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Thread: The Military–Industrial complex

  1. #91
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Tight labor market, cyclic economy heavily dependent on aviation aircraft orders, collapse in commodity prices... Kansas currently has an unemployment rate of 3.8%. The national rate is 4.9% and California is 5.2%. Its hard to expand the economy when already at full employment. My own state is at 3.6%. Everyone who wants a job has one. Kansas' policies however mean that Kansas is well ahead of the national average on new business start ups. Money and people are flowing into Kansas from neighboring states reversing a previous trend where money and people left. Kansas has doubled its GDP in the previous 20 years going from $70 billion to $149 billion per the St. Louis Fed. So while Kansas may not enjoy an economy fueled by easy access to the sea, lots of tech development or movie making, its not the economic basket case you claim it is.

    Also Kansas debt to GDP ratio at 16.5% is better than California's 17.18%. State only excluding local government debt is even more in Kansas favor 4.3% vs 6.74%. These numbers are only going to go even more in Kansas favor. Kansas is growing its debt 1.9% a year, California is nearly double that rate at 3.3% I don't remember Wichita or Topeka declaring bankruptcy.
    Ouch: Kansas jobs growth rate ‘surges’ to 0.0 percent over last 12 months
    BY YAEL T. ABOUH
    The new March employment report in Kansas released Friday contains some good news for Gov. Sam Brownback and his supporters: The state gained 2,400 jobs over February.

    Now for the bad news: The Sunflower State’s total nonfarm employment was 1,398,800 in March — exactly the same as it was in March 2015.

    That’s right. The state had a jobs growth rate of 0.0 percent over the last 12 months.

    That’s the seventh worst figure in the entire country, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    That’s not even close to adding the 25,000 jobs per year that Brownback promised during his 2014 re-election, then doubled down on earlier this year.

    Yet it’s also true that the 0.0 percent figure is an improvement.

    In February, Kansas was several thousand jobs below what it had had in February 2015. The “growth” rate was minus 0.4 percent, the fifth worst year-over-year mark in the United States.

    In a way, Kansas has seen a “surge” in its jobs market.

    Missouri’s employment picture is a bit brighter.

    It lost 1,500 jobs in March over February, yet has still gained 23,700 jobs since March 2015.

    That’s a growth rate of 0.9 percent, which is the 11th worst rate in the country.

    To be clear, by now it’s obvious that the huge tax cuts Brownback pushed through in 2012 have not led to the promised surge in jobs in his state.

    Instead, they have crippled the general fund budget, led to massive diversions of road money, delayed payments to pension funds and a host of scary education funding issues.

    The tax cuts, at least the $250 million a year for businesses, need to be repealed to put Kansas back on firmer financial footing.

    Here’s a quick summation of recent job news in Kansas, veering from one problem to another:

    ▪ The news in January was a punch in the gut, when jobs fell by 4,000 from December of 2015.

    ▪ In February the state lost even more jobs and had 5,400 fewer jobs than it did in February of 2015.

    ▪ Earlier this month came the latest BLS news that employment has grown far more quickly on the Missouri side of the state line in the Kansas City area over the last year — the exact opposite of what Brownback had pledged would occur because of the Kansas tax cuts.

    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/op...#storylink=cpy
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 29 Apr 17, at 06:59.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  2. #92
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Hey Gunny - nice to see you here.

    Besides policies, I think the problem with Kansas might have something to do with the population growth rate there - perhaps you can work the magic you did in Japan, driving from farm to farm in Kansas. Gun Grape Delivery Service™. After all - you are retired and perhaps yet you can cure what ills Kansas. You may as well take detours and hit Nebraska, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho while you're at it. Even Minnesota, if you wish - you have carte blanche as I'm not in a position to exercise this strategy myself, nor am I a stud.

    Leave a sealed letter behind to be opened upon the 18th birthday, with instructions for the child to join the Corps - and the circle will be complete. No loose threads. I expect the Corps will have to re-activate the 5th Division (to be renamed The Grapehead) and 6th Division (to be renamed The Graping Sixth) to be able to absorb half of them, the new recruits that will pour in beginning in 2036/37. I'm sure the other half will enter the civilian workforce and might be a major boon to the economies of the small metros through the Midwest/West, such as Omaha, Topeka, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and so on. The next five Warren Buffets may also come into existence as a byproduct of this strategy.

