by Tyler Cowen
on July 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm
1. Yemen travelogue.
2. New American opera companies, but there are more in Germany.
3. The economics of lobster.
4. Law enforcement implications of driverless cars.
5. What is the relative cost of a Hamas rocket to an Israeli defense?
Bigger impact for law enforcement: No more speeding tickets. Less funding, less to do with their time, and more trust between citizens and cops.
More acts of prostitution in moving vehicles.
Cost of Hamas rocket is very low. The price of an Iron Dome interceptor rocket is much higher. So what?
The real price is to safeguard Israeli citizens from nutter Muslims and that is priceless.
A better question is “which is more affordable?”
Israel can keep making this trade forever.
yup, with U.S. taxpayers picking up the tab — who cares about the cost….
IronDome missiles cost at least $100k each… against simple ballistic rockets costing a maybe a thousand or two.
Israel is about the size of New Jersey but with a much smaller economy. Imagine Jersey and Chris Christie with a world class army and air force — do ya think jersey taxpayers could afford that on their own…
And aren’t Iran and Hamas friends again, at least enough that Iran is probably supplying a lot of those tickets?
Have you seen New Jack City?
I’m not sure I see why Israel should be bothered if someone else is subsidizing this.
Further, $100k is worthwhile at what, 100 interceptor missiles launched per Israeli life saved? $100k per attempt is enormously cost-effective for Israel.
And beyond that, it’s not like the only cost to Hamas with each launch is the missile fired. Roughly, they loose the launch site, any other weapons stored there, and any staff there.
Maybe USA is the one that ought to be bothered.
Frankly, if all the US got out of this deal was the IP, it would make sense to pay for Iron Dome. Ballistic missiles are one of the few real threats to the United States and anything we can learn about shooting them down is immensely valuable.
I’m not sure hoboken3 made a coherent comment, but he seemed to be saying that Israel shouldn’t be trying to stop the missile attacks because it was expensive to try. That’s ridiculous, even if they were footing the entire bill, which they aren’t.
Three billion a year isn’t that much considering the science and tech that comes out of Israel.
The conflict aside, it’s a good investment.
And besides, if Israel suddenly fell, who would the nutters focus on next? The US. And we’d probably need more than $3 billion to deal with it.
You rise an interesting question. If Israel were defeated one day, what teen soldiers would do? Bomb Western Europe more frequently?
technology transfer is almost 100% U.S. to Israel, along with vast monetary subsidies direct and indirect
the U.S. provided most of the technology and money for development of Iron Dome (it’s a derivative of the U.S./Raytheon Patriot missile system)
Cite please? No doubt some starting point was provided by the U.S. work but my understanding is the system was 100% Israeli-designed from there, with most people opposing it and deriding its chances for successful development. Israeli Rafael beat out U.S. Lockheed-Martin for the development work, if I recall
You have to discount for rockets that miss inhabited areas too. Israel ignores those.
But the costs are modest compared to the costs of air operations. No one thinks about those.
Yes, because children deserve to be killed when someone fires a rocket at Israel. Collective punishment. I’m sure it will solve something.
I find it amazing that someone falls for this. If you set your military hardware in a school or home, you are placing the inhabitants at risk. I believe the Geneva Convention forbids this. This is akin to having a crowd of children and women being forced to march in front of soldiers who are shooting mortars over their heads hoping that their enemy won’t shoot back. Any women and children who are killed are being killed by the ones who are putting them at risk.
The sheer chutzpah of supporters of Israel citing international law of all things, never ceases to amaze. Check out the 6th paragraph of the 49th article of the fourth Geneva Convention. Doesn’t get any more clear cut than that.
I’m not a supporter of Israel. But I am definitely not a supporter of suicide bombers and those who place missiles in places designed to get their people killed.
The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.
Isn’t that what Hamas is doing?
“The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.”?
Seems like they are doing the opposite of this?
Or maybe you mean the seventh paragraph? “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”? They’re not doing that either. So you’re right I guess, it is clear cut they are not violating the Geneva convention.
But that aside, does your argument mean you are in favor of vigilante justice. They broke the law, so now the law does not apply to you and you are free to kill them, or something?
I’m more surprised at the chutzpah of the voters of Gaza, who elect a party primarily dedicated to destroying Israel and then express surprise that they actually get a war.
And the chutzpah of Palestinian fanboys, who see nothing wrong with a culture wholly consumed with the pursuit of murdering civilians next door and turning child-killers like Samir Kuntar into heroes, who then blanche with horror when Israel tries to destroy some of the 10,000 rockets pointing their way.
The Palestinians have become a death cult, in no small part because the rest of the world persistently abides their obsession with death.
The real shocker is that Israel still treats Palestinians in their hospitals, takes in Syrian refugees, donates economic infrastructure to Gaza and otherwise remains a free democracy for Jews and Arabs alike.
If Israel disappeared tomorrow and Palestine was instead ruled by an ISIS offshoot that regularly beheaded opponents, we wouldn’t hear a peep from the region, the media or the Left.
It would be acceptable in a way having a democracy there today is not.
(Baruch Goldstein’s shrine)
You were saying something about turning child-killers into heroes?
+1 to Chip
Collective punishment is pretty much whats going on.
Terrorists groups in Palestine notices recruitment is low and so are funds so it decides to fire some rockets at Israel; Israel responds by bombing and invading causing many civilian casualties. The end result is more members and money for the terrorists groups , of which they use to launch more rockets at Israel, and the circle continues.
