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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sanctions Hell, Send Them Stuff!

Sanctions Hell, Send Them Stuff!

That’s right; it is once again time for:
Cranky Opinion Saturday

 Many years ago when I was but a young lad, my father’s had a theory on defeating the Russians during the cold war.  He was disturbed at the amount of money our country spent developing weapons, maintaining troops and funding other countries, all to discourage the Russians from going to war against the United States and our allies.  The Russians in turn were building their defenses, armed forces, and Nuclear arsenal while their citizens were standing in line for toilet paper.

If we spent just one half of the money we spend on protecting ourselves from Russia on sending them stuff we could end the Cold War.”

Here is how his theory would have worked.  We cut back on billions and billions of dollars on Defense spending and instead build cars, trucks, washing machines, TV’s, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and toasters, load them all up on boats, and give them all to Russia.  FREE STUFF.

The Russians now receiving monthly shipments of free stuff would be forced to build an improved infrastructure to use all the free stuff.  They would need new roads, bigger electric plants and a stronger grid to deliver the electricity.  They would need gas stations for their cars, and entertainment for their new TV’s.  The Russian people given a taste of prosperity would demand economic changes. 

Instead of wasting our money building weapons so the Russians wouldn’t start a war and take our stuff, we just give them stuff.

Instead of building the capabilities to defeat the US and take our stuff, the Russians would divert their resources to use the stuff we would give them.

When you fear people who have few resources you don’t defeat them with more poverty, you distract them with prosperity.

When the Russian’s communist economy broke and their new form of capitalism brought increased prosperity the Cold War between us ended. 

In effect my father was proven right.

What country do we fear today?  What country recently threatened to annihilate Washington D.C.?

North Korea.

How are we dealing with North Korea? 

We are imposing economic sanctions.  Economic sanctions to a country that has no birds because the people are starving and eat anything they can catch.  Economic sanctions on a country that has almost nothing to protect.  They have nothing to lose, and in their eyes everything to gain by developing capabilities of hurting the US.

I think my dad’s idea is still valid.  You do not defuse a threat by making people’s lives more difficult.  Increasing their poverty will not make them knuckle under; it will only piss them off and strengthen their resolve.

To diffuse the North Korean threat we should load up the boats.  Send them food, cars, and appliances.  Stop the sanctions.  Divert money spent to defend ourselves from their threat to help them prosper.  A prosperous North Korea would not want to bomb their benefactors.  They would not want to destroy a potential trade partner.  Prosperous nations are not scary; nations in poverty are a threat.

Who would you fear most in a dark alley, Bill Gates or a homeless man?


The preceding opinion is that of a Cranky Old Man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.  
Opposing opinions are welcome, but nice.  Thank you.



  1. Wow! This is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking pieces I've read in a long time. It actually makes surprisingly good sense to me. The approaches we've always used clearly don't work, and the philosophy of giving has to a better way to begin with. I vote Cranky for President!!

  2. a very interesting take on things... or give, as the case may be...

  3. I don't think it would work -- though for the life of me, I can't think why it wouldn't!

  4. Obviously you don't understand government... or bureaucracy.

    Me, either, too!

  5. I think you may be onto something....something has got to work better than what we are doing now.

  6. I am fainting at the profundity and exquisite logic of this post.

    Josie Two Shoes beat me to it.....Joe H for President.
    But I fear The Broad and Uncle Skip may also be right.

    You not only write brilliant have amazingly intelligent readers.

  7. I can soooo buy what you're selling but I'd rather give it to you...Thanks, we've been saying this around here for years. Z-

  8. I agree with ya, Joe. The NORKs could certainly benefit from a bit o' technology transfer. We have a few hundred hi-tech devices just sitting... unused... in holes in North Dakota and Montana. I think we should gift the NORKs with about a couple o' dozen of those, fused for air-bursts to minimize fallout... right now. North Korea is a small country, so the target set and solution would be fairly simple. The South Koreans could then go in and build that infrastructure you're talking about after a cooling-off period of about three years, or so.

    And then? Problem solved, like you said.

    PS: We should also send a note to the Ayatollahs sayin' sumthin' to the effect of "Pay attention. You could be next."

    PPS: It's prolly a Good Thing that I'm not king. OTOH...

  9. Your dad was a wise man, Joe. Our government followed his a point. And they aimed it a slightly different direction. That was the Marshall Plan, and the beneficiary was western Europe. Our allies, not adversaries, the western Europeans. Interesting to think how different things might have turned out if we'd aimed our benevolence a thousand miles or so further east.

    Excellent, thought provoking post. :)


  10. Charitable tribute.
    Interesting concept.

  11. I suppose sending stuff postage-due would be frowned upon.

  12. I've never heard that argument before, but you can bet I'm going to be stealing it and using it the next time it comes up in conversation!

  13. Interesting point Cranky and probably very true. Your Dad was obviously a wise man :-)

  14. Book is fabulous by the way!

  15. This makes great sense to me.
    Does Pres. Obama follow your blog?

  16. I can't see why it isn't worth a try. I am sure the people of North Korea would be appreciative! X