    Perhaps we could set up a Kickstarter page to fund hotel stays and gasoline expenses. :-)
    Last edited by Ironduke; 29 Apr 17, at 16:13.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Ouch: Kansas jobs growth rate ‘surges’ to 0.0 percent over last 12 months
    BY YAEL T. ABOUH
    Yeah... 3.8% unemployment rate and a population that is aging out of the workforce faster than it is adding new workers. Not a lot of room for growth if everyone has a job. The thing t look for now is are wages going up as employers compete for employees. Currently $16.57 is the median hourly wage.

  4. #94
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I think there's are four things we need to keep in mind with regards to economic growth numbers, rather than simply taking them at face value as meaningful.

    I think we need to look a little deeper.

    1) While considering economic growth, taking into account population growth. For example, country/state with 0.0% population growth and 0.2% economic growth is doing better than a country/state with 5.0% population growth and 4.0% economic growth. GDP per capita grows faster in the former, and slower in the latter.

    2) The flip side of this, in an ideally free market where companies and workers can both vote with their feet, out-migration and lack of in-migration must be considered, to a certain extent, a lack of confidence in that state's potential as a good place to locate businesses and for workers to move to.

    3) Location, location, location. Kansas doesn't have it. There are certain virtuous cycles and economies of scale created by concentrations of human capital in other parts of the country that will never exist in Kansas, or the Dakotas, or Montana. Being a coastal city with a good port, a riverine city, or already being a major or minor hub of trade, commerce, and industry creates virtuous cycles and economies of scale that cannot exist elsewhere.

    4) The major city - capital city problem. Wisconsin has this, compared to Minnesota. Milwaukee is the biggest city in WI, but the capital is Madison, which besides being the seat of the state government is primarily a college town (UW Madison). Minneapolis-St. Paul is the only game in town between Chicago and Seattle/Portland. The state government in St Paul and the business center in Minneapolis are viewable from one another's skylines - only about 5-6 miles apart. Wisconsin has roughly as many people as MN - but the population is very evenly distributed and it's hard to establish virtuous cycles and economies of scale in that state. 70% of Minnesota lives in the Mpls-St Paul metropolitan area, and the metro is the economic anchor and magnet for most of Iowa (St. Louis and Kansas City don't compare to Mpls-St Paul), North Dakota, most of South Dakota (the southwestern part is anchored on Denver), most of Wisconsin outside the Chicago megalopolis, and even the greater part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    There are exceptions to the co-location issue, CA, IL, and TX, for example, have transcended this issue which is a problem elsewhere - the capital's location is irrelevant to where business is done. NYC and Philly were already established cities prior to their capitals being re-located. They are among the lucky few in the US. For flyover Midwestern, Mountain Western, and Southern states, the capital-major city split can pose major problems, as these states can't quite catch up to the states where the capital/center of business are either co-located or are a non-factor. Besides being at a disadvantage due to starting late, not having a riverine city, not having a coastal city - the capital/major city split creates vicious cycles on top of these factors.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 30 Apr 17, at 00:14.

  5. #95
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I think there's are four things we need to keep in mind with regards to economic growth numbers, rather than simply taking them at face value as meaningful.

    I think we need to look a little deeper.

    1) While considering economic growth, taking into account population growth. For example, country/state with 0.0% population growth and 0.2% economic growth is doing better than a country/state with 5.0% population growth and 4.0% economic growth. GDP per capita grows faster in the former, and slower in the latter.

    2) The flip side of this, in an ideally free market where companies and workers can both vote with their feet, out-migration and lack of in-migration must be considered, to a certain extent, a lack of confidence in that state's potential as a good place to locate businesses and for workers to move to.

    3) Location, location, location. Kansas doesn't have it. There are certain virtuous cycles and economies of scale created by concentrations of human capital in other parts of the country that will never exist in Kansas, or the Dakotas, or Montana. Being a coastal city with a good port, a riverine city, or already being a major or minor hub of trade, commerce, and industry creates virtuous cycles and economies of scale that cannot exist elsewhere.

