Monday, September 12

Money down the drain

203° 20' NET

I have no idea how much money US government uses for flood-control and for building barriers and such. Looking at the resent events it looks like it's not enough.

It's not cheap to build dams and barriers against raising water levels or floods. Over here in the Netherlands they take this issue very seriously. The costs in euro's are in billions, one barrier can cost 200-300 million alone. Like this one for example, the New Waterway barrier:

Europe's New Orleans is Rotterdam, another city built on a flood plain at the mouth of a continent's greatest river. The disaster half a century ago led to a massive building program, the Delta project, which was completed only in 1997 when Queen Beatrice inaugurated the New Waterway barrier, a €260-million ($385-million) hydraulic gate that protects Rotterdam from the ever-rising seas. The expense has been enormous and continues, hundreds of millions of euros every year and a new program is under way.

This means you have to have a fat budget for these kind of plans and will to see it through. It also means these kind of projects lasts for years even decades. The new project will take €2.2 billion over the next 10 years.

Now, if a nation of 16 million can do this, why is it so hard for a nation of almost 300 million to do?
If money is the issue, I have an idea where it could be taken from. I'm not going to go into politics too much, only to point out that for me personally it feels purely ridiculous that US defence budget - if you can call it that, because for me defence budget means money you use for defending, not preempting - is over 400 billion dollars. 3.3% of GDP (Feb. 2004) used for military expenditures is kind of nuts. Not highest in the world by any means, but for a modern, democratic nation with reasonably stable neighbours it is a lot. What makes this really nuts is the fact that the budget is almost equal to the rest of the world. Yes, that's right - USA puts up pretty close half of the money used in defence worldwide. That's some kind of a record, only I don't know if it's something to be proud of.

Just a couple days ago Jane's reported that:

The United States' Fiscal Year 2006 (FY06) defence budget represents a continuation of the previously established priorities, although various pressures will persist in tightening the US Department of Defense's (DoD's) fiscal belt.

Sounds like a good idea.

Vector at Monday, September 12, 2005

Comments 1


07 February, 2006 20:38 Anonymous RabidAsshole said...

The US wont do it because of politics. We are ADHD on the ultimate governmental level. You couldnt get a congressman to fork out enough money to nbuy himself condoms two years in a row, let alone two decades.

I will say something for big defence spending though. It gives us really nifty gadgets like these:

Active Denial:
A focused microwave burst that penetrates one sixty-fourth of an inch into the skin to heat water molecules and make your skin feel like it's on fire. It stops when you are out of the beam within a few seconds, with no lasting damage, and does not penetrate walls or even a thin sheet of foil. Of course if you are in the beam for more than a few seconds, it becomes fatal. It also has a longer range than a bullet, and can be mounted on a parked humvee from which it draws its power. Why shoot your enemies when you can cook them alive? Bar-b-que anyone? Lets cut military rations!

Tactical High Energy Laser
Ever played C&C Red Alert? Can you say "Laser Tower"? Its more like a spotlight, but it is being developed in conjunction with Isreal, where it is already being fielded. This beam can shoot down cruise missiles, ICBMs and anything that flies.

Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser
Repeat after me: Laser Tank
Thats right, it's being developed. The laser for it is ready and has been tested. Why worry about anti-arcraft guns when you have a laser tank on your block? When parking this bad boy on your block, you can shoot down missiles, mortars, artillery shells, and RPGs. If it can do this, why not aim it at people too? Snipers? Lets light those roofs up. All of them. Set your phasers to "roast alive" and prepare to board.

Vigilant Eagle:
An airport defense system that detects shoulder fired missiles and fries their brains with an electromagnetic wave. Magnets really can be fun!

At present, a 20ft tall tower that fires a bolt of lightning. Mmmmm Tesla Towers. Great. The airforce is working to shrink it so it can be wielded by troops. Tesla Tanks are a great idea.

Want to know more?
You can also check the rayguns section at


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