This is not a gun post. It is a political post. Since I am only a guest here, if Miguel wants to take it down I will not be offended. This opinion is entirely my own and is something that I have wanted to share for a while. In preparing posts for this blog, I have to slough through a lot of idiocy at places like Salon and Vox to bring you nuggets worth posting about. It is much like having to go through sewage to find peanuts. Then I sat down to watch the Democratic Primary Debate on DVR. I not sure that these people know which country they want to run for president in. Listening to their plans on guns and economics, they want to be the supreme leaders of Swedestralia.
I’d like to retort to them and Vox and everybody else on that side of the aisle, why they are wrong, WITH SCIENCE. I’m not an economist. I’m a scientist, degreed and all.
The second law of thermodynamics states nicely defined this way: “it simply says that if you have a system that is isolated, any natural process in that system progresses in the direction of increasing disorder, or entropy, of the system.”
This often gets shortened to “everything tends towards disorder.” This is not correct. The best way I have found to sum up the 2nd LoT is “if you don’t continue to put energy into a system, it will eventually fall apart.”
You see this in everything. It takes energy in the form of heat to take iron oxide and turn it into iron, then more heat to turn it into steel. It takes mechanical energy to roll that steel into girders and then more heat to weld it together. When you are done expending all that energy, you made a bridge, and object that exists to fight gravity. But there is still more energy that has to go into it in maintenance and galvanic protection, because nature is constantly attacking the steel. If you didn’t continue to add energy into the system, the bridge would corrode back into iron oxide and fall down and go back to the lowest energy state from whence it came. The 2nd LoT applies to life as well. If you didn’t consume chemical energy and resperate oxygen, you to would go back to your lowest energy state – dead and rotted away.
The ulitmate point is that the 2nd LoT applies to civilization as well. Each and every one of us. We either put in energy to maintain civilization or civilization crumbles. Electrical energy is measured in Watts, mechanical energy in Joules. Societal energy is measured in money. Electrical energy is transferred by electrons through wires. Societal energy is transferred by dollars through free exchange. For the most part, the more you contribute in terms of energy to maintaining society, the more money you make. I mean make. Just as the biggest generator produces the most power, so do the hardest workers produce the most money.
This assumes that you live in a society with economic freedom.
If you don’t, the 2nd LoT still applies. The leaders take the money and keep if for themselves. The hard working stop working. Society collapses, see the USSR, Venezuela, etc. You can’t cheat the 2nd LoT. You can’t steal energy from the Carnot Cycle, perpetual motion is impossible.
Every bit of social welfare, the free stuff that the Democratic primary candidates wanted to promise away is an attempt to cheat the 2nd LoT. An an conditioner doesn’t make air colder. It only moves the heat of the air from inside the house to outside. Free government stuff doesn’t create money, it only moves it from one place to another. And just like the AC, there is inefficiently in the system.
Now I am not a heartless person. I have compassion. I also don’t want to live in a society where the poor starve to death and die in the street. I accept a certain amount of social welfare to help those in need. But what we are taking about here is a system that shifts the majority of people to the low curve of the Carnot Cycle, where the majority of people are on the energy consuming side than the energy producing side. It is not sustainable. You can speechify about all your highfalutin education on Keynesian economics but YOU CAN’T CHEAT THE 2ND LoT. If you take half my energy to build up someone else, that is less energy I have to maintain my life, and consequently I will crumble.
I think Robert A. Heinlein put it best:
“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck.'”
A sacrificial anode an an active metal that is coupled to a less active metal and allowed to corrode to prevent the less active metal from corroding. I WILL NOT BE THE SACRIFICIAL ANODE YOU PROMISE TO THE LESS ACTIVE TO GET THEM TO VOTE FOR YOU.