AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (23 comments)

  1. morganovich

    speaking of going galt, it may be that galt’s gulch may wind up being galt’s boat.

    i have to say, i’m intrigued.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/12/17/166887292/dont-like-the-government-make-your-own-on-international-waters

    start up nations with varying forms of government. i love the idea of being able to easily shop government and have real variety/government that needs to serve the people. this could be the start of a very interesting trend.

    i can imagine small nations in the carribean and pacific getting into this game as well.

    would make for a very interesting world.

    1. Interesting. I wonder how a community like this would provide national security? There are some dangerous people in the world.

      1. Interesting. I wonder how a community like this would provide national security? There are some dangerous people in the world“…

        Yeah ron h, I wondered about that myself…

        Mercs?

        This guys sounds a bit naive to me…

        Randy Hencken, Seasteading Institute’s Executive Director: “We advocate the use of non-lethal force and would like to promote peace. Not putting a seastead in heavily pirated waters would be a good place to start“…

        Interesting how the seasteading outfit is soliciting donations

        After all NPR described them as, “A group of rich techies in Northern California is planning on starting its own nation on artificial islands in the ocean“…

        1. morganovich

          i was thinking about that as well and it does seem like a serious issue.

          i can imagine a couple of possibilities.

          the first is some serious automated hardware. put a system akin to the aegis system onboard. (though likely at lesser scale) it’s expensive, but the price would be affordable for a major corporation. that would deter/destroy pretty much anyhting but a sovereign power. somali pirate vs sea whiz is just not a serious contest.

          another is to contract it out. pay for protection. get a sovereign nation to provide military cover. this carries risks, but ti could be workable.

          finally, i wonder just how big a deal it actually is. there are a great many small nations that have virtually no military capability. i mean, what’s the st kitts army? the bermudan? bahamas? aruban?

          a seastead would be difficult to invade as you have to come by boat. might some determined terrorists/hostage takers be able to get on board and demand ransom? yeah, could be. but it seems like you could also pay some sort of security force. it’s also worth remembering that a sea stead would be a libertarian system, everyone onboard could be armed.

          taking a container ship with a small crew who do not own the property and are lightly (if at all) armed is quite different from taking a well populated platform full of people potentially armed with automatic weapons who are defending their homes.

          switzerland may provide a model here. all adults in switzerland are given a military assault rifle and trained in its use. anyone invading would face literally everyone armed like a soldier. i suspect this is enough to deter most pirates and hostage takers.

          could a seastead repel the determined attack of a sovereign nation with a serious military? i really doubt it.

          but this is true of virtually any small country. the bahammas could not do it either to say nothing of tiny nations like tuvalu or st kitts.

          perhaps the trick would be to become economically indispensable to a big notion nearby. if google and facebook were on a seastead, americans might be motivated to defend it from aggression.

          1. i mean, what’s the st kitts army? the bermudan? bahamas? aruban?“…

            I don’t know about St. Kitts morganovich but the other places all field littoral navy/coast guard armed forces equiped with high speed patrol boats armed with rapid fire cannon (25mm to 70mm), chain guns, and small missles that would make quick work of a seasteading platform or vessel…

            Having an LRAD sound cannon as a defensive weapon in that situation would be useless…

          2. switzerland may provide a model here. all adults in switzerland are given a military assault rifle and trained in its use. anyone invading would face literally everyone armed like a soldier. i suspect this is enough to deter most pirates and hostage takers.

            The Switzerland model, along with the rugged terrain, deterred Hitler’s armies. It would probably work quite well, but somehow I can picture Friedman’s group carrying iPads and lattes but not assault rifles and RPGs.

            Juandos’s link to an interview with Seasiding Institute’s Randy Hencken leaves me with plenty of doubts also. he says: “There’s a report that an intern did on security on the seasteads.”

            An *intern*? I would want someone with vast security knowledge and experience, perhaps an ex-IDF guy, or someone similar advising me on security. Hencken also had this to say:? “We advocate the use of non-lethal force and would like to promote peace.” That seems naive at best. That’s like declaring a gun-free zone, which says “We are unarmed. If you intend us harm, just come right on in and start shooting us. No one will or can resist.”

            Your idea of an Aegis system sounds more like the “right stuff”, but might be expensive, and there might be obstacles involved in buying one.

            could a seastead repel the determined attack of a sovereign nation with a serious military? i really doubt it.

            Well no, but I don’t think that’s where threats would come from.

        2. juandos

          This guys sounds a bit naive to me…

          No kidding! “We recommend the use of none lethal force.”

          Why not just declare that you’re unarmed?

          “Not putting a seastead in heavily pirated waters would be a good place to start.”

          He seems to have the cart before the horse. Doesn’t he realize that open ocean is seldom crowded with pirates until ripe plums present themselves, then they gather around like flies on s**t.

          1. He seems to have the cart before the horse. Doesn’t he realize that open ocean is seldom crowded with pirates until ripe plums present themselves, then they gather around like flies on s**t“…

            Ahhh ron h these ‘rich techies‘ as NPR described them seemingly have a very tenuous grip on the real world…

            Maybe these seasteaders should give a call toMetal Storm and look into their products and services…

        3. juandos

          mercs?

