved in neither.
See my earlier comment about "Lucifer's Hammer". The resources being allocated to the "problem" are more than commensurate with the level of risk. As for what the "government's main job" might be, I (and a whole lot of other people) disagree. Protecting the rights of a free people from the incursions of others does not include the vague penumbra of "outside threats" (arguably you've justified socialized medicine!!!)
Not sure how "Footfall" fits into this discussion (unexpected benefit of having built nukes so we can use them as a propulsion system?) though "Lucifer's Hammer" is a good book (Irwin Allen should have done the movie - and I think they should have waited on the "lightning" and saved us diabetic folks) and I wouldn't leave out "Shiva Descending" or "The Hammer of God" which are good as well, but none really move the plausibility meter.
NEWSFLASH: FREAK ASTEROID HITS DC - Economists Predict Massive Global Recovery... ...maybe there IS something to diverting asteroids...
Again, that computing power was put into place in the space program doesn't change the fact that it was rapidly increasing both before and after space program applications because (as you've demonstrated) the demand for such increased computing power was already there. I'd love to give some credit to my dad for all the gadgets we have today (he worked at Martin's on the Gemini Program) but it just ain't so.
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