Friday reading

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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5 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Once you start to see these things, it becomes harder and harder to unsee them, doesn’t it?Report

  2. Michael Drew says:

    Moral of the story: mobilizing a larger armed force for what the mobilizer would concede to be zero security gain is not a net economic gain. Fair enough, though it is possible that the activities associated with moving the men to Metz while putting a few francs in each of their pockets and so forth would spur some economic activity that merely leaving the hundred million franc in various citizens’ accounts who have the means to be taxed wouldn’t. Additionally, the author posits a situation of high unemployment. Is it not likely then that a large number of the new recruits would come from the ranks of the unemployed? Assuming that they would otherwise receive some public assistance, the loss may be considered as against that assistance. Still, it is true that whatever beyond that difference would be a waste if we assume that there is no security benefit to the mobilization whatsoever. But that is a rather conveniennt intellectual assumption, is it not? Wouldn’t we think that planners, given the sum of one hundred million and the instruction to mobilize one hundred thousand men, would make the best use of the resources as possible, likely to achieve at least some,/i> security benefit? In that case, one may place that benefit in a numerator over the one hundred million less any additional economic activity caused by the mobilization and less whatever public assistance the recruits would otherwise have received, and there’s your gain, however minute.

    I’m not saying the best-case scenario of this thinking isn’t Germany pre-WWI and the worst case North Korea…Report