One would expect the terrorists group to keep up the violence to get more members and money; I guess you would expect Israel to keep it up to given that the violence provides the current government with more votes.
This model of terrorist recruiting / funding is really wrong. Hamas doesn’t sustain itself that way.
Hamas wants war to destroy Israel completely.
Gazans voted for Hamas.
Gazans got what they asked for: war.
Tell them to grow up and get rid of Hamas so there will be peace.
What was it ? Barely 40% of Germans voted for Hitler (who wasn’t even promising war in his manifesto) and by 1945 we thought it morally just to kill millions of them and hold Germany collectively responsible (even before we had full details on the Holocaust).
A greater % of Gazans voted for Hamas and war, as clearly announced in their constitution. Why are Palestinians not responsible for the terrible choices they make? Why doesn’t Israel have the moral right to treat them at least as harshly as we treated Germany?
Cost of a Tamir is $20k-$50k, cost of a Qassim is $800, cost of a Grad is $3,000, plus the cost to smuggle them in. More than 2/3 of rockets have trajectories that will land them in unpopulated areas and are ignored. Two tamirs fired for one interception. It’s not as bad as the tweeter makes it seem. Of course that’s only the most superficial of calculations.
#4 reminds me of some stupid Slate article I read about how if we were able to download our minds onto computers, it would revolutionize criminal justice because you could just make someone subjectively serve out their 5-year sentence or whatever in just a short space of “real time”. I’m glad that this FBI brain trust is able to predict such game changing consequences of driverless cars as “shooting with both hands”. I’m sure if Google built a teleporter, it would revolutionize the ability of members of the Strategic Issues Group to make the commute to their cubicles, but that isn’t exactly the kind of prophetic thinking they should be getting paid for.
How about this, for starters: the sensing systems that allow a car to recognize road features, judge braking distance and turn radius in order to drive without human input could ALSO recognize law enforcement officers, judge range and relative motion in order to shoot said humans without human input!
Driverless cars will also be vulnerable to various forms of electronic warfare, especially if they’re connected to some kind of network for e.g. navigation. If driverless cars can recognize humans in order to avoid driving into them, they can be reprogrammed to drive into them under certain conditions, and also see above. Perhaps it will be possible to reprogram them remotely.
They talked about terrorists programing automatic car bombs. Right now there aren’t automated gun platforms available to consumers, but under current trends the cars would be available.
I am sure that US military is big supporter of driverless car technology for both defense and offense.
Suicide bombers will be superfluous.
Better implement Asimov’s Three Laws of Robots in driverless cars but I don’t think it possible.
Yes, they’ll make great remote weapons; the military has figured that out.
And the potential for hacked assasintion should not be overlooked.
Opera, and too many other things in Germany: Sure, all state run and state funded. Clearly justified to improve the tastes of the masses and so forth. Perhaps also an infant industry. Successful industrial policy, really. 🙁
I don’t know about Germany, but aren’t the new American opera companies just a way of escaping the high cost of union labor? One old (union) opera company folds, a new (non-union, or at least under much less onerous contracts) opens where it used to be.
$160,000 for a lobster fishing license? And the average fisherman _grosses_ 98K annually? wow.
But if I understood the article (no guarantees!) the license is perpetual and can be resold. At interest rates of 3 percent, the license cost is only $5800/year. Even at 6 percent it’s only about 10 percent of your costs.
So, when is Tyler planning his visit to Sana’a? If he wants to try khat, he doesn’t have to travel that far. Apparently, you really need to chew a lot of it. It’s bitter, and I believe that bitter principle is the drug itself (cathinone). After your chew has lost it’s bitterness, it’s time for some more. I have chewed a fair amount, and I have not noted any psychoactive effect. I don’t know how much you have to chew, but it’s more than I have. And before you ask, no, my stuff was really, really fresh. Could not have been fresher, if you know what I mean. Khat does have the reputation for losing it’s potency rapidly after harvest.
Btw, must read brilliant
by same author of Yemen travel.
I love this post (above) so much that I want to give you a taste (so to speak) of it. Here’s the first sentence:
“The classic beginner’s mistake in Argentina is to neglect the first steak of the day.”
For most people, a vegetarian is something you eat =)
I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I HATE PLANTS!
The technological advances from the Iron Dome system have also narrowed the areas in which sirens are activated each time, again if you have never heard an air-siren before, well worth the price.
Thanks TC for the Sana’a travel post link. An excellent, and clearly very intrepid, travel writer. Maybe be as close as I ever get to the city. There was a wonderful book some years back – Motoring with Mohammed – that similarly captured a sense of the place. I shall have to read the present author’s Argentina on Two Steaks A Day.
Today I was driving on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway at arounc 1845 when the siren began. I pulled over and went to sit on the side of the road with my arms over my head which is supposedly safer. I looked up and could see from the smoke that 2 rockets had been intercepted.
I’m trying to imagine how people in the US or Europe would react to this kind of situation.
Why wonder? Look at how the US responded to 9/11. As everyone knows, GWB promptly entered negotiations and reached a fruitful long lasting peace.
>There isn’t enough water here for two million people. There certainly isn’t enough water for two million people and agriculture. But how do you tell a desperately poor farmer to stop growing qat? And who is going to make him listen?
If only there were some way of rationing goods such that supply and demand were synchronized. Must get my head out of the clouds I suppose.
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