    4) The major city - capital city problem. Wisconsin has this, compared to Minnesota. Milwaukee is the biggest city in WI, but the capital is Madison, which besides being the seat of the state government is primarily a college town (UW Madison). Minneapolis-St. Paul is the only game in town between Chicago and Seattle/Portland. The state government in St Paul and the business center in Minneapolis are viewable from one another's skylines - only about 5-6 miles apart. Wisconsin has roughly as many people as MN - but the population is very evenly distributed and it's hard to establish virtuous cycles and economies of scale in that state. 70% of Minnesota lives in the Mpls-St Paul metropolitan area, and the metro is the economic anchor and magnet for most of Iowa (St. Louis and Kansas City don't compare to Mpls-St Paul), North Dakota, most of South Dakota (the southwestern part is anchored on Denver), most of Wisconsin outside the Chicago megalopolis, and even the greater part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    There are exceptions to the co-location issue, CA, IL, and TX, for example, have transcended this issue which is a problem elsewhere - the capital's location is irrelevant to where business is done. NYC and Philly were already established cities prior to their capitals being re-located. They are among the lucky few in the US. For flyover Midwestern, Mountain Western, and Southern states, the capital-major city split can pose major problems, as these states can't quite catch up to the states where the capital/center of business are either co-located or are a non-factor. Besides being at a disadvantage due to starting late, not having a riverine city, not having a coastal city - the capital/major city split creates vicious cycles on top of these factors.
    Yeah, agreed with lots of that. There's a lot of differences that make cross-comparisons difficult to make, particularly if you are looking for optimum policy. No one will say Saudi Arabia has great policy on the basis of GDP per capita. We know it's all oil wealth.


    Kansas may do better over the years or may do worse. Forbes mentioned that Kansas has an increased number of start-ups in recent years and much higher than their neighbors. That's something that might pay dividends over the coming decades. I think Kansas will fare better than Missouri over time, but probably not as well as Colorado.

    Wisconsin's direction is interesting. They are a slow-growing state, Milwaukee has some growing areas but is mostly heading the same direction as Detroit, and Madison is nice but way too small to scale any industry.
    Last edited by GVChamp; 01 May 17, at 17:47.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  6. #96
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I had meant to say, it is not just government and industry/commerce being co-located, or lack of co-location, that is causing virtuous/vicious cycles. The more areas of human capital, whether it be science, education, research, etc., the more various types of human capital that are all located together in a single area - the better it will do. Large populations with extremely diverse human capital pools do even better. As human civilization itself is the result of specialization and positive-sum outcomes of specialized individuals working together in ways that complement other skill sets and specializations, the more of them you can find in places, the more likely you are to find a virtuous cycle. The less types of human capital in an area, whether it's a mono-industrial area, there's no colleges, it's an agricultural region, etc., the more likely a vicious cycle is going to be seen.

  7. #97
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I had meant to say, it is not just government and industry/commerce being co-located, or lack of co-location, that is causing virtuous/vicious cycles. The more areas of human capital, whether it be science, education, research, etc., the more various types of human capital that are all located together in a single area - the better it will do. Large populations with extremely diverse human capital pools do even better. As human civilization itself is the result of specialization and positive-sum outcomes of specialized individuals working together in ways that complement other skill sets and specializations, the more of them you can find in places, the more likely you are to find a virtuous cycle. The less types of human capital in an area, whether it's a mono-industrial area, there's no colleges, it's an agricultural region, etc., the more likely a vicious cycle is going to be seen.
    Agreed, which is why I am more optimistic about the Great Lakes Region down to Cincinnati than most. The Rust Belt states have a lot of quality Land Grant universities, and other schools. Indiana, OSU, Michigan, Illinois, plus Carnegie Melon in Pittsburgh, and Northwestern and UChicago aren't terribly far away. Might even get some draw from Wisconsin: it's no different than an OSU grad going to Minneapolis.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  8. #98
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    The major city - capital city problem.
    BTW, for most states this was a feature not a bug.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  9. #99
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    BTW, for most states this was a feature not a bug.
    It was intended. As is Brasilia in Brazil, Naypyidaw in Burma, and so on. The idea is to locate the capital in an area where it isn't easy for the capital to be seized and a government overthrown by the sudden passions or revolution occurring in the major city.

    There are unintended consequences of this strategy though. If the breadth and depth of human capital are widely distributed, in addition to other factors, it is difficult to establish these virtuous cycles in a state, and instead, another city in possibly another state experiences them.

    For example, this is seen in Minnesota-Wisconsin. There are perhaps more than 10x as many Wisconsinites living in Minnesota than the other way around. Minneapolis-St Paul punches above its weight in terms of concentration of industry, commerce, governance, science, research, technology, and a host of other factors. That's why it's grown to 3.5 million people, while Wisconsin is spread thin through a 800,000 person city (Milwaukee) with a smaller metro, with the rest distributed mostly between sub-100,000 person cities.

    Wisconsin is almost of schizophrenic state - with a small albeit somewhat populous portion (along Lake Michigan) being dependent on Chicago as the anchor, while the rest of the state is anchored on Minneapolis. Routinely, the success of Minnesota is touted again and again as lessons for Wisconsin to learn. Wisconsin, however, has fallen behind due to a host of other factors (which I've mentioned once or twice at this point) that aren't easy to resolve.

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