Little by little, suggests one of Richard Fernandez‘s correspondents.
Something is clearly wrong. Some time ago I argued that it has long been a false article of faith that there exists an essentially unlimited margin of resources from which to indulge the Green Mania, say â€œsorryâ€ to the world, provide military advantages to Americaâ€™s enemies, admit untold numbers of illegal immigrants and to pay off scaremongers who require unreasonable levels of accountability. A reader sent me an email saying:
A while back you had a post which said that while decreased economic activity was one way to deal with man-caused global warming, such a reduction in wealth also decreased our ability to respond to crises, including those associated with global warming.
In engineering there is a concept called â€œdesign marginâ€ in which extra strength, power, capacity, capability is built into things to account for wear and tear as well as unknowns about the environment.
I think that the reason so many things seem to be â€œbreakingâ€ today is that over the last 20 years we have used up our â€œmargin.â€ Not pumping oil from our own known reserves ate into that margin. Cutting the military back by almost 50% – and then deploying it more than before – cut into that margin. Insisting on environmental, legal, racial, considerations in everything ate into that margin. Political correctness ate into that margin.
No one thought that a number of bad loans made to people who could not repay them would sink the economy – indeed it is not clear that it will even now – but eventually that â€œmarginâ€ in the financial system got eaten away. A single massive award in a lawsuit by a woman who spilled coffee in her lap ate into that margin in its own way, as did innumerable other lawsuits, silly or not.