          That might be a better choice than contracting for defense services with a sovereign nation. A private outfit like Academi (Blackwater) comes to mind. It’s a business venture with no political allegiances. You can order exactly the services you want, and it’s scalable. There are also competitors to keep them interested in pleasing customers, unlike, say, the US Navy.

          1. That might be a better choice than contracting for defense services with a sovereign nation“…

            Absolutely agree ron h, its got to be a better (more expensive) solution than loud noise and water hoses…

            There are also competitors to keep them interested in pleasing customers, unlike, say, the US Navy“…

            Heh!

          2. Absolutely agree ron h, its got to be a better (more expensive) solution than loud noise and water hoses…

            Loud noises and water hoses are deterrents, like pepper spray, that buy you time to make your escape. That’s not an option on a seascape – I don’t think.

  2. morganovich

    also notable: milton friedman’s grandson is one of the folks involved in this seasteading movement.

    1. Citizen B.

      morgan, I think that it is David Friedman, who is Rose and Milton’s son and not grandson. Here is David D. Friedman’s Home Page where he describes himself as a “anarchist-anachronist-economist”.

      1. morganovich

        cit b-

        it’s patri, his grandson.

        “The visionary behind the group is Patri Friedman. The former Google software engineer also happens to be the grandson of the Nobel Prize-winning economist and free marketeer Milton Friedman.”

        1. Citizen B.

          Oh, ok. David’s son. Thanks.

  3. Jon Murphy

    6. Job market improves for academic Ph.D. economists, openings are up 5.7% this year. Top field of specialization in job postings: mathematical and quantitative methods.

    The PhD is back on!

  4. Che is dead

    A few more links that you might find interesting:

    What it looks like – Inside Amazon

    The U.K. lifts ban on fracking to exploit shale gas reserves – CNN

    Prosperity: US Drops Out of Top Ten – Small Business Trends The decline “. . . is driven by a decline in the number of US citizens who believe that hard work will get them ahead. ‘

    U.S. Debt Visualized In $100 Bills

    International Trade in Live Corals Could Help Preserve Wild Corals and Coral Reefs Ecosystems, Study Suggests — Science Daily

    Saving Ocean Fisheries with Property Rights — PERC

    New York City rigs red light cameras

    U.S. evicting Point Reyes oyster farmer. Watch the VIDEO

    New York’s Finest Pizza

    “The program, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has a rather Orwellian-sounding name – the “Raisin Marketing Order.” In a nutshell, under this program, every year, as a condition for “letting” farmers sell their raisin crops in interstate commerce, the federal government has taken up to 47% of the farmers’ raisins – often for no payment at all, or below the cost of producing the raisins. The program has its origins in Great Depression efforts to fix the prices of agricultural crops. Don’t care much for raisins? Similar programs cover a variety of other agricultural products, such as walnuts, almonds, prunes, tart cherries – and cranberries! ” — “Raisin” Hell at the Supreme Court — Free Enterprise

    Watch out all you college grads – Hamburger-making machine churns out custom burgers at industrial speeds‏

    Charlie LeDuff Golfs the Length of Detroit

    Whole Foods Parking Lot – Music Video‏

    1. morganovich

      che-

      this is the same supreme court that rules fines under obamacare for NOT engaging in INTRAstate commerce as a tax and justified it under the federal power to tax.

      i would not get my hopes up on the raisins. they are just going to call it a tax or a raisin tariff or some such and that will be that.

      admittedly, it’s a weird tax because it’s in kind and based on output as opposed to profit and is paid by the seller not the buyer (as a sales tax), but i doubt that will stop them.

      it’s a nasty double tax though. they pay on production and then on profit. (of course, if half your crop is taken for free, that must reduce profits quite a bit)

  5. The ‘<i.double standards‘ story is really insane…

  6. Che is dead

    A few more:

    Teenage Gamers Are Better At Virtual Surgery Than MDs

    Electral Map Changes Animated. Notice that the “Solid South” was NOT conservative, supporting every “progressive” candidate until Richard Nixon.

    Educate your liberal friends, play <a href="http://soaktherich.us/"Soak The Rich!

    So, you want to play in the NFL?

    “Within 12 to 24 months of retiring, three out of four NFL players will be one or more of the following: alcohol or drug addicted; divorced; or financially distressed/bankrupt … The suicide rate for NFL players is six times the national average, according to GamesOver.org, a not-for-profit organization that provides transitional resources to benefit retired professional athletes.” — UT San Diego

    It seem that regualtons, even at the local level, only apply to the little guy – not the well connected: Dangerous skies over Sonoma

    The Most Incredible Volcano Video of ALL Time

    Video: Explaining Quantitative Easing

    1. morganovich

      boy does that teenage surgeon piece give me a great idea for a business model.

      i doubt the AMA is going to approve.

  7. 3. Double Standard: Feds look other way as wind farms kill hundreds of birds — but haul oil and gas firms to court for doing the same.

    My 14 year old proposed a perfect solution to the bird issue. He argues that if the courts value each bird at say $1,000 the oil and gas companies should be able to breed and sell those birds to the government for the same price. Once the market was established to deal with these types of events prosecutors (or should we say persecutors) and the courts would have trouble applying their double standards.

  8. The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, described Depardieu’s behaviour as pathetic and unpatriotic at a time when the French are being asked to pay higher taxes to reduce a bloated national debt.

    How unpatriotic it must be to refuse to feed the parasites. How long until the US has the same type of problem?

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